Club Happenings – Fall 2016: NJ BMW CCA Championship Series
by Neil Gambony
While conversing with a new member at the NJ BMW CCA Banquet this past March, I was asked what the NJ BMW CCA Championship Cup Series awards were about since we were there to honor our top three finishers. To the best of my knowledge I explained what they were about and then after giving it some thought, the light bulb (incandescent, of course) went on as I realized that there may be many other members who are unaware of what the Champion Cup Series is about.
Before explaining what it is all about, I’d like to start with a brief history of the Champ Series or the Championship Cup Series as it more officially known as. The series started in January of 1977. To put it into perspective, the series has been around since the American introduction of the 320i, the original 3 Series, The Eagles were warning us about “Life in the Fast Lane”, Jimmy Carter was POTUS and Carter Fratt was the Chapter’s President. January of 2017 will mark the 40th anniversary of the series for us. [Where has the time gone? JF]
So, what kind of stuff were we doing 40 years ago? Apparently, we were pretty industrious and adventurous with 12 events throughout the year, one a month. On the schedule for the year were 5 autocrosses, 3 rallies, an ice trial, a gymkhana, an economy run and a Concours d’Elegance. Your best 8 of 12 events were counted for Cup points.
Only 19 NJ BMW CCA members have had their names engraved on the Championship Cup. That is one of the awards of the series that you get to hold until the following year, something like the Stanley Cup only much, much smaller. Jeff Davis was the first Champion and he won it twice. Other 2 time winners are Larry Engel and Doug Feigel. The 3 time winners are Don Salama, Alex Fadeev, our current Cup holder and Judy Davis, who is the only woman to have her name on the Cup. Four members have won the Cup 4 times, Jim LaForge, Elihu Savad, James Kavalieros and Mario Sousa who has the distinction of winning 4 years in row, 1994-97. One-time winners are Stan Greenspan, Dean Christie, Andy Korinis, Dave Fitting, Scott Weiner, Ed Walters, Pete Revendis, and Mark Mallory.
Now back to the current day events of the Championship Cup Series, we have several autocrosses; an autocross consists of driving your car through a challenging course of cones set up in an empty parking lot. It’s a lot of fun while learning car control. The rallies we have been running lately are Fun or Gimmick rallies; you are given a set of directions to follow while answering questions from landmarks along the way. They’re fun for the whole family. We also hold a Pinewood Derby, similar to the Scouts’ Derby, another family event. Points are awarded by the finishing order of each event and are tallied throughout the year. You can participate in any event of the Series without having to participate in all them. Information about any of the Series events are posted on the website, the newsletter or in the e-blasts preceding any of the events.
I would like to thank Brian Morgan, the Club’s unofficial historian, for providing me with the information regarding the beginnings of the Championship Cup Series.
Now I just need to find out from Brian when the Club stopped giving the Champion a case of beer to drink out of the Cup!