First, I have to say, that, to include the weather, this was one of the best Drivers school I have been involved with, as a previous driver, then instructor, then driver, then instructor, and now again - a driver.
The weather helped many to better understand car control, to include me - Albeit, I spun upwards of 6 times - a couple Danny Sullivan’s, some off track crop circling and a flying pirouette - or so I was told. Very SORRY, to all those other drivers in our group, that felt I might have caused them a greater challenge than necessary. Adrenalin and excitement got the better of me.
The Organizers, Instructors, Support Personnel, Corner Workers, etc., were the best I’ve witnessed in a while. Accolades to all, who, literally, weathered the storm, this past weekend.
But I would be remiss, if I did not recognize the one person who got me to this point, and that is Ted Johnston. After much discussion and negotiation, over the past year, he agreed to build me a new TR1 racecar, and invite me into the TR1 Family. That was a great feeling, that day. But nothing compared to the feeling I got while driving this car – it is, by far, the best racecar I have ever driven. I know what you’re all thinking, “You came from a Chevy Chevette”, and so is that saying much – HECK YEAH!!! The attention to detail, the craftsmanship, and all the sweat equity put into this car has provided me with the confidence and comfort that affords me to (hopefully) be a much better driver. Ted’s unwavering support, not only as a racecar builder, driver, and supporter - of my dream, as well as being a heck of a good friend, is second to none, in my book. Only time will tell, if I can be as successful as the top 3 members of TR1 racing, but I do feel pretty good, after this past weekend, notwithstanding, those are big shoes to fill; I will still try my best.
And not to leave out one of the best on-track teacher out there, Steve Thompson. In his always endearing tone for teaching, rattled my cage, a few times, for driving like I was on a Sunday stroll in the park – even though the tower scolded me for being too aggressive (at least during a drivers school – which I fully understood). Nevertheless, Steve showed me the telemetry, and I was driving worse in this car than I did in my previous car. So, what to do… TRACK DRIVE! With Steve, that is like a runaway roller coaster. But true to his word and experience, he showed me a line I would’ve never thought to take. It scared me, a bit, but I ended up going from high teens to low teens, by the end of the weekend, up to 5 +/- sec. To some that might not mean much, but to me, well, I have never improved that much, in any car, over my 20 years at WHRRI, let alone, in one weekend. So Big, Big Thanks to Steve for your mechanical support, sage advice and racing tutelage.
See You All Again This Weekend.
Michael "ELVIS" Hintze
Velvet Elvis Racing - F500 #14
Waterford Hills Road Racing Club
Ps - I have my other car - 1990 Red Devil for sale, if interested.
Bench racing, smack talking, and general chit chat
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