Driver of the Month – February 2010
Name: Jason Becker
City/State: Aberdeen Maryland
Profession: Union Electrician
Daily Driver: 1992 Nissan Altima
Family: Working on that
How’d you get started in Autox? I was spending all this money modify my M3 to drive it around on the street. It seemed stupid, I needed an outlet, so I started autocrossing and going to Summit Point.
What you wished someone had told you when you started? It can get exspensive, but I don’t think I would have listened.
What did you drive at your first AutoX season? 1988 BMW M3
What kind of car & class do you currently compete in? 2000 BMW Mcoupe in SSM
What made you choose your current autox car? Love the design!
Who is your biggest influence in the sport? Why? I’d have to say my Dad, even though he doesn’t drive, he comes to every autocross. Even when they are 1200 miles away. As for a driver, it is Brian Hair. He was my co-driver for 2 years (I think I may have beaten him times LOL). He taught me alot! Not just how to walk the course, drive, etc. he also taught me how to handle pressure, win like a champ, and how to take a tough loss. Thanks Brian!
Funniest autox story, if any? At the DC pro a couple of years ago. We left the car at Fed-Ex overnight. Well the next morning when my father and I arrived at Fed-Ex, I realized I forgot the key to the car. I had about 90 minutes before we started, and I live an hour 1 way. We made it somehow! We now have two keys, and my father keeps one all the time.
Scariest moment? Trailering the car for the first time. We were going to Finger Lakes NY, and it was raining so hard. We were on a mountain road going down hill in a 1988 chevy suburban with bad brakes, and there must have been 10 signs showing “S” curves ahead, and trucks going off the road.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now in the sport? Driving What? Married with children racing a 1970’s Dastun B210…..
In the past year or so, what have you learned to help improve yourself as a driver and your car setup? Never disregard ANYONE’S suggestions. Even if it is their first season, they may see something that you have been missing. Always to stay humble, and ask alot of quesiotns.
Do you left-foot brake? In your opinion how has this helped you? No! Sam Strano, Jason Burns and I had a long discussion about this. If you haven’t started with it, you’ll lose a season trying to figure it out.
What can you tell a Novice who is just starting out? To always stay humble, and don’t get disgusted, we all started somewhere. Ask alot of questions, 95% of the people are more than eager to help.
Worst advice you ever received? “…try this you might like it”
Best advice? “Stop being so binary with the gas pedal” I went home and looked up “binary” and have been trying to do it ever since.
How much of the sport do you think is attributed to driver skill vs. car setup? 80% driver 20% setup, maybe 70/30 in more prepared classes. You can have an awesome car, but YOU still have to get the job done.
What is it about autocrossing that keeps you interested? The competition, the changing courses, and the people.
How do you critique yourself, during your runs, after each run, or after the event? Not really so much during the runs, although I wouldn’t want young children inside the car while I mess up. After each run, and before I get out of the car I try to go back over my run while it is real fresh in my mind. After an event when I go to bed I go over the course in my mind, this may go on for a week.
What techniques do you use to memorize the course? Multiple walks, and visualization while sitting in the car before a run
Would you consider expanding your skills to wheel to wheel racing or even doing a HPDE? Never did wheel to wheel, but would love too. I have done quite a few HPDE’s in the M3 before getting into autocross….kinda backward I guess.
What trophies or titles have you won? I haven’t been doing this too long, this will be my 5th season…
6th place trophey 2009 Nationals SSM
1st place Finger Lakes Tour SSM
1st place DC Pro SSM
2 time Washington DC SCCA SSM champ
2 time Washington DC SCCA runner up (damn Brian)
What is your primary goal for the upcoming 2010 season? Beat at least ONE of those RX7’s, I can do it! I just need to get my stuff together.
If you could have ANY autocross ride imaginable, what would it be and why? Maybe a twin turbo Noble in XP. I think it could take the class.
What was your favorite subject in school? I had some pretty good math teachers.
Did you get any tickets as a teenager? By the grace of God, I think 2.
What is your favorite-
Food- Hands down Steamed Crabs…I grew up in Baltimore.
Drink- Non-Alcoholic- Coke Alcoholic- I love all beer, especially free ones.
TV Show- Simpsons, Family Guy, Glen Beck, O’Reily, Neil Cavuto…I can’t pick
Movie- Caddyshack, Animal House
Music/Band- No clue, I’m a Howard Stern fan that’s what I listen to.
Car- Attainable= Lotus Exige S Dream time= 2010 911 GT3 RS, in orange and black.
Other hobbies besides AutoX? I have a degree in Fine Arts believe it or not, and have won awards for my paintings and drawings.
Some of your favorite Web Sites, car related or not? www.bimmerforums.com