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Holiday Party Dec 3

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2008 NEWS ARCHIVE


Annual Holiday Party: Our annual holiday party took place on December 7 at Michie Tavern near Charlottesville. Starting at 6 PM there were tours of the tavern museum, while wine, other drinks, and munchies were available in the main part of the tavern. Michie Tavern's trademark southern-style dinner (fried chicken, ham, black-eyed peas, pickled beets, stewed tomatoes, cole slaw, hot green beans, mashed potatosand gravy, corn bread,..., plus peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert) was served at 7 PM. Nobody went home hungry. Herb Distefano thanked the club officers and other volunteers for their help during his two-year term as president, and he received an ovation for his outstanding service from the sixty members present. Numerous door prizes were handed out, and Rick Ebinger presented awards to the class winners of the 2008 autocross season.


Fall Foliage Tour: This shot looking over the Bank of America parking lot in Gordonsville shows that the 2008 Fall Foliage Tour was the biggest yet, with 28 Porsches of all types and colors filling every available space. Next year we will have to find a new starting point, perhaps the freshly paved parking lot at CDOC. Phil Audibert called the drivers together and handed out driving directions plus historical notes for the route, and we were off at 10 AM, following Susie in her 356C "Green Bean."

The day was sunny, the traffic was light, and nobody got a ticket on our scenic route through Orange, Madison, and Rappahannock Counties. Along the way we stopped at the apple warehouse in Criglersville and again in Sperryville, where antique tables "are made daily." Our final destination was Graves Mountain Lodge for their famous buffet lunch. We all did our best to follow their posted rule "Take all you want, but eat all you take."

More photos...


New Officers Elected: Shenandoah officers were unanimously elected for the two-year term beginning January 1, 2009. They are president Bill Sanders, vice-president Sherry Westfall, treasurer Bob Duntley, and Secretary Pam Ebinger.

Bill Sanders (president), Sherry Westfall (vice president), Bob Duntley (treasurer), and Pam Ebinger (secretary). (click on any of these photos to enlarge)


Social/Business Dinner Meeting: This October 21 meeting at the new Irish Alley Restaurant and Pub in Staunton featured a great after-dinner presentation by Weldon Scrogram, who told us about his racing experiences with the late Paul Newman and presenting memorabilia from racing in the 1970's. If you weren't there, you should have been!


Synergy Racing Fall Fling: Rick's report:
The following weekend (October 18 and 19) we made it down to VIR once more for the final event of the season. The Fall Fling is one of my most favorite events, with the same people each year showing up and exchanging stories and always trying to drop their lap times. We came down on Friday to get some sleep before a full day on the track. Erik and I have been SLOWLY putting together my car and finally got it for the events. I have been bumming rides primarily with Erik, and it was great to go out and turn a few hot laps with the old 914. It was good to see Alex Smith running down the track in his GT3, and Sherry Westfall and Jim Condon have really raised the bar. Both are really getting around the track at a great clip. It goes to show you how important seat time and working to improve is. I was impressed when I had the chance to chase Sherry. Very good job. We had the usual collection of race cars and street wheels. We had a few Ferraris, including a 355, a 360, and a 430, with a guest visit of a 550 in the pits. We also had a great collection of GT3s, some Synergy prepped 997s, and 997 Cup car of Matt Einstein, and a few Mustangs, Corvettes, and a Very New Viper with 30-day tags. The Viper didn't survive the weekend, but the driver was OK. Cole Scrogham had a little twist this year, with a seven-lap sprint race in the Red group Sunday afternoon. It was really cool to see the racers going for it, but it was a small field of 6 cars. Hopefully, we will do it sooner in the day and it will be a lot more fun. Great idea Cole, can't wait until next year.

More photos...


International Gold Cup Races: Lisa and I attended the International Gold Cup steeplechase horse races held at Great Meadow in Plains, VA near Warrenton on October 18th (this event is always the third Saturday in October), which has been sponsored by Porsche (major sponsor) for the last two years. A photographer took this shot of my 1968 912R alongside a new GT3 RS inside the Porsche tent that I think turned out really nice, especially with the vertical Porsche Club of America banner. It was a very well done event; we only wish more of our Porsche friends were there to share the fun. It was a gorgeous fall day and the venue was beautiful. Porsche set up a tent on "members' hill" (highest elevation and best place to view races) with a gourmet luncheon that was superb. We should include this event on our calendar for next year; it is a "Do Not Miss event". Of course, I realize this year it was the same weekend as Synergy Racing's Fall Fling, but this would allow those with other interest to enjoy gathering with other Porsche enthusiasts in a different atmosphere. If you go to their website, you will find info about this event.

Happy Porsche Motoring,
Johnny Johnson


Autocross at Verona: The final autocross of the season took place at the August Government Center on a beautiful sunny October 12. Rick Ebinger brought his 914 sporting a coat of green primer and a 3.2 liter engine. He ran the slowest time of the day while learning to tame the beast (photo above) and the fastest time for a Porsche (on a later run, needless to say). More photos...

Rick's report:
It was a cool, but very nice, fall day. We surprised the regulars by bringing out my 914. We had a lot of shakedown to do, but the car has great potential. I bounced, slid, skidded, and slid to a pretty good time. The car is a handful, and I have a lot to learn. We set up a simple course, with a fast straight and some technical parts that balance out the track. It is important that track design cover the lower and higher horsepower cars so all have a chance at a top time. We hit the mark again with the top cars being a WRX, a 914, a Miata, and a hot 944 Turbo. Porsche took two of the top three times, and for a full field with some very fast regulars, it was a great showing. We learned that a lot of events have dropped off in participation over the summer, with our local SCCA showing about a 40% dropoff. Luckily, we still had the same numbers. Some of our members keep coming and trying . Rick Kiser brought out his beautiful 993 and Paul Spoonseller keeps working to get faster. I have enjoyed talking with Paul this summer, who is new to autocrossing and started earlier this year with his new Cayman. Paul learned some very valuable lessons from one of our senior SCCA buddies who comes to our events . Paul said some quick advice really helped him improve. I am glad he has had such a good time this year. Keep up the good work, Paul. There were some very cool cars that came out, and it was a great ending to the autocross season. Thanks to those who help, and especially thanks to Mike, Emmett, and Jeffrey for all the help this year in setup and cleanup. Erik and I would be in bad shape without all of your efforts.
Here are the results by time and by class.


Drivers Education at VIR: The First Settler's Region (FSR) sponsored this event on the South Course on September 20 and 21, and on the Full Course on Monday, September 22. The Shendandoah Region was well represented. "Mad Mel" Brannan and John Kessler were there as instructors.

 

Both David Israel (red 911) and Erin Israel (silver 996) were promoted from the white run group to the black run group, and Sherry Westfall (burgundy 996) was promoted from green to blue. Congratulations!


Ebinger/Gray Wedding: Shenandoah Region PCA members Rick Ebinger and Pam Gray were married at the Glenn Falls waterfall across the road from their home in Vesuvius on the afternoon of September 13. The reception followed under two tents on the hill behind their house. Note the black Porsche on top of the wedding cake. PCA friends attending included Tom and Eleanor Bobbitt, Eric Boody (the best man) and BJ Regi, Jim Condon and Sherry Westfall, Herb Distefano, Weldon and Phyllis Scrogham, and Bill and Nancy Smith. Rick and Pam went on a weeklong Caribbean cruise for their honeymoon.

Click to enlarge these photos


August 24 Autocross: Our club put on an August event at the Government center in Staunton. Although the parking lot is the same and we usually have a similar setup, we can really change it up so the course is different almost every time. This event was no exception. We pushed the lot to yield the longest straightaway we could put in and built the course around this straight. With the fastest time of the day being 63 seconds, it was a long course.

We had 22 racers, and the day was good for cars with R-compound tires. Those special tires are usually good for 3 seconds on a 60 second course, and with the high-speed turns, hard braking, and technical areas they were very helpful. Jeff Elmore was the cream of the Porsche crop with a 65 second run. Jeff's 2000 Boxster S handles wonderfully and is coming together with seat time that Jeff has been putting in. Geoff Kilmer also came back out with his 91 911 Targa, and it is good to see he and his brother duel again. Mike had the advantage of the last year's seat time, but Geoff will get faster, I am sure of that. Bob Duntley also came out with his 2001 911 Cab and pushed the car around the track. Bob always helps and is around, but is finally getting out and racing with us. Here are the results by time

October is track month, with Euroclassics and Synergy Racing's Fall Fling, so here we go for those who love the track. Looking forward to seeing the group again and getting some track time. I might even be able to go a few laps in the 914. We'll see how well the assembly goes in the next few weeks.

Thanks to those who came out and played at the Government center. See you at the last Autocross of the season.

Rick

 

 

[Rick's fabled "lightly smoking" 914 lurking in his garage, now with a new 3.2 liter engine and a coat of green primer. Will it be ready for the track in October?]


The Shenandoah Region PCA celebrated its 13th anniversary with a scenic driving tour from Zion Crossroads to Herb Distefano's home on the shore of Lake Anna, a People's Choice concours, an outstanding catered lunch with cake and ice cream, boat rides, and other activities. Herb led the tour in his white 964 cab. The tour crossed seven bridges over Lake Anna (and more for those who got lost) and included a 20-minute stop at Lake Anna State Park near the beach. More photos...

Phil Audibert announced the candidates recommended by the nominating committee for president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. They are Bill Sanders, Sherry Westfall, Bob Duntley, and Pam Gray (now Ebinger), respectively.

Johnny Johnson's bright yellow 1968 "912R" (left) attracted a lot of tiny flying insects (Beware: bright yellow cars do that!) and the most votes in the "People's Choice" concours. Lisa Johnson drove the low-mileage and really clean "Mercedes yellow" 911SC that Johnny is standing over (right). Both cars are for sale at Ace Autosports.

The shoes on Herb's dock (left) make it look like Rick Ebinger and Pam Gray just made the big leap, but they only took a ride in Howie Dunbrack's new 270 h.p. Yamaha boat (right) along with Gary Hagar and Gail McDermott. They will actually make the big leap on September 13. Congratulations!


Rumble at the Oak Tree: The inaugural Zone 2 PCA Club Race and Advanced DE Weekend took place from August 8 through 10 on the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) full course. It was a three-race PCA Club Race weekend (two sprint races and one enduro race). The Advanced DE was open to advanced solo/instructors only in a single run group.

Several Shenandoah Region members attended as volunteers: Eric Boody, Jim Condon, Rick Ebinger, Rebecca Morgan, Mark Stubbs, and Sherry Westfall.

These thumbnails (click to enlarge) show another victim of NASCAR Bend, Cole Scrogham's pristine white 911R that won at the Parade concours, heavy traffic in the first lap of a practice start, and Pam Gray visiting with Daisy.

Autocross Driving Clinic: The second autocross driving clinic was held on a sunny July 13 at the Augusta Government Center. Clint Shuler (owner of the dark green 1967 911S) provided these two photos, which you can click to enlarge. Rick Ebinger took the three photos below.

We wore out all comers and gave as much seat time as everyone wanted. We focused on the keyhole, hard braking, and a seven-cone slalom that even gave me hard times at the end of it. At the end of the day we put it all together and ran the course. I am not sure what I'll cook up for the next autocross, but you can count on some of those tricks we practiced.

We had a lot of first-timers look at the event and really get some good feedback. Many new to the event were interested in what they needed to do besides the driving part. We covered safety equipment, how to advance in the car upgrades, the importance of seat time, and other tricks you need to know before you turn a wheel in aggression—all of these things Erik and I have picked up over the past 15 years of legally pushing our rides to the limits. We had a good mix of cars again, with the return of an old BMW, a couple of new Porsches, Howie's 944 Turbo, a Miata as usual, and the Kilmer brothers and their 911s. Andy Turner also came out and pushed his very nice white 911, and I got a chance to drive it around the keyhole. I hope we were able to knock off some of the confusion of this type of motor sport and I think everyone got something out of it. Thanks to all who helped with the event, and again I was glad to help those who were interested in putting in an afternoon to discuss, practice, and try something fun and educational.

Rick


Porsche Parade 2008: Shenandoah Region members at Charlotte, NC for the 53rd Annual Porsche Parade. From left to right the front row subjects are Teresa Hanger, Tana Raefer, Gail Smith, Phyllis Scrogham, Bobbie Powers, Ginger Elmore, Jeffrey Elmore, Jill Sanders, and Bill Sanders. On the back row they are Scott Raefer, Johnny Johnson, Thomas Bridgers, Alex Smith, Dave Lawrence, and Herb Distefano. Not pictured are Kerrigan Smith, Weldon Scrogham, and the Cole/Suanne Scrogham family. Technically Scott and Tana Raefer had not become members at time of photo but promised to soon. Bill and Jill Sanders provided more photos of the Parade.

 

Herb took these at the parade:   


RPM 2008: The Shenandoah Region's 12th annual RPM began with a concours at the spectacular James River property of Howard & Leeanne Faunce. Following lunch at the "Cafe Carrera" there was a driving tour of horse country northwest of Richmond and a tech session on tires and brakes at Euroclassics Porsche. PCA national secretary Manny Alban told us about national goals after the awards banquet. More photos...

With clouds looming over the autocross racers on Sunday (just what the doctor ordered for that black-top skillet), Southside yielded yet another good day of round track fun. Southside Speedway is a one-third mile paved oval with banked turns. We were able to make a faster and still safe course that challenged traction and the nerves of the contestants. Twenty-one racers took on the walled challenge of Southside Speedway, running six timed runs, and the entire field fit under the one minute time, a first for one of my courses. It was the same distance as usual, but we opened it up and it got a lot quicker. Safety wasn't compromised, and we only had two heavy spins with immediate stops when the cars crossed that point of no return. I was happy with the different feel for the course because we always like new and different challenges, even if we only come to this site once a year.

Well, we'll start with FTD, fastest time of the day, and again Bobby Smith took top honors with his race-prepped 914. Bobby told us he was going to the Parade this year, and we'll see how well he stacks up against those regulars from around the nation. I am looking forward to seeing how he places. Others had fun with the course, and the usual battle between Alex and Bryce came on again, with Alex prevailing again, but not by much. Bryce was an owner of one of those spins I had mentioned earlier, but I was impressed that he was as close as he was to Alex with only one event a year under his belt. Good job, Bryce, and good to see you out there again. Rick Kiser made it a bit late with his three-wheeled car trailer, but he managed to pound out a 4th overall and first in his class with his race GT3. Jeffrey Elmore has added a few more tricks to his 2000 Boxster S and it did well, moving up the food chain to 8th place. Jeffrey added exhaust, and it did change the power bands a bit, probably from the back pressure. The car has a trait that I love on all good cars, neutral handling and enough power to get in trouble, at least in and out of the turns. Paul Sponseller, driving his second autocross and at 77, our most "experienced" driver, is moving up the list, and unfortunately I heard him say he was conservative when he bought his Cayman and maybe should have considered the "S" version. Sorry about that Paul. Seat time will be the biggest help, but the extra 52 HP would not hurt either. Keep up the good work. Frank Ameri joined the fun for the first time and drove around his beautiful Black Cab. Mike Kilmer ran very well with a good time in his Targa, and John Kessler put down a very fast time with his daily driven 86 911. Here are the final results.

Thanks to all of those who participated and a special thanks to Kerrigan Smith for course setup and help. Another successful day in Richmond, and a perfect close to a great weekend of fun, fellowship, and auto enthusiasm. Thanks everyone.

P.S. Our second annual car-control clinic will be held July 13th. We will not be bringing out the timing gear and focusing on technical parts of the course and what you might run into in a Erik/Rick autocross. The focus will be on high-speed turns, hard braking, slalom rhythm, and putting it all together for a great run. We will have open dialog and lots of Q&A. If you are interested in autocrossing, have a spouse that has always wanted to try, but didn't want to hold others up or be embarrassed, this is the even for you. Even if you have experience, you can always learn and add to your talent in an event like this. We even plan on putting together the skid pad again, or like some of you renamed it, the donut hole. Mark this on your calendar, it was a blast last year and should be again.

Happy motoring, and keep your shiny side up.

Rick


FSR DE at VIR: A strong contingent of Shenandoah Region drivers showed up for the three-day (May 23–25) high-performance driver education (DE) event sponsored by the First Settlers Region (FSR) at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) near Danville, VA. Except for a brief shower on the morning of the 24th, the driving weather was perfect. Jim Condon and Sherry Westfall shared their one Porsche, as did Greg and Susan McGee after her new Porsche was destroyed while being trailered on an interstate. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. David and Erin Israel have his-and-hers Porsches. Harry McGovern drove his 1977 targa in the green group, and Scott Leopold drove a 1996 993 GT1R in red. John Kessler came with the yellow 911 shown at the left. Steve Sarfaty's cabriolet doesn't have a roll bar, so he brought a BMW M5 to the event. Mel Brannan drove his white 964, and he was Sherry's instructor. Both survived. More photos...


Autocross at Augusta: For our first autocross in Verona, we ended up with a perfect day for the event. Early in May is always a guessing game to the type of weather we may get. We have been very wet in the Valley this year, causing everything to be green and wonderful for those who wish to grow and build landscapes, but not always for auto events. We even have cold spells and not so great weather, but this day was not one of those. We had sun, warm weather, and a dry track; a good day for an event.

We had 16 drivers, with about half being of the Porsche persuasion. We had a lot of the regulars with some new blood mixed in. Paul Sponseller came out for his first autocross with his 2008 Cayman. Paul did very well, shaving off at leat 13 seconds over the period of the day and ended up with his last run, run #6, being his fastest. We also had a very nice lady from Lexington with her original 944 that she bought new with 74,000 miles, and she was putting it though the paces. I instructed both and they really had a lot of fun. The 944 was an automatic and a different animal for me to ride/drive in, but once you locked it in "1", it made the power to run and it was really neat to see the original car with owner. I still will always say you ride in an automatic, but you drive a stick. Sorry tip owners, personal preference. No time on the car, but it was fun to get the new drivers acquainted with such an event. Thanks for coming out, newbies!

The old crew also came out, with Howie, Jeffrey, and Mike running their usual good runs. Howie left the 944 and came back with Chess's 930. It was good to see the car (and Chess) again, and the big surprise was the car drove home. (Had to do it, Chess) Good to see that. Jeffrey ran the Boxter S up to within 1.3 seconds of Erik in the 911. That car/driver is getting much quicker. Thanks Chess for selling the race tires to him; we all appreciate it. I got to run one time in Erik's 911; still waiting on the body man for my car back. All the parts are gathered up, including a 3.2 liter, but they need a new host. Trust me, I do have a 914 somewhere out there. Hope to make it to a PCA event sometime this year. I probably just jinxed it; kind of like when they say "this guy never misses a foul shot". We'll see.

With the 16 runners, all had six judged times (results), with a ton of fun runs and time after the event. We still got out in the 3 PM hour, so lots of fun and lots of fast time on the track. We squeezed out a new design and had lots of high 2nd and 3rd runs, with some fast drift corners. I liked the set up and will look to do a spin on this again for our Driving school and our later events later this year.

Our next event is RPM and with a great banked oval in Richmond, Southside speedway, we should once again have a great day on the pavement. Please come out and participate, you will have fun and learn a lot about you and your car. I promise. Until then...

Rick

This photo shows Amanda Ousley at the sunny helm of a white 1992 Mazda Miata. More photos were provided by Brian Cassidy and Amandy Ousley.


Spring Driving Tour: Bob and Joan Duntley led this April 19 event to Scotchtown and Hanover Tavern. The photo below is from page 6 of the May 2008 issue of The Heat Exchanger.


Phil's Final Issue!
                       

Phil Audibert completed more than six years of service as "harried editor" of The Heat Exchanger with the April 2008 issue. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stayed him from producing every issue on time, although the postal service didn't always deliver them promptly. Even though the Shenandoah Region is a small one, The Heat Exchanger has far more extensive, informative, and interesting content than most regional newsletters, thanks to Phil's efforts. The Heat Exchanger received two national awards for excellence while Phil was editor. Thank you, Phil!

The newsletter remains vital to the continued success of our region because it is the only medium that reaches all of our members. We welcome our enthusiastic new editor, Rebecca Morgan, and ask that you continue supporting The Heat Exchanger by sending her articles and photographs for future issues.


Autocross at RIR: For our third annual autocross at the Richmond International Raceway (RIR) with Euroclassics we had a crowd of 27 racers, all makes and models participating, and a battle of two-water cooled 911s at the top separated by 0.02 seconds. We had a great day and a smooth-running event. Our 1.2 mile course yielded speeds over 100 MPH and six timed runs for everyone within three hours. We were able complete the business end of the event by 1:30 PM, followed by tons of fun runs until everyone started to lose interest. If you have ever come to an autocross, you know that almost never happens. We had a great day, thanks to the Shenandoah members who helped and participated and to the Euroclassics crew and Mark Cooke for their support.

We had a strong showing early Saturday morning, with a kick-off in the Media Room at the Richmond track. Our first car got off at 10 AM, and we were able to run straight through to the end. We had some of the regulars, Alex Smith in the white GT3, plus a bunch of new Caymans and newer 911s. We had the usual bunch of Lotuses (Loti?) along with Mark's hot Lotus with tons of power and brakes. Jack Woodfin's 2001 911 Turbo was well piloted and fun to watch. We had a special visitor—a new Audi R8—that ran all six runs hard, and Vince Groome pushed up to seventh place. Pictures do not do that car justice, and all angles look great. Make the effort to see one.

Howie ran the old 944 up to fourth place, and Erik and I had multiple rides in a lot of great cars. The day went to Emmett Richardson, who pedaled to FTD with his 2006 Carrera S. We had some strong rookie showings and saw lots of old friends. Click for results by time and by class.

We hope to see everyone in May for the Staunton event.

Rick Ebinger


Zone 2 Driver Ed: PCA Zone 2 sponsored their annual three-day DE event on March 14–16 using the full course at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR). The weather was excellent except for a late-afternoon downpour on Saturday. Six drivers from the Shenandoah Region participated: Track junkies "Mad Mel" Brannan and Matt Einstein, new members Greg and Susan McGee (with his-and-hers Porsches), and Sherry Westfall and Jim Condon sharing their one Porsche in different run groups. More photos...

  Greg McGee's 993, golf cart, and trailer at VIR