In most parts of the country, we are seeing our favorite yearly events and races getting cancelled all over the place due to COVID (the latest is the big SEMA show in Las Vegas *sob*). We miss our friends, our racetracks and getting the valuable seat time that we once had. So, what are some things that you can do to come back stronger than ever...whenever that might be?
Take this time to do a deep dive and truly understand what your car actually does from a mechanical point of view. I know my racecar has parts on it that I had to have but to be honest didn't really know the deeper mechanics of what they do and why they are better than the competing brands...I just knew that someone with a faster car had used those parts and I want to be fast like they are (anyone but me guilty of that?). Go to those supplier's websites and get the full download of how they can actually help you. Spend some time taking a deeper dive to understand the functions. I spent some time understanding how my coilovers work in conjunction with my sway bars and alignment and now I feel confident in making those track-side adjustments.
This is a great time to go over every piece of gear that you own and inspect for any rips, tears, malfunctions, etc. Clean the pads of your helmet, clean your firesuit (check out the Molecule line of products on our website). Let's be real...that COVID-19 lbs is a thing. Make sure that your fire suit still fits and has enough room to be comfortable in the car. If it's not fitting correctly, you could be risking safety. Trust us, you don't want that rip in the pants the first time you get into your race seat. Go through and replace items that have been worn out. How are the soles of your race shoes? Any tears in your gloves? Don't worry, we have all kinds of awesome gear to replace them here.
In the age of social media, there is a plethora of free information out there. Check out publications that pertain to your method of racing and check out industry blog posts, podcasts and Facebook groups. As a road racer, I personally have found Ross Bentley's Speed Secrets page incredibly helpful. I'm sure that there are other industry leaders in each genre of racing that can teach you something that you don't know. BONUS points if you have a racing simulator that you can put some time on. If not, check out maybe putting a simple rig together...you can do it on a budget.
With all this time on our hands, there is no doubt that there are hours spent in the garage fiddling with the car. Use that time to call/zoom a friend and open up a beer together. Talk about plans for the events you want to go to next year. Help each other diagnose problems. Smack talk. Bench Race. Whatever feels normal for you, do it.
We all know that sponsorship budgets have dwindled due to the hit our industry has taken during this pandemic. Use this time to check in with your industry contacts and rather than ask for sponsorship, ask how you might be able to help them. Give value without an expectation of return, because even if there are no dollars at the moment, the fact that you are checking in and care that they weather this will make them remember you when times are better. If there are companies out there that you still want to be around after this is over, use social media to plug them. It'll go a long way in the future.
Remember why your passion for cars started in the first place. Turn up the radio and enjoy that project car. Whether it a picturesque drive up the coast or a spirited drive through the hills, let those horses do what they do best. Wherever it is that you find yourself, we are confident that you'll find your sanity there too.
There you have it. Hopefully these things will help you in the long run as we watch the events and races slowly dwindle (please God, don't take PRI!). If there is anything we missed, let us know on our Facebook Page or Instagram. Hope to see you soon at the racetrack!