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Revving Heartbeats at the Glen

October 26, 2020 10:22 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

The morning was a bit gray and drizzly, but I was sure the drive to Watkins Glen international Raceway would make the trip worthwhile. I'm sure many of the nearly 60 people riding or driving Teslas were excited about this adventure, but I'm not one to get prematurely excited.

Teslas were lined up at Gate 2 to sign their paperwork, pay their $30, get their admission ticket and their instructions. The staff at the gate were interested in the Teslas and were checking them out, inside and out. One person commented that they thought the Teslas weren't running until they silently moved. We moved from the gate to line up at the staging area. It was a long line of Teslas representing all of the current models...S 3 X Y.

We had to wait until the race cars had done their practicing. You could hear them revving their engines in the turns. What a juxtaposition to those in the line up with their cars silent, but running. I sat with Camp Mode on, took pictures, checked my email, and texted with friends about what I was doing today.

Finally, the pace car arrived and the line started to move. Ahead of me I could see Tesla after Tesla move down the road toward the track. Suddenly, I'm at the gate onto the track and I got that feeling...a spreading warmth in your chest when something exciting is about to happen. The heartbeat quickens, you're breathing faster, and your eyes are suddenly focused on what's ahead. A couple of seconds later, you're crossing the edge curbing of the track and you're on it.

I've walked part of the track before, but there's no feeling like being on the track, following the pace car, hands tight on the wheel, speeding up and taking that first turn. Then it's accelerate, estimate the line to take in the curve, brake into it and accelerate out. There's that straightaway you've been waiting for and you step on the accelerator to feel that instant torque that puts you back in your seat. I can only imagine what the Tesla Performance models were experiencing then.

You've finished one lap, have a bit of a feel for the track and are looking forward to the next two laps. Now the excitement is rising. You've gotten over the anxiety of not knowing what to expect and are focused on the fun, coming down off the top of the turn and into the inside line. And, of course those straightaways... you can just feel that big grin on your face. 

Now the third lap is over and the pace car is directing you off the track. Yes, you wish you could spend more time, but you still have that high from the thrill and wave to the pace car driver as you leave the track. As you wind your way down the roads into the village of Watkins Glen, you're still enjoying that high and thinking about how to describe it to your friends when you get home. 

The trip home always seems shorter than the trip out, but you're thinking about one thing... when do we do that again? The next Track Day can't come soon enough.

Comments

  • October 26, 2020 12:07 PM | Keith Spiro (Administrator)
    Sounds like ya had a great time. Gotta visit there someday...!!! Great Job Harry. Keep up the good work.. Let's grow together. You must come see us southerners here on long Island and visit TSCW. home and lab of Nikola Tesla...!!!
    Link  •  Reply
    • October 26, 2020 1:02 PM | Harry Burch
      I'd love to come down sometime. We have a nephew in Troy we can stop and see on the way down and friends in Jersey, too. We'll get on the calendar for the spring for a TOCNYS event and represent the HQ.
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      • October 26, 2020 5:46 PM | Patrick Ho (Administrator)
        Did the pace car dictate the speed you were allowed on the track? Can you pass the pace car?
        Link  •  Reply
        • October 30, 2020 2:05 PM | Harry Burch
          I don't think you were allowed to pass on the track and certainly not the pace car. However, Rick mentioned that he held back coming out of turns so that he could get good speed on the straightaways. I noticed the same thing happening at the back of the pack and I took advantage of it.
          Link  •  Reply


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