Her grip on the steering wheel tightened as the crankshaft climbs to 4,000 rotations per minute. She released the clutch, stomps the gas pedal and launches down the dirt straightaway.
Brianne Corn, Texas State alumna, competes in Rallycross races professionally around the United States and operates her own racetrack outside of San Marcos in Maxwell, Texas.
Corn said she would most likely not be so successful in her racing career if it weren’t for her well-rounded higher education. After her graduation in summer 2004, she continued to work for the university as a media technician in the Centennial Teaching Theater.
“There is a depth and breadth to the intellectual atmosphere of the university in general that is difficult to find outside the world of higher education,” Corn said. “It’s hard to find such a large collection of people dedicated to bettering themselves intellectually.”
In Corn’s youth, she grew up with motorbikes, go-carts and cars. However, her first taste of autocross racing was in the Bobcat Stadium parking lot with her brother’s car in 1993.
Her racing career started at Spokes Autocross in August 2004, which happened to be around her mother’s birthday. Her mother rode along with her every time, and still does if the specific race rules allow it.
“I chase down champions; that’s my hobby,” Corn said. “I find a series and who the number one driver in it is, then I put a target on their back and chase them down and beat them.”
At the 89th installment of Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, the second oldest race in the United States behind the Indy 500, she became the second woman to win the historical national title in 2011.
She recently became one of four drivers to receive the Sports Car Club of America’s TripleCross award this year. She won an Arizona Border Region event in November, all three DirtFish National Challenge events and the DirtFish RallyCross National Championship.
“There’s something about pushing yourself to the edge of what you’re capable of; it teaches you about yourself,” Corn said.
Lone Star RallyCross opened in 2014 and is co-owned and operated by Corn and her brother, Kevin Corn. The racing facility is complete with a workshop, rental rally cars, wrecked rally cars and a field dedicated to building unique dirt tracks.
Kevin Corn manages registration, timing for the events and special effects.
“It’s fun working with Brianne; we’re siblings so there’s bound to be some difference of opinion, but we work well together as a team,” Kevin Corn said.
Brianne Corn makes the course design and cone layout for all the events at the track and works on rally cars they rent out to attendees to race for the day. The siblings divide responsibilities of maintenance and organizing. Kevin Corn said they enjoy a healthy rivalry, whether it be operating the facility or in time trials on the track.
Jarrett Hand, Technology Emigration Expert for ITAC at Texas State, has known Brianne and Kevin Corn since 2011 and has been on a race team with Brianne.
“What they’ve created with Lone Star Rallycross is a knowledgeable, humble group of people who just want to get together, have a good time and race some cars,” Hand said. “They will open their arms to anyone and teach them how to be better drivers.”
Much to the Corns’ chagrin, six out of twelve races had to be canceled in 2017 due to rain. The wet climate makes the dirt track very difficult to prepare for events and even more difficult to drive on.
Brianne Corn is fearless both on and off the track. Along with developing Lone Star RallyCross, she hopes to compete in more SCCA events, American RallyCross (ARX) and World RallyCross (FIA).
“In anything you try to be the best in, you come to a deeper understanding about yourself and human existence; you won’t find that anywhere else,” Corn said. “There is something about pushing yourself to the edge of what you are capable of. What you think your limits are, are not your limits.”
For more information about Lone Star RallyCross, visit their website.