The End and the Beginning

Editor's Notebook, October 1997



Thunder Valley is quiet now. Squirrels scurry across the track in peace. The occasional deer is seen leaping through the woods past Canada Corner or munching leaves at the Billy Mitchell Bridge. The engines are quiet. The fans have gone.


Road America, like all the tracks of the North, is settling in for the winter. The Thunder Valley portion of the track will soon be covered with a blanket of snow. This dormant period, though, is a time for preparation, a time for planning new growth and rebirth. Its a time to celebrate the past season and anticipate the Spring.


We look forward to Daytona in February and, as the frost line moves North, to the roar of engines at Atlanta, Mid-Ohio, and, most glorious of all, at Road America in May!


enough of this musing...

But, enough of this idle musing. We're very excited about this Fall. You all can visit us at Thunder Valley each Wednesday evening, right through the Winter and into next year's racing season.


Meet the Drivers Meet and talk with a featured driver of Thunder Valley Racing each Wednesday, at 9:00pm Eastern U.S. time, in our chat room. (You'll find it around here some place.) We're kicking off the hosted conversations about racing from a women's point of view in December.


Talk with Trish Koger, Legends Driver (and author of the entertaining Race Reports in Distant Thunder) on December 3rd. Ask your questions of Ginni Swanton, STAR Formula Mazda driver, on December 10th. Share your experiences with Lisa Devlin, the California driver who has let us steal looks at her Racing Diary each month, on December 17th. We'll take a holiday break and be back on January 7th with Jennifer Tumminelli, road racer and PPG Pace Car Team driver.


These and other women drivers will continue hosting conversations in January and beyond. They'll be talking with you about racing, about the special advantages and trials of being a woman in racing, about how they got started, and about where they are going. In coming months, we will have other prominent guests from the world of racing join us for these discussions.


Next Year If you've been wondering about Thunder Valley's racing plans for 1998 in the NASCAR Goody's Dash series and the Toyota Atlantic series, join the crowd. We've got some tantalizing sponsorship prospects out there. Too tantalizing for my taste, actually. They seem just out of reach, but ripe for grasping. Wish us luck.


AutoCross Driver of the Month For the first time, the Thunder Valley Driver of the Month does not participate in wheel-to-wheel competition. Karen Kraus is an autocross driver (what the SCCA calls Solo). She races a prescribed course, usually set out by orange cones in a parking lot, against the times of other drivers. The competition is fierce and the skills required are enormous.


Autocrossing is an excellent way to be introduced to the sport of racing. The skills you learn transfer directly to wheel-to-wheel competition. For some, the thrill of solo racing is plenty. (And, of course, the cost, especially in crash damage, is considerably less.) For Karen, I get the sense that autocrossing is a stepping-stone to future racing. She already drag races her car and has run laps at auto racing road courses.


That's about all for now. Let us know what you'd like to see on the Thunder Valley Racing web site over the Winter.


Yours 'til the green flag drops once again.

Back to the Editor's Notebook Menu