If you have been following this daily blog for any length of time, you will have noticed that I am a student of racing, driving, and car setup. In my quest to improve, and achieve something cool one day as a driver, I do not limit myself to that. Preparation is key, and while I am really meticulous when it comes to preventive maintenance, and finishing races, I have not been very good at getting the most out of my equipment. I very, very rarely have a mechanical issues put me out of a race. During the last 10 years, you can probably count on one had the mechanical failures I have had, and since I left Novarossi, you can count the flame outs on one hand too. Actually I can’t think of a single one due to anything else than a marshal stopping my car once, and running out of fuel. I practically always finish. (MASSIVE KNOCK ON WOOD, #NOJINX)
However, when it comes to getting the most of my equipment, I haven’t been very good. Change diff oils? Fuck that, I’m tired, I’ll have a beer instead. You see I am a very calculating person when it comes to my energy expenditure. I’m not willing to push myself into “suffering” if I don’t think it’s worth it. The last few years I have “known” and believed in my heart that I’m not good enough to win with the car I have, so I haven’t bothered to go the extra mile. A year ago I knew that my car was about to be one of the very best, so I began working on my driving. I began going the extra mile. Instead of working on the website (or having a beer), I worked on my driving.
In that same spirit, another change is going the extra mile when it comes to equipment. Studying the very best drivers in our sport, one thing is clear, their equipment is prepared to a clinically determinable OCD level. Unlike your regular OCD Sunday clubracer, for the top drivers in the game, it actually makes a difference. Making the most out of your equipment is essential.
I have found, that rebuilding diffs, going over everything on the car, in addition to working as a sort of placebo “my car is so dialed” way, it actually can gain time on the track. It seems that it tends to average out as about 0.3 seconds a lap on a 35 second lap, and an improvement in consistency. So let’s say in a 5 min qualifying run, that’s about 5 seconds, give or take. That my friends, is a big difference, and all thanks to going the extra mile.
So in 2017, and the next few years, I am going to go the extra mile. Most likely I will still be slightly more gypsy like than Cavalieri above, but you can be sure that what matters, the equipment, will be spot on.