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El Paso organization hopes to teach better driving with timed competition

It’s a fast-paced competition blazing around El Paso for decades now. But odds are you haven’t heard about the Pan American region Sports Car Club of America.

“Well, we have an auto cross,” said Philip Becker, regional executive for the Pan Am SCCA. “It’s a driving skill improvement test, or course.”

The event Saturday drew dozens of people and performance cars to the Cohen Stadium back parking lot in northeast El Paso, trying to get the best time on a challenging, twisting and turning course. ABC-7 cameras were able to ride along for the parade lap – a slower speed run through the course to give drivers a chance to study the layout.

“I’m paying attention to how tight the corners are, so that I can know how fast to enter (the turn),” said Ryan Huh, a second-time participant in local SCCA events.

Each driver runs through the course six times, keeping the best time overall. Most cars are allowed as long as they’re not top heavy.

There are also scoring systems in place so no matter what a participant is driving, they have a chance.

Each car gets a time,” Becker said, “and the national organization has a set of handicaps, multiplier numbers, so that you could race a Volkswagen against a Corvette against a full race car.”

There’s a a lot of effort, preparation, safety and more that goes into setting up the course. And it takes just over a minute to complete for the fastest drivers.

For the onlookers and participants like Huh, that’s what it’s all about.

“The adrenaline,” Huh said. “It’s fun.”

Another Pan Am SCCA event will be held Sunday morning at Cohen stadium as well. For more info on that and the organization, you can visit their Facebook page here.

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