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Zone Rep Report September 2012

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

Ahhhhhhh (with a sigh of relief....). This last month has been a relatively quiet one for me in my Zone 9 travels. Still, that's not to say that I haven't been busy, just a much easier time than I described in my previous column. After Parade in Salt Lake City, I was able to catch some down-time, take a breather, and get caught up on rest and some odds and ends at home.

But then it was back on the road to another of my favorite events of the year, the Rocky Mountain Region's Club Race and Solo DE at High Plains Raceway. Having lived in Colorado for thirty years before moving to New Mexico nine years ago, I can say with a great sense of nostalgia that I do miss Colorado. There's just something about the air and energy that found its way into my soul. So I always enjoy coming "home."

The annual RMR High Plains Thunder event is not just great because it's in Colorado, or because it's put on by RMR's finely tuned staff led by Kathy Fricke, and co-chaired by PCA Club Racing Head Steward Vicki Earnshaw and chair-trainee Brian Leary. It's always a pleasure to be around both the hosting staff as well as all the Club Racing and DE drivers, who show such a great spirit of camaraderie both on and off the track.

Besides my usual Zone Rep duties, this year I also served as pace-car communications liaison between Race-Control and the pace-car driver. Our pace-car was a beautiful, brand-new 981 Boxster S. Wow, what a great car! A definitive step ahead of all the recent Boxster models. This one had the PDK and all the other cool Porsche engine and chassis tuning stuff. Of course it was also fun to be riding around the serpentine High Plains circuit with all the race-cars zig-zagging in the mirrors warming up their tires and brakes, too.

This year, I saw one of my first PCA friends at the event. Early on in my PCA membership, I volunteered to be the Roadrunner Region newsletter editor. One of my very first issues included an article about (then) Los Alamos resident Bob Patterson, who was just finishing a 2-year project of rebuilding his race-car from the ground up. I had heard all the stories and visited the garage where he was doing the work and then I was lucky enough to go on some of his very first shake-down runs as a passenger. I took photos, interviewed Bob and wrote a feature story. Then, the following year, Bob was kind enough to write a year-long, monthly column on his build process. (To see all of these articles, visit http://visionsofpower.com/pdfs/Bob_Patterson_article_sm.pdf ). Of course, building the race-car was only part of the adventure and Bob went through all kinds of travails for several years after getting it all dialed in. But this year at HPR, it was working perfectly (as far as I could tell) and he won his class in each of the races. Since I last saw him, he's moved to Colorado, so it was great to spend some time together again and see all his work had come to fruition.

I also had the opportunity to meet and spend time with some of the racing Fritze family. Kim Fritze is the Zone 10 rep, hailing from Minneapolis. Her husband Keith is a Club Racer, and Keith's brother Alan is a long-time Club Racer from Colorado. It turned out that we had haunted some of the same places and knew several of the same people. It's always fun to see the world become a little smaller.

The very next weekend was closer to home, visiting the 42nd Annual Corrales Roundup, just on the outskirts of Albuquerque. PCAers Dave and Ann Stinchcomb have been hosting this event at their beautiful home in the Rio Grande bosque for all these years and this edition was one of the best, with so many Porsches the front yard was full and they had to park several of the cars out back. Each year there is a "featured car" and this year it was the Boxster. So all the Boxsters were parked in the first couple rows and we did a special group photo with all the owners. A good time was had by all.

I have a little more time off from PCA stuff before heading out to my next event. In the meantime, there is a different kind of action happening in Zone 9. At the end of the year my term will come to an end and you will have a new Zone 9 Rep. Right now we have two very strong candidates who are vying for the job: Joe Warren of Rocky Mountain Region and Liz Shaw of the Roadrunner Region. Both have been very engaged in PCA activities at the Regional, Zone, and National levels. If you meet either of them at an event, listen to what they have to say and feel free to ask questions. Your Regions' presidents will be making their recommendations to the PCA Executive Committee in the next couple months...And come January, someone besides me will be writing this column.

Stay tuned....

Sean

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