October 16, 2011 will be a day I’ll never forget as long as I live. For one, we lost a great friend, a fellow brother, the Lion Heart. On the flipside, I dug deep and found something internally that changed the name of the game. There was no secret I wasn’t terribly happy after Lime Rock but when I came to Watkins Glen, people will tell you I was noticeably different. I came into that weekend with a relaxed approach that was calm and calculated every step of the way. No mistakes and the cockpit felt like home again, only took me a minute to fall asleep on the scales.
There was an optimistic smile to everything and I expect this year to be more of the same. I have great confidence in the newly upgraded RFR 2012 chassis even more trust in the team than last season.
I was fortunate enough to crew for the #50+ Alegra/Predator Daytona prototype during the 50th annual Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Of course being the driver I am I hated showing up to a track and not give it a go. However, I did take away a lot from that weekend in that I knew then how far I could really be pushed to the limits of exhaustion and the incredible amount of team work I participated in to see that car cross the finish after 24 grueling hours. Honestly, beneath my sunglasses I became slightly emotional because even though we had issues on track, I witnessed a group of highly motivated people work towards a common goal with such burning passion.
Aside from Daytona, I’ve had the chance to spend time with my friends and family back home and finally had the chance to kick back and knock a few items off my to do list. Including kayaking, movies, and my favorite, riding the bull at the annual Firefighters fair. For the record I do not know how to play the banjo. I’ve also had the opportunity to take up surfing again. Since my snow boarding accident a few years back, I haven’t had the chance to go again. So far I’ve found it to be a great escape from the hectic life of college and racing. Until shark week re-airs on the discovery channel, then I may have other things to do that week.
I am looking forward to indulging myself back with my racing family. Seems too long since Watkins. I also look forward to the increased competition since last season. Although Remy won’t be back, there are a host of car and driver combinations that will certainly spice things up throughout the 2012 season. In addition I’m very excited to visit the new venues including the return to New Jersey and Summit Point. As far as my expectations for the year, obviously I’m going to be gunning for the championship, but aside from that, apply what I’ve learned from last year and place myself in such a position that I become the perfect driver. On and off the track. On a comical note I’ve found the secret to speed, two episodes of Family Guy each night during a race weekend and guess who is now the proud owner of season nine? You guessed it! See everyone in VIR!