Archive for April, 2010

Catching Up

Posted in Me, Pat's Races on April 20, 2010 by vroomgrrl

Hiya Pat,

Wow it’s been awhile since I wrote here. To tie up loose ends from last time, I did not, in fact, find out how I’d do at AX in a Miata and I don’t even remember why. Oh! We couldn’t swap cars because the Miata driver was having back spasms and decided that powering my car around would not be advisable. I did not argue! Another time for that.

So you, and the catching up! Fantastic run at Long Beach! Congratulations!! I didn’t get to watch the race live. I didn’t get to watch the tape rebroadcast. I didn’t get to keep up by Twitter or any other internet-based means. I unplugged and spent a long weekend at the beach with my husband. Our phones didn’t even work 99% of the time. It was great!

But it did drive me rather crazy to have no information, so when we went to dinner, our phones worked and I texted a friend for the results. By the time he texted me back, we were already back at the beach house. I did have my laptop and was able to get the broadband connection for just long enough to bring up the timing & scoring page at the ALMS site and see the results. Since then, I have seen a couple of highlights features which show all the good parts. I particularly enjoyed the view of you passing the BMW – from the BMW! Ha! Awesome!

I mean, come on, of all places…Long Beach is like the Barber of the Indy circuit. Haha I slay me. But from all indications, including interviews of yours I’ve seen and read, opportunities to pass at Long Beach are few and brief. Add the traffic and whoa. Yet you managed to work your way from P4 to P1. !!!!!! Wow. That’s why you get the big bucks, man. Spectacular run!!! Edited to add: I understand from reading up a little more carefully that the first position or two were gained with an incredible pit stop, leaving you with the other two positions to reel in when you took the wheel. So kudos to the crew!!! And to you!

As of last week, I am now in possession of a set of new black-centered Fuchs for my 911. Hooray! I am trying to work out the logistics since I really really need new tires, too. I thought it would work out great to put the new tires on the new wheels. But my next track day is April 30. I don’t think I’ll be able to get the tires by then. Plus I wanted to take the “new” wheels to a friend who offered to pretty them up for me (just clean & polish the rims and repaint the faded black centers) for a song. I hoped to get that done before getting new tires mounted on them. If a big pile of money falls on my head this week, I’ll get into high gear. Otherwise, I’m on to plan B, which is to just drive the tires off the old wheels while the new wheels are getting their makeover, then get the tires when I can, mount them on the new wheels and put those puppies on the car.

I’m thinking about changing classes in autocross, but I have to do some more research. I’ve only earned points at one event so I can run a complete-enough season in the new class if I end up moving. My last event was….meh. The course was extremely challenging to my brain, a most unusual layout. After going thru the finish line, I actually got lost trying to get off the course. Eegads! We had three runs in the morning, then switched the start & finish and ran it backward for three runs in the afternoon. I started out with a much smaller margin to the FTD, and brought my times down incrementally. The one time I was sure I would have my slowest time, because I took some risks and did more slipping and sliding around than I usually do? FASTEST TIME. There’s something for me to learn there. As hard as I drove that one time? The bar has been raised. I need to start every run like that! A real eye-opener.

That autocross is the only driving I’ve done all this time! But I did give the 911 a thorough clean-up and shine, and took her out to Barber for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber, April 9-11. My birthday was the 11th, and it was a great way to celebrate! As an officer in my local PCA, I was apparently expected to show up at 7 every morning and work the club tent until the end of each day. Well now I know! I played the birthday card to slide in late (9:00) Saturday, and ducked out early Sunday to beat the traffic. The weekend was a tremendous success, and I really enjoyed all of the Porsche corporate support, in addition to great support and collaboration from PSDS and our local Porsche dealership. We picked up several new members over the weekend, so I was constantly being called upon as membership chair to meet folks and welcome them. It was my pleasure!

Our car corral was limited to 110 cars and it was packed all three days. We had a byooootiful collection of cars every day! (Except, strangely, not a single 356 all weekend). My official work shift was Friday (opening day) at 7am! They didn’t provide me the right parking card and I had to beg my way thru credentials to start things off. Then our corral had not been marked off and while the tent was there, everything else needed setting up. I didn’t know what I was in for. And I was on my own!

Well my Miata-driving friend, The Greasegirl, was with me, having ridden to the park super early with her boyfriend who works in the restoration area in the museum. The trams weren’t running yet and she asked me to pick her up. Good thing I did. She offered to get the corral set up (and run off all the random non-Porsches already invading our space) while I handled the tent and the visitors who were already showing up as I put down my pack. I don’t know what I would have done without her! But we got it handled and everything went so well all weekend. We had a fantastic spot on the hill overlooking the back side of the track between turns 14-17. Lots of great action to see!

I’m having a hard time balancing the administrivia with the driving and car fun! I worked all weekend and really never left the tent to even see the paddock, the drivers, all the fantastic cars. other parts of the track, the new grandstands….in that way, it was kind of not the best. But I can’t say I didn’t have fun. I thoroughly enjoyed everything right where I was. And we had Hurley Haywood and Bobby Rahal give brief remarks and answer questions, so I definitely saw the cream of the race car rock star crop.

Looks like I will be working instead of driving our next club DE at Barber as well. Several reasons for that. It’ll be in June and I am sure I will not mind working the credentials building. It’s just kind of a crazy year. And I’m just kind of rolling with it!

So there you have it, the catch-up. You are off somewhere exciting – aw hell yeah. SPA, BABY! Gawd I want to see a race in Europe. I’ve been to concerts over there, but never a race. It’s on my big life’s to do list! Le Mans is, actually…anyway, be safe and have fun. I’ll try to do better about keeping up via Twitter! You’re great about posting updates and photos there. I’ll get some photos added to this entry eventually…

Congrats again to you & Jorg!