Autocross Columns

It Takes a Village to Raise a Forest

Decades of learning and practice have been fueled by so much encouragement from CVR friends and a forest of Pocono Parade trophies was the byproduct. Each trophy was beautifully crafted to represent the Kalahari’s massive “tree of life” in the Convention Center foyer. (Paul Kudra photo)

Glory is nothing if not shared with the friends that helped pave its way. Fresh back from what was touted as “the best Parade ever” by those with decades of perspective that can rightfully offer such an opinion, here are some highlights of what made this 66th Porsche Parade so special.

PCA’s officialy licensed drone shows the Kalahari concours action while I was in the process of being judged (see blue car at center bottom).

Concours: Somewhere over the Rennbow

My goal in entering the Parade Concours was to simply wash away any signs of the heavy AutoXing my ex-David Donohue race car had seen for the last six years since its metamorphosis. Decades of paying attention at Monthly Meetings, Tech Tactics, and CVR Concours events paid off and my car looked almost as fresh. Proof that Concours and AutoX are indeed compatible.

A steady stream of admirers was drawn to my Grotto Blau racer and my new friend Peter’s long-hood fresh restoration. Paul Kudra photo)

With a full Rennbow of colorful display cars lining the perimeter of the Parade Concours field, I staged my gleaming car and quickly discovered a long-lost friend I never knew before. Peter from PA and I became instant friends and concours neighbors. His stunning black “long hood” 911 just finished a several-year restoration the day before. We bonded over the unique things we each did to modify our cars and the journey they took. My Grotto Blau Pearl custom color received dozens of compliments and put a touch of Rennbow in the middle of the concours field. Peter’s classic black ’73 had orange tartan seat inserts that filled in the other end of the color spectrum. Judges bestowed 297.4 points (out of 300) to my car to win the class and after Peter graciously congratulated me he reminded me of our earlier goal, simply sharing our cars, proclaiming his genuine happiness. PCA is full of such wonderful people!

Art Show: Freezing Time

For over 50 years I have made Porsche art to freeze the story of each subject. With encouragement from so many people, I remain passionate about that quest. Special thanks to Prescott Kelley, Shelley Krohnengold, and Allen Fossbender for the extra confidence they have imparted to me over the years. Entering pieces I made since the Jay Peak Parade, I approached this Art Show Reception with much more realism than the Concours event earlier that day. To see the hundreds of beautifully displayed art pieces was daunting.

As soon as I entered the room, Pam drew my attention to “12 Midnight” that had a blue ribbon on it! Catching the approval of the four professional artists that judged the event, including Porsche’s Grant Larson was a joyous occasion. Seeing two more blue ribbons on my other paintings (“Good Morning” and “THE Run Off”) was humbling since each of those was my way of thanking others in CVR for their support of the club, as noted in Allen’s “StraightawayChallenge article.

I was equally joyed to see that fellow CVR artist John Collins won his class and Grant Larson’s pick on behalf of the Porsche Family for his fantastic oil painting. Congratulations John! Charles Letouzey’s B&W photo “A Family Affair”, Elizabeth Letouzey’s painting work on the “Family’s Helmet” and Allan Davis’ art also received trophies, punctuating CVR’s showing.   

Pam meanwhile became instant friends with Beatrice, the eventual People’s Choice winner (she had my vote) for the captivating quilt she made. The style and personalities of the two women created a bond that compelled Beatrice to make a custom necklace for Pam a few days later. Pam changed outfits for the Victory banquet just to highlight that perfect piece of art. Did I mention how many really nice people you meet in PCA?! 

Parade AutoX:  Off to the Races!

Welcome to Pocono Raceway! A beautiful day on Wednesday, but 24 hours later Day-2 greeted us with a different kind of waterfall that had us huddling for shelter for the first hour. (PCA Photo)

With a healthy dose of CVR AutoX organization infused into the Parade event, Wednesday, the first day of driving, ran like clockwork. This had been my main focus for months and I was very happy with the result; lots of smiles and compliments about the day, the course, and the event. So when Thursday morning’s lightning storm flooded the pit at 7:00 am I was concerned about not only just being able to repeat that achievement but just holding the event. Stuffing everyone 3-deep into the dry garages at Pocono Raceway was crucial to stay safe from the lightning and get Tech started, not to mention a pleasant way to gather as we waited. A one-hour delay worked perfectly and after that, the second day ran as smoothly as the first. Just like our CVR AutoX events!

At the Driver’s Meeting, I was able to deliver some welcome news…everyone would get 4 runs and still be done by 1:00 pm. (PCA Photo)

Having achieved such a well-run and fun AutoX, the goal of rebuilding Parade AutoX events has now officially started. More to come. Now it was time to shift my focus to driving! The plethora of fast mid-engined cars and SCCA National Champs (I counted at least 7 present) would make any hope of an FTD unrealistic but I wanted to show that I practice what I preach in our CVR AutoX-U lessons and drive well. Luckily I could escape into my helmet and set a great first run that temporarily set FTD. A personal victory. Although I could do no better, it was still 5th overall fastest, and I ended up being the fastest for any 911, and clearly won my class. I was pleased to carry on the “Mr. Manhattan” tradition for CVR by winning at Concours and AutoX, and then adding art awards to the mix. Yippee!

The rain stopped but the mist remained, challenging traction but not dampening the fun. (Parade Photo)
The best part of the race, CVR friendships on full display. Pam Kudra, Paul Kudra, Brian Fournier, Mike Appel, Rob Bosco, Charles Letouzey. (Rosalie Fournier photo).

It was especially gratifying to see the ten CVR drivers do so well, especially since half were new to the sport or hadn’t driven in many years. The fast, flowing, and really fun course was so completely different from the kind of course we get to run that it really showed how CVR’s AutoX-U lessons have built solid driving skills even amongst the newest drivers. It was also heartwarming to see our CVR team help and cheer each other on. The joy and great camaraderie were clearly evident. The ten CVR drivers ended up with 4 first places, 3 second places, a third, a fourth and a 10th. We definitely live up to our CVR AutoX motto of Better Driving…Faster!   

Join the CVR AutoX “village” on July 9th in Hartford and be part of one of the best AutoX programs in PCA. Lots of fun with lots of great people is guaranteed. The AutoX-U Driving Skills to be featured and the course map will be published about the week before on our CVR AutoX Web page ( ). All the info you need to sign up and have a great time is also found there. Let our “village” help you grow!               


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