The autocross at the Holley LS Fest is unique in the fact that every year the layout changes in order to keep the long-time competitors on their toes. Yes, past participants might have a good idea on the surface and the amount of grip it usually offers, but that’s about it. It’s considered somewhat of a short course due to its location being stuffed in the “bull ring” (Beech Bend Raceway’s short oval course). Having a good amount of horsepower helps but it’s torque, proper gearing, and the right suspension setup that will get you out of the tight corners quicker. And new for 2016 is a second autocross course set up at the National Corvette Museum track, which consists of a larger layout with a completely different surface than what’s offered at Beech Bend Raceway. Cool, eh?
Due to the somewhat tight space and limited number of turns at the Beech Bend autocross, the course is typically easy to learn, but what will get you in trouble is greed. Try to take too much from the short course, and you set yourself up for downing a cone or two; or worse, a banged-up fender from the unforgiving cement barrier that surrounds the track.
It all sounds simple until you come from the course at NCM and have to quickly make yourself familiar with the new course layout. But that’s what makes the Holly LS Fest so unique. Once you think you have it all figured out, the Holley folks toss in a curve ball. And that’s what makes this event so fun.
Chevy High Noon Shootout Competitors – L-R: Bret Voelkel, Mike DuSold, Karl Dunn, Josh Leisinger, Danny Popp, Al Unser Jr.
Every year Chevy High Performance gets involved by sponsoring the Chevy High Noon Shootout on Friday. This year we took the top six drivers from the morning Beech Bend Autocross session and put them up against each other at noon to see who can put together the quickest three laps. We then add the times together from those laps, and the one with the lowest time is deemed the winner of a $500 gift certificate from Holley, and also a nice plaque from Chevy High Performance.
This year’s Top Six competitors included Mike Dusold, Josh Leisinger, Bret Voelkel, Al Unsser Jr.(yes, that Al Unser), Karl Dunn, and Danny Popp. There was no prize for Second or Third place – only First. This year was bittersweet as Danny Popp took First Place in the Corvette that belonged to his best friend, Todd Rumpke, who just days earlier lost his long battle with cancer. Danny told us “Todd was with me the whole time, so he’s the winner here. I really had nothing to do with it.”
We here at Chevy High Performance got to know Todd as a fierce competitor and good friend to everyone involved in the autocross community. Our condolences go out to Todd and his family, and also Danny Popp who is competing as the late Todd Rumpke.
Danny Popp dedicated his Chevy High Noon Shootout win to Todd Rumpke, who just days earlier, lost his long battle with Cancer. Todd’s number 63 has been officially retired in LS Fest competition.
As usual, the autocross at LS Fest does a great job of showing that driver talent combined with the correct suspension setup will offer up the best results. Oh, and grab as much of that LS horsepower you can find … that’ll help, too.
Enjoy this extensive image gallery featuring the always-exciting action from the challenging Holley LS Fest autocross.
|Chevy High Noon Shootout Lap Times|
|Run 1||Run 2||Run 3||Total|
|First Place – Danny Popp||32.859||32.904||32.884||98.647|
|Second Place – Karl Dunn||33.084||33.464||33.656||100.204|
|Third Place – Al Unser||33.689||33.372||33.265||100.326|
|Forth Place – Bret Voelkel||33.78||34.185||33.177||101.142|
|Fifth Place – Josh Leisinger||34.057||33.762||33.987||101.806|
|Sixth Place – Mike Dusold||33.558||37.892||33.233||104.673, 2 Cones|