6 Reasons Why Winter Park is The Coolest Autocross of The Year!

Making lists seems to be all the rage for those trendy online sites like buzzfeed that try to monetize on your every mouse click. So, here is my contribution to being trendy in autocross form… at least my attempt at trendiness…

Winter Park Colorado is about 45 minutes north of Idaho Springs on state route 40 just a few miles after crossing the continental divide at Berthoud Pass. The Vintage hotel has been kind enough to let us use their large overflow lot to stage our mountain event.

1. The best mountian road, IN THE WORLD.

berthound passOK, so it might not be on the same level as the Stevlio Pass & worth of a Top Gear special, but this is a proper mountain road. Crank up the mountain (at prescribed speeds of course) on the way in, or check the size of your plumbs by dropping the car in neutral and carve down the other side of the continental divide.

2. Altitude

altitude9,205ft is the elevation my phone stated our grid area was, nearly 2 miles up! If these lofty altitudes don’t affect your body, it surely changes your cars power! I nicknamed my car wheezy after this event…

3. Lots o’ runs

lots o runsLouis Rodriguez put on a show in his 1981 320i, the undisputed “king of lean!” With 12-14 runs this event, he was able to wow the crowd far more frequently than at normal events.

4. Ride a gondola into town for lunch. A gondola!

ride a gandola to lunchNo need to brown bag it at this event- a short and scenic gondola ride into town gave us access to a variety of local cuisine. Quick too, the restaurant staff that waited on our group of 12 had us seated, fed and on our way in less than an hour!

5. Undeniably beautiful scenery.

beautiful sceneryWith the continental divide looming in the background, this is one of the nicest looking venues available. Winter Park is the postcard image tourist imagine when they ponder what Colorado is like.

6. Course elevation changes.

elevation changesThe lot is far from flat, and Chris Mayfield the course designer made sure to incorporate the elevation changes to challenge drivers. With nearly 25ft height difference between the beginning and the end of the slalom, finding a good rhythm without overcooking the accelerator pedal was a major challenge throughout the day.

Finally, a special thank you to Geoff.

thanks geoffGeoff was kind enough to offer his very expensive, VERY nice lens for the day to capture these photo’s. Pro photographers always mention how the lens is the most important piece of equipment, far more important than the camera itself. I learned first hand what the pro’s are talking about after one look through Geoff’s awesome equipment!

To view the complete photo set, click HERE!
To sign up for Autocross #4, click HERE!


– Eric & Sarah