Once the month of May hits, it's a good indicator that summer is right around the corner, but at the second annual Heidts Midwest Performance Car Challenge held at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois, the weather was unseasonably brisk. Fortunately for the competitors who took part in the performance suspension company's street car driving event, the focus was geared more towards lap times than the chilly air temps. Once the track went "hot," the sounds of V-8 engines blazing throughout their rpm range were echoing within the winding 1.8-mile road course announcing it was "game on" at Autobahn.
The American Street Car Series-ran event featured a plethora of exercises for those wanting to put their g-Machines through their paces. But before any lap times were recorded, the three-day event started on Friday with a Road Rally, BBQ, and shop tour of Heidts' headquarters in Wauconda, Illinois. The weekend's driving activities got under way with the Road Course and Speed Stop Squared running simultaneously on both, Saturday and Sunday. But for those wanting to ease into the action, the Saturday-only Jet Hot-sponsored Autocross School was available for the not-so-seasoned drivers. Jet Hot's highly experienced instructors offered valuable input to help the folks who were looking to lower their lap times as well as those who wanted to boost their confidence and improve their driving skills. The gradual buildup is a great way to get comfortable behind the wheel before hitting the course full-bore.
And for those wanting to take advantage of the more relaxing nature of the hobby, there was also a car show.
With the increasing number of performance street driving events taking place throughout the year, it couldn't be a better time to be part of a hobby where just a few years ago, the thought of getting your early or late-model domestic hot rod out to a road course, autocross, and speed stop, was unhead of over a single weekend, let alone at the same facility. And for those on the fence about going up against some of the top drivers in the country, the ASCS has developed a Pro Class for previous event winners that segregate the "hot shoes" from the regular "Joes." This somewhat levels the playing field so a larger number of participants have a better opportunity to finish near the top of their class. With that said, these events are still designed with having fun as the major goal.