I’m learning it’s all about the numbers…After more than 2,400 miles and 23 1/2 hours of racing, the most prestigious North American sports car race came down to 8 minutes and a final 5-lap sprint. And 3 of us, among thousands of others, were there.
But, I will digress, because to me, that was nothing compared to the 626 miles driven by a dear friend in a “racing red” Porsche 911 Turbo, coming to meet me precisely at 3:50pm EST as I came out of the Orlando airport baggage claim all the way from LA. She used 2 GPS systems, 1 radar detector, 1 iPod (inevitably on Pandora) and drove with 1 huge grin all the way from North Carolina to Florida. (Though her speed will be 1 number of which I remain mum!)
What began as 3 friends enjoying the 24 Hours of Daytona, turned into 48 hours of an experience that won’t easily be forgotten – because when you get 2 car chicks together with 1 passionate Porsche pal, and all 3 are ready to just simply enjoy the moment – each moment becomes nirvana.
In a nutshell, our weekend included the Daytona 5K before the big 24-hour enduro – we headed to the track at 5:30am, in 39 degrees, among more than 1,000 entrants — all competing on the 2.6 mile track along side the 31 degree slanted slope — an exciting rarity for my weekly exercise jaunts and one run I never dreamed I’d experience.
And a few hours later we were back at the track again – enjoying the infield parking at the Porsche paddock, lunch in Ferrari Hospitality and later feeling just like we belonged as we headed onto pit row…
My guess is, one hasn’t experienced real racing until they’ve been up close and personal, 2-feet from a pit stop, and cheering on their team mere inches away from a drivers’ change during an endurance race. It’s a rush and excitement, that short of driving that car, can’t be replicated.
We felt that rush — as we had the chance to hang with our favorite friends of the Danville d’Elegance Foundation — Sonny Whelen and Marsh Racing, and their #31 Corvette driven by Eric Curran and his team. Big supporters of Team Fox, all their crew wear the t-shirts to prove it, and we welcome them with open arms each year at our concours and weekend of charity events for Parkinsons (www.danville-delegance.org , btw, did I mention that along with Sonny’s help, we raised $500k overall this year and became Team Fox’s #1 donor nationwide!!!). The very least we could do is proudly cheer on his Marsh Racing team until the wee hours, as he so devotedly each year cheers on ours!
Teddy Marsh leads the way as his team takes a quick pit stop in evening hours.
So getting back to the numbers, there were a 1,000,000 reasons why our 3-some had just so much fun this Daytona weekend — and I think it had to do with absolutely no expectations to do anything more than enjoy!
Let this be the beginning of more and more car family weekends to come…