I sent some info to the editor of the Riverland News last week. No reply, of course. But, a little sniffing on my part revealed that he did indeed print another article yesterday.
You can find it here: http://www.riverlandnews.com/
But, just in case it disappears, I've copied it here. Article photos attached.
Autocross club plans series of events at airport
Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 8:43 am
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to start your engines.
FAST (Fun Autocross Society of Tampa) is preparing for a series of autocross events at the Dunnellon-Marion County Airport, beginning Saturday, Jan. 27. FAST, an autocross club based in the Tampa area that started in 2007, and has roots with another club dating back to about 1998, according to Loren Williams, the director of the organization, made its debut at the decades-old facility last summer and hosted a second event in the fall.
Now, FAST is ready to rev its engines for at least five more events in 2018.
“So far, we’ve had two great autocross events at the airport with participants coming from Dunnellon, Ocala and surrounding areas as well as our regulars from the Tampa area, and even people from the East Coast,” Williams said, noting FAST would love to see more Dunnellon people participate.
And that’s what it’s about, Williams said, participation. Autocross isn’t designed as a spectator sport, but a hands-on experience, Williams said. That doesn’t mean they need to drive a car their first outing.
“People attending our events should be registered as drivers/competitors in the event, or at least planning to drive at a future event. We can certainly accept ‘guests’ who have a strong interest in future participation, but we aren’t equipped to handle ‘spectators.’”
Competing in autocross doesn’t mean one has to have a fancy sports car, said Williams, a 1984 Dunnellon High School graduate.
“You don’t need a special car, anything that’s safe and reliable enough to drive every day, and isn’t a top-heavy vehicle like an SUV or minivan can be driven in autocross competition,” Williams explained. “And if it’s not ‘fast,’ who cares? You’ll have some fun, and probably learn a little bit about what your car can and can’t do.
“That knowledge and improvement in car control skills can make you a safer driver on the road.”
So why expand the offerings at the Dunnellon-Marion County Airport? Simple, Williams said.
“I know from growing up in the Dunnellon area that most young people as well as adults living in a semi-rural area are unaware that amateur motorsports such as autocross exist, and how easy they are to get into,” he explained.
The goal is to present frequent and well-organized autocross events to give drivers an opportunity to have some fun and improve their car control skills in a safe environment with extremely low risk, Williams said.
“We try to satisfy our ‘need for speed’ without getting in trouble on the street, and without the expense and time required to go to a big race track, such as Sebring.”
Autocross is a timed motorsports competition that emphasizes driver skill over speed, Williams explained.
“We set up our courses using orange traffic cones on open expanses of pavement, like big unobstructed parking lots or unused runways, and we run one car at a time for best time,” he said.
To keep the competition fair and interesting, cars are divided into several classes depending on the capability of the car and its level of modification.
Those wishing to “participate” in the event must pre-register, there is a fee, for both drivers and guests at all of our events. Registration typically opens about three weeks prior to the event and closes the Monday before the event.
To register or for additional information, visit drivefast.org.
For any discussion about the club as an organization
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