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Zone Rep Report November 2011

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

I’m starting to call this year my sea-to-shining-sea tour since I’ve been on both coasts in pursuit of my PCA Zone Rep position. Last winter I was in Las Vegas, NV, then back to Parade in Savannah in August, then out to Monterey, CA for Rennsport Reunion IV just last week. And that’s not even counting the north to south travel within Zone 9.

Since I last wrote, I made a trip up to the Salt Lake City area where I visited the Intermountain Region for their annual fall Club Race/DE weekend at Miller Motorsport Park. I can’t speak highly enough of this event. First, MMP is a fantastic facility -- kind of like a racer’s version of Oz -- with F1 style pits, NASCAR-style garages, an amazing 4.5 mile 25 turn course and on and on.... Second, the Intermountain Region really knows how to put on a GREAT event. I’m always impressed with how well that little region puts on such a fantastic event. They are truly a dedicated group of volunteers. And, I have to admit, that I really don’t mind the long drive up there, since it goes through some of the most beautiful country in the world, including the Four Corners area and Moab, home of both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

The last two years, I’ve taken my car up to run at Bonneville, then gone over to Miller for the PCA event. But I’ve been so busy this year I’ve barely had time to drive my car, let alone do any significant work to it. So I didn’t do B-ville and went to Miller with the intention to volunteer for the event. I like working events. It’s the best way to get to know the great people of PCA and to learn about how events like these work. So I ended up helping out with registration, then doing quite a bit of on-track instructing, a little bit with the scales, and just general gofer. As a reward, I got to drive the pace-car for the Club Race on the last day. What a great weekend! I want to send a special thanks to John Hunt and Kay Koelner for hosting me at their beautiful home in Salt Lake. It was a great weekend.

Unfortunately, at least three factors led to Intermountain’s event attendance being down. First, the economy. We all know about that, although PCA numbers show that Club Racing hasn’t really dipped that much. Second, there was a POC (Porsche Owners Club) event during the same weekend at Fontana Raceway in California. And third, many people were saving their resources for Rennsport Reunion IV at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the middle of October. For next year, Intermountain is looking at moving their event into May, so that it has fewer conflicts with other events of its kind. I wish them luck and success. It’s an event I highly recommend to all PCA members.

Just a few days after arriving home from Utah, it was time for the Roadrunner Region’s annual chili-cook-off at the beautiful racing-themed home of Roadrunners Bruce Phillips’ and Debra Burns’ beautiful racing-themed home. If you live in NM, chili is not just a flavoring, it’s a whole culture unto itself and it’s always amazing to see what kind of wonderful recipes people come up with. I’d have to say that my favorite new items were Mac Sanford’s two chili beers, both red and green!

A short respite, then it was off to California for Rennsport. The previous Rennsport Reunions were held back east; the first at Lime Rock, and the other two at Daytona. This year’s was the first on the west coast. I’ve been wanting to attend since I first heard of them and I’ve wanted to visit the racing shrine of Laguna Seca since I was about 8 years old. Who doesn’t have the image of various historic races as the cars spilled over the famous Corkscrew turn?

Though it wasn’t an official Zone 9 Rep function for me, the PCA had requested volunteers to help run the event. So when I got there I helped Parking Chair David Bunch and PCA Cayman Registry Chair Mike Souza to layout the parking lots for the Porsche Corrals. Then I was up bright and early the next two mornings directing traffic at the “green” lot. I saw many of you as you came in to the lots. I was really amazed at how many people from Zone 9 attended the event. And, I met a lot of people from all over the country too. The saying really is true; it’s not just the cars, but the people!!!

Once my volunteer work was done, I took the time to visit people at the PCA tent and to wander around looking at the cars and meeting the drivers. It was really amazing to see the numbers of cars and drivers there from the early history of Porsche in 1948 all the way up to the present. It was really a Porscheathon of sights, sounds, people, cars, events, lectures and discussions, and demonstrations. The next one is in three years. I highly recommend that you pencil it in on your calendar and start saving your pennies and do ANYTHING you can to be there. WOW!

I’m not usually much of an autograph hound, but this time around I was on a mission. Some of you may know that at the 2008 Escape in Albuquerque I auctioned off a large-format photo of a Porsche 908 coupe that Vic Elford signed. It brought in $1200 for the Roadrunner Region’s charity program. I’m out to top that, and I mean business. I have gone through my photos from the Watkins Glen Can-Am and Six-Hour in 1973 and found one that I took of George Follmer in his Porsche 917-10, had it blown up to 20x30” and had George sign it during Rennsport. But wait...there’s more (in my best Ron Popeil voice). I also have the race program from that event in 1973 and I’ve had it autographed by most of the drivers who were in the event and attended Rennsport. But wait, there’s more. Always looking for ways to get rid of your old Panos? You’ll want to collect this one. It’s the August 1973 issue with George Follmer on the cover, autographed... But wait...yes, there’s MORE. I knew that many of the drivers at this year’s Rennsport didn’t start their careers till later. So I took a 1980 issue of Christophorus for many of the 935 era drivers to sign. This is going as a package next spring, to benefit my home Region’s charity drive. As time moves forward, the Roadrunner charity chair will send out images and more information about all of this. I hope you’ll make a bid on this great package of Porsche memorabilia for your collection.

As I write this, I’m packing to head down to the Carrera Region’s signature event, the Oktoberfiesta in Deming, NM. They always do a great job and everyone has lots of fun. Home a few weeks, then it’s back up to SLC for a Parade Planning meeting, and shortly after the Christmas Party tour starts. Lots and lots of driving, from sea to shining sea and from mountains to plains to deserts and back. I look forward to see you at one of the events soon!

I hope to see you at one of the events.

Sean

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