First Texas RallySport at Brianne Corn Raceway

Texas RallySport logo

In Maxwell, Texas, about 2 miles ESE of the Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill (& near the San Marcos Municipal Airport), Brianne Corn has her own little slice of rally competition heaven.  It’s her Brianne Corn Raceway (the BCR, as well as her shop).  She’s been at/on this property (blazing trails with various rally style cars – mostly Subarus) for about 5 years & made it official about three years ago with the property owner.

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As you can see, with that huge muffler out front, all things are bigger in Texas.  I was surprised & pleased at the turnout of fans & competitors for this premiere RallyCross event.

A good variety of 2WD & 4WD vehicles showed up for the inaugural Texas RallySport event at Brianne Corn Raceway in Maxwell, TX

I met James Wilson, the impetus behind TexasRallySport.com.  He has dedicated all his occupational pursuits to this effort!  Both he & Brianne have been actively involved in a variety of autocross & other grassroots racing pursuits.  They both share the passion for the sport of Rally driving & racing.  They are both working hard to restore & grow interest in the sport throughout Texas.

TexasRallySport - map logo

James Willson & Brianne Corn facilitating the Drivers' Meeting in her BCR shop

On Saturday, January 21, 2012, I arrived just prior to 9am, on this chilly crisp, but sunny morning.  Technical inspection & registration were just about finishing up.  As this was the first of these events, things were scheduled on a “lets see how this turns out & move forward” basis.  This was a learning experience for all – the relaxed atmosphere was good.

The Drivers' Meeting grouping at the BCR Texas RallySport event

Next was the drivers meeting, followed by a Novice course walk through & orientation for just about everybody, conducted by Brianne, of course.

Brianne Corn giving pointers during the Novice orientation walkthrough at BCR

Brianne Corn leading the Novice orientation group through the course she's created at BCR

In addition to the dirt/clay surface, you didn’t want to stray off the the course.  You would be inviting a tire puncture from the indigenous Mesquite that is always growing in this region of Texas.  Those thorns are a very stiff 3/4″ to 1″ plus long – OUCH!

Unforgiving, thorny Texas Mesquite - at Brianne Corn Raceway!

After that, the morning run group (2WD) gathered on grid & started to feel out what it was like to “do it in the dirt”.  I was up on the elevated timing & scoring trailer & got this panorama shot of Brianne’s course area.  (Click image for full size…)

Vista of Branne Corn Raceway

I made my way around the course to see the action.  It was slow going through that Mesquite brush – I sure wish I had a machete…  One competitor was autocross & Harris Hill Road regular Jon Etkins.  Here’s a still shot of his “2 person bus” Miata slinging around the midway “pin” turn, followed by a bumper cam video he posted:

Jon Etkins smoothly swinging his 'Bus 4 2' Miata, at the Texas RallySport event at BCR

Here’s what Jon had to say:

I decided to take a break from the usual track work this weekend, for a track of a different sort. Enjoy.

My fastest run of the day, on the way to victory in 2WD and 6th place outright in the inaugural Texas Rally Sports RallyCross at Brianne Corn Raceway just outside San Marcos.

Here’s another competitor in a Ford Rental Racer – note the artful use of blue painters tape…

Rental Ford Focus barreling into the pin turn, at Brianne Corn Raceway

Jon’s driving style was a great example of smooth is fast.  In contrast, Brianne offers no mercy, pushing her car to its limits & beyond.  I’m guessing that is one of the many differences of piloting a 2WD vs. a 4WD in these conditions.  Check out her favorite picture of the event, followed by her fastest run video:

Brianne Corn AT SPEED at Texas Rally Sport at BCR!

Here are Brianne’s comments:

I was running in the AWD Rally class in my Rally America Open Light Impreza. I have a welded center diff in the car that prevents me from using the hand brake for the pin turn. It would just lock up all 4 wheels. Other than that it was a good run.

Of course, even with 2 cones, she got TTD (top time of day)!

James Wilson, and his Team of ever-willing volunteers, ran a good show.  Both traditional & state of the art timing & scoring tools were used.

James Wilson & Team working the timing & scoring (elevated) trailer

Texas Rally Sport timing & scoring equipment at Brianne Corm Raceway

As you can infer, I did not compete in Karlino.  I figured the 13 year old suspension would not be up to that possible punishment.  Besides, this NB Miata is my daily driver.

Karlino, safely in the weeds, waiting it out at the Texas RallyCross event at Brianne Corn Raceway...

I also did not avail myself to any ride-alongs, but in retrospect I should have.  Observing from the sidelines, I noted the course was about 70 to 80 seconds in length (but some were faster).  Watching the vehicles speed through the brush, the overall speed seemed a bit slower than on a paved autocross parking lot.  Part of that was due to the fact that the brush & uneven clay surface absorbed much of the engine & other mechanical sounds.  Also, obviously, there were no sounds of tire squeal.  I’m sure Brianne’s speed was up there, & beyond some!

Brianne Corn demonstrating her ''Never give up - Get 'er done' conviction!

The event did not go off completely without some issues.  A few cars’ tires popped off of their rims & a couple of vehicles performed atypical maneuvers which resulted in some cracked windshields & rippled sheet metal.  Only the drivers’ prides were hurt – all were safe & had a good time!

Texas RallySport has spawned.  It should be even better with their next event at Texas World Speedway (TWS) just outside of College Station, TX.  This will take place next month on Saturday, February 18, 2012.  Racing Ready knows more off road challenges will continue…

Visit the Vale Tudo Shorts shop by following the link.

Dan

Speed City Cam – An Ever Vigilant Eye on Circuit of The Americas

Speed City Cam banner - http://www.speedcitycam.com/

From the Austin American-Statesman / statesman.com:

By Dave Doolittle | Thursday, January 26, 2012, 02:57 PM

A couple of longtime Elroy residents who have been closely following work out at Circuit of the Americas have set up a live 24-hour webcam so others can peek in on construction, too.

“We want to show that it’s happening, and that it’s going to happen. It’s a way to encourage people who want to see the track and who want to see the race.” said Vance Facundo, an administrator of the Friends of Formula One Austin, Texas Facebook page. He operates the camera with Wyman Gilliam, owner of Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill near the circuit.

The Speed City Cam is set atop a 40-foot tower on property just east of the circuit and pans to several fixed positions every few seconds. Facundo said he can point the camera anywhere work is going on.

Unfortunately, a house blocks the view of the paddock buildings and main grandstand, where the bulk of the work is currently taking place.

The Speed City Cam website has had about 5,000 views since it went live a few weeks ago, and two to three people are usually watching at any given time, Facundo said.

Work has been going on at the circuit six days a week, officials have said, and they expect to have it completed in time for the inaugural race Nov. 16 through 18. Crews have occasionally poured slabs for buildings at night, when the weather is cooler and trucks can avoid Austin traffic, an engineer told the American-Statesman.

Facundo said the camera will only show the circuit during construction and will be redirected once the track becomes operational.

Click here to check out the Speed City Cam

Know that Racing Ready was there (over 7 months ago!), much before the Speed City Cam was atop that 40 foot Rohn tower.  😉

Dan

Ready for 2012 for Racing? I Wannabe!

2011 was a relatively lackluster year here at RacingReady.com… I will admit I lacked speed passion!  It was also a tough year for motorsports…

Dan Wheldon - 1978 - 2011 - Rest In Peace...

I DO have some plans for 2012.  I hadn’t participated in actual autocross running since this past summer when I co-drove my Contributing Blogger’s hot, yellow Corvette – that was FUN!  Thanks again, Eric!!!

This past weekend, my good friend Brianne Corn has brought RallyCross competition to South/Central Texas.  I was there, & will blog about it.  For now, I will say it was VERY interesting!

TexasRallySport logo

Next, I’ve volunteered to be the SASCA January 2012 autocross course designer at Retama Park.  I’ve done a few courses at the previous AT&T Center parking lot (3 years ago) & more recently at the NEISD parking lot.  This is my first time creating a course at Retama Park.  As usual, it will be an interesting challenge & I may have a surprise, or 2.

Skyview of Retama Park lot, 2012 SASCA Autocross Venue

Although I will still keep my 1999 Mazda Miata, Karlino, in the stock CS class, I may be able to make some upgrades to Karlino that could make it more competitive, later in the year.  We shall see…

Karlino getting unexpected tire(s) replaced! [December 2011]

There will be other new & exciting events I don’t know about yet, but we ALL know about the Austin Formula 1 USGP, scheduled for next November 18, 2012!!!  WooHoo – WOOT!

Racing Ready is getting ready for a new & VERY interesting New Year.  May it be a HAPPY one for you all!

Dan