Ecurie Vitesse Sports Car Club’s holds March Madness
What does it mean to be a car enthusiast? Just ask Joelle Fuller and her husband, Skip Taylor, vice president of the Ecurie Vitesse Sports Car Club and within minutes, it is wonderfully apparent. Driving can be an engaging hobby, albeit expensive, but under the right circumstances, incredibly fun, challenging and thrilling. This Sunday, March 19, at the Florida Keys Community College, Fuller and Taylor will be behind the wheel for the club’s technical driving course and invite any driving enthusiast to join.
“It starts simple; you do a race or technical challenge,” says Taylor. “Then your car ends up morphing with new rims, race tires, then you play with the engine-and then it’s a whole new car and you love doing it every weekend.” Not ones for the Key West nightlife, the couple see the car club as not just a hobby but a lifelong passion.
This isn’t the Keys version of Fast and Furious. Autocross is a timed competition on a defined course that tests technical skill. Drivers do not simultaneously race against each other but against the clock in 20 various classes depending on make of car and size of engine. The Coast Guard and Navy introduced autocross to the Keys in the mid-’60s. Back then, courses were constructed in Peary Court, Searstown parking lot and the Kmart lot in Marathon. As the races grew, locals joined such as Fuller’s parents, Jack and BJ Fuller, and it came under direction of residents. Fuller has been a part of racing since childhood and Taylor joined the club in 1983.
“People join from all walks of life – lawyers, doctors, housewives – but it’s really for anyone who wants to be a better driver,” said Fuller. She and Taylor share an ’05 Mini Cooper, meaning they are in the same class racing against each other. Any type of car can race as long as it passes safety inspection with good tires, mufflers and seat belts. So don’t be surprised to see a Porsche or Lotus waiting in line behind a Miata or Subaru. There is a steadfast group of six to seven locals who maintain the club and host course events throughout the Keys, such as the 1.7-mile course recently on Loop Road in Lower Sugarloaf and BayBottom Crawl.
Registration (there’s a $40 fee) for Saturday’s event will begin at 9:45 a.m. at the college, followed by a driver’s meeting at 10:30 a.m. Runs will begin at 10:45 a.m. Drivers must be 18, have a valid driver’s license, and wear a helmet – extras are provided – and closed-toed shoes. Contact Norman Fuller 305.294.6677 for more information or visit EVSCC.com
Ecurie Vitesse Sports Car Club Challenge
Florida Keys Community College
Sunday, March 19
Registration starts at 9:45 a.m.
Timed runs start at 10:45 a.m.
Even if you are new, this course can help with everyday driving. You won’t go over 30 mph; it’s about technical precision.” — Joelle Fuller, longtime racer and club member.