C Livengood – Blog 3

May 24, 2010

Somebody has a case of the spins, and it just so happens that I am that somebody.  Call it emotion, call it rookie mistakes, call it whatever you like.  The fact is; I need to stop making mistakes so that the Team and I can achieve the results we deserve. 

How I do I go about doing this?  I think it’s simple.  I start doing what I already know how to do.  That is, I do what the previous 15 years of driving have taught me.  This means turning a blind eye to those around me and a return to driving my own race as has always been my style.

 I think my “style” can be compared to that of a zombie - a postmodern era zombie.  The ones pre 1990’s are simply too slow.  You see, zombies seek tirelessly what are presumably delicious human brains and do so apparently without much focus on the outside world.  Much the same, I typically seek out and gain positions with a slightly less violent blood thirst and have traditionally done so with deadly efficiency (deadly = no driving errors).  For Mosport I hope to return to my zombie roots.

I have remained persistent in that the main goal, the team’s as well as mine, is to improve every weekend.  With four races under my belt how do I rate myself?  Tighten your submarine-straps while I take a look at some numbers.  I sleep on the ground beside my racecar, literally.  In my highly scientific and completely non-quantitative system (note the sarcasm) sleeping beside your racecar is worth at least two tenths.  I have developed the inconvenient ability to make mistakes that involve positioning my car in directions opposite of the traditional course of travel.  This can add more than a few seconds onto a race.  I have an incredible engineer in John Walko and his ability to not only tune the car but to also setup a weekend program is worth more than a few seconds (cue John’s end of the weekend tent folding excellence).  Finally, the Team’s oddball mentality must be considered.  This has to be good for 7 units of team pride and something along the lines of 4 tenths of a second towards better performance.  What’s the total tally?  Who knows?  Nevertheless, it is clear that we are a team that is developing our own personality and doing so while improving performance.

More seriously, the bottom line appears to be that we have indeed been achieving our goal.  I finished 9th and 21st in rounds one and two respectively at VIR and was able to improve those results to 15th and 7th at Road Atlanta.  At Road Atlanta we were consistently within the top ten in the practices sessions whereas we were only in the top 15 consistently at VIR.  Can we continue to improve?  I cannot come up with any reasons why not.  The car improved at Road Atlanta and will be improved further for Mosport.  I feel my driving has improved as well, however, I believe I have only achieved about 98% of what I’m capable of.  There are several areas of my driving that I aim to improve and have set firm goals for myself to achieve.  Within Plato’s allegory, we are just now encroaching the light at the entrance of the cave.

As for Mosport, having never been there, I have no choice but to trust what I have been told about it.  What I have heard ranges from “coolest track in North America” to “is more difficult than Road Atlanta” to “Canadian fans are the best.”  No matter the case, I am stoked to visit the facility.  As usual, I have watched some video, but that is really only good for gear position and corner orientation.  The real learning will happen on course.  

See you in Canada!

C Livengood

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