Thursday, February 21, 2008

PIR and learning to drive

Portland International Raceway reopens this weekend. The Friend of PIR are hosting an open house and for $10 you can take three paced laps around the track. I considered going to the event and driving a few laps on the track. After some thought I decided not to attend. Three reasons. First, and most important, after my sliding the car around leaving Enzo’s birthday party I realize I need to learn how to drive the car and that I am not yet familiar enough with it nor a good enough driver to push it. Second, $10 does not present that great of a barrier to entry. Sorry but I don’t want someone in a pickup to get a bit ambitious in turn three and flatten the Ferrari. Third, I want to drive the car on the track and really see what it can do. These laps will be paced parade laps. I don’t see much fun in that.

What am I going to do? I am going to take a driving class. I am going to learn how to drive the Ferrari and drive well in general. There is a driving school at PIR with a one day course in which you use your own car. The course is comprised of classroom instruction and track time with an instructor. I think I need some instruction before getting out on the track.

In the past I would have resisted this but every time I have gone fly fishing with a guide I have learned a lot and benefited greatly from the instruction. Why should driving be any different? My dad taught me to drive when I was 12. He was living in Hawaii and had tiny pickup truck which someone had painted yellow with a brush. The hoses for the engine were literally hoses, garden hoses. Since then I have not had any driving instruction.

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