35 things I learned from motor racing


  1. Once you have the helmet on and strapped in, it is way too late to wonder if this is a good idea
  2. The racing and rally communities are small, and they have long memories, so be nice
  3. It does not matter if it’s a 12 car road rally or a national championship, you are still a racer
  4. The part you need will be left at home
  5. Fast cars are cool, knowing when it acceptable to go fast is even cooler
  6. Rally cars are drawn towards stumps, ditches and trees. Despite the best efforts of the driver the inevitable can only be delayed, not prevented
  7. “Fast – Reliable – Cheap” decide which two out of the three you want before you buy a car
  8. This is way too expensive a hobby not to have fun
  9. It always used to be better than it is now
  10. Nap when you have the opportunity, go to the toilet before you need to
  11. Racing extracts a heavy mental toll, be ready with correct change
  12. Food and beer is the post race social lubricant, always come prepared with both
  13. Being both good and lucky is great, but at times it’s still not enough
  14. The louder the bang when you hit something the longer you should take to make sure the car is good before pushing again
  15. Racing isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle filled with incredibly generous people, and a few arseholes
  16. It will cost more than you budgeted, get used to it
  17. The more you stare at the temperature gauge the quicker it goes from OK to red
  18. It gets cold in the desert
  19. Only one person is responsible for your results. It’s a waste of time and energy to play the blame game.
  20. Remember nomex is not fireproof, it just buys you a few seconds to get out
  21. If nothing on the race car is broken give it a few minutes, that will change
  22. Real toilets are to be appreciated, you can’t have quiet time in a portapotty
  23. Everyone is a brilliant driver after the 4th beer at the post rally party, don’t correct people
  24. The closer to the end of a race the louder and more urgent the strange noises coming from the engine become
  25. Rolling a car hurts
  26. Know when to be serious, and when to laugh.
  27. Almost all racers are slightly OCD
  28. Rule of P’s – planning and preparation prevent a piss poor performance
  29. A HANS device will not stop you getting a stiff neck, just a basal skull fracture
  30. “Did Not Finish” is a very expensive, and frustrating, way to go racing
  31. No one said gravity is fair, just consistent
  32. Happiness is fresh tires
  33. Nobody cares what you did yesterday or what you are going to do tomorrow. The now is important
  34. You’ll never stop learning
  35. Enjoy the moment, the feeling and the people that make racing so very, very special

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