F Features

The King and Queen of Autoslalom

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The 2015 ASN Canada FIA National AutoSlalom Championship, presented by Toyo Tires, was held at the Fort Macleod Airport, Alberta on August 21-23. The event was jointly organized by The Calgary Sports Car Club and The Southern Alberta SoloSport Club under the direction of Reijo Silvennoinen and Stuart Taylor.

Eighty-eight competitors contested the three-day event with representation from Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and two U.S. States. For the first time, the national event awarded prize money with more than $7,000 in cash presented to the top three finishers in each PAX Super Group, as well as the top three overall.

Veteran course designer Reijo Silvennoinen designed a couple of challenging courses on about half of the 4,500-foot runway and apron of the Fort Macleod Airport with some high-speed sweepers. There was a huge contrast between the first gear slaloms at the beginning of the course, accelerating into third gear for the high-speed sweepers. The course was a great equalizer between low- and high-powered cars, with similar times for both.

The weather was perfect for the competition days, with blue skies and warm temperatures welcoming everyone to Sunny Alberta. Fastest raw time, and FTD, was claimed by veteran national competitor John Hafner in his winged “A Modified” Tui Super Vee. Hafner was one of the original national event organizers who, along with Alan Rae, originated the concept of a Canadian National Autoslalom Championship back in 1972. It was great to see both of them attending this year’s event!

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The Canadian Autoslalom Championships crowned some new champions for 2015: Cam Withel, with his CSP Miata, of Chestermere, Alberta, is the new national champion, and his wife Jess is the winner of the Ladies Class. Cam is a 10-year slalom veteran having started out in several Mustangs before switching to a CSP Miata last year. Jess thought he was having too much fun, and decided to take up the sport as well! Together, they have been competing and travelling to various events around Western Canada, as well as regional and national SCCA events the last few years.

Cam found the national course in Fort Macleod very challenging this year. With the high-grip Hoosiers on his Miata, Cam said he “needed to find the confidence to keep his foot down on some of the turns,” which were higher speed than the usual courses laid out for local events. Commenting on the skills required to be a champion autoslalomer, Cam mentions “accuracy” and “bravery,” citing the off-camber sides of the runway causing a few spins for some competitors during the weekend.

The hotly-contested 2015 championship saw the top three competitors only tenths apart. Finishing in second overall was Calgary’s Ryan Clark, co-driving a Nissan 350Z in C Street (formerly Stock) class, and only two-tenths-of-a-second behind over the two days of competition! Corey Dyck of Winnipeg finished third overall, with his Honda S2000 another six-tenths back.

Of the 28 classes represented at the event, the Street Touring classes were the most popular with 26 entries running on street tires. With nine cars, the STX Class was largest, with a BMW 3 Series winning the class by only 0.273 over a Scion FR-S. The Street Touring Roadster and Sedan classes were also popular with six entrants apiece. In the former class it was a battle between S2000s and Miatas, with the Honda of Corey Dyck coming out on top.

Chief organizer Reijo Silvennoinen would like to thank all the competitors who travelled to attend the event, and also the small town of Fort Macleod, who accommodated the competitors in their local hotels and restaurants. Thanks go to Toyo Tires for supporting the National events, with cash and contingency donations. And, congratulations to Cam and Jess Withell, the new King and Queen of Canadian Autoslalom!

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To participate, visit WCMA online at: http://www.wcma.ca.

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