Two software engineers add a dimension to their days by taking to the track.
“I have my toy, she has hers,” is how Bogdan Berg describes the two cars in which he and Sheetal Berg show up at ProFormance for lapping day. Sheetal’s is a Porsche Cayman S, Bogdan’s a Nissan GT-R, and together the two owners are among a number of couples who share not just life and living space but also an enthusiasm for performance driving.
Bogdan: bitten by the speed bug
Bogdan Berg, a software engineer at Microsoft, has had a longtime interest in cars. Back in 2015 he took ProFormance’s One-Day High Performance Driving Experience and, as often happens, was hooked for life. He returned for lapping days, and this year decided to take the Two-Day Competition Race Licensing course to qualify for amateur racing. “I knew people who raced at places that didn’t require credentials, but I wanted to get serious about it.”
Sheetal Berg: driven to excel on the track
As often happens, Sheetal caught the performance driving bug from her spouse. “He convinced me to take a rally course at Dirtfish. Then I took the HPDE at ProFormance to see how I’d like track driving. As it turned out, I loved it. Since then I’ve gone back about once a month.”
Sheetal, also a Microsoft software engineer (in fact, Bogdan met her on his first day at the company), takes a methodic approach to improving her driving. “It’s a lot of fun. I’m still learning, gradually reducing my lap time every time I go.” Bogdan notes that Sheetal has beaten him at go-karts.
Team Berg: from strength to strength
Performance driving as a couple has its advantages. For one thing, it adds to their store of conversation topics. “We keep talking about the track all the time,” Bogdan says. They both enjoy having a partner to bounce ideas off and report their progress. “As we’re driving, we can compare notes,” Sheetal says. “We compare what line he takes versus what I take, and where we can increase our speed.” They use a Garmin Catalyst to share notes and understand better how they’re improving.
The ProFormance edge
Sheetal and Bogdan both treasure their relationship with Performance. “Before I did the Race Licensing program, Don called me and asked me what I was interested in,” says Bogdan, who welcomed this kind of personal attention. “We discussed our goals, where we wanted to take things.” Bogdan also found the diversity of the class impressive: “Everyone from 18-year-olds to retired business owners, and even an Air Force jet pilot. There were mechanics who had worked on their customers’ cars, and who wanted to get their credentials and maybe race side-by-side with their customers!”
Remarking on ProFormance’s professionalism, Sheetal says, “They have an agenda, but if there’s a weather change, they’re prepared. We did exercises in the rain, and learned how far we could push things in wet weather.”
Talent and passion to spare
As a couple and as individuals, Bogdan and Sheetal Berg have a lot going on. Apart from work on the ProFormance track, they also do autocross and rallying at Dirtfish. Off-track they are involved in a number of projects that give expression to their considerable talents.
Sheetal is an accomplished painter. Bogdan built his own motion simulator from scratch for Sim racing, including a bucket seat, harness, and vibration enabling users to feel the road. Another of their passions is animals; their home-built aviary houses five parrots.
None of those activities will keep them off the road, though. They both plan on continuing to develop their driving skills at ProFormance, and Sheetal is also contemplating a racing license, as they pursue their twin goals of accomplishment and enjoyment. “I love to see her smile when she comes from her lapping session,” Bogdan says of Sheetal. With so much ground still to cover, these two resourceful drivers are due for many more miles and smiles on the road.