50th Anniversary Autocross
By Gary Messing, 50th anniversary committee co-chair
The day started early and Bruce Tammi, autocross chair, already had the autocross course set up. He placed the cones according to the course map the evening before the 50th Anniversary Autocross held on Sunday, Aug. 15 at Miller Park. Renee and I arrived around 7:30 that Sunday morning and began preparing to register members who were new to autocross. Members that hadn’t experienced an autocross were offered the opportunity to give it a try, at no cost, as we continued to celebrate everything Porsche in recognition of the Region’s 50th Anniversary.
Within minutes of our arrival Randy Shaw, the first of the new autocross participants, showed up ready to register and looking forward to the experience he’d gain by taking advantage of the opportunity to give it a go. One by one, a dozen potential future autocross competitors turned out to discover that this type of event is fun and provides the opportunity to learn much more about vehicle dynamics than legally driving on public roads.
Following registration and a vehicle safety inspection, Bruce Tammi convened a driver’s meeting to describe the day’s event and introduce novice drivers to an experienced autocrosser who served as their instructor for the morning. As part of the overall orientation, instructors walked the course with new drivers to familiarize them with the fast line and provide tips on sections of the course that required particular attention for one reason or another.
Then, it was time to drive. After the first few timed runs through the course there were lots of smiles. When the runs were completed everyone that participated had a blast.
At the end of the day, here’s how Gene Guszkowski put it:
Gary, I would like you and Bruce to know just how much I enjoyed the event the Club sponsored today for Autocross novices. I've been a member since 2003 but have always been a little reluctant to respond to the "need for speed", preferring to focus on the "show" aspects of Porsche ownership. Today that all changed! The experience has been on my mind ever since. I found Bruce's leadership to be very welcoming to newcomers, and having experienced autocrosser Wayne Moses as my coach was terrific. He provided just the right combination of caution and encouragement to make this a great learning experience. Although we took only four runs I feel I have just found a fantastic new way to appreciate an aspect of my 1997 Boxster that I had never tapped into! I look forward to the opportunity to be an autocrossing regular next year!
|Gene "Gus" Guszkowski on the autocross couse.|
Here's the list of participants and the vehicles they used to try out the course:
Randy Shaw - 2003 350Z Nissan
Paul Miller-2006 911 (996)
Andrew Miller (Paul’s son)- 2006 911
Mary Richter-1995 911 cab.
Patrick Quick-2008 911 (997) 4S cab.
Ryan Schueller-1993 911SC
Gene Guszkowski-1997 Boxster
Lucy Glaser-2010 Subaru WRX
Sunil Kapur-2000 996
Tanner Markut -944 turbo modified
Dan Ferguson-2007 BMW335
Donna Daufenbach-2007 BMW335i