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Zone Rep Report December 2012

In the Zone by Sean Cridland

Remember those Energizer Bunny commercials with the litle pink rabbit endlessly beating the drum? That's me. Except that I'm not little, pink and I don't have a drum. But I keep going and going and going.....And still enjoying it too. After I last checked in with you, I headed down to Las Cruces, NM for the Carrera Region's oldest and largest event. I've done a little historical digging too and it turns out that Oktoberfiesta is one of Zone 9's longest running multi-day, multi-region events, stretching all the way back into the mid-70s.
It's an event that's had its ups and downs over the years, but this year was their strongest in memory with sixty-two cars entered in the various touring and track events. That's about double the year before. Members came from all around the southwest, including Carrera, Roadrunner, Southern Arizona, Arizona, and West Texas Regions.

This year the organizing committee decided to host the event in Las Cruces, rather than Deming, as it has been the past few years. While I at first questioned their decision, I quickly became a firm convertee. Why, you might ask? Simple. Deming is about 16 miles to the west of the Arroyo Seco raceway where the track events are held. That means driving directly into the sunrise - squinting the whole way -- to get to the track in time for the drivers' meeting. Then concentrating intently all day long on the task at hand, and...squinting into the sunset all the way back to the hotel before dinner. This year, the sun was at our backs in both directions. I seem to remember seeing a list of the all-time best college commencement speeches in which the esteemed guest came out, gazed pointedly into the expectant eyes of the graduates, said with great pomp and circumstance "When you get a job, be sure to get a house on the east side of town. That way you won't have to spend two hours a day squinting," then strode off the speaker's dais to loud applause from the commencers. Three Cheers to the Carreras for applying that lesson!

Bill WalkerThe event was well run in every other way, as well. A great tour up through the mountains of Southern New Mexico ended up at Arroyo Seco for lunch. The folks doing the Drivers' Ed portion of the weekend drove and drove and drove without any incident, building up great appetites for the Saturday night banquet at the St. Clair Vinyards Bistro, which had great food and great service. And the Sunday autocross was both challenging and fun. It seemed like everyone was full of praise for the event chairs and volunteers and I can imagine that next year's event will be even larger.

For me it was back home to finish up a couple of writing projects and get started on some others, and to attend the last few autocrosses put on my by home region the Roadrunners who do an amazing twelve of them a year!

img2Oh, and one more bit from the Carrera Region event. Some of you on the northern end of Zone 9 have been asking about Fran and Bill Walker, long time PCA leaders and competitors. Both were in attendance throughout the weekend at track and social events. In fact, Bill who is famous for the message "Give the Old Fart a Brake" message on the back of his 911 race-car, came third in the autocross behind a couple of GT3s driven by guys thirty and forty years younger.... That said, he's considering selling the race-car...because he wants to build a Beck 904.... Some of us NEVER grow up!

I look forward to seeing you at an event soon!

Sean

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