Life-Affirming Experiences

One pass was all I needed to know Ameen’s talent is the real deal. He can build a balls-out car and drive the motherfucker like nothing I have experienced firsthand. People liken the cockpit of any professional driver’s car to a workspace; for Ameen this must be like a work from home in your pj’s level of comfort. His natural ability means he can flick his 3000+ pounds of brown business around even the tightest corners at angles that defy rational explanation.

I didn’t even have to ask for a ride, I was standing next to his car, politely introduced myself and he simply punctuated his response with the offer. We lined up on the track and I couldn’t help but notice the confidence and comeradery his signature smile offered to anyone within viewing distance. We cut to the front of the line and received nothing but waves and thumbs up signals.

We started so smoothly there was hardly a transition between idling and entry speed that must have been triple digits. As we hit the first corner I caught so much tire dust I had to drop my helmet’s shield. That was the only time I moved my hand from the door bar. I wasn’t white-knuckling it – the whole ride felt safer than a lot of the stuff I have been doing recently – I just didn’t want to disturb Ameen’s concentration by climbing halfway out the window and making all sorts of lewd gestures as we passed the “press box.” Although, I doubt anything could have broken his concentration behind the wheel. It seemed like he could have just let go of the controls mid-turn, pulled his helmet off and lit a cigarette before catching the car and lining up for the next corner.

It ended the same way it started, no transition whatsoever and we were off the course and parked, my face simulating his ever-present grin. We were immediately surrounded by onlookers congratulating Ameen for an(other) awesome run and waiting for my animated retelling complete with hand gesture play-by-play. I felt like we had just returned from blowing up the second Death Star and landed just in time to catch the party on Endor. My “date” to the Bash accused me of cheating on her and proceeded to check my pants for signs of unfaithfulness. My friend and fellow JZX builder John simply confirmed with a knowing look and a slight nod that this chassis, in the right hands, spells all-out supremacy.

If I hadn’t been shooting blanks with my “vintage” and unknowingly broken SLR I would have had plenty of pictures to share. As it is, I will have to suffice with borrowing those who actually had working equipment that day as they become available. THANKS AMEEN.

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