I think that it is true what they say: time flies when you’re having fun!  It’s hard to believe that it has already been over a month since the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.  It has been a pretty busy month.  Right after the hill climb I traveled to Boise, Idaho to speak with the Lift Up America team again.  Always a rewarding experience, it was well worth the time.

Earlier in the season, the team had promised me that if they were able to load the car in the trailer under it’s own power after Pikes Peak, that I would get to race in the 24 Hours of LeMons when the event came to Denver. – Savannah Rickli

A few tracks days, a road trip to Salt Lake City, an eighteenth birthday, and a weekend at Road Atlanta later…it’s already August.  It’s exciting as we look ahead to the rest of this season and to what next season will bring.

Team Petty Cash Racing made the long trek from Seattle, Washington to Byers, Colorado to participate in the BFE Grand Prix.  Team owner, Matt Adair, offered me a seat in the his Jeep Cherokee.  A seat that I earned with Grant by finishing Pikes Peak a few weeks prior.

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Now, I have had the opportunity to race lots of fun vehicles during my career, but this was the first time that I had raced anything like the Cherokee.  Arriving to the track on Friday, we got the car though the technical inspection and we got all of the drivers registered.  The team was Grant and Carol Barclay, Pat Holmes, Matt Adair, and myself.

I had so much fun watching all of the other cars show up. The competition definitely had a lot of personality!!  After the weekend at LeMons, I earned some badges towards becoming a “real race car driver”.  Not only did I zoom around the track in a jeep, but I spent not one, but two nights camping in the race trailer.  The crazy storms of the Eastern Plains provided an excellent lightning show each night.

Most of my driving experience had been in shorter stints, I was really excited to have the opportunity to drive in an endurance event. It really surprised me how the quickly the two hour stints flew by. Once you got strapped in and filled up with gas, it was easy to get in the zone, focus, and just drive fast and hard.  I had a lot of fun working with the other drivers, and planning strategy about pit stops and driver changes.

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There was a lot of laughs and some really good competition. I had so much fun participating. Our team finished fifth overall in the event and we were all excited to see the jeep cross the finish line.

Best of luck to the Petty Cash Racing team in the final events of their LeMons season!

Friday is My Favorite Day of the Week

Friday is usually the best part of every week for me.  (Unless it’s a race weekend of course!)  During the week, I work part time at a financial company in Littleton.  During the school year, I split my time Monday – Thursday between school and work.  One thing that I have been able to do, is to keep my Fridays as a racing focused day.  I usually meet with Grant and we work on marketing, meet with sponsors, or go the the track.  Though I enjoy what I do during the week, I love getting to drive on Fridays.

Throughout July and August, Grant and I took back to back Fridays to go to High Plains Raceway and Pikes Peak International Raceway.  Driving in the MINI is always good.  I continue to be motivated every time that I get to be behind the wheel of any vehicle.

At the Accredited Members Conference in June, we had raffled off a “Savannah Rickli Package” for those who contributed to my goal of training 1,000 students through the Lift Up America program. Zach Walker was the raffle winner.  We worked hard to coordinate with Zach, who lives in Texas, a time when we could meet up.

Early one Friday morning, I met up with Zach to drive him up to the top of Pikes Peak in my daily driver.  It was the first time that I had returned to the Peak since race day.  It’s amazing how it always feels like I am coming home.  I enjoyed showing Zach where the pit area is tucked away behind the trees, it was fun talking him through every corner; and explaining what line I was taking and why I was doing it that way.  At the end of Picnic Grounds, I was surprised to see how much of the paving project has already been completed since the event.  When I was up there, they had paved almost the entire section of the remaining dirt.  When Zach and I reached the Summit I had to buy him some of the world famous Pikes Peak donuts.  They’re legendary you know.

We made our way back down the mountain and headed south to Pikes Peak International Raceway. The team had the MINI all ready to go. I did a quick warm up and shake down session, and then we strapped Zach into the car.  It was a lot of fun to be able to share something that I am so passionate about with someone who was new to the sport.

Road Atlanta

The last weekend in July, I was invited down to Road Atlanta to participate in a touring car test with Gila Monster Racing. The team raced at the double national at High Plains Raceway earlier in July, and I had the opportunity to drive one of their cars the Thursday before the event.

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I was excited to be invited back, and to have the opportunity to drive on a world famous track like Road Atlanta.  We participated in a Chin Motorsports Event. I was quite impressed with how Chin operates their events – I wish they traveled further west!!  My preparation for the event began with watching video and using the driving simulator.  I had heard so many things about Road Atlanta, I couldn’t wait to get there.  While in Atlanta, I also had the chance to visit the Summit Racing Store and purchase a new helmet.  Thank you very to Accredited Members for providing the funds for the new helmet!

The weekend went very well. I loved the track. The elevation changes and some of the turns were unlike anything that I had ever driven before.  Gila Monster is such a wonderful team to be working with.  World Challenge driver, Shea Holbrook was at the event as well.  It was a pleasure meeting and speaking with her. Best of luck to the Gila Monster team and Shea at this weekends race in Mid Ohio!

The rest of the season is going to bring lots of seat time for me and the opportunity to drive on several new tracks across the country.  We are even making some off-road racing plans that will extend our season through February.  Do you know anyone who would enjoy reading our newsletter and staying up to date with what our team is up to?

Forward this newsletter to a friend, and copy my e-mail savannahrickli@rocketmail.com.  When your friends sign up for the newsletter you both will be entered into a drawing for a Savannah Rickli Gift Package that includes a signed drivers card, and framed photo of the car, a 127 decal, and a Groupie t-shirt!

Thanks as always, for all of the support! Like us on Facebook too! – Savannah.