In Thanksgiving For Racing And Racers
By Tom Martin
October 12, 2016
Yeah, we know Thanksgiving-the-holiday is more than a month away, but this is the season of SCCA, IMSA, PWC and NASA Championships. Mostly, we wanted to recommend to all our readers that they take time to thank those whose friendship and assistance they enjoyed this year.
Having just "finished" our NASA and MX-5 Cup seasons, we found ourselves particularly disposed to give thanks. So we also wanted to call out a few special friends and honor a few people who made this year special for us. We hope you find some inspiration here or can join us in congratulating these people.
We honored our engineers and mechanics recently with a symbolic gift. Our hope was that they would fondly remember our time together and think of the excellent work they did during the year. Without Tim Barber, Todd Therkildsen, Chris Drysdale, Brian Falcon, Mick Dodge, Mike DeCesaro, Juliann Pokorny and Jeff Petrus, our drivers can't go racing, win races or be safe.
Rookie Of The Year
We were also very excited that Mark Drennan won rookie-of-the-year honors in the SCCA Pro Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup series. Mark won two of the 12 races and put on quite a show if you had the chance to watch our live streams from his car. We've learned a lot from Mark, who has coached all our MX-5 Cup drivers.
Dr. Rob Kaprowicz is in his first season of road racing. Those of you who have been on this early learning curve will recall how overwhelming it can be. Rob has been amazingly receptive to advice and has put it to good use. His times improved enough during the year that we thought he had an excellent shot at the Spec Iron podium at the NASA championships. Unfortunately an out-of-class competitor forgot to use his mirrors, ending Rob's run for glory. Next year!
Related To Vettel?
David Beckmann, our first NP01 driver, came to us with limited track experience. He says. But out of the box he was competitive and then went on to podium in class during the NASA East Championships. He is also a joy to have in the paddock, although, since he's from Louisiana, we're a bit afraid we'll get an invitation to go drinking with him. Anyway, we're suspicious of all that speed, but he seems to be of German heritage so maybe he's related to Seb?
Nick Bruni, Sarah Montgomery, Glenn McGee and Ashton Harrison welcomed us to the MX-5 paddock and were always supportive and friendly. Heck, one of our cars accidentally ended Nick's best shot at a win, and he still treats us with respect. All of these drivers showed impressive speed during the year and kept a positive attitude when things didn't go their way. These are some of the class acts in MX-5 Cup.
Hernan Palermo and Zach Lee have known some of our team for a while. We really appreciated their smiles and their classy driving. There are a few drivers in any series, MX-5 Cup included, who we don't relish running with, but we look forward to being on track with Hernan and Zach again.
Pay It Forward
Bill Agha gave us so much advice and help this year that we don't really know how to properly say thanks, but we'll think of something. Just so you understand, he even gave us his grandmother's hummus recipe! Bill is an all-purpose awesome racer.
Corey Rueth and Tom Martin III really hit their stride working together in the middle of the MX-5 Cup season. Whether it was data sharing or drafting, they actually made the teamwork we preach a session-by-session routine. Empirically, that is harder than it looks. Much harder.
Starting at Watkins Glen, and ever after, our team physician and chef, Mary Martin, scored major points with drivers and crew. How, you ask? Step 1: the best trackside BLT ever. Step 2: killer guacamole. Step 3: Johnsonville sausage and organic scrambled eggs first thing in the morning after engine swaps. Next, the crew plans to send her to brewmaster school, but she has other ideas...
It Was Either Vogue Or This
Winding Road Racing was twice honored with the Most Professional Team award this year, the only two-time recipient in the MX-5 paddock. We owe our spiffy look and social media presence to brand experts Luciana D'Andretta, Karen Graf, Mike DeCesaro and Andy Blackmore.