The Gift of Racing
Editor's Notebook, January 1999
On Christmas morning, the snow was very light on the ground, the air was bitter cold, and Susan gave me the sounds of racing. One of her gifts to me is a CD that contains seventy-two minutes of recorded auto racing sounds: F1 cars entering the blinding tunnel at Monaco; top fuel dragsters taking the quarter mile in 4.3 seconds; the in-car sounds of CART champions working a lap at Laguna Seca; all the sounds of revving, accelerating, braking, and gliding through the gears that Ive been missing these past couple of months.
A friend tells me that you know you're a racer if you take the racing line through the supermarket. I've done that more than once. You'd be surprised at how many grocery cart drivers don't seem to know what to do when you out-brake them in a corner.
A few years ago, I was amazed and pleased to find that my town had built a perfect skid pad next to the train station. I've practiced on it many times. It is pretty annoying, though, that some cars park on it and wait to pick up people from the arriving trains.
Do you call the street corner at the end of your block 'turn one'? Then you're a racer.
You're a racer whether you compete at the highest level of the sport or are just beginning to explore your potential. You're a racer if you are a champion or a dedicated back marker. You're a racer if you dream of racing. You're a racer if your favorite athletes are race car drivers.
Thunder Valley is for racers and their fans. As the sport begins to come alive once more in the Southern portions of the Northern half of the Western hemisphere (we're talking Florida, folks: Moroso; Sebring; Daytona), Thunder Valley, the sweetest spot on Earth, still lies covered with snow.
We listen to the sounds of racing on recordings and we remember the feel of racing, the sights of racing, the sounds or racing, and the smell of racing. We think of the friends we have made through racing and we look forward to seeing them again.