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FARELLA PARTNER DRIVES UP HIS ADRENALINE, ANDRETTI-STYLE Last May 21, Christopher Locke sat behind the wheel of his 1976 Lotus Formula One at the gridline � amazed. It was a partly cloudy day in Monaco, and high-rise buildings towered above. About to take off on a street circuit that has been used for grand prix racing in the tiny European city-state since 1929, Locke understood that very few people would ever experience what he was about to. When the green flag dropped, he would test his skills against other historic grand prix fans and a handful of professional drivers. “You can’t help but be awestruck waiting to race, reflecting on the fact that the race has been run for so many years, by so many legendary drivers,” recalled the Farella Braun & Martel environmental law partner. “To drive that same circuit is phenomenal.” A proud owner of three historic Lotus race cars, including a 1976 Formula One originally driven by Mario Andretti, Locke has been racing cars for about 17 years. He competes roughly 12 times each year now, but he’s always been interested in motor sports. When he was 8 years old, he staged go-cart races with friends. He still has his scrapbooks of world champions Jim Clark and Andretti’s winning races. He likes other adrenaline sports as well, including downhill skiing and mountain biking. “I find it to be relaxing because it allows you to refocus your mind on something very different from your day job.”

Street circuits are especially challenging, he added. Unlike a track that is specifically designed for racing, such as Sonoma’s Infineon Raceway, races run through city streets don’t leave a lot of room for error. A mistake or a mechanical problem that puts you in contact with a guardrail, he said, can take you out of the race. “The cars are fragile. Things break if you have contact with something.” Locke ended 10th out of 22 cars starting in Monaco. In a couple of weeks, he will relive some of that thrill in the streets of old town Las Vegas � albeit sans some of the historical setting � as the Vegas Historic Grand Prix races begin April 6.

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