Racing is not easy, before and during competing there are many thoughts and emotions going through your head.
The first and foremost thing, do not crash or the funds for the next race will be gone.
The second thing, improve your driving lap after lap, race after race and season after season.
The third thing, win with your opponent – there is always in your head this voice of ambition that reminds you time after time how important it is for your ego to be better than the other guy/gal. It is pushing you beyond the boundaries, sometimes beyond being rational and fair play.
The secret in all this madness is to keep your emotions down, just focus on driving and have as much fun from it and from the competition with your fellow racers as possible. Put your thoughts about winning aside for a moment and have some joy from getting this hard to master corner spot on (‘your’) limit, from the feeling of a nicely balanced car, clean pass or successful defense move, your new PB. This is the first and most important win one can make in racing and the good results, if they come at all, are side effect of all this fun.
What is a hobby worth if it brings only frustration and stress?
Amateur racing can also become this – unsatisfied ambitions. If it come to this then even winning does not bring joy because you need instantly the next one. The passion can slowly burn down and frustration starts to dominate.
I have been there and getting to understand all this took me a long time and required a look from wider perspective. After few years spent in simracing with a lot of pressure put on myself and an unachievable goals of achieving highest trophies in iRacing I made a longer break. This was a tough lesson of humility. My first races last weekend in Mazda MaX5 cup also reminded me about that.
The passion however always sparks back.
Now the time has come to simply have some fun in doing what I like and without too much pressure for results. But the inner fight continues and the voice of ambition in my head has not disappeared. Obviously the inseparable part of this sport is competition, otherwise why bother to race at all. Nobody will deny that they would not want to win.
The key in all this is to find a good balance for yourself. When there is no joy in racing anymore then just stop it and let others have fun.
When you see guys after the race on any step on the podium without smile on their faces or competitors turning their backs to each other – then it all has gone wrong.
Guess who is my favourite F1 driver 🙂