PRO3 Line, Q2 2017

2016 September IRDC G1SR 838

by Jim Cissell and Bill Eckert

Race season is almost upon us. If you’re reading this, you probably have some interest in the Ultimate use of these machines—RACING! If you’ve already done driver education classes–Car Control Clinic (CCC) or High Performance Driving Events (HPDE)–you know the thrill and pleasure that pushing your car can bring. Well NOW is the time to take that fun to the next level. In one short season you can go from track driver to Licensed Race driver!

So, how do you start? First, go to www.ICSCC.com. Click on the Getting Involved tab. Then click Novice Program if you want to be a driver or race official if you want to be a volunteer worker–or do both! Ten simple steps and you can become a real racer! Volunteers should contact ICSCC President Mike Tripp. Info for all officers is on the website.

Then go to www.pro3-racing.com/pro3-drivers/ Check out the Driver Bios and reach out to the ones who seem most interesting to you. They’re all more than willing to share their passion. WARNING: co-authors Bill Ecker and Jim Cissell will talk your ears off!

To learn more about the sport before taking a financial leap, become a volunteer. Volunteers are the oil that makes the race machine run. You’ll learn the sport inside and out–all the pieces necessary to make the show work. You’ll have the very best seats in the house, and EVERYONE is grateful to see you.

Start/finish gets you as close to the action as you can get. Photo by Therese Lombardi.
Start/finish gets you as close to the action as you can get. Photo by Therese Lombardi.

If you are ready to try door-to-door racing, you’ll need to attend a school and then gear up (personal safety equipment). Next, you’ll need to drive an actual race-car, so either buy one (several very good ones out there right now) or rent one from some of the top builders. This way you can test out different cars and find the setup that works for you.

Upcoming ICSCC schools are:

25 March at Oregon Raceway Park

8-9 April at Western Speedway

22 April at The Ridge

5 May at Portland International Raceway

What Do You Get Out of It?

First, more fun that you can shake a stick at. Seriously, there is nothing you can do with your clothes on that will put a bigger smile on your face than car racing. Ask anyone who’s ever done it. And even if you are an “A” driver at HPDEs, moving into a race car will elevate your driving skills more than you can imagine.

Second, you’ll make friends that will last a lifetime. Having really gone through something together—team sports, college, the military—you’ll feel closer to your fellow racers and workers than your oldest friends or closest relatives. You’ll be hanging with people while they’re doing what they love, who have a passion for this, and there’s just nothing else like that.

Third, you’ll face a real challenge—probably unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. There’s the challenge of driving a car at speed and you must discipline yourself to be the calm in the eye of the storm–smooth, precise, and in-control–while the world around you is raging with G forces. We’re talking a real adrenaline rush here! Add the fact that there are more PRO3 cars than any other class and you’ve got a sport that is ULTRA competitive and fulfilling.

Fourth, you’ll have a passport to travel the world and enjoy your passion. In 2016 there were 16 Conference races over 12 weekends in WA, OR, and BC. Plus, PRO3 drivers were invited to three special events with another 15 races–the Pacific Northwest Historics, the Rose Cup at PIR, and the BMW 100th Anniversary Cup Races at Laguna Seca. If you’re a turn worker with some experience under your belt you get invited to work races all over the world—Daytona, Sebring, COTA, even LeMans!

Fifth, even if PRO3 doesn’t land you the next Formula 1 driver seat, it could be the launching pad for a new career. Several former PRO3 racers are making a living as drivers and/or coaches. PRO3 co-founders Wes and Ken Hill, and Ted Anthony Jr and Steve Schaeffer come to mind. Steve recently took part in filming the opening sequence of The Grand Tour, starring the hosts of the original BBC Top Gear.

Sixth, if you don’t know how already, you’ll learn to fix things. That’ll come in handy. Maybe even save you money on your street machines.

For veterans and newcomers alike–it’s time to GET STARTED! The first Enduro is April 23rd at the Ridge–less than six weeks away! The first sprint race is May 6th at PIR and the second is May 20th at Pacific. For the complete schedule go to www.ICSCC.com.

You may have heard that amateur racing is in trouble. True–car counts are down and volunteers are harder to come by. But for you, that makes it a great time to get involved! You’ll be more appreciated than ever! Like investing—you want to get in at the trough, not the peak.

Plus, the PRO3 champs for the last three years–Olivier Henrichot, Chris Hart, and Charles Hurley–all sold their cars to race Spec E46’s on a national scale–or to set land speed records at Lake Mirage. So, there’s never been a better chance at a podium finish! And fan favorite Randy Blaylock retired in September. SOMEBODY has to fill his shoes. 2017 is a great time to join the greatest sport on earth. See you at the green flag!

#04 2016 PRO3 champion Olivier Henrichot. Photo by Doug Berger.
#04 2016 PRO3 champion Olivier Henrichot. Photo by Doug Berger.

P.S. Thanks to PRO3 driver Mark Estes for stepping up as 2017 License Director. Maybe he feels guilty that Trump got elected?

P.P.S. Jim Cissell posted some new PRO3 videos.

Race 13 at the Ridge- https://youtu.be/3cKHTtQRBBc

Season highlights-https://youtu.be/5dol8FEU1L0

Close Calls & Direct Hits-https://youtu.be/OV0qVmPweZU