Why "Penny Ante Racing?" Well, it sounded a bit more official than "Me, my family and friends racing." I'm often the only one of us driving at an event, but it's certainly not uncommon to have a friend - or occasionally even dad or mom - share my car. Even if they don't drive, they're almost always there to support me...this is very much a family affair. That's part of why I autocross with Martin Sports Car Club. Our club has been in the Orlando area for around a half century, and has a nice pedigree for a local autocross club. The club always makes a good showing at the Florida State Autocross Championships, and several of our members have trophied at the SCCA nationals. One is an SCCA national champion for Super Stock. 2007 World Challenge winner and Touring Car champion Randy Pobst even got his start in our club.
More importantly, Martin is a small club where everyone is welcome. You could be a highly driven competitor who trailers in a highly prepared race car, or an average joe who wants to bringing out your daily driver and see how you stack up against the competition. Martin has several families where both spouses, or a parent and a child, race together. The atmosphere is laid back and lots of fun.
I'm not fiercely competitve, don't plan on ever running at regional or national events, and have other priorities that will prevent me from ever sinking large amounts of money into this sport*. Despite this, I have fun coming out each month to try improving my driving abilities, and Martin Sports Car Club is a great place to do it. I'm planning to build a GRM challenge car, and that will eventually become my monthly autocross toy for Martin events. In keeping with the family-friendly theme, I'll be making it a bit bigger than my geo. The goal is to try and make something that will be fun to drive not only for me, but also for my dad, my family, and the rest of my friends who don't want to squeeze into a compact car.
On a not-so-surprising personal note, I'm a big fan of all things automotive. I suppose it is the techie/nerd factor....complicated things that you can take apart and put back together are very nifty toys. The fact that fewer and fewer people in the world have the ability to do so anymore adds to the cool factor. I suppose that's why I've started on my biggest automotive project yet; I've started building a body that's a replica of a 1932 Datsun. When it is done I will put an L24(e) drivtrain from a 1982 Datsun Maxima station wagon in it and enter it in the annual GRM budget car challenge. This will take a few years, but the result will be a truely unique car that will be fun to drive/autocross.
* - Thus the name "Penny Ante Racing"...I want to see how well I can do without having to modify a vehicle.