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Racers in Isolation: Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne on passing the time in lockdown and what he’s looking forward to afterwards…

Photo: Supplied

Sportscar365 is asking drivers from around the world what they’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.

McLaren factory driver and European GT3 racing regular Joe Osborne (Twitter/Instagram) features in this edition.

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?

I’m at home. I’ve lived in the same town all my life so it easy to relax here. My family live in the town so it’s great to be able to see them (from 2 meters apart).

We’ve also got some elderly neighbours that we help out with small tasks which helps speed the day up. Also being recently married opens up a few more activities. 

Do you do any sim racing? If so, tell us a bit about your setup and what games you use.

I’ve been on iRacing before it was cool (not sure sim racing will ever be cool). But only since lockdown I’ve got it back up and running.

I run all Fanatec stuff. The setup is basic but functional. I’ll upgrade if I get back into it. The rage that sim racing generates is impressive. 

What kind of TV, music or books are you passing the time with in lockdown?

Kind of nothing. On TV really the only thing I’ll watch is Come Dine With Me. Music, just whatever Spotify plays me. I like reading but only really by a pool in the sun it seems, and neither are available in my location. 

What’s your daily driver?

I have a few cars, but my daily driver is an oil burner Seat Leon. It’s either on the motorway or in an airport car park. When it’s in the latter it picks up so many dents and scuffs I don’t want something I care about! 

If you could be in charge of SRO for a day, what would you change?

Great question. Hard to answer honestly and politically correct!

The boring answer would be to have open tires and create a tire war. At McLaren our partnership with Pirelli has shown me how much tire technology they have at their disposal so I think we’d get an advantage. 

What was your first job?

I worked at a local shop. It was mundane obviously but made my own fun.

I used to ID old people who were in their 80s for alcohol. Then when they’d get angry with me I’d say, “I think you’ve already have enough to drink”.

Small things like that kept me amused for hours. 

What’s the one thing you currently miss the most, other than racing?

Just generic freedom. Daily stuff that I have always taken for granted.

This really will be a strong life lesson to be grateful for everything I have and can do.

Even people-watching waiting on a long connection flight. I’ll never complain about that again, until I do. 

What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a race track? 

Pit limiter OFF.

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