14,481miles. This is the number of track miles that I have put on my 1982 Porsche 930, aka The Pumpkin, since February 2008. When you put that many miles on a car and visit as many tracks as I have, it tends to have an effect on you. The most recent of these miles were shared with 100+ similarly affected participants at KCRPCA’s September 2019 DE at Heartland Motorsport Park in south Topeka.
This was an unusual KCRPCA event for me. After 11 years of running KCRPCA’s Heartland track events, I have turned the reins over to Dave Stadtmueller this year. I helped a bit with the April Club Race, but Dave needed no assistance with this one. It was a superbly run event. He and the event were well organized, and it showed. His attention to detail and ability to work with all the drivers made it fun for everyone. It is official. The transition is complete. The KCRPCA’s track event program is in fantastic hands. It was quite interesting for me to just show up and drive at a KCRPCA event. I might just get used to this. Thanks, Dave.
The most interesting thing about this event was the number of new faces. I also felt a sense of renewed enthusiasm from them. Putting their car on the track gave them a sense of excitement. They were doing what these cars were meant for; Getting track time! KCRPCA has always had a strong track-spirit. It may have waned a little in the years while Heartland Park, our home track, was in disrepair, but it is back in full bloom.
I had the honor of handling the “classroom” sessions for the Group 1 and 2 students. There were 20+ “new” people. They all had the same look on their faces. Each was super eager to begin learning new and exciting skills to be applied in the handling of their cars. It is always very satisfying to see how their confidence and skill level improve over the weekend. It is safe to say that I met the vast majority of my closest friends at track events over the years; a wide variety of individuals brought together by a shared interest in our unique hobby. It will happen to you too, should you choose to join us. Hint. Hint.
The other thing that stood out at this event is how the composition of the cars has changed over the years. When I started this over a decade ago, the Porsche of choice for most beginners was the 944. Now it appears that the Boxster has really taken over. And why not? Boxsters are affordable, reliable, safe and best of all, a blast to drive. It never fails to amaze me how competent modern cars have become. Modern Porsches are extraordinarily compliant to a driver’s input and have very high speed potential when driven on a racetrack.
The car’s capabilities of speed, braking, and turning make it all the more important that you attend a PCA DE. You will get in-car instruction to enable you to become safe and fast, in that order. The KCRPCA has some of the best instructors in the country. You will also be pleasantly surprised at how much safer your street driving will become once you learn your cars’ capabilities; to look well ahead and how to use your brakes and that big round thing in front of you.
So, what are you waiting for? Make plans to join us in 2020 at a track event. You might not get to the point where you put almost 15, 000 miles on your track car, but you will meet fun and interesting people and have the time of your life. I promise.