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If You Sing To The Track Rats, They Will Come

by Satch Carlson, Editor

Roundel Weekly


satch carlsonIt has long been said that in America, any three people interested in the same thing will form a club; add two more members, and they’ll put out a magazine. That may be an exaggeration, but when you think about it, you realize that the roots of the BMW CCA in Boston pretty much followed the pattern more than 45 years ago. 

But as the Club grew—where are we now, around 70,000 or so?—the concentrated interests of a diverse membership resulted in special-interest groups. Some are devoted to a single model, and some are passionately in pursuit of their favorite activity. 

Consider our many track rats. 

Well, one member is doing just that. Okay, a couple, actually: Michael and Ziva Allen found themselves so involved with track schools that they launched an online magazine for track junkies:www.autotrackdaymonthly.com. Since I’ll be heading to Buttonwillow for a Central Cal Chapter school in a few weeks, I have been spending quite a bit of time at the site. Okay, I have been spending too much time on the site. I can’t help it!

I’m also rather amazed that two people have put together this thing all by themselves. 

What inspires enthusiasts to create such a thing? “I have been a car nut and have read car magazines since childhood,” says Michael. “In 2002 I started doing driving schools and became addicted. My wife, Ziva, is a naturally instinctive driver, and has also been doing high-performance driving events. In between events, we love to talk about—and read about—track-day-related topics.”

Well, yeah, most of us do that much of the time ourselves. But when it comes to writing, well, most people would rather clean brake dust off basketweave wheels. 

Not so the Allens. “We both love to write,” says Michael, “and Ziva has a journalism background. I have written for academic journals and as a grant writer. So I suppose we combined our love for writing and for high-performance driving events by creating our magazine.” 

As a reluctant victim of this writing-and-editing bidness myself, I suppose I should warn the Allens that they are about to discover that this sort of project will soon consume all your time—and you won’t have time for the driving events that inspired the whole thing in the first place. But I suspect they are already finding this out. “We have been very busy since the beginning of the year,” says Michael. “We designed and created our website ourselves. We have been writing articles and interviewing people in and around the track-day world, and have found a wonderful responsiveness and willingness to participate. We have also been putting up some solid numbers on Google Analytics. We are building our audience base and churning out new content for each monthly issue.” 

Uh-huh: Google Analytics. I don’t know what that is, but I’m happy to be a part of that audience base. Just don’t lose track—whah! Somebody stop me!—of what you started out to do. I’ll see you at Buttonwillow.—Satch Carlson