Cumberland Times-News

December 18, 2013

Autosports tradition should be allowed to continue at airport

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— I noted with great distress your story of Dec. 14 relaying plans to end autocrossing at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport (“Autosports events no longer allowed to be held at airport,” Page 1A).

This decision will no doubt disturb the many members of your community who have attended these events as participants and spectators since the series began in 2003.

The National Road Autosports organizers have done an effective job staging the events and in the process recapturing the historic magic that was Cumberland Sports Car Club of America racing series at the airport during the late 1950s, the 1960s and 1970s.

It’s really quite a story, with famous personalities like Roger Penske and Carol Shelby being Cumberland veterans.

Many of us who have participated came from out of town, making friends and having a great time at the well regarded venue that is the airport complex.

In so doing, we were also injecting an economic stimulus of sorts into the community — one I would think should not be taken for granted.

I personally have traveled from Reston, Va., for almost all events since 2004. This amounts to some 60 trips.

Each time, I paid entry fees, bought meals, reserved a hotel room, purchased gasoline, and otherwise participated gladly in the local Cumberland economy.

I have several score friends (and competitors) who have done the exact same thing. We would all seriously miss the opportunity to return to participate in the sport we love.

I am hoping cool heads prevail and this great tradition will continue.

James W. Harris, vice president

CENTRA Technology

Arlington, Va.