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(Jalopnik)   Do you have to be physically fit to drive a race car?   (jalopnik.com) divider line 55
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1671 clicks; posted to Sports » on 29 Dec 2012 at 11:50 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-29 08:30:53 AM
No; but if you want to win, it helps.
 
2012-12-29 10:30:28 AM
It helps though. I've gone 3hrs when in shape and felt ok getting out of the car when in decent shape, and times I've done 2hrs and felt like shiat and could barely peel myself out of the car
 
2012-12-29 10:34:48 AM

St_Francis_P: No; but if you want to win, it helps.


It takes a lot of arm strength to turn left 2000 times
 
2012-12-29 10:36:32 AM
Danica Patrick fans say yes.
 
2012-12-29 10:56:44 AM

Dead for Tax Reasons: It helps though. I've gone 3hrs when in shape and felt ok getting out of the car when in decent shape, and times I've done 2hrs and felt like shiat and could barely peel myself out of the car


You raise an issue that the author ignored. Endurance racing. Yes, a 2 hour stint in a 911 won't hurt you too much, a 36 hour run with only a 6 man team in a 944 might. I'm a little afraid of July, already training...
 
2012-12-29 11:04:55 AM
Not if all you want to do is drive slow on the driveway.
 
2012-12-29 11:08:20 AM

rohar: Dead for Tax Reasons: It helps though. I've gone 3hrs when in shape and felt ok getting out of the car when in decent shape, and times I've done 2hrs and felt like shiat and could barely peel myself out of the car

You raise an issue that the author ignored. Endurance racing. Yes, a 2 hour stint in a 911 won't hurt you too much, a 36 hour run with only a 6 man team in a 944 might. I'm a little afraid of July, already training...


Yeah, the weather and track complexity are huge factors

Also pros are only drivers. My team and most of those I race against at the other end of the money spetrum the drivers are also the pit crew, mechanics, and gofers so you get out of the car relax for 20 mins and then have to worry about making the team run and stay on track
 
2012-12-29 11:16:22 AM

Dead for Tax Reasons: rohar: Dead for Tax Reasons: It helps though. I've gone 3hrs when in shape and felt ok getting out of the car when in decent shape, and times I've done 2hrs and felt like shiat and could barely peel myself out of the car

You raise an issue that the author ignored. Endurance racing. Yes, a 2 hour stint in a 911 won't hurt you too much, a 36 hour run with only a 6 man team in a 944 might. I'm a little afraid of July, already training...

Yeah, the weather and track complexity are huge factors

Also pros are only drivers. My team and most of those I race against at the other end of the money spetrum the drivers are also the pit crew, mechanics, and gofers so you get out of the car relax for 20 mins and then have to worry about making the team run and stay on track


Generally we do much the same. For the 36 hour run in Spokane, we're bringing in full time crew. The race is a big enough deal that decent mechanics just want to be part of it so they're willing to forgo pay. I want the drivers giving it their all then rest between stints. 6 hours of competition driving in 36 hours will grind a guy down.
 
2012-12-29 11:28:30 AM
Formula 1? Absolutely.
 
2012-12-29 11:58:17 AM
How hard can it be?
 
2012-12-29 12:02:52 PM
I thought a person's weight would make enough of a difference to be more than insignificant kinda like jockeys in horse racing.

All other things equal, a 150 pound person versus 180 pound person would seem like th heavier person would be at a disadvantage. One reason because of more weight for the car to push affecting acceleration and speed but also because of fuel consumption. It would seem like you'd run out of gas sooner.

Am I overstating the effect of weight?
 
2012-12-29 12:03:47 PM
Having a weak, tired hand might spill your drink.
 
2012-12-29 12:13:31 PM

king of vegas: I thought a person's weight would make enough of a difference to be more than insignificant kinda like jockeys in horse racing.

All other things equal, a 150 pound person versus 180 pound person would seem like th heavier person would be at a disadvantage. One reason because of more weight for the car to push affecting acceleration and speed but also because of fuel consumption. It would seem like you'd run out of gas sooner.

Am I overstating the effect of weight?


A weight ballast is added when the driver is under a certain weight in all the major series.
 
2012-12-29 12:15:48 PM
If you're fat, it will be more difficult to pull your smoldering flesh torso out of the burning race car. Best off just letting that thing cook down to a smaller size.
 
2012-12-29 12:18:01 PM
rohar:
Generally we do much the same. For the 36 hour run in Spokane, we're bringing in full time crew. The race is a big enough deal that decent mechanics just want to be part of it so they're willing to forgo pay. I want the drivers giving it their all then rest between stints. 6 hours of competition driving in 36 hours will grind a guy down.


now that i see what race you are doing, all i can say is i'm glad it's not on the east coast because i know i'd be in it.  and from the 24hr races i've done, there's one thing i can't ever seem to do is catch any sleep.  36hrs might actually get me to find some nap time

good luck
 
2012-12-29 12:26:20 PM
do race cars have power steering?
 
2012-12-29 12:28:46 PM
Wow, what a douche. "No, unless you race Indy cars, like me. Tony Stewart is fat and NASCAR sucks."
 
2012-12-29 12:28:48 PM
Needs a thorough inspection:

i291.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-29 12:40:51 PM

Dead for Tax Reasons: rohar:
Generally we do much the same. For the 36 hour run in Spokane, we're bringing in full time crew. The race is a big enough deal that decent mechanics just want to be part of it so they're willing to forgo pay. I want the drivers giving it their all then rest between stints. 6 hours of competition driving in 36 hours will grind a guy down.


now that i see what race you are doing, all i can say is i'm glad it's not on the east coast because i know i'd be in it.  and from the 24hr races i've done, there's one thing i can't ever seem to do is catch any sleep.  36hrs might actually get me to find some nap time

good luck


You two have me curious, what and where do you race?
I'm a track worker for Laguna Seca.
 
2012-12-29 12:42:44 PM
I would expect physical endurance definitely would play a part in the activity. It's hard to stay alert and aware enough to react like this several times over a 2-3 hours span.
 
2012-12-29 12:42:50 PM

foo monkey: Wow, what a douche. "No, unless you race Indy cars, like me. Tony Stewart is fat and NASCAR sucks."


What is this writers frame of reference? Sounds like its racing go karts around his local andretti speedlab type place, nascar drivers may not be the most physically fit but you can bet your ass they have some of the strongest people on the race course, try going into a banked turn and tell me its easy to control a car. They dont just stick to the track, they fight you, pushing you up then pulling you down the track when you try to correct, and if these drivers werent in good shape wouldnt it mean that all the nascar drivers would not be able to drive their cars on the road course they run? Writer is a farktard.

/not a huge nascar fan
//the writer is full of shiat though
 
2012-12-29 12:47:16 PM
Oh just saw hes a fairly new guy on indycar, still doesnt make him any less full of shiat when it comes to nascar, driving an indy car and a stock car is a completely different experience on an oval track.
 
2012-12-29 12:48:11 PM

steamingpile: What is this writers frame of reference?


2007 Indy Lights champion (think old-school Busch Grand National Series, but for IndyCar), IndyCar driver (career best: 4th, Indy 2010).
 
2012-12-29 12:50:15 PM

thisiszombocom: do race cars have power steering?


Depends on sanction. Most don't. F1 and LMP do for sure, but at those speeds/Gs it doesn't matter much.
 
2012-12-29 12:52:54 PM

Thanks for the Meme-ries: Needs a thorough inspection:

[i291.photobucket.com image 500x670]


It's a MAN baybe!

www.914world.com
 
2012-12-29 12:54:17 PM

crotchgrabber: Dead for Tax Reasons: rohar:
Generally we do much the same. For the 36 hour run in Spokane, we're bringing in full time crew. The race is a big enough deal that decent mechanics just want to be part of it so they're willing to forgo pay. I want the drivers giving it their all then rest between stints. 6 hours of competition driving in 36 hours will grind a guy down.


now that i see what race you are doing, all i can say is i'm glad it's not on the east coast because i know i'd be in it.  and from the 24hr races i've done, there's one thing i can't ever seem to do is catch any sleep.  36hrs might actually get me to find some nap time

good luck

You two have me curious, what and where do you race?
I'm a track worker for Laguna Seca.


he's talking about the http://www.chumpcar.com/ race july in spokane, i've done a bunch of chump and http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/ races on the east coast.

chump is at laguna for new years, so you might know it
 
2012-12-29 01:02:56 PM

Dead for Tax Reasons: crotchgrabber: Dead for Tax Reasons: rohar:
Generally we do much the same. For the 36 hour run in Spokane, we're bringing in full time crew. The race is a big enough deal that decent mechanics just want to be part of it so they're willing to forgo pay. I want the drivers giving it their all then rest between stints. 6 hours of competition driving in 36 hours will grind a guy down.


now that i see what race you are doing, all i can say is i'm glad it's not on the east coast because i know i'd be in it.  and from the 24hr races i've done, there's one thing i can't ever seem to do is catch any sleep.  36hrs might actually get me to find some nap time

good luck

You two have me curious, what and where do you race?
I'm a track worker for Laguna Seca.

he's talking about the http://www.chumpcar.com/ race july in spokane, i've done a bunch of chump and http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/ races on the east coast.

chump is at laguna for new years, so you might know it


Thanks man. I generally only work the SCRAMP events (sports car racing association of the monterey peninsula) and the chump car thing is treated more like a track day for us. I didn't even know about it. I may go check it out.
2013 season is going to be sweet for us.
 
2012-12-29 01:09:16 PM

the biggest redneck here: king of vegas: I thought a person's weight would make enough of a difference to be more than insignificant kinda like jockeys in horse racing.

All other things equal, a 150 pound person versus 180 pound person would seem like th heavier person would be at a disadvantage. One reason because of more weight for the car to push affecting acceleration and speed but also because of fuel consumption. It would seem like you'd run out of gas sooner.

Am I overstating the effect of weight?

A weight ballast is added when the driver is under a certain weight in all the major series.


Not in Formula One, they don't.

There is a weight requirement of 1408 pounds (that's 640 kilos in Roman Catholic) for the car, the driver in full racing gear, the tyres and the fuel in the gas tank; the weight is measured at the end of the race, but I don't know if the weight of the fuel is measured before or after the FIA takes a one-liter sample for chemical testing. Mid-race refueling is not allowed, so each car starts as close to a full tank as the team thinks is practical.

Ballast is only added to a car if it doesn't have a KERS system, and it weighs exactly the same as a KERS system. This way the teams do not have the option of sacrificing what is essentially a free mushroom (Mario Kart) every lap in exchange for making the car weigh a bit less.
 
2012-12-29 01:14:15 PM
My neighbor recently won the feared Baja 1000 in his class and I asked him that question being a more "traditional" athlete and all. He says endurance physically might help, but it's mostly mental with risk-management being the most crucial skill. Knowing when to attack, how fast to go, and when it is worth risking one's life passing through the dust clouds and stuff.

I know a few Off-Road racers that swear that they weight train because their sport is so physically demanding and they compare themselves to other top athletes which I find hilarious. I have no doubt in my mind that it is hard, but the physical fitness aspect of it is quite overblown.
 
2012-12-29 01:39:21 PM

King Something: the biggest redneck here: king of vegas: I thought a person's weight would make enough of a difference to be more than insignificant kinda like jockeys in horse racing.

All other things equal, a 150 pound person versus 180 pound person would seem like th heavier person would be at a disadvantage. One reason because of more weight for the car to push affecting acceleration and speed but also because of fuel consumption. It would seem like you'd run out of gas sooner.

Am I overstating the effect of weight?

A weight ballast is added when the driver is under a certain weight in all the major series.

Not in Formula One, they don't.

There is a weight requirement of 1408 pounds (that's 640 kilos in Roman Catholic) for the car, the driver in full racing gear, the tyres and the fuel in the gas tank; the weight is measured at the end of the race, but I don't know if the weight of the fuel is measured before or after the FIA takes a one-liter sample for chemical testing. Mid-race refueling is not allowed, so each car starts as close to a full tank as the team thinks is practical.

Ballast is only added to a car if it doesn't have a KERS system, and it weighs exactly the same as a KERS system. This way the teams do not have the option of sacrificing what is essentially a free mushroom (Mario Kart) every lap in exchange for making the car weigh a bit less.


Mid-race refueling isn't allowed in F1?
 
2012-12-29 01:43:00 PM

JorgiX: My neighbor recently won the feared Baja 1000 in his class and I asked him that question being a more "traditional" athlete and all. He says endurance physically might help, but it's mostly mental with risk-management being the most crucial skill. Knowing when to attack, how fast to go, and when it is worth risking one's life passing through the dust clouds and stuff.

I know a few Off-Road racers that swear that they weight train because their sport is so physically demanding and they compare themselves to other top athletes which I find hilarious. I have no doubt in my mind that it is hard, but the physical fitness aspect of it is quite overblown.


I'm guessing it'd depend a lot on the chassis, but I've never been through it. In testing, this one will jiggle your spine a bit:

i910.photobucket.com

We're targeting the 2014 Baja, but there's a whole power train swap between here and there.
 
2012-12-29 01:44:59 PM
OK, here's the real question:   Are the pit crews required to be in better shape than their driver(s)?  If so, that pretty much settles the question for me.
 
2012-12-29 01:46:59 PM
As usual, Alan Lloyd nails it. He's quick, he's smart, he's wonderfully sarcastic. Somebody get this guy a ride.
 
2012-12-29 01:51:25 PM
I like watching non-fit people in sports cars. It's entertaining.
 
2012-12-29 02:00:45 PM
Using chunky tony stewart is a bad example, article writer. Most of the guys look to be in great shape. Mark Martin is 51 years old and is a health/gym nut. The guy is ripped. It is probably why he can still race at his age.
 
2012-12-29 02:11:01 PM

crotchgrabber: Dead for Tax Reasons: crotchgrabber: Dead for Tax Reasons: rohar:
Generally we do much the same. For the 36 hour run in Spokane, we're bringing in full time crew. The race is a big enough deal that decent mechanics just want to be part of it so they're willing to forgo pay. I want the drivers giving it their all then rest between stints. 6 hours of competition driving in 36 hours will grind a guy down.


now that i see what race you are doing, all i can say is i'm glad it's not on the east coast because i know i'd be in it.  and from the 24hr races i've done, there's one thing i can't ever seem to do is catch any sleep.  36hrs might actually get me to find some nap time

good luck

You two have me curious, what and where do you race?
I'm a track worker for Laguna Seca.

he's talking about the http://www.chumpcar.com/ race july in spokane, i've done a bunch of chump and http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/ races on the east coast.

chump is at laguna for new years, so you might know it

Thanks man. I generally only work the SCRAMP events (sports car racing association of the monterey peninsula) and the chump car thing is treated more like a track day for us. I didn't even know about it. I may go check it out.
2013 season is going to be sweet for us.


I know the guys that manage the west coast chump races. They're all a bunch of great guys. I'd highly suggest volunteering as staff. You get full access to the track, get to experience the stupidity that is chump and gain a whole new respect for professional racing (this ain't it, you'll see things you'll never see anywhere else) and you don't have to pay to be a spectator.
 
2012-12-29 02:11:20 PM

king of vegas: Am I overstating the effect of weight?


The weight issue is actually an interesting topic. In some series the cars are well under the minimum weight when built and with the engine and tires installed. To get them to wear they make the minimum weight they use ballast, placed where it can help the balance of the car. However in some series this isn't allowed. Also how the minimum weight of the car is measured varies, in some series it's car plus driver and fuel, in some it's something else. In F1 it's the car plus driver and whatever fuel is left at the end of a race.

foo monkey: Mid-race refueling isn't allowed in F1?


It wasn't, then it was, now it isn't again. That may change again in the future.
 
2012-12-29 02:12:59 PM

foo monkey: Mid-race refueling isn't allowed in F1?


Nope. It was banned a few years ago when someone pulled out of the pit box before they took the fuel line out of the car. Caused a pretty big fire.

It will be reintroduced as soon as Ferrari loses a race because they couldn't refuel in the middle of the race.
 
2012-12-29 02:15:39 PM

rohar: Depends on sanction. Most don't. F1 and LMP do for sure, but at those speeds/Gs it doesn't matter much.


Also the steering effort is effected by the speed and how much down force is being generated. You have half a ton of down force on the front end, that's gonna make the steering a bit harder.
 
2012-12-29 02:16:38 PM

King Something: It will be reintroduced as soon as Ferrari loses a race because they couldn't refuel in the middle of the race.


Or as soon as one of Ferrari's engineers decides the best way to make the car faster is a smaller fuel tank so they can change the shape of the car behind the driver.
 
2012-12-29 02:17:54 PM
Where are the Ashley Force pics and citations?
 
2012-12-29 02:23:08 PM

King Something: foo monkey: Mid-race refueling isn't allowed in F1?

Nope. It was banned a few years ago when someone pulled out of the pit box before they took the fuel line out of the car. Caused a pretty big fire.

It will be reintroduced as soon as Ferrari loses a race because they couldn't refuel in the middle of the race.


That is false. Refueling was banned as a cost-savings measure, eliminating the need for fuel rigs in pitlane.

For safety's sake, it's pretty easy to prevent the car from going into gear until the fuel probe is clear from the buckeye if they wanted to. IndyCar has employed that method for quite a while.
 
2012-12-29 02:28:18 PM

foo monkey: King Something: the biggest redneck here: king of vegas: I thought a person's weight would make enough of a difference to be more than insignificant kinda like jockeys in horse racing.

All other things equal, a 150 pound person versus 180 pound person would seem like th heavier person would be at a disadvantage. One reason because of more weight for the car to push affecting acceleration and speed but also because of fuel consumption. It would seem like you'd run out of gas sooner.

Am I overstating the effect of weight?

A weight ballast is added when the driver is under a certain weight in all the major series.

Not in Formula One, they don't.

There is a weight requirement of 1408 pounds (that's 640 kilos in Roman Catholic) for the car, the driver in full racing gear, the tyres and the fuel in the gas tank; the weight is measured at the end of the race, but I don't know if the weight of the fuel is measured before or after the FIA takes a one-liter sample for chemical testing. Mid-race refueling is not allowed, so each car starts as close to a full tank as the team thinks is practical.

Ballast is only added to a car if it doesn't have a KERS system, and it weighs exactly the same as a KERS system. This way the teams do not have the option of sacrificing what is essentially a free mushroom (Mario Kart) every lap in exchange for making the car weigh a bit less.

Mid-race refueling isn't allowed in F1?


They canned it a few seasons back. Pit stops are only for tyre changes now.
 
2012-12-29 03:08:53 PM

Ed_Severson: cost-savings measure


Ah F1's favorite BS excuse.
 
2012-12-29 03:31:19 PM
Of course they do. I'm good enough at go-karts to turn top-5-of-the-month laps at my local joint, and I can feel that for two days after. And that's go-karts.
 
2012-12-29 04:25:47 PM

thisiszombocom: do race cars have power steering?


NASCAR doesn't. Or they didn't, anyway. I don't know if that's part of this past season's changes or not.

And he really brought up former IRL champion Tony Stewart as an example of someone too fat to drive Indy cars?
 
2012-12-29 04:35:24 PM

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: thisiszombocom: do race cars have power steering?

NASCAR doesn't. Or they didn't, anyway. I don't know if that's part of this past season's changes or not.


NASCAR does have power steering.  Yahoo Answers (I know, not always reliable- but this time I believe them) mentions Elliot Sadler:

Yes they do. Matter of fact, Elliot Sadler was on his way to what should have been his first victory in Cup racing in the June race at Dover back in 2005, when his power steering went out causing him to get only a top 10 finish.
 
2012-12-29 04:36:28 PM

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: thisiszombocom: do race cars have power steering?

NASCAR doesn't. Or they didn't, anyway. I don't know if that's part of this past season's changes or not.


NASCAR has had power steering for years. Geoff Bodine took credit for that in a magazine interview in maybe '96 or '97. To paraphrase: "I brought closed-face helmets to NASCAR and they didn't want that. I brought in power steering, and they almost outlawed that. Good thing the other drivers liked it."

As was said before the current fitness craze struck, that was largely why the drivers of the '60s and '70s were big stocky guys, where today you can have a smaller driver like Jeff Gordon or Mark Martin (who's pretty short, though the guy is also jacked). They don't have to manhandle the car the same way they had to back before power steering was introduced.
 
2012-12-29 04:39:36 PM

downstairs: Matter of fact, Elliot Sadler was on his way to what should have been his first victory in Cup racing in the June race at Dover back in 2005, when his power steering went out causing him to get only a top 10 finish.


To correct the Yahoo! answer, all three of Sadler's Cup victories came before 2005 - one in 2001 and two in '04.

The better example would be the '03 Darlington race where Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch battled fender-to-fender for the win. Busch might have cruised to a win if he hadn't lost power steering on his car; that enabled Craven to contend for the victory (and eventually edge Busch at the line).
 
2012-12-29 04:41:43 PM

rohar: JorgiX: My neighbor recently won the feared Baja 1000 in his class and I asked him that question being a more "traditional" athlete and all. He says endurance physically might help, but it's mostly mental with risk-management being the most crucial skill. Knowing when to attack, how fast to go, and when it is worth risking one's life passing through the dust clouds and stuff.

I know a few Off-Road racers that swear that they weight train because their sport is so physically demanding and they compare themselves to other top athletes which I find hilarious. I have no doubt in my mind that it is hard, but the physical fitness aspect of it is quite overblown.

I'm guessing it'd depend a lot on the chassis, but I've never been through it. In testing, this one will jiggle your spine a bit:

[i910.photobucket.com image 850x478]

We're targeting the 2014 Baja, but there's a whole power train swap between here and there.


Another very interesting point he brought up, and I had sincerely never thought of it, it is much harder to get a car like that to the finish than a Class 1 Trophy Truck. And it makes sense, the trophy truck will have all the possible power and things to allow it to make it through, while a car like that will require a lot more skill and careful planning. Kind of funny since he runs for the Speed Energy Team, owned by Robby Gordon who has a reputation for driving overly aggressive.
 
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