|If you know Bill Styczynski, you know that in addition to architecture, his passion is auto racing. In fact, he’s been racing a Formula Vee with the Sports Car Club of America since 1979. For years he saw the Continental Motors signage and advertising at various SCCA events and was familiar with them but wasn’t familiar with the owner, Joel Weinberger, until Joel interviewed him for a new Acura Showroom almost 20 years ago. The project meeting went well and Bill then thanked him for his support of the local Chicago Region SCCA. The two went on to discuss racing for some time after that!|
Fast forward to this spring and the two were at a Plan Commission meeting for the renovation of the Ferrari showroom in Hinsdale. Bill knew that Joel was involved in a karting related charity event and he asked how he could get involved. As a result of the conversation, Bill started making plans to gather a team for the DuPage Pads 10th Annual Drive for 135, a 4-hour endurance karting fundraiser that Joel Weinberger chairs for the organization. DuPage Pads founded in 1985 as a charitable organization that is dedicated to ending homelessness in DuPage County. They are the largest provider of interim and permanent housing, coupled with support services in order to help individuals work toward a place to call home, in the area. They offer support services that enable individuals to receive case management, life coaching, employment support, and engagement with employers.
Knowing that there was a chance that the event would not take place due to the coronavirus, but choosing to be optimistic, Bill sent out a call to his clients, family, and friends to see if anyone wanted to join a team for the event. He had several responses to fill his anticipated team of 8-10 drivers and was confident that they would have no issue raising the $5,000 minimum required of each participating team. On May 11th he received word that the event would go forward on June 27th but each team would be capped at 6 drivers. Since he had so many people that committed to driving, the only solution was to find a few more drivers so that Studio21 Architects could register two teams for the event.
|Two teams meant more drivers but also a need to raise $10,000 in under 6 weeks! Since the virus had impacted so many lives, that goal seemed a bit daunting but Bill and his teammates pushed forward. Just 4 days before the race, each team had raised their minimum amount of $5,000 and then some.|
The same day they reached their goal, the drivers from both Studio21 teams met at Autobahn Country Club’s karting track to practice. Eleven of the twelve drivers were in attendance and did a practice round. A few were a bit tentative the first practice session on the track but after a bit of coaching, they each turned in improved times during practice session 2! The team felt confident they were prepared for the event and looked forward to getting together that Saturday for the race!
Race day arrived and Teams 1 and 2 gathered at the track. Pole positions were determined by funds raised and the S21 teams started in positions 6 and 10th respectively. Both were in the rookie division and out of the 4 teams in that class, Studio21 Architects Team 1 placed first! The teams had a great time in spite of the necessary precautions required to keep everyone safe with masks and distancing. The limit of 6 drivers per team worked out perfectly, Bill would limit the drivers to 6 in the future for his teams. The one thing that hopefully will change in the future is a return to having more spectators so that the generous donors that supported the team would also be able to share in the fun!
|In addition to raising money for a great cause, this event was all about competition, the competition to raise money to determine the starting positions, and the competitive driving to see who would take home the checkered flag. Individual teams bonded as they raced against their opponents. After the race was complete and the trophies were distributed, the two Studio21 Architects Teams tailgated together in the parking lot. The fireworks show came and went and the teams stayed long into the night past the time that all the lights were shut off.|
In the end, Studio21 Architects Teams 1 and 2 raised a total of $14,085. Overall the event raised more than $150,000 for DuPage Pads. Bill had such a great time that he looks forward to participating in the event for years to come. Who knows, maybe Studio21 Architects will field 3 or 4 teams next year! We’re thankful to all of the drivers and donors that made the event possible. If you are interested in joining Studio21 Architects for the next DuPage Pads Drive for 135 event, drop Bill a line at Bill@Studio21architects.com.
|Studio21 – Remaining Racing Schedule 2020|