Archive for Club News

Top Gear America taping

COCSD members Tom Kelly, Greg Magill, Craig Moya and Randy Standke were joined by San Diego Miata Club member Greg Lee on a road trip to Las Vegas to participate in the taping of the new Top Gear America television series.  The group drove up on Sunday, May 14 and were in the audience for the Monday morning taping.  The taping of all 8 episodes were done that week, with two taping sessions each on Sunday through Wednesday.

Tom (with help from Marie) rented a Kia minivan and did all of the driving.  Craig served as navigator and brought along some GoPro video cameras to record the trip.  We weren’t allowed to photograph or shoot video at the taping location, but there was plenty of “interesting” conversation over the 11 hours or so of round-trip travel time.  Watch for the video of the highlights soon!

Craig, Tom, Greg and SDMC’s Greg Lee met up at Randy’s for the trek to Las Vegas. Photo by Randy’s 4-year-old granddaughter, Zoe.

While in Las Vegas, we had dinner with Lisa DiSabatino’s parents, Yvonne and Mike. Mike joined us for the taping.

The taping took place at SpeedVegas, a privately-owned race track, at the end south of Las Vegas.  Greg M. and Craig were among the 20 or so audience members chosen to stand by the track while the guest celebrity and the professional driver (aka The Stig) took their hot laps on the 1.5-mile road course.  The others viewed the laps from a second floor observation deck on the adjacent main building.

The Stig drove a very modified minivan on the track. Greg got a photo of the Stig family decal as we left the taping.

Once the laps were run, all 200 or so audience members were grouped around the taping “studio” – the tall, multi-bay service garage at the track.  If you’ve watched the original BBC Top Gear, taped in the UK, you know that the audience does not sit.  They stand.  And stand, we did, for about 4 straight hours, including the time outside at the track.  At least those of us on our side of the studio got to move around a bit.  We separated and regrouped, as they brought multiple vehicles into the studio from behind us.

It’s impossible to say whether any of us will make “cameo” appearances, once the episode is broadcast sometime this summer.  Regardless, it was fun to participate, learn a bit about what happens during a series taping, and just hang out with fellow car nuts.

Back in San Diego, everyone paid Tom their share of the car rental and gas cost. Contrary to rumors, we did not pay with “leftover” singles.

 

Presidents’ Run

When you live in San Diego, it is very easy to take days with perfect weather for granted.  Yes, we suffered through a “brutal” winter. It rained for an entire day!  But as soon as spring arrived, we were back to days of sunshine and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s.  On Sunday, April 2nd, the weather was perfect.  And we took full advantage of it.

As most of you are aware, Lisa and I belong to two car clubs.  We’ve been in COCSD for over 23 years.  (We were both very young when we joined.)  It is, and always will be, our “first” club.  But a few years ago, we were invited to join the San Diego Miata Club.  Actually, they told me they were tired of having me attend their meetings as a guest, to talk about Main Street America or to challenge them to kart racing, and it was time for us to become members.  The cost is only $35 for a couple and no, you don’t have to own a Miata.  So it was an easy decision to make.  SDMC is larger than COCSD, but there are so many similarities between the two clubs.  The biggest thing both have in common is wonderful people.  We truly enjoy hanging out with members of both clubs.

Another common thread is the desire to drive our fun cars on twisting, winding roads.  SDMC president Gene Streeter and I decided to lead by example and plan a run through the familiar, but oh so fun San Diego County back country.  Lisa and I had been introduced to a family-owned and operated restaurant in Jamul with excellent burgers and a large parking lot, so it seemed to be a perfect destination.

Gene and I spread the word to the members of our respective clubs and did a test drive of the route.  Based upon the response we received, we anticipated 40 to 50 others would be joining us.  We ended up with close to 80.

COCSD members and guests Alan Atha and Nancy Oeh, Joe Beland and Betty Maving, Lee and Pat Caudel, George Dauphine, Lisa DiSabatino, Rick and Janet Hefter, Joe Huvar, Leah Johnson, Howard Kendall, Jim Kistner and Lydia Zulia, Jim Mellos, Lee and Margaret Olson, Nick Pavle and Marsha Otto, Gilbert Peet, Brent and Anne Randall, Stuart and Lisa Robertson, Bill and Lin Siepert, Jim and Robin Sperling, Alan and Catherine Stewart, Rod and Linda Weissenberger, Napoleon White and Lydia Duro and Lore Young were joined by approximately the same number of SDMC members at our gathering point in Rancho San Diego.  From there, we headed east, through Descanso Junction, Guatay and Pine Valley, to a short break at the Buckman Springs rest stop.

Lisa and I had led the group through the first leg.  Gene and wife Bonnie took over for the remainder of the route.  Although Gene had driven the route when we checked it out two weeks previously, he let Bonnie convince him that he needed to turn right at an intersection where he should have gone straight.  So roughly half of the group took a slight detour before realizing their error and returning back to the proper route.  The Club radios allowed us to communicate and minimize the consequences of the error.

From the rest stop, we went south to Campo, then west on 94.  After a short distance, Margaret and Lee had pulled to the side because of a check engine light on the dash of their C5.  We stopped to check on them.  After verifying that all of the gauges were reading normally, we concluded that it was not something critical.  But rather than try to catch the group and follow them around Lyons Peak and Phelps Corner, we decided to head straight to the restaurant to make sure they were ready for us.

Brody’s Burgers and Beer is located in Jamul, at the intersection of 94 and Steele Canyon Road.  It’s in the strip center behind the 7-Eleven on the corner.  It’s owned and run by the Broderick family.  They have a large party room with a few regular tables and two long picnic-type tables.  The room is easily large enough for 40 to 50 people.  But with around 80 of us, several had to be seated in the main restaurant.  They were prepared for a big group, with extra staff.  But trying to fix food for our group, plus the others who came in, did result in delays.  Everyone took it in stride, but it does point out the need to respond when someone hosting a run asks participants to do so.

Howard was one of the last to leave, so I got the chance to check out his brand new Admiral Blue Grand Sport.  It’s an absolutely beautiful car.  If it were a convertible, it would be as perfect as the weather on that typical San Diego day.

Craig Moya

(Photos by Mark Booth, SDMC)

 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017

On March 11, 2017 COCSD, the official car club of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, carried the parade dignitaries and bonnie lasses.

More details will follow.  So, check back later.  But for now, enjoy some of the photos taken of the event.

Gathering (most of) the group before heading to the Balboa Park staging area.

Gilbert Peet, Randy Standke and Zoe

Lisa and Leah

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Randy Standke borrowed Paul Fitch’s Grand Sport for the day and came with Dawn and granddaughter Zoe.

Two lovely young ladies from the Colleen’s Court got a beautiful ride for the parade.

Lee Caudell also carried a Colleen in his ’82. Poor Lee.

We are all lined up and ready to go. Let’s get this parade rolling!

The Grand Marshal was one of San Diego’s Finest. Nice hat, Sam.

Cindy Keetch carried one of the four “Irish Woman of the Year” honorees.

Yes, she looks pretty Irish to me, Bob.

Lisa Foland and Craig Moya carried the “Irishman of the Year”, Father Brian Corcoran.

It was a beautiful day for a parade.

Lore Young brought Kermit and her “four-seat Corvette”. At least they were both the right color.

   

Cindy Keetch shares a laugh with Eunice and Greg Magill.

What do you do after the parade? Eat, of course! Lore Young, Lisa Foland, Lisa DiSabatino and Craig Moya share a table at McGregor’s.

Parade participants Sam Campbell, Leah Johnson and Jim Mellos were also at McGregor’s. What did you do now, Jim?

K1 Speed Challenge VI

The COCSD Racing Team completely dominated the sixth K1 Speed Challenge, held Saturday, March 4th at K1 Speed – San Diego.  COCSD swept the top three positions, finishing with 75 points.  The BMWCCA San Diego Chapter won 16 points and the San Diego Miata Club had 10.

As has been the case with the previous Challenges, we used the mini-Grand Prix format.  All three clubs had their own 14-lap qualifying race.  Once those sessions were completed, the 31 racers were divided into three race groups.  Qualifiers 22 through 31 ran in the “Fast” group race.  The second race was for the “Very Fast” run group, made up of qualifiers 12 through 21.  The final race of the day was the “Ridiculously Fast” race group, with the top 11 qualifiers.

Leah Johnson and Greg Magill were in the “Fast” group race.  Leah finished fifth.  Greg was on the pole and led from start to finish.  He held off a stiff challenge from one of the BMW ladies and earned the “Hardest to Pass” award, in addition to his first-place medal.

Howard Kendall ran hard in the “Very Fast” group, and came home ninth.

Six COCSD members qualified for the top “Ridiculously Fast” race group.  Kevin Tagle got caught in a late-lap collision and finished tenth.  Lisa DiSabatino came in ninth.  Bill Belt finished in sixth.  Craig Moya, Randy Standke and Jeff Wilkinson came home one, two, three to sweep the podium.

Team Corvette! Front row, left to right: Kevin Tagle, Bill Belt, Howard Kendall. On the podium: Randy Standke, Ed Griffin (Corvettes of SD), Leah Johnson, Buddy Griffin (CoSD), Lisa DiSabatino, Craig Moya, Greg Magill, Jeff Wilkinson.

Tom Kelly watched the races with his grandson and assisted Jim Mellos in selecting the special award winners.  Lisa Foland and Dawn Standke were also there, cheering on the Racing Team.  As usual, there were several non-racers from SDMC there, supporting Team Zoom-Zoom.

Following the races, we drove to the Corvette Diner for lunch in the Corvette Clubhouse.  The special awards were presented to those who earned them.  In addition to Greg’s award, the “Guardrail Award” was given to SDMC member David Streeter, for his consistent use of the rails to stay on track.  The “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing Here Award” went to SDMC member Wally Stevens.  Wally regularly participates in high-speed straight-line events, but could not come up to speed in the karts.  The “Sandbagger Award” goes to the racer who wins the “Very Fast” race group, but could not quite qualify for the “Ridiculously Fast” group.  This year, that was SDMC’s Greg Lee.

The final special award for the “Most Aggressive Driver” was presented to Randy Standke at the COCSD March meeting.  He was not the original choice of the judges, but after watching the self-incriminating video Randy posted to YouTube, the judges reconsidered.

 

Randy, Craig and Jeff sweep the top 3 places in the “Ridiculously Fast” run group podium.

“Ridiculously Fast” Group Race Results:

  1.  Craig Moya, COCSD
  2.  Randy Standke, COCSD
  3.  Jeff Wilkinson, COCSD
  4.  Tyler Johnson, BMWCCA
  5.  Ken Hurd, SDMC
  6.  Bill Belt, COCSD
  7.  Ed Griffin, Corvettes of San Diego
  8.  Matt Gage, BMWCCA
  9.  Lisa DiSabatino, COCSD
  10.  Kevin Tagle, COCSD
  11.  Buddy Griffin, Corvettes of San Diego

The “Very Fast” run group podium.

“Very Fast” Group Race Results:

  1.  Greg Lee, SDMC
  2.  Sean Nesbitt, BMWCCA
  3.  Preston Waid, SDMC
  4.  Jonathan King, BMWCCA
  5.  Travis Sterne, BMWCCA
  6.  Greg Uhler, BMWCCA
  7.  Arman Freeman, SDMC
  8.  Dave Shapiro, SDMC
  9.  Howard Kendall, COCSD
  10.  Dune Mallory, SDMC

The “Fast Group” podium, with Greg Magill on top.

“Fast” Group Race Results:

  1. Greg Magill, COCSD
  2.  Victoria Jones, BMWCCA
  3.  Jay Stoneburner, BMWCCA
  4.  Rob Mallory, SDMC
  5.  Leah Johnson, COCSD
  6.  Steve Waid, SDMC
  7.  Gene Streeter, SDMC
  8.  David Streeter, SDMC
  9.  Ben Phenis, BMWCCA
  10.  Wally Stevens, SDMC

Hawk Watch & Cordiano Winery Run

Eunice Magill organized the Hawk Watch & Cordiano Winery Run on February 25, 2017.

Members and guests attending were: Keith Kingsley, Gloria Jones, Eunice Magill, Greg Magill, Gilbert Peet, George Dauphine, Diane Dauphine, Napoleon White, Dawn & Randy Standke with Granddaughter Zoe, Linda Duro, Glen Honig, Shelley Honig, Marilyn Bredimus, Steve Hucik, Diane Hucik, Margaret Olson, Lee Olson, Lisa Foland, Lore Young, Carole Bronstein, Steve Bronstein, Brent Randall, Anne Randall, Lee Caudel, Pat Caudel, Dennis Kenneally, Lois Kenneally, J. Demetrios Mellos

More details will follow, so check back soon.  For now, here are some of the photographs from the Hawk show at Regent Ranch:

 

 

After that, we drove over to the Cordiano Winery – to enjoy the food, wine and scenery.