Racing inherently has its emotional highs and lows. It’s the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat! Anyone associated with any aspect of auto racing knows how true this is. Studio21 Architects Racing has had its share of both victory and defeat this year. The start of the 2020 season was delayed because of the Covid-19 shutdowns. However, the four-mile long Road America track in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin, safely opened its gates in June for the first spectator event of the season, the Chicago Region June Sprints.
Bill Styczynski was optimistic that the season opener would find him at the front of the field. Instead, brake failures, engine issues, and handling problems found him at the back end of the field. Most of the weekend was spent working on challenges with the Studio21 Architects Vortech Formula Vee. At the end of weekend, we had to perform an engine change and we experienced an unresolved engine miss at high speeds. On the upside: we finished the race, the weather was perfect, and we were at a race track.
The next weekend was Father’s Day weekend and Bill competed in a VSCDA Vintage race at Blackhawk Farms Raceway. He was now competing in a Vintage Lynx B Formula Vee against his son, Brian, who was in a similar car. The field also included a contingent of drivers from Texas. There were multiple races during the weekend with Brian and Bill finishing in the top three in each race with a win by Brian and a win by Bill in one of the other races. Victory!
Studio21 Architects Racing was back to Blackhawk Farms with the evil acting Vortech at an SCCA event the following weekend, marking the third weekend in a row of racing. This one included a twist. Bill had to miss the Saturday afternoon race in order to return to the Autobahn near Joliet, IL and compete in a charity karting event for DuPage Pads. Studio21 Team 1 was able to win their class in this four-hour endurance race and our two teams raised over $14,000.00 for the charity. Overall, the event brought in over $150,000.00 to help aid DuPage Pads in their mission to eliminate homelessness in DuPage County. After the race, both teams enjoyed several hours of tailgating at the track. In the early morning hours it was back to Blackhawk for a Sunday morning qualifying session and race, unfortunately with mediocre results.
Another trip to Blackhawk a couple weeks later was used as a test session to resolve the issues with the Vortech. We had a plan to change various things on every session until we got the car right. After the first unsuccessful session, we changed the coil and fuel pump. The car finally worked perfectly. However, in the final session Bill got overenthusiastic with the car putting two wheels off in turn 4 and hitting the tire wall after sliding through the wet grass. There was damaged fiberglass and some bent parts, but the team came home with the satisfaction that the mystery problems were resolved.
The next two races meant back to back trips to Grattan Raceway north of Grand Rapids for a VSCDA Vintage followed by an SCCA event. We experienced wonderful racing with almost perfect weather both weekends, along with front of the pack racing, so life is good again. The beauty of these race weekends is that the chaos of the world is left behind and the weekend is shared with good friends who are also fierce competitors on the track.
We now have two races left, both spectator events at Road America. We would love to have you safely join us for one or both of these events. Social distancing and other safe standards are observed during each event. If you come up, you can join us in the paddock and also explore the various viewing opportunities along the 4 mile course. As an added benefit, Road America has some of the best food of any race track in America.
Ariens Art of Wheels Vintage Weekend – September 18-20
The Ariens Art On Wheels https://www.roadamerica.com/ariens-art-wheels-vintage-weekend featuring VSCDA typically draws more than 300 vintage and historic race cars with 11 groups to run over the three-day event. The fan-friendly paddock is open to spectators all weekend for close-up views of amazing racing machines prepared to era specifications.
On Saturday in Elkhart Lake, the “Gather on the Green” https://www.vscda.org/events/gather-on-green/ is an invitation only Concours d’ Elegance held on the back lawn of the Osthoff resort. The Concours d’ Elegance is a tradition that goes back to the early days of the original races on public roads in Elkhart Lake. The show will bring in 135 vintage cars and motorcycles.
SCCA National Championship Runoffs – October 9-11
The 57th SCCA National Championship Runoffs https://www.roadamerica.com/scca-runoffs return to Road America at a time of year when the fall colors seem to dance around the beautiful race cars and the mild weather creates the perfect conditions for exceptional racing. The SCCA is one of the cornerstones of Road America’s history and has evolved into what is now commonly agreed to be the pinnacle of American motorsports. Since 1964, the SCCA has crowned National Champions through the winner-take-all, single race Runoffs format. Currently, the Runoffs crowns national champions across 28 separate classes.
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If you are tired of being cooped up due to Covid-19, please join us at one or both of these events. We love to safely share the passion we have for auto racing. Those that have joined us in the past have enjoyed the close-up involvement and access they have by being part of our team for the weekend. Contact Bill Styczynski at Bill@studio21architects.com to find out more about either of these events.