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