James Walker, Jr. has been tinkering with Saturns ever since taking delivery of his first dark blue Saturn SL2 in 1992. At the time, his primary interest was commuting, but he quickly came to appreciate the finer points of the Saturn chassis. One set of R-compound racing tires and a few laps around Watkins Glen at his first high-speed driver's school in 1994 was enough to draw him in, and he has been hooked ever since.
Starting out in the SCCA’s Solo II ES and CSP categories, James decided in 1997 to make the switch to Showroom Stock Club Racing. With the help, and free, labor of countless friends and family members, he established scR motorsports, and there has been no looking back since.
In their very first season of Club Racing, the team took home second place at the CENDIV Regional RunOffs. In 1998, James and his crew elected to run the National circuit and, in their rookie season, earned an invitation to the SCCA Valvoline RunOffs. Their thirteenth-place finish (after running in the top ten mid-race) left them plenty to be proud of, but wanting more.
In 1999, James sold the white #34 SSC car in order to move to the Improved Touring class. The vehicle of choice was again a Saturn SC, but this time a 1992 model. The car was a ground-up build and performed above expectations during a test day early in the season, but a sudden engine failure ended their 1999 IT debut prematurely.
Back in 2000 with a new engine, the team landed three poles and the team's first-ever win at Mid-Ohio. 2001 proved to be even better, as the team scored seven more top-three finishes, yet another win (this time at Watkins Glen), and brought home a fourth-place trophy from the IT National Championship in November.
In 2002, James and team scR were joined by the R^3 Motorsports team (owned by Mark Rushbrook) and the Six Cats Racing team (owned by sponsor SPS) for a one-two-three Saturn attack on the CENDIV ITA field. In a season truncated by the arrival of a new crew member, the team still managed a double win at Grattan and third-place finish at the CENDIV Regional RunOffs.
Like most Club Racers, James has a real job, too. His passion for chassis dynamics (plus a degree in Mechanical Engineering) assists him in his current day-to-day activities as a Chassis Control Systems Engineer; however, he still draws on his many years with the Saturn Chassis Engineering Team when the green flag flies…
Dana Walker has been an integral (read financial) part of the scR motorsports racing team since the very beginning. In fact, she was James' first groupie! She's been married to James since 1994. They met in high school, attended the prom together, dated through college, then decided to get hitched in 1994. Dana wasn't a "car guy" until meeting James ... there are rumors that it was the 1984 Camaro with the whitewall tires that won her heart.
When she's not at the race track or paying the team's bills, she spends her time with their newest team member, Zack. So while she may not be very mechanical (see attached picture of Dana hard at work at the track), she's great with the people issues of the team.
At this time, Dana is content to sit on the sidelines and cheer James on to victory. Although she has never raced (except at one autocross ... all she remembers is cones and dust flying at the finish line ... don't ask), she did have the opportunity to drive a full-tilt Busch Grand National car at Michigan Speedway. Her official speed (calculated by James and a stopwatch) was over 140 mph - faster than anyone on the track! James hopes that little Zack will pick up the racing bug just by Dana's attendance at the races!
Crew Chief Tom McCready’s involvement with team scR dates back to day one. As the longest-serving member of team scR, Tom has been involved in every single aspect of the team’s successes, failures, and free beer at the Outback Steakhouse (usually following the team successes). From the early Showroom Stock days, Tom has primarily been involved with the race car chassis and braking system (of course, his day job as a Lead Chassis Controls System Engineer certainly helps out in this regard).
Although we have never counted, Tom also holds the record for the most races attended as an scR crew member. While others have come and gone, Tom’s unwavering dedication to the team’s rigorous travel schedule has created a sense of consistency in the crew ranks. It is this week-to-week familiarity with the ins and outs of the race car care and feeding that has so greatly contributed to the team’s success.
It should also be noted that Tom also probably holds the record for the most free beer consumed at Outback, but that should be the topic of a separate monologue.
Tom’s passion for speed transcends his involvement with team scR, as on the rare off-weekend he can be found piloting his ZX-6 around several of the same racetracks that he attends as Crew Chief. He has also spent significant time behind the wheel of the #34 ITA car at Gingerman Raceway in order to gain a better understanding of just exactly what James is babbling about when he returns from a disappointing session on-track.
While six years have passed at the helm of team scR, Tom’s dedication has never wavered (although he finally got rid of his mullet in ’98). His performance is the benchmark for every past, present, and future team member.
Upon fear that James would convince the team scR family that Patrick once had a mullet, he has been forced to answer "Why do I do this?".
In 1998, Patrick Walker became involved with the SCCA as an active crew member for team scR. His first real weekend with the team, the June Sprints at Road America, tested his automotive passion. Driving over 1600 miles round trip from New York, enduring near triple digit temps, and learning the ropes of racing - all in 4 days - would deter most. (Ignore the fact he was unemployed at the time and had nothing better to do.) But since that first day when he was encouraged to take lap times, positioned less than 10 ft. from Dodge Vipers passing the #34 Saturn at 140mph plus, he has been hooked. As a testament, since 1998 he has missed only a handful of events.
When he's not serving as Crew Chief with team scR, Patrick can be found prepping his own ride for a night out cruising or a day at the track. His 99 Civic Si is equipped with a few 'speed goodies' to make either event more enjoyable. Parts and accessories from Hoosier, Hawk, Centerforce, DC Sports, MSD, Rota, Sabelt, and Sony (just to name a few) can be found throughout the car.
Patrick's desire to drive thousands of mile each season, wrench in the rain, and deal with never-ending sarcasm among crew members can be summed up by his team scR resume. From a complete motor tear down, polishing paint and tires, or helping build the car from scratch, his satisfaction is from being involved every step of the way.
Steve Darling has the distinction of being the oldest documented member of the scR motorsports crew. In fact, long before James, Mark, or John even considered owning their first Saturns, Steve was hard at work helping to develop, test, and evaluate the original Saturn ‘S’ series vehicles. His history and passion for the brand goes deeper than anyone else we know.
As a proud Saturn team member, Steve was eager to join the scR effort while it was still in its infancy and was instrumental in the team’s Showroom Stock successes in 1997 and 1998. In fact, Steve made a guest appearance at the 1998 Runoffs and has actually been spotted at the racetrack several times since, turning a wrench or two along the way.
Steve’s largest contributions, however, are more behind-the-scenes. Acting as the team’s walking Saturn service manual, Steve has been involved in countless scR engine swaps, transmission overhauls, and (unfortunately) accident rebuilds. As testament to his abilities, he and his crew hold what we believe to be the fastest Saturn engine and transmission removal without a torch – a scant 29 minutes from the time the car was shut off.
Without Steve’s dedication, talents, and support, we would still be searching the toolbox for the short-handled hose clamp pliers with the red plastic grips…
1992 Saturn SC
2170 lb (without driver)
Steel space frame construction
Stock polymer body panels
scR-spec 8-point roll cage
Willans 6-point QR harness
NASCAR window netting
11 lb Halon fire system
3" stainless steel, mandrel bent
scR spec collector
Walker Dynomax race muffler
Mobil-1 15W50 race oil
Red Line D4 ATF
Red Line power steering fluid
Stock 5-speed ratios and final drive
Torsen torque-biasing differential
Centerforce dual-friction clutch
Carrera custom coil-over housings
Koni 8610 adjustable inserts
Hyperco 2.5" springs
Stock 28.6mm front sway bar
SPS 16 mm adj. rear sway bar
scR-spec spherical bearing strut mounts
scR-spec front camber plates
scR-spec front strut tower brace
Dry: Hoosier 225/45ZR15 DOT radials
Wet: Hoosier 205/50ZR15 DOT bias ply
Recaro Racer SP-G fiberglass shell
All interior seating removed
All interior carpeting and trim panels removed
All sound deadening and insulation removed
VDO water temp, oil temp
VDO oil pressure, voltage
VDO fuel level
1900cc inline 4 cylinder
ITA prepared by Mark Womack
151 HP @ 6200 RPM
136 FT-LB @ 4700 RPM
view the dyno results
SPS Powerstack and air filter
Stock throttle body and intake manifold
AC Rapidfire spark plugs
Magnecor 8.5mm wires
Volk Racing TE-37 15x7
scR-spec 20mm hubcentric spacers
Rocketsport 68mm hardened wheel studs
KFP gold front linings
Stock NS187 rear linings
SPS rear disc brake conversion
SPS stainless steel brake hoses
AP600 brake fluid
scR-spec brake cooling ductwork