NCR Autocross #3—June 23, 2007

by Joe Kraetsch, NCR Autocross Chair

It’s hard to believe that half of the autocross season is behind us. Our third NCR Autocross on June 23 was another great event. We had a good turnout in spite of a conflict with the Zone 1 DE event at Watkins Glen. (A couple of my staff members even deserted us to head to the Glen.) We had 57 drivers including ten invited guests—mostly from the BMW club and a couple from SCCA and the Renegade Miata Club. The weather was cool and beautiful but a bit windy at times. Lisa said that at one point, the wind was blowing the laptop across the table!

I want to thank everyone who registered online for this event. Online registrations save the registration staff a lot of typing the morning of the event and help me do preliminary run group splits, work assignments, etc. We had 54 online registrations. Of those, 47 showed up and 6 informed me ahead of time that they would not be coming. We had only 10 on-site registrations. Remember, you can register online and still pay at the event. In return, we only ask that you inform us if you cannot make it to the event.

We had an excellent course laid out by NCR member John MacDonald with help from Renegade Miata Autocross Chair, Rob MacAlpine. The course had some interesting and fun elements that we had not seen before. Once again this course was challenging but easy to follow—my idea of a great course, but the best measure is the feedback I hear afterwards. Everyone, from novices to experts, loved this course.

Anyone who has autocrossed less than a year and has never won a first place NCR trophy may enter our new Novice Class. We had a lot of novices—12 entries in the Novice class plus two more in the non-Porsche class. Quite a few of them were first time autocrossers. For some time, I have wanted to do more for our novices to make them feel welcome, to help them get started in our sport and to inspire them to return. Creating the new Novice Class this year was a first step but it was just a start.

Prior to this event, I recruited Mark Schnoerr to be our Novice Captain. Mark held a novice meeting and a guided course walk before our regular drivers meeting. T hen, with the help of John MacDonald and our guest instructors from the BMW club, Mark made sure that our novices got proper instruction throughout the day. I believe every novice left with a grin on their face but none with a bigger grin than Mark’s. Thank you, Mark for taking on this important role and doing such a wonderful job. I predict that every one of these novices will be back!

We had a couple close races. In the Strict Stock Class, Steve Ross held a half second lead over Fred deNapoli after the morning session and although Fred had the fastest single run in the afternoon, it wasn’t enough to overcome Steve’s morning lead. By NER rules, Fred would have won but we count the best morning run and the best afternoon run. Production 6 was also a close race with Chris Ryan leading after the morning session but Bob Canter was able to come from behind in the afternoon to take the win. It’s fun watching these two guys. They are so closely matched and that close competition is helping both become better drivers.

Porsche FTD went to Mark Schnoerr driving a 997 GT3 while Sigrid Schnoerr took top PAX in the Team Schnoerrmeister 914. It was a big day for Team Schnoerrmeister who also had Sigrid’s eleven year old nephew, Florian, visiting from Germany. Although Florian did not speak much English, he helped us post timing slips all day. Florian was not impressed with all the Porsches. It seems they have a lot of them in Germany but his eyes lit up when he spotted Dave Porter’s Dodge Viper. After the event Dave was generous enough to give Florian a spirited ride in the Viper—a ride that would leave Florian smiling for a long, long time.

I came across an awesome presentation on the internet titled Autocross School Introduction and with the authors’ permission have posted a link to it in the Autocross News section on the NCR autocross Page. This presentation is full of great information for all autocrossers. Check it out.