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Tonight Alameda City Council Considers Expanded Autocross Events at Alameda Point

Tonight, the Alameda City Council sitting as the Alameda Re-use and Redevelopment Authority (ARRA) will consider expanded use of Alameda as an autocross racing facility and a 1/8 mile race strip facility. The City has safety concerns over this expanded use.

An un-named applicant has asked to expand on the existing Porsche Club of America autocross events already sanctioned at Alameda Point and evidently wanted side-by-side racing as well. We took a lot of heat from readers a couple of weeks ago over suggesting that autocross was dangerous, and akin to street racing – a comparison that autocross fans abhor. Many readers commented to write that autocrossing is safe, a family event, not really racing, etc. etc. But the Alameda Police Department has expressed concerns about autocross and the 1/8 mile race strip, and they don’t want “overzealous racers [to] stray from the sanctioned area onto Alameda Point and other city streets. They do not want this location to be a designated place for drag racing or side shows and become a problem. But City staff are recommending that ARRA go ahead and lease space at Alameda Point for the 1/8 mile strip, and “unlimited autocross activity” on weekends when there is no Antique Fair.

Even within the sanctioned autocross areas, it seems that drivers can be overzealous and injure themselves if not others, as this video attests:

Then we have this autocross fan, who signs off with “The road to happiness is paved, curvy and un-policed.” who writes about an autocross mis-hap at a Sports Car Club of America event in August of 2008.

And we have this dated video called “Mustang Autocross Accident Hits Tree”:

And we have this video of a Corvette autocross wipeout with the description: “Poor track workers taken out like rag dolls.”

Judge for yourself if this activity should be sanctioned on City-controlled land at Alameda Point.

3 comments to Tonight Alameda City Council Considers Expanded Autocross Events at Alameda Point

  • Mark Swatter

    1) The actions of the black car are certainly not autocross as we know it in the US. The source video seems to be from Guatamala where I’m sure their safety practices differ just a little bit from ours here in the US. This is side-show, not autocross.

    2) The mustang video appears to have been removed by its poster.

    3) The corvette video is not a legitimate crash, it’s spoofed as an advertisement for http://www.playdrivinggamess.com

    4) I searched YouTube and couldn’t find a single legitimate video of an autocross accident.

    5) I found a video of an aerobatic plane that loses a wing and lands safely… it looks real, but it’s a spoofed video add for Red Bull.

    Your sources are suspect at best… come on, videos on YouTube??? The national clubs maintain records of all incidents, mishaps, or whatever you wish to call them. Why don’t you do some real research and reporting and contact SCCA National offices or PCA National offices for legitimate information?

  • Ian

    Listen, out of all motorsports venues, Autocrossing is by FAR the safest. The events held by the SCCA and NASA are on lots in a controlled environments. There are very strict standards by which they design the courses, and how many cars can be on them at a time. Drivers are required to remove all items in car not bolted down and wear a helmet. Spectating is closely monitored and all cameramen must have a spotter. All participants and fans must sign a waiver and the SCCA does have event insurance. Do your research before making claims that are unfair to people who like to have a life and have fun, because you obviously don’t.

  • Jay Roberts

    Mr. Swatter has already addressed the sources of your evidence.

    Let me just say that (from the viewpoint of someone who is a 30-yr partcipant in organized motorsport) that having no dedicated facility or organized sanctioning body for local enthusiats is *guaranteed* to increase the number of numbskulls seeking their thrills on public streets.

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