MOM on the Track – at 92!

TPG Racing pulled out of PCA 944 Club Racing three years ago as racing just Porsche 944’s on limited tracks was not my cup of tea. I had started out in the early 90’s racing vintage cars of all types from the 1940’s to the 1980’s at all the many tracks up and down the East coast as well as out West. 
I was driving old Corvettes, racing with 250 vintage race cars of all types and 10 to 20 thousand people coming to the events was great and I was having a blast. 

So three years ago Lou Verdiales and I decided to go back to Vintage Racing.  

Our 944 turbo cup car was completely redone back to 1989 Rothmans 944 turbo series specs as well as livery or colors as it would have been in the race series sponsored by Rothmans with spec Porsche’s built by the factory for North America, Europe and Asia series. 
There are two main vintage racing series in North America. SVRA (Sportscar Vintage Racing Association out of Texas) race all the great tracks with about 30 races a year with many million dollar cars at the races on the track racing all out with a host of great drivers from the past being there racing or with the fans. SVRA: “Some People Collect Art, We Race It” is  their motto. 

The other of the two with about 15 races at famous tracks is HSR (Historic Sportscar Racing out of Florida). Both series command at least two hundred vintage race cars with 10 to 20 thousand fans showing up at the Thursday through Sunday events. 

Practice for a day then rounds of qualifying followed by three sprint (30 minute) races and a two hour enduro thrown in for some more fun for the fans and drivers. 

The comradery is the best not only between teams and drivers but even more so with the fans who are camping. It is so much fun to get out with them for some wonderful stories over the years and all the family generations that make the trip. 

While Covid slowed us all down in the racing world and even more so for the fans, this year has been great with us running somewhere every couple weeks.    

The last round for TGP Racing had us at Mid-Ohio last month for four great days of 250 vintage races cars at the Mid-Ohio Classics. 
 We had just left Barber Motorsports Park with HSR several weeks earlier which was also a great time. 

I was the only Porsche 944 of the 250 vintage race cars at both and it was great! 

The picture shown at MidOhio with the four of us racing Vintage Alfa Romeo, Porsche 911, our Rothmans 944 turbo and the Datsun 260 Z says it all in a class of 28 cars participating. 

For me, this is what it is all about and even more so with the 20 thousand fans that came out and camped over the four days. 
It’s very much about the cars and the fans who had a great show put on for them at both series.
My MOM who is 92 and lives in Ohio has never seen me race let alone been at a race track (so I found out). My sister and mom’s caregiver surprised me and brought mom to Mid-Ohio to see me race for a day! My MOM is very sharp and in good shape for 92 years old, coming out of the back woods of Georgia. 

I was talking to Tony Parella, the owner of SVRA and a GREAT person, and after telling him about MOM visiting, he paused for a few minutes and told me the wonderful story of his mother at age 86 riding in the pace car for one of the main races when he was racing. 
With this he asked me if my mother would like to ride in the pace car for a main race that Saturday when she would be there. 

What a special honor for me and my MOM! 

She could not have been treated better. All the great folks at SVRA did such a good job in showing her around as well as a great pace car ride. 

That just capped off her GREAT day. I have never seen my MOM so happy. 

A great picnic, best seats in the house overlooking the toughest turns (4, 5, 6, complex) two tours of it all and great hugs from so many warm workers and fans plus a wonderful conversation with Tony

TGP Racing is off next to VIR (Virigina International Raceway) with SVRA in September and then to HSR 24 hours at Daytona and at Road Atlanta and finally at Sebring with HSR the first week of December. 

We will be doing about 20 races between the two series each year before I retire and can do more. 

Next year Indianapolis, COTA and Monterey will be added for us. Europe is adding it’s own series and we’ve done two international races so far
So you might wonder what is a “Rothmans” and its great connection to Porsche Racing? 

I thought it was a British Porsche dealer when I was growing up. 

No, it is not a shoe company as one woman told me nor an Auto Parts Store. 

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