DR SCCA Rallyist Bruce Fisher Receives Robert V. Ridges Award

Long time Detroit Region rallyist Bruce Fisher (on right in photo) was awarded the Robert V. Ridges Award at the 2020 SCCA National Convention, here presented to Bruce by SCCA President Mike Cobb. The Ridges award is the highest honor within the SCCA RoadRally Program, and is an especially appropriate honor for Bruce.

Bruce started rallying in the wild and woolly years of Michigan rallying during the mid-70s through the mid-80s. In addition to campaigning Datsun Z cars and Datsun 510s, Bruce served as Clerk of the Course on numerous stage rallies during this period.

But Bruce’s real contribution to TSD rallying is his stewardship of the Detroit Region’s Press On Regardless rally, run yearly since 1949, and the longest continuously running rally in the U.S. Originating as a challenging endurance TSD rally, POR ran as a stage rally during the years 1969-1993. In 1994 it reverted its original challenging TSD format. In 2000 Bruce took on chairmanship of POR, with Tom Bell acting as rallymaster that year. In 2001 Bruce took on both the chairman and rallymaster roles, and has done so every year since. This is nearly twenty years of making Press On Regardless happen, continuing POR as one of North America’s premier TSD rallies.

Bruce’s hard work ethic and encyclopedic knowledge of northern Michgan roads has produced a glorious series of annual TSD rally challenges for eager rallyists. Fisher has had to strike a balance between creating a rally that retains some of the flavor and demands of the earlier PORs while not scaring away today’s population of TSD rallyists. He has done so successfully. Each year he moves the rally location around the upper lower peninsula, and sometimes into the upper peninsula as well, always combining tasty roads together that require skilled driving and navigation to remain on time. Frequently Bruce utilizes roads that were used for stages back in the days when POR was a stage rally.

The work that Bruce puts in, year after year, to plan, organize and run POR is nothing short of remarkable. He literally begins work on the next year’s POR immediately upon completion of the current running. For Bruce’s devoted pursuit of keeping Press On Regardless as a demanding and engaging TSD rally the Robert V. Ridges award is entirely appropriate.

Well done Bruce, and congratulations for this well deserved recongition! Press on!

Here’s background on the Robert V. Ridges Award (from the SCCA RoadRally Rules):

Bob Ridges was Secretary of the RRB from the inception of the National program in 1957 until his death in 1965. This award is presented to the SCCA member who exemplifies the highest degree of dedication and sportsmanship in the sport during the preceding year who has made an outstanding contribution to the success of an event during its execution; who has made an outstanding contribution to the program as a whole; who has exhibited exceptional sportsmanship involving personal sacrifice; or who has undertaken physical risk for the preservation of life or property.

This award is not intended for sitting RRB members, Official Observers, Rallymasters, or Officials unless they have clearly demonstrated extraordinary dedication, achievement, and/or sportsmanship above and beyond the duties and responsibilities of their office. Contestants shall only be eligible in cases involving exceptional sportsmanship, personal sacrifice or risk. The recipient is selected by the RRB based on recommendations of any rally participant or Board member. Presentation of the award is made at the Annual SCCA National Convention. This award may not be presented each year. This is the highest honor within the SCCA Rally Program.

“Bob was a sportsman in the truest sense of the word. To him, sportsmanship lay in the manner of performance rather than in the winning; though as a competitor, he always strived to do his best. His honesty, integrity, sincerity and never failing good humor as well as his dedication to sports car activities have left an indelible mark.”

Sports Car, March 1965