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How to Save $200 million or More
(09/02/2009)

How to Save $200 million or More
By Tony Mazzagatti

A couple hundred million dollars is just a fraction of the money spent on the recent Presidential election in this country. If John Kerry and President Bush just wanted to be president all they had to do was run for president of the Las Vegas Region of the Porsche Club of America. I didn’t spend nearly that much money on my candidacy. In fact I’m not sure I spent a cent. Of course running unopposed helps keep the costs down. According to the rules though they would have had to buy a Porsche. However, I don’t think I could picture either one of them driving a Porsche…in 117-degree heat…out to Pahrump for a DE…wearing pixie-like Simpson driving shoes. Well maybe the driving shoes.
Now there are a lot of perks that the President of the US gets that I don’t. That 747 would be really neat getting to Laguna Seca. And I’ll bet one of those black bullet proof Suburbans that his Secret Service guys drive would make a great tow vehicle. I probably wouldn’t have to check my own tire pressures either. And how cool would it be to have a pit crew dressed in black suits, dark Blues Brothers’ sunglasses with little curly wires hanging out of their ears while talking into their wrists.
Most of you don’t run for any local office of PCA thinking it’s too much work and no perks or appreciation. Well I’d have to differ with you. Okay, maybe it’s like owning a boat. The two best days are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. But in between there are some great experiences to be had. I’ve been an officer or President of a number of PCA regions around the country. The more involved you get the more great people you meet and some of those relationships last a long time. The most recent case in point is an event that you will soon read about in an upcoming issue of Excellence magazine. On November 3rd Dave Bauman and I went to the Speedway to watch a group of highly modified Porsche Turbos and GT2’s that were brought to Las Vegas for a “shootout” ( http://www.twinturboshootout.com/ ). Each was a product of an independent “tuner” shop. All had suspension and engine modifications up to more than 800 hp. Two professional Porsche race drivers, Darren Law and Johannes Van Overbeek, drove each car to compare them on a dyno, road course, drag strip, braking test and a public highway loop. Johannes is a friend of mine from his early days of time trailing with the Golden Gate Region. The event was covered by another old contact through the Club, Pete Stout, Editor of Excellence magazine. Even one of the tuners is a friend of fifteen years, Rob King, owner of S-Car-Go Racing. So, besides great friendships, what tangible perks could possibly result? There were no “Men-in-Black” hanging around and the F-15’s from Nellis must have scared away Air Force One. For a dyed-in-the-wool Porsche nut something better came up. Tim Pratt, the event promoter, from Autobaron came up to me and said “If you don’t mind, would you help us out and drive each of the cars on the 50 mile drivability evaluation circuit?” Now here’s where I should have been awarded an Oscar for acting. On the outside I was all “Well, okay if I gotta but I was going to go home and wash my hair” while on the inside it was like Santa Claus just parked a Carrera GT in my garage. The deal was that they needed Johannes, Darren, Pete Stout and David Ray the Event Director to take the six “surviving” cars out on a highway loop and see if these monsters were in fact drivable on the street. Tim and I would be driving the cars the others weren’t in and then switch cars with each of them so they could drive all six. I wasn’t needed for any official evaluation just to follow them on the highway loop. I can’t admit to anything except to say that each of these cars made the distance between the entrance ramp onto I-15 south at the Speedway and the connection to 215 seem like fifty feet.
Pixie-like driving shoes…$100, gas to get to the Speedway…a few bucks, lasting friendships from the Porsche Club…priceless.





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