Greg Maissen  by Greg Maissen, Redwood Region President (September 2011)

You just never know what type of adventure lies ahead when you get into your Porsche
and drive. This is one of the reasons why we love our cars: they put us in adventure mode
whether we are headed out to a Breakfast Run with the Club or just doing a little daily
driving. Last weekend, while attending the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, was a good
example of that for me.

This year was a little different than previous years, as Redwood Region got bumped from
our usual location for the car corral up on the grass at turn two. Mike D'Addario, who works as Manager of Ticket
Sales at Infineon Raceway, had us all lined up earlier in the season for turn two until the sponsors at the track
threw him a big curve and bumped us from our spot. Now I must tell you that Mike loves to have us at the track,
and he does everything in his power to get us the premium locations. He also puts us ahead of all of the other
car clubs throughout the season. It looked like we were going to miss this year's event up until the week right
before the race. Mike worked it so that we got a spot down in the paddock area for about 30 cars (we were the
only car club allowed to do this), and so our annual car corral was back on...albeit at the last minute.

So early Sunday morning found me packing up the Porsche, turning the key in the ignition, and heading out in
adventure mode. One of the great things about this is that I had no expectations for the day, so whatever
happened would be new and exciting...hopefully.The morning started out foggy and the sounds of the cars on the
track echoing behind the blanket of fog created an eerie effect. As the fog lifted, the atmosphere picked up and
suddenly the jets were flying overhead, putting on a great air show. I always enjoy seeing people like Mario
Andretti, Ashley Judd, or Helio Castroneves, either just walking around the track or, in this case, Helio nearly
running into me on a moped (last year it was Michael Andretti who wanted to play chicken). The excitement
began to build before the start of the race, and when the green flag dropped, the sound of all of the engines and
the vibration from all that horsepower being transmitted to the grandstands got my blood going.

It turned out to be an exciting race, with some interesting lead changes and a few off-track excursions. Will
Power built a strong lead and ended up being the winner. After the race was over, I and Redwood Region
member Steve Vest decided to stay in our seats in the grandstands to watch the final support race of the day
instead of heading over to the winner's circle to watch Will get his award. This final race was the Pirelli World
Challenge, which was also announced as the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sonoma. OK, I thought, this could be
interesting....

As the cars were being placed on grid, we were rewarded for staying in our seats by seeing a new GT3 in the
pole position, along with a handful of 997 and 996 GT3s in the lineup. Cadillacs were in positions 2 and 3, and
Ferraris, Corvettes, Mustangs, and Camaros evened out the field. As the drivers approached their cars, the
public address announcer said, "In the pole position driving the #45 car is Patrick Long." Steve and I looked at
each other and wondered if that was correct. Sure enough, it was Patrick Long in the #45 car. Patrick is a driver
for TruSpeed, along with being a Porsche Works Driver since 2003, and is currently racing in the Pirelli World
Challenge.

As soon as the green flag dropped, Patrick was hard on the gas, as was the Cadillac in position 2.
The Cadillac gave Patrick a good race but never could get more than a few car lengths behind him, except while
in traffic.  Needless to say, Patrick had a strong race and won. After the race was over, Steve and I went over to see the
awards being given out in the winner's circle from the last row of the grandstand above. After Patrick received
his award, he walked over and attempted to throw one of the many hats presented at the ceremony to a Boy
Scout standing next to us. Unfortunately, the wind caught it and blew it back at Patrick, who then picked it up
and jumped up to hand it to the Boy Scout. Talent and class. It made me proud to be a Porsche owner.

So there you have it: just another example of never knowing what adventure lies ahead when you get into your
Porsche and go for a drive.

Speaking of going for a drive, September is a packed month with events happening every Saturday and the last
two Sundays. Since there is too much to list here, you can scroll down and see for yourself here in the
Newsletter, or of course visit our Redwood Region website for details about upcoming events. You can also use
your iPhone's PCA app or visit our Redwood Region Facebook page for up-to-date information.

See you at the next event.

Greg