Wicked Awesome Man!
30/09/2011 in Porsche
On my daily commute I realized what sad times we are living in, when I jumped of joy that a liter of petrol was just 1 euro 58 at a new-to-me automated pump. And I only used the word ‘just’ because at the regular big boys along highways, the current prices here in Holland are around 1,69 for the same liter. However, I do remember saying to myself some years ago that “if petrol ever reaches 1,50 a liter, I’ll sell my Porsche!“.
Well it did.
And I did. Not at the same time though, and I bought another one in return…
“The only way is up” seems to apply to fuel prices, whether we like it or not. And then there’s pollution. In order to preserve our world, cars have to produce less carbon dioxides.
Because of the above, being a petrol head can be a bit depressing at times. But fear not, because thanks to the awesome men and women at “Stichting Geluk en Vrijheid” (Dutch for “Happiness and Freedom Foundation”), we are given a chance to do something good, rather than the usual bad or even worse: evil.
For the ninth year in a row, these selfless people organized the “Vet Cool Man” (Wicked Awesome Man) day. The history behind the name is unknown to me, but one can only guess it’s the reaction they were hoping to provoke.
The idea is relatively simple. Two hundred children suffering from various forms of -often times relatively unknown- chronic illnesses are in the center of attention for a day. A day that, according to the foundation’s members, should consist of making these children and their parents forget about the daily burden of hospital visits, scans, needles, pain, doubt, etc. etc.
Not an easy task, but a very rewarding one. Of course there are numerous ways of trying to achieve this goal, but the organization chose to do it by means of volunteering petrol heads. Petrol heads with Porsches.
On saturday 17 september, 200 Porsche drivers showed up at 5 hospitals throughout the Netherlands. Needless to say, yours truly was among those. As last minute changes are inevitable, it’s very hard for the organization to know exact numbers of both cars and children. And so it happened that when I showed up, all children from my starting location were already seated in a car. So I was directed to the coach that would bring the parents to today’s destination, asking if one of the dads or mums would want to ride along in a Porsche instead of a bus. Of course, someone volunteered.
Good, off we go then. Our destination: the top secret RDW test track in Lelystad. A high-speed oval, with enough room in the middle to park 200 Porsches and provide ample entertainment for everyone. Live music, remote controlled cars, cotton candy, chips, drinks, you name it. After arriving at the facility, all cars, drivers and kids were photographed. I say kids, but I should’ve said passengers, as can be seen on the following photograph. Later that day, when cars were lining up for the fast lap on the oval, I heard some kids were without a Porsche. Awful, I thought, and so I headed over to someone from the staff, who promptly introduced me to Joris; a 9 year old kid suffering from diabetes.
Ready, set, go. In reality there was half an hour waiting involved, but let’s skip that part. In groups of 6 cars, we were allowed to do two laps of the RDW track. On our way to the starting grid, I had some room to plant the pedal to the floor; my passenger screamed of joy. My day was already worthwhile at that time.
Driving on the oval was rather amazing. Too short, of course, but a very nice experience indeed. The banking in the curves is really quite something. The highlight of the day was over in only a couple of minutes, but the smile on the face of both driver and co-driver clearly indicated how much fun we had.
After the laps, I asked Joris if he wanted to sit in the driver position. Reluctant at first, his mom convinced him by saying “your friends wouldn’t hesitate for a second..“. Of course, he could not be too eager, because look how cool this guy is…
A video filmed from my car can be found here.