September 2020 Autocross Report

From the Blog

September 2020 Autocross Report

Despite a late start, GGR autocross season is in full swing, accomplishing three events within two weeks of each other. Our third event took place on August 1 at Cow Palace as planned. Registration process remained the most competitive event, with fifty spots filling up in less than two minutes – again. Social distancing protocol remained in effect for this event. Thanks to all participants for complying with Covid-19 guidelines and keeping the event safe for everyone.

Larry Sharp stepped in to design the course for our August 1 event. This course featured a long straightaway followed by a sharp (no pun intended) downhill left turn, reminiscent of the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca or the Cyclone at Thunderhill. It took a while for most of us to master this complex turn. It ended up being a treat in later runs as we exhilarated with a feeling of weightlessness. Cow Palace parking lot provides a third dimension of elevation changes that is unique among the bay area venues. We look forward to our course designers exploiting this feature further as we build on our experiences at this site.

August 1 event was held in partnership with Golden Gate Lotus Club. GGR ran its event on Saturday and GGLC followed up with their event on Sunday. We enjoy our partnership with GGLC and other local clubs by sharing resources and knowhows. No complains in the weather department with lows around 60 °F in early morning and highs reaching 70 °F in the afternoon. All participants enjoyed eight runs in the morning and seven more runs in the afternoon.  Average best lap time was 34.497 seconds with the course length of 2242 feet. Fastest drivers in every class averaged 30.923 seconds. Top three fastest times of the day were posted late in the day by Monty Pack, Teddy Framhein and Grant Keyser. PAX scene witnessed another diverse array of car classes with Teddy Framhein taking the top spot in his 2015 Cayman GTS [AX07] for the first time. Brant Ballantyne [AX12], Monty Pack [AX02], Drew Powers [AX07] and Grady Carter [Ax09] filled up the remaining top five spots.

A special shoutout goes to David and Andrew Wittrock. Their 1985 Carrera brought them to the event without any drama, but somehow developed a stage fright at the event. After all, this is a high-pressure event with ALL PORSCHES ALL THE TIME! Their car trouble prevented both individuals from running even a single lap during the event. Both father and son quietly volunteered at their worker station while waiting on arrival of a tow truck. Good news is that their Porsche is fixed and is ready to mix it up at our next autocross event! Our sincere appreciation goes to the Wittrocks for their dedication and support to our sport.

A mixture of thunder, lightning, high winds and heavy rain woke many of us Bay Area residents early Sunday morning on August 16, as thunderstorms moved across the region before sunrise (to quote sfgate.com). We continue to feel the devastating effect from the ensuing wildfires. Our heart goes out to the those affected by these fires. Many animals were displaced by these fires as well, along with us human beings. San Mateo county has designated Cow Palace as Livestock Shelter site to provide support and shelter to displaced animals from CZU fires. All current autocross events are cancelled as a result, including our August 29 event. We expect Cow Palace to resume its normal operation within a week and plan to conduct our next event on September 20th as scheduled.

Please mark your calendar with the following dates for our next events:

September 20, 2020Cow Palace
October 04, 2020Cow Palace
October 24, 2020Cow Palace (Zone 7 event)
November 15, 2020Crows Landing

Himanshu Patel

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