If you have been kind enough to follow my notes since last October, thank you! To summarize for newer readers:
I adore my 1985 Porsche 911, Bianca. After 14 months of sustained effort, I progressed in my track driving. But at great cost, and with slow results. Three dear trusted track friends (also instructors), taking a risk, had the courage and kindness to give some necessary tough love.
I absorbed the harsh truth, and took stock. Then, after nearly crashing her this past June, I retired Bianca. She needed modifications to continue on track, not an option I’d pursue. Refusing to quit, I bought another track car. Moxie is a 1990 Mazda MX-5 spec racer. I invested in safety gear (seat, harness, a HANS device).
The costs for all this came from the 2015 track budget, and then some. Things worsened in June when:
- Transporting Moxie to Atlanta effectively doubled the cost of that weekend.
- She got damaged, with costly repairs ensuing.
- Going forward, I’d need a trailer. It had to be ultra-light aluminum for my Pig/Mercedes to tow.
- Said purchase cost money.
- A triple-digit speeding ticket in May had cost a track weekend.
The FDM budget was blown!
I was tired of the whole mess. I swore off of track for the rest of the year. My family needed me. I needed them. The focus moved toward home, and our children’s needs.
The prolonged remodel project, the college prepping, the puppies, and the swimming pools beckoned invitingly. Long days stretched the summer fun out, with college visits, lakeshore hijinks, family gatherings, cut-throat strategy board-games, and waaaay-past-bedtime ice cream runs. Even the boredom felt luxurious.
Big T’s responsibilities at work changed, I finished up some consulting projects with satisfying results. And the girl-gang gathered at the lovely beach home of DoctorLaserMama for a hilarious, take-no-prisoners, ladies weekend (complete with the obligatory blushing waiter).
Bianca was re-groomed for civilian life, undergoing removal of racing tape/track numbers/inspection stickers/tire bogeys. Naturally and effortlessly she resumed her classic elegance for weekend strutting. Big T and I took a countryside getaway to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary. Bianca was our chariot.
Through summer, I observed the adventures of track friends and peeked into Rennlist from time-to-time. But, after my dismal departure from Road Atlanta, personally I felt distanced from track.
As July ended, I looked at family calendars and began fall planning.
And….That velvety longing for track emerged.
In my college freshman’s calendar there was a glimmer of something. It caught my eye, causing a double-take. Then, it clicked: A trip to Indianapolis in August for dorm move-in was the same week that Mid Ohio Region PCA’s historic HPDE at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was scheduled!
I checked. Registration was full, with fees beyond my reach.
But: An Indy HPDE is a mythical creature. In over 100 years of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway history, never once had it occurred!
Also: I’m an August baby–a Virgo, no less! Soon, I would qualify for cake and presents!
Plus: I realized that parents’ weekend required my cancellation of 2 HPDEs at VIR that were pre-paid. I would get refunds!
Was there hope? I hesitated to bring it up. It might appear shabby: Mommy dropping off her kid at college, elbowing in with her own agenda. But this was Indy!
Borrowing courage from a little girl who played Hot-Wheels while dreaming of The Brickyard, I tentatively wait-listed myself. That afternoon, as Big T and I leisurely enjoyed an English tea, I gently asked him.
“Honey, would you answer me something honestly?”
“Of course,” he replied.
“Would you like me to stop driving?”
“Of course not,” he replied.
I ‘fessed up about Indy. Big T isn’t a car nut, but he is a born and bred Hoosier. As he listened, his face lit up! I kept my name on the list. Anyway, I knew it wouldn’t pan out.
Going into fall, I could make one last VIR trip this year. If my birthday benefactors were generous, maybe I’d do Chin at Road Atlanta. Big T offered support, but FDM is strictly an “Earn to Play” program. Family finances were out of bounds.
Budget realities prompted my resolve to establish sustainable funding. Through my consulting business, sure. But maybe also, sponsors, grants, donors, whatever. Who knew? I had to try.
Early one August morning, I sat drafting emails to a handful of influential people. People who I looked up to, leaders who could offer valuable ideas, some networking, or any leads in industry. While I tried to capture my words, I saw my email inbox blipping.
“Ayesha, I have good news for you.”
I had been picked off the wait-list, to drive at Indianapolis!