F1600 Champoinship Series Staff
At a recent event I was cruising the paddock and noticing all the new faces. It then occurred to me that even though the Series is in its 8th year many of our stakeholders haven’t been around that long, and many probably don’t know the Series staff. A brief introduction is in order.
Mike Rand has been our Series Director from the get-go. Rand was born into some famous family in Greenwich. Since then he has been squandering his inheritance on racing formula cars and avoiding a “real job”. He attended his first drivers school in 1968 one week after reaching 21, the then mandatory age requirement. He has had a national license ever since. He thinks it would be just stupid to take up golf. To his credit, in pursuit of that passion, he has managed to be fired by some of the biggest names in racing. Along the way he has won a National Championship, brought VIR back to life, and put on the largest Formula Ford Festival in the history of mankind. Also to his credit, he is married to Tracy, a wonderful lady and possibly Connecticut’s best cook. There may be no more enthusiastic and knowledgeable fan of formula car racing in this country than Rand.
Dave Panas has been our Chief Steward since the very first event. Dave was born in Peekskill New York, and graduated from Union College. He retired after 43 years working for Public Service Electric and Gas. He started racing in 1961. He won some State Championships in solo events driving a TR4A. Did some hill climbs and ice racing along the way. In 1968 he started racing FV in SCCA national events. In the late 70s he thought he would give back to the club and started getting involved in the steward program. This November he will pass his 50th anniversary as a SCCA member. Dave is an avid reader, and states that his favorite car was that TR3 he started with in 1961. He has been married 52 years to our next subject.
Lenore Panas was born in Mount Vernon New York. After graduating from Genesco NY State Teachers College (SUNY) she taught elementary school until recently retiring. This elementary school experience prepared her well for the role of being our Chief Registrar. She and Dave have two daughters and four grandkids. Lenore loves to garden when she isn’t traveling with Dave to race meetings.
Brad and Patty Baer has always been our chief of Timing and Scoring. He is always teamed with his wife Patty or Bryon Prokopf (more about Bryon below). Born in Southern Illinois, he graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and works as a structural engineer. Brad and Patty have been married over 33 years. Recently Patty retired from a career teaching in elementary school, mostly 3rd grade.
In 1986 Brad and Patty started going to races to watch Patty’s brother in a Sport Renault. That year Patty gave Brad a membership to SCCA as a Christmas present. Shortly thereafter they volunteered to help and within minutes found themselves in T&S. Immediately they saw ways to improve the systems, and within a short time were working at Trans-Am and World Challenge events. In 1993 they signed on with Dan Andersen to do T&S for the then USAC sanctioned F2000 Series. He and Patty have also been with our Series since day one.
Bryon Prokopf has been helping Brad in T&S the last few years on race dates that Patty can’t attend. Brad says he is only helping Bryon. Bryon’s family has always been involved in racing. Being sort of a math wiz, by the time Byron was 10 years old he was working in T&S for the St. Louis Region. He graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and current works as a chemist in an environmental laboratory.
Phil Jerominski (Flagger Phil) has been our starter and flag chief since day one. Before that he also was the starter in the USAC sanctioned F200 Series. Born in Seattle Washington, Phil spent 13 years in the U.S. Navy and before retiring had 40 years experience as an intelligence analyst. He joined SCCA in 1985. He has a son and a daughter and two grandchildren. Now, retired in Florida he gets much more opportunity to ride his motorcycle and travel with wife Joan.
Joan Jerominski holds two positions in our Series as needed. She assists with flagging, and is also our Assistant Registrar. She was born in Allentown PA and graduated from East Stroudsburg University. She spent 11 years in the U.S. Army and recently retired after 35 years as an intelligence analyst. She has been married to Phil for 28 years. Her favorite hobby is sewing and quilting.
Mike Eakin (aka Purple Frog) is the Technical Director for the Series. Mike was born in the swamp and somehow graduated from Florida State University. He became hooked on road racing when his brother took him to the Sebring 12 Hour in 1963. After completing 35 years as an Information Technology Director for various state government agencies in Florida, he started a construction business to keep paying for his Formula Continental racing addiction.
Janice Eakin (Mrs Purple Frog) works in many roles with the Series. You might see her along a guardrail shooting pictures, or at impound weighing cars. For many years she was the sole Series photographer. With no previous experience she started shooting pictures in 2007 to supply to the website, sponsors and competitors, while also building slide shows for the awards banquets. She captures the true flavor of the Series, especially talented in capturing the ‘personalities’ in pictures. After retiring from a career of 35 years in computer systems design, her favorite activity is spoiling her two granddaughters.
Dennis Valet joined us during the 2011 season as his brother Bill was winning the F1600 Championship. His photography is beyond being mere pictures, it is spectacular art. Born in Smithtown NY, Dennis graduated from Boston College, then went on to complete law school at Hofstra. He is now a practicing attorney on Long Island. His father started taking Dennis and his brother to races at Bridgehampton and put them into karts at age 5. Later, while watching his brother road race Dennis picked up a camera to have something to do at the track, the rest is history. Soon his work was being featured on Apexspeed, getting rave reviews from viewers around the world. His favorite car, so far, is his current black BMW 335.
Rick Kreiselman has been our Assistant Scrutineer for seven years. Born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in south Florida, Rick has a degree from Florida State University in system engineering with minors in math, chemistry and physics. He worked as a database and software designer for pharmaceutical oriented companies, and now works for himself in software design. Rick crewed several years for the Purple Frog leading up to a very interesting week at the Nationals at Mid-Ohio. Originally we drafted him to specialize in maintaining software compliance within the Zetec ECU and tech inspection. Not one to sit on his hands, he sat right seat for pace car communications for 4 years and then took over Grid and tire compliance, among other duties. I’m guessing his favorite car was his ’63 Fairlane with the HP289, it certainly got into a lot of trouble as a teenager. He also got a lot of experience rebuilding transmissions at that time.
Sarah Bonnier is one of our Assistant Stewards. She wears many hats. On a given race day she may be in the pace car, on the grid, walking pit lane, at the quack shack, or in the tower. Born in Skaneateles NY, she is truly a “Finger Lakes Girl”. She has an Associates Degree in culinary arts from Johnson and Wales, and a bachelors degree from Denison University. She started hanging out at SCCA events at Watkins Glen in 1985, and hasn’t stopped hanging out at race tracks since. She says it is unfair to have to pick a favorite track, much like a parent can’t pick a favorite child, for each track has its own story. At first she said her favorite car was her 1984 Audi Quatro Turbo Coupe, then decided it was her 1963 356 Super 90 that is painted per her decision, a custom lipstick red produced by Chanel.
Greg Rickes in 2012 became a very welcome addition to our Series as our Announcer both on audiocast and the track public address system. Greg has been writing and talking about cars since his first article was published in his high school newspaper, back in the Age of Aquarius. While waiting for his own racing career to blossom, he started announcing SCCA club racing events at Thompson and Lime Rock Park. And while the driving career never quite got the green flag, he’s been the “Voice of Lime Rock Park” for more than 40 years. These days he lists his occupation as “motor sports journalist & commentator”. Prior to moving to motorsports full-time he spent 36 years as a college administrator at the State University of New York at Albany. Ranked among his cherished motorsports memories are attending the Skip Barber Racing School at Bridgehampton, finishing tenth in the season points in the mini-modified class at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, and winning a special winter race for media members on the frozen surface of Round Lake in upstate New York.
Glennon Reidler (aka GR) is one of our Assistant Stewards. Born in St. Louis, Mo., but packed in a carry-on bag at 9 months old, he moved to Florida with the rest of his family where he has lived since. He is a business executive with a concentration in human resources. Although he did attend college, he seems more proud to tell everyone that he holds a Masters from the School of Hard Knocks. In his case it’s more like the school of HardRock! (Think AC/DC, Hendrix, Sabbath, RATM, Metallica, etc….). Introduced to racing in a serious way, he joined the SCCA in 1994. GR has raced FC in SCCA regional, national and pro series, and has held a variety of SCCA licenses. He even worked the second F1 race at Indy in F&C. His favorite track is every single one he has raced on! His favorite car was his ’00 Dark Blue F2000 Van Diemen.
Monty Mathisen is our communications director – overseeing the websites and all public relations. He joined the series in 2009 and has built up a motorsports marketing business since. He splits his time between NYC and “on the road.” He has been into racing since “forever,” thanks to going to every conceivable short track and road course within reasonable driving distance growing up. Free time is spent watching more racing or driving his Speed3. Since his arrival, instead of reading about out events the next day on Apexspeed, you can now listen in live and follow on RaceMonitor. This year he is also producing really neat videos of the race weekends. Does he sleep?
Billy Lloyd is our “Chief of anything no one else wants to do”. Apparently tireless and full of energy you’ll see him just about anywhere doing something that has to be done. He was born right down the road from Lime Rock Park in Sharon CT. He now lives in Salisbury and works as a construction manager. His favorite track is Watkins Glen. He loves to travel and arrives at many of our events riding his BMW K1200RS. At first he said his favorite car was a 60s Fiat 600D, but then with a wink he changed his mind and declared it to be a 1968 VW Kombi.