WILLCOX — Family-owned and operated, Inde Motorsports Ranch held the start of its annual Challenge Series last weekend. Skyler Loverink made sure he was there.

Inde Motorsports Ranch consists of 75,000 square feet of facilities, including a performance drift and skid pad of nearly five acres, according to its website. The 2.75-mile, 21-turn road course can accommodate more than 40 configurations. It has a combination of uphill and downhill corners and straights, blind apexes, hairpins, sweepers, negative and positive camber turns.

At IMR, wheel-to-wheel racing is open to all Vintage, Sports Car Club of America, National Auto Sports Association and International Motor Sports Association certified race cars and drivers.

Many drivers competing Saturday were long-time members, but also involved was Loverink, a young newcomer who has been racing for six or seven months.

What did Loverink do before becoming interested in racing?

“I played baseball,”Loverink said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Chandler-Gilbert Community College. It’s up in Chandler. I would probably say the best community college league in the west. So I wanted something to do that was competitive.”

Loverink got his interest in racing from his father, who was a Formula One competitor. After two baseball injuries ended Loverink’s college career, he was looking for a new challenge.

“I stopped with baseball. I got tired. No complaining. It just didn’t work out, Loverink said. “I had elbow surgery and I broke my hand in the fall and so I just wanted to do something new.

“I got to try out Super-X. I got to try one of those out one time and I just fell in love with it. So we built one and I ended up moving it down.”

Loverink planned to race his 2018 BMW M2 Saturday.

“I based most of this car actually off of someone else,” he said. “I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Pikes Peak Run. Someone else built an M2 for the Pikes Peak Run. Someone built an M2 specifically for that. He built the air dams. He built them to funnel air.”

Loverink added features to his car.

“All custom,” he said. “A race radiator, intercooler, transmission cooler and oil filter. All of that would essentially translate, because they’re basically suffocating their engine, because it’s a higher elevation. Same thing here, but different concept.

“So I just needed better cooling. It’s about 10-15 degrees intake temperatures, which can be pretty significant when you’re out here racing in Arizona. Really, I just kind of based it off that. I use a lot of Porsche’s engineering as kind of my basis.”

Turns out Loverink didn’t totally leave baseball behind. He has a huge black number 52 painted on the side of his car.

“That was my number in baseball. I just kind of carried it over,” Loverink said.

IMR offers much for an auto racer. Inde is constructing a track-side garage pad with a sleeping area on the upstairs level that will be completed in March. The pad is the first of several custom garages that will be available to members, who will have an opportunity to build similar customizable trackside garages to store their vehicles and can have a second-floor area for overnight stays.

According to CJ Dorland, co-owner and founder of Inde Motorsports Ranch, the cost per pad is on top of membership cost.

One-time initiation fees and annual dues are $75,000 (initiation), $6,500 annually for Founding Membership; $45,000 (initiation), $5,000 annually for Executive Membership; $25,000 (initiation) for Associate Membership, $5,000 annually; and $120,000 (initiation), $15,000 annually for Corporate Membership.

Each membership comes with unlimited access to the track and facilities and lasts for the member’s lifetime.