Hiring a Racing Coach

I remember hearing him say ” With my help you can win the championship” straight to my professional driver friend.   I stood there in shock not knowing how to react with this arrogance.  Here was some relatively famous name in the racing circuit insulting my friend who IS a talented driver….. or was he just someone so full of themselves that they think they are god’s gift to racing? You are in their own little dream world Bud…..

Right then as a driver coach I knew this person wouldn’t make it past the starting grid.  Maybe if he said ” I know some good tips to help you”  maybe I would of had some respect for the guy.

Now before you think I’m anti-coach let me stress I’m not.  In the competitive world of racing a little extra help can go a long way!  I just have some logical pointers to ANYONE that is considering paying a “Coach” for help.

Those who can’t race – teach!  Truer words have never been spoken!  But there is a difference – if they do not race because of lack of funding is one thing – but lack of talent is another. Be careful of the latter.

As the Knight said to Indiana Jones: “Choose wisely”.   Same goes for racing coaches.  Otherwise you might as well just throw your money – better yet – send it to me I can always use more shoes!

A coach should have SOME racing experience. If you need a coach in a professional series make sure he/she has raced at LEAST in that series or something comparable.

Has he/she driven the race car?  I met one hired hand at a professional event that has never stepped foot in the particular car that was being raced.  Not all sedans are created equal.   A Honda Accord acts differently around the track as a Ferrari 360 Challenge car, for example.  The latter has certain aerodynamic qualities that make it react differently to certain situations.  Unless you HAVE experience with that beast you may be in for a big ….unforgiving, surprise!

The coach better know the race track!  Not just through a handbook – the coach should have driven and raced the specific course. Not all race tracks are created equal. A veteran of that asphalt knows specific markers and tricks that may help a newbie. This is why I prefer local racers to coach at each event.   The track, local car clubs and any race school that uses the track may be able to help you find the right person that can give you some good race talk.

A racing coach should be cost effective.  You don’t have to buy the guy/girl a Porsche. It is ridiculous to what some people charge for what they think is valuable advice.  I remember asking a very “well paid” coach that was hired by the big brouhaha’s about a specific track.

I asked “What was most challenging”.  I was expecting a specific answer – ie “This corner is a negative camber and can trick you into blah blah blah….”  The answer I got was “commitment”.  I was dumbstruck.  Could you have given me a more “politician-style” answer? What the heck does that mean?  I rolled my eyes and thought best to let this yo-yo enjoy the free food as he saw this as his meal ticket – that was all he was there for.

Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions.  “What supports do you have in helping me?”.  It can be invaluable to have a coach that can read, interpret and communicate computer data.  Looking at your lap superimposed on a competitor can show where you can brake later or accelerate faster out of a corner – this kind of help is truly a gem!

Lastly – talk to your fellow competitors.  Ask them about their ideas…their thoughts and their challenges – you will be surprised how their information can be helpful.  Walk, watch and work the track……dedicate your self to listening to those that know – not those that call themselves “coach” for the sake of it.

Nika

If there are other areas you’d like to see us cover, or you’d like to provide your insight, ideas and share your experiences, we invite you to do so on our forum or by e-mailing us here at info@racerchicks.com

Nika

Nika

Nika has had a love for cars and racing since childhood. A regional racing license holder she has been involved with the industry, working with racers, teams, journalists and automobile manufacturers in sponsorship solicitation, logistics, hospitality, road show and communication program implementation.