I am coming up on doing double duty at the famed Watkins Glen International race track. This will be no doubt a busy weekend. I will be going back and forth between the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by the Cayman Islands, and the Ligier JS P320 in the WeatherTech Championship.
I have already done double duty once this year, and that was at Sebring International Raceway in March. This time will bring a slightly different experience than the last time I raced both in the same weekend.
Sebring is a little more of a physical track in regards to busyness in the corners, but Watkins Glen will be hot.
It is usually one of the hottest races of the year. At Sebring, my primary focus on recovery between the two cars was stretching and proper fuel (food). This time, it will be a lot more on hydration. The rate at which I will sweat will be much greater than at Sebring.
Unless of course, it rains and we do a repeat of my 2019 run at Watkins… I wouldn’t be opposed to that idea.
The mental aspect of transferring between the two cars will be significant as well. Probably even more so than at Sebring. The corners at Watkins are long and fast. Because of that, one of the biggest challenges of switching between the two will be recognizing the g-force differences. There will be no room for error either.
From my experience so far this year, the Carrera Cup competition is far from light. Everything must be perfect, as per usual, in both series.
It is surprising how intense the racing is. I love it. Each race in Carrera Cup is one of the most intense feelings in the world. It is only a 45-minute race, with little to no tire degradation from the Michelins. No conserving fuel either. You are all out for 45 minutes straight.
I have yet to wear my heart rate monitor during one of these sprint races, but let me assure you, it is high. Very high. Nobody wants to give an inch, and especially at Watkins Glen. Going up the esses towards the bus stop is going to be one of the most intense parts of the track.
I haven’t driven this car at Watkins yet, but I could imagine that the esses will be full throttle all the way up. It may make it easier on a qualifying lap not having to breathe out of the throttle, but when you are racing, it makes it very interesting. Turn one is one of the easier parts of the track to get a run on somebody coming out of the corner.
With such a short straight before the esses, people will get very impatient. They know that if they wait until after the esses to pass, they will lose all their momentum and be left only to make a risky move going to the inside or outside of the bus stop by out-braking them. Most people will try and sneak down under you before you have a chance to turn into the esses at the bottom of the hill.
And you know what happens next? Going well over 100 mph, two wide up the esses, the guard rails getting narrower and narrower the further up the hill you go, and both drivers sticking their elbows out. This is a recipe for one of the best spots for fans to watch a race.
Going back to the level of competition in the Carrera Cup, I can assure you there will be a lot of this. My advice to the fans: get a couple of tickets to the Jack Daniel’s Club. It will be a treat to watch in person. You will also be able to see just how amazing these Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
cars are engineered from that viewpoint.
I cannot wait to see how that car handles at Watkins Glen. I was thoroughly surprised by it the first time I drove it at Sebring. Now being fully comfortable in the car after Sebring, it is even more of a pleasure to drive.
This will be one of our first races to see the downforce work on this car to its maximum potential. With the bigger diffuser, swan-neck wing, and practically flat bottom, it is going to give a surreal experience. I think all of us that are in the series are also excited about getting to one of the greatest tracks in history.
I am hoping that with the combination of my past success at Watkins Glen and the smoothness of the new type 992 911 GT3 Cup car, I will be able to do my 2019 repeat here and chill out afterward at the Glenora Wine Cellars restaurant, enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Seneca, trophy in hand. It is always a great tradition to head there and relax.
I am not 21, but I hear the wine is great as well. I will see you there!
Porsche is one to never hold back on anything. All of what they do is premium. The Porsche Junior North America program is no exception to their premium way of business. I have been a part of this program for a few months now and it is very amazing what we are experiencing and
So far, we have had quite a few virtual meetings with Porsche and other guests on various subjects. The first was about a five-hour presentation on almost every detail of the new 911 GT3 Cup type 992.
Then we went on to learn about Porsche’s business and marketing working with Dr. Jacques Dallaire. I have worked with Dr. Dallaire before, so it will be amazing to be able to go through his course again and fine-tune my performance mindset.
As I said, Porsche is premium. Not only in designing their cars, but in everything they do. It is intelligent performance to put it plain and simple. I have been blown away by their efforts this year, and I am looking forward to the rest of the year where we get to learn even more.
One part of the Junior Program that I am looking forward to is the interview training. The only training I have for interviews so far is just from books I read, and videos I watch. It will be amazing to have the opportunity to expand my storytelling ability.
I love public speaking and I dream that one day I will be able to do my own TED Talks or something similar, telling stories and inspiring
people to find their true ikigai (a passion, but stronger).
You can check out my latest interview about Porsche Carrera Cup North America below: