BILLINGS – From April through September drivers of the Yellowstone Region Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) rev up their engines and put their race cars to the test.”I think a lot of people are in it for the same reasons and I think it’s mostly the adrenaline rush,” explains autocross racer, RJ Matthews. “It’s an exciting sport, it gets the blood pumping.”
Fellow racer, Caitlin Reuss, agrees. “I just love the adrenaline rush,” Reuss says. “You come out here and compete, I compete with my brothers. My favorite part is when I beat my brothers.”
SCCA is the largest automotive motorsports organization in the world and has been around for more than 60 years.
Chris Brewer has been racing for several years and loves the speed factor.
“My favorite thing is going around a corner and the car is sliding and you get the G-forces on you,” Brewer says. “It just puts a smile on my face.”
After those enthusiastic reviews, I’m eager to get behind the wheel. But first, like all beginners, I have to walk the course… before I hit the gas.
With white lines of chalk as your boundaries and cones to guide you in the right direction, the course takes an average of 40 seconds to complete – low 30s if you’re fast.
Hitting a cone tacks on two seconds to your overall time.
The first car I drove was Brewer’s mini cooper. I got the biggest thrill while slaloming. Slaloming is when you weave though the cones.
In addition to the mini cooper, the passenger seat of Matthew’s Subaru STI was also calling my name.
“It has lots of traction and it’s turbo charged,” Matthews explains. “It’s perfect for a venue like this.”
After that, I rode shotgun in a GT3 Porsche.
“It’s rated top speed on on a race track is 195 mph,” explains driver, Scott Cranston.
If you have the need for speed, autocross racing is a good and legal option.
“I like the fact that I can do that and there’s no blue lights flashing in the rear view mirror,” Brewer points out.
It keeps you out of trouble with the law and it also improves your everyday driving skills.
“I know how to control a car better when I’m spinning out or fishtailing on the icy roads,” Reuss says. “I can control the car better and I learned that here.”
So, if you’re looking for a high speed adventure that’s bound to give you a thrill, Autocross racing is it.