Staying Busy in the Off Season

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Hello and Happy New Year!

To those of you who have just joined my newsletter, Welcome!

One of the strangest parts of being a ‘racing driver’ is the 4 – 5 month break between race seasons.

Last year was a particularly long wait as I couldn’t find a drive until April and only did my first race in May. I am happy to say that that changes this year as I’ve already managed to secure my 2019 race program and hope to announce it in the coming weeks.

My brother and I recently sold a big chunk of our business which has freed me up to focus more on my pre-season preparation than ever before. Besides a fun test in a Golf GTI TCR race car, I have been incredibly busy on my simulator, doing between 150 – 1,000km of testing per day.

I also created a new section on my YouTube channel where I broadcast and share my time on the sim and I’m happy to say that the channel has received a big jump in traffic as a result of this new strategy.

Doing 1,000km on a simulator is not just about mindless laps, there is so much more to it. For a long time I’ve been doing deliberate practice, such as replicating overtaking moves and repeating them over and over, taking inspiration from professional sportsman like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Both obsessive workers away from the court and fairway.

With Nick Foster doing some laps around Bathurst.

As a result I have seen clear improvements in my qualifying ability (always a pain-point for me) and race craft. In fact I see such a big benefit that I no longer recommend karting as a way to improve race craft but now suggest online racing instead.

The benefits are clear to me:

  1. You’re still racing against humans
  2. It’s 100 times more affordable
  3. The playing field is levelled out in terms of equipment/engines/tires
  4. You can do up to 3 races per hour as opposed to 3 per weekend

It’s taken almost 20 years but Sim Racing is finally starting to see a rise in popularity and respectability. Just recently a Sim Racer legitimately beat the very experienced and talented Luca Di Grassi at the Race of Champions in a real racing car.

The tide is turning.