My SCCA Life: PJ Corrales

This article first appeared in the October, 2016 edition of SportsCar Magazine. SCCA members can read the current and past editions of SportCar digitally here after logging into their account; To become an SCCA member and get SportsCar mailed to your home address monthly in addition to the digital editions, click here.

PJ Corrales
New England Region
SCCA Member Since 2003

I joined the SCCA over a decade ago when a car club I was in decided to check out an autocross put on by the New England Region at Moore Airfield in Massachusetts, and it took all of one run in a poorly prepared 240SX to get me hooked. I’m not sure whether it was the challenge of pushing the car through different elements, or the competition in the moderately sized class of novices, that made me want to come back, but I did. The car got bumped to Street Mod, but after years of being raw timed by DSP cars (driven by Mike Shields and Chris Franson), I convinced Dave White to co-drive with me, and we started taking the car, locally known as “Panda,” to bigger National Solo events.

We started out with a hodgepodge of parts as I slowly transitioned from being half-tinkerer, half “ricer,” to building something fully dedicated to competition. Fast forward a few years and we were finally going faster than Street Prepared, despite having a car that was made with parts from a car that was totaled by a drunk driver and swapped onto a rotting $500 chassis that barely would’ve made a good LeMons candidate. There were too many times the car broke, and just as many times we fixed it, and even more times where we celebrated with a good beer amongst fellow racers once impending tragedy became a come-from-behind victory.

I think it was this journey of being half unsure of whether the car would survive the event, and half unsure if we could keep up with more expensive cars – yet always sure we were going to have a good time with friends and competitors – that really defines what autocrossing in Street Mod means to me.