For more than 70 years the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has lead the effort for grass roots road racing across the country. While it does promote professional racing, it is best known for making racing somewhat affordable to all who want to race.
The Alliance Autosport team is based on the west side of Columbus in a nondescript industrial park building (on the outside – inside it is great). On this cold Saturday they were holding a ‘Tech Day’ to get ready for the upcoming season and hold an open house to encourage others to check out racing.
Alliance Autosport offers ‘Arrive and Drive’, the ability to rent race cars, thus avoiding the high cost of ownership. Their collection of cars were neatly stacked on pallet racks
Most of the cars they have run Spec Racer Ford Generation 3 engines. The theory behind these engines, and the car setup in general is that by prohibiting modifications it makes all the cars equal, as well as keeps the cost down.
A couple of the cars were down on the floor with their covers off for closer inspection…
While the racked ones gave an interesting perspective. Everyone at the event were passionate about racing and very welcoming for a couple of people wandering in to check it out. It’s time to go racing!
A ‘cyclocross’ (cross country bicycling racing) was held on a cold Sunday in the Cincinnati suburb of Fairfield. The event took place throughout the streets and fields of a park.
With teams from throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and beyond the pits were filled with an impressive collection of tents, trucks and bikes while the technicians readied them for the races.
There were numerous classes, including this one the start of a multi-group female race. This race had under 23s and over 35s.
Miles of blue tape outlined the course up and down throughout the park.
Some racers were more bundled for the cold weather than others.
Famed baseball player Satchel Paige had a quote ‘don’t look back someone might be gaining on you’ – clearly she didn’t head his advice.
A sand pit results in some small jumps, although nothing like a BMX track would yield.
It did however cause some of the racers to get a bit off course.
Given Halloween is near a couple of riders dressed for the occasion, like the human taco.
A few got hung up on a small hill and had to dismount.
Racing to the finish.
A beautiful sunny Saturday was perfect for boat racing in the prairie, specifically at a man made lake that used to be a quarry, at the county fairgrounds, in Springfield Ohio.
The boats started from the ‘beach’, which meant their support team has to hold them in place then try not to get blasted by the water when they take off.
While focused on the boats, in the end the water spray patterns added to the photos.
There were two classes of boats, all with great paint jobs.
The boats could corner at nearly 100 MPH.
This boat lead his entire race until the last lap.
When he got caught up in lapped traffic and was passed down the final straight.
Scioto Downs Racetrack has been in business for over 50 years just south of Columbus. Their feature is their ‘Googie’ style grandstand, which is unfortunately having some structural issues and is closed so you sit on plastic chairs along the apron of the track. Nevertheless the racing goes on…
While researching what to do for the year one event I found that was highlighted in red letters not to miss is Dangerwheel – Adult bigwheel racing down a hill in Cincinnati!
East 12th Street in Over The Rhine is not the steepest street in town, but it is more than sufficient to get the riders moving quickly.
Aided by sometimes over exuberant pushers, the racers head down the hill.
Not satisfied with just going down a hill on a trike with no brakes or pedals, the audience pelt the contestants with water balloons.
The second round featured large balls in the course for the racers to ride through.
Costumes, and props are encouraged.
Without brakes mayhem usually ensued at the bottom.
In the end the entire event was great. We unfortunately were unable to stay to the end (they take about 7-8 hours to compete, we only had 4 hours) – next year we will spend the night in Cincinnati and stay for the entire event.
The town of West Chester, Ohio is located between Cincinnati and Dayton, with a rapidly developing suburban feel to it. It was here that we attended our second cardboard boat races ever, the first being a couple of years ago in the Ohio River town of New Richmond.
While both were entertaining this one was clearly geared more to youth, although there were some adult competitors. Still, the boats were creative, the competition at times fierce, and the opportunity for photography excellent.
The concept of a snow shovel for an oar must have seemed like a good idea at first – but it was an epic fail.
The victors of a heat return to cheers.
The ‘Five Peas in a Pod’ quickly realize one of their competition have sunk.
One of the more creative boats was the US Airway flight that landed in the Hudson, complete with a grey stash on Sully.
One young lady decided it was best just to close her eyes and paddle in any direction.
A couple of the adult heats clearly knew what they were doing and were extremely intense in their competition.
These young ladies made it back to the dock first, then promptly sunk.
Rounding the 3rd buoy and heading for home.
Another sinking at the dock.
Each July there is a car event in Columbus called the ‘Goodguys’, which attracts thousands of classic cars to town. After the event on Saturday many make their way to the Polaris area where they gather in a parking lot for Quaker Steak and Lube.
There was a large collection of (mostly) Harley Davidson motorcycles
Nearly all of the vehicles were extensively customized.
The police were on hand – not to give out tickets – but to rate their burnouts.