Autocross is 10!

Autocross is 10!

Join us for the 2013 10th anniversary season

By Mario Marrello, UCR Autocross Chair and Past President

Photo by Will Chiu
Photo by Will Chiu

The UCR Autocross event is now in its 10th season. Looking back to 2003 at photos from the first season, I realize how much time has passed, but I’m still driving the same 944S2 Cabriolet!

I picked up the autocross event in 2006 after Dave Stormont’s expert contribution in reviving and managing it for three years. Since then, I’ve certainly enjoyed planning and executing each and every event and am proud of my contribution to making it as popular as it is now. I’ve had the privilege of meeting many new members who have gone on to support the club by volunteering and participating in other events. I think the best part of autocross is that it’s a very friendly environment to learn some performance driving skills, see what you and your car can do and share stories and experiences with fellow members.

Any road-worthy car is welcome, so non-Porsches are allowed to participate, provided the driver is a member of the Porsche club. In fact, I have driven my non-Porsche daily drivers (a sedan, a hatchback and a cross-over) at autocross events. I’ve seen vehicles ranging from a station wagon to a Lotus Elise.

The event focus is on improving driving skills, not on competition. I found this approach encourages discussion between drivers and increases the fun factor. Helmets, although recommended, are not mandatory, therefore making the event more accessible to new members.

Registration is available on the website and follows the same format as DE registration. We do allow registration up to the Friday before the event. If there is any problem with your registration, I will let you know, otherwise, you can be assured your registration will be accepted if complete. Online registration is encouraged as the event does fill up and I don’t want to disappoint anyone who arrives unregistered the day of the event.

We’ve purchased new start and finish timing sensors to replace our old, beat up sensors and will provide an equipment backup capability that we haven’t have previously.

A typical autocross day goes as follows:

1. Registration begins at 9:30am. This is where I make sure the two waivers are signed and the driver’s timing sheet is prepared and ready for the event. Wristbands will be provided to identify successful registrations.

2. At 10am, the event officially starts with the drivers’ meeting that must be attended by all drivers to ensure the safety of every event.

3. Immediately following the driver’s meeting, I walk the drivers through the course. The course changes each time, so there is always something new to challenge even the regular attendees.

4. I complete the track walk by taking a run through the course with my car to make sure everyone is familiar with the layout.

5. After I park my car, I have a question and answer session to ensure everyone is comfortable with the rules and the course layout.

6. The first car then stages for a run. All drivers are welcome to request myself or another experienced driver to go with them to provide feedback and guidance.

7. Timing is provided for each and every run and every driver gets a minimum of six runs.

8. We are normally done by 3pm.

Photo by Will Chiu
Photo by Will Chiu

The dates are always on a Sunday and are set as follows for this year: • May 19 • July 28 • August 25 • October 6.

Check for the latest updates and registration information. The location continues to be the Toronto Star in Woodbridge. I want to thank the Toronto Star for continuing to provide us with the use of this excellent facility.

We are always scouting for new venues so please email me directly if you have any suggestions. I would also like to extend an invitation to anyone interested in taking photos of the event. My photo collection needs some updating!

I’m looking forward to meeting new drivers and catching up with old friends this year

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