In 2018, my friend David purchased an 1984 Porsche 944. This beautiful car was all original, black over black leather, with just over 45,000 miles on the odometer. Within months, he joined the Porsche Club of America. Knowing my affinity for Porsche, he signed me up as his Affiliate Member, insisting that I had to attend Club events with him. Over the next two and a half years we enjoyed every Driving Tour and social event that we could attend..
Fast forward to this past August; when he took a new job out of state, David was adamant that I had to purchase the 944 from him to “keep it in the family”. Unable to say no, I now excitedly find myself a first time Porsche owner! Immediately I upgraded my PCA status from Affiliate to Primary Member and couldn’t wait for the next Region 10 event, which ended up being something completely new to both the car and myself; an autocross.
Leading up to the big day, I carefully checked over every inch of my Porsche top to bottom, slightly nervous to find out just how well this 37 year-old German would handle being thrown around a race circuit. Having had no experience driving autocross, I may have been a little more nervous about how well I would do!
Arriving that morning, it was encouraging to see many familiar faces, and hear them talk about their previous autocross experiences. At the driver’s meeting, Autocross Director Rudy Rodriguez explained the course and gave a lot of helpful instruction. By the time we got done with the parade lap, I was feeling more confident, but I was glad that my first lap would be with Jeff Hallam riding shotgun and giving me more coaching and instruction.
My first lap was a little slow, as expected, and I missed a gate, but Jeff assured me that I was getting faster throughout the lap. Now I was ready to be turned loose on my own! Lap two felt pretty good right up to the last tight left hander. A bit too much entry speed was made worse by getting back onto the throttle too soon, causing me to spin, right there in front of everyone! As if that mistake weren’t enough, I was told I missed the same gate that I had missed on the previous lap! Having fun but disappointed that I had yet to drive a clean lap, I sat in the car waiting for my next lap. I watched the video of my lap on my iPhone to see where that gate was that I kept missing. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but watching the video I realized I had actually missed three gates on lap 2! After that quick review, I felt like I knew what to look for to keep from missing anything when I got back on track. Laps 3 and 4 went much better as each was penalty free with both being faster than the preceding lap. Finally, exactly the improvement that I was wanting!
I was a little disappointed to find out that there wasn’t time for more laps as I was having the time of my life figuring out how to go just a little quicker with each lap. That said, the progress I made from lap 1 to lap 4 has me extremely excited and ready for another chance to get my 944 back on the autocross course. I can’t wait to see what Rudy comes up with for us next time!