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JAN
27
Winter Sport: GoKarting Social 02
01.27.2019 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

FEB
17
First-Quarter Board Meeting 2019
02.17.2019 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

MAR
3
2019 Cleveland Auto Show -- TENTATIVE
03.03.2019 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

APR
7
Second-Quarter Board Meeting 2019
04.07.2019 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

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Submitted by Bob Perritt, NOBMWCCA member

My passion for driving goes back to when I was 8 years old and had HO slot cars and raced them on Saturdays. When I got a little older I began to build and run mini bikes that were so loud it really made the neighbors (and police) crazy. On Saturdays my dad or uncle would take me to the local speedway to watch the guys race. Around age 14, my dad started to let me drive the daily car home from the track with him. At 16, I found myself working at Uniroyal changing tires, brakes and exhausts. By 17, I had acquired enough speeding tickets to lose my license. However, I had a work permit and drove anyway (just to keep my skills)! About that time I started my career as a carpenter and married four years later at 21. A year later our first child, a daughter, was born and then, 6 years later we had our second, a son.

My driving hobby was put on hold until my youngest became interested in cars. We restored a '73 MGB, did parade laps and watched vintage racing at Mid-Ohio for about six years. We started auto crossing and for two to three years ran an Acura RSX (my son's car—I don't care for front wheel drive—never did). When my son turned 18, he signed up for three days of high performance driving at Mid-Ohio when Calvin Fish was running the school. What a great program!

Later that year I found myself as a spectator at Monterey for the vintage car races. That's when I realized that I'd had enough of watching other people have fun on the track.

I purchased a Boxster S (mid-engine was great) and ran that car for two years of DE. Not wanting to break Mama's car (my excuse), I purchased a better car, my '95 M3, in the fall of 2011. I stripped it out and added a cage, brakes and suspension—love the performance of my BMW. Then I met Doug and realize that I'll forever be club racing and broke. LOL!

I had my car ready by Christmas 2011 and needed a place to go and ended up at Winterfest 2012 at Sebring, my first DE event in my prepped car. Wow! What a great time! What a great track! I was hooked. Although I knew this would be an annual event, I needed more seat time. After that event I was able to get 45 hours of seat time at Mid-Ohio and 8 hours at Nelson Ledges in the M3.

Presently I'm a BMW Club Racer and have completed the Race School, a must for everyone wanting to take their skills to the next level. Instruction was fantastic and the practice starts were a blast! I was able to run the sprint races and a 90-minute Enduro along with the fun race at O'fest 2012. The Enduro put me on the track with racers like James Clay. That was a blast and still is! There is nothing more fun than playing cars with your friends.
I took the opportunity to go to Winterfest 2013 this past January doing sprint races and 90-minute Enduro. Racing in January—everyone has to do that one day! Sebring is one of those tracks you need to experience, flat out in 14 Bishop (left-hander) or, my favorite, 17 Sunset Bend (right-hander). The speed you can carry into the front straight is amazing.

As you see, I'm a track junkie. I need to go every weekend but will settle for every other weekend (not really). Actually, I'll do weekdays, if someone has a track for me. Just let me know when and where!

I have had some great coaching from some great club drivers. They seem to think I've progressed quickly, but I don't think it's fast enough–key word, fast. I'm always trying to find the quickest way around the track, I guess a straight line would be the quickest but what fun is that?

It's a great sport. I love being in my car, and especially enjoy the friendships that have been made along the way. When I'm in the car, that's my total focus, not my usual 1000 thoughts per second. My wife has even told me (at least once) that I'm a better person for nearly two weeks following an event. So, you see, every other weekend is a must—need to keep Mama happy.

The funny thing or interesting thing is... my son's interest in cars got my interest rekindled. He won't be far behind on getting his license. I've found that it's never too late to start something new. Set your goals, write them down, visit them often, and you can meet or exceed them, hopefully, a little sooner than I did.

Better late than never. Have fun, be safe, see you at the track someday.

Bob Parritt, BMWCCA member
Club racer #57