Team GeekSpeed

Oh my, it’s been a more than a month since I wrote something here. Time is flying. When I’m not working or knitting I’m playing support team and pit stop crew for DH. He’s doing autocross competitions. What’s autocross, you ask? Well, here’s what the international Wikipedia has to say about it:

Autocross is a form of motorsports that emphasizes safe, low-cost competition and active participation. An autocross is a timed competition where drivers navigate one at a time through a temporary course marked by traffic cones, rather than racing on a track with multiple other cars, as in road racing or oval racing. Autocross tends to place more emphasis on car handling and driver skill than on sheer horsepower, and events typically have many classes which allow almost any vehicle, from economy sedans to purpose-built vehicles, to compete. Speeds are slower in absolute terms when compared to other forms of motorsports, usually not exceeding highway speeds, but the activity level (measured in discrete turns per minute) can be higher than even Formula One due to the large number of elements packed into each course. Autocross courses are typically 40 to 70 seconds in length. In addition to being a national-level motorsport in its own right, autocrossing is a good way to learn skills that transfer to road racing, as drivers learn vehicle control and club ethics. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocross

Traffic cones mark a temporary course.

Traffic cones mark a temporary course.

It’s actually a pretty cool thing to do for a hobby and not in the least as involved as playing any of the usual team sports. There are no training sessions twice a week, no real need for any club memberships, no nothing. For starting out you only need a car and a helmet.

That being said, it’s most likely that once involved in the whole scene certain investments will HAVE to be made. Slick tyres, anyone? Better brake shoes? And this data recording stuff and software analysis is seriously neat. But what else is to be expected from a Geek extraordinaire turned autocross racer? I’m not complaining though. I mean, look at me! I’ve got a hudge spindle collection, more wool and yarn then I can knit up in the foreseeable future and shelves of knitting books. Did I already mention that I’m pondering buying a weaving loom?

Team GeekSpeed

Team GeekSpeed

Those autocross weekends are something of a mixture between boy scout camp, carnival and family reunion. Most people there seem to have known each other for 30 years or more. And then there’s already the kids racing around on bicycles, little dirt bikes or karts. And if the weather is as nice as the weekend before last, you can enjoy a relaxing weekend in some out of the way place. The pictures show Groß-Dölln, an abandoned Russian air base about an hour north of Berlin. The whole place is fascinating and totally creepy at the same time. If you imagine that not even 20 years ago they had nuclear bombers stationed there ready for take-off 24/7. And now some crazy guys are using that perfectly flat tarmac to race cars. Weird but happily weird.

Autocross paddock

The paddock

After starting out on the family car, a 2008 Subaru Impreza, DH’s got himself the perfect autocross car – a Mazda Miata/MX5. This model already came with sports suspension and whatnot. Driving in this little powerhouse of a car takes some use. Forget comfort. Pure driving fun here we come.

Miata MX5

Miata MX5

People are trying to get me to compete, too. Sure, I enjoy driving most of the time. But this autocross thing kinda scares me. Maybe one of these day I might muster the courage and try my hand at it. It won’t be in the Miata though because I barely fit in there without a helmet. But since helmets are required I wouldn’t manage to get in there at all.

Miata - Start

Waiting your turn at the start

Right now I’m perfectly alright with driving the support car which basically means having it loaded up to the roof with a full set of sports tyres. And knitting is a good method to while away the time – when you’re not taking pics, keeping the Little Girl from getting run over or enjoy a little chat with your „paddock“ neighbor, that is.

Subaru trunk full of tires

A trunk full of tyres. There is another one behind the driver’s seat.

If all goes well, your weekend ends with some of those kitschy trophies :-)f

Autocross Trophies

Autocross Trophies

And you’ve had some fun in between.

Cheering squad

Cheering squad

Sound of Waves, pattern by Keiran Foley

Sound of Waves, pattern by Keiran Foley

Pattern details

Pattern: Sound of Waves by Kieran Foley
Yarn: Soft Silk by BC Garn (100% coarse silk/noil; 350 m/100 g), 2 skeins, color ss13 – turquoise
Needles: 4.5 mm
Size: 40 x 200 cm

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