Let’s get this clear, some might state that this driving lifestyle website is about boring, mundane transporting from position A to position B. and most of the time driving on public roads it is, especially if you don’t enjoy the machine you are working with. All this advocating of relaxed driving and comfortable cars could make the automobile enthusiast cringe.
But don’t worry high horsepower cars with concrete suspension are not on my hit list. For me it shows the mechanical prowess of the automobile manufacturer and their dedication to the spirit of driving thrill. It’s their dedication to the roots and birth of the automobile where it was not transportation but a source of entertainment.
But let’s not mistake racing with driving like a moron.
And automobile racing is extreme skill. Professional racers today have to exercise almost like athletes. Their bodies wear out, neck muscles can go limp if not in shape due to the multiple G forces applied when cornering, accelerating and breaking.
A formula 1 driver can maintain his heart rate between 150-170 bpm for about 2 hours, a usual length of a race.
They can maintain his heart rate for so long is because of their concentration level and the huge amount of adrenaline being produced in the body. For this 2 hours the driver must stay focused on everything surrounding him, each turn, engine speed, gear selection, cornering g-force, traction, other cars on the field, braking force, track temperature, tire temperature.
Their mind is calculating hundreds of variables as they are driving taking turns over 100mph keeping control of the vehicle.
I think it’s like this, you are running a 2 hr footrace in 100F heat, but on each side of you there is a 100ft drop off, you are also taking a physics exam and you need to answer the questions quicker than the person behind, if not you lose.
Your adrenaline is also flowing through you veins as if you are about to wreck into a semi, but if you get overwhelmed you fall off the cliff, but you can’t deal with that now, you still need to answer the physics exam, while making sure not to fall off the cliff, while making sure you are you are still getting a faster time than the guy behind you.
Automotive racing is a balancing act of obeying the laws of physics and keeping the car from becoming one with the concrete barriers.
So I give my credit to all racing, NASCAR with its “stock” billboard-esque cars, Indycar which its more aeronautics that automobile, F1 where teams spend more than most counties do on space exploration, LeMans in which it takes 24hrs to figure out a winner, and WRC which seems to be an oxymoron.. Speed and lack of asphalt?? Can you say suicide pact? But I tip my hat to all, race drivers have something in common with each other that is intangible, no matter how much Gran Turismo we play it’s something we must experience firsthand to understand. It’s like the astronauts that went to the moon. Who other than themselves can understand the experiences of being on another planet?
So racing aint shufflin’ it’s a whole lot skill, patience, endurance, and concentration.
Oh and Lemans racers have implemented air conditioning (keeping cockpit temps from approaching 140°F, which was common in the past, to a mere 80F), that shows some shuffling is making its way to racing… sort of, most of the time though shufflin’ isn’t going to make you “first” but the drive was a whole lot more relaxing driving like an ass.