Hi all, Enzo here.
For the first time I have someone else writing a blog post for the R.D.C. website.
Every now and then I meet people at race weekends who read my posts and tell me that they would like to have their say, that they have advice that could help drivers.
I love it when I hear people tell me this because it shows that my mission has some purpose, that there are people out there who are in the sport for the right reasons - to win and to help drivers win.
Well Daniel Druce-Jones did just that, he asked me if he could write a post and then put this together. Thank you Daniel!
Daniel has been a race team mechanic in LMP2, FIA F3, Formula 2 and Formula Renault, he has worked with his fair share of drivers so he knows full well what a driver needs to do in order to become successful.
Daniel sees things from another angle from myself. Where as I focus on getting the best out of the driver, he focuses on giving the driver the best possible equipment.
Keep this all in mind when reading his post because I should think that every race mechanic out there will back up his words.
Anyway that's enough from me, over to you Daniel.....
Angels With Dirty Faces.
“Angel” - The use of the term has extended to refer to artistic depictions of the beings, and it is also used figuratively to refer to messengers and harbingers, and to people who possess high qualities of goodness, purity, selflessness, intelligence and/or beauty.
As you slide into your race seat, check your brake bias, grab the wheel and close your eyes, every single part of you is in “the zone”.
You start going through the circuit in your head visualising every inch, track position, brake points, brake shapes, throttle position and steering angles. All the preparation, hours of video and squiggly data lines lead to this point.
The next hour or so is yours!
Now is when it all counts!
As you ready yourself a dark shadow of a figure appears out of view collecting your shoulder straps, pulling up your crotch straps, clicking it all together and pulling down with a grunt, a swift finger twiddle and thumbs up means you’re ready……..ready to take on the world…but who put you there?
As a driver it’s easy to become selfish, it's your right to be and sometimes to be competitive you have to be!
You paid the money, you worked your ass off to get a drive, you’re the one sacrificing nights out with your friends to eat healthy and go to the gym but…..is it time to start thinking of others?
Who are “The angels with dirty faces”?
We are the ones that keep you safe, providing a halo around you when you drive; we are the ones that act selfless, running on nothing but desire.
Diet, pain, looks and fatigue are none existent in our world. We cut, burn and scald our hands, break our backs and scrub our knees, spend our whole lives perfecting our art to make other people’s lives better…….safer.
Beautiful women floating around playing harps, whilst sitting on your shoulder whispering into your ear...Not even close!
“A car can run without an engineer, it can’t without a mechanic.”
A quote that has always stuck in my mind when I see a driver telling everyone on twitter about his win, mentioning everyone but the people that made sure his wheels were on.
Do you know your mechanics?
Like….. really know them?
As a driver it is important to know your mechanics, to create a bond.
The more you talk, ask questions and show an interest into their lives the more respect you will gain and in turn have more respect for them.
The more respect you have the more willing a mechanic will be, they will do everything possible for you without ever complaining.
You could argue that it’s their job. You right! It is their job, but where in their contract does it say “burn hands changing anti-roll bar positions on the grid”…….it doesn’t, if it did then it’s their own fault for being stupid.
Ask yourself….When was the last time you asked your mechanic how there life was going? How their loved ones are? What time did they finish fixing the smashed up pile of twisted metal and carbon that you left in parc ferme?
As a driver it is important to respect the ones that make you safe.
Communicate with them; look after them as they look after you.
If you’re sitting eating your lunch while they are working through theirs, grab them a plate! Bring them coffee when it’s late, ice cream when it’s hot!
Keep this in your mind and you, not only as a person but as a driver, will gain nothing but respect.
“Look after your angels with dirty faces”