My memories of Al by Eric Brunner

First really got to know Al during my tenure as Club President (2005 to 2014) when he became Competition Chairman in 2011.  He and Sergio embarked upon a pretty ambitious Auto Slalom program at Picton Air Field.  The series was very popular and we would have MCO, OMSC and PMSC members showing up to run on the fantastic facility.  Where else could you drive wide open on a big circuit unlike the small parking lots available anywhere else.  Also was good practice for the Regional that we put on each year.Al became our IT expert on keeping the club timing equipment operational.  I kept asking him and Sergio if we were running too many events but they were quite content to have one almost every 2nd or 3rd summer weekend.  They were quite a team and worked very hard to produce fun and challenging courses.

Al always had a great sense of humour and after watching my late wife Judy and I running an event at the old Woolco parking lot in the 60’s or 70’s with the Lotus Cortina when we were competing seriously in Club, Regional, National and SCCA slaloms, he asked Judy how the car was doing. She just shrugged her shoulders and said that there were no problems and if there were, “Eric would have to fix it, I just drive”.  He would always have a big laugh telling that story.  Brought a smile to me too.

When the group of us as the Executive, (Al, John, Sergio and myself along with Rob and Vince) finished our term, we were approached by Jean Gauthier, the owner of SMP, to run evening lapping and slalom sessions with him.  Hence was born Driver Dynamics and again Al played a big part in running our own timing and display equipment.  Lots of fun after each event getting together at a pub or hamburger place in Napanee to wind down with Al always having a humourous way of discussing the evening’s experiences. Also, he always got the results out quickly to the competing drivers

He had a Honda CRX ex-Atlantic Region race car that he would bring out for fun at our slaloms and lapping.  However, Al was working on a killer modified Fiat X1/9 in which he had set up centre steering and substituted a Chev Cobalt Supercharged 2 litre 4 cylinder amidships.  What an improvement in HP to weight ratio!  The car was well on its way to completion so hopefully someone can take that over.  John figures it would be a great GT racer at Mosport.

Al and Sergio had begun driving Rally Cross in a shared car, and so last year, with no Driver Dynamics action, due to new ownership at SMP, they got much more involved and ran quite a few events.  That was very enjoyable for Al being strictly a competitor and not having to worry about organizing.  He was really looking forward to this coming season but that was not to be.

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