Liberty student in the driver’s seat
In a row of rusting Hyundais, Civics and dad’s hand-me-down college car clunkers, a silver Subaru Impareza is parked. Aftermarket stickers trim its custom bumpers and windshield. “Liberty University” is emblazoned across the quarter panel.
It has all the markings of a Liberty sponsored autocross competition car.
Primary driver David Wampler has been driving in rally and autocross competitions long before becoming a Liberty student, and as of the spring semester of 2010, has been in the driver’s seat for Liberty.
Autocross is a fast-paced motorsport ideal for car and adrenaline enthusiasts.
“It is a timed race through gates,” Wampler said “(It is) more so racing against the clock than anything else.”
The sport is based on precision performance. Cars are highly modified and tuned for sharp turns, short straightaways and weaving through cones. Drivers try to shave seconds off their times by driving tight lines and exploding out of corners.
“I love the competitive nature of it,” Wampler said. “Most types of racing you win by seconds. This type you win by hundredths of a second. With a small room for error, it makes every move count.”
He stressed that commitment is crucial when competing regionally and nationally in autocross.
The time and money poured into increasing the performance of both car and driver has paid off for Liberty Autocross. Wampler often stays in the top five, even at events with more than 80 drivers, usually placing first or second in his division.
Wampler has competed in more than 14 events this school year alone. He will be competing in Arkansas at the end of April and in Delaware on June 4 and hopes to compete in Lincoln, Neb. in August for a full week of national competition.
“I can significantly push the boundaries of competition and further Liberty’s name even farther in the western states,” Wampler said.
A collegiate autocross competition will be hosted in Verona, Va. this August. Alumni from different universities and any current students will be racing around the track against 60 other drivers.
Last year, Wampler placed highest as a current college student and third overall behind two alumni drivers.
Liberty hopes to find and recruit potential students at events where Wampler and other drivers compete.
“I’m looking for reliable, consistent, responsible drivers,” Wampler said. “You don’t give a scholarship to a football player without seeing how their previous seasons were.”
Wampler has hopes to see Liberty Autocross develop into something great with dedicated drivers.
“I’d love to see it grow with more interested students and enthusiasts.”
Students interested in becoming part of Liberty Autocross should contact Wampler at firstname.lastname@example.org.