Autocross #1 Report
The first and last autocross events of the year are always the most at risk for wet weather. This year, however, we dodged the bullet. Sprinkles damped the day before and a full storm rolled through the day after, but we had a very pleasant, warm and dry day in Alameda for the opening round of the 2017 season on Sunday, March 19th.
For unknown reasons, attendance last year our Alameda events dropped 16% from the previous year. Low enough, in fact, that our average was below the break-even point. We can absorb a small loss in the program for one or two years, but in the long run, that’s not a sustainable program. To help our situation, Carlsen Porsche, the long-time sponsor of our autocross series, stepped up for us and agreed to increased their donation by 60%. That helped a lot, and we’re very grateful for their continued loyalty and support. But a small $5 increase in our entry fee was still needed to balance the books for the autocross program. For members driving a Porsche and registering on-line before the event, that now puts us at $55 for each event. Registering on-site, being a non-member, and driving a non-Porsche will all cost you a bit more.
Fortunately, we got the year off to a roaring start, with 114 drivers taking times at Even #1. And that included 23 new drivers taking advantage of our first-one’s-free policy. Always great to see new faces coming into the program. Despite the autocross machine being a bit rusty after its winter hibernation, the event ran pretty smoothly, with everyone getting 7 runs. Paul Smith designed an excellent course with several tricky corners teaching the old lesson, “slow down to go fast,” where a too fast entry and the resulting wide exit would really clobber your time.
Perianal Top Time of Day contenders Steve Lau and Monty Pack, however, were anything but rusty. They traded back and forth for the top time, ending with Steve on top with a time of 46.744 in his 2011 GT3 RS. Monty and his 2014 991 GT3 finished just 0.321 seconds back, with a 47.065.
Tara Shapowal took Top Time for Ladies, co-driving in Steve’s car, with a 49.511, placing 8th overall. Tara’s looks to be off to another year of being the club’s dominant lady driver.
Steve and Monty kept their positions at the top for PAX, with Tara jumping up to third. Joe Lee and his ’68 912 was fourth and Curtis Robertson was fifth in his ’74 914.
Full results are available at: http://pca-ggr.org/autocross/results/
Also of note on the GGR web site, we finally got the GGR Autocross and Time Trial Rule updated for 2017 and posted. Sorry this was so slow in coming, and hopefully it will stay updated and current in future.
And speaking of the future, are you a future Autocross Chair? This is my fourth year in the job, so it’s time for someone else to take up this august position. It takes a bit of time, but it’s really not that hard. No special skills or experience needed, and you don’t even need to be any good at autocrossing. All it takes is the willingness to give a little back to the club we all love so much. Remember, this is strictly a volunteer run organization. No volunteers, nothing happens, no events. Through my tenure, I’ve been compiling a pretty good how-to manual for this job, so you’ll have an easy time learning the ropes. I’m too much of an “easier to do it myself” kind of guy for my own good, so over the years, I’ve not done as much to find others to divide up the load as I should have. But dividing this job up into smaller portions shared by a team is also a possibility. Think about it.
Our next GGR autocross is coming up quickly on Saturday, April 8th, down at Marina. On-line registration will already be open by the time you read this. LPR runs on Sunday the 9th, so you can get a double dose that weekend. Both events will be Zone Autocross Series events.
GGR Autocross Chair
Remaining 2017 GGR Carlsen Porsche Autocross Series Calendar
Saturday, April 8th – GGR #2, Marina (Zone Event)
Saturday, May 27th – GGR #3, Alameda
Saturday, June 24th – GGR #4, Alameda
Saturday, July 29th – GGR AX School, Alameda,
Sunday, July 30th – GGR #5, Alameda
Saturday, August 26th – GGR #6, Alameda
Sunday, September 17th – GGR #7, Marina (Zone Event)
Sunday, October 29th – GGR #8, Alameda (Zone Event)
Saturday, November 18th – GGR #9, Alameda