Greetings track fans and those who live vicariously in their easy chair. The words you are reading are from a pinch hitter for your DE Crier Bill Seymour who is unfortunately nursing a bad back and was unable to attend the Watkins Glen event this year. I know this was a big blow to this “seasoned” track driver as this is his favorite track (as well as mine). It is a hike to get there for my wife Pam & I but the seven and a half hours it takes us to get there hauling the trailer is worth every mile. We actually had one of our first dates in 1973 coming to WGI for the Formula One. This year may be the exception as our car broke on Friday afternoon of the three day event. Despite that disappointment, we were able to spend time with many of our dear friends that we have met over the years participating in this unusual way to get an adrenaline rush. And, of course, a night at the “world” famous Seneca Lodge restaurant and bar. A must see attraction every year for us. We missed our good friend Stan Corbett this year who was having cataract surgery so he could drive faster! He has been a fixture at this track ever since I started doing DE events. He’ll be back at Palmer.
As it turned out, despite an iffy forecast, the weather was great for all three days. As a regular participant at this event this is not the norm. The only session affected by the weather was the last session of the day on Sunday when the track shut down due to lightning in the area. The NER track committee did it’s usual fantastic job of organizing and running the event with all it’s moving parts. The Saturday evening dinner at the Iroquois Lodge in the state park was amazing. The social committee, Judy Mansing and Pam Mascetta delivered once again with a fabulous meal catered by Dinosaur Barbeque from Rochester NY. They brought in their big trailer and smoked ribs, brisket and chicken wings for 7 hours on site. All who attended left with full bellies and smiles.
Other shoutouts go to Dave Berman and Tim Canfield who ran three classroom sessions addressing 1) General Safety, 2) Passing Etiquette and 3) Better Braking. These efforts reflect an increasing emphasis on providing not just good in-car instruction but also general knowledge for all driver levels. Dave also led a well-received track walk on Friday night. Oh, and Charlie did a good job too.
A number of drivers were promoted over the three days and two new instructors were brought into the corps. Chris Braun and Buzz Bean are now going to wear red wrist bands and impart their knowledge and experience onto novice drivers for years to come. It takes years of DE experience and passing a rigorous development program to reach this goal. Congrats! More instructors mean we can accommodate more drivers in the novice run groups. If you aspire to become an instructor seek out and talk with Bob Hollis and/ or Matthew Wallace to be put on their radar.