“I don’t do a lot to prepare,” said Hockerman. “I bought a plastic storage tub that has all my autocross gear in it. I have my torque wrench, a full set of sockets and extensions, tire pressure gauge, extra rain ponchos, first aid kit, sun screen – everything in a box.
“When I go to an event, I pull out my box, put it into the trunk of my car, make sure my air pressures are set, and just go down there. I use the same tires I drive on the street. That’s what WAI did to make this friendly to anyone who wants to autocross. That’s why it has three street-tire classes.
The WRX Wagon filling in for autocross duty in 2007.
Leaving the start line at the Subaru Challenge at SIA in 2008.
“My time in the garage tinkering with the car is more after an event, depending on how I think the car felt. I rotate the tires, check the brakes, and bleed the brakes occasionally. I change the oil and document all of that.
“It’s my car. I feel I’m responsible for it. So I’m the one to take care of it.
“If I’m getting ready for a two-day event or an event at which I really want to do well, I take every loose thing out of the car I possibly can. The iPod® comes out, the Owner’s Manual – every tiny thing – floor mats, whatever. You make sure to wear your light pair of shoes, one T-shirt, a pair of shorts, no socks – any little thing, any little ounce.
“In my last event, I won by one-hundredth of a second ... on the last run. If I’d have left my spare tire in, that’s my one hundredth. Every little bit counts. It’s down to the wire.”
According to Bart Hockerman: “Everybody should do it. As soon as my son has his temporary license, that’s the first thing he’s going to be doing.
“The things that you do on an autocross course transfer into real-world driving. You learn what your car is going to do in an emergency. We race in all kinds of weather.”
“Autocross is one of the things that grows on you,” Bart Hockerman said. “Eventually, you’re going to hate it or you’re going to love it. It became a passion for me.
“The cars that I purchase, I choose according to that passion.”
|Bart Hockerman’s profile kicks off a series of articles about Subaru owners using their vehicles in different ways. He has chosen to be involved in autocross. In future issues, we’ll feature other Subaru owners and their performance interests.