Carroll Shelby, Bobby Rahal head SCCA Hall of Fame class
Road racing legends Skip Barber, Bill Noble, Bobby Rahal, Carroll Shelby, and Andy Porterfield make up the 2013 SCCA Hall of Fame Class for significant contributions to motorsports and the Sports Car Club of America, as announced Tuesday by the SCCA.
The newly-selected class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the SCCA National Convention on March 2 in Las Vegas.
The SCCA National Hall of Fame was created in 2004 to preserve, protect and record the history and accomplishments of the club by acknowledging those members who have made a significant impact on the development of SCCA. Here's a capsule look at this year's class of inductees:
John “Skip” Barber
Barber, a 54-year member of the SCCA and president and owner of Lime Rock Park, has seen thousands of SCCA racers pass through the Skip Barber Driving School that he started and bears his name to this day. As a driver, Barber won the Formula Ford (now Formula F) National Championship in back-to-back years at the Runoffs, winning in 1969 and 1970. The 1970 title was paired with another championship in Formula B -- a class that became Formula Atlantic -- to earn him that season's President's Cup. Barber drove in five races in Formula One (1971 and 1972).
William James “Bill” Noble
Noble became one of the most successful championship-winning drivers in SCCA history and had a hand in many more as an engine builder. A renowned engine builder and five-time national champion in one of club racing's most competitive classes, his “Engines by Noble” have captured an incredible 25 National Championships in the 49-year history of the Runoffs. Noble was awarded the Road Racing Driver's Club Mark Donohue Award in 1989. The Kansas Region of the SCAA presents the Bill Noble Award to the driver who best exemplifies the combination of mechanical expertise, driving skill, and competitive sportsmanship that were Noble's traits. To display that sportsmanship, Noble had a long-standing offer to engine customers: anytime a customer wanted to trade their engine for the one in Noble's car, he would not only take them up on it, but help them install the engine. Noble passed away in 2011 at the age of 69. His business and racing legacy are continued by his widow, SCCA chairman Lisa Noble.
Andrew Tracy “Andy” Porterfield
Porterfield is inducted for his years of contributions to the Club, both as a driver and behind the scenes. Porterfield, known as a Corvette racer, won the 1978 and 1979 national championships in B Production, and was Southern Pacific Division champion an unprecedented 23 times. A regular racer in SCCA Trans-Am races, Porterfield served on the Cal Club Region Board for 16 years, including as region executive for five years. He served on the SCCA Board of Directors, and was selected as the chairman of the board of SCCA Enterprises, where he continued to help grow and maintain the subsidiary until his death. Porterfield also organized the corner workers in the early days of the Long Beach Grand Prix. A winner of the 2008 John McGill Award for contributions to club racing and the Woolf Barnato Award in 2009 for outstanding long-term contribution to the SCCA, Porterfield's SCCA credentials are unquestioned. Porterfield passed away in April 2012, but will continue to influence SCCA racers through his Porterfield Brakes, a company he founded in 1986.
Robert Woodward “Bobby” Rahal
As a 22-year-old, Rahal was awarded the SCCA President's Cup following his 1975 Formula B (soon to be renamed Formula Atlantic) National Championship. Using club racing as a springboard, Rahal went on to drive IMSA and in the SCCA Trans-Am Series before becoming a champion open-wheel driver. The 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner won CART Championships in 1986, 1987, and 1992, as well as the series' Rookie of the Year award in 1982. Rahal is the current co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, where they've recently hired 2005 SCCA National Champion Graham Rahal (son of the newest Hall of Famer) to drive in the IndyCar Series.
Shelby's impact on the SCCA will last long into the future, even if you ignore the mark he made as a driver that won an SCCA National Championship in 1956 (Formula Libre). Though Shelby competed in eight Formula One races and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, his legacy is, obviously, as the man who practically invented the American iron pony car. In 49 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, 35 drivers have left with the gold medal in either a Mustang or a Shelby Cobra. An entire SCCA class, American Sedan, features cars that either are a Ford Mustang, or were built to compete on the showroom floor with the iconic sports car. Beyond Club Racing, the GT 350 was also the inaugural Trans-Am Series manufacturer champion. Shelby passed away in May 2012 at the age of 89.
Previous classes in the SCCA Hall of Fame:
2005: Cameron Argetsinger, A. Tracy Bird, John Fitch, Arthur Gervais, Harry Handley, Vern Jaques, Bill Milliken, Sue Roethel, Art Trier and Rob Walker.
2006: John Bornholdt, John Buffum, Mark Donohue, Denise McCluggage and Grant Reynolds.
2007: Marge Binks, Marc Gerstein, Carl A. Haas, General Curtis E. LeMay, and Theodore F. Robertson.
2008: Roger E. Johnson, Don and Ruth Nixon, Kjell Qvale, Robert Ridges and Fred Schmucker.
2009: Bill Chambres, Bill Johnson, Jim Kimberly, Paul Newman and John Timanus
2010: Nick Craw, Briggs Cunningham, R. David Jones, Burdette “Berdie” Martin and Wayne Zitkus
2011: Karen Babb, John Bishop, Jim Fitzgerald, Tracer Racing, Harro Zitza
2012: Charlie Earwood, Jim Hall, Gene Henderson, Dr. Peter Talbot, Bryan Webb