Autocross Event #9 Report and Season Wrap Up
While our attendance has been mysteriously down at Alameda this year, everyone came out of the woodwork for our last event – 129 drivers ran for time on an absolutely perfect, clear and sunny fall day. That brought our attendance for the nine events this year to 740. That’s down 7% from last year, and down 12% from our peak year in 2014.
At our last event, Steve Lau kept the course short and simple due to the threat of rain in the forecast – a threat that was ultimately fulfilled. He stepped forward for the design job again for event #9. I think he wanted the chance to let the cars (or at least his car!) run a bit more freely on dry pavement for our last run of the season.
After a full season’s practice, all the volunteers did a great job and everything ran smoothly all day. The cars ran continuously from 9 AM to 4 PM, giving 7 runs per driver and logging a total of almost 900 runs for the day.
Steve Lau was in top form, taking Top Time of Day in his 2011 911 GT3 RS by almost a full second over Monty Pack, driving a 2014 911 GT3. Grant Keyser in his 2010 Cayman S was third by just 0.006 seconds behind Monty. Andrew Blyholder limped to fourth as his 914-4 race car developed an allergy to its alternator belt. It ejected the belt 4 times before finally taking out he crank trigger sensor on its final gasp. That terminated Andrew’s runs early, preventing him from mounting a serious challenge to Steve.
Andrew’s DNF also determined the PAX championship for the season as well as the AX2 class standings. Coming into this event, Andrew was sitting second in PAX, just 4 points behind Steve in first. But his 6-best-of-9 points total included a lowly 6th place finish, good for just 72 points. With 100 points on offer for a win, there was the possibility for a 28 point swing if he could pull out the win. But it was not to be for Andrew. Steve’s fine drive on this day, and consistent performances all year, cemented his victory. Steve finished up with 576 points, 12 points ahead of Monty Pack in second. Andrew had to settle for third this year, another 4 point behind Monty.
All in all, an exciting finish to the very close competition we’ve seen all year for the PAX championship. Steve’s 12 point winning margin amounts to just 2% of his 576 point total!
Steve’s co-driver, Tara Shapowal took Top Time for Ladies in the GT3 RS and was 11th overall. Her time was also good for 5th place in the PAX class, landing her in 8th place in the season PAX standings. That’s the highest any woman has placed in the 15 years we’ve been running the PAX championship. A very impressive result for her first full year of competition!
The Andrew vs. Steve battle continued in the AX2 class. Andrew held the season points lead coming into this last event, but Steve’s first place finish brought him up to a dead tie for the crown. Both drivers had three first place and three second place finishes for their six points counting results. We have no rules for breaking a tie, so both drivers will be awarded a First Place trophy.
The AX9 class was a very closely fought battle, with just half a second covering the top three places. Grady Carter squeaked it out by just 0.15 seconds in his ’02 Boxster S over Shannon Yeo in a ’07 Cayman S. Dave McGuigan was hot on their heels in his venerable ’86 911, only 0.364 seconds behind Shannon.
Joe Lee and Matt Switzer have been duking it out in AX13 all year, with very tight finishes between the pair all year long. This is a ’74 911 (Matt) vs.’68 912 contest (Joe.) This event was no exception, with Matt nipping Joe by less than 4 hundredths!
So that wraps up the autocross season. All that’s left is to hand out the trophies, which will happen at the Holiday Banquet, January 7th. To review for everyone, you have to compete in more than 50% of the events to quality for a trophy. And the number of trophies awarded for each class is determined by the average participation in that class. We give a trophy for every two participants. For example, if a class averages 6 drivers for the year, we’ll give trophies down to 3rd place.
Congratulations to all the 2016 Autocross Series trophy winners!!
AX2 First (tie) – Andrew Blyholder
First (tie) – Steve Lau
Third – Monty Pack
AX03 First – Ed Hunter
AX05 First – Magnus Back
AX06 First – Brad Kellett
Second – Ed Kupa
Third – Rick Shriner
AX07 First – Derek Boyd
Second – Jay Morrison
AX8 First – Grady Carter
Second – Paul Smith
AX9 First – Dave McGuigan
Second – Vinh Nguyen
Third – Kevin Laird
Fourth – Carl Winkler
AX10 First – Larry Inman
AX11 First – Ron Castle
AX12 First – Curtis Robertson
AX13 First – Matt Switzer
Second – Joe Lee
AX14 First – Terry Zaccone
Second – John Brosnahan
AX02L First – Tara Shapowal
AX05L First – Sayuri Grieshaber
AX09L First – Sherry Wu
SS03 First – Mike Mahiques
Second – Greg Adams
SS04 First – Edward Priest
Second – Himanshu Patel
Third – Bob Braid
SS06 First – Tosh Yumae
Full results for both Event #9 and the final season standings are available at: http://www.pca-ggr.org/autocross/results/
We’ve already got the dates worked out for the 2017 season. And even more amazing, we’ve also already got them posted on the GGR website calendar!
See you all at the Holiday Banquet! Go fast!
GGR Autocross Chair
Upcoming 2017 GGR Carlsen Porsche Autocross Series Calendar
Sunday, March 19th – Alameda
Saturday, April 8th – Marina (Zone Event)
Saturday, May 27th – Alameda
Saturday, June 24th – Alameda
Saturday, July 29th – Alameda, GGR AX School
Sunday, July 30th – Alameda
Saturday, August 26th – Alameda
Sunday, September 17th – Marina (Zone Event)
Sunday, October 29th – Alameda (Zone Event)
Saturday, November 18th – Alameda