Well, this sure hasn’t been the year we were all hoping for, has it? I know I never saw all of “this stuff” happening when I was toasting with glasses of “bubbly” on New Year’s Eve. I believe it was the author Hugh Allen that said, “Jumping at several small opportunities may get you there more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along”. With those words at the forefront of my mind, it’s time to take a look at some new opportunities and continue with some others.
While our Ginetta WRL endurance racing program has been quiet this year due to a tragic loss in my co-driver’s family, we fully intend to resume that program very shortly. The World Racing League series is doing very well, the car counts are up and I know we all can’t wait to get us all back out to the track very soon.
In the post I made almost a year ago (I know, I know, it’s been too long between postings but you know how busy we all get….), the Mustang drift program had not seen any action in a while. Truth is, during this winter, I had formed a plan to revitalize that program with hopes that I could raise the funding needed to return to Formula Drift competition. Unfortunately, those efforts didn’t produce the required results with the world’s current health issues and the level that this car needs to be run at, far exceeds the income-level of this humble Driving Coach. Not that that had stopped me in the past mind you, but there comes a time when you simply “have to turn your canoe around and start paddling downstream”.
I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say that I still love the sport of Drifting and I absolutely love driving the DVM Mustang but the program has to make financial-sense. The Formula Drift series has continued to grow and with the abbreviated Covid-schedule of 2020, the price/preparation time required to participate vs. the amount of fun going to these FD events, things just didn’t balance out so I think it’ time to close this chapter. It’s been a super-fun ride, the sport has taken me to some amazing places, meeting some inspirational people and I will always look back at these years spent burning-tires with a great big smile. Over the next months, I will prepare the Mustang’s for sale and do my best to get the new owners (whoever they may be) started off in the right direction with this program.
Under the heading, “The more things change, the more they remain the same”, years ago while I was running in the USAR Pro-Cup Series, I built this car:
Over the years, the car’s only activities had been using it for many Pit Crew Experiences that to be honest nearly paid for the car to be built. A race track though, the car never saw so once pulling the Experience decals off of it, what I have is essentially a new 2003 Ford Taurus. This has led me to the decision to, with again the help of friend Bill Rhine Enterprises, convert the car into a Vintage Road Race Car that I’ll compete with in selected SVRA & HSR events.
As you can imagine with a car built for short-track racing, the conversion process is going to be pretty extensive and the road-race-parts-list is long but I’m confident that when we’re done, this car will make a really fun car to drive, it should be reasonably quick for its class and should make for a desirable rental car that I can share with coaching customers as well as have a lot of fun with it myself. The process is now well on its way and with any luck, we’ll be able to take make a first test-day before the end of the year. Since the vintage series also run in conjunction with the Trans-Am series, this will also be a step closer to getting back into the TA2 car and that in and of itself, makes me very excited. Stay tuned for event dates once we get everything up and running as coming to these vintage car racing events is so much fun!.
As if the above direction-changes weren’t enough, I’ve also been given the opportunity to go back to my roots (sort of speak). My good friend Colten Miller and his Yellow Hammer Construction company who has long been entrants in the south-east Dirt Late Model scene has decided to enter a new car in the Crate Racin’ USA series (https://latemodeltouring.crateracinusa.com). What’s exciting about this announcement is that I will take on the challenge of piloting this car, even though is been a very long time since I’ve driven on dirt. To be honest, I thought my days of learning a new genre of racing were well behind me but I have always loved dirt-racing, have always managed to be pretty successful at it when I did it and getting to partner-up with my friend Colten Miller is just too fun of an opportunity to pass up.
Naturally, this program is going to start off as easy as it can be for me. Miller has a new 400hp Late Model crate-engine that we’ll run at some tracks close here to Birmingham. As I get my head around things and we start to gel as a team, we plan to campaign the car in the Crate Racin’ USA series at selected races. With big-eyes looking far down the road, should we get to be where we’re doing well with this, you might even find us dropping in one of the teams “open engines” and trying our luck in either the Lucas Oil or World of Outlaws series but that will be a long way off as I think it’s going to be a real challenge coming to grips with these wedge-shaped monsters that I’ve yet to even sit in. Needless to say, I’m super excited and I hope all of my friends will be able to come out and join us for a few races. It is my hope that all of the amazing companies that have supported my racing & drifting programs over the years will continue to support these new programs as I will strive to continually provide for them viable and exciting marketing opportunities.
On the “personal training front”, right before the big Covid-break, I took delivery of my long-awaited Fast Track racing simulator. I have been putting this plan together for a very long time and am very pleased how it all worked out. I could spend pages here talking about it but suffice it to say, sim racing is a great training tool, it’s the wave of the future in terms of driver training and I eagerly look forward to working with my coaching-clients on it and have enjoyed it immensely since I got it.
In addition, things are finally open again at the Porsche Track Experience School after we took a 7-8 week Covid-break. Naturally we have adjusted how we do business but we’ve adapted and are again giving our customers an amazing learning experience with these great cars and one of the nicest race tracks in the country. Should you be inclined to join us down here, please send me a note and I’ll see what I can do to send along some never before seen discount-pricing programs.
Well, that’s enough I’d say for now. Thanks for subscribing and I look forward to updating you all again soon…
The World Racing League: https://www.racewrl.com
Sportscar Vintage Racing Association: https://svra.com
Historic Sportscar Racing: https://hsrrace.com
Crate Racin’ USA Dirt Late Model Series: https://latemodeltouring.crateracinusa.com