Saturday, June 02, 2007
There has to be time to play
When spending so much time building a favorite race car it's only reasonable to get an urge to get out on the track. After all it can't be all work and no play. Besides I find getting to the track helps me to relax and getting to hang out with a great bunch of friends is one hell of a way to spend the day. So today I went to Thunderhill to eat some good cheeseburgers, get some sun, shoot the bull with some friends and get in some laps is a few different sets of wheels.
In my opinion the weather at Thunderhill is always excellent but then again I love it whether it's pouring rain with 50 mile per hour wind gust or 115 in the shade and I've done all of the above at Thunderhill. Part of what made today fun was getting some one on one time with Geri Bledso the North American director of the La Carrera Panamericana and Rachel Larratt as well as Rachel's new team mates. Gerie is a real hoot to sit and bench race with and believe me he's got some awesome stories to share. But more importantly to me is learning that Gerie is a "racer's racer". He knows what he expects of a car as well as himself and has been there done that. He's not the kind of guy who feels a need to impress people but at the same time he can put his foot where his mouth is and fun to be around and watch on the track.
Actually I got to spend more time with Rachel's team mates than Rachel because Rachael did what women do best.... She went shopping! LOL. Don't beat me up Rachel, it's all in fun. OK, in all fairness I guess I better set the record straight. Rachel wasn't feeling great so in order to feel better she did what most women and even my wife does... She went shopping. I hope she feels better real soon. It was fun to spend time with Gerie and equally as fun I had a great time with Rachael and her guys albeit too short. I am looking forward to racing with them in this years La Carrera Panamericana.
In the meantime I did have some fun going out with Rachel's drivers for a couple of sessions and was very pleased to see they are fast to pick up what they are told and Rachel's car is set up extremely well. Thanks to Rachel and Steve and ?. (God I'm so bad with names so I'll just call him "Fast.") They are running in this years NASA's Endurance series and will be running the 3 hour endurance race tomorrow and I feel confident they should do well even though they are new to Thunderhill. That's one of the nice things about endurance races... You get LOTS of seat time to learn the track. As a matter of fact some drivers get more seat time in one endurance race than they get in a whole season of sprint racing. Having won more endurance races and championships at Thunderhill Raceway than any other team I have reason to have a special bond with this track.
Today was also the debut of the new SIRIS MEDIA Spec Miata owned by Jon Emerson (my navigator) and driven by Will Faules (our team mate) built with the help of IMPACT ENGINEERING. NOBODY builds a better roll cage than IMPACT ENGINEERING. It is one beautiful Spec Miata and it really had the Mazda guys talking today. Today was supposed to be just a simple shake down with it's junkyard special since the new engine is not ready yet but Will finished on the podium for the first race of the season. Just wait until they see what he can do with the new race engine. That's my boy! In the meantime Jon was at the 2007 Wine Country Classic vintage races with a media pass so here are some GREAT RACE CARS FROM YESTERYEAR.
I had time to get in some seat time in some other rides and hang out with friends but as much as I wanted to stay and run the race with my son tomorrow I had to get back so I could spend Sunday at my grandson's first big birthday bash. Wouldn't miss that for the world.