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    Thread: From heart-break to Dream-come true: How I got my racing license

    1. Member RavinJetta's Avatar
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      03-08-2012 05:20 PM #71
      Can't wait to read the rest. Great story

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      03-08-2012 05:55 PM #72
      In for the rest. Great story so far!
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      03-08-2012 05:55 PM #73
      in for the ending great story
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      03-08-2012 06:56 PM #74
      Wonderful thread. I am going through a divorce so i can completely feel you pain. Good for you to go out and chase a dream. Ive given up many nice cars over the course of my marriage and once i get my head a little more clear, i will go get something fun again to bring back the automotive passion that a house and the need to support a woman and her family took away from me.

    5. Member zane!'s Avatar
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      03-08-2012 11:45 PM #75
      One of the best TCL threads ever, I can't wait to hear how this works out.

      Swapped- way to follow your dreams and be a good person through a sh!tty situation.

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      03-09-2012 12:13 AM #76
      I was hoping that by now you would have posted part 3

      ENOUGH WITH THE CLIFFHANGERS LETS HEAR THE STORY


    7. Member DubNMiatafan's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 12:20 AM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      This thread and some recent Top Gear episodes reminds me why European cars seem so unreliable compared to Japanese cars.

      The Europeans realize that the human condition is full of ups and downs, same thing with cars as it seems to the European philosophy of making cars.

      Cars that are too reliable, are boring, drama free... dull... lifeless... digital. You might even go so far to say that they don't have "soul" like European cars... the soul being that it breaks more often I guess.

      Then AI will argue that they're not Artificial if they're a product of organic life, so they are indeed forms of life even if mechanical... but I digress that's after the Digital age which we're now just entering, in the AI age.
      You're joking right?
      ♪ Let's just drive, I wanna see what the wind does to your hair ♪

    8. Member bherman13's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 01:25 AM #78
      Quote Originally Posted by DubNMiatafan View Post
      You're joking right?
      He surely isn't. The strongest relationships are the ones that have had their bad moments. You have to learn how to forgive someone and that happens with cars as well. Even if it sounds dumb, that's just how it is in life. Think about it, you don't have as strong of relationship with someone that you've never had a conflict with. When you still love a person after they've royally pissed you off is like when you get that 'I love this car' feeling even after it's done something that made you think you want to buy something else.

      Also, in for next chapter in this story!!
      Last edited by bherman13; 03-09-2012 at 01:45 AM.

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      03-09-2012 02:18 AM #79
      Subscribed. This is off to a great start

    10. Member Swapped6n's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 02:18 AM #80
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      Not really, you know it's alive when it has little niggles like random crap breaking. It's not a machine! It lives!
      Really good point, Crob!

      I have been to hell and back with this thing (Student Gumball Rally, 2007: My engine basically blew up and I had to give up the race, after only 15 min. ended up having to drive back to Holland on 3 cylinders!) and I love it to death even if it causes me so much stress.

      Had it since 2006, and still: every time I park it and leave, I look back at it 2 or 3 times






      Thank you all so much for the responses!
      I'm working today, but I'll do my best to finish the story !!


      Sorry for the delay




      Here is a nice photo of mine in the mean time to keep you guys happy haha (My step moms Mini Cooper):


    11. Member AHFlynn's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 02:30 AM #81
      Quote Originally Posted by DubNMiatafan View Post
      You're joking right?
      i know a lot of people wont get this but i totally agree. im on my 2nd honda, one new and one older, and i cant stand the fact that nothing ever EVER goes wrong. theyre just consistently ****ty and boring.

      my old 2.0 mkiii though, it was a piece of junk but every time i got into it and wrapped my hands around the steering wheel...i just got this feeling. its indescribable. you know it if youve felt it before, but i just loved that car. everything about it, in all of its ****tyness. i can still remember how it smelled and the texture of the seats.

      the hondas though, theyre just machines to me. i wouldnt give a crap if a piano fell from the sky and smashed the roof in. id even go as far as to say that it would be pretty entertaining to watch.

      damn i miss that vw. probably adds to it that that was my first car though.
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

    12. 03-09-2012 02:32 AM #82
      in...great read! Especially since it's something I always wanted, and lose my chance...
      Sega|Saturn

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      03-09-2012 02:33 AM #83
      Quote Originally Posted by AHFlynn View Post
      i know a lot of people wont get this but i totally agree. im on my 2nd honda, one new and one older, and i cant stand the fact that nothing ever EVER goes wrong. theyre just consistently ****ty and boring.

      my old 2.0 mkiii though, it was a piece of junk but every time i got into it and wrapped my hands around the steering wheel...i just got this feeling. its indescribable. you know it if youve felt it before, but i just loved that car. everything about it, in all of its ****tyness. i can still remember how it smelled and the texture of the seats.

      the hondas though, theyre just machines to me. i wouldnt give a crap if a piano fell from the sky and smashed the roof in. id even go as far as to say that it would be pretty entertaining to watch.

      damn i miss that vw. probably adds to it that that was my first car though.
      I DD a mkIII I paid $800 for at a scrapyard, I've put far too much money into it do far but I love the feeling every time I start it up. Not quite as Dull as driving my Forester, cause you never know when you're going to break down

    14. Member Swapped6n's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 03:05 AM #84
      Day 2, Part 2:

      I pull into the pits and thanked the guy who towed me.
      He wished me good luck, and drove away.

      Enter: Steve van der Plank.
      He had a pit box where he had his own rental-race cars that he’d rent out to people who were in need of one for the course.
      He had a few Turbo-Diesel Seat Ibizas (built on the same chassis a my car, I think!).

      He asked what happened and I had told him.
      He literally said, “Hmm..I might have a new driveshaft lying around!”
      I couldn’t believe my luck!

      After 10 min of looking with him, it seems that although he DID indeed have VAG driveshafts, they were too big by 20mm

      He said to me, “well…If you can find a part, I’ll put it in for you…”
      I thanked him a ton for his effort and said I’d get back to him.
      ----


      I then call Cyriel for help (he was with my cousin in the Hotel at the time).

      20 Min later he calls back and says to me, “Rin. I called 7 people, 6 were closed”

      The conversation with the 7th guy (advertised as an Audi Parts warehouse) went like this:

      Cyriel, “Hello, I-“
      Random Belgian “If youre calling for Audi parts, you’ve reached the wrong guy, sorry”
      [his number was wrongly advertised on Google apparently]
      Cyriel, “Actually I’m looking for a drive shaft for a 97 Vw Polo, drivers side. Can you help?”
      Random Belgian, “…well, I don’t have one but it JUST so happens that I’m at a friends house now who...let me check.....



      -yes he has something for a Polo.

      Let me check.
      Yep, He has one: 40 euro and its yours”





      What are the odds of that? It turns out it was the ONLY part for a 1997 Vw Polo that this guy had:
      -The correct year
      -The correct length
      -And only 20 min away from the track:

      With Kieran driving...off we go!



      and it was all 100% true!

      I was over the moon!

      I came back and met up with Steve again and handed him the part.
      He refused to take money from me, and when I offered to help, he said “its cool. Come back tomorrow at 9 in the morning, and the car will be ready”

      I couldn’t believe how lucky I was

      ______________________________________________

      Competition: Slalom, Day 2


      After all this drama we get back to the paddock-bar where the end-of day briefing was…AND the results of the second day slalom:

      …AND I GOT THIRD PLACE !
      What the hell?
      Third place out of all these people/cars?

      Turns out the guy who won first place (Porsche GT3 RS) left to get new tires a few towns away, and wasnt able to get his award: Thus
      I was actually 4th place overall.


      I was given a special glass from the Rensportschool and a handshake from the school owner, and a big round of applause from the class... I was again very happy.

      “The Swan-Song of my Polo: a third place performance”




      Many people knew about my car after today, as (when it was working) it was catching the eyes of the other students, and even some instructors seemed to like it!.
      They all seemed to know that it was dead now though...


      The three of us walked back to the Daihatskak, to make our way to the hotel.
      This was the view that greeted us:


      (Day 3 coming up in a few hours!)
      Last edited by Swapped6n; 10-25-2012 at 04:47 AM.

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      03-09-2012 03:20 AM #85
      ure making this up!!!!!
      Quote Originally Posted by SuperGroove View Post
      "...you see an RX-8 has a rotary engine! Do you know what a rotary engine is? Well, the reason why I'm filling oil into my engine is...hello? where'd you go? It's injected into the combustion chamber and it LUBRICATES THE SEALS! IT LUBRICATES THE SEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALS"

    16. Global Moderator Justin's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 03:29 AM #86
      So far this is a great story. It's amazing how helpful some people are out at a track, I am not surprised that someone fixed your car and wouldn't accept payment.

      Props to you for doing this for yourself. Soon, at least I hope I'll be having a friend come out with a car for me to buy and a weekend of on track instruction.

    17. Member Swapped6n's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 05:46 AM #87
      Day 3:
      Exam day!


      9am rolls around and we arrive at pitbox 17 to see if Steve and his colleague had any luck with fixing my driveshaft(I had brought a bunch of Belgian beer for the boys as a way of saying thanks).

      The car was ready!
      I was so happy, and I was pretty emotional (under the surface):

      Here I am trying to chase my dream and was inches away from losing it all…but with the help of my friends and a complete stranger: I was back!

      I thanked him and his colleague a ton, and explained how much it meant to me.

      I offered to pay (even though I didn’t really have the money for much more) but again:
      he said it was okay!

      He instead put two really cool stickers on the outside of my mirrors-
      “sp-support.nl”
      [Level 15-Achievement acquired : First Sponsorship sticker on car]

      Super cool!
      I was actually really happy with the stickers, and I think that it gives the car a more race-car like appearance :p (photo to follow)



      __________________________________________________ ____
      “Shakedown”

      I get in my car to test it out, pull out of the pits now and start driving on the first corner.
      But…A Problem: A nasty vibration from the left front side

      I come back and go back to Steve, describing the problem to him.

      We decide to take the driveshaft out again and he then decided to completely refurbish it.
      He unfortunately had no new grease to put in the CV joint, so he quickly went to Spyker, a few garage boxes down, and borrowed some of theirs.

      “..haha, now your car has doubled in value!..” he joked



      At this time, Cyriel stayed with Steven to watch him work the puzzle of my CV joint, while Kieran and I went back to the Paddock-Bar:

      It was time for me to take my Theory Exam!



      I was nervous, to say the least.
      I took my exam and was the last person to finish (As stated earlier, everything was in Dutch, so I took my sweet assed time answering the questions haha), and the whole time I was thinking, “damn. Will I even have a car for my exam this afternoon?”


      I finish my exam and hand in my paper.
      Just as I hand in my paper, Cyriel walks in, and in one fluid motion threw me my keys:
      “Dude, your car is back. I just drove it and it was fine!”
      There it was:



      Eh…At this point, let me clarify:
      -I love steak.
      -I race aggressively.
      -I’m a huge fan of a bosom or two in my face
      -I use bad language.


      …but at this point I started getting tears in my eyes…


      Once again, my ass was saved by my friends (Steve again!) and luck.


      I had 1 hour to practice before my practical exam.


      Rolling down the pit-lane the car was extremely loud: The hole in the exhaust which I thought to be “no problem” was actually a BIG problem- The hole was located in the flex-piece. ****.

      Everyone who heard me coming turned and seemed to be quite pleasantly surprised:
      That Polo was back from the dead, and working again!

      I went to thank Steve and his colleague and then put on my helmet.

      Pre-race-Practice:

      I get out there and I was feeling good.
      Brakes were biting, track was dry again, and I started passing cars.

      Lap 1, Great!
      Lap 2, Great!

      End of lap 2: Black flag, car number 41.



      Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit


      I pull into the pits and get told off by the steward that the exhaust was too loud: 96dB, where the limit is 95.

      I have to fix my car before I can go out on the track again.
      If I get 1 more black flag, I will no longer be allowed to drive the car on the track->No exam.

      At this point my dad (Who drove for 2 hours to come see me) arrives and snapped this photo of me signing the document
      (really good photo, actually: This was me signing the agreement that I understood what the flag meant, and that I officially received the warning).


      I thanked the steward for his time and…. BACK to Steve for advice!

      I had 30 minutes before my exam would begin, and an unfixable exhaust.



      We asked one of the other teams for advice and they lent us some type of exhaust tape.

      With my Dad, two of my aunts, Cyriel and Kieran watching, Steve and I got under the car and got started.
      We used:
      -A can of Fanta
      -3 metallic zip-ties
      -Exhaust tape


      And it finally shut the car up!
      __________________________________________________ ___
      The Exam:


      There I was.
      Holy ****. After all these ups and downs, and 1 very temperamental Vw Polo I was minutes away from beginning.

      I sat in my car, in the pit lane with the windows up, helmet on, very quietly.
      I was so hoping that the exam would go well, but also that my exhaust would hold together for the mandatory 5 laps.

      I had no time to set up my in-car-camera unfortunately, But…my family and friends were on a hill after the first chicane filming me go by (will post this weekend!).


      Green flag!

      Lap 1-Warmup lap:
      Car is very quiet again, like at the beginning of the weekend!
      Lap 2-Race time:
      I have myself a white E36 325is race car riding up my ass, but its no problem.
      My lines are solid and I can accelerate a little bit better than he can.
      I know there is no way he will pass me as long as I concentrate.

      ~Car is getting louder again~
      Lap 3:
      I’ve put a bit of distance between me and the BMW, but he seems to catch up under braking.
      I’m braking too carefully because I don’t yet know the high-speed limitations of my brakes.
      Don’t worry, keep driving.

      ~Car is now super loud~ I can hear all the lovely little (now big) backfires when I take my foot off the gas. This feels like racing!


      Beginning Lap 4:
      BLACK FLAG CAR 41!!
      I was done

      I got distracted and took my foot off the gas; the BMW passed me at the end of the straight.
      But then I realized “I don’t have to slow down. I can still race until I reach the pits!”
      I then quickly cut on the inside of the BMW, over the kerbstones and perform a double-pass
      (meaning, he passed me at corner entry, but I passed him at corner exit).

      SO COOL
      “I hope some one saw that little maneuver” I thought.

      I pull into the pits and sign the papers: I was no longer allowed to drive on the track for the day: 97dB.



      I felt great about my drive, but was unsure if 2 full laps was enough to get a result for my racing license.






      I had to wait 3 hours later(!) for the final result.
      Last edited by Swapped6n; 04-05-2013 at 09:23 AM.

    18. Member Swapped6n's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 05:48 AM #88
      The Results




      The second guy in charge, Frank Kerseboom [Pronounced “Care-sa-bome” for the ‘muricans here ] Gave a closing speech and stated that the whole weekend quite well…But then he said,

      “The results of the exams:”

      I was very quiet, and really stressed at this point. I was mostly worried about my theory exam, but also wondering if 2 laps was enough time for the judges to see if I was good enough on the track or not.

      “…Jarno Ijpenberg: Theory exam, Passed/ Eu license…”
      “…Rin Hortulanus: Theory exam, Passed…/Eu license…”

      We did it!! What challenge!! But we did it

      I had to stay quiet as he was still reading out names but:

      I gave a massive “bro-clap” to Kieran
      I gave a massive “bro-clap” to Cyriel.

      I again got teary-eyed…I wanted this since I was a little kid, and here I am…
      One MASSIVE step closer to participating in my first official race.

      I couldnt hear anything else, because my brain had decided to ignore any sensory input from that channel.

      My eyes were blurry as I had a tear welling up in each one.





      But there was more to come!

      After a few more speeches by the teachers from the school, they said “yep. Now time for the tin-work”
      Trophy time.



      I was too excited about my results to be fully listening but Frank Kerseboom said something along the lines of,
      “This second place award goes to a driver here-but actually to everyone who helped him get here. Please come up for your trophy: Rin Hortulanus!”
      I had the biggest grin on my face ever! I went up and shook his hand and thanked him for this.
      What a great way to have something to remember this experience


      I immediately found Steve and thanked him. I needed this legend documented officially on camera!

      Here we are holding what was actually a nice heavy trophy:


      Afterwards I chatted with Frank and had my picture with him too


      And of course
      …A car is nothing without his driver.
      But a driver is nothing without his car:



      -Third place, Slalom competition
      -Second place, overall results
      -An EU level Racing License

      A dream come true.
      Last edited by Swapped6n; 10-25-2012 at 04:58 AM.

    19. Member Mooz!'s Avatar
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      03-09-2012 06:22 AM #89
      Congrats dude... awesome story!
      When I was a kid, I had dyslexia. I used to write about it in my dairy.

    20. 03-09-2012 07:00 AM #90
      That's pretty sweet man, I had the Rocky theme playing in my head at the end haha!
      Quote Originally Posted by Subwoofers View Post
      You must be a professional troll in real life.
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      I'm more amused by the scientific formulas people bring up to justify why a BRZ lost to a Megane. Like really? All that college education you paid for and a BRZ is that important to you to go into some asinine explanation about how it's still a good track car?

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      03-09-2012 07:19 AM #91
      my life is unacceptable. you rule, man!
      Quote Originally Posted by SuperGroove View Post
      "...you see an RX-8 has a rotary engine! Do you know what a rotary engine is? Well, the reason why I'm filling oil into my engine is...hello? where'd you go? It's injected into the combustion chamber and it LUBRICATES THE SEALS! IT LUBRICATES THE SEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALS"

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      03-09-2012 07:22 AM #92
      Love it.

    23. Member evosky's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 07:37 AM #93
      what an amazing conclusion! congrats on your license and beginnings of a new career!
      this is pretty inspirational, and like you said, Steve and everyone else that helped you out really deserve some big thanks too.

      amazing.
      twitter x PSN:zerosaint x MUFC x FS: 18" 4x100 TRD Wheels
      Quote Originally Posted by MrSavvy View Post
      I'll break it down for you simple minded people. VWvortex. The VW stands for Volkswagen. And when you create a forum, admins can create sections within the forum. This forum has a section for general car chit-chat. The car lounge. So you see, even though it's a VW forum, you can still discuss other topics.

    24. Member GTE77's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 07:52 AM #94
      HAHA. Awesome. Really cool.

      Post any other pictures of may have of the weekend.

      Also, What are your plans now racing wise? What Official race do you plan on entering?

      Also, You must be like the worlds tallest PRO racing driver now. LOL



      Congrats to you man. Living alot of peoples dream, mine for sure.

      Also, In your region, What are the benefits of having a PRO license? Do you get to enter specific categories? Are those categories even worth entering without a meaningfull backup of sponsors, parts, strong car and CASH.

      I'm guessing you basicly got what is the US would be a SCCA Pro license?

    25. 03-09-2012 08:16 AM #95
      Really cool. Didn't think I'd find myself reading this whole thread, glad I did. Congrats.

    26. Member GRN6IX's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 08:45 AM #96
      Brought a tear to my eye

      Nice job!!

    27. Member lagunaroone's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 09:08 AM #97
      Congrats!

      Inspirational!

    28. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 09:16 AM #98
      So, should we bring extra tools and parts with us to the Nürburgring next month?? Just in case...

    29. Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 09:16 AM #99
      Congrats---awesome showing! IIRC, you wrote previously that the EU license was the hardest to achieve and indicates that the driver has a mastery of getting around the track? Very impressive that you got the EU license!

      I like the story you told about the gentleman who donated time and effort to helping you get your car back on the track. I've also benefited from a random stranger at a track day--though not nearly as serious an issue, but it was one where I could potentially have not been allowed on track. It seems to me that you run into the nicest people at track events.

      Good luck with your upcoming racing career!

      So now that you have the license, what are your plans with regard to actually racing the car? Will you be racing every weekend? I'm not really that familiar with the specifics of racing in the EU, especially with regard to what types of races you could participate in. Will you be racing throughout Europe? What are your plans for the car in order to ensure the car remains reliable---aside from patching up the exhaust leak! I imagine the race license is really the first step and that racing on a regular basis would cost a lot of money.

    30. Member misternoob's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 09:41 AM #100
      Awesome sir. Simply aweome. Best thread i've read in some time.
      Tuned by GONZO TUNING http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...trol-included!.

      I miss my GTI....

    31. Member rpmk4's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 09:55 AM #101

    32. Member Pf3il's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 09:57 AM #102
      wow, what a story! congratulations!
      Evan
      STR #115

    33. Member x_GTI_x's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 10:26 AM #103
      Glad I checked back to read the rest of this awesome story.

      Congrats man, must feel great
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      No. Smell has a very strong connection in the brain with feelings... or if you're walking past A&F you might think of that chick you fingerblasted when you were 15.
      Goon Squad x Bagriders x Gengstout

    34. Member Swapped6n's Avatar
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      Track ready, Supercharged R32+ Track-Ready Vw Polo 6N, with GTI motor.
      03-09-2012 10:30 AM #104
      Thanks all of you guys for your reactions! If I had any idea it'd be viewed over 3,000 times I would have taken a bit more care in my writing

      There were more little details but its all too much to write down in a coherent manner haha



      Quote Originally Posted by GTE77 View Post
      HAHA. Awesome. Really cool.

      Post any other pictures of may have of the weekend.

      Also, What are your plans now racing wise? What Official race do you plan on entering?

      Also, You must be like the worlds tallest PRO racing driver now. LOL



      Congrats to you man. Living alot of peoples dream, mine for sure.

      Also, In your region, What are the benefits of having a PRO license? Do you get to enter specific categories? Are those categories even worth entering without a meaningfull backup of sponsors, parts, strong car and CASH.

      I'm guessing you basicly got what is the US would be a SCCA Pro license?
      I'll post the remainder of the photos and I'll make a little video of what footage was taken of me, over the weekend

      My plans now are for this year to do a few races here and there (Mostly at Zandvoort since its local, and a fantastic track).
      I'm hoping that with my ability of talking my head off, and positive attitude (hate saying that about myself. Sounds so....typical haha) that I'll run into the right people and find my way into the sport.

      I know that my chances are really small but I know that I have a chance..I've always been neck and neck with the best at local go-kart tracks (...on the first visit to their home tracks ), so I know that I dont completely suck.
      I just hope that some one sees me and gives me a shot.

      Summed up: 2013 season, I'm doing something for a team of sorts.

      If that doesnt work out, I'll at least know that I tried.

      --

      The license itself allows me to compete in timed events across many many classes.

      For this year, it will just be me and my Polo some where in the middle of the field. Most of the top 10 cars have double the horsepower and sponsorship, so I know I cant beat them

      Technically speaking, with this license I can participate in cups/series races like:

      The Clio Cup

      Suzuki Swift Cup


      And also in formula cars/GT cars etc etc.

      It pretty much gives me the possiblity to do every kind of circuit that one can normally reach.




      I'll reply to the rest of you guys this weekend Thank you all so much!





      for now, I'm getting out of work, and going to my car <3

      Fhacking never gets old driving that thing



      Have a great weekend!

    35. Member BobL2438's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 10:55 AM #105
      Absolutely awesome read! Congrats!

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