1985 Turnpike Challenge and Cowboy Auto Club Trophy

by Mike Elliott

Editor's Comments: The Inter-City Gymkhana had morphed into the "Turnpike Series".  The first half of the annual event was held on the airport apron and runways of Stillwater. The Cowboy Auto Club was going gangbusters in 1985, and a traveling trophy was established between Oklahoma Region and the Cowboy Auto Club at OSU. As noted below, Oklahoma Region won the traveling trophy and was leading NeOkla Region. The second Turnpike Challenge event was scheduled on October 11, 1985, in Tulsa. As late as September the upcoming Solo II event was mentioned in the Gazette, but no follow-up results, story or event mention in the Gazette, or even the club minutes can be found. It is assumed that the second event was cancelled, and Oklahoma region won that year. If anyone knows the "Rest of the Story" please contact the Gazette at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

March 24, a beautiful day for an autocross. Great spring weather, and an inter-regional rivalry resulted in the largest turnout for a local event in recent memory. Ninety entries were made for the combined Cowboy Auto Club traveling trophy and first half of the Oklahoma Region/NeOkla Turnpike  Challenge.

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Thanks to each and everyone of you that came, we won the Cowboy Auto Club traveling trophy and hold a precarious lead in the Turnpike Challenge, which will be settled when we visit Tulsa in October. I didn't think it would be easy though, and sure enough the competition was very tough.

The scoring for the Cowboy Club trophy was based on the inverse of the trophy schedule, for example, in a three trophy class, first was given three points second two and third one. On this basis we won 36 to 33, pretty damn close !

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The scoring for the Turnpike Challenge was changed slightly so that we took the highest finishing member from each region in each class. Last in class received no points, but classes which had no member from opposing regions were included. Using the regular point schedule, we lead 147 to 121. In other sports that might look like a substantial lead, but for this it is not. A couple of classes could easily make the difference. Just to show you tough it was, we won 9 classes and they won 8.

C stock is a prime example. This class had 12 entries with the first three places separated by only 0.533 seconds. The winning margin of Mark Cox was only 0.046! Five other classes were won by less than a second. Great competition.

It is been quite a while since I was directly involved in putting on an autocross like this one. I had forgotten how much goes into the pre-planning and event day operations. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Mike Halley, the Cowboy Auto Club, all of the workers and Wiley and Ricky Hunt who drove up so Wiley could be our Steward.

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Our next event is a Solo II driver's school April 28. It is tentatively set for Whitewater. At the present time we have not obtained a place for our classroom session, when a facility is located, a mailer will be sent out informing you of its time and location.

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