About the VRG


 

Mission Statement 

In 2004 a couple of vintage racers got together and said, “What if we started our own club” They started calling around to other racing friends and asking the same question along with “and if you did start up in a new club what would you want from it?” Well, it seems that it boiled down to three things, Safety, Safety, & Safety. It seemed that everyone felt that if you got that part right, car safety, driver safety and a safe attitude, everything else would just follow. And it appears that they were correct. Coming out of the gate in 2004 with one event in hand, the New Hampshire Vintage Festival, they quickly added the PVGP BeaveRun Historics and kept right on from there. Now recognized as a premier vintage racing group they have a schedule that spans a nice locale and a full year. Ranging from the northern tracks of Watkins Glen & NHIS to Summit Point and BeaveRun. Developing a coalition of like minded clubs their members can race at places like Mosport and VIR with all the advantages of club members. Safety, Safety, Safety has been the mantra and with a enviable event record behind them it works. Boasting a in-house driver’s school that rivals the best pro schools around, to a cadre of some of the best technical people in the business. Sharp minds and a very active driver’s committee helps all of the drivers to have a safe and enjoyable race. Active member support gives our paddocks and race venues a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Add a few off season events to keep us all in touch and you have one of the finest vintage racing clubs you could join. Thanks, Bob, Tivvy, Ralph, Mark, Brad, Chris, Bill, Kim, and all the others that have taken this club from an idea to a reality

 

Board of Directors 

Rev. 1/2023 

Officers: 

 

John Wood – President, john@vrgonline.org 

John’s interest in racing began in the late 1960s and 70s while attending TransAm, Can-Am, F5000, Indy series and SCCA races at Mid-Ohio, Nelson Ledges, Indianapolis, and Pocono with his father.  He began vintage racing with VRG, VSCCA and VDCA in a nicely prepared 1956 Healey 100-4 race car vintage racer.   Later he began campaigning a 1972 BMW 2002tii that he continues to race frequently.  John has spent his career working on environmental, health and safety management systems and improvement programs in the chemical industry and has his own consulting business.  John is a member of VRG’s Driver’s Committee and is an instructor with VRG’s Driver’s School.  Off track, he can be found motoring in a 1954 Healey 100-4 that he restored himself, or in his 1985 Vanagon with his dogs. 

Butch O’Connor – Vice-President, butch@vrgonline.org

Butch has been racing in one form or another for most of his life, from Soap Box Derby, karts and then cars. He has been very active with the SCCA for more than 30 years, as a worker, driver, race chair and steward. His current SCCA activities are stewarding SCCA events in the Northeast and serving as Chief Instructor for the SCCA Driving School for the last five years. His interest in vintage racing began as the SCCA Race Chair with Charlie Gibson at the Lime Rock Fall Festival and later as an operating steward. That ended after Steve Earle came in to run things, but he was hooked. He acquired a street MGB from a friend that really needed interior work and he built a “tribute” MGB works racer. He has competed with SVRA, VDCA, VSCCA and of course, VRG, with both his MGB and MGA. He has served as Event Chair for the VRG event at NJMP for the last several years, and also serve on the Driver’s Committee.

 

Drew Cullen – Secretary, drew@vrgonline.org

Drew’s interest in auto racing began in his tweens when he attended dirt track stock car races in Fonda, New York and grew with his joining of the Accident Investigation Team at Watkins Glen in the late 1970s. The volunteer team worked all levels of racing from regional SCCA events to TransAm, Can-Am, CART and F1 races, and provided free entry and camping at the track. After attending several vintage races at Wakins Glen his wife asked him why he wasn’t doing that. 8 months later he began racing with VRG in an MG BGT and has raced with VRG, VARAC, SVRA and VSCCA, currently racing a 1958 Elva Courier. Drew is a member of the VRG Drivers Committee and assists at the VRG Novice School. He is retired from a career in school finance, labor economics and education policy development and now enjoys skiing, paddling and driving his Porsche 356B Super in the mountains near his home in the heart of the Adirondacks.

 

Scott Janzen – Treasurer, scottj@vrgonline.org

Scott bought his first car before he could get a driver’s license, promptly took it apart, and has been playing with cars ever since. He spectated at races for many years, but didn’t start racing until he had the opportunity to go to a Skip Barber Formula Dodge racing school at his employer’s expense.  He immediately bought a basket-case Formula Ford (oops).  The Triumph GT6 he currently races is his second race car, and he has been racing with VRG since 2004.  Scott got into racing for the cars, but has found that the friendships and camaraderie are a huge part of the fun with VRG.  In “real life”, Scott has his own real estate investment and development business as well s a consulting business.  Scott and his wife Sara (who thankfully supports his racing hobby) live just north of Philadelphia, PA.  

John Jeffrey – Director, jjeffrey@vrgonline.org

John’s first time operating a motor vehicle came when he was 8 years old:  he and a 10-year-old friend “borrowed” his father’s ’36 three-window coupe for a joy ride on city streets. John sat on the floor and operated the pedals and his friend shifted and steered the car until they stalled it a few miles away. Since then, John has driven nearly 2 million miles in 49 out of 50 states and 21 different countries while trying to drive like that of a local. It turns out that Germany and Italy suit his driving style very nicely. In 1974 John purchased the only new car he has ever owned, a Datsun 260Z from Bob Sharp’s dealership that was totaled at LRP in 1975 when another driver lost control of his car. Fast forward to 2000 he began doing autocross and track days in a 1972 240Z street car. He became an instructor in 2005 while driving another 240Z, a one-time Bob Sharp race car test mule that John restored using parts from several BSR C-Production cars. John was the President of the New England Z Car Club for over 10 years and is currently their motorsports coordinator. He joined VRG in 2012 and competed in his first event at the New Hampshire Motorsport facility. Since then, he has become an instructor at the VRG School, a member of the Driver’s Committee and co-chair of the Thompson event. John retired in 2020 as the Environmental Health & Safety Manager for a chemical and engineering firm after working in various government, corporate and NGO jobs in the US and abroad. 

 

Paul King – Director, paulking@vrgonline.org

Paul has raced a Triumph GT6 with VRG since 2005, and actively races the GT6 in vintage events in the northeast. Paul has served the club in many capacities, including the Event Chair of the VRG event at Thompson Motorsports Park and the Event Chair for VRG of the Lime Rock Labor Day Motorsports Festival. Paul also serves as a Senior Instructor at the yearly VRG Novice School. 

  • Lime Rock Labor Day VRG Event Chairman 

 

Keith Lawrence – Director, keith@vrgonline.org 

Keith grew up just outside Pittsburgh PA and watched/volunteered at the vintage races for many years before he was able to get his first race car, a 1956 Turner 803, that he imported from the UK and restored and raced. With almost twenty years of racing behind him, he has a 1975 BMW 2002 and a 1975 Caldwell D-13 that he and his sons campaign with VRG. Keith lives just south of Pittsburgh with his wife, Denise, and two sons. Keith formally co-chaired the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix PIRC Race with Ralph Steinberg and he now chairs the VRG PittRace event in September.

 

Graham Long – Director, graham@vrgonline.org

Graham resides in Lebanon NJ. He got hooked on vintage while apprenticing in a race shop for eight years. During this time he also studied mechanical engineering/materials sciences and graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Graham is self-employed and owns/operates his vintage car/ race-car business in Clifton, NJ. At VRG events, Graham tech’s cars for the club and enjoys driving formula fords in the open-wheel group. On average, he attends 7-8 VRG events a year, with the J500 and NJMP being his favorites. He also participates in many con course, FCA, VSCCA and car auction events. Graham is also an Eagle Scout and enjoys spending his free time outdoors kayaking and camping.

 

Ian Wisbon – Director, ian@vrgonline.org 

Ian resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Betsy and their fur children. Ian has been involved with the VRG since the late 2000’s campaigning his 1961 Austin Mini “Duckworth”, volunteering in various capacities, and largely handling IT concerns for the VRG prior to, and during, his time as a director. Ian works during the day in autonomous vehicles, and is part-owner and Chief Broom Pusher at B&W Autosport, a family owned vintage race shop. Ian’s first car was a 1974 1/2 MGB GT, and to this date he has never owned an automatic transmission vehicle, nor a vehicle manufactured after 1994. Ian’s other interests include sim racing, 3D printing, and at one point, he played in a Ska-punk band in high school like any other high school band member in the late 90’s.

  • PVGP PittRace VRG Event Chairman