Autocross #2   2015 Autocross Season April 18, 2015

by Jamie DeRuiter
, Editor, der Riesenbaum

Redwood regions second autocross was blessed with perfect springtime weather.  It was partially cloudy early on with a transition into the mid 70's with full sun and a slight breeze to finish off the day.  We had a huge turnout for the event with 48 cars from five different regions taking the grid. 

 A host of GT3's showed up with two of them taking the top two times by the end of the day.  Trevor Ridgley drove his 2004 GT3 to a TTOD finish of 41.927 seconds followed VERY closely by Mike Beavers 2014 GT3 that burned up the course in 41.982 seconds.  The ladies TTOD was taken by Anita Benzing in a 1974 914 with a clean run of 46.956 seconds.  I watched her tear up the 'bus stop' section smoking her tires before entering that tough section of the track.  Christina Roncaglia turned in a second place time of 47.428 in her 2003 996 C4S.  Four early cars made it into the top ten as well showing they still have what it takes to compete after many years on the road.

While working station 7 I had the pleasure to meet Ashton Cates and Christina Roncaglia who seemed to be enjoying the event as they co-drove Christina's car.   I got moved to station 2 later in the day and got to meet Gagik Oganesyan who was enjoying driving his new GT3 (only 1,200 miles on it!) that he used to tear the course up with in 42.638 seconds.  

Every now and then something truly odd happens on the track.  I've seen my fair share of red flags throughout my autocrossing days but never have I seen one that didn't involve a car.  This must be a first in Redwood region lore.  We had a red flag for a snake.  Yes, you read that correctly, a snake.  Not just any ole snake but a 6ft. Gopher snake that decided to get in on the action on the back end of the course heading into the sweeper.  The station 3 workers handled it quite well I must say.  It's not every day you get to wrangle a 6ft snake off the course! 

 Drew Powers was out getting some footage with his GoPro cameras and honorary mascot for the day 'Momma'.  Drew is putting a short film on our regions autocrossing events together with the purpose of getting more people interested in this wonderful sport.  If you use a GoPro at autocross be sure to send him your footage since he needs a ton of it to complete his film.

Tristan Bayless had a chance to drive my car for three runs in the last yellow run group of the day.  Tristan drives Bill Newton's 912 which if very similar to mine.  I thought it would be advantageous to get his feedback on how mine handled versus Bill's car.  He got my car to do a 42.011 second lap in three runs without ever having driven my car before.  His feedback on my car and how he was using it on the course got me to a 43.452 second lap time on the course.  Thanks for the inspiration Tristan!

I want to thank all of the course workers for making our event run so smoothly.  That was a lot of cars to tech, keep in order on grid, pick up cones for and write times down for one day.  Thanks for getting us organized and in our proper places Anita.  Oh, and way to handle the snake station 3! 

 Bob Schoenherr put together a wonderful course.  His design proved to be a bit slower than our first autocross and more technical.  The turn toward the sweeper at the end of the slalom was fun to navigate but the 'bus stop' was even more fun to try and make time negotiating in my opinion.  Keep up the brilliant designs Bob!

After the event a small group of us went to the post autocross hangout at Applebee's to enjoy some dinner and suds.  We discussed life, liberty and the pursuit of all things Porsche over some nice comfort food that went down well in such good company.  We have a great group of people that attend our events.  I want to thank each and every one of you for coming out and making this event special.

Photo's courtesy of Chip Witt and Kim Powers