Mike currently races his #76 Toyota in GT3 and has been a member of NEOHIO Region since 1978. He won two national championships in GT 3 in 2000 and 2002, and has been on the runoffs podium 6 times. Mike has a career win record of 182. He was the Great Lakes/ Central Division GT3 champion 22 times and a NEOHIO Region champion 34 times. In 2002, Mike won the Triple Crown Championship, the only one to do so in GT3. He has set track race records at every track he raced at from 1985 – present. Mike is a three time national points champion in GT3 in 2010, 2011 & 2012; and the Northern Conference Majors GT3 champion in 2013 and 2014.
Born with racing in his blood, Michael Galati’s extraordinary winning career includes five national championships in Showroom Stock B and C between 1989 – 1997 and five World Challenge Championships, three in the Touring Car series, and two in the GT Class, and more than 100 race wins. Galati has piloted racing machines for several of the most respected nameplates in racing, including Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Acura, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, Volvo and Kia, respectively, and has stood on top of the podium at many of North America’s legendary circuits, including: Mid-Ohio, Road America, Sebring, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, and Mosport, where he won the World Challenge race, with five different manufacturers, and the first win for Volvo and Kia. Michael was awarded the SCCA’s President’s Cup in 1994. Michael was also a winner in the Longest Day at Nelson Ledges.
Dick Gent’s thirst for speed began shortly after World War II ended. He bought an Elto powered midget and had fun racing it on oval tracks at Sportsman’s Park in Bedford, Ohio and at the Cleveland Stadium until 1950. From midget racing on an oval track, he graduated to road racing with an 1100cc Bandini Siluro and found himself quite successful at Watkins Glen, taking 2nd place in 1951. It was that same year, 1951, that he and a few friends spearheaded the formation of the Cleveland Sports Car Club, which later proved to be instrumental in the development of the NEOHIO SCCA and was one of three signers of NEOHIO Region’s original charter. The 1950’s were very prolific for him in racing, maintaining a prosperous manufacturing company and sharing his love of racing with his wife and three children. A Mille, Miglia 202 Cisitalia became a much loved car that he raced at Watkins Glen, Elkart Lake, Bridgehampton, and Limerock. From 1953-1956, Dick had the most success racing a 1100cc Motto bodied Sport at Put-InBay, Watkins Glen, Bridgehampton, Lock Borne, and MacDill Airforce Bases. The final two races of his driving career were at the Akron Sports Car Races and he was successful at wining both of those races in the 1100cc Motto bodied sport. In 1957, he became partners in acquiring a 750cc Bandini and his future son-in-law, Mel Sachs, won the National championship for them that very year.
Charles F. Irish, Jr.
Charles Irish became involved in racing in the late 1940’s, crewing for his younger brother Dick in a Siata Gran Sport, in endurance races at Vero Beach and Sebring. After being seriously injured in the Korean War, he tried driving race cars but was limited by his loss of depth perception and his brain injury. He entered his Kieft-Norton Formula III in a few races including Brynfyn Tyddyn (in Pennsylvania) and the Akron Airport sports car race of 1954. He was one of the founders of the Cleveland Sport Car Club (CSCC), which pre-dated SCCA in Ohio by over a year. Dick Gent, Dick Irish & Charles Irish used the CSCC as a method of building membership to create NEOhio Region for SCCA. Charles F. Irish, Jr. was one of three signers of NEOHIO Region’s original charter.
Ann McHugh’s contributions to SCCA and NEOhio have been in several areas: as Regional Executive and other leadership positions, driver, organizing NEOhio exhibits at the Cleveland Auto Show and Autorama, editing/printing/mailing the Blower, running the press room for the Runoffs at Road Atlanta and MidOhio for several years, and perhaps most memorably, chairing the Longest Day at Nelson Ledges from 1981 – 1996. The storied Longest Day is indelibly linked with Ann. She joined NEOhio in 1971 and got a novice permit to race her Datsun Roadster in 1973. Injuries from a street car accident stopped her racing, but she continued to take on many organizational jobs at the races and for NEOhio, including being press officer for Nelson Ledges and co-chairing the NEOhio Competition Clinic. She spearheaded the project to develop a reusable display for autoshows & mall shows. Ann was Regional Executive for four terms, increasing the membership from 600 to 1000, thanks to the Longest Day.
Dave started racing in 1968 and has raced in Formula Vee, Formula Ford, Sports 2000, Formula Continental, and F2000 as well as co-driving other cars in IMSA, etc. He has won 7 SCCA National Championships: FV 1972; FF 1977, 1979, 1981, and 1987; and FC 1992 and 1998. He won American Formula Ford Association Professional Championships in 1977 and 1979 through 1983. Dave has over 190 career wins and 55 track records. He currently races professionally in the F2000 Championship Series. Other aspects of Dave’s racing career include being the test driver for the SCCA Spec Racer (Sports Renault) in 1984 and an “at-the-track” engineer for an Indy Lights team in 1997. In 1985, he was invited to and drove in the “Formula Ford Race of Champions” at the British Grand Prix. He has also competed in invitational Formula Ford races in Venezuela. Dave was awarded the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) Mark Donohue Award (outstanding performance at the SCCA Runoffs) in 1972 and the SCCA President’s Cup in 1977. He was elected to full membership in the RRDC in 1978. He won the NeOhio SCCA Region’s Driver of the Year award three times. In 1995, he was awarded Wisconsin’s (Road America) “Governor’s Cup” award. Dave has helped other drivers by offering technical assistance and his handling seminar at Competition Clinics for NeOhio, NEDiv, and the SCCA National MSX conference.
The NEOHIO Region SCCA Hall of Fame is supported by:
- Polestar Racing Group
- Friends of the NEOHIO Hall of Fame
- Fred Baker
- Greg Vandersluis
- Dave & Sherrie Weitzenhof
NEOHIO Hall of Fame Committee
- Dorothy Harrington, Chair
- Fred Baker
- Duane Harrington
- Pat Prill
- Bob Roberts
- Sherrie Weitzenhof