Pedal to the floor: From street car to race car
Monday, March 16, 2015
In January 2014, John Mauro walked into a dealership and bought a 2013 Porsche (991) Carrera S Coupe. John, a businessman, is 47 years old with a wife and family of two daughters. He is an athlete and lifelong learner with an enthusiasm for sport cars.
This Porsche was his first introduction into an elite sport car adventure.
Fast forward to May 2014. Like many new Porsche owners, John joined his local Porsche Club of America chapter, and he decided to embark on his first track day at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He was randomly assigned to an instructor — me. By the end of the day, John was safely and confidently turning laps at 1:43 seconds on the Club Course.
This was one of those rare instances where lightning struck and John took to track driving instantly. Just 13 months ago, he purchased a beautiful 2013 911-S and signed up for a PCA HPDE day. And that's where our journey began.
Since then, I have coached and mentored John across many different tracks and venues. I work closely with John on-track and off-track to facilitate debriefings, techniques and coaching points. I have found John to be a quick study, and he has quickly moved from entry-level track driving understandings to advanced driving dynamics and theories. He is always enthusiastic about learning all that he can.
By December, John was flying at Road Atlanta, laying down lap times and speeds as fast as or faster than the actual race-prepared Mustangs and Corvettes on the track with him. In fact, the only car faster than his was a Porsche GT3 (go Porsche!).
While chasing the GT3, that tiny-but-loud voice of caution popped into John's thoughts and he brought the car in. John reflected for a moment and said, "I'm doing 148 miles per hour coming into turn 10A, and I am in a street car. At this speed, should something bad happen, am I really protected by a seatbelt and helmet?"
Sure, the 911 safety features while driving on the street are second to none. However, at those speeds, a race-prepared car is no doubt the safer option. Thus started the journey to a former Kelly Moss 2009 997.1 CUP Car and the founding of Mauro Motorsports.
To ensure the CUP car can continue to operate at 10/10ths, John has also formed a relationship with Wright Motor Sports whose shop is conveniently located 30 short minutes from his home. WMS will perform between event bolt-checks and car maintenance as well as data acquisition and review for more detailed driver development and improvement.
John's goal for 2015 is to learn the car and advance his skill, techniques and experience. He plans to enter National Auto Sport Association (NASA) time-trial events and to continue to partake in PCA HPDE events culminating in a few PCA Club Race and NASA German Touring Series events later this year.
"Right now I am merely focused on learning and being fast," John said. "We will look over our 2015 season and lay out our options for a race series in 2016 later this year."
I'll be working closely with John to transfer his learning from street car to race car. John possesses a great character and heart. He comes to every track event ready and willing to learn. Off-track, John has thoughtful and inquisitive questions that probe deeper into racing techniques and methods. When asked questions, his answers are just as focused.
John also has a great work ethic. Not unlike his business ventures, he wants to be successful on the track and sees his seat time as much more than "doing laps." He drives with intent. He is intellectually curious and actively seeks involvement in his racing development. I look forward to being a part of John's motorsport adventure and watching him exceed his own expectations.
We will follow John's transformation and provide updates toward his progress. Until then, go John go!
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