First Redwood Region Autocross of the Year - Saturday, March 10, 2012

Redwood Region member Tom Markovich shares experience from our first Autocross of 2012.--Ed

Dear Vern,

As promised, I wanted to report my experiences at today's Redwood Region autocross at the Sonoma County Airport facility. As I mentioned to you today, I had participated earlier this year in a high-speed driver education event at another facility with another group. That event was a referral/recommendation from a fellow with whom I had exchanged emails on a Porsche website, who I found had a highly prepared car and high level of experience. While I had an instructor for my three (of potentially four) segments (I passed on the fourth since I regressed after each run), I felt that the event exceeded my skill and comfort level.

I had noted today's event in the Redwood Region newsletter. I emailed David Bunch regarding my past experience, and sought his advice. He quickly responded and confirmed my reaction to the prior event and assured me your autocross events are more what I sought for fun in our car. Arriving early (not knowing my drive time from home), I found many Club members already setting up registration, cones for the course, garments to purchase, and porta potties. Identifying myself as a beginner, I was welcomed heartily and given guidance as to registration, technical inspection, schedule of the day, etc.

Sharon, my first instructor, introduced herself and we collaborated as to my expectations and hopes for the day. As a Zone Representative, she has vast experience that she was happy to share. After driving a run in my car under her guidance, she drove me in her car to see how autocross should be done. Her spinout on cold tires seemed to relax us both and we had a great ride. Because of changes in instructor needs, Bob Schoenherr advised me during the afternoon runs. His affirmation and calmness provided me the ability to improve my run times almost consistently, with the best time coming on my final run of the day. What a hoot!

Working the track as a monitor provided extraordinary value in watching experienced drivers run the course; I wanted to get back in my car and apply what I had observed and learned.

Positives: it is the people, it was a fun experience, I learned more about me and my car, and I did not hurt anyone or anything. Negatives: I blew my first track monitor job (distracted), the day went by too fast, and I didn't get to meet/chat with as many people as I should have. I sincerely look forward to the next event, and I expect to promote them to friends. I have a very warm feeling for your reception and interest in my participation. Thank you very much!

Tom Markovich