This past Wednesday was my last meeting in my current tenure. I became a member of the board four years ago, very shortly after I joined the PCA, and now, after three years as Membership Chair and one year as VP of Communications, and for the majority of the time, NOR’EASTER editor and the person responsible for getting a stream of content (articles, columns, event promotions, event reports, new member welcomes, and recognition of anniversaries) to the membership.  I have run into the term limit set in the bylaws. I am all in favor of term limits and four years feel about right; I need a break. It has been a great experience, and I have made a lot of new friends at an age where the circle of friends normally shrinks. PCA activities at all levels, Regional in NER, Zone level in Zone 1, and at the National level have filled my calendar and enrichened my life.

I am proud to have been heavily involved in evolving NER, which we have to if we want to remain viable in this world of constantly accelerating change. We reintroduced Rallying, which has proven to be a popular re-addition to our portfolio, Sim Racing has expanded explosively in the last two years, and Cars & Coffee events have become much more frequent and popular.

The bottom line, Porsches and the PCA have become a big and rewarding part of my life.

Now it is my turn to focus on participation in the events I enjoy, which pretty much includes the entire range. I’ll continue to commit time to run the club: I will still be responsible for the gathering of content to be communicated, I am a member of the Autocross committee, I am a Zone coordinator for Zone 1 Sim Racing, I am on the Rally committee, and willing to jump in and lend a hand where a volunteer is needed.

If you enjoy making a difference, getting to know people, and being a member of a team, I recommend you follow the same path! Join the board or become a member of one of our many activity teams.

Recently I had another lucky and life-changing experience. 

Several years ago, while I was NOR’EASTER editor, Bill Seymour secured permission to reprint the contents of a couple of Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets emails. I suspect many of you know who Ross Bentley is. Race driver, racing coach, and author of the Speeds Secrets series of instructional racing books. 

Ross is also a person who is a complete joy to get to know. I wrote him a few emails over the years commenting on his Speeds Secrets emails. Ross replied to every one of them and obviously spent some time considering what I had written. As I became more and more involved in sim racing, my emails were mostly about the connection between “real” racing and sim racing, both similarities and differences. I also commented that it would be fantastic if he could expand his focus into this realm.

Out of the blue, a couple of months ago, Ross emailed me and asked me if I was willing to join a group of beta testers for a new service, Sim Racer Academy. The service is broken into two parts. One is a website containing a wealth of self-paced instructional material about all aspects of racing, the other a Discord-based forum providing a social platform for the service. I accepted immediately, and in the course of our communications, he mentioned that he was looking for a few individuals to help him run the service. I responded, “Me! Me! Please, Me!”.

I have taken responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Discord service and joined Ron Gale, who will be running practice and race sessions, Conor Murphy, who is the Sim Racing technology expert, and of course, Ross. We work as a closely-knit team, communicating on a daily basis electronically because we are spread over the US and Canada.

The service has been well received, and we are all really busy. Busy enough that I have needed to cut back on some of my other activities. Being part of building something new, figuring out how to make it succeed, and interacting with the users is just up my alley!

Now we have to get rid of this COVID thing!

On that joyous note, I wish all of you Happy Holidays. See you in the new year on the track, at the C&C, at the Gala, the Rallies, and all the other places we NERs have fun together!

 

Written by: Anker Berg Sonne

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