Adrenaline is amazing. We can get the rush from something super exciting, or super scary, or a combination of both. Sometimes, it’s even in our day-to-day existence, like doing a presentation over Zoom, or leading a big project. Maybe even when writing an article for a really cool website. Hi, I’m Madison, and I definitely like all forms of adrenaline. Even the ones that don’t involve a helmet or a starting grid, although I have a very special fondness for the ones that do! Allow myself to introduce… myself.
I used to road race motorcycles. I started out as a canyon rat, then moved to track days, became a racer, and also morphed into a riding coach and instructor for new track riders. It was a total blast, and I can still mentally visualize laps around some of our West Coast tracks – Sears Point, Thunderhill, Buttonwillow, Cal Speedway, Miller. Thunderhill is absolutely my favorite as it, and Sears, are both local tracks that I’ve spent countless hours on. But my “career” ended back in ’09, with a move for work that no longer allowed me the time to race or ride. It was around this time that I started getting into road cycling to cross-train for racing, but with that gone, cycling became my total focus and passion. That leg-powered passion continues to this day, and fingers crossed my road bike and my CX (cyclocross) bike see some racing action this year! Of course, this is a motorsports page so…
My automotive enthusiasm began as a kid. Even though most of my family had no particular interest in cars other than as a means of conveyance, I loved motorsports! I was obsessed with Formula 1 and Indy cars, and had several toy representatives including the Tyrell 6-wheeler! I guess I’ve always lived just a little outside the box. But it was the Prancing Horse that always gave me the biggest eyes, the fastest heartbeat – and no, I’m not talking about the one most people would imagine. I’m talking about the one from Stuttgart: Porsche. Just that name alone brings to mind so many motorsport achievements, so much history, and thoughts of engineering excellence. I certainly never thought it would be possible for a decidedly middle-class kid like myself to ever own one.
Yet here I am, somehow, arrived at a place in my life that I’ve now owned three of these fantastic automobiles. Of course, they were all used purchases, and short of a miraculous lottery windfall, my bank account doesn’t have enough zeros for a new one – have you seen the options list? My first Porsche was a 2012 Cayenne S, which was followed by a 2013 Panamera GTS that took me nine months to find and a flight to Washington state to buy. I loved that car – it was so amazing, and I really thought I’d be keeping her long-term.
But then the 911 showed up, suddenly, without warning, and it was a deal that was too good to pass up. She’s a 2005 Carrera S, six-speed manual, Seal Grey… she’s gorgeous. I’ve always wanted a 911, and unfortunately it meant that I had to trade in my beloved Panamera GTS to get it. I’ve never felt as sad turning over the keys to a car as I did that day (I still miss that car). But every time I slide into the driver’s seat of my 997, I’m reminded of just why it was worth it. The tach racing to redline, the joy of rowing my own gears, the feel of everything happening on the road through the steering wheel, and of course, all that glorious flat-6 noise coming from behind me. I love it all.
For sure though, the track has my heart, and even autocrossing is a total blast. The absolute adrenaline rush of picking the right lines, controlling the car, and racing the clock makes for some of the cheapest thrills around. The good-natured competitive air makes it even more fun.
As a woman, participating in these events can feel a little intimidating, and as a trans woman even more so, but they are also empowering. Just being present in these historically male-dominated environments helps to normalize the idea that women can do it too; that women are enthusiasts, we are passionate about our cars, and we are involved. While we may still be a bit of a rarity on the grid and in the pits, as drivers, we are there for the same reasons as everyone else. To have fun, enjoy the experiences, to push ourselves and our vehicles, and to bond with others who share our same love for the cars.
I’m really looking forward to enjoying the ride with you all here at Out Motorsports! I’m excited to share more of my experiences in words and pictures; this’ll be a great time and lots of fun! See ya on the grid!