2001 Zone 1


And the winners are...


Sunshine, seventies, and not a cloud in a brilliant blue sky… an unbelievably perfect October day at the seashore. Waves rolling in, one after the other, the sparkling reflections of sun on the water, seagulls calling, and the feel of warm sand underfoot.  Sound much like an autocross?  This was the Zone 1 AX at Tobay Beach, located on a slender strip of barrier island along Long Island’s South shore.  Tobay has a massive parking lot, sans light poles, with dunes to the left and dunes to the right – the bay on one side, the ocean on the other.  What a gorgeous location.

Zone 1’s intrepid gathered for the 16th annual Zone Autocross weekend, where the combined times from both days would determine the top drivers in both men’s and ladies’ classes.  Saturday’s course was designed by Don Coburn (the only Zone 1 PCA member to attend all 16 of the annual autocross events) and Marc Figelman of Metro NY, who was this year’s host region.  It was a wide-open, top of 2nd gear course with just a few tricks and a huge sweeper of a turn-around at the far end.  Drivers came in with big grins and compliments for Don, “What a fun course!”.  The 80 competitors easily had 7 great runs, with some hotly contested runs for FTD, and were done in time for hospitality and dinner. 

Zone 1 sponsored an al fresco “hospitality” with munchies, assorted drinks and the now traditional custom brewed “Autocross Alt” beer for the event (brewed by Z1 AX Chair Ellen Beck and National Membership Chair Judy Hendrickson).  Something about the smell of the salt air, sound of the waves and the t-shirt/tank top weather always serves to whet the appetite, and our catered barbeque was held beachside Saturday evening, following hospitality.  Black and white checked tablecloths on picnic tables dressed up the boardwalk patio overlooking the ocean and the conversation flowed as fast as both the beer and the earlier times on course.  As dusk settled in, contented autocrossers headed to home or hotel to prepare for Sunday’s contest.

Windshield wipers, on slow intermittent, were needed Sunday morning, but Metro locals assured us it was just “beach fog” condensing on us, and it would burn off by mid morning.  It did, as promised, though the first set of morning runs were quite wet enough to provide some interesting spins!  People were having a bit of fun on Dave and Rick Newman’s (NNJR) course, knowing that they would get their serious, and faster, runs later.  The ch-ch-ch-ch of limited slip in the wet provided the sound effects near the start, in a tight 170 degree turn into a reverse direction gate, where a lot of time was either lost or made in that section!  A flock of Canadian geese settled down in the middle of the lot at one point and refused to move, so we just ran by them (but not over them)!  Another fun course, with enough challenge to keep the competition close, right through all 6 runs until the last. 

FTD Men’s for the event went to Mark Davia of CVR, and Ladies FTD was won by Carole Funk of CVR, who shared a blistering fast 2001 silver 996 TT.  There were a number of close contests, with the added incentive of earned points for Metro’s season awards.  Kudos go to Metro New York Region for hosting this year’s event in fine fashion at such a marvelous site.  Thanks go to Metro’s AX Chair Marc Figelman, President Jeff Goldberg, Timing Chief Henry Hoeh, Tech Chair John Mingst, long-time registrar Don Wolcott (NER) and Zone 1 Rep Pete Tremper for all their help.  The trophies (and beer label) were again beautifully designed by NER’s Susana Weber.   All in all, it was another classic Zone event, with great weather and great fun had by all.

By Ellen Beck, NCR
Zone 1 Autocross Chair