When I turned 40 I finagled a Porsche.
The newfangled internet had made it much easier to locate and acquire vehicles that were previously the domain of exclusive dealers and inside networks. Now you could scour the country to find a deal on eBay and other sites and the competition drove down prices.
I found a 1982 911 in Reno, Nevada. It had 70k miles and was under $10k. I put it on a credit card and drove it home.
I was going to “restore” it. It didn’t take long to realize that restoration was expensive. And meticulous. I was too busy for meticulous, I just wanted to go fast.
A fellow lobbyist and friend, Carl Brakenseik, had a Porsche, was a member of the Porsche Club and frequently attended races at Nor Cal race tracks. Except the Porsche guys don’t call it racing, they call it high performance driver education (HPDE). He hooked me.
Setting the car up to go faster was only slightly less expensive than restoring it, but instead of tucking it away in the garage after you restore it, after you race prep you take it out and drive the wheels off of it.
Before they let you on these race tracks you must learn the rules and get instruction. There are the fast driving techniques like turn in, track out, braking zones, trail braking and heel/toe shifting; then there are the track rules and the flags that represent them; then there are the nuances of the track that aren’t written anywhere, you learn them from your instructor whose motto is do as I say, not as I do.
The whole idea is to use the entire track and drive just inside, but right up the edge of, the traction point.
My first track day was at Thunderhill Raceway. About 80 miles north of Sacramento and seven miles west of I5 at the town of Willows, CA, the cow pastures give way to this racetrack. in the middle of nowhere.
Like a kid on Christmas eve I didn’t sleep much the night before. Arriving at dawn preparations begin getting everything out of your vehicle, adjusting air pressure taping off glass. The drivers’ meeting out of the way and everyone briefed the run groups began.
I was paired with a cool instructor who had a badass race car and I would ride with him when it was his group and he rode with me when it was mine. Russ Hildebrand was a city attorney for a suburb city in the Sacramento area and an all around nice guy.
I had an initial tendency to overgrip the wheel which made for not so smooth turns- smooth equals fast, which he made clear immediately, so I loosened my grip. With each lap he added new nuances.
Thunderhill is a really cool track. There are several configurations now, but at the time it was three miles with 15 turns. A road course that sported elevation changes in addition to the turns and straight aways. Remembering that smooth equals fast, these elevation changes are tricky because they tend to unsettle the car.
Every track has its own personality and THill is no different.
From the outset turn one at the end of the start/finish straightaway has a short braking zone and a hard left turn in and it begins.
Turn two is a carousel with a big sweeping turn and late apex.
Turn five has a climb/turn/descend/turn at the bottom combo that will hurt you if not played well.
Turn eight is not fully appreciated until you have enough experience to enter without braking. It takes some real nerve and the trust that comes with experience to lay off the brake and unwind all of the way to the other side of the track at exit- I have seen drivers pitched up onto the bank from carrying too much speed.
Turn nine we’ll come back to.
Turn 10 is a hard left after a straight with a short unwind before you go into the kind of esses of 11/12/13, which once you get the timing of you can flatten out into almost one turn.
Fourteen and fifteen are a big roundhouse after the back straight that require apex discipline in order to have the car settled to maximize speed into the main straight away/finish.
It is turn nine however that taught me that the pathway to trust is through surrender. Coming out of eight not having braked you climb into nine hot with a left sweep after which the bottom falls out with a steep elevation loss.
Even when you have driven the course many times and you know where the track goes, not being able to see is terrifying. The tendency is to downshift and brake as you crest over the hill, but this is not smooth, unsettles the car and breaks your rhythm.
The key to nailing turn nine at Thunderhill, said Russ, was to fix your eyes on the water tower in the distance, which rose above the horizon and if you aligned on it, you would be in the center of the track to speed out of nine and into 10.
To nail turn nine at Thunderhill I had to get out of my head and follow my gut, my intuition. In order to trust I was in the right place I had to surrender my need to see the track and follow a path I knew to be there even though my eyes couldn’t see it.
If you are in a place in life where your eyes don’t see and your path eludes you perhaps it is time to surrender to your intuition and trust the power of your subconscious mind to help you find answers through the application of hypnotherapy.
Maybe answers to your health, your career, your behavior, your relationship are just a hypnotherapy session away.
Maybe just letting the soothing surrender of trusting your powerful subconscious mind through a hypnotherapy session can help you take a break from your crazy world, or get a fresh perspective.
Hypnotherapy is a powerful modality for positive change. Call for a free consultation today …