OK, I say, tell me about
optimizing for the Runoffs. Tell
me how to win. “It isn’t all about
me,” he says quickly, “it’s about
my team and their ability to
execute the plan. When I go to
the racetrack I have a plan and a
setup, and we execute those at
the racetrack. I don’t do things on
the fly – I’ll come to the Runoffs
with a plan that’s prewritten.”
Collin develops a plan for each
individual day at the Runoffs,
down to the session. “We’ll go
[to the track] and prove what we
know is applicable, then we’ll set
a bracket of what I need to do if
the track is slick, or whatever,”
he says. “And then, every day, we
try to execute an improvement
to the previous day. It’s very
much an iterative engineering
process of optimizing the setup
that we came to the track
with, using the data that we’ve
learned during each session.”
At this point, my weakness
as an interviewer was showing.
Posed with general questions,
Collin returns general answers.
Digging for details, I then
struggled to tell whether the
answers were specific or vague.
But I dug nonetheless for Collin’s
list of items to optimize.
“I like to put variables in a
spreadsheet and start checking
them off,” he says. “Shock
absorbers, aero, brakes, suspension
tuning, engine tuning, friction loss,
tire construction – there’s a massive
list. There’s no detail too small to
“ When I go to the
racetrack, I have a plan
and a setup, and we
(LEFT) Collin leaves nothing to chance.
When he shows up for a race weekened,
both he and his car are ready to perform,
or execute a predetermined plan.