The More You Know – the More You Don't Know

I remeber back to my days at the University of Illinois at Chicago computer center where I was a consultant to the student popluation regarding all of our computer systems.  As I learned more and more, I realized just how much I did not know.  In other words, the more I knew, the more I realized how little I actually knew out of the vast world of computer science, programming languages, operating systems, etc.  I became curious as to if I would close this knowledge gap or see it widen as more technology was developed.  It was another type of race – a race into the information age.

I had the same feeling for a while as I attempted to figure out how to begin wheel-to-wheel competition racing with the SCCA.  Getting my Novice License and being signed off to race was one hurdle.  This was complicated by a coast-to-coast move from Seattle to Northern Virginia.  The next hurdle was getting my 2001 Z06 Corvette prepared to race.  I have e-mailed a number of people and talked with some as well.  Most of those people were involved in the SCCA as Time Trials, Solo or PDX participants.  As I have now learned, they might as well be from some other racing program or another planet.  The rules for “club racing” are the most stringent and complex.

On Monday morning I was fortunate enough to have the SCCA TCS T1 class driver sponsor call me.  She was very patient and polite (thank you Pam).  She let me know I should have started with the program office and found my way to her first.  Needless to say, between her and the head of tech inspection, it is very clear to me that I need a full roll cage.  So onto PiperMotorsport to have that done when they can schedule me in.

I also learned that I need to have the full roll cage for the SCCA driving school I am registered for on March 27th.  There is no way it will be done then – so I am going try to rent a car with a roll cage for that event.  It hopefully will be a Mazda Miata – or what they call a “spec” Miata.

One other somewhat interesting factoid I learned was that my “lowly” TCS T1 class runs simultaneously with all othe other “big bore” classes (ie. on the track at the same time).  I had heard I would likely be the only T1 car in my class.  I had thought I would have the track to myself!  This was a bit of a suprise to me since I thought at worse I would only be out there with other cars from my T1 class.  Pam informed me that I would be out there with GT1 class cars and some cars with over 700 HP.  How ironic – I will probably finish last in the actual race and get a trophy for 1st place in the T1 class (and 2nd place, and last place).

I definitely do not want to be driving a car with 700 HP yet – so I need to be ready to passed a whole lot by all the other cars on the track.  No pride here.  Just glad to be able to learn and rub elbows with these highly experienced die-hard racers.

Live and learn (carefully)…

Ted Cahall

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