COLUMBIA, Md. (March 23, 2017) – Roger Halvorsen admits he owes a lot to his daughter for her unique Father’s Day gift five years ago.
No, it’s not what you’re thinking. It wasn’t a Porsche – it was a gift card to get some track time in his street Porsche Turbo at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Although he’s been interested in cars since he was a little boy and bought his first Porsche – a 1984 944 – around 33 years ago, Halvorsen never dreamed of racing cars.
“My room was stacked with car magazines and racing magazines when I was a kid, but I had no idea that what I was doing then would impact my life now,” Halvorsen said.
After cashing in that gift card in 2012, he quickly bought a family membership with the Lime Rock Park Drivers Club. Halvorsen and his wife Carole drove on that track around 60 times the following year and also received professional coaching that is available at the club.
“I was thirsty for knowledge,” he said. “I ended up wanting more and more, and by the end of 2013, I got my Porsche Club of America (PCA) racing license and competed in a few races.”
While Halvorsen was gaining more and more racing experience, his wife was driving her Porsche in PCA’s High Performance Driver’s Education (DE). Then the racing bug bit her as well.
“When I went to the track on that first day, my daughter Amanda and Carole came along to check it out too,” he said. “Carole just got a thrill out of it – she was a ski racer and she loves cars and adrenaline.”
In fact, Carole got such a thrill out of it, she decided she wanted to advance from DE and race herself. She just received her PCA racing license and her first race will be at Lime Rock Park in April.Carole will be racing in the I Class in her bright green Porsche Cayman that she dubbed “Kermit.”
Halvorsen continued to race throughout 2014 and 2015 in the GTB1 Class within PCA. Then, he heard about a new series – the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series.
“I heard about the Clubsport series and bought one immediately,” Halvorsen said. “I really enjoyed the first year we had even though it was a bit of a learning curve. Peter (Krause) and I have taken it to a different level and he helped me become very competitive. I hope we can continue that in 2017.”
Halvorsen, who hails from Garden City, New York, started a company in 1987 called Clinical Systems, which assists major pharmaceutical companies in the testing of new drugs. Halvorsen has two undergraduate engineering degrees and his MBA in International Business.
The Halvorsens have two children; their daughter Amanda lives in Boston and their son Jeff lives in New York.
“They love the fact that I race and they’re all my biggest fans,” he said. “Now that Carole is going to race too, it’s just great. Amanda and Jeff have been very involved since the beginning.
“We used to take a ski trip, but now, we all go to the race track. We’ve got the whole family in this!”
It would be an understatement to say that Halvorsen, a member of the Connecticut Valley PCA Region, is a Porsche enthusiast. Right now, he owns six Porsches – a 993 911, GTS C2, Macan S, 718 Boxster S, 911 4S and his Clubsport. He says his 1997 993 911 is his pride and joy out of the six.
“Garden City is about 16 miles from Manhattan and it’s difficult to drive my Porsches on these roads out here,” Halvorsen joked.
For the 2017 Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series season, which kicks off in less than two weeks at Road Atlanta, Halvorsen is continuing his hard work with his Musante Motorsports team.
Last year, Halvorsen won his first Championship class title of the season and dominated in both the overall Championship class and the Masters class at the season finale in Daytona. Halvorsen placed second overall in the Masters class in his No. 23 Musante Motorsports entry.
“My understanding of the car is now a lot more significant than it was last year,” he said. “The suspension changes and just my familiarity of being in the car is much better. Some of the venues were new to me too last year so it will be good to go back this year and try to improve my times. It’s always good having experience under your belt.
“I’m so thankful for my time with the Lime Rock Park Drivers Club and PCA as a whole. I love the social element and that it’s filled with like-minded people. I’m excited to kick off the 2017 season.”