일. The Morning
After the BBQ it rained quite a substantial amount that lasted from the afternoon throughout the entire evening. I was not sure how it would look on the course but the forecast for the day had the skies clearing in the afternoon accompanied by humid weather. This was my first time ever at an autocross event. I must say I unofficially learned a lot during my time capturing the event. Special thanks to Jonathan Chin for the invite. My relationship with him goes back to the early days when I owned my NC Miata about 5 years ago. Some of you may recognize him from Youtube if you are a Miata or Roadster enthusiast looking for driving clips here in the NY/NJ region. I watched some of his NA Miata driving videos in NJ prior to meeting him only to realize later that is Jonathan. At the time I met him and Chris B. at an NJ Miatas event. We have been keeping in touch. I would say the group that Jonathan has co-founded Machinelush with Jeff Lin embodies the automotive culture very well. That is a camaraderie that believes in elevating their driving skills, proper tuning, and a shared interest in quality over quantity with builds. From just the BBQ alone you can see that while there are many different platforms whether you are JDM, Euro, or old-school a common theme the cars all have is OEM plus quality and an emphasis on form over function.
이. Registration, Walk & Drivers Briefing
Once drivers got situated and parked within any of the areas that allowed parking, you needed to register for the event and do a walk-through before driving the course for one lap and autocross for the rest of the day.
삼. Final Preparation Before The Drive
After the driver’s briefing, people began to prepare the final stages of prepping their cars to be driven on the course. That ranged from removing anything in the car that can move or add additional unwanted weight, changing tires out, vinyl sticker placements, and checking or airing for proper tire pressure. Some people even trailered cars to the event or had a full set of new tires. One thing is for certain everyone here was serious about their skills.
사. Lap Drive
Before the group was to start their run, they were required to do one lap around the course and line up to start the race once everyone in the group did their practice lap. I was given the opportunity to hop in during the practice lap thanks to Jonathan. As someone that’s never driven or even experienced the event, it was great to ride with someone that has been doing this to show me the ropes. I learned so much from so little time viewing the course as a driver to being someone working the heat.
오. Starting Grid For Group One
육. The Driving
The group started first for the day. The action was immediate and I went as close as I could to the cars so that I can enjoy the show as well as capture the moments that transpired. Throughout the entire day, people would stop by and ask me what is going on? As a disclaimer, I did not have media access. The best I could do was sit far away but close to the action in the lot. I was by the sidewalk of the lot. I had the pleasure to strike up some good conversations that day about cars and people that have an interest in them. It was beautiful to see fathers with their kids just pulled over to the side and see the cars put a smile on their kid’s faces.
After our group finished it was time for the second group to do their runs. I noticed in the lot as well that some new cars showed up that were not here earlier. I had to take a close inspection.
팔. Heat II & Afternoon Run
After the first group finished it was time for the second group to do their time attacks. What followed after since there was time left was additional runs for those that wanted to do more. After we finished in the afternoon the sun came out and it got humid. We were all finished by 3 p.m. able to go about the rest of our Sunday with limbs laxed enjoying the vibes.
I’m conflicted about joining the next Autocross event since I don’t know if I can drive and take pictures at the same time. One thing is for sure I just love being there in the physical space and seeing cars in their natural environment and that is a driving event whether it be autocross, drift, grip, or the track. Someone’s gotta be there to document.