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Zone Rep Report July 2011

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

I’m sure all the Zone Reps must brag about their Zones. How could they not, every Zone has its own high points and strengths. That being said, I have a lot of reasons to think that Zone 9 is simply the best in the country. No, we don’t have Watkins Glen or Sebring, or Laguna Seca, nor do we have Pebble Beach or Amelia Island, but let me tell you about what I’ve been up to as Zone 9 Rep in the last few weeks and see if you would trade for any of those things.

The last weekend of May I attended Fiesta New Mexico (formerly known as Fiesta del Porsche) in Santa Fe. As many of you know, Santa Fe is known as the “City Different” for its high concentration of the arts, the culture and the scenery of the Southwest. Besides being the capital city of New Mexico, it’s one of the oldest cities in the United States and offers an amazing variety of restaurants, art galleries, and cultural tours that makes it a must-visit for visitors from around the globe. For many years, the Roadrunner Region hosted the Fiesta in Santa Fe before moving it down to Albuquerque for a few years. This past year Fiesta Chairs Joan and Dennis Ledbetter decided to bring it back north and the PCA community responded with great enthusiasm, bringing attendance up by one third over the previous year.

The concours was on Museum Hill and provided a wonderful combination of beautiful cars, beautiful people and surrounded by some of the great art treasures of the Southwest. After the show a nice buffet dinner brought everyone together to reflect on the day and swap stories. In fact, all three days provided a variety of beautiful tours on the awe-inspiring, twisty roads of New Mexico. Saturday was a challenging autocross at Sandia Motor Speedway and there was an intriguing “picture-rally” that challenged everyone who tried it. Everyone came away from the weekend having had a great time. Fiesta at Santa Fe is just one of those great PCA events that is a must-do for anyone who loves driving and hanging out with fun people in a fantastic setting.

Though I didn’t make it this year, the Concours d’Elegance at the Arapahoe Community College is another one of those fantastic events you only see in the Rockies. It’s an all-marques concours, so it brings a fantastic array of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Corvettes, Cobras and, yes, Porsches. This year well over one hundred Porsches were entered from the AMR and RMR regions. It’s a charity event that raises thousands of dollars every year for local charities and just has a great energy about it.

I recently made it up to Colorado Springs for one of their monthly social events. This one was at the Colorado Springs Porsche dealer and was a really great time. I’ve often heard that AMR gets a great percentage of their membership out for monthly socials and I was impressed to find it was true! There was a great crowd of folks on hand to visit with each other and also to drool over the GTS cabriolet, the GT3RS and the GT2RS displayed in the lobby. There was some great food and refreshment and some great door-prizes to be had, including a set of VIP tickets for the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, supplied by AMR member and Hillclimb board member Fred Vietch.

Because of a job I had to do in northern New Mexico, I had an extra day to get to Colorado Springs, so I went up to my old haunt of Aspen for the night to visit friends and got a chance to drive over Independence Pass -- my favorite road in the whole-wide world -- twice! It was such a pleasure to drive that twisty, narrow road with cliffs on both sides and incredible views of the mountains. It brought back so many memories of faraway times. But as I was doing my drive, I thought: “really, if you canvassed the members of Zone 9, you’d talk for hours about all the possible ‘favorite drives’ we have in our Zone.” So while we don’t have the legendary venues I named at the beginning of this piece, we still have some of the best events, greatest people, and the best driving roads in the country. Zone 9, it’s where my heart is.

I hope to see you at one of the events.

Sean

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