The History of Rally Sport Region: The Long Version

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:36 AM

by EMan

Genesis

Just sit right back, and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful club, that started from this ... no, wait—let me start over.

Napoleon is quoted to have said, “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon,” or sometimes, “History is written by the winners,” but in French. In this case, it is being written by an old guy with a shaky memory when in comes to people. And not in French. I’m also not technically the club historian (that would be Glenn Trapp). This introduction is my way of saying, if you see any mistakes here, please send me an e-mail to let me know about it.

I’ve written this primarily for our members as a way of documenting how some things came about. If you have your own stories, please submit them to me as well, and I will add it here.

 

The Clash

In the beginning was SEM (Southeastern Michigan Region), and the (nick)name of the region was SMR. But all was not well. After some months of internal turmoil and gnashing of teeth, SEM begat RSP (Rally Sport Region).

The exact reason for the conflict is varied and typical (people were involved), but it’s the result that was important—the formation of a club that tries to meet the needs of its members. A letter dated February 2, 1996 was sent to PCA President Judy Boles requesting for a charter to form the Rally Sport Region. The request was approved on February 10, 1996. The officers listed in the letter were:

President
Matt Huber

Vice-President
Ken Owing

Treasurer
Lisa Lilly

Secretary
Emmanuel Garcia (or EMan, for those too lazy to type all those letters)

Our region started off with 30 primary charter members and 25 affiliate members, enough to hold our first party. The list of charter members are in the March 1996 issue of the Bahn Stormer.

One thing to point out here is that PCA gave our region the acronym RSP because RSR (Rennsport Region, Canada) was already taken. This didn’t stop us from erroneously using RSR in various material. So until the United States claims eminent domain on Canada, or we all learn French, we are officially RSP.

 

Simple Minds

The original name of our newsletter was not supposed to be the Bahn Stormer. Due to my annoying alliteration affinity, it was going to be called the rather boring Rally Report. I think I may have planned to include “boring” in the title, but luckily the effects of the celebratory alcohol eventually wore off and I went with the Bahn Stormer.

This name was actually my failed proposal for our region’s name. Luckily, the stench of defeat had subsided enough for the name to be accepted by the region, who may not have realized I gave our newsletter the initials “B.S.” Since no one was asked to vote on this issue, it was a moot point.

The first edition of the Bahn Stormer was published in March 1996, with myself as editor, and started my never ending quest (of two years) to find someone to replace me as editor. I eventually managed to find a replacement, Lori Sahinbas, by leaving the country. At least, that’s my story whenever I was asked about hiding out in moving to Germany.

That initial issue featured one of our logos, which I designed with Lisa Lilly. As I look at this file today, I have to honestly say I have no friggin’ idea how I made it, or how to modify it today, so I’m glad no one has asked me to change it. Magical unicorns may have been involved. Or an old Mac. (Note the incorrect but defiant use of “RSR” in the crest, and more alliteration.)

Rally Sport Checkered Flag Logo

Helmet LogoThe colors for our logos are taken from the German flag, even though the Porsche family was Austrian. There are two versions of the second logo, a helmet and a helmet with a checkered flag background. Because I couldn’t convince Germany to switch the order of the colors, the colors are an upside-down German flag. I thought the yellow looked better on top of the helmet. This was my favorite logo because it could be used to paint helmets with the design, and because of the track nature of the club as it was founded. Somehow I can still modify this image.

(As an aside, I actually liked some of the proposals for new logos that Karl Schulz drew up in 2010. It would be interesting to re-visit those logos in the future. See the November 2010 Bahn Stormer for a couple of these logos.)

Rally Sport Helmets German Flag Helmet Logo
Rally Sport Logos

Helmet Logos
Bad Logos

 

Culture Club

Our first social event was the Charter Party at the Lord & Fox in Ann Arbor on March 30, 1996, set up by Dennis Hall and others (see: age-memory thing). According to the pictures in the April 1996 Bahn Stormer, everyone must have had a good time. This was followed in April with a talk by our own John Melvin, which was setup by Tom Green at the Travis Pointe Country Club. John was involved for many years in safety research at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and General Motors (GM), including work with race teams such as in Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). This was an excellent evening of food, car crashes, safety, and more food.

Charter Party Charter Party Charter Party Charter Party Charter Party
1996 Charter Party

Tom also organized our first progressive dinner in August, with three courses. Zone 4 representative Paul Jones gave Matt Huber our official PCA charter at the final stop for dessert. Rob Diegel organized a Cedar Point outing in September, and we had our first Charity Autocross at the Lawrence Technical University parking lot, also in September, organized by Bob Sandau. We donated $1000 to the Arbor Hospice from the autocross proceeds. The top three Porsche class winners were Tom Green, Jim Christopher, and John Melvin.

Autocross: Tom's winning ride Autocross: Steve's too fast for the camera Autocross: Course
1996 Charity Autocross

In October, I helped Kyle Stevens put a Fall Color Tour/Rally together, along with a few others. Unfortunately, with our emphasis on rally, we forgot to arrange counseling sessions for couples at the end of the event. We’re very sorry for that. Phil and Francie Kish also opened their home for a Halloween party at the end of the month. Our first holiday party was in January 1997 at Ernesto's in Livonia arranged by Kyle and Barb Stevens.

Color Tour: Barb and Kyle are ready Color Tour: Drivers ready Color Tour: Clem's Garage
1996 Color Tour

 

XTC

Our first track event was a Beginner’s Day on May 1996. We held a total of five events the first year. I remembered all but one of them being cold or had monsoon-like conditions. Nobody seemed to mind, though (except me), and a bad day at the track was still better than a good day at the office.

We did our first weekend event in June 1997, going to Gingerman, and debated the pros and cons of hosting a PCA race.

Waterford Beginners Day Waterford Track Day Waterford Track Day
Waterford

Gingerman: On the grid Gingerman: Out to dinner
Gingerman

I made a mistake of reporting an “incident” that happened in one of our driving events in the Bahn Stormer, complete with twenty-seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, which our PCA national office did not like. We shan’t mention that again. Especially on a public website.

I made the same mistake the following year.

 

Talking Heads

As mentioned above, we started the region with 30 primary members and 25 affiliate members. We grew significantly in our first year, getting both new PCA members and transfers from other regions. By November 1996 we had 96 primary members, and at the end of our first full year in February 1997, we totalled 106 members and a lot of groupies. Board meetings started out being held every first Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm. The switch of the meetings to every Tuesday with the jacuzzis, masseuse, and open bar to every one who attends happened much later.

At the end of 1996, David Bates was volunteered to create the goodie store. We had the typical badges, polo shirts, track shirts, and jackets adorned with our logos. Some how Dave did all this without using the internet.

Rally Sport Goodie Store Jacket Rally Sport Goodie Store Name Tag Rally Sport Goodie Store Mug

Ideas for a website started in 1997. Jerry Brady made proposals for the website and what we could do with it. No one had a clue what he was talking about. Naturally, we all voted for it.

 

Kraftwerk

So that’s a run down of the start of our club. While most of it is probably true, none of it was really legendary or epic (except in my own mind). I’d like to write more, but I’ve let my iPod’s battery run down. Maybe later. I would invite you to peruse the old issues of the Bahn Stormer to get more details. And as I’ve mentioned above, please drop me a line if you would like to contribute to this page.

 


Presidents

Matt Huber (1996-1997)
Bob Sandau (1998-1999)
Mary Ann Kantrow (2000-2003)
Kelly Roberts (2004-2005)
Patrick Jeski (2006-2009)
Jim Christopher (2010-2011)
Rick Mammel (2012-present)

Vice-Presidents

Ken Owings (1996-1997)
Tom Green (1998-1999)
Sue Sarin (2000-2003)
Joe Lile (2004-2007)
Peter Maehling (2008-2009)
Rick Mammel (2010-2011)
Tim Pott (2012-present)

Treasurers

Lisa Lilly (1996-1999)
Burghard Linn (2000-present)

Secretaries

EMan (1996)
Wallace Haley (1997)
Kyle Stevens (1998)
Gary Starin (2000-2001)
Kelly Roberts (2002-2003)
Mary Ann Kantrow (2004-present)

Track Chairmen

Bob Sandau (1996-2000)
Peter Maehling (2002-2003)
Matt Chapman (2003)
Christian Maloof (2003-present)

Track Registrars

Steve Shanks (2000-2003)
Dan Gaulin (2004-2010)
Jennifer McNally (2010)
Tom Krueger (2010-present)

Bahn Stormer Editors

EMan (1996-1997)
Lori Jo Sahinbas (1998-2002)
Glenn Trapp, Joe Lile, Burghard Linn (2002-2005)
Mike O’Rear (2006-present)

Web Masters/Mistresses

Jerry Brady (1998-1999)
EMan (2000)
Vaughn Scott (2001-2003)
Aaron Pfadt (2003)
Pat Jeski (2004-2008)
Valerie Roedenbeck (2008-2009)
EMan (2010-present)

Board Members

Matt Huber
Ken Owings
Lisa Lilly/Sandau
EMan
Charlie Beard
Vigen Darian
Tom Green
Dennis Hall
Dan Kantrow
Kyle Stevens
Joe Lile
Thwen Chaloemtiarana
Mary Ann Kantrow
Sue Sarin
Burghard Linn
Lori Jo Sahinbas
Gary Starin
David Bates
Brian Bennett
Rob Diegel
Chris Gibson
Memo Sahinbas
Chuck Freitas
Kelly Roberts
Peter Maehling
Matt Chapman
Andy Perez
Dick Zarbo
Christian Maloof
Will Pearson
Aaron Pfadt
Ell Pizarek
Gary Stellmach
Jim Christopher
Patrick Grace
Jim Dowty
Tom Krueger
Pat Jeski
Dan Gaulin
Mike O’Rear
Leonard Murz
Ulf Maier
Owen Balduf
Rick Mammel
Fran Lanciaux
Jack Dunlap
David Finch
David Cooper
Michael Kimber
Ken Knight
Tom Bloom
Ron Pruett

Please submit any corrections to Der Cranky Webmeister

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