#426 Racing is life – S4 E9 – The Road into Motorsport – Time is everything you need

On Wednesday I was, for the first time in 2020, on the kart track again. Blasting out some laps and having some fun with my friends and a couple of back markers (other visitors) of the kart track.

Gollhofen kart track outdoor section

Well, don’t get me wrong on this, I do not want to complain about the way “normal” people drive in rental karts. Sure, they simply do not know it better and therefore pretty much perform on their personal limits already. But well, the law of physics might still have a couple of seconds left for them here and there. But I guess it’s more about having a bit of fun and experiencing the thrill of driving “fast” instead of really going into the details and hunt down every split second, right?

And don’t forget, six years ago I was one of them!

It was the 18th of Mai in 2014, to be precise! Back at that point in my life, I wasn’t even interested in racing that much. Of course I was already a Porsche fan boy due to my first Porsche driving experience, but besides watching a bit of VLN here and there, this was pretty much it. No F1, no ADAC GT Masters and definitely no racing simulator!

On this very day I did a 1:47.398 as the best lap time with a 1:50.594 average over the complete duration of the 30 minutes event. Bitten by the bug I was only one and a half month later back at the track and didn’t really improved with a 1:48.566 as the best lap time and an average lap time of 1:51.040.

Interestingly, both “best lap times” where made in the last lap of the 30 minutes events like I did on Wednesday, which clearly indicates that I pretty much had the “improve lap by lap” kind of attitude towards racing already somewhere inside my head.

I always start in the low risk time window and make progress from there, step by step, corner by corner. But of course this also means to overdo it sometimes and stepping over the line of what is possible. Well, not a big deal on the kart track, you will just step back a little bit next time and start looking for some improvements in a different corner.

Having absolutely no clue about anything regarding the driving behavior of cars, the perfect line, driving techniques and stuff like this in 2014, I guess that time represents an ambitious average lap time performance.

Sure, it always depends on a lot of different factors, the weather condition, the kart performance, the tire wear, the tire pressure, your bodyweight, the traffic and many more factors, but I guess in average, we can take these numbers to analyze how I may have improved over time.

Using my GoPro since 2015 to record my kart racing experiences, I pretty much can compare the lap times and see where and how I did improve. But I guess, the numbers are speaking for themselves. This kart track is using an online platform, where you can see all the statistics of your races in the past, therefore, here are the numbers.

In the following, you can see the year, the driving mode (Qualifying = (quali), race = (race)), the best lap time, the average lap time and additional comments.

  • 2014: (quali) 1:47.398 (best lap) 1:50.594 (average)
  • 2014: (quali) 1:48.566 (best lap) 1:51.040 (average)
  • 2015: (quali) 1:47.577 (best lap) 2:17.270 (average) technical defect
  • 2015: (quali) 1:48.474 (best lap) 1:49.508 (average)
  • 2015: (race) 1:46.806 (best lap) 1:48.219 (average)
  • 2016: (quali) 1:45.821 (best lap) 1:47.556 (average)
  • 2016: (race) 1:44.892 (best lap) 1:46.526 (average)
  • 2018: (quali) 1:44.173 (best lap) 1:46.863 (average)
  • 2018: (quali) 1:42.812 (best lap) 1:45.939 (average)
  • 2019: (race) 1:43.259 (best lap) 1:44.044 (average)
  • 2019: (quali) 1:43.714 (best lap) 1:45.942 (average)
  • 2020: (quali) 1:43.954 (best lap) 1:45.679 (average)

Sure, in order to get this comparison right, we need to consider a few facts.

  1. Even though the track layout stayed the same over the years, they have changed the karts in between. Does that have an impact? Sure it has. Maybe the performance of the karts was higher in 2018 when they where new and they have tried to get them closer to the performance of the old karts later on? Well, we simply do not know.
  2. There is a huge difference between the qualifying, referred to as (quali) and the races. Typically I have the pole position for the start of the races, which means that I can drive without traffic for pretty much the first 6 to 8 laps before I have traffic again which has an huge positive impact on the average lap time you have. In the qualifying you can have traffic pretty much all the time which prevents you from having clean laps.

Time is everything you need!

But looking at my first kart driving experience back in 2014 and compare this with my last time on the very same track two days ago, you can see clearly what I want to tell you today.

Gollhofen kart track indoor start/finish line
  • 2014: (quali) 1:47.398 (best lap) 1:50.594 (average) (12 karts on track)
  • 2020: (quali) 1:43.954 (best lap) 1:45.679 (average) (15 karts on track)

Do you see that? I shaved of 3,444 seconds with my best lap time and 4,915 seconds in my average lap time! 4,915 seconds even though there was a lot of traffic, that’s quick!

The road into motorsport is what? Right! It’s just you getting a little bit better day by day.

In our society, we always talk about improving things. About learning from mistakes and make it better next time. About stepping forward being the only option in order to survive. But do we really do that in our every day life? Stepping forward? Working on hour dreams every single day no matter what? Or do we find excuses why we can’t? Why today isn’t the best day?

I GUESS THE MOMENT YOUR AVERAGE LAP TIME IS FASTER THAN THE SECOND PLACE BEST LAP TIME, YOU KNOW THAT YOU MUST BE QUICK!

But where does that come from? Sure, it’s no wonder I am getting better day by day. I have spend 511 hours on my racing simulator so far this year. Of course that helps in order to get better. But it’s not just the “art of driving” that matters, its also what’s going on in your head. “Race intelligence” is the key word here. Can you read the traffic ahead? Can you guess what your opponents will do in the next corner? Which lines they will take? Which mistakes will they make?

And the funny thing about this? Racing is pretty much like anything else in life. From the private sector to the business world! It’s always the same! Looking for weaknesses in others in order to find a benefit for oneself.

If you ever think in life that you are too old for something, ask yourself this one particular question!

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Time is everything you need. Nobody would have guessed in 2014 that I would be sitting in a formula student race car in 2019. But I did it! Therefore, whatever it is you want to accomplish. Just start and get better day by day. It is that simple! And well, if you work hard and long enough, you can become world class in everything you are doing.

Believe in yourself and work on your goals! I don’t know what you are going to do today, but I will definitely work my ass of in order to get better in racing and reach my goals!

Can you imagine me doing a blog post in another six years of time and telling you my progress on the racing side of life? Isn’t life awesome? We never know where we will end up in the future.

The message for today? Time is everything you need and you have lots of it! Go and use it!

See you next time!

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