Editorial: “Game Of Clones” – Competitive Advantage or Fair Game

This past weekend Lake Superior SCCA hosted a seemingly innocuous regional event. The region hosted a two-day event at one of their usual sites, Sawyer International Airport, a former Strategic Air Command B-52 base similar to Lincoln Air Park. The courses used are drawing some attention. Thanks to the SCCA releasing the Nationals course maps early this year, the region was able to run the West Course on Saturday and the East Course on Sunday.  Comparing the video to the published map shows they did a good job creating their clone courses.

Obviously, this opens up questions of competitive advantage.   Six attendees of the event are also registered for Solo Nationals next week.

Solo Rule Book reads:

No person may compete who has pre-run through all or any part of the course, in or on any wheeled vehicle, except a competitor with a physical disability that impairs his/her ability to walk may, with the approval of the Chief Steward, use a wheelchair or similar aid traveling at normal walking speed to accomplish the requirements of Section 6.3. All event officials, whether competing in the event or not, must use caution to avoid individual conflict of interest situations during the event.

This certainly falls in a gray area.  In my opinion, it is not within the spirit of the sport.  However, I do not feel the competitors should be punished.  As much as we talk about and enjoy the social side of the autocross community, this is still motorsport and competitors will seek out every advantage available to them.  Ultimately, the SCCA enabled this behavior by releasing the course maps early, and the Lake Superior Region further aided by deciding to actually using the courses prior to Nationals.  I would hope nothing like this happens again.

Thomas Thompson

West Course Clone – Saturday