Sometimes in racing, the best teammates can turn out to be your family members. Stephen and Jack Vasina, a father and son team racing in the new Porsche Club of America (PCA) Club Racing Vintage Racing series, are proving that family can make quite the team.
Jack, who is now retired, serves as a crew chief for his son Stephen, who does marketing and promotions for a pharmaceutical company. While Stephen serves as the driver, it didn’t used to always be that way in the Vasina family as his dad is the person who inspired his love and passion for racing.
“I grew up around race cars as a kid and always wanted to race – it was just in my blood,” said Stephen. “My dad used to work on Formula Vee’s in the 80s so they would stick me in the driver seat so I couldn’t crawl away.”
Stephen’s official career in racing started in 2003 with PCA’s high performance drivers’ education (HPDE) with his dad, and then progressed into driving instructing. After attending races at the 2010 Club Race at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York, he decided that he was going to build his car into a full race car.
The pair experience the benefits of working on their own car and being their own racing crew. Stephen’s car he races in the Vintage series is actually a gift from his dad.
“Dad found it in a garage for $500,” Stephen said. “It was a mess, and we restored it into a concourse 916 replica. We built the car together in my dad’s garage and because we were doing all the work and not paying others to do it, I had more money to spend on ‘go fast’ parts. I am sure I will spend much more, just don’t tell my wife!”
Stephen and Jack are the experts when it comes to working well together as a father and son team.
“My dad is the best, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be racing,” said Stephen. “He is super smart and talented. On a race weekend, he usually walks around with a knot in his stomach until the race is over, while I get to have all the fun.”
This hardworking team have made many memories throughout their racing careers together that they will cherish forever.
“My favorite race moment was when Stephen won his first race in the Vintage series at Summit Point last September,” said Jack.
“My second podium at Lime Rock Park back in 2014 where I held off fourth place for eight laps in a nose-to-tail battle is one of my best racing memories,” said Stephen. “I remember my dad yelling with excitement on the radio and seeing a big smile on his face when I returned to the paddock.”
It’s safe to say Jack is a Porsche enthusiast. He and his wife Jill have a few Porsches of their own in the garage – a 1970 914, 1973 914, 1986 911 Carrera and 2002 Boxster. Another interesting tidbit about this racing duo – their unique car door.
Jack and Stephen love to engage the community with their car door and encourage people they meet – whether it’s via racing or their hometown – to sign the car door with handwritten messages.
“We stole the idea from a friend and fellow PCA racer, Brian Watson, when he took his car to a school where his brother works and teaches shop to kids,” said Stephen. “It’s cool looking back and seeing all the people you have raced with – friends, family and even the UPS man who delivers all the parts! Someday, I will hang it on the wall in the garage.”
Stephen and Jack are aiming for several goals for this season and beyond.
“I definetly want to continue racing in the Vintage series and developing the car,” said Stephen. “The next steps are to have a stronger gear box and a motor rebuild with more horsepower. I have also been competing in another racing series with some friends doing 18-hour endurance races so I am hoping to continue doing that and sharpen my skills and have fun.”
“My goal is to see Stephen be successful in this new series while having fun,” said Jack. “Like every team in racing, we have our ups and downs but we never give up. We have a great friend in Peter Dawe and his group that keeps us planted when we have issues and he bends over backwards to help us out when we need it. Peter always tells me, ‘If racing was easy, everyone would be doing it.'”
“In the future, it would be great to see the Vintage series at every Club Race weekend – this class is great for the promotion of Club Racing.”
Source. LST Marketing