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The Miata
The first Auto Cross - Solo II Event

On February 23, 2003 I had the opportunity to participate in my first Auto Cross - (also known as Solo II) event. The event was sponsored by the West Texas Region (WTR) of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and was held at the South Plains Fairgrounds in Lubbock. For those that are not familiar with Auto Cross, or Solo II go here for a complete description.

Basically it is a course setup using traffic cones to mark it, on a parking lot or airport runway. The course contains curves, slaloms and straight sections. One car is on the course at a time, and you are timed on how long it take you to complete the course. Speeds are normally less than highway speeds. I think that I probably got as fast as 40 MPH. If you hit a cone you receive a one second penalty, and if you get "lost" on the course and miss a part of it you are disqualified for that run. Standard entry is three runs, additional runs are possible depending on the number of entrants.

Vehicles are divided into different "classes" so that a big V-8 does not compete against a four-cylinder car. Also a car that is modified does not compete against "stock" vehicles like mine.

I had a great time and met a lot of great people. I ran the course six times, and was well behind the leaders. This was my first time out - the more times I participate the better I should get.

In the West Texas Region, the events are held in Lubbock, Canyon and Dalhart, Texas. Canyon is the "smallest/shortest" course and Dalhart is considered the "fastest" course. The annual events start in February and run through November, with an event each month.

The events for Lubbock are now held at Dolaca Motorplex in the Brownfield area. This was an emergency landing airstrip for the military. It was purchased by a private party who has made a great drag strip on one end of the runway, and the other end is where we do the autocross.

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