Zone 7 Representative
I am sure all of you have been inundated with news concerning the coronavirus pandemic and perhaps what PCA is advising its members and regional clubs. On Thursday, March 12
, PCA issued a memo to all region presidents recommending several steps they can take to prevent the spread of the virus as well as to protect the health and safety of our members. The safety of our members is the club’s number one priority.
Unfortunately, large scale national events such as Treffen Broadmoor and Parade have been cancelled due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Members who are currently registered for these events will likely be contacted directly by the event organizer notifying them of cancellations and updated refund policies. Many regional events have also been cancelled throughout Zone 7 including the Zone Concours Judging School, Concours event #1 hosted by Diablo Region and others. The club race program and Golden Gate Region HPDE program is proceeding as planned as these events have a higher threshold for community transmission. However, this could change depending on the circumstances. The pandemic is fast moving and evolving and you can expect region club events such as dinners, tech sessions and other large group gatherings with more than 250 participants to alter their schedules or cancel events.
PCA advises that each region adhere to recommendations issued by the CDC and WHO.
Autocross Sites Disappearing:
Airport locations, fairground and amusement park parking lots have historically provided large enough areas for the sport of autocross for many, many years. With the downsizing of our military 30 years ago former military bases such as Alameda Naval Air Station have been repurposed for other uses ranging from developing new commercial businesses to housing. There is generally nothing quite like a large airport runway or taxiway for the sport of autocrossing. However, with property prices in California sky rocketing, many of these sites have and are going to be developed. If you look at the Alameda Point site that Golden Gate region has used for years, it is hard not to imagine the area being turned into housing or perhaps another Veterans Hospital facility. The land is just too valuable to be used for craft fairs or the occasional autocross.
Other airport sites have fallen prey to the general mission of most airports and that has been to serve the general aviation community. Mather Airport in Sacramento was also a former military air base that was given to the County of Sacramento sometime after it was abandoned as a military air base. Though it serves as a major air transportation hub for the likes of FedEx and UPS in the Sacramento area, other parts of the base have been converted to commercial use as well. Sacramento Valley Region lost use of this site about 6 years ago. It is highly unlikely that motorsport activities will ever be allowed again on this pristine site in the heart of Sacramento.
Redwood Region lost use of its airport site at Santa Rosa Airport two years ago and after several reprieves granted to Redwood Region to continue use of the facility located just west of the main runway it is no longer available. I believe it is still being used by the local Sherriff and law enforcement agencies for training.
Recently, the Marina Airport made a decision to development the 5 plus acre site where Loma Prieta Region has been hosting its events for the past 15 years. Loma Prieta autocross chair, Anne Roth, is busy searching for alternate sites in the Monterey Bay area so if you have a suggestion please contact her. It appears that outside of two dates for the Zone autocross series being considered at Crow’s Landing, LPR’s season is looking quite bleak. The situation with use of the Marina Airport site has been tentative for several years ago. As recently as 2018, the airport was considering banning all motorsport activities at the airport and it took a monumental lobbying effort to convince the Marina City Council to override the recommendation of its airport manager. The airport runs its operations under the rules of the FAA, but is managed by the city of Marina. In 2000, the airport updated its long term plan for the airport which included not only a vision for its aviation services but also a significant element of economic development. It is this economic development plan which has resulted in the development of the 5 acre parcel of concrete being used for autocross.
The Alameda autocross site at the former Alameda Naval Air Station is currently used exclusively by Golden Gate Region for its highly successful autocross series. With the growing popularity of the sport in the Bay Area, events there attract more than 100 drivers. The site utilizes one of the several runways on the former Naval Air Station that measures several thousand feet in length and some 500 plus feet in width. Like the Marina Airport, there are also plans to develop the site for expansion of a veterans hospital, housing, public open space, and commercial use. Past Golden Gate Region autocross chair, Ed Hunter, has been on the forefront of the battle to keep use of Alameda Point, but the forces of redevelopment of this jewel in the East Bay will eventually prevail and Ed has regretfully acknowledged this force. With autocross sites like Candlestick Park and Great America succumbing to development, it is only time when we will lose Alameda.
In San Diego, Zone 8, San Diego Region will likely lose the use of their long-term autocross site at Qualcomm Stadium as local community college district has purchased the former home of the San Diego Chargers with plans to eventually develop the site into another satellite campus. Finding a site to replace this wonderfull facility where Parade was held in 2007 is underway.
Long Term Strategic Plan for Autocross Sites:
Several region autocross chairs have been harping on securing a site for future use by all Porsche Clubs in Zone 7 and have cited how SCCA took the approach to raise money for several decades to build Thunderhill Raceway. Although it is a worthy goal, the probability of raising millions of dollars to secure a site where the club could afford to purchase the land and develop the parcel would be very difficult to attain. Hypothetically, if all regions were to charge an autocross site fee of say $10 per driver and if LPR and Redwood Regions find a new home we could assume that we would have around 1,750 drivers per season on average. At $10 per driver that would amount to $17,500 per year. To raise a million dollars at this rate would take 57 years! Perhaps we have a member in Zone 7 who has been very successful in his business or career who would be willing to donate the purchase of a site. To that person we would be forever grateful. I don’t think there is really a clear path to finding a future site but I think it is a worthwhile cause to start thinking of where we are going to be with our autocross programs.
Events of Interest:
Loma Prieta Region 50th Anniversary Gala; March 28; register at MotorsportReg with keyword search for 'LPR'
to August 29.
West Coast Race Series Event #1, Buttonwillow Raceway, March 29,
Zone 7 AX #1, April 5, Thunderhill, Willows,
Zone 7 Rally School, April 19, Porsche Fremont,
West Coast Series Event #2, April 25-26, Thunderhill, Willows
West Coat Race Series Event #3, April 25-26, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana,
Zone 7 AX #2, April 25, Marina,
(lost use of site)
Zone 7 AX #3, April 26, Marina,
(lost use of site)
Zone 7 Concours #1, April 26, Porsche Livermore,
PCA Spring Treffen at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs; April 29-May 2;
Zone 7 Tour by Shasta Region; June 11-15; SOLD OUT -
wait list in effect
Porsche Parade at the La Quinta Resort in La Quinta; June 21-27; Phase I
Porsche Parade Phase II Registration (events and banquets) will open
Mammoth Tour by Sierra Nevada Region; July 24-26;
Werks Reunion in Monterey; August 14, featuring the Porsche 914;
Registration will open mid-May.
PCA Fall Treffen at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia; September 16-19;
Registration will open June 17.
Note that past Treffens have sold out in as little as one hour due to their growing popularity.