The Ma Philbrick Award for Worker of the Year is presented to a road racing worker for outstanding service to the region, chosen by the past recipients. As the most recent to receive this award, the honor of presenting this year’s award falls to me.
2021 marks our first full May-to-October season in the “Age of COVID”, which – though we are not finished with the virus yet – has calmed down enough for us to conduct our events. And what memorable events they turned out to be, including a field of 200+ at Lime Rock, but particularly our three events at Thompson: the remnants of Hurricane Elsa spoiling the fun at the Majors, a hectic but no less exciting Night Race to which Hurricane Henri showed up too late for the party, and finishing the season with a number of unpleasant (but thankfully manageable) “October surprises”.
Mostly confined to the tower as I am, I knew only that we had many excellent workers out there, but not necessarily who they were – and thus, I had to rely on the advice of the other past recipients to choose this year’s honoree. It was a difficult decision, as many of the names certainly embodied the spirit of the award. One began to stand out, however.
This person has worn many hats throughout the season, offering their assistance to a number of specialties, including Grid, Pit, Medical, and Start, and is also training to be a steward. And this is all while also being a driver. To quote Grid chief Karen Petersen, this person would “finish a race, change into whites, and jump into a specialty”. Our outdoor, up-close-and-personal specialties have had trouble getting people lately, but whenever anyone was short-handed, this person offered to help without hesitation.
Therefore, I am pleased to announce Jennifer Ferreira as the Ma Philbrick Worker of the Year for the 2021 season.