The Sports Car Club of America held an autocross event at Heritage Park May 10.
This event gave Desert Lightning Team members the opportunity to test the limits of their vehicles while maneuvering through a controlled course.
“The whole objective of this was to make your way around the course as quickly and safely as possible without knocking over any cones,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas Wilson,
355th Force Support Squadron vice president of the Culture of Responsible Choices.
Wilson was informed of the SCCA autocross from one of his students and thought it would be a constructive event for Airmen to be involved in, as opposed to alcohol related activities.
“My goal as vice president of the CoRC wasn’t just to come up with events that Airmen would enjoy participating in, but to events where the consumption of alcohol is not only a bad idea, but also not allowed,” Wilson said.
The CoRC teamed up with Airmen Against Drunk Driving who provided free refreshments, as well as beverages from Eegee’s restaurant during the event.
The course ranged from 35-48 seconds to complete. All types of stock and modified sports cars were allowed to participate in this event.
“We had Honda S2000s, Toyota MR2s, Subaru WRXs, Corvette Z06s and BMWs,” Wilson said. “The fastest car to go around the course was the MR2.”
After seven months of planning, Wilson was able to hold the first autocross event at D-M since 9/11. He explained that it was a big learning experience in dealing with the legal and safety offices as well as coordinating with the appropriate agencies.
“I feel that if we would have been more prepared, we could have advertised sooner and maybe got a better turn out,” Wilson said. “However, the turnout was really good.”
There were 31 participants in this event and about 100 spectators. Wilson hopes that this event will spark the interest of more Airmen in the future.
“We have plans to hopefully get more private organizations involved and make it a joint effort of a car race, car show and car vendors,” Wilson said. “It would be great to make the event so big, that it can be D-M’s go-to event during the years it doesn’t host the airshow.”