Sportscar365 is contacting drivers from around the world to ask what they’re doing during the coronavirus pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.
Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?
I’m at home with my family which has been fantastic. With all the travel I’ve had these past few years, especially with racing in the Asian Le Mans Series during my ‘offseason’ for three years consecutively, time at home had been sparse.
So, I’m loving this captivity right now with my wife and son. Plus he’s home every day since schools are shut down, so although it can be taxing at times because we’re just non-stop, all day, every day, we are getting in some great, creative family time – and learning a lot of lessons on how to co-exist on a 24-7 basis!
But we live in Florida, people come here to vacation. The weather has been amazing so we are soaking it up, right from home.
What’s the one thing you currently can’t have that you miss the most, other than racing?
Honestly not much, as strange as that sounds. I definitely miss going to the gym and being able to lift but I’ve focused on home workouts in the garage and doing some intense exercise videos.
Other than that I miss the occasional dinner at our favorite restaurants, but I’m oddly enjoying this lock-down we’re on!
What are you currently watching on Netflix/TV?
We just caught up on “This is Us,” “Grace and Frankie,” “Schitts Creek,” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Next up we’re going to watch “F1 Drive to Survive,” but there’s a lot of Disney & Pixar movies going on during the day for Grayson. All the Cars movies, Planes is a new favorite (for all of us) and of course Frozen. There’s a lot going on here all day!
How have you adapted to the current situation from a business perspective?
This has been really challenging. Unfortunately for me, I only generate income from being at a race track. Racing, coaching, consulting, it’s all shut down right now, so this is definitely not good for my family.
This situation has forced all of us to get creative and my latest endeavor is now offering online & digital coaching services through Cosmo-Sport, Inc.
Between all of the sim racing that pro drivers, club racers, track day enthusiasts and gamers do there’s a lot of driving taking place, and not enough coaching and review taking place. If you’re tech savvy and willing to put in the work you can get a lot out of these systems.
Right now, people can learn how to export their sim racing data & video, send it to me and I can provide them with a extensive, thorough review and debrief, as well as provide them insight on their performance relative to comparative data of mine, driving the same car on the same track, of course in the same platform.
I recently helped a client of mine drop three seconds off his lap times and properly changed his driving technique that he’s now applying to any car & track he drives.
This coaching is real, and in some ways better – and more thorough – than being at the race track, mostly because you don’t have the time constraint of needing to get back in the car for the next session.
Trust me, nothing replaces real driving, but this is a great opportunity to take advantage of this down time to improve someones skills, knowledge and approach to a sport we all love.
If you could be the SRO or IMSA President for a day, what would you change?
Man, that’s a tough one. I feel like things are on the way up for both series and what they offer. Personally I’d like to see more iconic cars take shape like we used to see in the GTP and GT1 days, with a bit more manufacturer freedom. But we know how costly that can be.
The biggest thing we all need more of a business structure; more value that we can sell, more sponsorship coming in, more viewership, big prize money!
For sport scar racing to be so popular worldwide, it is very hard for everyone involved to keep these programs funded let alone make a real living doing it. I wish I knew what was missing, because this is an incredible sector of the sport.
Is there a track/race still on your ‘bucket list’ that you would like to race one day?
100 percent the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I’ve come close just a few times, but this race, more than anything, I need to do – and do it many times before I’m done racing! Hopefully this will happen soon…
Who has been your biggest inspiration in the sport?
Ayrton Senna was always my number one, for sure, and of course Michael Schumacher. These days, say what you want about him, but Lewis Hamilton is absolutely the king. It is so impressive to me how no matter what is thrown at him, he continually out performs everyone. But these are the icons of the sport.
In sports car racing there have been a number of guys the world may hardly remember, but to me, they were great examples of drivers that continually found employment and success that enjoyed very long careers in sports car racing.
I’m friendly with many of them and admire and appreciate all the advice they’ve given me all these years. I love what I do and hope I can continue doing it for a long time to come.
What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a race track?
Buckling in and letting it rip out of pit lane!