Autocross #8 Report

From the Blog

Autocross #8 Report

How good is the competition in the GGR – Carlsen Porsche Autocross Series? Judging by the results of the two biggest national autocross events, I’d say pretty damn good, and most likely the best in the country!

At the 2017 PCA Porsche Parade, held last July in Spokane, Washington, 203 Porsche drivers from all over the country participated in our club’s version of a national championship – the Parade autocross. As in past years, GGR was well represented, with 7 members earning trophies:

Jessica Toney, S05, 2nd
Kirk Doberenz, S09, 4th
Terry Zaccone, P05, 1st
Steve Lau, I05, 1st, and overall Top Time of Day
Tara Shapowal, I05L, 1st
Dave Dunwoodie M02, 1st (ok, Dave’s an LPR member, but he comes to every single GGR AX.)
Ed Hunter, M05, 1st

If you add in the LPR and SVR members that also regularly participate in our events, we hauled away 20% of the trophies. That’s a dominating performance when the combined membership of GGR, LPR, and SVR only represents about 7% of PCA’s total membership.

The next month, at the 2017 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships, held in Lincoln, Nebraska, over 1,300 autocrossers from all across the nation gathered for 4 days of intense competition. Again, seven GGR members took trophies:

Monty Pack, Super Street, 6th
Alex Muresan, Super Street Racing, 2nd
Steve Lau, Super Street Prepared, 5th
Andy McKee, X Prepared, 3rd
Theresa Niedel-McKee, X Prepared, 5th
Chris Cox, Classic American Muscle Contemporary, 10th

And this is just this year’s crop of winners. There is easily a dozen or more guys and gals who are regular GGR competitors that have won national championships of one type or another over the years.

So a hearty CONGRATULATIONS to all of this year’s GGR national championship trophy winners!!

And if you haven’t quite risen to the top of your class in our GGR events, don’t despair. You’re very likely fighting against some national level drivers. You’re running with the big dogs here! But keep at it, you’ll learn and get better. And when you do start competing for class wins, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve defeated some formidable drivers, which will make the winning all the sweeter.



A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Grid

We’ve all heard the term of “marbles” used for the loose grit, rocks, and gravel that accumulates off the normal racing line at any autocross course or race track. At our recent Alameda event Tara Shapowal learned that sometime that description is literally true. After coming off the course and parking back on the grid, there it was, stuck to her hot and sticky Hooisers – a real glass marble!


Autocross #8 Report

The autocross year is winding down. We held our penultimate event on Sunday, October 29 at the Alameda Point runway.

Everyone must have been anxious to get those last runs in before the winter break, because we had a big turnout of 131 drivers taking times. Things ran smoothly all day, with cars running continuously from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm, so we got in 7 runs per car. That works out to something just over 900 runs for the day. That’s a very good total.

The course designer was Shannon Yeo. This was his first attempt at course designing, and he did an excellent job. A fast sweeping corner at the start, leading into a deep 180 bend, then a lane change gate and accelerating through an open spaced slalom, a bit of power straight but then bending down in a decreasing radius to a tight hairpin, powering out of that then a hard 90 deg. left and into a very wide slalom that tightens down just before the finish. All in all, a fun and challenging course.

Steve Lau was really on form, taking Top Time of Day in his 2011 GT3 RS with a time of 42.914. (I guess that comes from walking away with two national event trophies in the past few months.) Grant Keyser was a distant 2nd, over a second back in his 2010 Cayman S race car. Monty Pack was just 2/10ths behind Grant in his 2014 GT3. Fourth overall, with a time of 44.407, was Tara Shapowal, which also earned her Top Time of Day Ladies and 1st in the PAX class.

Steve Lau was 2nd in PAX, a narrow 3 tenths behind Tara in adjusted times. Himanshu Patel, driving his 2014 Cayman S was 3rd, about a second behind Steve. 4th was Grant Keyser and 5th was Matt Switzer in his ’74 911

Tara’s really got the fire for this sport! She very serious about building her speed and has her eyes firmly on Top Time of Day overall. It’s late in the season, she has no competitors for a class victory in AX02L, and she’s a lock now for this year’s PAX trophy – but she shows up at this event with a set of new tires! The old ones were getting long in the tooth, and she wasn’t sure they’d be enough if she wanted to beat Steve…so new tires it is. Now this all gets awkward when you’re sharing a car. Did she let Steve use them too? I can’t say for sure, but I’m betting she didn’t put them on until after all his runs were done!
Paul Smith and Grady Carter have had several close battles for the top spot in AX08 and they went at it again at this event. Paul took this round in his ’85 911 by just 0.134 seconds over Grady and his ’02 Boxster S.

AX10 was also a close fought battle with the top four drivers ending up within a second of the winning time. Larry Sharp (’06 Cayman S) was top of the heap, with a bit of margin over Jason Martinez (’13 Boxster), besting him by 0.571 seconds, but Carl Winkler (’07 Cayman) was behind Jason by just 0.037 seconds. Tony Loeza (’96 993) was 4th, just under a half second behind Carl.

Keep the date of Jan 6th open on your calendars. That’s the date for the annual GGR Holiday Party, which also doubles as our autocross awards event. Details will be announced soon.

Full results are available on the GGR web site here:


Go fast!

Andrew Blyholder
GGR Autocross Chair


Remaining 2017 GGR Carlsen Porsche Autocross Series Calendar

Saturday, November 18th – GGR #9, Alameda



Comments are closed.