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MURRY: Finding the Rhythm

BGB Motorsports’ Dylan Murry files his latest Sportscar365 column ahead of COTA debut…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

A smooth track, long straights, lots of corners, and completely new to me. Circuit of The Americas is a track I have wanted to race on for a long time.

I haven’t had the chance to turn any laps there, not to mention I have only been to the state of Texas once or twice. I do hear that they have excellent barbecue though. I will have to save that for after the race because sardines obviously take priority.

Eating sardines and training hard, I am ready to get after it in the next race. In less than two weeks, I’ll be racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America in the Lone Star State.

COTA will be my second race weekend in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. This will be a very mentally intense race weekend. While we still have a few days of practice before the race, I will have to make quick progress to learning the track.

I am up for the challenge. I love going to new tracks and new places. It requires so much focus, and you constantly find your
heartbeat getting faster.

I always have to be conscious of that when going to a new track. As soon as the heart rate goes up a little too much, I’ll take a deep breath and bring it back down.

You can only focus so much when your heart rate is at 140 bpm. It starts to become very physical if you’re not mentally relaxed.

That is where meditation comes into play. By meditating, you cannot just feel what your body is doing but have better control over it. It is all about the state of mind you are in.

It also hit me not too long ago, why not do something meditative for your workout too?

I used to do a lot of cycling and running, but I have recently gotten into jump rope. I find it to be one of the more mentally taxing exercises. If you are out for a run, maybe every now and then you don’t get quite as long of a stride as you should.

A lot of times you wouldn’t realize this, so these small “mistakes” would keep piling up without any immediate indicator of messing up. When jumping rope, your feet, hands, and mind all have to be connected in perfect harmony for every single jump and swing of the rope.

If you jump minimally too low, the rope hits your feet. Slightly too high, and you don’t land in time for the next jump. It also connects your hand movements with your foot movements, just like correcting for oversteer.

As you come off the throttle, your steering wheel has to correct too – in perfect harmony. Just about everything to do with it translates to racing a car. I love it and I’m able to get into such a rhythm.

Photo: Porsche

Sometimes I’ll even get out a metronome to ensure I’m hitting the ground at the same time and keeping my mental focus at 100 percent. I push myself on hot days too. My favorite is when it is above 80 degrees F outside.

I’ll start jumping rope in the sun while I wear the biggest, thickest jacket I own to get used to the heat. It is almost like hot yoga and cardio at the same time.

After the Sebring 12 Hour race weekend, my heat tolerance was great, but the one thing that started to give out was my grip strength. Going back and forth between the GT3 and the LMP3 all weekend, my hands started to cramp up.

I am still searching for a better solution to train that. I’ve tried squeezing tennis balls and doing door frame pull-ups on my fingertips. I hope it will translate over to the type of grip strength required in the race car.

I’m always excited to get back on track after trying something new in my training. If anyone has any suggestions for me whether it is training or supplements, send me a DM on Instagram!

Another thing I am excited about, is the fact that I get to feel the Porsche on a track without the bumps at Sebring.

Sometimes at Sebring, the bumps are so large and aggressive that you can’t feel the car as it truly is. Going to a smoother track will help me understand the tendencies of the car better.

Like I said before, I will have to make quick progress on learning the track. I am driving the track on a SimCraft simulator to help better prepare me.

Photo: Porsche

Watching videos helps me to be able to learn where to place the car and when to brake, but the SimCraft simulator is what gives you the driver’s eye view and feel of the track.

The only thing left to do is doing a little barefoot walk in Austin! I have been barefoot at home so much lately. I am barefoot outside as I write this, and I was also on a barefoot walk through the woods when I got the phone call to write this.

One last personal note to end it off, I have been playing the guitar for about a year now, and I love it. It is a new hobby of mine and it is very relaxing at the end of a long day.

It is such a tough instrument to play, but I’m getting the hang of it quite nicely. I never realized how amazingly difficult some of these guitar solos and riffs are.

A family friend of ours, Jeff Carlisi, was the lead guitarist in the rock band 38 Special. He has been sending me videos and trying to help out.

I tried learning one of his solos for Hold on Loosely, but I’m not quite at that level yet! Incredible what these professional guitar players can do. It’s 10,000 hours to master something, so I only have about 9,800 hours to go!

Dylan Murry (@DylanKMurry) is a IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race-winner, competing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Riley Motorsports and Porsche Carrera Cup North America with BGB Motorsports.

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