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ProFormance Anniversary Fest: Turning 30 in style.

ProFormance Racing School’s Anniversary Fest brought old and new friends together for a unique and happy celebration.

What’s an anniversary without a cake?

Cars, camaraderie, comestibles, clothing, and more: the ProFormance Anniversary Fest on June 22nd brought friends of the Northwest’s premier racing school together for a party in grand style. Old hands came to take some laps around their favorite track. Novices got their feet wet with a lead-follow. The Fest offered proud owners the opportunity to do some power lapping organized by car makes, including BMW, Porsche, American cars and imports.

In addition to good memories, guests filled up on Macho Burgers, spent some quality time checking out supercars, and left with and some fine swag, including a one-of-a-kind ProFormance 30th Anniversary t-shirt. Some lucky guests won door prizes as well.

The upshot: old friends were celebrated, new friends were made, and all had a fantastic time on a gorgeous summer day.

A taste of Pacific Raceways

Wes Hill on the lead follow.

Wes Hill, who has more than two decades as ProFormance Racing School instructor, and more time than that as a race driver, led one of the lead follow groups. The popular event gave an excited group of novices a rare chance to drive on one of the country’s great race courses.

Some observers might have been surprised to see Wes keeping his speed up, rather than going easy on the drivers; he didn’t feel the need to hang back to coddle the largely inexperienced group.

The reason is that the lead follow is meant to spark drivers’ curiosity. “They can see I’m pulling away from them, and they want to figure out why.” Not surprisingly, ProFormance gained a few new students as a result of this event.

Wes, one of the founders of PRO3 racing, is just as comfortable with novices in this setting as he is competing with professionals on tracks all over the world. “I’ve been doing this so long, if I weren’t doing it I don’t know what I’d do,” he says.

Making new friends

New fans: Megan (driver’s seat) with
her SO’s mom at lead follow

Megan, one of the drivers on the lead follow, was thrilled to have a chance to drive on the fabled Pacific Raceways track for the first time. “I saw some of my friends driving this track on a racing sim, and to actually drive it is pretty cool.” Megan added that she was sad that it was only three laps.— she was just starting to get the feel for what to do. “I get how it’s addicting.”

Karolina Dargan was also in that group of drivers. “I was loving the fact that even though it was lead follow, it wasn’t slow at all.” Karolina did the training on the previous Women’s Day, an experience she recalls with enthusiasm. She plans to do more track driving eventually, though being a spectator, she says, is just as enjoyable.

Celebrating the next generation

The Fest brought out staff, long-time drivers, novices, and their families. One of the youngest people to sport a red shirt at the Anniversary event was Emy Kissick, who at 17 is an enthusiastic driver and wrencher.

At 14 Emy wanted her own Corvette. That didn’t’ fly, but she did save up to buy a Datsun 280Zs, “a total rust bucket.” Four Z cars later, she can claim that her present one is just “decently rusty, with an actually running engine, that wasn’t in a crash.”

Emy Kissick with dad Terry at the Anniversary Fest

Much as she loved restoring her Datsun, Emy wanted to drive. “And where would you go driving in the Northwest other than ProFormance?”

The next chapter is familiar: Emy did the One-Day High Performance Driving Experience and got addicted. She told Don, “I want to be a race car driver. How do I do it?” After reading Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets in two days (the first of Don’s tests that she passed with flying colors), it was an inevitable procession to a competition license and SCCA racing. She has 14 races on the calendar this year. But today she was part of the crew organizing the lead follow.

Support from Emy’s parents, Terry and Hillary Kissick, makes her racing enterprise a family operation. “Mom races Miatas with me, and Dad is pit crew.” When not racing, Emy loves working at ProFormance. “I’m really grateful to Don and Donna for the opportunity to work here. I wouldn’t be anywhere near here without them.”

Thumbs up from Karolina Dargan

The 30th Anniversary Fest was a day for everyone who cherishes what ProFormance has offered people for three decades: skills, thrills, and community. All were present on June 22nd, and those who came to the celebration were reminded instructors, cars, and a track are only part of what makes the ProFormance Racing School unique. It’s the people who make the difference: people of different ages and backgrounds who gather there every week for 30 years, supporting one another, sharing ideas, and fueling the enthusiasm for motorsport.

It’s those extraordinary people who have made these 30 years fly by so happily, and who will make the next 30 years better yet.

Lola takes a break in the shade during the Anniversary Fest

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