Winter Driving

Hi Pat,

Well I bet you didn’t plan on winter driving conditions when you were preparing for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 in Daytona this past weekend! Of course, with access to all the information that’s out there, I’m sure you did know that the weekend was going to be unseasonably cold – it’s been all over the news in relation to the citrus orchards and other crops endangered by the weather. So I’m sure you were prepared, and the cars were prepared. Obviously nobody brought snow tires to run in the sleet on Saturday.

Anyway! Busy weekend all around. I found a fantastic article at motorsport.com that sums up the Porsche-related events and testing results from the weekend in Daytona. You and Jorg in your #67 TRG/Flying Lizard Porsche held the fastest time on Friday – awesome! And my pal Spencer Pumpelly was hot! He and his team led Sunday afternoon practice in the #71 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. This is going to be a great race! Conditions will hopefully be much different than you found them this weekend, but you never know.

Hurley is saying this will be his last Rolex 24 at Daytona. I wish so much that I could come down for this one! My crew that I’d usually watch the race with will be there this year, but work is holding me close to home for now. Things may change, and I’m looking at tentative last-minute travel plans so that I can make the trip if at all humanly possible.

My weekend included a little laid-back car fun. There was a P0lar B3ar Run drive scheduled, then postponed, then a new drive just like the original drive organized by some other folks to take place this weekend instead of the original drive and yeah, it got a little confusing there. But we showed up at the appointed place (Barber) and time (8:00) and there were over 50 cars and 75-100 people ready to head out on a tour of covered bridges.

We ended up going in two groups, and I went in the smaller group which took an alternate and untested route. Good thing we didn’t have more folks along, we relied on GPS which led us down a road that turned to dirt, then deteriorated to conditions better suited to a good 4WD vehicle! Narrow, icy, rocky, and steep grades up and down.

There was a little wailing and gnashing of teeth as the pimped out and lowered sports cars crept down the last bit of treacherous, boulder-strewn road with the 100-foot gorge dropping straight off the right edge. Yeah, good times! We actually sent the a couple of cars down first to scout the route, and they sent a walker back up to help the others navigate. Everybody made it down, and there was no car carnage involved, even the low splitters and spoilers survived. Plus we had the BEST stories at the dinner afterwards!

It really was fun. My husband came along and I was so happy to have his company in the car for the day. I love covered bridges, and we saw four of them, and had some awesome fun driving between them. It was damned cold, though. But my 911 has heat that will crisp your ears if you’re not careful! So no trouble there. The car ran flawlessly, and as the only Pcar in my group, was a real stand-out among the Hondas and Miatas and Evos and Camaros. Some of the scenery was stunning – really great big icicles in several places brought out the child in us…

The best thing about the day was at one stop, we realized we’d picked up a black Trans Am. We started talking to the guy and he said he had seen us driving in a line down the highway and could tell we were together and having a fun drive. He was on his way to get an oil change, and out of curiosity, he fell into line and followed us to the first stop. Once he found out who we were and what we were doing, he made a few phone calls and spent the rest of the day with us, right down to the group photo and dinner at the restaurant in Cullman.

My friend Diana, The Grease Girl, posted a fantastic write-up with great pictures as well. It’s worth checking out.

Well today’s been an odd one. Had to call off work to deal with some weather-related semi-emergencies: the washing machine froze and not knowing this, I ran it, burning something up on the inside, and once it melted, causing it to leak all over the floor; and my cat has a cold! He’s really sniffling and snuffling and sneezing, so he needs to get to the vet. Life goes on!

Thoughtfully,
VroomGrrl

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