Getting involved in something new is never easy, especially when facing so many other personal challenges. So far, the support that I have received in the Motorsports community in Connecticut, and up at NER has been amazing. I was so worried about making a mistake, I can’t count how many times I emailed them before the event to make sure that I was prepared. They went out of their way to make sure that I felt comfortable and had what I needed.
I was a little nervous when I discovered that they were going to separate novices from everyone else. This being my 12th event I didn’t feel like I needed to do the novice program but with this being only my son’s 3rd event, and 2nd time alone in his car, I wanted him to have that extra support. Normally, at smaller events we’re parked next to each other in between runs, and I can help him make adjustments to tire pressure and sort out his plan of attack. With him being separated I was counting on the support of the instructors and they were amazing! He felt confident about his progress, had a plan of attack, and made improvements to his time throughout the day.
For me, this event was a huge learning opportunity. Due to my illness I wasn’t able to participate with the ski patrol up at Ski Sundown, in New Hartford, Connecticut as my wife, son and I had done the winter before. On the other hand, my wife and son were still working there and spent a good part of the week on the hill while I was stuck at home. One of the ways I coped with this over the winter was to work on my car. Given the severity of my illness, I’m not the fastest in the garage. But I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and it’s a great opportunity to take my mind off what I’ve been going through. I enjoy the rules for Street Touring, it gives me the opportunity to do some easy bolt-on modifications, perfect for an inexperienced garage mechanic such as myself.
With the edition of a much larger RSB, 9 chassis braces, and my first set of re71r, I knew it would take a bit to get used to. I quickly learned that my tire pressures and loose suspension settings that I ran last year were wholly inadequate with this new setup, especially on a much faster course. Everyone at the event was so helpful, I asked a lot of questions throughout the day, got a lot of great advice in return and decided to crank up the dampening on my shocks and drop my rear tire pressures. More importantly, I got to watch so many more experienced drivers navigate the course. By watching other drivers and talking about technique I was able to make enough adjustments in my set-up and driving and pick up quite a bit of time by the end of the day. With my last run coming in at 59.483, I finally hit that sub 60 second goal I had set for myself! I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that goal without the help of everyone involved in the event, including those running and participating in it. I know I still have a lot to learn and look forward to coming out to future events in order to improve as a driver and more importantly meet more great people.