Autocross #9 Report and Year End Wrap-up

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Autocross #9 Report and Year End Wrap-up

Autocross #9 Report

We held our final event of the 2017 season on Saturday, November 18 at the Alameda Point runway.  The potential for rain is always high at the first and last events of the year, but our timing was perfect this time. We had several days of rain immediately before the weekend, but Saturday was warm, clear, and dry.  The previous days of rain had cleaned out the air, so the view of the San Francisco skyline were spectacularly crystalline.

103 drivers turned out, each taking 8 runs at a course designed by Tara Shapowal.  This was Tara’s first course design assignment, and she gave us a great flowing course.  Smooth esses out of the start, followed by a 4 cone slalom, leading into a 180 turn around to head back down the runway the other direction.  A short straight out of the 180 ended with a Chicago box, followed by a series of open gates taken at increasing speed, with a tight chicane just before the finish lights.  The apex cones at that chicane got a lot of abuse all day long!  The better you did the gates leading into the finish, carrying more speed into the chicane, the harder it got to set up a good, wide line to set up the chicane.   Many otherwise personal-best laps were ruined by picking up one of those final chicane apex cones.

The finish chicane – Duh!!

Steve Lau in his 2011 911 GT3 RS was on a Top Time of Day steak, taking the last three events in a row, but the streak was broken this time by Andrew Blyholder in his 914-4 race car.  Andrew’s 914 suffered mechanical problems at the last two events.  With a sound car finally under him, his time of 35.490 was almost half a second ahead of Dave Dunwoodie driving his “other toy.”  The engine of Dave’s usual 911 race car broke early in the season, so he’s been driving a variety of borrowed replacements throughout the season.  For this event, he brought out the SCCA B-Modified class car that he’s been running at SCCA events with Larry Sharp and Mike Koozmin.  Steve had to settle for third place this time, 0.157 sec. behind Dave.  Monty Pack in his ’15 911 GT3 was fourth, and course designer Tara Shapowal, sharing Steve’s GT3 RS, was fifth overall but also Top Time for Ladies.

Andrew’s lead was enough to keep him in the top spot for PAX.  Not driving a Porsche, Dave wasn’t eligible for a PAX placing.  Tara’s index vaulted her above Steve for second in PAX.  As in the overall, Steve was third.  Rob Luis brought his ’16 Cayman GT-4 into fourth and Monty Pack was fifth in his ’15 911 GT3.

The only other class with a tight fought battle was AX7.  Kevin O’Leary, driving an ’07 911 S, came out on top, but Zaid Nadeem was only 0.222 seconds behind in his ’01 911.  Kevin laid down his best time on his second to the last run.  Zaid had a great run going on his last run, 8 tenths faster than Kevin, but he picked up a cone, handing the victory to Kevin.  Derek Boyd in his ’06 Cayman S was less than a tenth behind Zaid for third.

That wraps up the 2017 autocross season!  Big congratulations to all the award winners for 2017!!  And a super special contratulations to Tara Shapowal, our first ever Lady PAX Champion.


1st Place Tara Shapowal
2nd Place Steve Lau
3rd Place Andrew Blyholder
4th Place Monty Pack
5th Place Himanshu Patel


 1st Place Steve Lau
2nd Place Andrew Blyholder
3rd Place Monty Pack


1st Place Dave Dunwoodie


1st Place Magnus Back


1st Place Teddy Framhein
2nd Place Brad Kellett
3rd Place Ed Kupa
4th Place Patrick Kuhn


1st Place Derek Boyd
2nd Place Boris Teksler
3rd Place Jakob Teksler
4th Place Arthur Kepner


1st Place Paul Smith
2nd Place Chris Rife


1st Place Shannon Yeo
2nd Place Dave McGuigan
3rd Place Joseph Yau


1st Place Carl Winkler


1st Place Ron Castle


1st Place (tie) Curtis Robertson
1st Place (tie) Joe Lee


1st Place Terry Zaccone
2nd Place Caevon Hekmaty


1st Place Howard Yao


1st Place Tara Shapowal


1st Place Sharon Castle


1st Place Luis Argote Bolio


1st Place Himanshu Patel
2nd Place Bob Braid


1st Place Edward Priest
2nd Place Neil Librock


1st Place Greg Adams

A reminder on our trophy rules:  the number of trophies awarded for a class depends on the average participation in that class.  The average participation number is rounded up to the next even number and divided by 2 to get the number of trophies.  For example, if a class has an average participation of 3, that’s rounded up to 4 and divided by 2 to get 2 trophies for that class.

Also, a driver must complete in at least 50% of the season’s events to qualify to receive an award.  Drivers who quality for an award, but place lower than the cutoff for trophies in that class will receive a participation award.

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 for AX#9 as well as the overall season championship results are available on the GGR web site:

Running an autocross is a team event.  I’d like to publically thank our autocross team who do the key jobs that keep each event running smoothly:

Tom Greathouse – Trailer towing
Greg Adams & Kevin Laird – Registration Table
Ed Hunter – Safety Chair & Course Setup Management
Brad Kellett – Worker Checkin
Joe Lee – Timing and Scoring
Neil Librock & Ed Priest – Chief Instructor

Many thanks to you all!

And finally, after four years, it’s time to turn this job over to someone else.  Ed Hunter will be taking the reins for 2018.  Ed’s been a valued member of our autocross team during my tenure, managing the course setup process and acting as safety chair.  He knows the ropes so I’m sure it will be an easy and smooth transition.  2017 marks my 25th year of GGR autocrossing.  I’ve received so much fun, friendship, and great competition from this program.  It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to give back to the club as AX Chair.

Go fast!

Andrew Blyholder
GGR Autocross Chair Emeritus

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good-bye…

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