Driving Someone Else’s Car

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Question from granracing: When I drive my own racecar, I do so knowing that in any given race it’s possible that it may end up in a wall. I’m okay with pushing it to the maximum and beyond. It’s also this comfort level that enables me to be successful. However, when I drive someone else’s racecar that there’s absolutely no way I could afford to repair or replace if it gets totaled, I have a harder time driving the car to it’s limit. (Well, unless it’s Stephanie’s and it begins to rain, but that’s a different story.) I may have an opportunity to drive an extremely well prepared car that will be built. I know how much money and extensive number of hours it will take for the person to build the racecar. From what I’ve read about some of your recent history, there has been more than one occasion where you’ve rented a ride where the consequences of totaling it could really hurt more than just physically. The advice I have been given is merely to “just don’t think about it” but it hasn’t been that simple especially as this can impact friendships. I’m wondering what advice you might have? Thanks!

Shea’s answer: Dave, Great question – that’s something many of us must overcome. Being under prepared and driving with a sense of caution puts you in danger. I’ve found that mindset is extremely valuable in your success on track. “Get in the mindset.” Learn what you can about the car, the track, possibly study some of their in-car video, and make sure you’re absolutely comfortable in the seat before going on track. I found that having self-confidence as a driver has a lot to do with your preparation off track. ALWAYS drive with a sense of urgency, it helps take you on point and alert! I could tell you SO many stories of how worried I was to drive another person’s racecar. Once I dumped the clutch on that feeling I suddenly became aware of things when driving another’s car that I wouldn’t have noticed before. And drive within your means – not someone else’s. Perform to your best ability – not what someone expects. Impressing seems to be important in these situations, and they are. But I found that progress is most important. As to friendship and racing, my experience is know who were working with well when it comes to free rides. If something happened on track and your were at fault or it was a racing incident, talk with the owner on compromise. Maybe do a test session before a race weekend. If it’s a rented test session you’ll probably be signing a contract, read the small print! In short, it honestly goes by a case-by-case situation. If you feel comfortable, do it, and if not then don’t. Just remember to do your homework, show up prepared and confident, drive within your means, and kick butt!

Shea Holbrook
Facebook & Twitter @SheaRacing

One response to “Driving Someone Else’s Car

  1. Thanks for the advice Shea. “Perform to your best ability – not what someone expects.” I absolutely agree. They have some very lofty goals and I’ve been attempting to manage the expectations and want to keep this fun.

    Best of luck with the remainder of the season.

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