© Andrew S. Hartwell
"Right now, I am looking for a ride."
In today's economic climate, there are many talented and capable drivers who could have made that statement. It seems there just aren't enough steering wheels to go around for all the pairs of hands that want to grip them. Finding a seat is often tougher than a game of musical chairs played with just two seats and five players. Someone - or some drivers - always wind up losing out.
A former Canadian Champion Alpine skier is currently amongst the group of professional drivers who are walking around an ever-smaller number of 'empty chairs' in sportscar racing. Melanie Paterson knows all about going fast when you are heading downhill - or on the ground in a race car - but she currently faces an uphill climb. Skiers find it much easier, and much more fun, to head in the other direction.
We recently spoke with Paterson about her current and future plans.
"It is really tough this year (to land a ride) as it seems the amount of ALMS teams is decreasing but the number of drivers looking to run there is not. I am also looking at Grand Am - I expect to be at Laguna and I plan to talk to more teams there. My ambitions are to race anything but my first choice would be to race in a prototype LMP1 in the American Le Mans Series. But I am open to anything."
While Patterson prefers the big LMP 1 prototypes like the Lola and Audis that headline in the ALMS, she is not above giving the Daytona Prototypes a go.