As the NASA Texas Region settled into its second race of the 2023 season, we all had one thing on our mind: standing on the podium holding that first place trophy. The weather was almost perfect at MSR Cresson, Texas, to topple some track records for the race days. It also provided that big blue Texas sky for some great in-class and out-of-class racing with Spec E46, Spec E30 and 944 Spec.
Representing Spec E46 was, Hank Smith, David and Christi Records, Audrey Wiseman, Jason Rikke and John Major all from the Texas Region. Representing Spec E30 was Clay Pierce and Cliff Pierce from the Texas Region. Representing 944 Spec was Ian Brewer also from the Texas Region. By Thursday night, those who could get to the track early, blocked ourselves off a nice little area for all of us to paddock together.
As Friday began, the energy in our paddock was electrifying. All of us were eager to get in our cars and lay down some laps. Earlier that morning, before heading out for our sessions, we talked about tire pressures, setups for what worked and what wasn’t. Which corners are fast, which are not. Which corner entries are a trail brake, which ones are early or late apexes, etc. In a team setting, I can understand sharing, but among individuals? Seems counterintuitive right?
However, sharing information among ourselves has improved us all as drivers. We have quickened our lap times and forged a bond of competitive friendship that drives us to be better than the last event. During Saturday’s lunch break, that bond was easy to see as we were swapping stories and serving up some light hearted smack talk. Best day ever!
Saturday’s race was on. Race one and race two were classic, clean and fast racing. Jason Rikke finished race one in first place with a fast lap of 1:23.544, followed by Hank Smith and Audrey Wiseman. For race two, the finishing order was the same as race one.
Even with some other classes joining in, there was no place where you were dancing all by yourself, it was a full house for sure. After the racing was done for the day and evening fell, it was time for a campfire and libations with the recap of day’s racing. We laughed as we recalled a breakdown getting repaired with nothing but a Solo cup to fix it!
Sunday’s races were and are the best. By Sunday, the cars are sorted out, we all know who’s who, so it’s game on. Going into lap five from start, the field still wasn’t sorted out. Door to door, nose to tail racing throughout. I got hit around lap seven. It was a classic under-shoot of a dive bomb and wham’o off podium I went. David Record finished first with Smith in second and Wiseman in third.
As I watched the Sunday trophy awards, I was genuinely happy for them. They raced hard, they raced clean and fast and to see those smiles was awesome. Through constructive conversation on improvements, sharing some lunch time together and winding down an evening, we all have become better racers. I have won so much more than just a trophy. The truth is, there is more to winning than trophies, and if you all ever get to race with NASA Texas, you just may go home with more than just a trophy!