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Best of the ’Vettes Rockford couple earns national autocross honors

Rob

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Best of the ’Vettes Rockford couple earns national autocross honors

By Doug Goodman
ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR
Sports: Motor Sports
Published: March 7, 2007

ROCKFORD, ILL — A Rockford couple made a major commitment of time to their sport last year and it paid off handsomely.

Jack Wilson won the National Council of Corvette Clubs’ men’s autocross U.S. points championship. His wife, Janet, was the women’s national runner-up.

“We were very excited,” said Janet, a 64-year-old retired special education teacher in the North Boone School District. “That was our goal and we achieved it.”

They endured an exhausting schedule that ran from March to December.

The Wilsons raced their 1996 Corvette LT4 coupe over 33 weekends. Their schedule included 378 autocross events in Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

“We won a little over half of them,” said Jack, 62, retired director of repair operations at Hamilton Sundstrand.

Jack compiled 3,132 points to earn his title, bettering a field of about 400 drivers who collected points. His closest competition had 2,600 points.

Janet finished second among the 175 women with 3,052 points, about 400 out of first.

These were the highest finishes ever for the Wilsons.

Jack credits the success to a combination of their 15 years of driving experience, the car’s abilities and the high number of meets in which they competed and earned points.

“In these events, it’s the consistency of showing (up) and performing,” he said. “You have to start early (in the season) and stay with it to win.”

They were introduced to autocross by accident.

“We were in Nebraska at the time. He had a job there,” Janet said. “One Sunday we just happened upon this road course that had set up at a mall with just Corvettes.

“We watched and we thought, ‘That would be very interesting. Something we would enjoy.’ So we bought our first ’Vette.”

They purchased a 1975 Corvette Stringray, which they still have today.

At first Janet wasn’t interested in driving, but quickly changed her mind after riding with Jack on a fun run at a course.

“He took me out, and he drove,” she said. “I didn’t like the feeling (of riding) at all. So he said, ‘Why don’t you take it.’ I did and I thought this is pretty nice. And once you do it one time you think about it a lot and that’s how I got into it.”

The Wilsons’ travels last year weren’t just about racing. They also got in some sightseeing along the way.

“We visited places we never visited before like Williamsburg (Va.), Jamestown (Va.), Kitty Hawk (N.C.), and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. A lot of different things we did between these races,” Janet said.

The Wilsons are planning a reduced schedule this season.

“It depends on how the year goes,” Jack said. “We probably won’t make as many events, but we will make as many as we can.”

They begin their season in April at Rantoul.

Staff writer Doug Goodman can be reached at 815-987-1386 or dgoodman@rrstar.com

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Jack and Janet Wilson of Rockford earned top honors last year racing autocross with the National Council of Corvette Clubs.
 

fastglass95

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NCCC "Rocks" in Rockford!!!!

Way to Go, Jack and Janet!!! :upthumbs

I have been one of Jack's competitors for about 5 years now, usually in a slightly differnt class, but both in C4 Corvettes. It's good to see recognition for persons involved in this "grassroots" form of racing, or autocrossing as it is normally called.

I too, will be at Rantoul, Il. events in April to compete. In these NCCC (National Council of Corvette Clubs) sanctioned events.

To check out the National Council of Corvette Clubs events, rules, schedules, Regions, and club locations, visit there website at:
http://www.corvettesnccc.org/

Here's to another FUN year of autocross competition :lou
 

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