Autocross Reports for Events #5, #6, & #7
Autocross #5 Report
Following the autocross school on Saturday, GGR-Carlsen Porsche Autocross Series event #5 kicked off on Sunday, July 30th at our usual Alameda Point runway location.
108 drivers took times, with 9 runs for all. The course was taken from the autocross school, with modifications to adapt it for driving in the reverse direction. As you’d expect for a school course, it featured all the typical autocross course elements: slaloms, lane changes, increasing radius sweepers, decreasing radius sweepers, off-set gates, 90 deg. turns, etc.
Monty Pack lead the way, taking Top Time of Day in his 2014 991 GT3 by just 0.024 seconds over Steve Lau in a ’11 GT3 RS. Andrew Blyholder was a relatively distant third, over two tenths back in his ’75 914-4. Ed Hunter took fourth in his 914-6 and Tara Shapowal was fifth overall, but also Top Time Ladies.
Tara’s fifth, however, was close enough that her Ladies PAX factor was sufficient to vault her into first place for the PAX competition – her second top PAX result of the year! Tara is definitely in the hunt to be our first female PAX champion for the year.
There were a number of very close class competitions. In AX08, Paul Smith in his ’85 911 and Grady Carter in a ’02 Boxster S pushed each other hard all day. Each kept inching down their times, with both drivers pulling out their best performance on the very last run. Paul came out on top by just 0.067 seconds.
In SS04, Kirk Doberenz and Ed Priest did the same with both drivers pulling out all the stops to get their best times on their last runs. Ed’s efforts were truly stellar, finding a full half second off all his previous times, but a single cone spoiled the day for him. With the 1 second cone penalty, his adjusted time was 0.031 seconds slower than Kirk’s best of 42.524.
AX10, however, was even closer yet, ending in a dead heat tie. Kip Wanaselja and Carl Winkler also ended their days with their fastest runs with identical times of 41.200 seconds.
Once again, the diehards weren’t ready to hang it up after the official runs were completed, so we had Fun Runs for an additional hour, cracking off an additional 6-8 runs for each of the drivers staying late.
Autocross #6 Report
Does designing the course for an autocross give you an advantage over the rest of the drivers? You certainly know the general course layout better than anyone else, but on the other hand, since you’ve also got to help manage the course setup process, you usually don’t have time to walk the course in the normal, relaxed manner, with time to think through how you intend to attack it. Whatever your theories, Steve Lau made it work for him with a long, fast layout and a dominating personal performance, taking Top Time by 0.827 seconds over Monty Pack. Tara Shapowal was third overall and Top Time for Ladies, followed by the 914 guys, Andrew Blyholder and Ed Hunter.
Tara’s 14% lift for the Ladies PAX factor lifted her to first overall in PAX, with the rest of the guys holding their places below, all of them in the AX02 class with no PAX factor adjustment. That makes three first place PAX finishes for Tara so far this year. The lady will be very tough to beat this year for the season championship.
Remember the Grady Carter/Paul Smith battle in AX08 at event #5? Event #6 was another hard-fought round, but this time, Grady prevailed by an even slimmer 0.016 second margin. Amazingly tight competition from these gentlemen!
Our attendance at Alameda continues to be very good, with 113 drivers competing, each getting 8 runs.
Autocross #7 Report
Event #7 was the second day of our usual two-day, joint Zone autocross weekend with the Loma Prieta Region at the Marina Airport. LPR hosted on Saturday, and GGR took over the reins on Sunday. Dave Dunwoodie did both Saturday’s course design and the modifications for Sunday. Both days were warm and sunny, with minimal morning fog and afternoon wind.
Attendance is always lower at our Marina events, but the day’s total of 61 drivers was a good turn-out. Everyone got an exhausting 13 runs each.
Steve Lau was too much for anyone to handle on Sunday, beating his co-driver, Tara Shapowal, by 1.3 seconds and Monty Pack by 1.5 seconds. Huge margins by autocross standards. Ed Hunter in his ’73 914-6 was 1.6 seconds back in fourth and Rob Boynton in his ’02 GT2 was fifth, 1.9 seconds adrift.
Tara was again Top Time for Ladies and also top in PAX, beating out Steve by a bit over three tenths. Terry Zaccone, driving the newly restored ‘Marcel’, his ’68 911L Targa, was third, followed by Howard Yao in his ’84 944. Monty Pack was fifth. We haven’t seen Terry and Howard in the top five of PAX this year before, so they both obviously put in stellar drives.
For both our regular classes and for the PAX championship, we count only the best 6 results of the 9 events we’ll have. With 7 events run, nearly everyone has 6 events to count, so from here on out, it will be all about just trying to get a better result to replace whatever is your weakest previous result. Now with four first place finishes under her belt, Tara is in an almost unassailable lead for the PAX championship. Steve Lau, currently in second place, is the only contender that has a mathematical chance to beat her. Current third place Andrew Blyholder is mathematically out of it, and current fourth place, Monty Pack can only tie Tara at best. It will be a fascinating battle between Tara and Steve for the next two events.
Full results are available on the GGR web site here: http://pca-ggr.org/autocross/results/
GGR Autocross Chair
Remaining 2017 GGR-Carlsen Porsche Autocross Series Calendar
Sunday, October 29th – GGR #8, Alameda (Zone Event)
Saturday, November 18th – GGR #9, Alameda