Meet> Fellow Owner and Autocross Driver
BY Scion CM
Now that you're acquainted with autocross, meet a fellow Scion Owner who decided to get involved and in four years time has moved his way up to regional class Champion. Tony Cambio (screen name: tcambio) had no background in motorsports when he decided to poke around the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America.) They encouraged him to come to their last event of the year – and Tony was hooked.
Showing up with his 2006 xA, he was "incredibly nervous" but found the other drivers very welcoming. Riding along with a more experienced driver enabled him to see what he could work towards. Tony recalls, "I drove very badly that day but I had so much fun!"
Picture by Andy Seipos
The following year, Tony attended his region's driving school, The Learning Curve, just before the season opened. Gaining invaluable skills and seat time, he went on to carry out his first full season of autocross.
While doing as much as possible to make his car competitive, tcambio is a firm believer that it's the driver's skill which matters most. After attending The Learning Curve, Tony began volunteer instructing the very next year. He's even had the chance to teach his wife, a fellow Scion Owner! He said she was extremely nervous, but picked up important skills and courage during the course. Although not everyone finishing driving school goes on to race, Tony thinks the school is a good idea for everyone. He acknowledges that he's "avoided more than one accident because I know how to better handle my car. I keep calm and don't panic because I've trained."
Picture by Keith Tennant. Tony was actually in a mild spin-out here, about to run into those three cones. But because no other cars are on the autocross course as each car races - it's okay!
Autocross has also led Tony to develop his mechanical skills also. You don't have to be able to wrench on your car in order to autocross, but being able to do the basics is helpful and will cut down on costs if you begin modifying. Tony had some previous experience working on classic cars and had a knowledgeable friend help him learn about his more modern Scion. Wanting to make modifications for the track, he's gone on to learn how to do most all of the work for his Scion's upgrades – including custom building an air intake and short shifter for his tC.
2006 tC Modifications
- Hotchkis Sport rear sway bar
- Ground Control coilover sleeves
- Eibach springs
- Koni Sport dampers
- Dunlop Star Spec tires
- Magnetic number panels by At Track Grphics
- Short shifter and intake – custom fabricated
An important aspect of autocross to Tony is that you can be competitive with your regular ‘ol street car. Keeping his car a daily-driver is both a challenge and a goal for Tony. This past year Tony battled it out with a fellow Subaru driver to take first place in his SCCA region. He says that when he realized "the only one who's beating me is me," he was able to go out during the next round and get the winning time.
We love Tony's passion for driving his Scion and promoting autocross both as a sport and a terrific way to become a better driver! Thanks for sharing your story with us Tony, follow along with him on his World's Fastest Scion* Racing - Tony Cambio Facebook Page! If the rest of you Scion Owners want to attend a driving school or get involved in autocross – read the introductory Scion Insider article and check with your local SCCA chapter.
Picture by Andy Seipos
- Attended last SCCA race of the season
- Took driver's course, The Learning Curve, before season started
- Raced in his 2006 xA
- #4 Chicago Region SCCA
- Began instructing for The Learning Curve
- #3 Chicago Region SCCA
- Traded in xA for a 2007 tC in August
- #2 Chicago Region SCCA
- 2007 tC (black) was flooded in July, replaced with a 2006 tC (white)
- #1 Chicago Region SCCA
- #2 Tri-State Sports Car Council
If you're interested in racing, or just want to go check it out for yourself, look up a SCCA region near you!