At the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp., Sandra Langius supervises 20 workers handling pension checks for 36,000 people. As a bureaucrat, exactness is her goal.
Three nights a week and every weekend, she stalks a different goal: to win one against-the-clock auto race a year in her 1982 Porsche 911C, a 175-horsepower machine worth $35,000. She has accomplished this for the last five years.
"There is a thrill in doing a turn and then trying to do that turn at a greater speed," she says of her autocross racing. "Sometimes you learn your limit by going off the track."
Adds Langius, "There is balance between my two lives. I wouldn't want to leave my job and go gung-ho on racing. I do like being able to go away from my job, race, and then be back on the job."
Now 36, she began racing 12 years ago with her husband, who died of a heart attack six years ago. "I got into college after we were married," she says. "I worked during the day, went to school at night, but I got on the dean's list. I was trying to prove something to him. I learned about cars from him, but I got much more involved than he."
Langius is a perfectionist. "My Porsche getting a door ding would be like my gaining 10 pounds," she says. "I watch myself. I am a size 4. I can't drive around in a dirty car--and beds have to be made and dishes washed before I leave my house. I maintain my health, my house, my car.'