After a year of attempting to grow my interest in off road, I have finally come to the end of that journey. As humans, we have an incredible ability to synthesize our thoughts and feelings on a particular subject, even before it has occurred. Much of the way we shape the world around us is directly influenced by this premonition although it has it’s limitations. For instance, we are only able to synthesize what would possibly happen and how it would affect us for the first moment of the experience but nothing more. We cannot see what the future could hold or what other doors could be opened by any experience. My experience in off road has been very human.
Initially, I was never really interested in off road. It always felt like something that was cool to do but the real racing (now I’m a snob) lies with onroad. Upon trying it, I found that the attention to detail is just as important in off road as it is in onroad racing. The parts are still extremely small, often with much sloppier tolerances. I found that my attention to detail and engineering mind helped tremendously in preparing my 2wd buggy. Compared to many drivers, my car worked better, rolled smoother and more free, and didn’t have wires hanging all over the chassis like Spaghetti Junction. At a certain level in racing, one must prepare his cars carefully and alwaso make it aesthetically pleasing. Offroad has a much looser sense of this which I did not like. I work endless hours on my cars striving for the best possible result and sloppy work around me does not motivate me to work harder.
Much like most people’s attention to detail, the driving was often very sloppy. Don’t misunderstand me – there are incredibly fast and accurate off road drivers, both pros and amatures. A lot of the difficulty in treating off road as a serious racing spectacle is the wildly varying traction and track conditions coupled with racers who have little to no respect for the other drivers on the stand. Instead, many use the poor conditions as an excuse for poor driving and hacking. Again, I am not staying this activity goes for all off road racers, but the fact simply makes racing more difficult and less accurate. I have heard many complains by off road racers that the onroad crowd is too serious or intimidating.
If I am going to spends thousands of dollars and countless hours of preparation in order to win, why wouldn’t I want everyone around me to take it as seriously as I do?
We have a lot of fun and have a great camaraderie in the pits for an inroad race. I’m sure off road does as well. We just know when it’s time to play and when it’s time to win.