Spring is here, and that means rain, mud and bringing our cars out to play. For the Autocross-ers, May 14 brought us all the aspects of a typical spring day at the Tire Rack in South Bend, Indiana. The rain stopped before the first car was out, so we saw a progressively dry track as the day went on.
The two BMW "AA" class cars of Jason Powell and Carl Zmijewski showed us what could be done on a dry course – wow is they fast! Earlier in the day, Dave Dolenski & Abby Nuttall both showed us how a wet track can contribute to spins. We enjoyed watching them too!
First timer, Elyssa Hilaski was running a little too fast around one corner and found the mud next to the track. Question is, did friend and car-owner Kirsti Nuttall ask Elyssa to wash the car when they got home?
We had a record 9 "novices" at the event. Abby & Harvey Nuttall brought their son & daughter and a friend of each, demonstrating how Autocrossing makes a great family outing. Even more fun for the rest of us was watching Harvey & Abby battle it out in "C" class with his beautiful ‘new-to-him’ E30. Abby won out in the end, besting her husband's time by about ½ second! For this performance, Abby captured the "C/D" class title and "fastest rookie of the day" award!
The real speed was from the two "AA" cars of Jason & Carl. Jason Powell in his E36 M3 kept running faster and faster times, finally running a blistering 50.48 second time to win the class "A/AA" title and "Fast time of the Day" award.
The "E" (everything else) class was won by Chris Napatal who brought his Subaru from Chicago and was the fifth fastest driver of the day.
Carl designed a course that was challenging for the experts, yet easy for the novices to follow on the Tire Rack's re-paved and expanded the test track at their Headquarters in Sound Bend, Indiana. We appreciate their willingness to let us compete at their facility.
As Rookie organizers, Carl Zmijewski & I were thankful for the small turnout of just 13 drivers. Having worked out the bugs and learned how to run the timing equipment, we are now ready for a bigger crowd!