Spectre 341 Challenge

I awaken with the answer to that question: No. I accomplished what I set out to do, so what do I gain by pushing harder? If I knock off four seconds, so what? I don't get a kiss from Jessica Biel. I don't get a cash prize. I'll drive reasonably hard and hope for the best, but I won't be catching the big guns, who were all in the 3:20s.

Of course, human nature (or at least, my version of it) being what it is, I still find myself howling up the hill the next morning -- at perhaps imprudent speeds. It's all just too entertaining. It's so much fun that I start giving people rides to share the wealth.

And on one of those runs, with a passenger, I set a 3:33 at an average of 88 mph, good for fifth place and about ten seconds behind Millen in the GT-R. That I can finish on the same calendar day as Steve Millen is a testament to the 911 Turbo, a car that some people continue to underestimate because of its rear-engine layout and consequent weight balance (or rather, imbalance). But the 911 is like a killer whale -- sure, it isn't ideal to have a car's engine behind the rear axle, just as it isn't ideal for an aquatic predator to have lungs. Fish make more sense than killer whales. But a killer whale always has a lot of fish in its belly.

For my part, I decide to quit at lunchtime. Frankly, on the 3:33 run, I had a moment where I scared myself. Braking off the long straight, I lined up wrong and early-apexed the fast corner. I actually blurted "Oh shit!" before reining it in with a few feet of pavement to spare. When you involuntarily say "Oh shit!" at 130 mph, it's probably time to call it a day.

(Right: Rosenbaum loaned his helmet -- unfortunately, a size too small; but maybe the noggin-squishing helmet actually provided extra motivation to reach the finish line in a hurry.)

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