Archive for July, 2009

OMG! Worst! Fan! Ever!

Posted in Miscellaneous on July 31, 2009 by vroomgrrl

Dear Pat,

Wow do I suck at this “fan” business. I was browsing the Porscheworks driver profiles, and it took me twice going through to notice (I was curious about the nationalities of your fellow works drivers) that July 28 was your birthday!

If it’s any consolation, I am generally not the best at marking birthdays of even my closest friends and family. So you are in good company? Well anyway, without further ado…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR PATRIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

I hope you had a good one, wherever you are!

The crappiest Patrick Long fan EVAH,
VroomGrrl

PS I get a kick out of hearing the Europeans say your name…”Pa-TREEK!” Ha!

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Spa Wind-Up

Posted in Me, Pat's Races on July 27, 2009 by vroomgrrl

Hey Pat,

I totally missed the end of your race and was left to scramble around online news sources to see how things went for you. I could tell from the stats that you guys appeared to be out after 21 hours, but it wasn’t until today that I read this little blurb which told the story, “IMSA Performance Matmut retired its Porsche at the end of the 21st hour with an engine failure.” Ouch. Well I’m sure you’ll be back soon with your typically upbeat perspective on Spa, and you are probably already on to the next thing. Not to minimize what must have been a tremendous disappiontment. Looking at the stats, I can see that you guys were indeed moving up and had gained from 21st overall to 16th. You went there to win, I know.

Well, you are young! You will hopefully have many, many Spas ahead of you. You know you’ll get it someday. And I know you know that. So…

I had a super busy weekend, kind of exhausting, but in a good way. I feel kind of bad that I didn’t even touch my 911. I need to get her out. I miss my baby! And she’s right there in the driveway. Priorities!

No track driving in the very near future for me. I’m going to try to get a few rides out at PSDS if I can. I’m working a big weekend with NASA-SE in Atlanta in August. I’m hosting two parties here at the house in August, too. And my job. Oh yeah, that! It’s kicking up some big dust and it’s been very energy-intensive lately. Balance. I’m going to sign up for a 1-day DE with PCA that happens in October, and maybe I’ll get back to AX – but not in this crazy heat.

A year ago July 26, I flew to Texas and bought my sweet 911. I need to check her mileage. Now I feel even worse that I didn’t get her out for an anniversary run! I’ll have to find a way to make up for that.

Speaking of work, big day tomorrow so I’m out for now. Wherever you are, I hope you are happy and well. The weekend – I cannot wait to read what you have to say about it – the rain, the track, the whole thing.

Sincerely,
VroomGrrl

Spa Updates

Posted in Pat's Races on July 25, 2009 by vroomgrrl

Hey Pat,

At 18 hours in, 6 go to, #70 has moved up four spots overall to 16, and if I’m reading this correctly, you’re now #8 in class. And I am not sure I’m reading that correctly. Raymond is apparently doing an awesome job, working his way through the pack in the wee hours. Pat, I am betting you’ll be behind the wheel soon to bring it home? We’ll see! It’s 3am and I really need to catch a few winks. Still no coverage except a “live” timing & scoring page, but the live feed will be up soon. GO GO GO!

I checked in around 11 hours and you guys were around 25th overall, 10th in class, Narac at the wheel. Now, at around 15 hours, you’ve moved up to 20th and Pilet is at the wheel, still 10th in class. I think I see the plan here. Soon you’ll be back behind the wheel to do that thing you do so well, run the final stints and work your way through what’s ahead of you to the front. I hope the car is doing well. I can’t really tell during the coverage blackout. I did find one source where I was able to see what each team did on each lap. So for example, at around hr11, I saw for you, “241 70 fuel, tyres and driver (Narac).” And this at lap 266: 266 70 Timing Screen – In gravel at T8 and rejoins. “Timing Screen”? Gravel? Uh oh!

When I wake up in the morning, you’ll be in the final hours. I hope to see you hanging strong and pushing out front.

GO #70!
VroomGrrl

Spa

Posted in Pat's Races on July 25, 2009 by vroomgrrl

Hey Pat,

Well so far I am limited to online live timing and scoring which I found HERE. UPDATE: FOUND LIVE STREAMING HERE WOOHOO! A couple of hours in and you guys look to be running around 7th overall, and first in class? I can’t really tell. It’s maddening to have to dig so hard and deep to find the news. What would be completely awesome would be if you had somebody like FLMS Jenn to follow you around and issue live updates of your goings on, wherever you are. Jenn is so fantastic keeping the Flying Lizard fans absolutely up to date on the Lizards when they are out.

By the way, I am available to follow you around and provide this service to the rest of your fans. Just in case you were curious. Haha! I am only partly serious. I’m not sure how my husband would feel about me abandoning my secret agent gubmint job and taking off to follow a dashing young sports car driver around the world. Well I think if it made me happy (and paid the bills) he would be fine with it. I’m not exactly qualified to provide this service, but I’m a quick learner!

Obviously I’m not out driving today. Part of me wants to call My Real Driving Coach up and give him a dose of HEY MAN WHAT THE F***? HOW ABOUT A PHONE CALL? But that’s a knee-jerk reaction to the uncertainty. My Real Driving Coach has been so good to me, so generous in so many ways, that I just cannot jack him up over his poor communication when it comes to working with him. I can’t pretend to understand why he does this and while I am “used to it” working (or not working) this way, it continues to be really really……unpleasant. The thing is, the one time in ten that it actually comes together and we get out to do some work? SO WORTH ALL THE CRAP.

OK I’ve got live streaming of the race on my computer. Excellent! Hope it’s 24 hour coverage. And I see you have the rain you knew you’d run into at some point. Wow. This is gonna be great! GO #70 GO!!!!

So I slept in until 9:00 today and got some much-needed rest. I had a brutal week in terms of energy, and feel much better rested now.

Life calls, more later.

Vroom!
VroomGrrl

All Signs Point to…Who Knows!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2009 by vroomgrrl

Dear Patrick,

I’ve located some online timing and scoring for Spa and if I am reading things correctly, looks like you guys qualified at #15 in your #70 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche? If I can find any live coverage, or streaming coverage, I’ll be tuned in! Assuming I am not out on the track myself. When I talked to My Real Driving Coach this afternoon to see if we were going out tomorrow, I got a great big “I don’t know, I’ll check some things and let you know.” Nearly 11pm, I guess I can assume we are off.

And let me just say this whole process with My Real Driving Coach makes me feel like a 2nd grader tugging on teacher’s apron strings. I know he doesn’t think about how his way of doing things works beyond himself, but it kind of sucks from here, and is a bit humiliating in the end. I’m OK with a Saturday off. But I’d rather be driving!

Fuck-a-doodle-doo.

You, sir, have a race to win tomorrow. I read back through the history of Spa and all the winners since 1964. Porsche has had some good runs, best back in the 60’s-70’s until BMW started its reign. Then again with the 996. I’ll be so happy to hear that you’ve taken this one.

Wishing you 24 hours of awesomeness!
VroomGrrl

Looking Forward

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2009 by vroomgrrl

Dear Pat,

Your latest column for SpeedTV.com was a great read. Party like a rock star in NYC and then off to Spa. The life you lead! Well you know I wish you all the best. You’re driving with your IMSA Matmut team, and I hope to hell I can find decent coverage of the festivities. You made that track sound fascinating. I love me some fog. Pronounced “fawg,” by the way.


Speaking of which, I’m on the road myself for a couple of days. I am not going to go into my top secret job here except to say that when I take a road trip, it’s to find people who do not want to be found, and to talk to people who don’t want to talk to me. So it was with great delight that I took a short detour today to visit a friend who lives out in the country. They have a little farm with chickens and turkeys and a couple of pigs. My excuse was I wanted to pick up a couple of dozen of their awesomely fresh eggs. Pronounced, “aigs,” by the way. So that was fun. Oh, and on the way home, I saw the most gorgeous sweet old Porsche 944. I ran with him for about twenty miles, and it was a total Porsche postcard as we crossed the river against the setting sun. Tomorrow, I have a full day, especially if I find everybody I think I have.

I did take my 911 out to the Porsche 250 at Barber on Sunday. I had walked down to the Porsche corral on Saturday and my PCA friends were all, “WHERE IS YOUR CAR, VROOMGRRL?” Seriously, they actually call me that. I told them the truth, it was a filthy mess in need of a bath, parked in my driveway in shame at home. They were not going to have that. They got me a corral pass for Sunday, so I went home early on Saturday and washed my car. Sunday, I enjoyed hanging out with the PCA folks, drooling over the hundred or so fantastic Porsches, and sitting under the trees with my AX buddies for a nice long while.

It was so beautiful all weekend, idyllic. It was great to have access to the VIP club area. I didn’t have to lug supplies around all day or set up camp anywhere. The food was good, and I saw lots of folks I don’t see often, so that was great. Jeff P is still dogging me to sign up for a PSDS session, and I am too embarrassed to admit to him that I just do not have the money. Awkward? A bit! Oh and I saw Hurley, he always remembers me from my visits to the school and greets me like an old friend.

Oh yeah, and the racing was pretty good too! Ha! The 250 went down to the last lap, and it was an exciting finish. Which I confess I watched on TV at home. I’d been out there most of the weekend, and I needed to get ready for my busy week, which included facilitating a training for my peers on a very complicated subject, along with the usual craziness of my work. Plus I have two parties coming up at our new house, which is forcing me to really get some stuff finished. It’s looking and feeling more like “home” every day. If I’ve learned anything in my 48 years, it’s that balance is a good thing. So I had to cut my day at the track short to keep everything else from flying out of whack, alas.


Of course I made a goofy video!

I have really been looking forward to driving this weekend, but also trying not to get too wound up about it, as odds are it won’t happen. I haven’t heard from My Real Driving Coach this week, no reply to my email sent last night. I thought they had a couple of school sessions this week, but I don’t see them on the schedule. So I’m not sure what’s going on. I saw him out at Barber last weekend and he was all about telling everybody we were going out to TGPR this Saturday and inviting them to come out and join us. But the signs, they are not looking so good, being as it’s Thursday night, and I haven’t heard a peep. If it’s going to happen, he’ll call me tomorrow night and be all, “What! OF COURSE we’re going!” Hahaha! Let’s hope it works out. I am itching to work!

Ever the optimist, I’m working my head closer to the right place to drive on Saturday. I really suffered the one track weekend I drove when I just threw myself out there with no mental preparation whatsoever. I enjoy it so much more when I’m centered on what I’m doing when I get out there. There are plenty of videos of this track, and I’ve been watching some laps, studying the map, and going around the track in my head. It’s a small, fairly simple track. No elevation changes. In fact, you can see every bit of the track from anywhere on it, pretty much. It was the very first track I drove on, and it’s still got plenty to teach me.

Well it’s stupidly late. I guess drinking an espresso at midnight wasn’t the best idea. I’m going to go read up on your race this weekend and find out how I can watch or listen. You said you’ve never won at Spa. I hope this is YOUR weekend, Pat!

Drive purty!
VroomGrrl

Beautiful Day at Barber

Posted in Miscellaneous, Pat's Races on July 19, 2009 by vroomgrrl

Hi Pat,

Wow what a great day you had! I did not see one second of your race – but was so glad to receive Jenn’s Flying Lizard News text message that you guys had won. Woohoo! Congrats – again!

I got the news as I was driving home from Barber. We have unusually mild weather for July, and it could not have made for a more gorgeous day to be at the track. The TRG car that was looking for a driver did some team reconfiguring and all their cars ran today. Not sure how they did in qualifying or anything. I tried my damnedest to hook my buddy Skeen up with them to get into that car. Turns out it was a very expensive proposition for an already underfunded privateer like Mike. But he took it and ran and did everything he could to try and put something together in the short time available. It would have been soooo cool to see him out there in a big race like this. He’ll get there.

So I saw My Real Driving Coach today, too. I got to meet his wife and son, and that was great. He always talks about them, and nine times out of ten, when our plans to work together don’t pan out, it’s because he’s taking time to be with his wife and son. He is still talking about going out next weekend…and! He says we’re getting medical out there, which means…wheee! It’ll cost me, but it’ll be so, so worth it. I can’t wait to get out and take some time to focus. I love working with him, and I’m dying to get some feedback from him, and remind myself how to use the brakes like a race car driver.

Tomorrow it’s back out to Barber. I have the royal hookup for the weekend, with VIP this and Special that. Thanks to My Real Driving Coach. I’ve got friends to hang out with but I’ll have to find them in the crowd. Oh and I finally (finally!) washed the 911 today, and my racing team sticker finally made it to me. I may actually fire her up and take her out to see all the other pretty cars tomorrow.

Let’s see. If I were you and I’d won a big race yesterday, I’d be wanting to kick back today, maybe get out and play in the water somewhere, spend some time with family and friends. For all I know you are in transit to your next big thing. However you do it, I know you must be savoring another win and honing your focus on the next race.

Congrats! Now – back to Barber in the morning for me!

Soaking it up,
VroomGrrl