Thursday, January 11, 2024

NMS-North Outlines Plans for 2024

Also coming in 2024: a red Ferrari. 
Assuming I win the lottery. 

Like most things in life, it can be helpful to actually plan in advance what you're going to do, or what you're going to TRY to do, so let's take a little look at the NMS-North team goals for 2024. 

--There will be more autocross in the NMS #77 (Ruby the 2009 Porsche Cayman.) In 2023 I drove with 4 different clubs, so this year I might do the same, but my main goal this year is to stick with one club for their entire season and see where we stack up at the end of the year. Living near Charlotte opens up lots of possibilities from 2 SCCA regions (the Central Carolina Region where I technically live, and the South Carolina Region where NMS started), the Carolina Region Porsche club, and the TRIAD Sports Car Club. Ruby has been upgraded to new tires, so we'll see how the Yokohama A052s run. Team management are being jerks and say there's no money to pay me to drive, and they say the primary focus will be running in SCCA B Street class with the Central Carolina region. Most of their events take place at the big parking lot of zMax Dragway, with others on the even larger lot at Michelin Proving Grounds. zMax is the closest autocross location to the NMS-North garage, so that will save the team some expenses too!

--There will be more track driving, thanks to several locations within driving distance, as well as tons of groups that sponsor track days. The easiest (read "cheapest") way to spend more time on track in 2024 (Hey "MORE IN 24" sounds like a slogan or something! You can quote me on that) is some more Track Night in America events with the SCCA. They use Carolina Motorsports Park in SC and Charlotte Motor Speedway (Roval) close to home. Beyond that, it would be great to return to Watkins Glen in NY, since up in the Empire State they've got an early October event sponsored by 2 of the NASA regions. Virginia International Raceway is also on my driving wish list, so we'll see how it goes. 

As we gear up and continue planning for 2024, we've already booked the NASA Southeast Winter Meltdown weekend at CMP during President's Day weekend in February. One clear advantage of living in SC instead of NY; you can count on being able to hit the track in JAN or FEB instead of waiting a few more months. Sure, it will be smoking hot in the summer, but it's not like VENUS hot or anything. Besides, Venus is a really DRY heat. 

--Off track, the big news here is that after retiring (again,) NMS-North is now enrolled at York Technical College for some Automotive Technician courses! Yes, the oldest member of NMS is a college-ish student AGAIN! This time with a focus on practical and useful knowledge about working on cars, I think classes will be WAY UP on the FUN CHART, educational, and possibly keep me off the streets at night! My "Special Secret Triple Probation" reasoning is to also use what's left of my GI Bill benefits to pay for the first bit of school too, so a big THANK YOU Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer out there! Expect a lot of blogging about this experience, and if you already work on your own car and have car knowledge, I guarantee you can laugh at me all you want. I promise not to blog every day about every class and act like I have to explain how a 10mm socket is used. Maybe once a month or so will be plenty on this topic. Oh, and forecasters are predicting a 100% chance of new tools appearing soon. In the Army they encouraged everyone to be a "Life-Long Learner," so hopefully there will be some learning, as well as more life! 

--Family wise, this brings up the continued adventures of NMS both North and South, now that the entire team (yes, both of us) and spouses live in the same state. In 2023 we competed at exactly one autocross event together and went to a NASCAR race together, so look for more combined joint-forces-combined-firepower activity from both drivers in 2024 also. 

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