Upcoming Events
President's Message
Chip Witt

April 2020 President's Message

I don’t think anyone could have ever imagined seeing all the signs of Spring outside the window without also having a full calendar of Porsche events from which to have to choose. I certainly never imagined having one of the most gut-wrenching decisions of my club presidency (thus far) be needing to decide when to communicate the official cancellation of our May 3rd autocross. But here we all are. We are truly in unprecedented times that, while challenging in every way imaginable, are, in fact, an amazing display of unity across all walks of life, all ages, all sexes, and all races around the world...even Ferrari and BMW lovers. The decision to attempt to “flatten the curve” and protect the safety and health of all by putting significant aspects of life on-hold has shown what we truly value most: each other. Messages of solidarity and hope are pervasive if you dare to look for them, and as difficult as it has been...and as difficult as it is likely to remain for a while...it is clear now more than ever that we will make it through this together, hand-in-virtual-hand, no less than six feet apart, for better or for worse. Like all social organizations, Redwood remains in a holding pattern of indefinite length in terms of in-person events of any size. Even with an eventual "return to normal", it will be a measured return, and will unlikely be like any normal we remember.

As just mentioned, the first Redwood autocross of the season, originally planned for May 3rd, has been officially cancelled. The same is true for all events across Zone 7 regions (and beyond) for at least the next month or two. The 2020 Porsche Parade, planned for June in Palm Springs, was officially cancelled earlier this month. The Parade Team is working hard to find ways we can still have fun, announce National Awards, recognize accomplishments, share Parade memories, and fill the void of not being able to gather in person. They advise we all stay tuned to our social media, watch the national website, and read E-Brake news for more information.

There are no definite plans with regard to what's next in terms of resuming in-person events; we'll have to wait until our stay-at-home orders are lifted and then see under what conditions more traditional events might possibly resume before anything definitive can be planned. This is true for most of the country at present. PCA National is advising us to do what we've been doing thus far; prioritizing the health and safety of our members by following state and local advisories, and keeping the club running administratively so that, when we can resume activities, there is very little lag in the restart. Creative ideas for virtual events are starting to surface so that we can all continue to care for our mental health by enjoying each other’s company as we do what is necessary to ensure our physical health and that of our communities.

A focus on online racing with PCA Sim Racing on the iRacing platform has captured the imagination of many. In fact, the PCA is not alone in this craze; IMSA , SCCA , and other racing-centric organizations are all moving to virtual racing to fill the void left by the cancellation of live events. Some of this has resulted in a fun mix of talented amateurs, some with only a glimmer of hope for a ride in the seat of a real race car, rubbing virtual fenders with well-known professional racers in heated battle, and is a truly amazing spectacle. Zone 8 is hosting three such virtual races online on April 26th as part of their California Festival of Speed Online celebration that cannot take place in a traditional, physical sense this year. I think many, myself included, will be taking notes to see if it is something we might want to explore for an event in Zone 7 later this Spring. Other online social events have been suggested, including virtual wine tastings, virtual happy hours, or virtual [fill_in_blank] gatherings using online conferencing solutions like Zoom, Skype, Discord, and others. If you have an idea or wish to host something with your fellow club members, please reach out to me with details and how I can help.

Speaking of virtual meetings, the Redwood Board will be having a Zoom meeting this month (last Tuesday of the month) to catch-up on key administrative activities since we have not been able to meet in-person for a while now (this will be a closed meeting...board members only...to ensure this first go is as efficient as possible for closing on critical business). A Zone 7 Presidents' Meeting will be held on May 2nd via Zoom where the PCA National President will be joining us to provide a club-wide update. We will also hold a “virtual paddock meeting” for autocrossers to socialize via Zoom on May 3rd (advertisement and registration to obtain the Zoom link will be made available at redwoodpca.org soon). There should be some more discussion and activity coming out of those meetings with regard to "what's next".

If you have questions, concerns, or just need to reconnect, feel free to reach out to me directly .

Thank you and stay safe out there!

Chip Witt
President, Redwood Region
Porsche Club of America
From the Zone
Collin Fat
Zone 7 Representative

 Coronavirus Update

I am sure all of you have been inundated with news concerning the coronavirus pandemic and perhaps what PCA is advising its members and regional clubs. On Thursday, March 12 th , PCA issued a memo to all region presidents recommending several steps they can take to prevent the spread of the virus as well as to protect the health and safety of our members. The safety of our members is the club’s number one priority.
Unfortunately, large scale national events such as Treffen Broadmoor and Parade have been cancelled due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Members who are currently registered for these events will likely be contacted directly by the event organizer notifying them of cancellations and updated refund policies. Many regional events have also been cancelled throughout Zone 7 including the Zone Concours Judging School, Concours event #1 hosted by Diablo Region and others. The club race program and Golden Gate Region HPDE program is proceeding as planned as these events have a higher threshold for community transmission. However, this could change depending on the circumstances. The pandemic is fast moving and evolving and you can expect region club events such as dinners, tech sessions and other large group gatherings with more than 250 participants to alter their schedules or cancel events.
PCA advises that each region adhere to recommendations issued by the CDC and WHO.  

Autocross Sites Disappearing:

Airport locations, fairground and amusement park parking lots have historically provided large enough areas for the sport of autocross for many, many years. With the downsizing of our military 30 years ago former military bases such as Alameda Naval Air Station have been repurposed for other uses ranging from developing new commercial businesses to housing. There is generally nothing quite like a large airport runway or taxiway for the sport of autocrossing. However, with property prices in California sky rocketing, many of these sites have and are going to be developed. If you look at the Alameda Point site that Golden Gate region has used for years, it is hard not to imagine the area being turned into housing or perhaps another Veterans Hospital facility. The land is just too valuable to be used for craft fairs or the occasional autocross.
Other airport sites have fallen prey to the general mission of most airports and that has been to serve the general aviation community. Mather Airport in Sacramento was also a former military air base that was given to the County of Sacramento sometime after it was abandoned as a military air base. Though it serves as a major air transportation hub for the likes of FedEx and UPS in the Sacramento area, other parts of the base have been converted to commercial use as well. Sacramento Valley Region lost use of this site about 6 years ago. It is highly unlikely that motorsport activities will ever be allowed again on this pristine site in the heart of Sacramento.

Redwood Region lost use of its airport site at Santa Rosa Airport two years ago and after several reprieves granted to Redwood Region to continue use of the facility located just west of the main runway it is no longer available. I believe it is still being used by the local Sherriff and law enforcement agencies for training.

Recently, the Marina Airport made a decision to development the 5 plus acre site where Loma Prieta Region has been hosting its events for the past 15 years. Loma Prieta autocross chair, Anne Roth, is busy searching for alternate sites in the Monterey Bay area so if you have a suggestion please contact her. It appears that outside of two dates for the Zone autocross series being considered at Crow’s Landing, LPR’s season is looking quite bleak. The situation with use of the Marina Airport site has been tentative for several years ago. As recently as 2018, the airport was considering banning all motorsport activities at the airport and it took a monumental lobbying effort to convince the Marina City Council to override the recommendation of its airport manager. The airport runs its operations under the rules of the FAA, but is managed by the city of Marina. In 2000, the airport updated its long term plan for the airport which included not only a vision for its aviation services but also a significant element of economic development. It is this economic development plan which has resulted in the development of the 5 acre parcel of concrete being used for autocross.

The Alameda autocross site at the former Alameda Naval Air Station is currently used exclusively by Golden Gate Region for its highly successful autocross series. With the growing popularity of the sport in the Bay Area, events there attract more than 100 drivers. The site utilizes one of the several runways on the former Naval Air Station that measures several thousand feet in length and some 500 plus feet in width. Like the Marina Airport, there are also plans to develop the site for expansion of a veterans hospital, housing, public open space, and commercial use. Past Golden Gate Region autocross chair, Ed Hunter, has been on the forefront of the battle to keep use of Alameda Point, but the forces of redevelopment of this jewel in the East Bay will eventually prevail and Ed has regretfully acknowledged this force. With autocross sites like Candlestick Park and Great America succumbing to development, it is only time when we will lose Alameda.

In San Diego, Zone 8, San Diego Region will likely lose the use of their long-term autocross site at Qualcomm Stadium as local community college district has purchased the former home of the San Diego Chargers with plans to eventually develop the site into another satellite campus. Finding a site to replace this wonderfull facility where Parade was held in 2007 is underway.

Long Term Strategic Plan for Autocross Sites:

Several region autocross chairs have been harping on securing a site for future use by all Porsche Clubs in Zone 7 and have cited how SCCA took the approach to raise money for several decades to build Thunderhill Raceway. Although it is a worthy goal, the probability of raising millions of dollars to secure a site where the club could afford to purchase the land and develop the parcel would be very difficult to attain. Hypothetically, if all regions were to charge an autocross site fee of say $10 per driver and if LPR and Redwood Regions find a new home we could assume that we would have around 1,750 drivers per season on average. At $10 per driver that would amount to $17,500 per year. To raise a million dollars at this rate would take 57 years! Perhaps we have a member in Zone 7 who has been very successful in his business or career who would be willing to donate the purchase of a site. To that person we would be forever grateful. I don’t think there is really a clear path to finding a future site but I think it is a worthwhile cause to start thinking of where we are going to be with our autocross programs.

Events of Interest:

1)       Loma Prieta Region 50th Anniversary Gala; March 28; register at MotorsportReg with keyword search for 'LPR'   Rescheduled  to August 29.
2)       West Coast Race Series Event #1, Buttonwillow Raceway, March 29,  Cancelled
3)       Zone 7 AX #1, April 5, Thunderhill, Willows,  Cancelled
4)       Zone 7 Rally School, April 19, Porsche Fremont,  Cancelled
5)       West Coast Series Event #2, April 25-26, Thunderhill, Willows
6)       West Coat Race Series Event #3, April 25-26, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana,  Cancelled
7)       Zone 7 AX #2, April 25, Marina,  Cancelled  (lost use of site)
8)       Zone 7 AX #3, April 26, Marina,  Cancelled  (lost use of site)
9)       Zone 7 Concours #1, April 26, Porsche Livermore,  Cancelled
10)    PCA Spring Treffen at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs; April 29-May 2;
11)    CRAB 38 hosted by Sacramento Valley Region; May 29-31;  svr-crab38.eventbrite.com
12)    Zone 7 Tour by Shasta Region; June 11-15; SOLD OUT -  wait list in effect
13)    Porsche Parade at the La Quinta Resort in La Quinta; June 21-27; Phase I Cancelled
14)    Porsche Parade Phase II Registration (events and banquets) will open Cancelled
15)    Mammoth Tour by Sierra Nevada Region; July 24-26;                                                            snv.pca.org/events/mammoth-high-altitude-porsche-tour-2
16)    Werks Reunion in Monterey; August 14, featuring the Porsche 914;  werksreunion.com  Registration will open mid-May.
17)    PCA Fall Treffen at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia; September 16-19;  treffen.pca.org.  Registration will open June 17.

Note that past Treffens have sold out in as little as one hour due to their growing popularity.
Board Meeting Minutes
Alan Geddes
Redwood Region Secretary

Our board meetings are on the last Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm. The next board meeting is April 28th and will be held virtually. Please visit the Redwood Website for login details. All members are welcome to attend. 

You can read previous board meeting minutes  here
Membership Report & Information
Tom Short
Membership Director

Note from the Membership Director

In March 2020, 38 PCA Redwood Region members marked five or more years in the club, including three members with over 30 years in our club and four with 20 years or more. Congratulations and thank you to all of you who are marking anniversaries – I hope you are enjoying your membership and taking advantage of all the great benefits our club has to offer! 
In March we welcomed five new members – I hope you take advantage of the excellent activities our club offers throughout the year. You will be receiving a complimentary Redwood Region name badge shortly. Check out our website for upcoming autocross events. Also, you can order a name badge for your associate member there as well. 
Regarding our events in light of the COVID-19 Virus, the health and safety of our members and fellow car enthusiasts is of utmost importance to the Redwood Region and the broader Porsche Club of America. In light of the state-wide stay-at-home order that was issued to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus through unnecessary social contact, we have responded by keeping our late March and early April calendars clear of all club events. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will provide updates if we find any further adjustments must be made to our planned 2020 calendar.
I encourage everyone to check out the calendar on our freshly redesigned redwoodpca.org sign up for upcoming events events once we have received the “all clear” from the California Department of Health and Human Services. Our events are a great way to meet other PCA members and have some fun with great people and our amazing cars. In the mean time, we wish you and your families and friends well during these extraordinary times. Stay healthy. 
If you spot any errors or have any questions about membership please feel free to email me at  pcaredmembership@gmail.com
Tom Short

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About der Riesenbaum
Der Riesenbaum is the official newsletter of the Porsche Club of America, Redwood Region, encompassing Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma Counties. This publication is intended to inform Club members about Club activities and other related matters of interest. 

We encourage letters to the editor, feedback, questions and suggestions about our newsletter and the Redwood Region in general. Want to contribute to the newsletter? Submit photos and articles  about Club events or related activities. Please submit your entry by the 5th day of the month for inclusion in that month's newsletter. Articles received after the deadline will be considered for the next month's newsletter. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit all materials submitted for publication.

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All written content and images in this publication are protected by copyright. Permission is granted to reprint any original content herein provided credit is given to the author, the der Riesenbaum and to the Porsche Club of America, Redwood Region. The opinions expressed in der Riesenbaum are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Porsche Club of America, Redwood Region, its officers, or its members.
Thanks for supporting our Club!

Andy Cole
der Riesenbaum Editor
Porsche Club of America, Redwood Region