In February of 1982, SCCA member #35400 sent in his application to have his national racing license renewed. The member hand wrote four races into the section reciting the prior year’s events which satisfied the minimum participation requirements. He first listed a second place finish in the September 1981 CanAm race at Mosport. Next, he listed a fourth place finish in the November 1981 CanAm race at Las Vegas. The fourth entry on the list was a fifth place finish in the July 1981 Six-Hours of Watkins Glen. An impressive enough list, but the third entry modestly tucked in between the others was most notable: “1/81 Daytona 24 Hrs., Porsche 935, 1st.”
Prior to ever winning his first IndyCar race, like every other SCCA member in the country Bobby Rahal dutifully filled out by hand his competition license renewal. One might think that winning the 24 Hours of Daytona might be the first – and perhaps the only necessary – qualifying race one would put on their license renewal form. Rahal had co-driven the number 9 Garretson Racing/Style Auto Porsche 935 K3 with Bob Garretson and Brian Redman to victory at Daytona that year.
Rahal’s license renewal application is preserved in the SCCA Archives at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen along with more than 400 cubic feet of drivers’ files with applications for regional and national licenses and renewals for thousands of drivers. The archive encompasses files for many well-known drivers such as Chip Ganassi and Butch Leitzinger. Even NFL great Walter Payton’s June 1988 racing license application is among the collection. It also documents the careers of SCCA Hall of Famers like Janet Guthrie and Bob Henderson.