The Missigs are a full-on car and racing family. Autobahn Country Club is where they live their passion
Jim and Diana Missig have a shared passion for cars and racing that was passed on to their son Jordan, now 22, who is embarking on a racing career of his own. It would seem that Jordan’s current destiny was a forgone conclusion long before he was born.
Growing up, Jim watched with great interest as his father worked on a race team that ran a Gurney Eagle in the 1970s. When it was his turn to start a career, he poured his automotive interest into an auto body business in Joliet, Illinois during nearly 30 years of ownership. While running the business, he learned of a novel venture that would soon spring up, practically in his own backyard: Autobahn Country Club.
“It was at a Rotary Club meeting that founder Mark Basso first presented the idea of the club,” said Jim recalling that his earliest encounter with Autobahn came before it had yet to break ground.
It would take 10 or so years from that day for the Missigs to finally become members. Having sold the company, it was time to live out their passion as enthusiasts rather than business owners. With their home only 30 minutes drive from Autobahn, it quickly became the hub of their leisure and social time. They took advantage not only of the track and clubhouse, but also of the opportunity to build a “Garage Mahal” where they could store and work on their growing collection of street and racecars on the ground level while hanging out and entertaining on the top level. From April to October, it’s practically their second home. For Jordan, it presented a rare opportunity.
“It was a teenager’s dream to be able to live at, and have access to, a race track five or even six days a week,” says Jordan, who started racing a go-kart at the club when he was 18. “I didn’t have any racing experience compared to many of the others I was racing with.”
Autobahn offered Jordan a driver development program and team of instructors who had a wide range of racing experience themselves. By competing in Autobahn’s Member Racing Series, Jordan had the opportunity to enhance his driving skills.
“Having access to the track almost anytime has allowed me to get the seat time I needed to get up to speed more quickly than those who started racing at a younger age, but had less opportunity to get on track as frequently.”
Other young Autobahn members have followed a similar path from karts all the way to pro racing, including Brandon Collins and Britt Casey, Jr.
Proving Jordan’s driving prowess didn’t take long. Within three seasons, he won the Margay Ignite Senior Class karting championship as well as his third Autobahn Club Karting title. Then in 2018, he jumped into a Radical SR3 to run a partial season in the Radical Cup North America along with the club’s own Radical series. By 2019, he was dominating the Radical series at the track and nearly winning the national series as rookie, ultimately finishing second overall. Now in 2020, he moves into a single-seater with Newman Wachs Racing in the FR Americas Championship. Without the family commitment to Autobahn, Jordan might have never had the opportunity.
With Jordan racing, Diana being heavily involved in the club’s social activities featuring numerous ladies-only opportunities to get behind the wheel, and having a place where he can enjoy his car collection, Jim Missig looks back on when he first heard about plans for the club.
“Although I knew that some day I would be a member at Autobahn, I never imagined having a family that loves cars and racing, and that we would be in the position we are today. I couldn’t have written a better story nor would I change a thing!”
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?
The Autobahn Country Club is a place where people live our their dreams. For some it’s the chance to regularly get out on track. For others, it’s to build a dream garage for their automotive collection. And for a family like the Missigs, it’s an opportunity to give their son a shot at career path toward racing professionally.
Memberships are available at three different levels and for those who just want to get out on track there are nine different individual and group programs that enable to you to enjoy over five miles worth of racing, karting and off-road track.
Despite the continual expansion, there remain many opportunities to build your own trackside garage or condo.
Learn more by visiting autobahncc.com