Cumberland Times-News


June 21, 2014

Reconsider autocross decision

— I recently heard of the problems with the Cumberland Airport Autocross Series and thought I should write you with my perspective.

I am a 38-year-old professional who has participated in Cumberland autocross events for most of the last 10 years.

I have also participated in autocross events at airfields across the country including Grissom Aeroplex in Indiana, the Toledo Express Airport as well as more public locations such as the North Park swimming pool lot in Pittsburgh with the North Hills Sports Car Club.

This venue is a public park run by the county and has hosted autocross events dating back to 1957.

I have always been a car enthusiast, even back when I was 10 years old as a subscriber to Motor Trend magazine.

The autocross events give a safe controlled environment to hone my driving skills and take away any desire to drive outside the limits of the law on public roads.

In a typical autocross event cars rarely eclipse 60 mph. It isn’t about raw speed like a track race of a drag race — it is about precision driving.

If you have ever attended one of these events you would have found a good mix of twentysomethings in Honda Civics and the like along with a more mature crowd in high end sports cars.

A notable percentage of the participants are doctors, engineers, and scientists — those with interest in precision driving and the means to afford it.

These events always took place over a two-day weekend.

When coming to the events I always stay at a local hotel for two nights, eat at local restaurants, and wash the car at the local car wash. I can assure you that there is no other reason I would spend so much time and money in the Cumberland area.

The National Road Autosport group took great pride in keeping the airport clean and running a professional event.

At these events I met many interesting people from the Cobra Club and Porsche Club from the Washington area. They regularly made the long drive from Washington to Cumberland to participate in these events.

Again, these are people with the means to purchase high end sports cars — and while they are in your town they most certainly contributed to your economy.

I hope you reconsider the long history of motorsports at the Cumberland airport along with the successful 11-year history with National Road Autosport which to my knowledge has not had any incidents and has clearly contributed to the betterment of the airport and the region.

Until then I have been spending my weekends driving the other direction to venues in Pittsburgh and Ohio. ​

Feel free to call me at any time if you have questions or feedback.

Eric Coffman

Morgantown, W.Va.

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