“Racing is life, everything else is just waiting”Steve McQueen
It seems like a very strange thing to do. A season recap? Why are you doing a season recap? Which season do you even mean? I thought you are not participating in real racing?
Well, yes and no. In 2019 I was an active member of a formula student team. There, I was responsible for the e-motor project, but also one of the drivers. Sadly, our car wasn’t ready for the competitions we wanted to enter, Spielberg in Austria and Hockenheim in Germany, but nevertheless, I prepared myself for these events anyway.
For the first time in my life, I was actually driving a real “race car”.
Compared to a pure simulator based training I have made in the past, this season was of course more “realistic”. Wearing all that safety stuff, getting buckled up with a sixpoint harness and get the chance to drive on a closed track as fast as possible. This experience was fantastic.
So, how was the season?
The season was actually pretty good. My racing practise was based on three parts. The Formula student race car, some carting and my simulator. Compared to last year, I improved by at least 30% on my overall performance in racing and have learned a lot of things that will help me to improve even more in the future.
Having a background in cycling and endurance sports in general, I am used to suffer over a longer period of time. This helped me a lot to get going, even though everything hurts like hell. Another point is, that my mind is constantly trying to analyze the situation I am in. Well, it seems like this is not always a good thing and actually this is true, but at least it helps you to understand more clearly what you are doing wrong all the time. So, it kind of gives me the chance, to work on these things in order to improve.
My biggest weakness is still the kind of way I handle my nervousness. If you think that driving a race car is just pure fun, I need introduce to the reality. Fooling around on a parking lot might be that way, but the moment the factor “time” gets into the game, you play on a completely different level. If you don’t belive me, go to the carting track and find it out on your own.
Running against the clock, or better say, driving against the clock is not as easy as it might sound. The pressure you will feel, the need to perform, the expectancy from others, the competition between other drivers from the same team. That is all adding to another changing the thing we all love into a real challenge. You think you have nerves? Proof it! I realised that this is a main issue I need to tackle. The moment it really depends on the time, your muscles start to tighten up, your hands are shaking and your mind runs on overboost mode like there is a bomb right in front of you and you are trying to deactivate it int he last three seconds of its countdown.
Even though I really have improved my skills in the last season, there is still a long long looooonnnngggggg way to go. I have seen that there is a high potential to work on my weaknesses and transform them into strengths, so the experience I have made this season was fantastic for me, in order to get going in motorsport.
Outlook for the next season
Because I am currently studying in another town full time, I can practise on the racing simulator only on the weekends. This means, that I am currently splitting up my life into two different sectors. In the first sector, starting from Monday morning and lasting until Friday afternoon, I am studying. This means having lectures, working on projects, learning, reading, writing reports and papers and of course doing the other things I do. Writing my blog, language learning, formula student, meeting with friends, talking with friends on the phone, doing my workout and so on and so on. After that, I spent my weekends at my parents place, where I focus on my racing simulator practice and my endurance workout.
In the upcoming weeks, I will create a kind of a preparation plan, that will help me to keep working on the right things in order to improve and get ready for the next season.
Join this series, if you are interested in preparing yourself for racing or other similar events like this.
See you next time!
Engineer, Motorsport Enthusiast, becoming an Entrepreneur, Author and just different