Dexterities, affordable fun
THE Drivers Rallysport Club (DRC) is holding true to their word of making dexterities an affordable and easy way to get into motorsports.
Call it fate or nostalgia, I found myself paying the $2,000 to enter last Sunday's second round of the DRC AutoDex Championship at Ken Jones Aerodrome, Portland.
"Reminds me of my Sports Car Club of South Florida days," I said to Katherine Chin See, DRC treasurer, as I handed over my entry fee.
And it did. Unlike the typical cramped dexterity layout, the amazing Ken Jones Aerodrome reminded me of American Autocross events that took up many a lazy Florida Sunday morning at Opa Locka Airport, driving my Swift GTi fast through a maze of cones. That other piece of history was being replicated as I was going to be sharing a Strong Solutions Auto-prepared Swift Sports, the successor to the GTi, with Chin See.
Auto-crossing tends to be very straight-forward circuit style, while dexterities add memorisation on top of this. This extra layer reduces the ability for a faster car to romp away with the win. Competitors get a walk-through with the course setter, then unaccompanied and finally watch a drive through. Victory comes from a combination of skill sets.
For the money, you get three shots at glory. On my first try, I gained an instant Did Not Finish (DNF). The second try netted me a time, but losing precious seconds to over caution. My third run is another DNF. At this point of the day, I sat eighth. Maurice 'Wurl Boss' Whittingham is on another planet time-wise.
However, my posted time got me into the championship run. Drawing on the experience gained over the three attempts with my driving style and adjustment for the conditions, I pulled together a time that saw me finishing fourth. A better time was possible, but contact with a cone added a time penalty.
In the end, for the money, dexterities live up to the hype. As for those who worry about the toll it takes on a vehicle, that is ultimately determined by your driving style.
- Rory Daley