Saturday, March 19, 2011
[Sebring 2011] Five hours til the race begins..
It's Race Day, and it's ON.
Anyone reading this who would like to get a taste of what drives me to such lengths to be here, really ought to check out at least a bit of today's 59th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. Unlike previous years, one doesn't need cable or a dish to watch in the USA - just an internet connection. Every race of the American Le Mans Series will be webcast instead - in the US, coverage will be on ESPN3.com, and beyond our borders there will be coverage provided by American Le Mans Series own website. (There's been some confusion and outright misinformation about how all of this is being run, but I'll touch on that in a later post.)
I encourage everyone out there to take at least a few minutes, if you're not so rush-rush busy on a beautiful Saturday, just to check it out. In light of the disaster still taking place in Japan, several teams are responding in various ways to provide help. Some of them have pledged a per-lap charity contribution, others have set up various ways for fans to help. Highcroft Racing's effort really stands out - they race with Honda engines, and much of their engineering R&D is tied closely with Japan. Highcroft Racing has a strong history of charitable work, most notably their Miles to end Malaria campaign, to which I contributed and helped to promote.
And, hey - speaking of charity, let me take a second to plug my entry into the BMW Ultimate Blogger contest. I'm ranked 16th (out of 558 entries) and can use all the votes I can get. No sign-up of anything, you don't fill out any stupid questionnaires, you just click the "+1" dot and I get a vote. You can vote once per day, per IP address - and if you've already voted, thank you very much.
On a personal note: It's been a tough week - I've had a few ups and downs doing my gearhead writer thing over the years, but nothing that's ever made me second-guess whether I should've made the trip. The time for second-guessing, however, ended a few days ago - and I'm absolutely certain that if Kit could speak English (and he really does try), he would've told me "dude, just GO! I'll be fine, just GO!" I'm thankful for all of the support I've had - from my wife, from my family, and from all of my friends.
As I've said for years now: I may or may not ever make a real living doing this kind of work, but I'll either make it or die trying.