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Zone Rep Report September 2011

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

I'll admit, I'm a northerner and heat and humidity usually don't serve me well. So heading into the deep south in late July/early August seemed counterintuitive for having a good time. Nonetheless, along with 1600 other PCAers, I headed toward Savannah for Porsche Parade 2011. Of course it wasn't supposed to be that way. Originally, Parade was scheduled for Killington, Vermont this year. But with very little time to book another major resort, Killington had to renege on its contract and the Parade staff was left in the lurch and heading south in the heat of the summer. But we're PCAers, right! We're not thrown off by a little heat and humidity. And so it turned out to be another great Parade with attendance up over the previous year and a tremendous amount of first-timers joining  the fun.

This year was a busy one for me. I've accepted a position on the National bylaws revue committee, it was my turn to chair the Zone Rep meeting, I was a first-time concours judge, presented the website seminar, worked at the Michelin Drive-and-Compare, and handed out trophies as the chair of the PCA Website Contest. It was a good thing I didn't drive my Porsche to Parade this year (besides the fact that it doesn't have A/C!). I wouldn't have had any time to prepare it for the events. But that's not to say that I didn't have any fun. I really enjoy getting to know as many people as I can at Parade and I enjoy working with the other volunteers. And, I did get one day that was nothing but Porsche-related fun. I signed up for a bus tour from Savannah down to Jacksonville, Florida to the Brumos Racing shop. We started with a stop at the Brumos Porsche dealership to admire their inventory, their amazing trophy display, and to meet Hurley Haywood in person. After a brief time there, we headed over to the race shop and...the very exclusive and private Brumos museum.

The race-shop is interesting, but it's still a race-shop like another. Only a very select few get inside the doors of the private museum and we were in that group. NO CAMERAS allowed, upon penalty of being ejected. But you can believe me that it has an amazing collection of cars, posters, photos, memorabilia, etc, etc, etc. You would think that would make for a full day. But in fact, that same evening I was signed up for a special dinner put on by The Racers Group and Adobe Road Winery, featuring a great film and talk by owner Kevin Buckler. Wow, what a great Porsche day. Believe it or not, this really wasn't even the high point of the week.

That came during the Rally banquet when the newsletter awards were given out. Earlier in the day, I was let in on a huge secret: one of my regions would be winning the very prestigious Robert Heinmiller Award for the best newsletter in all of PCA. So, as the time came closer, I made a phone call to one of our Zone 9 newsletter editors. I said, " I'm at the awards ceremony and I just wanted to let you know that you didn't win your class, but I do want you to listen to this...." and held up my phone. Just then, PCA Master of Ceremonies Mark Shevitz announced "and the winner of the Heinmiller Award for PCA's best newsletter  is Jeremy Rosenberger of the Rocky Mountain Region." Ironically, just the week earlier I had posted on my facebook page that I was on my way to Parade and Jeremy wrote, "be sure to bring back the Heinmiller for me..." Well, I did just that. He had also, just recently, assured his board that he would continue to be editor till he won the Heinmiller. Hmmmm....

There were other Zone 9 successes as well, Roadrunners Brian Leduc and Liz Shaw both trophied in autocross, Phillipe Daix took second in class for  the West Texas Region website. And in concours Rocky Mountain Region's David and Bette Seeland took class and division firsts, while Jim and Randy Osgood took third in class. In the Tech Quiz Liz Shaw took first and I took third in our respective classes. So, with only 11 Zone 9 people at Parade, we took home quite a haul of hardware!

After a busy and fun week in Savannah, it was time for the long drive home and, again, it was a HOT one, with record temperatures the whole way. I was very glad to be back in New Mexico, where we can honestly say "but it's a DRY heat!" I wasn't home long before Zone 9 duties called again.

Each year the Rocky Mountain Region's big Club Race/Super DE weekend takes place in mid-August at High Plains Raceway, about 60 miles east of Denver. I've been trying to make it the last few years, but each time some emergency has come up. This year I finally did. After a long drive up and out into the plains of eastern Colorado I came over a rise to see the beautiful facility that HPR is. It has some great elevation changes and a really challenging layout with a combination of straights long enough for passing, corners to work your intellect and imagination, and some ups and downs that will keep you guessing lap after lap.

I always like being around the Club Racers who really take their Porsche-enthusiasm to the next level and give the phrase "it's not just the cars, but the people" some real grit with the way they help each other out.  It was great to see so many members of RMR working the event to make it the great success it is. I spent Saturday with RMR member Landon Capedeville installing and removing the in-car camera in several drivers' cars for David Murray, a professional driving coach in for the weekend. After each session David would watch the video and provide great instructional tips to each driver to further refine their line and pick up time around the track. I attended his chalk-talk sessions also and it was plain that even though he was new to the circuit his skill and craft as a driver, combined with his communication abilities helped everyone to see it in a new light.

But the highlight of the weekend for me was to give away the trophy I had picked up in Savannah. During Saturday morning's drivers meeting, event chair Kathy Fricke gave me a few minutes to honor Jeremy for his newsletter achievement. He got a loud, long, and well deserved round of applause from all the participants present for the job he's doing with High Gear. If you haven't had a chance to see it, take a look at it on http://rmr.pca.org 

Sunday, I stuck around to take some photos before the long trek home over the plains of eastern Colorado and then the mountain roads between Cimarron, Angel Fire, Taos and then Espanola, Los Alamos, and Jemez Springs.  It was a great few weeks of PCA and Zone 9 activity, but certainly not the end of the year by any stretch of the imagination.  But I do have to say, I'm happy to be home again for a bit before heading off to more great adventures around Zone 9...and beyond.
I look forward to seeing you at an event.

I hope to see you at one of the events.

Sean

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