Porsche 911 GT3 Makes A Mess At Oregon Autocross

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

From what we hear, it was a nice day for some AutoX action in Oregon on Sunday — we think that means the cloud cover parted for like an hour. But what do you expect from the great northwest? An hour of sunshine makes for a pretty good day out there. Unless, of course, you were an owner of the Porsche, Celica, WRX or Audi in the pictures below. If any of those were yours, you ended up not so much coming away with the thrilling experience of watching some awesome SCCA regional action. Instead, you ended up watching your ride get the crap smacked out of it by a $130,000 Porsche 911 GT3 driven by the owners clutch-confused friend. Talk about a terrible way to end a weekend. [Hat tip to Kris!]


First AutoX [VW Vortex]

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Here is a little more light on the event taken from a few emails I have been exchanging with my local auto-x crew.....

Here's Kevin Deitz's (NWR, multiple national champ, Evo instructor, beyond doubt one of the most gifted drivers in the sport, lots of experience with Porsches and Vettes) account from SCCA Forums:

"FYI the Guy who "Borrowed" the car has been driving an automatic AS corvette convertable for years. He spun his corvette on his 3rd run in the same spot (the only guy I saw do this). His automatic corvette has two pedals, the brake pedal is 5 inches across, the gas pedal is three inches wide. That's a Big difference from the Porsche GT3's three narrow pedals placed closely together in true race car fashion. I'd say not looking (ahead) past the finish lights, driving a supercar and trying to set the fastest time of the group are too blame for this incident. An over agressive finish and a panic stab at the clutch pedal is always gona be a bad scene. The car owner has got to take a little blame for allowing someone else to run the car with the mindset of setting fastest time."

Here's Ryan Otis' (PDX, black STU STi, very good driver, you may have met at OSI last year) account from SCCA Forums:

"In an effort to reduce the amount of speculation, I'll provide my opinion on the incident as I was there, but I am not one of the organizers so I can't say anything official. This is purely my opinion based on my observations and may differ from someone else's who was also there. The distances are very rough approximations, I didn't take any measurements, although someone else might have.

The short version of the story is that an individual hopped in an unfamiliar (borrowed) car for a run, upon finishing the course he did not depress the brake pedal and evidently hit the clutch instead (there were no brake lights at all) — he literally coasted the next ~100+ft through the finish chute, straight out the end, another ~40ft through the banner lines and into the parking area. I don't think you can design any possible layout where if you were to take a car to the middle of 2nd gear, depress the clutch and coast, that you wouldn't eventually hit something. I did not witness any loss of control (aside from the lack of brake application), no sliding, no skidmarks, etc. It was just straight out the end, no brakes at all. It was purely driver error.

I personally had no issue with the design of the course or finish area. Even after the incident I was looking at it thinking "god, how could he cover *that* much ground?". I've driven on a LOT of autocross courses (usually with small, local clubs) where certain elements of the course make me nervous. Some will have high-speed offsets without much of a setback from an obstacle, or some other element without adequate setback where I don't feel comfortable pushing 10/10. This was NOT one of those times. Some of the pictures online do not have very good depth of field and are not representative of the distances involved."

That is a bad way to start the season. At least no peeps were hurt.