As I reviewed the race in Texas, Derek reminded me that one of the things we've learned in racing is to always be prepared for change. We are loyal people. The Aston had become part of our family just as the team had. Derek had already been to Circuit of the Americas to test the Aston for this season opening race. The car was already at the track. As Derek was getting mentally set and prepared to go into race week, he received a call from TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. The car we had been driving was no longer our race car. We were switching to Porsche! I was partial to the livery on the Aston, it was the best one yet! When Derek shared the news with me, I was in shock and didn't really time to think about what that meant. The only thing either of us could do was accept the adventure and go along for the ride.
When I questioned Derek about it again recently he said, "I would drive whatever Kevin is putting on the track even if it was a Yugo." I'd say that is a very good example of just how much teamwork and trust these two put in each other. I always have a lot of questions and can be a little protective of Derek. As I asked questions about why and came up with "what ifs" Derek reassured me with, "Kevin has always had a master plan and always makes good strategic decisions." I had to trust both of them that this was going to work ok. That's hard sometimes. We would all like to be in control right? Racing has been an exercise in releasing control in all areas!
I also know Derek well and how much of a creature of habit he can be. He resists change more than most people. I did wonder how this would affect him mentally no matter how much he trusts Kevin. He was very invested in the Aston brand. The Porsche is a polar opposite car to the Aston. Astons are heavier with the motor in the front. They are fast on the straight aways with the horsepower to surpass most of the cars on the track when given the room to gather that momentum. The Porsche is a mid engine car, lightweight and nimble. I knew one thing...this was going to make great drama for FASTLIFE, our show on Amazon Prime Video! So many unknowns and variables to work out.
The other consistent concern we have had is with the shared driver program. In 2016, when Derek was driving with Jason Alexandridis, they quickly learned the disadvantages to the shared driver program. Track time is limited because the drivers have to split sessions for practice. Sean and Derek were going to learn all the nuances of this new race car with limited track time all with never having driven a lap in the car on a race weekend! I know I wouldn't want that pressure. Derek has had quite a bit of experience at Circuit of the Americas and he's a fast learner. He also just loves to drive. Ultimately I knew he'd figure it out.
It was interesting to watch the weekend unfold. Porsche Motorsport was actively involved in supporting our car. They were able to identify a few areas that we could improve by reviewing data. Derek was excited about an increased level of support from the manufacturer. He loved driving the car and ended up 4th in class the 2nd race and 7th in class the 1st race. When I asked him if he felt ok with not being close to an overall podium yet, his response was positive. He said, "Of course my goal is to always fight for overall wins. The class has grown, as has the competition and the cars in it. There's more work to do which will make earning it more meaningful."
As for me, I just keep filming it and asking questions. FASTLIFE received great news this week from our distributor that we have been given the green light with IN DEMAND. So now we'll be on Amazon Prime and on pay per view for most cable networks! Elena Sbrana from EarchPhoto, an incredible sports photographer has been taking photos of us for a magazine spread coming soon! Her photos are what you see in this blog. We are getting so much support and positive feedback from friends and fans and we are so grateful. It keeps us pushing! Season 2 is in production now and I'm working hard at that and helping the kids get to everywhere they need to go!
Paige's art was accepted into her college art show this week (a wall of horse eyes). We are so proud of all they are doing and accomplishing!
This weekend we will be heading out to a dance competition for Ryann and then next week is Virginia. Sadly, Derek will be going on his own as we have decided it is right for me to be home with the family. He wants to have some time to really focus on learning the car without having to worry about us as much. I think that's a good idea because it's way more fun to celebrate podiums and hang out with a guy who feels really good about his results! And the story continues...