Does Having Kids Make You Faster Or Slower?

I just opened my Tuesday Speed Secrets email from Mr. Ross Bentley to be intrigued by the topic of having kids and how it affects your driving (and general attitude toward risk in life). Mr. Bentley was, in turn, inspired by Will Buxton, F1 pit lane commentator, who wrote an article about the same topic on using Nico Rosberg as the example du jour.

Here is what Mr. Buxton has to say, "Rosberg is unquestionably different in 2016...Rosberg's delicate savoir faire seems to come from a place of personal contentment...He joked with me in an NBCSN interview on Saturday evening in China that perhaps it has something to do with becoming a father, before brushing the idea away. But it was something I wanted to push him on...Has being a father changed him? I'd argue it has. Becoming a parent can do one of two things to a racing driver. For some, the knowledge that there is a small person on this earth that you have created and who needs you in his or her life, will cost them a tenth of a second. It will make them lift where they would have stayed flat, duck out of a move they'd never have flinched at previously. It dulls the sharpness that made them such a potent force."

The Most Important Thing for a Snow Autocross

It turns out that the most necessary item for a snow autocross is....snow! I recently went to Lime Rock Park to enjoy a day of sliding sideways on a snowy, low-traction autocross surface. Until a short time ago, driving in snow was one of my great joys in life, ironically, due to the relative safety of it - low grip, low speeds, low danger, high fun. But everything has it's limits. Lime Rock has been hosting winter snow autocross days for the past couple of years. Cars and SUVs are invited to turn up and have a go around the paved autocross portion of the track. They even have snow-making! It was something I was counting on when trying to decide what tires to run. 

The Top Ten Reasons to Never Roll Your Wife's Car

For the two of you left on Earth that live under rocks and don't know that I recently went shiny-side-down in my wife's BMW wagon, it was a thing. Not a good thing. You still wouldn't know if you followed me on twitter since I don't post there much - follow this guy instead.

It's rather surreal to be driving down the road and then suddenly be upside down. But I can't say I recommend trying it for the experience. Here are a few reasons to not try it.

The top ten reasons to not roll over your wife's car:

10. AAA does not, in fact, offer roadside assistance to vehicles whose wheels are not in contact with the ground. Who knew? Not even with AAA Plus! They will call the police to help you out. Who will, in turn, contact the same towing people that AAA could have called if your car was still on it's wheels.

Results from the 2016 French American School Grand Prix

On February 6, 2016, the members and friends of the Automobile Club de FASRI (The French American School) visited F1 Boston, a karting facility in Braintree, MA, for some good-natured and exciting kart racing competition. There was a good field of 12 total drivers and a decent gallery of spectators, young and old. 

Our racers included: Sam ("Faster than Light") Ang, Joe ("Watch Me Win, Win! Watch Me Nae Nae!") Acceturo, Martin ("Alain Prost") Claeys, Alain ("Gilles Villeneuve") Tranchemontagne, Alex ("Ayrton") Silva de Balboa, John ("Jam") Kiang, Ash ("Linebacker") Saddul, Jean-Yves ("Il Commendatore") Carpenese, Guillaume ("Schumacher") Lepine, Michael ("Mark Donohue") Brown, Caroline ("Smooth Speed") Sauve, and myself.

We raced three "qualifier" races to amass points that would determine the starting positions for the final, trophy-determining final race. 

A new local option for learning to drive well

The skid pad at Lime Rock - wet and slippery!

For many of us with young kids, the prospect of shipping ourselves off to a far-flung race track in a far away neighboring do something that is all about us, well, it's quite a challenge. Trekking to Lime Rock for the Skip Barber school was great fun when I did it back around 2008 but, amazingly, it feels like we all have even less time for things like that as the kids grow up! But there is a more convenient way to do it suddenly! Skip Barber's instruction is coming soon to Thompson Speedway just 35 minutes from Providence in Thompson, CT!

Santa Raises the Bar

Happy holidays, merry Christmas, happy Hannukah, joyeux Noël, happy Festivus and whatever other things you celebrate to you all! I hope Santa filled your garages with everything you wanted this year!

I'm happy to report it was a year of safety upgrades for me. A Simpson Hybrid is on the way to keep my neck in one happy, healthy piece along with a new helmet with the attachment posts to match. It will be far more comforting to know that I'll have about 20 times more protection in the case of any unplanned incidents in the coming year. I might have to dig around for a metal-to-metal fire extinguisher mount soon, just to quell the perennial inspection-day shenanigans where my inspection shop reiterates that my factory-supplied plastic mount does not meet the specifications of the Porsche Club. It's all rather ridiculous, but most of life is, isn't it?

I Will Not Go Softly Into That Good Winter

It's the middle of November and track season here in New England is just about officially shut down. There is one last ADSI autocross event on 11/29, but I'm going to miss it to uphold my ACF pledge of not neglecting my family (too much) for racing. I'm sure the groans I here are all commiseration, right? So what are we planning for the next few months and beyond you ask?