|March 28, 2008
Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch – Pahrump NV2.2 Mile Track
It was an absolutely perfect day for a track event – 75 degrees, 5 mph wind. The Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy drew strong list of entries from various regions of the country, equally divided between basic novice, intermediate, and expert classes.
Pre-registration and tech inspection were completed the day before, Thursday, at the AMVIV host hotel, Palace Station in Las Vegas. Everyone attended the drivers’ briefing and safety instruction meeting first thing at the track on Friday morning. Instructors were allocated to students. Some instructors were allocated two students, one in basic novice and one in intermediate. This meant that every student had an instructor one-on-one all day.
The first group on track was the expert group, which consisted of dedicated autocross competitors and instructors getting some fun track time. Meanwhile, Phil Wicks delivered the first classroom session to basic novice and intermediate group. Safety and track etiquette was covered.
The intermediate group was next on track with instructors with each student. The novice group remained in the classroom. Phil Wicks delivered the Accident Avoidance instruction curriculum. This curriculum deals with ABS braking, slalom (serpentine), and emergency lane change. The track was marked with cones and students drove to each station under instruction. The instructors guided the students to complete the course. This continued until each student gained sufficient confidence in him/herself as well as the capabilities of their MINI. Then, for each student, the excitement really commenced as the cones were removed from the track and the three groups started on-track instruction in rotation of 20-minute sessions.
Lunch was staggered so there was no track downtime. At approximately 1:30 pm, the AMVIV group arrived from their morning tour of the Death Valley Run. There were about 100 MINI/Minis arriving. They were served lunch courtesy of MINI USA. The Solo I Autocross began. 26 cars lined up for a one lap standing start (one cool down lap). This consisted of 5 MINI classes and 1 Classic Mini class. The classes were quite evenly divided between 26 cars. This was the first round of the NAMCC Solo Challenge and was a huge success.
Next came the invitation Touring Laps. There was no fee charged for this one. 100 cars enjoyed a few…
Photos courtesy of Ed Dean