His story is humbling. Ken Finch debuted in Porsche Club of America (PCA) and PCA Club Racing, after his employer offered him a reward for his hard work – an opportunity to complete the Porsche Driving Experience at Barber Motorsports Park.
It was 2006 and Finch had just purchased his first Porsche, a 997. Like many, it only took one go-of-it.
“I went through the program and I got hooked,” Finch said. “I went back through it five times, completing all the levels and I’ve been racing in [Porsche Club of America] PCA Club Racing for seven years now.”
Finch’s desire to compete semi-professionally intensified after completing the program.
“I’m 60 and I started this hobby late in my life,” Finch said. “I knew that I didn’t have a lot of ability to move-up, so I started in a Cup car and most folks don’t start there.”
In that time, Finch moved to the Fort Worth area and learned about Motorsport Ranch.
“After I moved, I learned about Motorsport Ranch,” Finch added. “It’s about 30 miles south of Fort Worth and it’s a country club for race cars.”
Finch met Todd Opperman with TOPP Racing Performance through Motorsport Ranch.
“I was talking with Todd Opperman with TOPP Racing Performance and he led me onto this 2004 Porsche GT3-Cup car. It was actually the car that David Murry drove in the 2005 Rolex-24. Anyhow, I bought that car and bought it with the goal of putting over 100 hours of track time on it in a year.”
Finch achieved that goal and was determined to take his racing career, even further.
“I entered a few auto-crosses and time trials; but, nothing wheel-to-wheel. I surprisingly won them. The car had a racing heritage, but it was old. I drove it for another year and did okay – I got third in the PCA National Series that year.”
Finch sold that 997 and purchased another 997, only newer to compete at a higher level.
“It had been raced before in the Porsche Challenge Series; but it wasn’t stock, so I ran it in the A2 Unlimited Class. At that time, it was mostly 997-unlimited, and I won the national championship that year.”
From there, Finch’s desire and passion for Porsche racing grew even stronger. He purchased a 997 in 2014 and was dialed in.
“I purchased a newer 997 and really got into the series that year. It was head-to-head competition in the stock class, more than any other class. From New York to California we were going head-to-head every weekend and it was close to the end.”
The competition was so close that year that Finch was willing to risk it all in the season finale.
“I had an incident in my last race that year and I got a 13 and wasn’t able to take the title. If you look at the points, it will show that I won.”
After that season, Finch moved on to a 991-Cup car and won the championship that year.
“I won that season, largely because there weren’t that many cars in my class. After the season, I sold that car and got another 991, which I race today.”
Ken Finch poses with his first place trophy at Monticello Motor Club. (C/O Victor Newman)
With his purchase, Finch advanced into PCA’s Trophy East Series. You may notice that Finch doesn’t compete on Saturdays. That’s largely due to his career and his personal beliefs.
“I work for Advent Health – which is a part of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I am a hospital and healthcare executive and I oversee all five of the Advent hospitals in Texas,” Finch said. “Actually, Advent Health is one of four primary sponsors at Daytona International Speedway – except we are under the name ‘Florida Hospitals’ here.”
Finch attends church on Saturdays, a decision that limits his ability to start Sunday’s enduro-race in a competitive position.
“It was about three or four years ago that I stopped racing on the Sabbath. With qualifying on Saturdays, I am forced to start at the rear of the field on Sunday races.”
Finch doesn’t see his time away from competition as a negative, it’s a positive. Noting that he gets to ‘rest and re-energize.’
“Before I started racing in the Trophy East Series, I was racing against 50 or 60 cars and that made it tough to advance. It made me a better driver though. I learned how to respect people and their race, watching how they compete I was able to learn from them. Racing in Trophy East helps that its more competitive and I have a chance to climb through the field.”
Finch doesn’t let his starting position define his weekend.
“This has been a great escape from the corporate world. In racing you have to be focused, you can’t think about anything other than what you’re doing [in the moment.] Plus, the comradery is great, everyone that’s a part of this are all great people.”
He attributes his staggering success from his driver-coach, Erik Foss.
“Erik travels with me to every race and we spend a lot of time together – analyzing data and video. It is very intense, and we make sure that I know what I am doing and that I am achieving my best times in the safest way.”
Finch finished the 2018 PCA Trophy East Series, second in the TE6/M class. He will return in 2019 with the focus of earning the 2019 title.
Source. Klipsch Marketing