Five years ago, a car accident turned Jeanette Negri’s life upside down.
It was a wake-up call to become a better and more conscious driver, she says. A year after the accident, she signed up for driving lessons to learn how to control the car and got hooked.
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âI kept doing autocross and moved on to the series of on-track attacks at PPIR, time trials,â said Negri, director of motorsport at Pikes Peak International Raceway. âMy goal is to run every weekend of the season. “
Negri even bought a new car for his new life – a yellow Subaru BRZ – because it’s a âgood handling car,â she says. âIt’s not fast in a straight line, but he can maintain speed in the corners. It’s more fun than a big horsepower car.
The amateur driver will participate this weekend in the time trial competition at the #GRIDLIFE Alpine Horizon Music and Motorsports Festival. It is from Friday to Sunday at the PPIR.
In the time trial competition, pilots compete for the fastest lap of the course. Negri and others will line up at the start line, do a practice lap, then run for 20 minutes, trying to land the fastest lap. A quick lap by a good driver would be 1 minute and 4 seconds to 1 minute and 11 seconds, she said.
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The weekend also features wheel-to-wheel competition, which is not about the fastest lap, but can cross the finish line first. Between competitions, professional pilots will showcase their drifting skills. This is when an experienced driver can turn their car sideways while still maintaining control.
Negri acknowledges that there are far fewer women participating in grassroots powersports, but she is thrilled to see more of them on the track. Where it was once a âgood ol ‘boys club,â she says, for those with money and connections, it is now becoming more accessible.
âMany are introduced to it by their father, brother or boyfriend, but I see more single women,â she says. âThey ask questions. They no longer need a man to introduce it to them. There is a culture change happening.
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The jargon of the races now comes out of the language of Negri, where it was once a foreign language. The sport has provided her with skillful driving and mechanical skills, as well as a lot of personal development, she says. She has learned to transform the anxiety she felt at the start of a race into excitement, something that has been reflected throughout her life.
âBecause I was learning to drive, I was able to be excited for a job interview rather than anxious,â she says. âWith competitive driving, there are a lot of problem-solving elements that I find really fun. Adrenaline is very addicting too.
Contact the author: 636-0270
Contact the author: 636-0270