Toronto: Josh Hunt preview

To be a successful race car driver at the elite level your fitness is required to be at the highest level possible. Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt knew that if he is going to make the next step in his motorsport career his fitness level would be...

To be a successful race car driver at the elite level your fitness is required to be at the highest level possible.

Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt knew that if he is going to make the next step in his motorsport career his fitness level would be one of the most important factors.

Ten years ago when Hunt began his karting career fellow Gold Coaster Luke Van Doorn, who is a dual Australian and multiple Queensland karting champion, was there to guide him along the way.

"Luke was the one who taught me how to drive a go-kart, he would always take me aside and pass his racing experience on to me," said Hunt.

"When I came home last Christmas Luke's influence on my career went to a new level."

The new level Hunt refers to is the emphasis Van Doorn placed on the level of fitness required by elite athletes. Hunt had always been conscious of his fitness but it was Van Doorn who gave Hunt the "medicine" to go to the next step.

On a Gold Coast summers day when most teenagers would simply enjoy a few hours relaxing on the beach and going for a surf Hunt would be under the guidance of Van Doorn using a medicine ball and boxing pads.

"The training was tough but I couldn't be where I am at the moment if I didn't train that hard, Luke really drilled my training program in to me," said Hunt.

Van Doorn, who had recently qualified as a personal trainer, would train with Hunt for hours with a medicine ball, running for kilometres, along with boxing and various other fitness drills.

"It was a very enjoyable time working with Josh, I had a lot of fun and it is great to hear the rewards for his hard work over the summer are showing," said Van Doorn.

"He has always had raw talent behind the wheel and I look forward to always being a part of his career as he continues through the ranks."

With Hunt now living in America where donuts, candy and fast food are high on the menu but he steers well clear of these fatty foods.

"The biggest thing I have noticed since I have been over here is my diet, both watching what I eat and the times that I eat," said Hunt.

"Luke really helped me out when I was back home teaching me about being well balanced, it is no use going to the gym if you don't have the energy to work out properly and don't feel yourself."

While these days he may not go to the gym everyday Hunt completes a weight session three times a week. He has also eased up the 40km runs he undertook over the summer when on the Gold Coast.

"Although I enjoy running I have had to slow down on that a bit and have started swimming more lately, I generally will swim for a couple of hours every second day. I try to do some sort of fitness training for a couple of hours every day," added Hunt

"Lately I have also been getting into the routine of using a skipping rope for 10-15 minutes before I get in my car in a pair of shorts and then put my race suit 20 minutes to half an hour later. This has seemed to help my focus and tunnel my energy in right areas."

Hunt is currently competing in the Toyota Atlantic Championship which is the traditional breeding ground for the Champ Car World Series. This weekend he will compete in round seven of the Championship in Toronto, Canada.

The 1.755 mile (2.824km) Toronto circuit is the third temporary street circuit so far in the Championship and the first in Canada for the year.

Run in conjunction with the sixth round of the Champ Car World Series, this is the 31st year of competition for the Toyota Atlantic Championship and is regarded as the premier training ground for the future stars of the sport.

Hunt is the first Australian to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Series since fellow Queenslander David Besnard in 1999 and has received major support from Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, which is owned by Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore and Champ Car World Series Co-Owner and Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven.

A successful year in the Toyota Atlantic Championship will see Hunt make his Champ Car debut in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast on October 21-24.

The Toyota Atlantic race at Toronto is the seventh of 12 rounds in the Championship. All 12 scheduled races this year will be run in conjunction with Champ Car World Series events on tracks that include road courses and ovals, as well as street and airport circuits with eight rounds in America, one in Mexico and three in Canada.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers David Besnard , Josh Hunt , Kevin Kalkhoven