There are things that I love about winter: Christmas cards, starlit morning jogs and wearing PJs all day. Kiddies snooze, raining outside. Daylight emerges and I’m snuggled up with Buddy the puppy. Guilt-ridden as usual: should be calling mother, washing Bianca, cleaning for houseguests… But, for the last 4 hours I’ve been thinking about …. Oh gee! What a surprise!
Ahem….. Now, I just really want winter to go away please so that I can concentrate on learning how to use the R888s. How will she handle pulling out of turn 1 at VIR? What grip will I feel braking hard left into 4? Will I better manage tail exiting uphill to turn 14?
Track junkies know this: you can stop yourself from going to track, but you cannot stop your mind from going there. (Any denial is just a polite untruth.)
Wondering: Is there any way on earth I can somehow sneak off to Road Atlanta with Vader and Tex without Big T or kids noticing? Agggghhh! It’s killing me. Tex posted a thread on the Hurricanes page. Talking about RA. Lots of good advice from Greenfrog, GillesV, and ProCoach along with some exciting videos by Randy Pobst being shared. Answer: I cannot go. And I cannot stop thinking about turn 12.
For the past 6 months my water-cooled Porsche buddies have been in full cry: Your car is not right for track! “Why?” I ask.
Unanimous reply: You’re spending so much energy battling the car you’ll never learn to drive! It’s too difficult to handle!
Truth be told, I do have doubts about continuing to track Bianca, but for different reasons. Mostly related to worries about her safety. It is clear to me that Ron treated her with kid gloves. The worldwide ummah of air-cooled Porsche lovers know the value: Bianca is entirely original. Many owners of these out-of-production bullet-proofed engine gems have had to restore their cars, splicing them with parts and vin numbers from others.
But am I going to pick an easier car? For my ego or speed? Will I take my dear friend Vader’s advice?
Duh. Guess again. I am FastDriverMom….Mom is code word for “I have no ego left, and because of that I am more powerful than I ever was before. Stubborn as heck.”
I love that she is really a difficult car to drive, just like (someone I know) is a difficult woman to love. I adore that Bianca’s torsion bar suspension makes turning the wheel at speed on track require all the strength of arms and torso, and every nerve impulse of my conscious thought. Her nervous 915 transmission requires that I delicately insinuate my way into 2nd gear via a sticky negotiation of sweet-talking the synchros into position. Her prodigious clutch demands my left leg take charge: smooth on, firmly in, smooth off. Sometimes, because I am so short, I have to lift my rear off the seat to floor it in.
By the end of a track day every sensation is sweating and alive. My musculature is reduced to a pulpy mush of creatine phosphokinase. For me, by far, the greatest joy in track driving is in learning how to manage this difficult car. Speed will come in time.
Because of the blood, sweat, and tears I put into driving Bianca, I drive as my authentic self. Stupid right? Yup. Every one of my instructors will prove witness to the gory mess I become.
I cannot go to Road Atlanta, or Roebling or Watkins or Cota or Mid-Ohio just now. And, thankfully, I can’t stop my mind from going there. My brain is singing and tingling under the joy of the pre-frontal cortex dopamine rush! Yes, just by imagining it. My skin is warm, pyrexic. Feverish! Yes, and palpitations too.