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Home » Bay Area Autocross Forum » Northern California Events » NorCal Autocross History
NorCal Autocross History [message #122891] Fri, 25 September 2020 08:20 Go to next message
khamai is currently offline  khamai   
Messages: 62
Registered: March 2012
Location: NorCal
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From: *lightspeed.sntcca.sbcglobal.net
I'm trying to piece together the history of autocrossing in the Bay Area and NorCal. So, far I've got a few vague personal memories.

* NCSCC Autocross series in the 70s into the 90s
- At Alameda Co Fairgrounds & Golden Gate Fields
- NCSCC held the Sports Car Olympics in the early 60s and had autoX as an event
* John Kelly convincing the SFR to start the Solo II series in the 70s?

But, LOTS of questions...
* When/where was the first Bay Area autoX?
* Who were some of the clubs involved?

I remember chairing a couple of Golden Gate Lotus Club events back in the 80s (part of the NCSCC series) where we got 200+ entrants.

Anyone have any memories or documents or photos that can be shared?

Many thanks,
Kiyoshi
Re: NorCal Autocross History [message #122892 is a reply to message #122891] Fri, 25 September 2020 16:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
OldandSlow is currently offline  OldandSlow   
Messages: 157
Registered: March 2011
Location: Sacramento
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From: *lightspeed.frokca.sbcglobal.net
My first autocross was at the Alameda County Fairground in early 1964. The Northern California Sports Car Council also sponsored a time speed distance rally championship series. I don't know when it started though I did compete in the series in 1963 and 1964 as a navigator.
Re: NorCal Autocross History [message #122897 is a reply to message #122891] Wed, 07 October 2020 00:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pault1 is currently offline  pault1   United States
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Registered: October 2005
Location: San Remote
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From: *hsd1.ca.comcast.net
I did a few paragraphs here about past events / venues. This was at least two years ago, possibly much longer. If you go back and search through old posts you might find that. It only included my history with SCCA and others which would have started around, uh, 1998?

I went to an SFR event in downtown Livermore around then. I did race at one event at Pleasanton Fairgrounds with NCSCC, might have been 1992-ish. Golden Gate Fields, Candlestick Park, and Oakland Coliseum were used quite a bit for years. There was a yearly fundraising race at De Anza community college for many years.

There have been autocrosses in Marin Co. as well.

Sac Chapter has used Cal Expo and Mather Airfield and Stockton Fairgrounds, prior to moving to Thunderhill. Marina Airport was used until this year.

You might try contacting Gary Horstkorta who writes for The Wheel, the San Francisco Region magazine.


Paul T. Ford body, Yamaha power - describes my car pretty well, too! Smile Returned to racing the STi-STU but still that #35 you love
Re: NorCal Autocross History [message #122898 is a reply to message #122891] Wed, 07 October 2020 00:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pault1 is currently offline  pault1   United States
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From: *hsd1.ca.comcast.net
OK I found my old quote. Good luck!

-------------
Let's review all of the Northern Cali sites I have run at or heard of, a no doubt out of date list: De Anza CC- they have their own yearly event but the site is small, I hear it's no longer a thing. Candlestick Park parking lot, former home of SF Giants and 49'ers - now being developed, deteriorated surface and extreme roughness kept most cars at and above Mod and Prep away, plus fees escalated out of sight. Baylands Raceway - developed and closed. Pleasanton (Alameda County) Fairgrounds - tossed us, kept some of the police training and now the Good Guys 'Murrican Arn (sound it out) but they weren't willing to have general autocrossing any more. golden gate fields horse racing track parking lots - change of ownership / cost cutting meant that surface became really too bad to use; SFR actually paved some patches of the worst areas so that we could hold a Regional there several years ago. Sacramento Cal Expo State Fair site - quit welcoming us as income wasn't enough compared to users of the whole venue. Mather Air Force Base - Sac Chapter has been getting what little use they allow. Stockton Fairgrounds - still in use by Sac though some complain about the relatively small size and bumps; now planned for an expansion / rebuild for SFR's use, in progress. Suisun CC is used by Corvette club several times a year. Lockheed corporate parking lot, South Bay - only open for their own group of organizers who used to get one or two events a year there. Alameda Point - subject of huge amounts of effort by Porsche Club, SFR, American Auto-X Series, and others, but Alameda hasn't allowed us in except for Porsche Club, and the site will eventually be developed away in any case. Altamont Raceway - the promoter was going to let us pave a bunch of ground and use it, but then his permit was in question/expired, he annoyed neighbors, overall it fell through. Thunderhill Race Park - probably the longest commute that Bay Area auto-x'rs would occasionally endure, shorter for Sac Chapter who are used to longer commutes anyway (we are pretty spoiled here - one year I was able to do 40 autocrosses within 2.5 hours, little of the country has that sort of availability), and Thunderhill ends up stacking us against hundreds of road racers and other track renters who fill the local motel rooms and the roads in and out. But Sac Chapter has made the effort and gotten Thunderhill running as an occasional site, right on! Sears/Infinity/Sonoma/whatever the name track, has a paved area that has been used by a couple of clubs, but facility is very congested schedule-wise. Fresno - too far for most and they have had to battle to keep their local fairgrounds once Castle was lost; they have also used Buttonwillow track. Castle AFB a.k.a. Atwater - was a mainstay for big events but economic pressure to develop it resulted in loss of this large and high quality concrete venue that had Tours and other events for years. Crows Landing - was Navy and not open, then was used for a few years for various sports car type events, then was closed for decades, then was recently regained after some really high quality generous people spent man-months jumping through the local hoops to get it opened up again. Crows now being used by SFR and AAS but subject to future uncertainty under the county's scrutiny. Alameda County EVOC - newish site for police, County, maybe CHP in Dublin, but really on the small side for our events and very tough to schedule. Great America / Santa Clara parking lot - was opened after years of effort but lost to 49'ers stadium a couple of years ago. Air base near Novato, been out of use for decades. Small airport that a Santa Rosa area group uses - I think they still get a few events each year, I'm out of date on that. Eureka - a small venue there. Santa Maria airport - they quit allowing events like fifteen years ago resulting in demise of Cal Poly Sports Car Club from no remaining venues within practical range, but I hear a group has started using it again. Oakland Coliseum - flaky but workable for decades but now they want to redevelop and throw that possibility out, poorly maintained, so off the list. Le Moore AFB - used for high speed runs by Road and Track and others but only a few smaller events have happened there. Buttonwillow (Cal Club's race track, similar in concept to how we own/use Thunderhill) near Bakersfield - the Cal Poly club once rented one loop there and put in a chicane to keep the speed down but probably not practical on a recurring basis due to distance and cost. And Fresno Chapter has used the kart track for events. I'm sure I have missed some too! (old-timer Paul....)


Paul T. Ford body, Yamaha power - describes my car pretty well, too! Smile Returned to racing the STi-STU but still that #35 you love
Re: NorCal Autocross History [message #122899 is a reply to message #122898] Wed, 07 October 2020 08:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
khamai is currently offline  khamai   
Messages: 62
Registered: March 2012
Location: NorCal
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From: *lightspeed.sntcca.sbcglobal.net
Thanks Paul. This is helpful!

The Santa Maria Airport is still in use by the regional PCA. Also the GGLC held an event at the EVOC training facility in Lompoc 2 years ago.

The Sonoma Co Regional Airport booted Empire and PCA last year. Mini Club had an event at the Sonoma Co Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.

The GGLC has held events at the South Tahoe Airport.

I recall there being events at McClellan Air Base in Sacramento (I ran my 2nd autoX at CalExpo).

And, there's infamous SCCA street events in downtown Vacaville.
Re: NorCal Autocross History [message #122900 is a reply to message #122899] Wed, 07 October 2020 09:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
atcovan is currently offline  atcovan   
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From: *lightspeed.frokca.sbcglobal.net
For many years, we had the use of the big lot at Boreal and also a few events at what was, then, the NUMMI auto manufacturing plant in Milpitas. Any news about Marina?

Jim
Re: NorCal Autocross History [message #122901 is a reply to message #122900] Sun, 11 October 2020 19:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jesvilla is currently offline  jesvilla   United States
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Registered: September 2005
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From: *lightspeed.sntcca.sbcglobal.net
We need to mine some info from Manny Pretty, he's been autocrossing since the early 60's. I started in late '78 and can give info on sites since then. So I'll put some info together and email that to you as soon as I get it written down. I also have a large stack of results that I copied from Bill Flieg,

[Updated on: Sun, 11 October 2020 19:03]

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Re: NorCal Autocross History [message #122902 is a reply to message #122901] Sun, 11 October 2020 19:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jesvilla is currently offline  jesvilla   United States
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From: *lightspeed.sntcca.sbcglobal.net
Ohh, the infamous events in downtown Vacaville were actually in Vallejo, 1984-1988
Re: NorCal Autocross History [message #122903 is a reply to message #122899] Tue, 20 October 2020 10:33 Go to previous message
pault1 is currently offline  pault1   United States
Messages: 1000
Registered: October 2005
Location: San Remote
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From: *hsd1.ca.comcast.net
Yes to what Jesus replied! There was a discussion here on the Vallejo event(s). Go to the top of the site and do a search on the word Vallejo and you'll see comments and links to pictures that Ric has scanned. I didn't check if the links are still good but he comes onto this site occasionally or he can be contacted at the Fresnoscca website forum.

Paul T. Ford body, Yamaha power - describes my car pretty well, too! Smile Returned to racing the STi-STU but still that #35 you love
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