by Joe Kraetsch, NCR Autocross Chair

It was a rainy Sunday in April when we kicked off the 2012 NCR Autocross Season. A few days before the event, it looked like we would have a great turnout but then the weatherman tried to scare people away and about twenty folks dropped out in the final days leading up to Autocross #1. Those who scoffed at the weatherman were rewarded with a great day of autocross. We had a beautiful course laid out by Scruffy and Gerard and the four morning runs were semi-dry. Then the light rain got a bit heavier but autocrossing in the rain can be a lot of fun—just ask all the Novices that left with grins on their faces at the end of day—and it does take more skill to drive well in the rain. We were successful in completing another four afternoon runs and finished before the heavy rains came. We had a couple timing issues in the afternoon when some of the timing equipment got wet but we were able to isolate the wet components and continue. Unfortunately, this was while I was supposed to be changing our race tires to street tires so our afternoon times suffered but Lisa still managed to beat me on the race tires in the rain. [Note to Ursula: Gordon does not need R-compound tires.]

Often, the afternoon results follow the morning results but when there is a weather change like there was this day, the afternoon results can be quite different than morning results. We add the best morning and the best afternoon times for the final results.

One benefit of this is that afternoon runs are not throwaway runs when conditions change. Out of nine classes, five had different winners for the morning and afternoon sessions. We also use the PAX system to handicap cars (not drivers) for more fairness when combining different cars in the same class or to compare across classes. Scruffy took FTD for the morning and for the day while Ollie took top PAX for the morning and for the day. Meanwhile Andrew Kessel, in a rent-a-Boxster took FTD and top PAX for the afternoon session.  The cone-killer crown goes to Audra Tella who toppled seventeen of them but still finished fourth in the non-Porsche class without a single clean run. The complete results are posted on the NCR website.

Many thanks to all who came out to play regardless of the conditions and a big thanks to all the volunteers who shagged cones in the rain. Special thanks to Ed Broadhead for drying the tents and equipment in the trailer over the following week. I would also like to bid farewell to NCR members Gerard and Marlee Mauvis and their very special son Will who are moving to dryer Arizona pastures. You will be missed.