The 2021 SCCA National Convention took the green flag on Saturday, and, while the first-ever virtual format gives a different feel to the event, one constant remains: the opening night’s SCCA Hall of Fame and Awards Ceremony.
The five newest members of the SCCA Hall of Fame were joined by the newly selected SCCA Member of Excellence and Woolf Barnato Award Winners, Bob Crawford and Dennis Dean respectively.
The Member of Excellence is annually presented to the volunteer who shows the greatest commitment to SCCA Motorsports activities. The recipient is given the opportunity to attend any motorsport event of their choosing—with an expense cap of $5000—anywhere on the planet.
Crawford, a Washington DC Region member, was introduced by SCCA President Michael Cobb as the “poster child of the welcoming environment that we are striving to deliver to members” for his work throughout his Region’s road racing program.
“I’m honored, humbled and grateful for this award,” Crawford said. “It is a privilege to serve as a leader in this great organization and an opportunity I cherish.”
The Woolf Barnato Award is recognized as SCCA’s highest award and is presented to a member who has made an outstanding, long-term contribution to the Club. Dean, already a part of the SCCA Hall of Fame, received the 2020 edition of the award.
“I still feel like the widow who listened to the preacher’s kind eulogy and then whispered to one of her children, ‘run up there and make sure that’s your daddy in that box,’” a humbled Dean said. “As I look at the list of prior Woolf Barnato Award winners, the vast majority of who I can consider personal friends, I am humbled beyond words. To be placed in the same category as any of them would honor any Club member. To now join the ranks of the entire group is almost unimaginable.”
SCCA’s five newest Hall of Famers – Tom Campbell, John Fergus, R. Bruce Gezon, Lloyd Loring, and Donna Mae Mims – each took their time in the evening’s spotlight.
Campbell, introduced by friend and fellow past Chairman of the SCCA Board of Directors John Walsh, began by recognizing the role the SCCA played in his life, as a competitor, car builder and administrator.
“As I look back over the past half century, three things stand out as the important parts in my life – my family, my professional career, and the Sports Car Club of America,” Campbell said. “After my family and my career, my life’s history has been about the Sports Car Club of America.”
Seven-time National Champion Fergus was introduced by his friend and fellow competitor Brian Till.
“Mike Cobb called me a couple of weeks ago to share with me the news that I was being inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Fergus said. “I was pretty excited, but at the same time a bit humbled.”
Road Rally legend was brought to the stage by Cheryl Babbe and reminisced on everything in his life that his SCCA history had been a part of.
“Rally is what I love,” Gezon said. “I’ve loved it since I was a teenager. My exceptional wife, my job of 53 years, my oldest friends were all the result of my Rally.”
Flanked by his son and daughter, William and Elizabeth, the 92-year-old Loring was introduced by Raleigh Boreen. As an announcer, Loring spent his time providing clarity at events and welcoming all.
“It’s been a grand and glorious several decades of participating in the SCCA,” Loring said. “It’s been my pleasure. I have a lot of friends in the SCCA and I appreciate them all, and I just want to say I hope they have as good a time in the SCCA as I have for this many years.”
Don Baker introduced and spoke about the late Mims. As a friend and fellow Steel Cities Region member, Baker knew Mims and her husband, Mike, during their active SCCA days. And, of course, she was a legend until the end.
“She wanted to be buried in her Corvette, but the funeral director talked her out of it,” Baker said. “She was viewed sitting in her pink Corvette and her driver’s suit and goggles on the back fender. That made the news all around the world.”
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