News: Racers speed to flight line for autocross event
Story by Pfc. Victor A. Arriaga
CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Marines, civilians and retirees raced to the flight line at Cherry Point to participate in the Sports Car Club of America autocross event Saturday and Sunday.
The autocross event takes place four times a year throughout North Carolina. It is customized to promote safety on the road and allows participants a chance to let loose while racing time trials in vehicles ranging from station wagons to sports cars.
Cones are set up throughout the flight line while racers follow a set path, maneuvering around them. This simulates road hazards that can show up unexpectedly.
“This is a really great way to not only learn safe techniques for your vehicle, but to learn about all the different vehicles as well,” said Jen L. Krivohlavy, the Single Marine Program coordinator with Marine Corps Community Services. “Safety is our number one priority here.”
For Krivohlavy, the safety course hits close to home and she recommends that everyone takes the course at least once.
In May of last year, Krivohlavy was on her way back from her first autocross event when a truck that was in front of her dropped three-inch steel plating, sending her vehicle airborne. With little time to react, she was still able to safely maneuver her car with techniques she learned at the event and escape uninjured.
“This course really saved my life,” she said. “It really does prepare you to be safe on the road.”
First-time participants are required to drive with an instructor to familiarize themselves with the course. Afterward, they have the option to drive by themselves.
“I’ve been autocrossing for four years,” said Justin R. Arnette, an instructor with the SCCA. “There really are no words to describe this. One of the reasons we keep doing this is because it’s fun and exhilarating.”
First-time participant Sgt. Sungmin Ahn agrees with Arnette about the feeling of being out on the course.
“It’s a rush when you are out there,” said the powerline mechanic with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1. “There really is no way to describe it unless you are out there for yourself.”