International Women's Day: Three Influential Women of SCCA

Many women have left their mark on SCCA through the Club's 74-year history. In honor of International Women's Day, we'd like to highlight the efforts and accomplishments of three key members of the SCCA Hall of Fame, Sue Roethel, Karen Babb, and Janet Guthrie. As we look to the future, SCCA's Women's Initiative, "Women on Track," works to promote and encourage women to have #FunWithCars on an equal level. Through regional efforts, mentorship, national contingency and scholarships, this program aims to remove barriers to entry for women in motorsport and encourage participation. Women can join the Women on Track Community on Facebook here: We're very proud of the women of SCCA.

Sue Roethel – Hall of Fame Class of 2005

For the many years that the SCCA Runoffs called Road Atlanta its home, the second most harrowing experience was coming out from under the bridge at full speed and launching down the hill. That was the second most harrowing experience. The most harrowing experience was having to go in front of the Chief Steward. Some guys thought they might have it easy, because they’d heard that the Chief Steward was a woman. Boy, were they in for a surprise! Sue Roethel is one of only two members who have earned three of the top awards in SCCA. The Barnato, the Morrell, and McGill Awards. She served as a regional leader, then a divisional leader, as SCCA Runoffs Chief Steward, and finally as a National Office staff member in the Member and Regional Relations Department. Her love of the sport always endeared her to the membership.

Karen Babb – Hall of Fame Class of 2011

Karen Babb leads all SCCA solo competitors with twenty National Championships across a remarkable thirty-one straight years of Solo Nationals competition. She has served the solo program in countless capacities, including course designer, specialty chief, and program administrator, as well as an event organizer at all levels of events. She has long served the sport as a member of the Solo Events Board and then as the SEB Secretary carefully and methodically crafting the language for meeting minutes, tech bulletins and the rulebook. She is one of the finest examples of the philosophy within the Solo Community that drivers also serve as the event and program officials who make the sport possible, and being one of the rare individuals that have excelled in both areas.

Janet Guthrie – Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Janet Guthrie grew from grassroots SCCA regional racing to be a pioneer in Indy cars and NASCAR, inspiring others to imagine the impossible. Early on, she campaigned a Jaguar XK 120 coupe, competing in autocrosses, hill climbs and field trials in the New York Region.  She then moved to a Jaguar XK 140 for competition in SCCA regional and national races.  Guthrie built her own engines, towed the car to races and was her own crew. By 1972, she was a full-time racer, and a year later won the SCCA North Atlantic Road Racing championship in a BS Toyota Celica.  She also managed to achieve a couple Sebring class wins. In 1976, Guthrie tested an Indy car and was also the first woman to run a NASCAR superspeedway cup race.  In 1977, she was the first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indy 500, and was the first woman and top rookie at the Daytona 500 that same year. Her driver’s suit and helmet are in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and she is also a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and was one of the first inductees into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame.