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Old 01-15-2014
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GEORGE GEORGE is offline
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Thought for the day

So here is a start on the daily post

When you are preparing to get in the car for a track session;
What is your routine?
Do you Put on your suit and then lay out your helmet, gloves, and HANS on the car? If so what do you put on first?
Do you put on your left glove first? Do you have a pre race quiet Zen moment? Do you have a picture or sentiment that you must look at or touch before you go out?

These are things that make you go Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Getting into a race car is not the same as going on the basketball court. Things can get out of hand on the track and we all have a few superstitions and a need to focus. I have mine, and I'm only an amateur. Maybe some instructors and REAL drivers can weigh in.

So there
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Old 01-15-2014
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Videos Re: Thought for the day

Whenever possible, sit in my car and crank this before a race....I think I could easily quantify this: my best results came after listening to Whammer Jammer....I def listened to it before my one and only win at WGI

Let me hear ya Dickie ___ ___ ___ ___
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Old 01-15-2014
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Re: Thought for the day

With Skip Barber cars, I place my seat insert into the car and set the belts so they're easier to buckle together. I place my helmet/hans/headsock/gloves/arm restraints on the bodywork just forward of the windscreen. I attach the arm restraints to the buckle, attach the belts, latch down, tighten the lap belts, slip on my headsock, slip my helmet and hans on and underneath the still loose shoulder belts, then tighten the shoulders gradually until incredibly tight. Then the gloves when its nearly time to go.

I spend the waiting time thinking about how I want to drive the car. I think about performance. I do NOT think about the results I want to achieve, as that takes focus away from performance. One big goal is to relax. Sometimes I'll chat with mechanics, other drivers, instructors, perhaps laugh a bit. If it helps me relax, then great. A calm and relaxed mind is a powerful weapon.

If you want to call it zen, getting in the zone, etc, for me its about getting mentally relaxed. I have enough experience to know I'm going to have a good session and a LOT of fun. I have lots of faith things will work out in a good way, and that faith helps me to relax even further. Doubt is a confidence killer. Whenever that debilitating thought enters my mind, I remind myself about all the other times I had faith, about how good things felt once the green flag was waving, and this allows me to get back in the zone very quickly.
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Old 01-16-2014
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Re: Thought for the day

Wow, great topic George, thanks for starting it.

At the risk of sounding either repetitive, or boring, or both, my "routine" consists of much of what's been already written. In my own words though....

I'm usually suited up way early in the day. I hate rushing to get ready, I feel it takes away from proper focus and concentration on the upcoming task at hand. So, the night before, I get my tearoffs mounted, or clean them off if still usable, and if it's going to rain, put on my "rain shield" which is nothing more than an older shield that's seen better sunny days. All my gear for the next day is checked over and laid out in the order I'll need it.

The next morning I'll suit up early, sometimes in the hotel if it's close by, saving a little bit of time . If my car isn't being used by someone else in a group prior to mine, I usually go and get as much set up in the car as possible.

I first check over the car (control arms, tires, front and rear wings, gas cap, steering wheel clip, look for leaks, bounce on the corners). When satisfied all is well (if not, I of course notify a mechanic), I check that my seat is in the proper notch, put in my insert, then climb in to see if the pedals are a good fit for me. If not, and if the mechanics aren't occupied with the race going on, I'll get the pedal adjustment out of the way.

Next, I'll put my lap timer on the windscreen, and tape the edges down. When it is actually time to climb aboard, my earbuds go on, head sock, helmet and hans, all before getting into the car. My gloves are laid out palms down, un-Velcroed, on their respective sides of the car. After climbing in, I get the belts all cinched down as tight as possible. Being "of proper stature" as Phil Lombardi would say, I don't have a lot of meat on my bones to keep those belts tight sometimes. Every movement at a place like Lime Rock seems to loosen things up a bit, especially the right shoulder belt over the Hans. So, I cross the left and right when buckling in. (It helps somewhat but I really need a newer Hans with the higher sides that help stop the belts from sliding off). Tighter, tighter, tighter. Then, one more check on the pedals, just in case.

All along, leading up to, and then when in the car waiting, I'm focusing, like Gerado, on what I want to do. (What I really want to do is drive as good as Gerado, but that's not going to happen anytime soon). However, I do concentrate on where I think my strong and weak points are, corner by corner and run through some scenarios in my mind. Again, like Gerado, I don't think about the end result, per se. I too think about having fun, and as my buddy Bill Shields and I always say to each other every race weekend, how fortunate are we that we can do this, not from a monetary point of view mind you, but we are mindful of the fact that (especially at our "Grand Masters" age) we are experiencing what only a few folks get to enjoy.

And that's my routine and I'm sticking to it.

Viz
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Old 01-16-2014
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Re: Thought for the day

I do some stretching, push ups and and ab work when I get out of bed on driving days. Like to suit up early and sit in the car when I can. Sometimes I'll do mental laps to relax and focus. If there's a big gap between sessions I'll find a quiet place to lie down and let my body and breathing relax. Sometimes a nap will happen.
Usually get in the car from the same side. Not superstitious about that or the sequencing of things but they usually happen in the same sequence.

Love the theatre of the pace car lap. I like waving to corner workers and seeing the waving flags and frantic tire warming before the flashers go out. When things are right my breathing is relaxed and eyes softly focused on the flag stand for the first sign of flagger movement.

Like Viz and others, always grateful when I get to go through it.
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Last edited by dalyduo; 01-16-2014 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 01-16-2014
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Re: Thought for the day

I guess the reason I started this thread is, my wife has followed me to the race track and she started to notice a common thread as I got ready to go out.

After Checking the weather forcast for rain...... and even if there is a hint of rain, we lay out the rain tires and jack(because you know if we are prepared.... it won't rain) and then we go over a preprinted check list of things to check on the car(this was written up after we had 5 friends who wanted to help and they all checked something...... except the fuel. And we ran out after 2 laps). And finally a judgment is made about tire pressures.

The last half hour before entering the car is "my time." I usually take a walk around the paddock alone and then come back and dress in the trailer. My everpresent race pit crew (Skip) knows that I like a little space from people who are trying to make conversation about "How do you feel?" or "Are you ready to GET OUT THERE AND KICK BUT?" I know they want to be helpful, but getting in a race car is about chillin out...... unlike football, I guess most of us want to get as calm as possible.

Just like Gerardo I start outside the car and loosen all the belts and fold them away from the seat. And then I place the gloves, Hans, helmet and head sock on the dash. hans goes on first, and then the belts (Really REALLY tight.... If you don't feel as though your shoulders are being crushed....they are NOT tight enough) I always find that the belts feel loose after a few laps so starting tight is the only way.
After getting all the hardware on, I sit in the car and put down the visor (always dark) and just breeeeeeeeth. I can feel myself calm down.
The last thing I do is touch my good luck charm. I had a couple of great Labradore Retreivers and we made them into a couple of logos for our dealership. Those logos are on the dash of the car and I always have to give them a touch before I go out. The only time I didn't touch them..... I spun on the last lap and lost a place.
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