Many people don’t understand motorsports, and specifically auto racing, because many simply don’t have a frame of reference or an access point. But for those who are unaware, let me tell you four reasons why auto racing is arguably the toughest sport on the planet:
1. You never get a break. Ever. With basketball, football, baseball and most all other traditional sports — you get a break, or multiple breaks between the action. But with auto racing, the action and the engagement is nonstop. Literally, nonstop.
2. The level of physical exertion is at a constant high (braking, hitting the apex of a corner, maintaining a clean driving line, and ‘feeling ‘ wheel, tire and road connectivity), race cars require the physical exertion of several muscle groups at the same time, all combined with the nonstop multi-tasking of a broad range of your thought skill-set; from physics, to mental strategy, to tactical engagement, to constant review of in-the-cockpit data analytics, to — oh yeah — good driving!
3. The length of time. Most professional sports involving high levels of energy, from boxing to basketball and beyond, have time periods ranging from 10 minutes to about an hour in length. But auto races often range from between 25 minutes to 24 hours in length! And during this entire time that you are behind the wheel of that car, you are required to be 100%. There is no coasting or rest period when you are on track (24 hour endurance races require each driver to drive in 2-3 hour segments at a time).
4. The consequences are very real. In fact, at the extremes, they are literally life or death. This alone both ads an intense level of pressure on the mind and body, and requires everyone involved to be authentic and real. This last part — the need to be authentic — is one of the things I love the most about the sport.
When I get out of a race car, or even off of the motion racing simulator I keep in a training room at home, I am often drenched in sweat — from the physical and mental exertion alone. Professional race car drivers often report losing as much as 10 lbs per race. Maybe auto racing is best weight management or diet you can find with guaranteed weight reduction results (smile)!
And one more thing — auto racing almost by necessity requires you to be smart, if not highly intelligent to succeed. Think a game of Chess at 150 MPH.
Okay, let’s go….