We are once again scheduled to run an autocross school on the Carlisle Events autocross track. Howard Duncan, current Senior Director, Rally/Solo, organized the first Solo event that SCCA put on for Carlisle’s Custom Compact Show on May 2-4, 2003 after we convinced Carlisle that SCCA could do a better job than the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) did for them the previous year. Harold successfully sold the program and our Region ran combination autocrosses and schools from 2003 through 2007 and autocrosses from 2008 through 2014 at Carlisle.
The ¼ mile track layout is unique. It is configured so that it is completely enclosed by chain link fence on two sides, snow fence and a chain link fence in front of the spectator viewing area located on a bluff 25 feet high overlooking the track on a third side and snow fence and water barrels on the fourth side where the registration tent and track entrance and exit are located.
Now we are back at it again. We appealed to Carlisle Events to allow us to use their track on a weekend when no other events will be operating there, and they agreed. We are now scheduled to run an autocross school there on the weekend of June 30 and July 1.
Then Carlisle asked us to help with their Chrysler Show. They had just recently found out that Dodge was not planning to do the Thrill Rides this year as they have the past several years. This was quite sudden and has left them in a major bind. They asked if there was any chance that our Region might be able to run something on July 13-15? We responded by saying that we will help to the extent of our ability.
In response, Carlisle asked, what is your plan for the track during the show? Were you planning to charge people for runs? They didn’t think the Chrysler crowd is a hardcore autocross crowd just yet, so they didn’t think they would pay much of a fee to run. They want to keep the track busy as much as possible. Carlisle asked, if they were to let entrants run for free, what amount would Carlisle have to pay us to just let people do open runs for the weekend?
Our response was that Carlisle would be required to reimburse the Region for National’s fees for sanction, insurance and weekend memberships. They would also pay the Region a negotiated amount for operating the events and our workers would be provided with admission tickets. Carlisle agreed. They also agreed that the entrants would be required to visit Carlisle’s Guest Services on each day of the show to register their car for the autocross.
But then, on the day that this article was going to press, the Carlisle Chrysler Show manager told me that “I just received word that Dodge is going to do the Thrill Rides after all so you don’t need to worry about covering that weekend for me. I hope this is a relief to you and your crew as I know how hard it is to get help these days. I do want to THANK YOU and the Susquehanna Region for your willingness to help me out.”