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Keith Saunders continued to race his ex-Hutchison Lotus 41C in Southwest Div racing in 1969.  Copyright David Hutson 2011.  Used with permission.

South West Division SCCA Formula B 1969

With 1968's leading drivers having moved up to the Pro series, their old Lotus 41Cs having been finally put out to pasture and the Lotus 51 Formula Fords now with their own class, SWDiv FB started the season with anaemic grids. In August, having virtually wrapped up the FV category, Butch Harris bought a new FB Winkelmann WDB1 and quickly won two events. Harvey Simon also moved into FB with a new Caldwell and a couple of Formula Ford Winkelmanns also competed in the class.

The top three, Harris, Simon and Joe Duran, were all entered for the Runoffs but did not race.

Final standings

1. Butch Harris Winkelmann (WDB1) San Jacinto 28 pts *
2. Joe Duran Winkelmann Lone Star 26 pts
3. Harvey Simon BMC (/Caldwell) Texas 24 pts *
4. Gordon Beavers Winkelmann Lone Star 21 pts
5. T. B. Frazier Lotus Texas 15 pts
6. Keith Saunders Lotus 41 Rio Grande 6 pts
7. Bob Rowley Lotus 51 Texas 4 pts
8. Jim Hall Halfbreed Texas 3 pts

* Indicates total includes points earned out of home divisions. Keith Saunders also appeared in the MidWest Division table, the pointskeepers apparently being unsure which division owned the Rio Grande Region.

1969 Schedule

16 Feb 1969Green Valley RacewayTexas Region
04 May 1969Austin Raceway ParkAlamo Region
18 May 1969ConroeSan Jacinto Region
01 Jun 1969Chennault Field (Lake Charles Airfield)Southwest Louisiana Region
22 Jun 1969Green Valley RacewayTexas Region
06 Jul 1969Galveston Airport (Scholes Field)San Jacinto Region
03 Aug 1969Austin Aqua FestivalLone Star Region
31 Aug 1969Camp Gary AFBAlamo Region

Again there was a steady evolution of the SWDiv schedule. Texas Region again had two events at GVR, and Sowela, San Jacinto and Lone Star were fixtures at Lake Charles, Scholes Field and Austin Aqua Festival respectively. Alamo Region were refused permission to use Clear Springs Auxilary Field by the Federal Aviation Authority, so had to move their Carrera del Alamo event in May to Austin Raceway Park (called Austin Dragway Park at this time) before finding a new home at Camp Gary Air Force Base. Lone Star were down to just one event, and West Texas Region's race at Odessa was not repeated. San Jacinto kept the numbers up with an event at an airfield at Conroe.

Southwest Division sources

Coverage of SWDiv was much slimmer in Competition Press & Autoweek than for other Divisions. To make the historian's life even more difficult, a couple of the Regions that organised National events do not appear to have had their own newsletters for much of this period: Alamo Region in Texas and Central Louisiana Region in Louisiana. The known Regional publications are:

  • Deltagram (Delta Region)
  • Journal (San Jacinto Region)
  • Lone Star Draft (Lone Star Region) - from 1979
  • Roundup (Texas Region)
  • Spinout (Southwest Louisiana Region) - from 1978
  • Border Bulletin (South Texas Border Region)

For much of the 1960s, the most important publication for this area was Southwest Racing News, published from 1963 onwards by Bill Gay from Dallas and running on until at least 1974. We are exceedingly keen to acquire copies of any of these.

We are also keen to get scans of entry lists from all SCCA Nationals and Regionals in this Division.