The weather was perfect for autocross this past weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday were carbon copies of each other – cloudy skies and cool temps gave way to sunshine by the end of the day (though Sunday got a bit breezy). I was at Memphis International Raceway (MIR) to take part in the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Mid-South chapter’s autocross event. The NASA Mid-South chapter was formed in 2010 by the father and son team of Mike and Shawn Taylor. What started with just a few folks that first year, has now grown to see over 200 members in these 5 short years. The region’s website says it “is made up of seasoned automotive enthusiasts whose goal is to ensure participants have fun in a safe and family friendly environment. Each and every member of the team is encouraged to assist you in reaching your goals whether that be to simply improve your driving ability on the street or get you into competitive programs (Time Trials and Wheel to Wheel Racing).”
That goal of ensuring fun isn’t really much of a stretch for the mid-south team though; you are almost guaranteed to have fun at an autocross event, unless something breaks or you have an unfortunate off-road excursion. Luckily neither of those things happened this weekend. These events are a great opportunity to see what your car can do while you also improve your driving skills. Let’s face it, there are a lot of people out there who could use that! Everyone should try autocross at least once. You will learn a ton about what a car is capable of and you will become a better driver, all while having a blast.
There is a class for every type of car, from bone-stock Yugo to full-on race-prepped Corvette and it doesn’t matter which one you are in, you will have the same amount of fun regardless. This weekend saw a good mix of both, with more daily-driver cars than race cars. The fastest car of the meet was a track-day-type 2005 Honda S2000 with sticky tires that ran a 42.177, almost a second faster than a 2014 Corvette. I won’t call out the slowest, but it was a Novice who wasn’t that much further behind. Really though, in the end, it isn’t about the fastest times – it’s all about having fun – and everyone had that!
Below are some pictures from the event.
(By the way, NASA Mid-South’s next event is a track day called Hunka’ Hunka’ Burnin’ Rubber on June 13-14 at MIR. There is even a Small Bore Shootout as part of the even for 4-cylinder cars that has cash payouts for the winners. All levels are invited to attend as there is a competition school to learn what it is all about).
Learn more about upcoming events at: http://midsouth.drivenasa.com.