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J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
10/18/23 10:47 a.m.

One of the last things my 100-year-old grandmother told me before she passed was that she didn’t understand why people did motorsports. But she quickly added, “It fits you.” What’s that supposed to mean, Grandma?

I’ve thought about this off and on over the years. It came up again as I drove through the middle of the night from middle-of-nowhere …

Read the rest of the story

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/18/23 10:53 a.m.

I was surprised at how calming my first track day was. It was like I was able to channel all my anger and frustration into turning the fastest lap possible.

The drive home was probably the most relaxed I've been behind the wheel in a long time.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
10/18/23 10:54 a.m.

It's marginally healthier than crystal meth? 

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/18/23 10:57 a.m.

Been playing racing video games since I was 9 years old and I've been in a car enthusiast (not racing) family so it sort of just happened later on in life (started at 26 years old). I love learning how to masterfully drive the machine that you own. It's a continuous journey of self improvement and the people you meet are interesting and from all walks of life.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/18/23 11:41 a.m.

It helps me to funnel my competitive fire, my love of cars, and lately teaching a younger group of enthusiasts into a zen moment of fun. There is nothing like hurling down the straight, nailing the braking point, and rolling through the apex to give you a great feeling of accomplishment. 

That and I just find a lot of the people I meet have the same interests, awesome stories, and fun tales to tell so the off track beer after the day is done is just as fun. 

msterbee
msterbee Reader
10/18/23 12:45 p.m.

Because photography is not nearly expensive enough as a hobby.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
10/18/23 1:22 p.m.

Because when I was five I declared I wished to be a racing driver.

Because when I was nine I saw the movie On Any Sunday and immediately identified with it.

Because I am the ADD poster child and we ADD poster kids are the Jack Russell Terriers of people.............if you don't give us an outlet we find something and it won't be good.

Because racing literally saved my life; it's a positive outlet. As a young man I had some not so positive outlets.

Because it earned my father's respect; he saw that racing motivated me in life and gave me direction.

Because much like my grandmother I love interaction with groups of people and the social aspect is huge in Motorsports.

Because racers are good people.

 

sfisher71
sfisher71 New Reader
10/18/23 1:31 p.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

I've always loved this line from Peter Egan:

"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague craving for something salty."

sfisher71
sfisher71 New Reader
10/18/23 1:49 p.m.

When I was eight years old, I read "With Moss In The Mille Miglia," Denis Jenkinson's account of winning the 1955 Italian classic in a 300SLR. 

I put the book down on my chest and declared that the only things in the world worth being were either a writer or a race car driver.

As I often say, if I could go back to 1964 and tell that younger version of myself one thing, it would be to add "wealthy" to those occupations. Ah well.

I did have the opportunity to drive a 300SL roadster eventually (the roadgoing version, not the straight-eight desmodromic-valved engine used in Moss and Jenks' victory) along Seventeen Mile Drive for Monterey Car Week in 2021, courtesy the Mercedes Classic Division. I was one of a number of people invited to drive five classic SLs, and my story appeared in the next issue of "The Star," along with a  feature on the best in show at Pebble that year, a 1938 540K Autobahn Kurier. 

Probably the best day I've ever had at work.

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP Dork
10/18/23 3:34 p.m.

I enjoy visualizing how things could go together, and having near zero artistic skill, putting parts together and getting the finished product is very rewarding. 

The researching to figure out IF something could work is also fun. 

husky450cr
husky450cr GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/18/23 3:55 p.m.

The sights, the sounds, the smells and of course, the people.  :)

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
10/18/23 4:12 p.m.

Because my dad did.  Simple as that.  Motocross, Trials, Autocross, Circle Track (dirt and asphalt) and Road racing, he was pretty good at all of it.  The only thing he didn't try was Motorcycle on asphalt or flat-track.

CoupArrr
CoupArrr New Reader
10/18/23 4:26 p.m.

"To drive very fast - right at the limit - is to hold the beating heart of the future in your hands."

B.S.Levy, Toly's Ghost

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD New Reader
10/18/23 5:48 p.m.

Friends.  The best thing about autox is once a month or so I get to go do race car things with my race car friends.  I love pushing myself to do better every time and learning from the fast guys but nothing beats rolling thru the lot when you get there looking to see who's there.  You get to catch up on what everyone has been doing to their cars, what lines they are running, and talk a lil E36 M3. 

PlutoE210
PlutoE210 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/18/23 10:11 p.m.

I got into it because of my grandma, and stayed for the family formed by my local region :)

Its truly a family away from home, very rare for me to have a negative experience while racing. Any small damages are cured by laughs later on. I don't know where i'd be in life without motorsports.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/19/23 6:43 a.m.

It's meditation. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
10/19/23 11:08 a.m.
CoupArrr said:

"To drive very fast - right at the limit - is to hold the beating heart of the future in your hands."

B.S.Levy, Toly's Ghost

So I am not sure about the context of the line but it brings up an interesting point about racing.

I'm not in the racing is living life on the edge, cheating death blah blah blah and all that stuff. I reflexively recoil from the whole macho aspect of it...................but

On the flip side I like the "take your time in a hurry" nature of driving fast. The aspect of brain working past the basic instinct to slow down is fascinating to me. I find a great calm in this.

 

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
10/19/23 11:27 a.m.

It challenges me, makes me stay in shape and work the gray matter AND still cheaper than a girlfriend.

gumby
gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/19/23 11:32 a.m.

For the money, duh!

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/19/23 11:40 a.m.

I motorsport because I found out that Rallycross was a thing.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
10/19/23 1:19 p.m.
914Driver said:

It challenges me, makes me stay in shape and work the gray matter AND still cheaper than a girlfriend.

When my wife's friends ask about the money I spend racing she tells them exactly that.

USGUYS
USGUYS New Reader
11/19/23 9:44 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

My wife refers to my race car or track car as "Her".

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/20/23 10:39 a.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

I motorsport because I found out that Rallycross was a thing.

So far that's the closest to my rationale. I've always liked driving fast which lead to drag racing, autocross, road courses, TSD rally, and finally rallycross, in that order. 
In hindsight I was refining my passion down to what I really enjoy: driving sideways. 
The ultimate evolution would be drifting but I don't have the money for high traction sideways driving; dirt is my final destination. 
 

So I guess the question is: why do I like driving sideways?

Something to do with controlling a car at the very limit?? I LOVE it. 

wspohn
wspohn UltraDork
11/20/23 11:01 a.m.

I found road racing a very interesting journey/challenge.

I started out as many/most do, with jerky control at the adhesion limits. Many drivers never get past that point.  It is a demonstrative way of driving, doing broad slides and such, but it isn't the fastest way around a track.  If you are one of the drivers that 'gets it' you smooth out your car handling and usually look as if you are going more slowly while in fact getting faster.

I kept lap times for every lap I turned and was able to chart my progress over about two seasons (c. 10 races a year or so), after which the learning curve flattened out   Then I changed race cars and did it again but of course with a much shorter learning curve.  I no longer compete - as you age your peripheral vision and reaction times dictate  that you will lose the edge and you either go more slowly or retire to just enjoy street driving, as I did.

Some of us that 'got it' tried to discuss this with those that didn't (many of which never would figure it out) but most of them just kept on sliding around and wearing out tires, wondering why the quiet guys that looked like they were going more slowly were posting faster times than they did.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
11/20/23 11:46 a.m.
wspohn said:

Some of us that 'got it' tried to discuss this with those that didn't (many of which never would figure it out) but most of them just kept on sliding around and wearing out tires, wondering why the quiet guys that looked like they were going more slowly were posting faster times than they did.

Or take up vintage racing and or drive a Formula 600.

A friend calls my driving style in the Datsun 1200 slippery smooth; whenever I rethink my 4 wheel drifty loose is fast style, I watch Goodwood and the worlds top professionals drive the cars in the same style so I stick with it.

Old cars on skinny bias ply tires dance around; they are fast that way.

F600 is peculiar in that you can chuck the cars around and still be very fast; they are pretty much lay down TQ midgets. Interestingly the Indy RunOffs was a battle between traditional tidy driver and a driver who hurled his car around like a rally car.....they were turning identical lap times.

Note I didn't drive my modern sports race in this manner but some cars lend themselves to being chucked about.

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