Region members enjoyed the Porsche Sprint Challenge at Road America
By Roger Franzel, president
A few weeks ago, Social Chair Patty Murphy forwarded an email to me that she received from an outfit called Black Sheep Racing (BSR). The email was from their business development manager Chris Stiffler and it included an invitation to our region to be guests at their paddock spot for the Porsche Sprint Challenge at Road America. Chris is a former Indy Car driver and currently is a pro driving coach when he is not with BSR. The Porsche Sprint Challenge North America is part of Porsche’s tiered program to develop new teams and drivers. The series is sanctioned by USAC and includes races in the United States and Canada. Races include the Porsche 911 GT3 992 Cup Car, the Porsche 911 GT3 991.2 and the Cayman 718 GT4 Clubsport. Black Sheep Racing ran three 992 Cup cars.
The surprise invitation was enthusiastically welcomed by many of our members who reacted quickly to grab the limited ticket spots made available by the Black Sheep team. Our region paid for the tickets for our members to attend. I don’t know how many emails I received and sent in a short period but it must have been some sort of record! In the end we had from my count 52 attendees at the event.
The main challenge was getting up there by 8 a.m. to attend the cars and coffee hosted by the team. BSR graciously provided coffee and pastries for everyone to enjoy while checking out their garage area. Host Chris Stiffler then petitioned individuals to register for a drawing that was made later during their presentation to the attendees.
The group was introduced to their entire team including their transport driver, but the highlight was listening to one of their drivers, Laura Ely, telling us her story and approach to driving. “You have to want to win,” she said. Later, Chris ran a wheel of fortune raffle wherein two of our members were chosen to receive “hot laps” around the circuit in the series pace car, a 718 GT4. All pace laps the
winners received was during slack time, not for the race itself. The slack time is used exclusively for track rides and track inspections by the safety team between each race group’s sessions.
When I say “hot laps” I mean it. I watched the Cayman GT4 drive raffle winners 13-year-old Phineas Cooper and Nick Brannen at speed around the track. There was no holding back. Afterward, both Nick and Phineas supplied Steinlifters with descriptions of their experience in the pace car.
Read the full article HERE (page 16-17).