Event 3

Event 3 - August 9, 2003

The whole week leading up to this event had seen miserable weather; rain, lightning, thunderstorms, you name it, we'd had it. Not that I mind driving in the rain, quite the opposite in fact, and having attended all the NCR DE days this year I'm getting quite accustomed to it. But rain is no fun for the workers, and I knew that if it was raining Saturday morning, we had to expect a low turnout. So when I checked the forecast Friday night and saw that there was just a chance of rain Saturday morning, and that the serious rain and lightning wasn't coming through until the afternoon, I was quite pleased and very relieved.

Saturday morning was dry, but even early on it was very humid, and the humidity was to stay with us all day. Chris Darminio laid out a slightly shorter than usual course, in case people were put off by the threat of rain, but that wasn't to be the case. By the time registration closed at 8:30 we had 51 drivers, our best turnout this year, and our second best turnout ever (the record is 54 at our third event last year).

The course was excellent. It was easy to follow, which meant relatively few "off courses", and flowed well which meant relatively few cones being taken out. Of course, there are always exceptions. I had a terrible time trying to navigate the course, and on one of her runs Loosey took out five, yes FIVE, cones. There was also some excitement at the finish where people were just not wanting to slow down enough for the last gate. This resulted in several people going over the line literally sideways or backwards, and two people taking out the timing lights. Fortunately the lights suffered no serious damage and after picking up the pieces and realigning them, we were back in action. [Note to self: buy spare timing lights for next season]

944's and Boxsters had a terrific turnout, with 10 944's and no less than 12 986's being present. In the non-Porsche class we had a Honda, a BMW, a Mini Cooper S, and, wait for it, a Mercedes Benz 240D. Ryan Ziccardi didn't have a running Porsche he could bring, but he wanted to compete in something, anything, he just wanted to drive. I don't think I've seen a diesel do autocross before. You certainly get the bravery award this week, Ryan.

Most people managed to get under a minute by the end of the day, and FTD (fastest time of the day) went to Sir Charles in his 1997 Twin Turbo with a time of 50.098. Fastest pax time of the day went to Mark Schnoerr in his 1974 914. Not bad for a car that's almost 30 years old.

The weather co-operated and aside from a very small amount of rain in the morning, the event was dry. Everyone got eight runs and we were done driving by about 2:30. Everything packed up and awards handed out by about 3:30. Considering how bad the day could have been, I was well pleased.

With one more event to go, the season championships are getting interesting. Some classes are already decided, but many are going down to the final event.

  • Class 1 is between Mark Schnoerr and Chris Darminio; class 2 between David Porter and Gordon Jillette (who had to miss this event); class 4 between Kevin Bobbitt and Neil Halbert; class 5 between Tom Gurski and George Rouhart; class 6 between Mark Skala and Judy Hendrickson. All of these will be decided at the last event.
  • Gerry Fitton has already wrapped up class 7. Jay Gratton has class 8 just so long as he shows up at the last event. Steve Ross has class 9, and Rob Figler looks like he'll get class 9A. George Skaubitis has class 10 (if he shows up for the last event).
  • Class 11 is between Ron Mann and Fred deNapoli.
  • Charles Stromeyer already has class 14 sewn up.
  • Scott Martineau looks like he'll take class 15 if he makes it to the last event, otherwise it will probably go to Jim Logan (assuming he makes the last event).
  • And finally, Eric Hartwig has class 16.

Probably the closest battle is in class 11 between Ron Mann and Fred deNapoli. Ron has two wins while Fred only has one win, but since its only the best three results which count if Fred wins the final event then they'll both have two wins and a second which will put them level on points. Then its down to time differences and currently Ron is ahead by only 57 thousanths of a second. So Fred, you need to beat Ron, AND beat him by more than 0.057 seconds. Can you feel the pressure yet?

So as you can see, the last event on September 6th is going to be an exciting one, with many people battling for a class championship. It should be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there, and who knows, maybe the sun will shine for a change.