Skip to main content
  • User account

Tazio and the quick shoes

Bella Figura in a vintage car


01 July 2022 | Member stories

First there were the red shoes, a birthday present for my sweetheart, then came Corona, then nothing for a long time. Until the beginning of April, on a sunny Sunday, south of Milan. Petra is finally allowed to step on the gas on the Circuito Tazio Nuvolari.
  • Text:
    Markus Schmidt
  • Photos:
    Markus Schmidt
    Nivola Foto

The first question in view of the sparsely occupied car park at the race track: Where is everyone? North of the Alps, a heavy onset of winter had probably forced quite a few racers to turn back. With semi-slicks through the snow? You don't have to have that. So less traffic, all the better for us and Petra's race track premiere behind the wheel.

Even more so because we have by far the oldest car. My Gulf-blue nine-elver was built in 1971, converted over the years into a road-going trackday car with the RS look. Compared to modern cars, it swings through the tight turns like a ship. At speed, you have your hands full keeping it in the Kamm's circle of static friction, while the new car drivers behind you are probably bored playing with the channel finder. I caught the racetrack virus with this car over ten years ago. In the meantime, there's another old Porsche and historic car races in the Youngtimer Trophy. And the unconditional desire to share the passion with Petra.

img 1927

With the L on the rear ("Learner"), you are overtaken with particular consideration.

So I quickly checked in with the friendly Pistenclub team and stuck the red "L" on the duck's rump, which harmonised perfectly with the red racing shoes. Then I was allowed to watch a few laps of the track, Petra in the passenger seat. The Circuito Tazio Nuvali, named after the best Italian racing driver of all time, who won everything in the 1930s, is a small, very curvy course. Tyres and brakes quickly reach operating temperature here. With a few exceptions, you find the braking and steering points pretty soon. So, time for a driver change.

img 0981

Petra and Markus Schmidt were enthusiastic about the race track premiere.

First impression: The woman under the helmet feels her way to the limit from above. Petra is a speedy driver, rather too speedy when seen from the passenger seat. The catch with the 911, especially the old ones, is the strangely far back centre of gravity. So you can't let off the gas in a fast turn. Otherwise the rear end will overtake you. But it's better to learn something here than in traffic. So enter the turn slowly and exit quickly. And use the whole width of the track. Always drive where the curbs are black from the rubber. And much faster than I was back then, Petra has got the hang of it. She turns lap after lap, grinning. The man in the passenger seat relaxes.

Then, back in the car park, admiring glances and praising comments. Because the overwhelming majority of trackday drivers everywhere are men. I'm sure some wish their partner would switch to the driver's seat too. And then spend every free weekend together on the racetrack - a man's dream... Petra is happy and enthusiastic. But she feels sorry for the old car. The way it groans with the torsion bar springs and squeaks with the stabilisers and how it eats up tyres. So first a lunch break. Piadina and espresso, nice conversations with other petrolheads. A cool father-son team is on the road in the Cayman GT4.

img 1925

On the road with a Gulf-blue 911 built in 1971 on the Circuito Tazio Nuvolari near Milan.

Petra gets to drive a few laps in the Cayman and experience what it means when someone has been driving a kart since they were little. With a pale nose, she nevertheless climbs back into the old light blue Porsche and transfers what she has just learned to the old analogue technology as best she can. After I've done a few more laps, the black wall is there. Since noon we could already see the rain over the banchbarten mountains. And that's why we forego further drift training and possible rides into the gravel bed and pack up. After all, we still have to go on the road to Ventimiglia in Liguria.

Over a delicious pizza there, we scan the next Pistenclub dates. In any case, the faster red shoes stay in the car...

  • Upcoming events

Trackday Tazio Nuvolari
Saturday, 13.07.2024 09:00
Price: from 490€
Trackday Tazio Nuvolari
Friday, 13.09.2024 09:00
Price: from 490€
Trackday Tazio Nuvolari
Friday, 18.10.2024 09:00
Price: from 490€
  • Markus Schmidt
    Author

    We thank you for the report and reward it with a trackday voucher. Are you also interested in a publication in our club magazine and on our website and would like to receive a voucher for it? Then simply send your suggestion by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..