Blog: Rookie Chris Livengood
My family has been involved in motorsport as long as I can remember. In fact, my parents like to tell the story, and embarrassingly show the pictures, of how they bathed me in the sink of a tent camper as a baby while we attended sports car events. My father however, has been most instrumental in my adoption of the racing way of life. His involvement in motorsports goes back to the 60’s and 70’s where his enthusiasm for the sport found incarnation within British sports cars of the era. Eventually, this saw my father hustling a Mini around tracks in upstate New York and Ontario, Canada. Soon enough however he moved on to D Sport Racing. His homebuilt D Sports Racer still layered with hand cut vinyl numbers and riddled with thousands of pop rivets that must have been installed with something akin to death grip determination still resides for ogling on our garage wall today.
It was these events and materials that filled my childhood head with gear shift dreams, screaming engines, wheel to wheel exhilaration, and eventually a passion for motorsport. Previous to this season I have spent the majority of my life competing on four wheels. At the age of 8 I began karting. Karting, a sect of motorsport that I proclaim to be the most important aspect of my driving career remains a huge influence on me. This is true not only within motorsports but also remains true as one of the most influential forces on life in its entirety (the twenty-percent that isn’t filled with working on or dreaming about motorsport). However, my driving career has changed focus as of late, now I find myself eyeballs deep in the world that car racing. This transition is one that has felt natural and in many ways done with ease.
At times I wonder just how different my life would be if I had never stepped into a kart, had I never made eyes at the lines of Dave Weitzenhof’s Citation as he drove to RunOffs victory, if I never embraced the scorching sound of the high boost era Champ Cars, or if I never had buckled myself into my fathers all aluminum sports racer. Perhaps if these things had never happened I would instead be spending copious amounts of energy on the science of chess or perhaps the delicacies of the culinary arts? The truth is that I don’t care. Every time I am at the track I feel at home, I feel as though things are the way they are supposed to be.
So now my dreams and more importantly my ambitions have come to fruition. Work Racing has provided me with a fully prepped Van Diemen. The car and I, despite a few hiccups, have even completed the Texas Two Step Double National at Texas World Speedway and we are looking forward to another outing before the F2000 Championship Series begins.
For 2010 Work Racing has conscripted a budget, a plan, and a set of goals. The last of which is the most important to me at this point. As the driver, I am in the position of being ever conscience of these goals, the direction and focus of the team at any given time, and how to best steer the group of people around me towards achieving our goals. Luckily, I have great people around me. Bruce, the owner and entrant for the team is always willing to discus things face to face and keeps an open mind towards all of our goals. Additionally, I am lucky enough to have my father as my lead mechanic. His many years of knowledge and general tenacity with regards to mechanics gives me confidence every time I hit the track. Finally, I have the well-known racing engineer and all around guru John Walko to lean on at every turn of the corner. John has been courteous enough to advise me during every level of my rather adventurous career for the last few years. This includes John’s inclusion of me in the race weekend activities of his own team (John Walko Racing) where I was a crewmember with many responsibilities including data acquisition and video data acquisition. People who achieve great things surround themselves with great people. I believe I have already managed the great people part of the equation.
With all of these people around me, I feel confident that my 2010 season will present an excellent opportunity to learn. Ultimately, this situation aligns exactly with my goals. Learning is something I attempt to do on a daily basis. This is true whether it pertains to my simultaneous march towards a master’s degree or my life long pursuit of motorsport. In my mind, accolades are only the products of reaching a goal.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the people that have helped get the foundations of my 2010 assault built. These people include those that I have previously mentioned as well as Linda at www.ApexPerformance.net, Dan at www.Turn1ProSports.com, and all of my friends, family, and supporters.