BMW CCA Club Racing was created to offer all BMW CCA members a competitive racing experience in a safe and fun environment, on some of North America’s most famous tracks.
As the nation’s premier club racing organization for BMW CCA members, the organization puts mutual respect and camaraderie over results, stating, “We’re a community of BMW racers. We trust, respect, and support each other both on and off the track. The Spirit of BMW Club Racing is founded on the belief that the fun of the friendly competition is more important than the results, and that mutual assistance among racers enhances the experience for everyone.”
This spirit can be seen at every Club Racing event, through both small and large gestures. It’s there when fellow competitors lend their time, expertise, and parts and equipment, sometimes resulting in placing behind those they’ve helped back on track. It’s there when members are inspired to volunteer their time and skills for the Club Racing organization at a national level. It’s there when members make monetary contributions—and that’s what BimmerLife would like to spotlight. A Club Racing member who wishes to remain anonymous—which speaks volumes in itself—recently went above and beyond by making a financial donation to the Club.
To learn more about the story behind this generous donation, BimmerLife spoke to Lou D’Angeli, a twelve-year CCA member that wears many volunteer hats across the BMW CCA, including Business Manager of New Jersey Chapter, Instructor Coordinator Delaware Valley Chapter, and Sponsorship Director for BMW CCA Club Racing. And please note, this isn’t intended to be a story to have more club racers open their wallets; it’s a story demonstrating that club racers love the organization, the competition, and the people involved so significantly that they’re inspired to support it every way they can, which ultimately makes it better for everyone involved and embodies the true spirit of the organization.
D’Angeli begins, “This individual is a friend of mine—we’ll call him Mr. X—who had an on-track incident with another racer during a Club race. In professional racing, competitors rub and bump—they get aggravated with each other and it can get pretty ugly. Because Club Racing is more of a gentleman (and ladies!) racing club, after the race, Mr. X went up to the individual he had the incident with. This individual had made a donation a while back and suggested to Mr. X, ‘Instead of repairing my vehicle or helping me pay for repairs, make a donation to Club Racing instead.’”
Mr. X followed that suggestion and made a donation to the Club. D’Angeli continues, “Mr. X and I had some long conversations about it. The spirit behind what he’s doing is trying to make Club Racing a better place. Because there are so many different levels of drivers in our organization, both from a skill set to a monetary or financial capability, his idea was to give money to the Club to help all members with things like consumables on track, or travel costs, like gas, going to and from events. The Club is one big family and we take care of our own.”
If Mr. X didn’t wish to remain anonymous, there’s no doubt that he’d receive the Club’s esteemed Bud Merrill Spirit of Club Racing award, like the other members before him who have found ways to contribute and better the Club. Members like Diane Reiman who was recently awarded the Spirit of Club Racing flag at Watkins Glen “in appreciation for her generous support and trackside assistance for the BMW Club Racing community.” D’Angeli points out, “She’s not even a driver. That just goes to show how the Spirit of Club Racing works. She does so much for the Club in support of our drivers, like getting people to the grid, making sure everyone’s ready to go—just all these things that no one really thinks about, that support the Club in big ways.”
Another Spirit of Club Racing award recipient is Susan Dobson. She has been taking great photos of the Club’s events and sharing them for all racers on the Club’s Facebook page for years. Dobson’s time, skill, and patience capturing Club racing events are appreciated by all involved— and by BimmerLife as we’re using Dobson’s photos in this article.
Club Racing has developed a welcoming, close-knit community of passionate enthusiasts. BMW CCA Club Racing Chairman Scott Reiman says, “We often think that passion for BMWs in the Club Racing community equals or is even stronger than that of BMW CCA’s most ardent members.” D’Angeli adds, “When you show up to an event as a new driver, by the end of the day you have a whole new set of friends that you can rely on, that you know you can go to for help, that you can ask any questions you want to.” As evident by members’ actions at every event, no matter how big or small, the Spirit Of Club Racing is alive and well. —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of Susan Dobson.]
If you’re looking to join the fun, but don’t know where to begin, just as it says on the Club Racing website, “It all starts with HPDE. Get the most out of your BMW by attending a BMW High-performance Driving School. The car control skills you gain on the racetrack will make you a better, safer driver on the street. BMW Car Club of America chapters have been hosting driving schools at road-course tracks around the country for over 50 years.”