No doubt motor racing is expensive, but if possible, I encourage you to go racing at least once in your lives. I’ve only raced competitively in karts before, starting but I’ve attended various driving experiences at racing circuits before. For a start, you can try your hand at karting – at any of the three karting tracks in Singapore.
The most recent one I went for was the Michelin Pilot Sport Experience at the Sepang International Circuit. This is not the first time I’ve been to it, but that was seven years ago and I enjoyed this time more. It’s the 10th year that this annual by-invite event is being held and the objective is to allow participants to learn about their tyres in a safe and controlled environment by driving different types of racing cars like the Formula 4, Citroen DS3 R1 and Renault Clio IV.
The adrenalin-rushing thrill I get from racing is something that I crave for and I wish we had our own permanent racing track in Singapore. Nonetheless, if you have not gone racing before, here are the five reasons why you should try:
It is often said that driving can tell the kind of person you are. On the racing track, this is where you will find out your true colours. How fast do you dare to go? How late will you brake into corners? How close do you dare to get to other cars? Racing involves a lot of courage and it will also tell how risk averse you are, reflecting your behaviour as a person.
In racing, everything happens so fast that you barely have time to think. For example, when you are entering a turn, your mind needs to be on the next two corners ahead. You need to be looking forward and planning your next steps already. This applies to life too, where you should think ahead and be least two steps ahead (of your competitor).
Anything can happen in motor racing. The driver can be fully prepared, but he will not be able to control certain factors such as weather conditions and technical failures. Should the weather be unfavourable or if the car suffers a breakdown, you just have to deal with it. It is very frustrating, but this teaches us not to take things for granted and to always be prepared for the unknown.
You’re constantly making decisions on the track – when to shift gears, how to overtake, how to take this corner, communicating with the team over radio and more. The best thing? You have to make these decisions fast at high speeds on the track. Thus, racing will enhance your decision-making skills by training you how to make the right decisions under pressure.
You are alone in the cockpit, but you need to work your hand-eye coordination, while concentrating on the racing lines, strategising how to overtake the guy in front of you and conserving your tyres. Racing will teach you how to manage all these important things at one time, while improving your reaction skills.
*This was first published in Wheels Asia.