By: Jake Namer
|Toledo Express Airport (Photo By Brian Stone)|
|High Pressure Performance SSM Mazda RX7 (Photo By Brian Stone)|
|High Pressure Performance SSM Mazda RX7|
At the start of competition Friday, adrenaline built up so strongly in my body that I proceeded to jump the lights and get disqualified for three of my four runs, putting the car in last place. The raw times were suppressed in the results, which merely displayed "RL" indicating the disqualification from a red-light start.
The next morning the competitors conceded they dug through the raw data online and found my times were at the top of the class. My confidence was buoyed by my scratch time performance from the previous day. With dwindling anxiety and increased familiarity with the start line traction, I was able to blast out of the hole with green lights laying down lap after lap of blisteringly fast times. One lap, most notably, was into the 26.XXX second realm which raised eyebrows across the event. This performance on day two posted me solidly in first place over Carter Thompson, Brian Johns (former ES National Champion), and Dan Chadwick (RX7 guru and 2009 SSM National Champion).
For most of the weekend, I was able to keep my family in my thoughts. However any autocross racer can tell you, the moment the clutch is released going into a sea of cones, there is only one clear and concise goal dominating every action in your body and ounce of concentration in your mind. That goal is driving perfection. It is this surreal experience of absolute concentration and physical precision that motivates racers to continue in this sport. Life may be scary, sad or confusing at times. For a racer, driving is an escape, a meditation, a moment of clarity.
|Hamfist Racing SSM Mazda RX7 (Photo By Jane Rabatoy Quinn)|
Below is the uStream video from Sunday Heat 3 competition runs. The action between Carter and I begins at the 1:25:00 mark