I’ve been in Phoenix for the last few days for a conference. Normally that would sound really boring, but not this time. One of the vendor that [we](http://dazzee.com) represent is [Secure Computing](http://securecomputing.com). Each year they hold a partner conference where they unveil not only some of their latest and greatest gear, they educate the higher-level partners how to take better advantage of the sales “channel” system.
This year, the owner of our company was going and invited me. Due to a scheduling conflict, our most senior engineer, Eric Goethals, came along instead. So far we’ve had quite an adventure. I’ll save that for the next post.
Right now, I’m looking at a pair of these on the floor of my suite:
I spent the afternoon at the [Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving](http://bondurant.com) as part of a group outing. We got a chance to take a Cadillac CTS on an autocross course and ride in the passenger seat of a brand new Corvette coupe! Eric and I buddied up for the autocross: I ran one test and two timed laps in the driver’s seat while he rode shotgun. It was fantastic! Eric’s time in the second chair paid off since he beat my time by more than a full second.
After our half of the group was done, we swapped sides of the facility and jumped in the passenger’s seat of a 2007 Corvette for two “hot laps”. Two very experienced and professional drivers made two quick laps of the facility’s short course. Eric took and early ride and pronouced it “awesome”. I waited for a late ride and got the pleasure of two “four wheel drifts”. The tires had heated up to be less sticky than you might think, so the first and last big sweeping arcs were taken in full drift with opposite lock on the steering. That meant, at 70 miles an hour, we were turning left with *all four tires* without traction and the steerwheel turned all of the way to the *right*.
It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
Heading in to the souvenier portion of the offices, I scored the shoes you see above. They are from a company called Piloti which makes racing shoes. These are the less serious models that are not fire-retardant but they are arresting red as you can tell. I also snagged a grey and yellow workout shirt, but it looks like I won’t be wearing it.
The owner of the school, Mr. Bondurant, addressed our group and passed out awards for fastest (and slowest) times on the autocross course. After the formalities were over, I asked him for an autograph and he graciously obliged. Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the school and meeting the founder and historic racer was the penultimate moment.
Tonight is an awards dinner for partners and I’m wearing the shoes. I want everyone to know just how much I enjoyed my day.