Miss Amy Gives Hot Laps

I discovered a whole new way to spread joy and cheer to someone at the track. Give them hot laps! As you well know, I began this hobby just last year, but now I am at a comfort level where I can have a companion in the passenger seat. Last month I got an invitation to a charity event at Monticello Motor Club and was asked to be on standby to give hot laps to the kids; it was a Cops for Kids charity after all. All of us hot lap givers lined up on track side of pit wall, already belted into our cars. The kids lined up on the other side of pit wall, all hyped up to clamor over the wall and run and pick car and driver once they were told to GO! Looking at all the other exotic cars like Ferrari 458s, Lamborghinis and Lotus cup cars I was transported back to grade school and volleyball. I started getting that pit in my stomach that we all know so well (some won’t admit it and they probably aren’t the fairer sex) which occurred during the picking of teams. Inside my head I am screaming pick me! pick me! I cannot possibly be the last one standing, with my knees knocking in the frigid gym. Well I have a cute little low powered Porsche, a dwarf among those giants of cars around me, and I thought what happens if I don’t get picked? Do I just go out on track anyways, passenger-less? Well a precious little 7 year old girl named Taylor bee-lined for my car, running in front of another kid to get to me. She came up to the passenger window, breathless, and all I could see of her was from her button nose on up. I heard her say ‘I want a girl driver; will you take me?’ Of course! I yelled through my helmet, Hop in! She could barely see over the dashboard and she looked so very diminutive in the passenger seat; that did not deter her from yelling ‘go faster go faster!’. We were already breaking the parade lap speed limit of 60mph so I compromised by giving her a couple of drifting hairpin turns. She squealed with delight and I have to admit the cheek pads in my helmet were preventing me from smiling any wider than I already was. She simply possessed no fear and I couldn’t help thinking…gimme some of that!

A couple of weeks later I invited a girlfriend to visit me at Monticello; she had wanted to take photographs and just experience a racetrack up close and personal. I casually mentioned that we could get her a helmet and she could hop in my car for some hot laps. She told me that it wasn’t funny to tease her like that. I said I’m not kidding; I just shrugged my shoulders and said it wasn’t a big deal at all. Not a big deal at all she shrieked. Of course it is HUGE! Judi was just as giddy as my previous little hot lapper and looked like she would have liked to skip to my car. Enroute we passed two of my friends to whom I announced that I was taking Judi out for her first time ever. Both of them said uh oh I hope you don’t puke. No more skip to her step. There was a definite deflation to her voice when she asked me if she was going to get sick. Nah! Won’t ever happen I said; I will just drive slowly and if you want to come in just give me a thumbs down. So we helmeted her and belted her in. I hooked up the communicator so we could converse at a normal speaking level. I reminded her the universal thumbs down was available to her if for some reason I couldn’t hear her. Then I gave her the two thumbs up and told her to fasten her seat belt. I frankly thought there was a high likelihood of pukage so I kept talking to her nonstop. Even though my car interior is black I really did want every second warning possible. She sat there rigidly looking straight ahead and ignored every question I asked. I figured the communicator got unplugged, but I do know she is a smart lady and would give me the thumbs down, should there be a need. I generally just take someone out for a couple of laps and come in but everything felt right - tires were perfect temp, the sun was shining and I was in a nice groove, apexing nearly every turn bang on - so I stayed out there. I stayed out there the whole half hour run, all the while Judi continued to stare straight ahead, transfixxed and immobile. We came in, took our helmets off and I said whaddya think? She still didn’t speak. I mentally check-listed a few things - heart? Seizure? Shock? - none of which I am certified to treat. What seemed like forever, but was probably only a few seconds, elapsed and she slowly swiveled her head towards me and said in a soft voice ‘that was the most fun I have ever had; I will remember this day for the rest of my life’. Excellent! Another happy customer!

When my dear friend Sandy Cotterman came by the track for a visit (she had signed up for a car control class that was happening the next day; if we are lucky she will write about her experience), I happened to have a few more laps in my system so I asked if she wanted to hop in for some hot laps. She didn’t miss a beat and couldn’t grab a helmet any faster. Judi was fresh in my memory and I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s heart palpitations, even though they were good sort. So I thought I would just take it easy for her; maybe 5/10ths. We weren’t out there a full lap when she casually just said ‘do you know what I am thinking?’. Hmmm I do know there are quite a few things she COULD be thinking and hoped that one of them was not how fast she could get her helmet off should she need to stick her head out the window. Tell me Sandy; what’s on your mind. She said ‘we need to find property down here to rent next year so we can be close to the track’. That’s my girl! I yelled and ratcheted it up to 8/10th…just for her. I hoped she wouldn’t yell for me to go faster since I had nothing left. So if you see me trackside and want to smile; I can promise you that - that’s as long as you pick me.

Warm regards,