34 FALL 2014
rAcing, reLevAnce And breAkFAst...
“I’m analyzing the progression of the race
in minute detail. Yawning seems to be a
common reaction by those around me...”
TWO- Time CART indy CAR
2003 indiAnApOlis 500
WinneR love Sunday mornings! When I was racing, Sunday morning was
the calm before the storm. The anticipation
of what was about to come was simply
awesome, and made me feel very alive.
Yet it’s always been the case, and still is,
that Sunday morning is my favorite time.
Nowadays I can pig out on a very decadent
breakfast, too, but the joy of gluttony aside,
Sunday is still race morning! You see, most
of my life I’ve lived on Eastern Standard
Time (give or take a couple hours), meaning
F1 races on TV are usually morning affairs.
As a kid, I’d sit with my dad, watching
every minute in total fascination. Well, habits
are hard to break, vices even worse, and I
still do the same – when I’m home, that is…
I wake up, buy bread, eggs, bacon (you
too, and sink into the sofa to enjoy the
next few hours beside my wife.
Start, exciting; first few laps, intriguing
and exciting. I shout a little, swear some…
Watching two screens simultaneously, I go
into a pattern of explaining to everyone
what’s happening and what’s about to
happen, criticizing everyone’s every move
(obviously), analyzing lap times, driving styles
– “This is why Lewis is using 2.3 percent less
fuel than Nico” – and the progression of the
race in minute detail. Yawning seems to be
a common reaction by those around me...
My wife politely ignores me, and her
attention drifts away until the very end,
when it fully peaks again, the cars stopping,
drivers getting out, podium, interviews, etc.
I, conversely, now take the opportunity
to clear up breakfast, and start thinking
and preparing for lunch! After all, what
else is one to do on a lazy Sunday?
This pattern, with mild variations, has
repeated itself in my household for decades
and to me it gives you a glimpse into the
enormous difficulty one has in deciphering
how much technology is relevant in racing.
You’re perhaps now wondering if I’m
addicted to Irish coffee as a source of
writing inspiration, and maybe overdosed
on this occasion. So, let me expand…
If you look at my family – four of us,
ranging from 1 7 to north of 40 – I’d say
most of us are racing fans, but even among
this fairly homogenous cultural sample,
our reasons for liking racing and what
grabs our attention are incredibly varied.
Regardless of your
level of interest in
Formula 1, the start
of a grand prix is
exciting, right? But
does it matter if the
action is powered
by hybrid-turbos or
pushrod V8s? That’s
where the debate
on relevance begins.
get the gist). But now, thanks to my DVR and
F1 app, I sit there sipping my coffee not
waiting patiently for the start! This is 2014,
so I record the race at whatever ungodly
hour it’s on, then fast forward to the start.
This, of course, causes domestic ructions...
I’ve read the news ( Racer.com, obviously),
done my research and I’m fully up to speed,
so now I just want to see cars go around.
My wife, who’s also a racing fan (lucky
me), did none of this and wants to watch all
the buildup, in stark contrast to yours truly.
So, to maintain marital harmony, I go back
to my other passion, the stove, while she’s
immersed in the “sensational” stories.
Then, finally, the time has come!
My own feeding frenzy taken care of, I
ensure the lady is gastronomically served,