Bruce Allen Retires from COM Sports Car Club

After 34 years with COM, Bruce Allen, one of our most experienced and prolific instructors, has decided to retire. Bruce has instructed hundreds of students, including most of the current instructors and staff. As of this writing, Bruce has competed in 112 Time Trial events, has been on the podium 62 times, but the most staggering data point is that Bruce owns the record for number of FTDs (Fastest Time of the Day) at 37!.  Bruce currently owns 8 active lap records.

Bruce has been a huge influence on how the club has grown and adapted to change over the years, and continues to be positive role model. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the staff, and membership of COM sports Car Club, CONGRATS! on a fantastic run!


  • 1989 – Overall Driver Champion
  • 1998 – Instructor of the year
  • 1992 and 1997 Japanese Cup
  • 2000 – Robert J. Goldfarb Memorial President’s Cup
  • 2001 – Arthur Kelley Memorial Award
  • 2008 – Marvin Schriebman Memorial Award
  • 2006 and 2016 – William F. McMahon British Cup

A few notes on the last 34 years with COM – Bruce Allen

During my experience since I joined in 1987 COM has greatly changed in 34 years. Dramatically for the better. That summer when I first showed up, I went to Bryar (turned into NHMS in1991) in my new 1987 Mazda RX7 Turbo II. Prior I had only autocrossed.

The track season in 1987 was 8 weekends at Bryar Motorsports track.  After much delay workers were found, and COM got on track.  Workers were drawn from the non-racers that showed up.  After registration, Sharon Morgan (300ZX) called for workers over the PA system. The calling evolved into shrieks and threats over the PA system until some workers were found. We always started late.  It was not until 1991 when at NHMS they made us pay for their workers. Students started in a classroom taught by Monty WelIes. He covered flags and safety. I was assigned Mike Wilson, Corvette. He sat in the right seat with me for 4 laps and I was good to go.  No messy licenses needed. Instructors had several students because there were few instructors.  Instruction was not over! All the students that were not on track drove to a corner with an instructor, parked behind something and we climbed a tower and watched cars go by with comments by the instructor.  Several times during the session we all switched to another corner. Students were dispatched from the corners from on-track student parked at that corner.  Sound Good?

That season I was not diligent about doing to COM.  One Saturday I woke up and remembered COM was running. I got in my car, drove one hour to Loudon and registered and paid $25 about 10:30 and went on track.  The drivers were just getting going.  Advanced registration worked well. Events were sometimes sold out, so call Sharon and beg to get in and you would.  Finances were handled by the treasurer keeping money in her personal bank account.  Later, I was on the audit committee.

Bryar was made as a motorcycle circuit that well suited sport cars. Lots of medium speed corners and some heavy banking. It was sold in 1990 and the Magic Mile was built.  NASCAR cup race followed. That meant that COM had not track for a year. So, we explored other tracks farther away.   Lime Rock, Tremblant, Bridgehampton, Mosport, NHMS, Summit Point WV and others were booked. Costs grew.

Everyone has more money today.  In 1987 most drove their cars the short distance from home to Bryar.  Rich people had open trailers.  No RVs.  Tents.

In our first trip to Summit Point many arrived in the late afternoon and came to the track before motels in order to drop stuff off.  We found the track open so many started to walk the track.  Then a few cars ventured out, Then Mark Epstein came on track driving his RV!  People scattered and the tire squealing could be heard far away.  Track management showed up and they were really pissed.

Bridgehampton was a run-down track in the sand but fast and challenging.  They decided it would become a golf course.  I have a T shirt that says end date of 1995.  We ran in 1996.  95 was a hurricane.  We drove through it. The front straight had a foot of rain on the right side. Don’t go there.  The Eye passed over us.  My tent had 6  inches of water. Another person and I convinced Frank Perron to drive us all to a motel in his Barracuda with full roll cage. Over a couple of years, a contest arose between Frank and Taku, a Japanese-only speaker who had a Porsche RUF turbo.  We had a radar speed display at the time and Frank beat his top speed. Rumor has it that the Japanese spent $50k to send the engine back for mods.  Next year everyone in the club was watching the time trial.  RUF Turbo 148mph. Cuda 150mph.  Frank was a bit obsessive.  After every COM weekend he would rebuild his engine starting Sunday night.

In 2001, I bought a Crossle Formula Ford and ran in COM for a year before SCCA racing. Amazing what a 900 lb car can do with 112 hp and no wings. Next step, in 2004 I bought and assembled a Formula Enterprises from SCCA. Much faster than NCF.  Ran in COM, SCCA racing and several of the clubs in New England. In 2005 I was on-track 45 days. I won SCCA North Atlantic Road Racing Champ three times for FE.

Over the years COM has become much more professional. Our instructors are sought by other clubs. Registration, finances, and on-track operations took giant steps.

No longer antics like the two crazies from Maine who went back to the Motel, drank a few and one decided he could jump from the second floor into his truck bed where there was a mattress.  He did not die or break any bones, but he was hurting.

Saturday eve dinner: In the beginning there were only informal groups together except a few track cookouts. When the club was awash in cash it would pay for a banquet at a restaurant. All family was included. One of my most memorable is when we rented the Glen club at Watkins Glen. When the money dried up Brooksie from Maine took over and cooked a fine BBQ with all kinds of meats and sides that he would bring to the track and spend half of Saturday preparing.  Dinner was great time to socialize.

Annual Awards banquet: these started out simple and became more elaborate.  There was always dancing.  Mostly with a DJ but one time I hired an old-time rock and roll band.  They played cover songs perfectly.Jobs I have held at COM. Steward, Board member, Instructor, Editor of the Four Wheel Drift.  A publication put out after events to show race results and to contain articles by officers and others.  Obsoleted by the Web, Chief Mentor.

Cars that I drove in COM

1987- 1987 Mazda RX7 Turbo II’ I drove for 5 yrs. without incident. Then my son who just turned 16 borrowed the car and flipped it 25 ft. in the air landing on the rear end. No one hurt.  I harvested the trans and rear end for my 86 RX7.

1992- 86 RX7 race car with bridge ported 10, 000 rpm build motor.  Dr. Peckerman, Dick Harding, the noted NH sexologist found this car at an auction assisted in the car mods and setup. He would com to COM with his RX3 race car and only run the three time-trial laps and often win FTD. I ran the 1986 car at Bridgehampton with the new built engine. It blew up in half a lap.  Sunday, I worked turn 5 with my old friend Bob whom I invited to the track with his Mercedes to compensate for his recent divorce.  During Time trail  (whatshisname) drove his Corvette ZR1 four cam.  He made a very good living sharpening knives in VT for restaurants. He comes flying through turn four and goes wide in the corner, hits the sand and flips into a barrel roll. The car bounced ¼ mile toward us and landed upright in front of us.  During the end-over end jumps we saw the image of a human flying through the air, but it   wasn’t him.  It was the  X shaped exhaust system flying through the air.  Battery flew in another direction. Both front wheels and suspension separated and  rolled a hundred yards beyond us deep into the woods.  We raced with fire extinguisher to the car while calling for ambulance.  The driver was out cold briefly but sitting is his roll cage. He awoke and said he was OK.  Only affect was some cracked ribs. Cause was determined to be a flat in left rear. Nail picked up in the paddock.

2000- 1980 Crossle Formula Ford. Ran a year in COM and then added SCCA racing to my agenda. Traded the RX7.

2004- SCCA Formula Enterprises spec formula car. Sold and optionally service by SCCA reps as was the Spec Racer Ford. Raced at NJMS Road Atlanta, Summit Point, Road America, Mid Ohio, Beaver run PA, Pocono and MOSPORT under heavy rain among the closer tracks.

2014-2015-   Bought a new C7 Vette Z51.   I quit SCCA racing, sold the FE since it was overkill in an HPDE. I managed to get all the clubs except COM to ban formula cars. I got proper wheels, tires and Carbotech brake pads for the C7.  I ran in COM but learned to never race a new car. Too much money at stake caused to drive cautiously.

2014- 2006 Lotus Exige CUP 240 supercharged. SN13. Dan Darcy told me I was used to light car racing and he found the Lotus at Kim Baker’s dealership in Western MA. It has been a fun car to drive and low on resource consumption since it only weighs 1,950 lbs.   Of course,  I have replaced the engine with a new built engine and rebuilt the transmission.  The engine blow was my fault as at Mosport at the end of the straight I wanted to shift 5th to third and got first!  Although the car was built as a race car with cage and various goodies, over time I have made a number of reliability upgrades.