You’re Driving Petit Le Mans; I’m Just Getting Started

Hey Patrick,

I have no clue if you will ever actually see this, but a girl can hope!

I had the pleasure of being at Road Atlanta for Thursday night & Friday morning of the Petit Le Mans week at Road Atlanta. So exciting! You were kind enough to take a moment to speak with me through the fence on Thursday night when I happened by and you were just…there! You were in the middle of Thursday night qualifying and were very busy so I appreciate that you took a moment away from all of that to say hello, and to ask me if I was having a good time.

I am a big fan of yours, and was so delighted to be able to wish you good luck in person. I didn’t get to see the big race in person, but I saw it from home on TV, and you guys drove an awesome race! Then at Laguna Seca you edged out Acura by 1 point for the year. WOW. Great finish for the year! Heartfelt congratulations to you! Long may you run! (that’s the title of a great Neil Young song about cars which was probably recorded before you were born).

So I’m a Porsche nut, and I just got my first Porsche, a 1988 911 coupe. These came out when I was just starting grad school and I fell in love. I’m so happy to have found a well-maintained, solid, dependable car – bone stock. And I LOVE IT. I’m getting started learning how to really drive by taking some HPDE with various clubs, and by doing some autocross. I am having the best time EVER. I live just over an hour from Barber Motorsports Park, where I have been going for Hot Laps rides wth the Porsche Sport Driving School. A good fast ride around Barber always seems to balance out whatever is off kilter at the time – in my forties, I find it takes some serious intensity to balance out life’s challenges. I call it “Porsche Therapy.” The guys at PSDS were very encouraging to me as I searched for my car, celebrated with me when I finally found it, and they have been cheering me on in my driving adventures since.

This past weekend, my first autocross was a timed, competitive event with SCCA (“Solo”). I had the slowest time in a field of 40 cars. But here’s what I love – I was the only Porsche there, and the only entrant in my B-stock class, so I took the trophy for my class. Woohoo! Most importantly, I learned a lot, improved through the day, and I can’t wait to get out there again. I’m getting some private coaching from one of the guys at PSDS, too, and that has been incredibly helpful and more fun than I ever dreamed.

I drove a DE track event on Saturday and did the autocross on Sunday, both firsts for me. I thought of an interview I saw with you where you talked about core muscle conditioning (kayaking, etc.). Well! Anybody who says driving is not a sport requiring serious conditioning – my abs, pecs, lateral obliques, triceps and biceps have something to say to them. They are still complaining!

I look forward to getting my 911 out on the track at Barber driving myself someday soon. Sometime in the next few months, I hope to catch a club DE there with a novice class. In the meantime, I learn so much from riding along with good drivers. It goes by so fast, sometimes I am a day or longer processing all the information that comes in at warp speed, but I never take a spin out there without learning something new. It has been most helpful to me just to feel the sensation of moving at speed – something that is totally foreign to me – but getting less and less so. I understand you will be one of the instructors for the PSDS Legends class in December. I’ve seen some of your videos of laps at Barber. I am going to do my best to arrange a hot lap ride for that day if they are offered, and I will hope to see you again, shake your hand, and maybe get a ride with you – that is, if my Porsche Princess luck holds out.

Hopefully you have some downtime to enjoy between now and then. Take care, and maybe I’ll see you December 17 in Birmingham!




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