I drove a Ferrari on a race track recently and I'm still grinning ear-to-ear. And I now have the secret to running faster. Seriously!
Nothing prepares you for strapping into the drivers seat of a 480 hp, $200,000+ Ferrari 430. Before getting in you stare at the V8 Engine on display through the back glass. Yep...the engine is on full and resplendent display 'under glass'. And a beast it is with the two Ferrari Red valve covers on display.
Once inside the car, the fit is...perfect. The only adjustment is the seat adjustment: forward and back to get the right position for your hands on the wheel at 9 and 3...the only position you will need. This is the most comfortable car I've ever been in!
Press start! The Big Red Button on the Steering Wheel. The engine jumps to life with a lovely rumbling sound. You will not need to turn the radio on! Set vehicle dynamic selector to Sport or Race. These positions speed up the gear changes, tighten up the suspension to basically Go Kart...basically kidney rattling. But the track is as smooth as a billiard table. It really is the best place to drive a car like a Ferrari. Watch out for the curbs...those are seriously bone rattling!
Pull back on the right paddle to select 1st gear then roll onto the gas as you release the brakes. Then you're off and running...
So what does this have to do with running? Focus. Driving a fast car designed to go really, really fast requires 100% concentration. It doesn't mean you have tunnel vision...quite the contrary, you focus on where you want the car to go but periphal vision keeps you alert to things going on around you.
By focus, what I mean is the total focus on the task at hand...getting down the straight as fast as possible, negotiating the corners as smoothly as possible all while working to keep all four wheels on the track.
That's what racing of any type is all about isn't it. The anticipation before a long race is great. Then once the race starts and you settle in the mind has a tendancy to wonder. You loose focus on the task at hand: running as fast and as smoothly as you can adjusting all the time to the conditions around you.
So 3 hot laps in a fast car is what it took to turn me into a faster runner. I always knew one day I'd link my love of Ferraris with my love of racing.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank my three sons for allowing me the opportunity to drive this Ferrari 430 on a race track. They know I love cars...especially Ferrari's. Years and years ago while on a trip to Australia of all places, while walking through a Model car store, they bought me a Ferrari Formula One car...with their own money! I still have that car! Last Christmas their present was a voucer for 3 laps around a race track in a Ferrari 430. Thanks Court, Andrew, Holden.
And if you want a blast from the past, here is the post I wrote way back in 2008 about my first time sitting inside a Ferrari: I have died and gone to heaven.
Until next time...