While the Southeast has been whistling Dixie, the SWDIV folks, led by Todd Farris, have been preparing their own soiree in Bryan-College Station, Texas. The Texas A&M University Riverside campus boasts the remains of Bryan Air Force base, and while not in the heat of Texas, it is dear to the hearts of the region's soloists. Then again, it's easy to be enamored with 100's of acres of runway and parking ramp that is more than capable of supporting 90 second autocross courses.
Need more reasons to follow the National Tour truck westward? Here are 5 more:
1. The courses. Noting the abundant space course designer Vivek Goel teases: \"I'm aiming for top speeds around 150mph, with the slowest corners around 130mph.\" Turning serious, he offers a hint at what is to come: \"A word of advice: practice turning and braking at the same time.\" If V-Go's previous designs are any indication, there won't be an excessive number of cones on course, but a driver can expect a couple of challenging \"YEEEE-Haw\" moments and standing on that middle pedal, as he will take advantage of the blend of runways and parking areas.
2. The Surface. Sure there are expanses of concrete and asphalt scattered across the US. But few come as close to replicating Lincoln's surface as the the well-aged, large aggregate-concrete, at \"the Annex.\" The secret to the Texas Soloists National Championship success is available for all to come compete, test set-ups, and get a jump on the season.
3. The Competition. For a state with a low population density, the density of National Champions and trophy winners is comparatively high. Those that have been temporarily displaced make the pilgrimage back to Texas for this event. As such, most classes are well represented, with a slight edge towards the higher-horsepower, higher-grip end of the spectrum. But, this is a put your money-where-your-mouth is endeavor, and more than one Driver-of-Eminence has been caught paying up after a late-night wager.
...and about that...
4. The Parties. This event is chaired by perennial CP-contender Todd Farris, and the solo community knows how CP parties. Otherwise, Texans chuckle at the Kansas City vs. Memphis or North vs. South Carolina feuds over who has the best BBQ, because towns have fought wars over brisket. Speaking of brisket and BBQ, Todd has found a new venue for the Saturday night banquet/BBQ this year, but he's remaining mum on the details for now. There are always after-hours shenanigans, if you know where to go, (hint: poolside at the 4-points and/or Ramada are good places) and you never know who'll get caught talking too much Saturday night and eating crow Sunday. So, bring your A-game and bask in the Texas sunshine...
5. The weather. It's the south and it's late Spring: so expect mid-70's (Fahrenheit), sunshine with some big puffy white clouds, and bugs that are still small and non-threatening. But, it can change in a heartbeat, so being ready for anything from 50's to 80's and having the rains at hand is an advantage. If it rains, it will pour, providing competitors with early season insight into car handling under the wettest conditions on this type of surface (you did read #2, right?).
Y'all c'mon dow'nah, y'hear?