Annual autocross event brings Airmen and the local community together

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Roxanne Belovarac
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing

Airmen and civilians were brought together on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., with a unique common interest. This year from Aug. 7-8, the 319th Reconnaissance Wing held an autocross event that allowed base personnel and residents to meet people with a shared interest in racing sports cars.  

Grand Forks Airmen partnered with the Sports Car Club of America to host an annual autocross racing event on base, with the exception of last year due to the pandemic. The car communities on and off base came together for some friendly competition on the flight line.

“Getting the chance to race across the flight line is a rare occasion for most and doing it to raise funds to support children in need makes it even better,” said Senior Airman Dominic Peltier, 319th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment maintainer and event attendee. “This event alone, we raised $4338 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of North Dakota.”

 More than 70 drivers brought their own cars to compete in the races, driving to beat the clock in front of 200 spectators. “This was a great opportunity to bring the local community together with us military folk,” said Peltier. “The autocross racing was a blast and I enjoyed seeing all the different car builds and meeting new people.”

Everyone who participated in the event was able to talk with members of the SCCA and receive tips on how to improve their cars and driving. Racers were even able to have the professionals get behind the wheels of their vehicles and give them pointers on how to further improve and upgrade their vehicles.

The event’s success was attributed to the two months of preparation and the involvement of nearly every squadron on base.

“We definitely had a mixing pot of Airmen from different career fields and civilians from varying sectors,” said Staff Sgt. Nickolas Hawks, 319th Operation Support Squadron weather forecaster and organizer of this year’s event.

The event was also a great opportunity to bring together base personnel and local community members to help educate on the unique intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission at Grand Forks AFB.

“There was a lot of interest in the mission of the base and some surprise in how far our mission reaches beyond just this installation,” Said Staff Sgt. Hawks.

The autocross event at Grand Forks AFB gave the troops an opportunity to relax and have fun together; ensuring they will come back to the RQ-4 Global Hawk mission refreshed and ready to succeed.