Sponsored by the Austin Healey Club
June 12, 2011
“A squealing tire is a happy tire”.
I’m not sure whether I heard it or read it, but it was certainly appropriate for the participants and LBCs at the Austin Healy Club Autocross driving event on Sunday June 12 at the Regal Theatre parking lot in Warrenville. There were lots of happy tires here this morning.
It was a crisp morning, 62 degrees and sunny, as I left home in my MGB to attend the event as a spectator, with no intention of abusing my LBC by highrevving it through a course of cones and risking scuff marks (or worse) on my new chrome bumpers (yup, had a bumper conversion and lowered suspension done by the lads
at MG Limited, but I digress…). My B was running beautifully, and by the time I arrived at the parking lot, there was a swarm of folks walking the course, about half way through. Not sure why, but at that point I went out to join them, late, and Barney Gaylord took me under his wing and walked me through from the start of the course even as people were yelling at us to get out of the way as the first of the 3 big Healy 3000s was starting a practice run.
Our club was well represented by participant
drivers and some just out as spectators, which was my original intention. Drivers were dutifully emptying the boots and glove boxes of their LBCs and readying their helmets. Now I was ready to take the leap, paid my $10 entry fee, and fell in with a helmet generously donated
by Dino Perez (thanks again Dino!). Other than the 3 big Healys, there were Spridgets, a Lotus Exige, an early 70’s Europa, a new Mini, a couple of Bs, Barney’s iconic A, a Honda del Sol and a Bimmer M coupe with race tires. There was also a really yummy Old English White Bugeye, with a very healthy sounding 1275 motor that was skillfully driven by it’s owner (I had a 1275 in a Mini back in Canada in the early 70’s…love that motor, but ah, again I digress…).
One at a time drivers were squealing around the course, making sure their tires were happy, trying to best their previous time. My practice lap was fun and cautious, and my first run was pretty decent for a rookie. My second run ended in a DFN (i.e. Did Not Finish) as I missed a gate completely. My 3rd run was my best, but also ended in DFN as was I was a little too aggressive on the home stretch and knocked over the white cone at the finish line. DFNs or not, I had a hoot…a sentiment echoed previously by CMGC member Seth, the seasoned pro of one other autocross event, who was also there with his Midget. Of course all enjoyed watching the MGA Guru in combat with the race-tire equipped M Bimmer.
When the squealing was over, the drivers, their friends and fans and cars retired to a local eatery for lunch, awards and the good yaks and camaraderie that make these events memorable. A big thanks to the Austin Healy Club event organizers for inviting us. As for yours truly, I’ll be back to the next autocross event.
-- Joel Paul Brossard