We are continuing to introduce you to trailblazers, work horses, and speed demons who have left their marks on SCCA or are watchable role models for kids right now.
The daily posts are continuing on the SCCA Women on Track Facebook Page, and here’s a sneak peak of this week’s upcoming posts!
She’s works with Alliance Autosport as a mechanic, leveraging her degree in engineering. She’s a kind and very funny soul! Passion for racing runs in the family, grandpa was a season ticket holder at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.
“SCCA means tradition to me, and it’s something I can share and enjoy with friends and family.”
“I joined SCCA after purchase of my first car, it was a beautiful little (pale primrose) MG Midget and when I went to pick it up I realized it had three pedals and I had no idea how to drive a standard transmission! Lucky for me a racing member was there at the dealership and he taught me how to drive the car and I was able to get it home, I quickly became involved in the Misery Bay Region serving as a registrar for a pro rally (Misery Loves Company) and tried my hand at other specialties. Registration was my niche and I worked with Ann McHugh on the Longest Day race at Nelson Ledges after my marriage to Don and my move to Ohio. That morphed into my stint as a Pro Racing Registrar in 1986 and I served as Chief Registrar for Pro until my retirement in 2018 working for multiple pro series including Trans-Am, Escort Endurance Series (World Challenge), Pro Spec Racer, F2000, Race Truck Challenge, Formula E and many others. I’ve served as the Cen-Div Scheduling rep as well as the Pro Racing Trans-Am Manager of Marketing Services and the Pro Racing Event Coordinator and I was elected into the Cen-Div Hall of Fame in 2018.”
“If I had to pick one thing that SCCA has meant to me I would say it is the lifelong friendships I have made over the years, many of the people I’ve met in SCCA I count as my dearest and closest friends.”
Cat Kizer was a recent Inductee to the 2020 SCCA Hall of Fame, as well as the 2019 NEOhio Hall of Fame class. She spent most of her career as a driver and is the 1979 H-prod National Champion. She is the 1980 Nelson Ledges Longest Day overall winner (first woman to be part of a team that won overall) and the 1980 H-prod 3rd place Runoffs National Championship. She is also has the honor of being the recipient of the 1979 President’s Cup.
“Most racers are competitive and I am no exception. Besides being an activity that my husband, David, and I could do together as fairly young marrieds, SCCA Club Racing allowed me to compete against the very best amateur racers out there, honing my racing skills and feeding my competitive nature. Involvement with SCCA Club Racing often helped me in my professional career. Public speaking? No problem! I would just picture myself racing at some track somewhere and realize that speaking in front of 400 people was a piece of cake. In this latest chapter of our involvement with SCCA, David and I are crewing for Brian Linn as he races in GTL. We have more time to visit with old racing buddies, bench racing with stories that get better with each telling. The older we get, the faster we were!”
Maia Kirk was nominated by multiple people because of her willingness to dive into both the sport and the community. During her first year in the region, she took on the incredibly tough job of organizing the annual awards banquet, despite never having attended one! Her nominators emphasized her great attitude and excitement to learn more and improve her driving skills. According to Maia, her husband had been racing Autocross for 4 years before he finally convinced her to give it a try in their 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder. Despite spinning out multiple times and not fitting in the seat made for her husband, she was hooked to autocrossing and had a new “quest for speed”. She now races a 2013 Scion FRS, which she coincidently got for Valentine’s Day last year. Most women want earrings for Valentine’s Day, but Maia says she was lucky enough to get both! Maia shows us that Women On Track is more than just getting rough like one of the boys. With her Tiffany blue car wrap and pink Tsurikawa hanging inside, her car brings pizazz and personality to an often male-dominated sport. It’s also notable that she and her husband applied the wrap on their car at the car enhancement company they own together. For her, sharing this sport with her husband has been one of the biggest joys of learning Autocross. Maia has been running in the very challenging ladies indexed class with an SSC index at local autocross events. This class is no joke, with multiple SCCA Nationals ladies running each event. Maia combines her can-do attitude and competitive background in Taekwondo/Olympic Style weightlifting to improve her autocrossing skills. She works regularly with a racing coach, studies race-theory concepts in her spare time, and analyzes her runs after each event. She is learning to improve her cornering speeds and brake points and is looking forward to her first time at Solo Nationals in Nebraska in 2022. As many of us relate, Maia sees the racing community as family. She pointed out that despite being new to the community, multiple people opened their homes to her, Austin, and their dogs when they had to evacuate their home during a wildfire. Maia in turn gives back to the community in many ways. She has learned every work position, even some of the toughest ones, and continues to volunteer her time to give back however she can. She is not only dedicated to becoming a better driver, but also to helping however she can. As her husband states, “I believe she is a good example for all current and future female racers!”
“It is especially admirable when the core values SCCA includes in their mission statement are demonstrated by the amazing women in this community, as it can be very difficult to navigate the challenges generated by such a heavily male – dominated sport. Therefore, SCCA has held a special place in my heart as it honors and appreciates those who give 110% of their efforts every single day, both on and off the track!”
Central Kentucky Region
Autocross, Pro Solo, Time Trials
Cindy Duncan is described as kindhearted, a great driver and a true ambassador for the sport. One nominator shared, “If anyone is in need of a ride, driving help, a self-esteem boost, a place to stay at events, help with their car, or even a kick in the ass, she’s the one to ask because she will drop everything and jump into action.” Another mentioned that “Cindy knows her stuff and not just about her own car. She can throw down with information as good as any of the other gearheads. She will load/unload her car and trailer it around… will change tires, adjust shocks, anything that needs to be done to make her drive the best possible it can be. What makes this more amazing is that she does it while living with an autoimmune disease which brings her daily pain and that will make her body pay for days afterward. She knows this, and gives it her all anyway.” Cindy also runs the Novice program for her region, despite an 80-mile drive each way, and goes out of her way to coach women at local events. One woman said, “She helped me go from DFL to fourth on my last run that day. She is truly an inspiration.” Cindy first started Autocross in 2001 in a 1998 Ford Contour SVT. Her natural competitiveness with other sports (basketball, track) carried to Autocross, and she was soon traveling to events, signing up for driving schools, and ultimately attending Solo Nationals in 2003. Fast forward nearly 20 years, with a break from 2007-2014 to raise a family, Cindy owns and drives a 2016 Mustang GT affectionately named “Sameen” (after a TV character that was a sarcastic assassin), when she’s not hopping into a variety of other co-drives, spanning from GT500 Mustangs to RX8s to BRZs. Cindy is also a decorated driver, having won multiple SCCA Solo National Championships, SCCA Driver of the Year honors, and a Triad award; a combination that very few can claim. She was also a Wendi Allen Scholarship recipient. In short, she is an excellent racer who has shown dedication, unselfishness, and sportsmanship, all while overcoming major obstacles.
“By far, the best part of Autocross is the friends I have made… real, true friendships that have made my life remarkably better. SCCA has been a vital part of making my life fuller. I have always loved cars since I was a toddler. Having someone invite me to an autocross where I could enjoy my car opened a new world for me and gave me something fun to look forward to on weekends. Most importantly, it introduced me to some of the most generous people in the country and abroad (looking at my Canadian friends). I struggled to fit in for most of my adult life and find my place on a social level. And here, I found many like-minded individuals willing to share their time, talent, tools and cars in the name of fun with cars. Most importantly, I finally connected with other women, and have enjoyed having those friendships in my everyday life ups and downs.”
Cindy also shared a story about her favorite trip to Solo Nationals in 2015. “My longtime friend Carol Kolk had returned to autocross herself after a long recovery from a traumatic brain injury. Carol asked if I wanted to co-drive a 2007 Mustang in ESPL, and of course I said yes. The best part about it was helping my friend make the greatest comeback of all time. I got a front row seat to watching someone that had to learn to walk again just a few years before make an amazing run to be a Champion. Still gives me goosebumps and happy tears to this day! Carol won Driver of the Year for that feat.”
Central Carolinas Region
Registration and T&S
Betsy Speed has the perfect name for her sport. While she has chosen to participate off the track, she has been actively involved in SCCA since 1972 and is a well-respected leader in SCCA. She has served as Secretary and newsletter editor for Kentucky Region and as a Board Member in Central Carolinas Region. She has been Chief Registrar for Kentucky Region, Central Carolinas Region, Atlanta Region and South Carolina Region. She is the current Divisional Administrator for Registration for the SE Division, a position that she had held for a number of years and has returned to. In 2021, she was awarded SCCA Worker of the Year for registration and has also had that honor, among others, for SEDIV.
“SCCA has meant friendships, comradery and fun to me. It has been a glue in my life for so many years. It was something my family did together. After my husband passed, I really wanted to maintain my friendships, so his passing (and subsequent life events) did not deter me from SCCA. I am grateful for all it has meant to me.”
South Carolina & Buccaneer Regions
Registrar, Pit & Grid, F&C, Tech, Club Racing Driver
46+ year member
Wanda Cecil is a well-known name in Club Racing, especially when it comes to Registration. She has been a National Administrator, special administration for the National Office in Registration and Divisional Administration in Registration for Southeast Division. What many might not know is that she holds a record at the Chimney Rock Hillclimb in F440 and is the only female to get under 2 minutes at Chimney Rock in FC. She did her driver’s schools at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Roebling Road and was Pace Car Driver at Roebling Road Raceway for years. She has traveled all over the country and has even worked in Puerto Rico where she was Chief Registrar and then Pit & Grid and Splitter for races. She was Chief of the National Runoffs at Hartland Park and Road America and Assistant Chief at Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, Road America, Heartland Park and Virginia International Raceway. In 2007, Wanda was named Worker of the year for Registration.
“SCCA is my other family…the one you choose.”
Did you miss the first Round? Catch up now!