MCSCC Driver’s School - Autobahn

On March 29, 2008, several of the WCMC members met at the Autobahn Country Club Raceway. The Midwest Council of Sports Car Clubs (MCSCC) hosted a driver’s school, and the price of admission was free. Never one to pass up a good deal, and interested in what they had to present, I decided to participate.

The morning was a sit down lecture describing wheel to wheel racing and high speed autocross.  Wheel to wheel is pretty much a bunch of cars on the track all at the same time. Think regular racing as you would see on TV. High speed autocross I found more interesting. Picture a regular autocross without cones, on a professional race track. Same class and timing rules apply, but you go a heck of a lot faster. On our WCMC autocross, I would guess average speed for a good driver is around 40-50 MPH tops. During high speed autocross you double this speed. They did a pretty good job defining correct techniques for different tracks.

For lunch, you had an option of purchasing their buffet lunch, which was outstanding. I can’t believe our Sal went back three times! They had salads, Italian beef sandwiches, hot dogs, fudge brownies, cookies and more. It was definitely worth the price.

In the afternoon, they broke down the group into sets of 5 vehicles. Each set was led onto the track following a pace car. Autobahn opened up both of their tracks into one big track (see map). We did about 6-8 laps and were then lead off the course. You were able to get right back on in another set. Average speed to “tour” the track was around 50-55 MPH. The pace car led us on the proper path for each section of the track. For the 3 pace cars I had, each one did an outstanding job. I think MCSCC did a great job getting everyone on the track for “touring”. The only downfall was that they allowed ANY vehicle on the track. Twice I found a big SUV or 4x4 pickup truck on my butt, barely able to stay on the track. Not very smart.

All in all it was worth the money (did I say free) and the time. I picked up a few good pointers that will also apply to our autocross events, and met some very nice people to boot.

Just a couple notes. In order to run your Miata in a MCSCC high speed autocross you must either 1) have your hardtop installed (if you have one), or 2) have a four point roll bar and full racing harness. Usually having a racing harness also implies a racing seat.

Also, the price tag is high. You’re looking at around $125 per day instead of the $20 for a WCMC event. But, on the plus side, look at the price per minute of track time. In a WCMC event, if we do 15 sets, at about a minute per set, you have a price of $1.33 per minute. Plus figure in the time you are required to work and rest. For an 8 hour day, 15 minutes track time. During the MCSCC event, you have about 3 hours of actual track time. That’s $.69 per minute. Also, you do NOT work the course. It is staffed by MCSCC.

If you would like more information, here are the web sites:

John Semenek