Inside a racecar is the best place in the
world, but it can also be scary. Racing
coach Jim Kearney explains how to stop
pre-race jitters from ruining your day
WORDS Jim Kearney | IMAGES Philip Royle
It gets very quiet on the grid. Your body may be strapped in the racecar ready to
race, but your brain may be
screaming “jail break!” After
all, following the rush to get the
racecar prepped, you now find
yourself on grid, alone with your
thoughts. The question is: Are
those thoughts friend or foe?
From where to paddock to
the Rubik’s Cube of racecar
setup choices to pre-race
strategy, hundreds – if not
thousands – of decisions are
made each race weekend. Many
of those multitudinous decisions
go unnoticed, but others may
bubble into your subconscious,
leaving worrisome, doubtful
thoughts just waiting to
creep from your brain at
the least opportune time.
You see, racers are often
more aware of the condition
of their racecar than their own
mental state. They obsess about
tire pressures but fail to ask:
Is my brain in the right gear?
Many just hop in, strap down,
and hope for the best – but that
shouldn’t be the case. So, before
the next race weekend arrives,
let’s work on those thoughts.
(LEFT) Pre-race paddock activitiescan be hectic – once you’restrapped into the racecar, what’srunning through your mind?