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GT World Challenge America

HARGROVE: Summer Break… What Now?

Scott Hargrove files his latest Sportscar365 column during his “summer break” from SRO America competition…

Blancpain GT World Challenge America is on summer break. Our last event was in early June and we won’t get to race our Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R again until August 31. There is still a lot to do however, including keeping up with fitness.

This year I thought I’d try something different. My friend Teddy owns Powercore Boxing here in Vancouver. He invited me to give it a try, even though I’ve never thrown a punch in my life!

Immediately, I saw many connections between boxing and race car driving, none more prevalent than maintaining quick reflexes while fatigued. Over the course of the year the training has developed into a hybrid of boxing, strength and reflex exercises.

Another racer and longtime friend Remo Ruscitti exercises at the same time, and those who know race car drivers, know this often leads to competition, whether that’s who can hold the longest plank or who has the quickest reactions. Maybe one day we’ll end up competing in the ring!

Another way I stay sharp and fit is through karting. I find it’s probably one of the best training tools out there for race car drivers.

Of course, many of us started in karting. I’ve been fortunate enough to keep up with it and compete whenever possible.

This past weekend I was brought back to where I started, racing close to home in Chilliwack, British Columbia.

The kart track there is appropriately named Greg Moore Raceway, and is an extremely fun and challenging circuit. I raced a KZ shifter kart with Italian Motors, who also have their own kart track just across the US border from the Vancouver area.

I’ve been racing karts with them for the past decade and love every second of it. Apparently, I still have what it takes as I came away with two wins on the weekend. But trust me when I say, it was ten times more tiring than a car race weekend! Fantastic training.

A new kart track in the British Columbia interior is about to be opened at Area 27.

Remo Ruscitti, Stefan Radzinski and I are teaming up to help bring more people, young and old, into karting though our new team, Catalyst Driver Development, which will be based in the area.

It’s an exciting time for us, and also a great opportunity to give back to the karting community that helped us so much while growing up.

British Columbia really is becoming a great place to live as a race car driver.

The racing community and interest is growing rapidly. I can only hope that one day in the near future, a top-level racing series will make the commitment to racing in the area.

We also have some of the most beautiful scenery around with the ocean, mountains and lakes. That brings me to my final fitness activity, mountain biking.

Mountain biking is one of my favorite ways to stay fit as an adrenaline junky.

The climb up the mountain is brutal, often climbing several hundred meters.

Then you dive into the trails which wind all the way down the mountain. Reactions are once again key here, as trees, rocks, jumps and drops all need to be spotted and reacted to.

After writing this article, maybe “summer break” isn’t the right term.

There may be a gap in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America schedule, but summer has arrived fast and furious with endless things to do. Enjoy your summer everyone, see you at a track soon!

Scott Hargrove (@Scott_Hargrove) is a Porsche Selected Driver, competing in Blancpain GT World Challenge America for Wright Motorsports, as well as racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge in 2019.

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