One of the requirements for the upcoming events at the Michigan International Speedway is that anyone driving the car on the track have already completed a one-day high performance driving school. We had hoped that the teams would receive instruction as part of the spring Shakedown event, but it turns out the teams are on their own to get certification.
It’s a bit of a double-whammy this late in the game. IMW is still largely self-funded, and both money and time are getting tight. Once I received confirmation from the PIAXP that only a one day certificate was required (a change from the guidelines), I searched for a school offering classes before the team leaves for Shakedown.
This time of year, in the midwest, there seems to be a whole lot of nothing going on. It’s probably due to the likelihood of rain interfering. Classes in this neck of the prairie begin in the summer.
I found several schools in sunnier climates. The prices ranged from $900 to over $2,000 per person (including use of school car). Kevin picked a school and a class date and let the team know.
Everyone’s on their own to pay for the class, transportation, and lodging. IMW has a budget of….well let’s just say Kevin works a full time job to fund the project. So if anyone wants to attend the class (and really, only one team member needs to be certified), it’s to the couch cushions to dig for spare change, and to the backyard to dig up buried penny jars.
I sit in my office cubical and dream of California. I’ve never been there (unless you count looking out a terminal window at LAX). I envision the race track, the students in suits, and wonder if it’s hot with the race helmet on.
To Kevin, this is just one more thing that must be accomplished in order to compete. It’s a requirement. Something to check off a list. I argue that this is probably the coolest “have to” he’ll meet until the Shakedown.
It doesn’t sound right to say “I have to fly to California and pretend to be a race car driver for a day.” Have to? GET TO.
In my head, I’m in the high performance car, on the track, shifting gears, following the pack. I catch myself on the verge of making brrrrrmmmmm brrrrmmm sounds when I’m filling up my coffee cup in the break room.
I so want to go on this part of the adventure. But, like some of the IMW team members, I just don’t have the cash to flash. And, like Wendy, I need to hold down the fort for the Lost Boys.
I won’t get bitter – I have plenty of adventures of my own coming up – but I may get a speeding ticket or two on my morning commute.