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Zone Rep Report May 2011

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. Among the Regions of Zone 9, the spring Porsche-related activities are beginning to flower, as they do each year about this time. More autocrosses, tours, show-and-shines, socials,  and track days are happening and more and more of you are bringing out the garage queens that have been lovingly stored away during the winter months. As you know, I've been promoting more activity between the Regions in Zone 9 with the Zone 9 Challenge trophy. The winner of the trophy is that person or couple who have traveled to the most Regions in Zone 9 for a PCA activity. It can be any kind of activity promoted by the host Region. The trophy is huge and would look great on any mantle. But even better than the trophy, think of all the great adventures you'll have along the way and all the great Porsche-loving people you'll meet and make friends with. Here are a few of the things you might experience as you travel around the Zone.

If you're visiting the Intermountain Region, you can tour through several of 27 individual mountain ranges and the amazing canyon country of Utah or cruise across the great, flat Bonneville Salt Flats . Utah has an amazing array of dramatic scenery and some great driving roads. The Intermountain Region is famous for their tours and their track-days and PCA Club Race at Miller Motorsports Park, one of the finest track facilities in the world, located just minutes west of Salt Lake City. If you haven't already heard, Salt Lake City has been named site of the 2012 Porsche Parade. But why wait? Utah is a great state to visit any time of the year and the Intermountain Region are a great group of fun-loving, friendly people.

How about visiting the Llano Estacado Region, based in Amarillo, Texas? One of the smallest Regions in the country, Llano Estacado has a monthly breakfast at Furr's where a  staunchly enthusiastic group of Porsche aficionados meet every month to talk about their favorite marque. This year is the LE's 45th Anniversary and they're planning a party in July to celebrate. Amarillo is located near the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which has some amazing scenery and great hiking.  It's one of those hidden gems of Panhandle Texas. If you want to stay close, you can always visit the world famous Big Texan Restaurant, famous for its huge steaks or take a short walk out to the Cadillac Ranch. Be sure to take your spray-paint with you: graffiti is encouraged.

If you've never been to a Drivers Education track-day, consider one of the many events that the Rocky Mountain Region schedule each year at High Plains Raceway. Zone 9's largest Region is well known for its great events with a large staff of well-trained instructors. Or, if you're not into the track stuff, Rocky Mountain also sponsors one of the largest concours events in the West in Denver each year, with all proceeds going to charity. And, while you're at it, be sure to take a drive up into the mountain, maybe along the Peak to Peak highway that runs north-south on the spine of the Front Range.

Looking for something different? Why not try a trip to the West Texas Region to peruse two great museums. The Buddy Holly Museum in Lubbock chronicles the life of one of America's great song-writers and the man who inspired Don McLean's classic 70s song American Pie. If you time it right, you can catch one of the autocrosses out in Big Springs put on by the WTR each month. A huge venue, the autocrosses are fun and fast and allow for enough runs to tire you out. Then head down to Midland for a trip through the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. Texas is well-known for its oil industry, but I bet you probably don't know how it all works. This great little museum chronicles all the advances in oil-well drilling from the early days to the present. But the real treat is found in the Jim Hall Chaparral Museum which houses all the famous technologically ground-breaking race-cars of the 1960s and 70s. If you're a fan of racing history and technology, this is a must-see.

As we are moving into the Month of May, you should really think about a trip to the Roadrunner Region for the annual Fiesta New Mexico, held each Memorial Day weekend, this year returning to Santa Fe.  The Roadrunners are well known for their autocrosses and day-tours, but Fiesta New Mexico is its hallmark event. A multi-day, multi-event weekend with participants from around the Zone, Fiesta New Mexico combines autocross, fun-rally, touring, show-and-shine concours, and great socials for a great weekend of Porsche-themed fun. But if you're busy Memorial Day weekend, venture through the Land of Enchantment for another weekend of fun driving and social events. New Mexico has a great array of fun driving roads taking you through some incredible scenery and the Roadrunners have something scheduled nearly every weekend throughout the year.

The Carrera Region may be small, but it has a lot going on. With driving events in Alpine, Texas and Deming, New Mexico and some great social events in El Paso and Las Cruces, the Carreras know how to have a good time. The driving roads south and east of El Paso provide some surprisingly beautiful scenery and some great American history. If you're traveling in the fall, be sure to participate in the Carrera's Oktoberfiesta. Last year's event featured historic racing hero Vic Elford visiting with each of the drivers and sharing some of his many great racing stories from the era that brought us some of the greatest Porsches ever, the 911, 908, and 917. Carrera Region president Dede Rogers promises an event just as great if not more so for this coming autumn.

And finally, if you love touring (and what Porsche-owner doesn't?) then consider going on a tour with the Alpine Mountain Region of southern Colorado.  The Alpines are nationally known for their tours with some of them wending up through the Black Hills of South Dakota, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone, Telluride, and the area around Crestone Mountains and the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  With an amazing number of mountain passes within its borders, the Alpine Mountain Region takes great advantage not only of some great driving opportunities, but also mixes in visits to some of the most interesting historic sites and some great meals and a lot of great side-activities.

So, all this said, if you have a mind for wanderlust, not only can you win a beautiful and very large trophy, but you'll also have some really great adventures and see some amazing country and meet some great people along the way. As we all know, Porsches are the best touring cars in the country. In Zone 9 we have some of the best touring roads and country in the world. So pack your bags and get out for an adventure this spring, summer, and/or fall. You'll be glad that you did. If you'd like more information about the Zone 9 Trophy, go on-line to http://zone9.pca.org


I look forward to seeing you at one of the events.

Sean

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