Autocross #4 Report
Marcel is back!! As most of the GGR autocross family know, Terry Zaccone’s 1968 911L Targa, affectionately known as Marcel, was the victim of a highway 101 traffic pileup on the way home from our fall Marina event last year. When traffic came to an unexpected stop, Marcel and Terry were rear-ended and pushed into the car in front. Terry was unharmed, but poor Marcel was left bent at both ends. But now, after a lengthy recuperation at Jerry Woods Enterprises, Marcel is gorgeous again and looking better than ever. (Hmm…I wonder if JWE could do the same for Terry?…) So welcome back to Terry and Marcel!
While much of California was withering under a heat wave, our Alameda autocross site was blissfully mild and pleasant for our fourth event of the year. Being right on the edge of the Bay, the temperature stayed in the 70’s all day, ideal temperature for our sport.
Joe Weinstein had course designer duties and vowed to give us a real autocross lesson. At our last event, there were several features that looked on the course map like you would need to slow down for them, but were, in fact, open enough to constitute straights if you placed the car accurately. Joe was having none of that, giving us a course that required constant cornering. That meant control and discretion were the keys to a fast time. If you got too greedy, feeding too much power, you’d be off line, running wide, and the paying the price at the next direction change.
Top Time of Day was a drag-out fight between Andrew Blyholder (’75 914-4 race car), Steve Lau (’11 GT3 RS), and Monty Pack (’14 GT3). Andrew’s easy win at the last event was mostly because Steve and Monty were absent at that one. But they were both back for event #4 and no holds barred. All three were in the same run group and as they cycled through their afternoon run, TToD kept bouncing back and forth between the three drivers.
Joe’s very technical course put a premium on precise car control and in the end, it was all decided by the cones. Lining up for his last run of the day, Monty was sitting in the lead with a 52.835. He laid down a solid run, just a tenth slower, but also picked up a cone. No help. Steve lined up next and popped off a clean 52.286, vaulting into first place. Andrew’s turn next…52.258! New TToD by 0.028 seconds! But then the cone reports came in – 4 cones! Andrew had to settle for his previous best of 52.856, leaving him in third, 0.025 seconds behind Monty. That’s autocross competition in a nutshell. Performance on a razor’s edge. You think you’ve won it, on a mountain top of joy, only to realize seconds later you slipped off the cliff and are laying at the bottom of a chasm, broken and defeated!
Top Time for Ladies was the always fast (and getting faster!) Tara Shapowal, coming in 7th overall in the GT3 RS she was sharing this time with Steve Lau.
PAX lined up in the same order as the overall with Steve first, Monty second, and Andrew third, but with Tara jumping up to fourth.
Looking down the class results, the AX7 class had a very close fought battle between Jay Morrison in his ’97 Carrera, Derek Boyd in an ’06 Cayman S, and Boris Teksler in his ’08 Boxster. Jay ended up on top with a 58.135, beating out Derek by just over a tenth. Derek had held the lead in the class all afternoon, but it wasn’t until his very last run that Jay put it together to eke out the win. It must have been a frustrating day for Boris. He took the class lead on his second run, but then only went slower the rest of the day, picking up some cones on the way for good measure, and ending up two tenths behind Derek. But with less than 4 tenths separating those three, the class win was within reach for any of them.
SS2 also featured a tight battle with Luis Argote Bolio, driving a ’06 Boxster, beating out Kelly McKnight in an ’01 Boxster S by just 0.242 seconds.
Like the last event, a longish course keep the run count down to 7 runs each. But with 108 drives taking times, that was still a good run count for the day.
Also like the last event, we ran Fun Runs yet again! About 16 drivers stayed late, doing everything they could to grind down those brake pads and cord those tires.
Full results are available on the GGR web site: http://pca-ggr.org/autocross/results/
Our next GGR autocross will be July 30th, at Alameda. On-line registration will be open two weeks before the event. This one will be on Sunday because we have the GGR Carlsen-Porsche Beginners Autocross School on Saturday the 29th. Hopefully, you already knew that and are registered, because if not, unfortunately you’re out of luck for this year. The school is full. I’m sure we’ll have an excited group of freshly trained, new autocrossers on Sunday for our regular event.
And while I’m mentioning the autocross school, a big shout out to John Seidel and Howard Yao, who have been organizing the school for so long now I can’t remember when it was done by anyone else. They always do a great job and produce a fine event!
And thanks too to all the GGR autocross instructors who volunteer their time to instruct at the school!
GGR Autocross Chair
Remaining 2017 GGR Carlsen Porsche Autocross Series Calendar
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