Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 3, 2014

What will be lost if no more autocrosses are held here?

Hello, I'm Stanford Vann from northeastern North Carolina. As a youth I read magazine reports about sports car road races and dreamed that someday I might be able to attend one as a spectator, let alone as a competitor.

Cumberland, Md., and its airport was one of those venues I read about. Well, time passed and back in the 1980s I bought a vintage Formula Ford Caldwell and began autocrossing and hillclimbing with it.

A few years ago, I read about a group of sports car enthusiasts who had began holding autocross events and car shows on the very airport runways that I had read about all those years ago.

Although I had traveled around most of the country and raced up and down the Mid-Atlantic states, I had never visited western Maryland.

I made the 360-mile drive up there and found not only a great weekend autocross event but such a great group of people, who became my friends.

I made that trip two or three times a year and spread the word to my friends back home.

Soon we had a small team of drivers coming up there from North Carolina and Virginia. Each visit was better than the last.

I even took my first glider flight with the local club out at the airport one weekend.

Of course, we enjoyed the hospitality of the motels, hotels, and restaurants on our visits. I have heard that these events may end.

I hope the officials will reconsider this. I believe they have been good for the economy and helped spread the word about how special this beautiful this area of western Maryland is for tourism.

Stanford Vann

Rich Square, N.C.

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