Is it really March already? The “Ides of March” didn’t bode well for old Julius Caesar, but for those of us in the historic racing world, March means the beginning of a new season of racing – with all the excitement and possibilities that a new season brings.
The start of a new season also means that we have survived yet another off-season, usually with little or no racing to speak of. I was thinking of this fact the other day, and it got me going on all the crazy things we do to tied ourselves over between seasons. Ok, honesty time now. Just between us girls, how many times did you go out to the garage or down to the shop over the past few months with no other reason than to sit in the racecar for a little while and dream. Bonus points to you if you took the cap off the fuel cell and inhaled a big, mind-addling dose of high octane.
Regardless of the myriad demented ways of getting through the off-season, it’s sometimes nice to know that we are not alone in this period of ritual purity. During the holidays, the internet was rife with emails on the vintage racing newsgroup (send subscription requests to firstname.lastname@example.org) about what racecars make the best sounds, who was the greatest driver of all time, etc. But perhaps the most poignant thread to show how much racing has twisted our lives was the “You know you are a racer when…” thread.
While I would love to be able to take credit for all these, please find below, for your dining and dancing pleasure, the collective wisdom of your racing brethren, as they answer the time-honored question, “You might be a racer if…”
–You think the primary purpose of wings is to PREVENT flight.
–You take your helmet along when you go to buy new eyeglasses or check out cars.
–You feel compelled on a road trip to beat your previous best time.
–You sometimes hear little noises from your passengers when you get on the throttle right after turning in.
–You thoroughly enjoy showing the tailgater behind how to drive around a highway off-ramp.
–You walk the “proper lines” through the grocery store.
–You bought a racecar before buying a house.
–You bought a racecar before buying furniture for the new house.
–You’re looking for a new tow vehicle and still haven’t bought furniture!
–Your garage holds more cars than your house has bedrooms.
–More than one racer supply house recognizes your voice and greets you by name when you call.
–You always late apex the intersection and try to pass a few cars coming out.
–You can’t remember when you last worked on weekdays and rested on weekends.
–You have a separate drawer for “garage clothes.”
–You remember the dates and details of every race you’ve ever been in but can’t remember your phone number.
–You complain when cars in front of you on highway off-ramps don’t stay on the line, causing your exit speed to drop.
–You think that traction control and ABS are for those who can’t drive.
–You save broken car parts as “mementos.”
–You consider the redline a “conservative suggestion” and the rev limiter a “fun limiter.”
–You own five cars and only one of them is street legal.
–Your friends don’t recognize you without a helmet and driver’s suit.
–You refer to the corner at the end of your street as “Turn 1.”
–You’ve paid $4.00 per gallon for gas without complaining.
–When you hear “overcooked it,” instead of food, you think “off the track.”
–You know that your kid’s orthodontic work is the equivalent of an engine freshening.
–After you tell your wife/husband where you’d like to go on vacation he/she replies: “Why… is there a race there?”
Here’s to another great season!