Page 18 - PCA Metro NY Region POST
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Remembrance of Things Past, or How
I got started in track driving and why you should want to. And a shout-out.
Occasionally in my columns, but not often enough I’ve come to think, I try to motivate Metro members who have not participated in track events with their Porsches to at- tend our DE (Drivers
Education) events. I’ll try again in this col- umn and I’ll begin with my own journey.
I grew up in Westchester in an ordinary suburban environment – a lawn, dogs, sib- lings, etc. The family had 2 cars – one for Dad to drive to the office and the other for Mom to go shopping, etc. The cars were of no interest to me. When I was 15 I went to boarding school in Connecticut and met boys who were very interested in sports cars. Additionally, Lime Rock race- track was only a few miles away from the school and I started going there as much as I could to watch the races. I caught the car bug very seriously, and during Spring break I got on a train by myself and went all the way to Florida to watch the 12 Hours of Sebring. I was hooked! (This was in 1965. The race was won by Jim Hall in his Chaparral, which was all the more excit- ing because that car was an all-American creation and it defeated the Ferraris. Plus, there were many Cobras and Porsches racing.)
My interest in sports cars only grew. I trav- elled in Europe during the summer of 1966 and attended 3 Grand Prix races. I drove the Nürburgring in a Sunbeam Alpine, met Jim Clark, Colin Chapman and Graham Hill. I haven’t missed an issue of Road&Track or
Car&Driver in more than 50 years. I didn’t get very good grades in school because I was always reading books on cars, racing and track driving technique. I had a friend in college who had a lovely 1964 Alfa Ro- meo. We took it to eastern Long Island a few times and drove the Bridgehampton racetrack. (Sadly, Bridgehampton is now only a memory because it got converted 20 years ago into a golf course.)
In those days, very stupidly in retrospect, there was no instruction offered to novice drivers. (Maybe PCA provided instruction in those days – I don’t know PCA people who go back that far to tell me.) You got in your car (which didn’t go through a safe- ty inspection), put on your helmet (which could be of any age and without any certification), and sped off onto the track. Crashes were quite common. Today the rules are much more rigorous: You need a new (2010 or newer Snell approved) hel- met, your car undergoes a serious inspec- tion at a shop and a follow-up once-over at the track, and most importantly you at- tend classroom sessions to learn the un- derlying concepts and techniques. Lastly, you have a full-time onboard qualified in- structor with you at all times when you are a novice and lower-intermediate track driver.
My first track event was around 1970, at Lime Rock in my lovely 1967 Alfa Romeo GTV. I was so nervous. I hardly slept the night before and I assume my blood pres- sure and pulse were sky high. The minutes before going out onto the track were a combination of exhilarated anticipation and dread.
After a few years of intermittent track events, life then intruded – I didn’t do any track events for about 10 years due to work, a baby, etc. In fall 1985 I realized a long-held ambition: I bought a gorgeous new Porsche 944 and immediately joined Porsche Club of America. When the next
Track Ramblings

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