Sunday, January 20, 2013

(183) Full circle

In recent weeks, I have been busy at my new job with Simraceway Performance Karting Center. The work I've been doing so far has been track support, such as running open practice and flagging for the 4 hour karting enduro we had this weekend. Officially, I'm an instructor, but everyone chips in any way they can. In addition to instructing and track support, I can also do shop support to help out the mechanics and learn more about working on the karts. Since I haven't owned a kart myself I don't know all that much about working on them, and the more I am able to do, the more useful I will be to the company.

On the whole, I am very much enjoying working for Simraceway. I get to choose my own schedule, in part, and the people in the company are fantastic to work with. I knew that already, of course, because I've spent plenty of time there as a student.

Since the racing school scene is very seasonal, I will continue doing track support until the season picks up. Once we get to the busy time of year the school is going to need every instructor, and I'll be incredibly busy.

In other news, the San Francisco SCCA Region Solo banquet was last week, and both my dad, Scott, and I picked up our trophies for the 2012 championship season. It was pretty special being able to finish 1st and 2nd in our first autocross championship.

The banquet itself was a great time. The event was held in the Blackhawk Auto Museum, which has a cool collection of cars. They had a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, which is my favorite pre-'90 car. Not the flashiest or the best looking, but for some reason I really can't explain, I feel drawn to it. Maybe it's the Dan Gurney/Brock Yates Cannonball connection. They did New York to Los Angeles in just under 36 hours. It just seems like a car that would go and do something like that.

Anyway, of course there were other, rarer, more exquisite cars on hand. Some of my favorites were the B.A.T. Alfa Romeo concept cars, the JMS #40 Porsche 935, and the Bugatti Type 50T.

After wandering through the history, everyone sat down for dinner and awards presentations. The ceremonies were fairly quick, yet entertaining, and many pictures were snapped.

Novice 1-2!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

(182) 2012 in review

I suppose in the greatest sense the best thing about 2012 is that we're not all dead, and the world has not ended. This, however, may be considered true and accurate for every year that has passed since the beginning of civilization.

In my own little sphere of society, a number of good things happened this year. I started, finished, and won my first autocross season, the banquet for which is due shortly on the 13th. I'll be reporting on that, as it looks like a good time.

I think autocross has had a positive impact on my driving. I am a keen believer in not just quantity of experience, but also breadth of experience being important to a complete and capable driver. I'm going to go on one of my complicated and convoluted analogies; I liken it to a tool box, as many do, and with increased experience you gain increased quantity of tools to pull out of your box and use in different circumstances. Continually doing the same project over and over will eventually lead to you having all the tools you need to handle the project and any unforseen complications that are likely to occur. At that point the only way to expand your toolbox is to adopt a new project and go to a new hardware store in order to get the tools to handle it. You might as well go to those other hardware stores as soon as possible to get the tools to be prepared for any project you wish to adopt.

If that makes any sense.

I also got to tick off a couple of bucket list items, being drive a Lamborghini and a Ferrari, which I got ample opportunity to do by instructing with Imagine Lifestyles' Autocross Experience program. In doing so, I found my love of coaching.

So I decided to act on it. Yesterday, I signed the requisite papers to begin my instructing career at Simraceway Performance Driving Center's karting program at Sonoma Raceway. I spent over two years as a driver in their kart racing series, so I know some of the people and the curriculum. It's kind of going full circle. I started my driving career there, and now I'm going to be teaching there.

So, this means 2013 is going to be a busy year. But it's also going to be exciting, thanks to everything that happened in 2012.

I may even earn enough money to go road racing again.