LIHUE — Jarad Bernotavicz said Sunday that his new Ford Focus is made for wet weather.
Bernotavicz picked up the fastest time of the field at at the Vidinha Stadium parking lot during his first run at the Kauai Sports Car Club of America autocross. The season opener rolled out under heavy clouds, showers and an occasional bout of lightning.
“This car is made for wet weather,” Bernotavicz said. “I had a 45-second first run, and bettered that with a 44.990 run in the second go-round. But I hit cones in the first two rounds. I need to do the runs without hitting the cones.”
Douglas Gray of the Kauai SCCA said the weather was not a reason to cancel the races. Instead, it enhances the conditions for testing a car’s limits.
“We were looking at the lightning,” Gray said. “But it didn’t matter because the only time we’ll close the races is if it’s full-on lightning, thunder and rain which creates standing water on the course. Regular drag racing would be shut down already.”
The Sunday autocross opened the Kauai SCCA season with the next race scheduled for Dec. 18.
Gates open at 7:30 a.m. for tech inspections and the first event going out of the gate at 9 a.m.
“This is exciting,” Gray said. “Jarad just picked up his car, and with his first race, already has the fastest time for this autocross event. This is not about power — it’s about handling. And there are all kinds of people here, including Dr. Craig Haruki who is running his Porsche 911.”
Bernotavicz said he just picked up his Ford Focus a week and a half ago from Kuhio Ford.
“I just got it from down the street,” Bernotavicz said. “I just added a little performance options, but it’s right out of the showroom. I even have a load of groceries in the back.”