Road Racing Championships:
1st 2014 SCCA Divisional HP Honda CRX
1st 2014 NERRC HP Honda CRX
1st 2014 NARRC HP Honda CRX
1st 2014 NJRRC HP Honda CRX
1st 2009 NERRC FC Van Diemen VD96
4th 2009 NARRC FC Van Diemen VD96
1st 2008 NERRC FC Vector MG95
2nd 2008 NARRC FC Vector MG95
1st 2007 NERRC FC Vector MG95
1st 2007 NARRC FC Vector MG95
3rd 2002 NARRC FV BRD
5th 2001 NARRC FV BRD
1st 1995 NESCC Toyota MR2 C-Stock
1st 1994 NESCC Toyota MR2 C-Stock
2nd 1994 SCCA Toyota MR2 C-Stock
1st 1993 NESCC Toyota MR2 C-Stock
3rd 1993 SCCA Toyota MR2 C-Stock
1st 1991 FCSCC Honda CRX Si Novice Class
Supersmile Racing Team participates in SCCA and Vintage road racing events in the United States.
Our driver and team principal is Robert Zatz. Rob became interested in racing after reading a Boys Life article about Porsches when he was in fifth grade and has been hooked ever since.
He started out by autocrossing his Opel Manta while in college, and soon started working as a corner marshal (also called flagging & communications) for SCCA and other events. Rob flagged an average of 20 events a year while in college, but had to “retire” from both autocross and flagging while in graduate school.
After graduation and establishing his dental practice, Rob picked up where he left off by returning to the autocross scene. Several regional championships later, he attended a racing school at Road Atlanta to hone his car control skills but instead became hooked on road racing. Soon the short autocross runs were not enough and Rob purchased a Caldwell D13 Formula Vee to start his road racing career.
Rob successfully qualified for his racing license and ran a great pair of races at Pocono, but managed to convert his D13 into scrap metal the first time he ran it at Lime Rock. Undeterred, he found another D13 and ran that for a year and a half. Desiring more speed, a BRD FV was brought into the stable and campaigned for several years with a 3rd place in the NARRC Championships one year as a personal best. Finding the BRD to have some handling issues, Rob moved on to a Vector GB4 FV but although he enjoyed that car another move was made to SCCA’s Spec Racer Ford class.
There was a pretty steep learning curve to the SRF car from the FV’s but Rob enjoyed running the car for a few seasons. Next up was a try in a “tin top” car, a Ford Fiesta GTL car found on eBay and bought on a lark. Kind of interesting, but not Rob’s cup of tea and that car was sold after five races.
In 2007, a Vector F2000 was added to the resume, and Rob set about understanding wings, adjustable shocks, clutchless shifting and a complex chassis. With a win the first time out, and a grin that lasted weeks, the Supersmile Racing Team found a niche. The first season in the Vector brought many teething problems, but also class wins in both the North Atlantic Road Racing Championship and New England Road Racing Championship series. For 2008 a lot of changes were made to the Vector for reliability, and we saw a repeat class win in the NERRC series and finished second in the NARRC series.
2009 saw Team Supersmile out in a Van Diemen RF96 F2000 that was bought on the cheap; it was a solid car but we didn’t get down to the same lap times as the Vector. In this year that saw less racing due to scheduling conflicts, we were happy to find that we’d once again won the NERRC series in FC and finished 4th in NARRC. Not bad for not trying (and in fact not even checking points until after the season!).
2010 was an interesting season. We won the first event at NHMS, then showed up with a bad setup on the car at the next race and missed qualifying. Starting at the back wasn’t a good idea as we had a fairly major crash on the beginning of the second lap into a spun car. Rebuilt the car, raced it again and then realized that the amount of time a fast formula car required for maintenance was exhausting us. So, we went back to Spec Racer Ford, purchasing #750 from the mid-Atlantic CSR and selling off the Van Diemen . We managed four race weekends in the SRF for the remainder of 2010; had a lot of fun but the driving style change from the formula car will take some time to master.
For 2011 the car was transformed with a new paint scheme and outfitted with a set of new electronic gauges. Our first event was the double National at Road Atlanta in mid-March, returning for the first time to where it all began. We didn’t set any lap records but enjoyed the track immensely. Other races during the year included stints at Pocono, NHMS and back to Road Atlanta in July.
2012 ended up being a short season; Rob only got three races in because of some health issues. The SRF was sold and we returned to our roots with another Vector FV. The Vector was campaigned throughout the 2013 season, it proved to be fast but fragile and we seemed to either do very well or not finish. At this point a work related wrist issue started to interfere with driving a formula car and the sad decision was made to switch to a sedan based race car.
An H Production Honda CRX was purchased in late 2013 and updated over the winter for the 2014 season. What a fun car to race! Even with a tired engine we managed to collect four championships in the car and it was treated to an engine overhaul over the winter. We also picked up another Formula Vee to restore that was cheap but solid. The winter was spent completely overhauling the Vee and getting it track ready, but unfortunately the wrist issue had not gone away and Rob was forced to compete exclusively in the HP Honda for the rest of the season.
We campaigned the CRX through the 2015 and 2016 seasons, picking races that were interesting rather than looking for points. In early 2016 we brought the CRX to The Mitty at Road Atlanta and discovered vintage/historic racing. A Lola T540 Formula Ford was added to the stable and we raced it at Thompson, Palmer and NJMP.
In 2017 we concentrated on running the Lola, and visited VIR, Summit Point, Thompson, NJMP, and PittRace. We also did a one off race in a FV at Thompson. 2018 was a rough year, with rain at each and every race weekend. We’d put a new engine in the Lola and spent three weekends chasing an oil leak. Added to the stable was a Ford ZX2 ITA car. It was raced once at Thompson and then over the winter we spent a lot of time developing the car further.
We started 2019 with another visit to the Mitty at Road Atlanta, where we picked up three class wins in three races with the ZX2. The rest of the year was spent at Summit Point, Thompson and NJ with the Lola, and Thompson and NJ with the ZX2.
In May, 2020 the team relocated to Piedmont, SC. Fortunately, in spite of Covid, the tracks in Georgia were active and we got races in at Road Atlanta and Roebling Road.
2021 proved to be a difficult year. An MGB prod car bought for restoration turned out to have an illegal engine, a second gen MR2 bought for vintage blew up, the Prelude that was traded for the MG also succumbed to a blown engine first time out and the trusty ZX2 also lost its engine after a wonderful weekend at VIR that had us win ITA and come in second in FP.
For 2022, the Prelude has been sold, and a beautiful Zink Z16 FF is also for sale as sadly Rob’s legs have proven too long for the space inside! Hopefully the ZX2 will be back on track soon. A recent addition to the stable is an HP Mini Cooper; we look forward to returning to the HP class!