Date: June 2009
Half way through the 2007 Season, the West Texas Region SCCA lost access to our best venue, Miller Field in Dalhart TX, due to the sale of the property after Mr. Miller's passing. We had hoped and waited over the last two seasons to regain access to the site once the sale had finalized and we could contact the new owners, but we found out in June that the facility will be used to store toxic waste, and we won't ever be able to run there again.
Without any good local autocross venues available at this time, I've decided to try High Performance Driving Events organized by The Drivers Edge. These two-day driving events are held at several real race tracks in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, so I will have to travel a little farther to participate, but they should be a lot more fun and should provide a lot more seat time in the M3 than autocrossing offers. Unfortunately, the events are also much more expensive than a typical autocross event, so I won't be able to do more than 2 or 3 events a year. I've been told by many people that regularly attend these types of events that I won't want to go back to autocrossing once I've experienced them, but if the WTR-SCCA finds another good venue, I'm sure I'll get back to autocrossing with a passion again as I love the true competition and "winning" that track events don't really offer. I may also try to attend a few autocross events in the surrounding SCCA Regions that have really good venues as I did during the 2008 Season.
My wife, Monica, has expressed interest in participating in autocross and track events using her 2003 BMW 330i "ZHP", so I'm excited to have her join in the fun with me, but... who's going to take all the photographs of me and the M3 in action now?! Stay tuned for updates on my experiences with track events and Monica's progress with her car.
UPDATE 2010: The 2010 WTR-SCCA event schedule appears to be worse than last year, however there was an event in Littlefield, TX that I attended in the 330i ZHP and was able to take first place in Overall PAX at both the morning and afternoon events. I haven't been able to attend any HPDE events due to finances and some needed repair work to the M3. Who knows when and what type of events I'll be able to attend going forward, but I'm not giving this stuff up yet!