On Saturday morning, May 18, we ran our first TT (Time Trial) race, where many classes are on track at the same time with lap times determined by transponders on all race cars. This is an exciting type or racing as several different classes of race cars are on the track together --- which creates some interesting challenges in passing --- or avoiding much faster cars.
The old Porsche 911SC proved it is the most versatile race car on the planet. We went into this new experience in road racing with a land speed record from ECTA, a course record in the SCCA Eagle’s Nest Hill Climb and two class victories in rally racing in the Targa Newfoundland --- the “Iron Man of Motorsports.” Although the car has not been touched (mechanically) since the last Targa Newfoundland rally race, the road race at Road Atlanta went wonderfully well! There was lots of traffic on the track which made for lots of fun.
I finished approximately 1 and 1/2 seconds behind the TT driver of the year --- who is a great driver from Alabama --- who was driving a really fast BMW. We were in the same class --- finishing first and second --- and, more importantly, we out ran a bunch of cars in what should have been faster classes along the way. The old 911 was just flawless and ran like a deer. As an example, at one point I even had the corner workers flag the car in front of me (a Corvette with several hundred horse power), to watch for a fast approaching car pushing him through the esses. When I looked in the rear view mirror, I realized that the "faster car" had to be me as I was the only one in his draft. I passed him in the next straight and, by the end of the race that little 170 horse power chunk of German engineering was out of sight of the Corvette --- along with a lot of others. By the end of the race, my lap times were within 1/2 second of each other, I was drifting through most turns, and was running flat out (near the red line in 4th gear) through the very fast 90 degree turn 12 onto the front straight, so I think the little 911 was giving her very best for that track on that day.
I am delighted to report that my pit crew for this race was my wife Linda (who has now been putting up with me for more than 46 years). She was just great and I really enjoyed her being with me. She did a great job helping me on and off the trailer --- and even got some video for an upcoming North Carolina Bar Association project. She was so calm through the whole adventure that she finished a couple of books sitting in the pits.
It was a wonderful racing weekend and we now have a new form of racing in which to participate --- and a new goal. One and one half second faster and we would have won the event --- and I believe that is well within reach. A little more practice, or better tires, or more courage in the fast turns --- However we do it, I know it is within reach!