SQUEALING TIRES: Autocrossing in the Classic Car Capital of Canada

Story & Photos by Jeff Malicki, UCR Member (from March 2017 Provinz page 32)

On the weekend of October 3, I entered my first autocross in Chatham and, boy, was it an enjoyable time! Having heard experiences from members who participated in them and reading of autocrosses in Provinz Magazine, I figured that it was a worthwhile event. Well, to be honest, it was beyond my expectations.

Naturally I was excited when Mario Marrello posted the event on the PCA UCR website. Pete Koepfgen was also instrumental in organizing this event in Chatham. Probably being the first one to register, I was curious about how my driving skills measured up and whether a twenty-one-year-old car would handle the stresses of such a venue.

Aside from less tread on my 968’s tires from squealing around corners, the only other thing that I lost was a few thousand calories from exertion. I would say that that’s a nice compromise for an enjoyable day on the tarmac.

Especially nice was meeting car fanatics of all ages. Listening to their stories about their cars and their lives makes being in a club and participating in autocrosses so worthwhile. For instance, Blake, who brought his Acura Integra R because his 1974 911 is currently being restored for track use.

I thought that it is especially entertaining and informative to sit in the passenger seat of a fellow participant named Joost Gragtmans as he aggressively, yet safely, traversed the course at near break-neck speeds in his 2005 911 S Cabriolet.

Or the friendly couple named Tom and Deb from Ipperwash who allowed me to drive their ’04 Boxster and brand new ’17 Macan. To drive such newer cars gave me an appreciation of how technology has transformed the performance of new cars. Also, an instant realization that was of interest to me was the different chassis set-ups of these vehicles and how they perform in stressed situations.

I am happy to report that my times decreased each time I went out, which is a testament to listening to advice from others, being smoother in the driver’s seat and having calmer nerves. The track also dried up as the morning progressed and the obvious tire marks around the pylons most certainly helped grip.

As the day progressed and it was time to depart, I drove home satisfied that autocrosses are excellent ways to exercise your Porsche in a safe and enjoyable environment. Thanks to the many people who put on events for PCA UCR. If you get a chance to participate in an event like this, make sure you register because it is certainly a worthwhile event not to be missed.

Be sure to mark these future dates down in your calendar and look for registration in an upcoming issue of Provinz. The organizers are currently planning some interesting and informative additions that are sure to satisfy the Porsche enthusiast.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 4 and Sunday, September 10, 2017.

See you at the next autocross in Chatham!

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