Autocross hobbyists compete for fastest time on CAFB flight line

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Trekking out onto the flight line at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, would normally entail the smell of jet fuel and the loud thunder of aircraft engines ready to take off, but on Aug. 17, something a little different was roaring at the edge of the runway.

Sixteen autocross cars of all shapes and sizes lined up for inspection before competing in the autocross thrill ride for the fastest time on a fixed track.

This race was a closed course about a mile and a half long set up with cones to guide the cars, averaging times through the path at a little over a minute.

“This is a great way for young Airmen to come out with their cars and learn how to race their cars in a secure and safe environment,” said Chuck Bigelow, Columbus AFB Base Community Council President and Wingman. “Cars have been a part of my life since I was young. I have been racing since about 1973 and try to participate in the event whenever I can.”

Anyone from the surrounding communities and states can participate in the event as long as the car is street legal, a valid driver’s license is available and the vehicle isn’t prone to rolling over like trucks, mini vans, etc.

Before the race starts, cars are inspected and checked to ensure batteries are secure, tires are in good shape, brakes function properly, seatbelts work properly and there are no leaks.

Todd Jardee, of Brandon, Mississippi, has been racing with the Sports Car Club of America for about five years and raced in this quarter’s event as well. He said he does it because he loves tinkering with cars and keeps him busy in his retirement.

The Mississippi Region of the Sports Car Club of America hosts the quarterly events at Columbus with the next scheduled event happening in October at Columbus AFB. Spectators are welcome.