Welcome to the latest edition of BimmerLife’s Chapter Newsletter Showcase–a series that highlights outstanding BMW CCA chapter publications. This week we’re upping our elevation and traveling to the Rocky Mountain Chapter (RMC) to learn more about their quarterly magazine, Motorsport Report.
RMC was founded in 1974 and they describe themselves as “a group of automobile enthusiasts brought together by our love of cars, talking about cars, driving cars, and racing cars.” They don’t all own BMWs, but they do enjoy the “camaraderie of the club” through events such as autocross, high-performance driving schools, driving tours, and meet-ups. Their member base is primarily from Colorado’s Front Range and their events are centrally located near the Denver Metro area, but they also offer club activities from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs.
While pursuing RMC’s website, I did see a few unique and noteworthy club programs. In addition to HPDE, Autocross, Social Gatherings, and Car Control Clinics, they offer a Women’s Specific Autocross program and Ice Gymkhana! RMC’s Women’s Autocross welcomes both beginners and veterans of the sport. A BMW is not required and they even allow some BMW SAVs, such as the X1, X3, X5, and X6! RMC’s website sums up the program nicely: “This event is organized by women for women to provide a friendly and supportive environment in which to introduce you to the thrilling sport of Autocross. Do you find it more comfortable to try something new with a friend? Bring one or a few! Women co-drivers are welcome! Or bring a male friend or loved one to volunteer at the event. The support of our male counterparts is key to making this event happen!”
With so many great chapter-offered motorsports events, it only makes sense to have a motorsport-focused chapter newsletter–hence the name, Motorsport Report. I reached out to Susan Rhodes, who has been Editor of the Motorsport Report since 2015, to get the low-down on the publication and its history. To get even more history, Susan reached out to Leslie Jenkins, who served as Editor from 1991 to 1994. So without further ado, let’s hear from MSR editors Rhodes and Jenkins!
BimmerLife: When was Motorsport Report first published? Was there a newsletter/publication that preceded it?
Leslie Jenkins: The Motorsport Report was first published in 1970 and no other publications preceded it.
BL: Do you have an archive of past issues?
LJ: There is an archive of past issues, but unfortunately it’s currently incomplete.
BL: How has Motorsport Report changed over the years?
LJ: We went from mimeographed issues to cut and paste on galley pages to computer created issues. We published eleven months a year compared to four times a year. We used to hand the contents to a graphic designer, but now all contents are emailed.
BL: Who is involved in helping produce your publication and what are their roles?
Susan Rhodes: Producing and publishing the Motorsport Report is 100-percent a group effort. I’m generally responsible for gathering, editing, and ensuring the accuracy of all of our content to the best of my abilities. Everyone on the Board is invited to review the draft edition prior to publication. But our Art Director, Fox Chung, has had the biggest impact on the Motorsport Report and has completely transformed the newsletter to what it is today. His sense of style and eye for beauty, along with his photography skills, has truly made this a special publication.
BL: What are the benefits and challenges of the current format?
SR: The Motorsport Report is available to our members in digital format, which has many benefits. A digital platform is much more interactive than print (think live links) and offers the ability to access it anytime, from nearly anywhere. A digital format is less expensive to produce and it can be distributed much more quickly than print. We continue to print a limited number of copies that are distributed to our advertisers for clients to peruse when visiting their businesses, as it can be a great marketing tool for any non-member clients that have no idea of the fun that can be had by joining the club. The changeover from print to digital has been a fairly slow process, as some of our members still prefer print. I have to admit that I too have a love for print and it’s difficult to see it go, but I see this change as a great excuse to pay a visit to our local businesses, pick up a copy while having work done, and return their support.
BL: Do you have any regular contributors you’d like to spotlight?
SR: Yes! Long-time NJ Chapter BMW CCA member and “Philes’ Forum” columnist Vic Lucariello, Sr. has been contributing to the Motorsport Report since the summer of 2016, when he made his move west and settled here in southern Colorado. Vic has kindly contributed to nearly every edition of the MSR since then, with his insightful and witty tech articles. Not only does Vic discuss general maintenance such as oil changes, spark plug replacement, brake fluid bleeding and flushes, steering fluid replacement (I could go on!), but being the engineer that he is, he takes the time to explain the science behind how everything works. Although we’ve never met in person, Vic has become as much of a friend to me as all of the other RMC volunteers and members I’ve met throughout the years. I think we had an instant bond over my reference to “Sunday gravy.” If you know, you know. Thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to publish your column and being a regular contributor to Motorsport Report, Vic!
BL: What kinds of stories do you like to run in your newsletter?
SR: Ideally, I’d like to run post-event stories from members (driving or social), car reviews, and car projects that people are working on.
BL: What regular features do you include in your newsletter?
SR: Regular features include a calendar of events, membership report, driving and social event announcements, and lots of great photos!
BL: As Editor, what is your favorite part of working on the newsletter?
SR: My favorite part is working with MSR Art Director, Fox Chung. I couldn’t ask for anyone better.
BL: How did you get involved?
SR: I initially got involved with the club through my brother, Steve. Although he wasn’t a member, he had suggested that I sign up for the RMC BMW driving school. At that time, he was spending much of his time at the track and a few of his track buddies were instructors for the club. Driving school was such an amazing learning experience that I felt compelled to give back. There happened to be an open volunteer position for editor of the quarterly newsletter, so I interviewed and was given the position back in 2015.
BL: Do you have any advice for BMW CCA members that would like to get involved with their chapter newsletters?
SR: Please don’t be a stranger–reach out and ask! We’d love to hear your stories and publish your photos. Anything from a day trip on a winding road, a garage project, or a visit to a local Bimmer Burger Night or Cars and Coffee event. All of our contact information is listed on the inside of the front page. We’d love to hear from you!
BL: What do you think sets your newsletter apart from other chapter newsletters?
SR: Did I happen to mention our Art Director, Fox Chung? Best looking newsletter, hands down.
BL: Is there anything else you’d like to share with BimmerLife.com readership about Motorsport Report?
SR: My favorite cover is still from the first edition that Fox and I worked on together from the spring of 2015. It was an incredible photo taken by Fox’s nephew, Justin Chan (Justin Chan Photography) of the iconic E30 M3.
A big thanks to MSR Editor Susan Rhodes, along with Art Director Fox Chung and regular contributors like Vic Lucariello, Sr. who spend their time and energy to bring such an awesome publication to BMW CCA members. I especially like the “Philes’ Forum” column and event coverage, with great photos.
If you’d like to read the latest issue of Motorsport Report check out RMC’s website: https://rmcbmwcca.com/about/newsletters/. If you’d like to conveniently receive it in your mailbox on a weekly basis, subscribe on the page linked above. If you’re not yet a member and would like to join the Rocky Mountain Chapter, click here. —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of RMC BMW CCA.]