No Drive

Hey Patrick,

Wow is it crazy time around here. I have hardly had time to think about cars & driving, except on my hour-long commute back & forth each day. My job is cranking up to its most busy right now as I prepare to go into a big trial in a couple of weeks. At the same time, we are moving out of this house and still trying to get things squared away to move into the new place. Not the new place I talked about last time, but a new new place. Yeah. It’s like that. So there may be a 2-4 week gap, temporary housing, dogs & cats to board, and where is my Porsche going to stay??? I’m working on it!

I have to satisfy my driving desires on my commute, and the very occasional joy-ride. I took the 911 to work two days in a row this week, which was fun. And also, necessitated by the temporary incapacitation of my daily driver (98 Camry). Bad battery posts. And I learned how to replace them! Another little thing I will be able to take care of for myself from here on out. 

On my commutes in the 911, I have been doing a little work on heel-toe downshifting, as circumstances allow. I’m experimenting with using my heel vs. using the side of my foot. I need somebody to sit in the car and help me a little with this, I realize. Ever since I started (really) driving, I always position myself, and my hands and feet, in racing position, no matter what car I’m driving. I practice my steering technique pretty constantly. For practical purposes there is not much transfer from my later model Japanese cars to the older 911; the benefit here, I think, is in developing all of these good basic habits so that they are second-nature when I’m on the track.

I never talked about this when I wrote about my LeMons trip to CMP, but I had to laugh at myself when I got home. Without really consciously planning to, I approached that trip like an endurance race! I guess I was in the zone from the weekend. Haha. But seriously, I looked at the map before heading out, planned my pit stops, and what I’d do at each in terms of car care & fuel, and nourishment for myself. I had a target for mileage covered on various legs, and a target arrival time if all went according to plan. I ended up truly torturing myself at one point because I had to pee, but it wasn’t time for my pit stop. I pressed on! I remember thinking in the moment that there was no reason I couldn’t just stop anytime I wanted to and use the restroom, but that crazy, driven part of my brain did not want to abandon the race plan!

It did feel good to get home exactly precisely on plan, too. No checkered flag, no champagne, but a real sense of accomplishment that I stuck with it from beginning to end, and saw the plan through to successful execution. Though I made a mental note to ask endurance racers what they do about having to go when they don’t want to stop. What, do you do? Hold it? Wear Depends? Seriously, I’m curious. And that’s the kind of question I don’t think I’d have the nerve to submit to you via pca.org or anything like that! I’ll have to ask some of my real-life endurance racer friends.

I check the online messageboards for the various clubs I run with, and wow, I had no idea how hard it would be to have to back out of everything and be totally out of the scene while it all goes on without me.  The time trial event I had planned to do my first corner work with last weekend, and the monthly autocross event this weekend – SNIFF!  I cleared my calendar of driving and work commitments through the end of May, but that last weekend is the Barber event I signed up to run with NASA-SE using my worker credits. They’ll transfer to another event if I have to bag that, but I’m going to hold onto my novice slot as long as I can and hope things work out so that I can make it. Next up after that is a PCA DE in June. And also in June, my tentative plan to crash the Legends course at PSDS. Shhhh! Our little secret.

I keed! I keed!

Kind of 🙂

All of my car energy will have to be sated with the oil change I have planned for this weekend. We’ll see if my friend comes through this time. He’s the one who lives near me with the two 911s, a 928, and a Datsun Roadster in his garage. I’ve got to load up on oil, and the plan is for me to go over there on Sunday and dig in to my first home-grown oil change. How sick is it that I am so excited about an oil change??

I’m excited about your next race in Utah, which will be broadcast live on TV. Yay for that!

Life is calling – bye for now.

Sincerely,
VroomGrrl

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