Our celebration of Women’s History Month continues this week with seven profiles of women making their mark on the Sports Car Club of America® and the world of motorsports.
The SCCA Women on Track (WOT) profiles kicked off on Friday, March 3, with three exceptional members Dee Sanders Schweikle, Valerie Hansen, and Tere Pulliam. Week two took a look at seven extraordinary female members, like international rallier Savera D’Souza, autocrosser-turned-pro racer Michele Abbate, new member Tana Plescher, plus Robin Bonanno, Fay Teal, recent SCCA Hall of Famer Wilma Dunias, and RallyCrosser Tamara Tackett. The third week’s profiles included a look at Elizabeth Jolly, sisters Madison and Elise Kleck, pro racer Cindi Lux, Lauri Burkons, autocross stalwart Carol Cone, and Alison Lee. And once again thanks to SCCA Women on Track, this week we meet more exceptional members of the SCCA: Tracey Burckhard, Taylor Hyatt, Lisa Tanin, Skye Romanoff, Maite Caceres Grolero, Valerie McCammon, and Jennifer Samardak.
We invite you to follow along throughout March as daily posts will be made on the SCCA Women on Track Facebook Page, and a weekly wrap up will be available here on SCCA.com.
Mohawk Hudson Region | 13-year member
Program Area: Solo
Tracey got hooked on autocross after her first time participating in 2009. Her husband introduced her to Solo events and it became something fun to do together along with their children. In addition to driving, Tracey is also a Tire Rack Street Survival instructor, a Solo Safety Steward, a Solo Advisory Committee member, a WOT Solo Committee member, and an activities director. She was a 2021 Wendi Allen Scholarship recipient and the 2021 G Street Ladies National Champion.
“I am very passionate about autocross and do it with my whole heart,” Tracey said. “I have been committed to the sport competitively, but thoroughly enjoy helping others and enjoy the personal connections made at SCCA events that have turned into a race family.”
Washington DC Region | 21-year member
Program Areas: Road Racing, RallyCross, Volunteer
As a third generation SCCA member, Taylor has been having #funwithcars for longer than many her age. She started volunteering anywhere she could at a young age to hold her over until she could get behind the wheel. When the time finally came, she started RallyCrossing before moving to Track Events and Time Trials. She’s been road racing for a bit now, and has her sights set on the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at VIRginia International Raceway this fall. To Taylor, the SCCA means an endless stream of fun with the people she enjoys the most.
Milwaukee Region | 4-year member
Program Area: Solo
Lisa began autocrossing about three years ago on a whim, after her husband suggested they try it. She immediately loved it and has been building her Volkswagen Golf R for the track ever since. She’s looking forward to participating in some Track Events and Time Trials this year at Road America. When not on the track or in the garage, Lisa is focused on her career in regulatory affairs.
“SCCA and Women on Track has meant community, opportunity, and encouragement to do what I love,” said Lisa.
We can’t wait to see what her #funwithcars brings next.
San Francisco Region | 3-year member
Program Area: RallyCross
Skye is in her second year of hosting SCCA RallyCross events in Northern California, and fifth year of participating as a driver.
“I very much enjoy working with SCCA, as the RallyCross community is like none other,” Skye said. “We are all here to support each other and build with each other. Also, the support SCCA provides women in the industry is another reason I support this sanctioning body. We need more women in the industry, and being a female racer with SCCA, I have felt extremely welcome.”
Skye has recently been invited to test with Fern GP, a British Formula 3 team, with a goal of driving in the 2024 season. She still plans to continue rallycrossing, and is extremely grateful for the opportunities it has opened up for her.
Maite Caceres Grolero
Connecticut Region | 2-year member
Program Area: Pro Racing
Maite is a Uruguayan racing driver who ran with the SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned Formula 4 U.S. Championship in 2022. She was the first female driver from her country to ever race internationally. Beginning her career in karting in 2019, she was vice-champion of the Rotax DD2 class in 2020 and finished with three podiums in Uruguayan F4 before coming to the United States to race.
“The SCCA has been a great support system for entering motorsports in the U.S.,” Maite said. “When I first approached with questions about the categories and licenses, the team was super helpful.”
Maite used her F4 U.S. experience to secure a spot in the newly formed F1 Academy, where she will be driving for Campos Racing during the 2023 season. In addition, she also plans to continue her studies as a chemical engineering student at IQS in Barcelona, Spain.
Fort Wayne Region | 36-year member
Program Areas: Volunteer for Solo and Road Racing
Valerie initially got involved with the SCCA because of her husband, Pat, who loved his behind-the-wheel driving involvement in both autocross and road racing, and in later years as a road racing steward. While Pat would have gladly put her behind the wheel of any of his race cars, Valerie isn’t really a risktaker in any form, and trembled at the thought. But that didn’t stop her from finding another way to become involved. She is a key part of the Fort Wayne Region and Great Lakes Division as a volunteer who is always ready to be on a committee, organize an event or party, cheer on others at driving events (unless they were Pat’s competition, of course), and serve as a Region and Division officer.
“For me, the fun of SCCA membership has been the opportunity to encourage others to get involved in their own way, too,” Valerie said. “Now, you’ll find me encouraging others to look for ways to be involved, in the way that fits their interests.”
SCCA membership has meant over 35 years of countless weekends at Solo events and road racing tracks with her husband. As important as that time was shared with each other, it has also meant the development of lifelong friends, both in their local Region, across the Division, and nationally as Pat expanded his steward role.
“These friendships have continued through my recent life changes following Pat’s death,” Valerie continued. “It was my SCCA family who reached out within those first hours, and it is these friends who continue to encourage me in countless ways as I stay involved and as we share treasured memories, laughter, and the joy of friendship made possible by SCCA involvement.”
Tennessee Valley Region | 3-year member
Program Area: RallyCross
Jennifer is an active member of her local Subaru community and strives to decrease barriers of access to motorsports. She organizes events for a local group and is constantly engaged in outreach and supporting ongoing development of automotive resources. During the 2022 RallyCross season, she sought to make her own track car available to others in an effort to increase exposure and was successful with introducing many folks to their first RallyCross event. Jennifer consistently encourages others to participate in motorsports, providing informal education at every opportunity to tell people how they can safely get their vehicle on track – regardless of what that track material is.
“The SCCA and local organizers have provided the resources so that I can do race car things,” Jennifer said. “I participated in my first RallyCross in March 2019. Prior to that, I had zero automotive competition experience. I was hooked, and I have not stopped being engaged with race car things.
“SCCA events have introduced to me to amazing and supportive people and have shown me that you can ‘run what you brung’, as long as it meets safety standards. My daily driving skills are better, my road focus is better, my skills to avoid collisions and to bring my car back when it loses control are better. I am a better driver and a more confident person because of my SCCA experiences. Racing gives me zen.
“SCCA has provided me with more than a dirt track, it has provided me with a community, a grounded life philosophy, a distinct increase in confidence, and fabulous moments of achieving true mindfulness when behind the wheel.”
Find More Here!
You can find an archive of all women featured in the Women’s History Month showcase by scrolling down on the SCCA Women on Track webpage.