10 DAYS IN THE LIFE OF A V8 SUPERCAR DRIVER In years gone by people could have been forgiven for believing that drivers in the V8 Supercar Championship were classed as part-time employees, working only thirteen weekends throughout the ...
10 DAYS IN THE LIFE OF A V8 SUPERCAR DRIVER
In years gone by people could have been forgiven for believing that drivers in the V8 Supercar Championship were classed as part-time employees, working only thirteen weekends throughout the year.
These days the professionalism and popularity of the sport along with the important influence of corporate involvement means that being a V8 Supercar driver is a lot more than just a case of turning up to drive a race car every third weekend.
A driver's job description is wide and varied. In addition to being a professional race car driver, they are also elite athletes and ambassadors for the sponsors of their team and the Championship.
Over the next few weeks Larkham -- Orrcon Racing will provide fans with a further insight into the lives of their two drivers Jason Bargwanna and Mark Winterbottom
The first installment looks at the diary of Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bargwanna in the 10 day period that leads up to and includes this weekend's Perth V8 400 at Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia.
Friday April 29
After flying to Perth yesterday Mark was a guest on the "Jumpstart your career" program at the Careers and Employment Expo at the Claremont Showgrounds. Accompanied by the Orrcon Racing show car Mark spoke with teenagers about the opportunities of gaining a career in a V8 Supercar team.
While Mark was in Perth Jason spent the day conducting a corporate drive day at Calder Park on behalf of Ford.
Saturday April 30
Orrcon is also supporting the Beaconsfield Primary School Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) team (or pedal prix cars as they are more commonly known). Jason spent two hours today with the kids (who include his eldest son Ben) training for upcoming events. He spent the afternoon being defeated on Playstation games Grand Turismo 4 and Ricky Carmichael Motorcross by Ben and Jason's youngest boy Jake, who is four????.
Sunday May 1
Jason started the day by taking an 8 kilometre run with his wife Deb. In the afternoon the pair went for a ride on their purebred quarter horses, Woody and Chico.
Monday May 2
Today was a fairly relaxed day for both drivers with Jason undergoing a weight session at his local gym while Mark spent an hour in the gym at the hotel.
Tuesday May 3
Mark trained in the morning while in the afternoon he took some time to see some of the sights of Perth, including the Fremantle Jail.
Jason also trained in the morning with a cardio session and followed this up with a horse ride in the afternoon before flying from Melbourne to Perth in the evening.
Wednesday May 4
Jason's day is focused on a visit to one of Orrcon's largest customers in Western Australia, Impressive Steel. He flew from Perth's Jandakot Airport at 8:00am to arrive at Bunbury 40 minutes later and heading to the Impressive Steel outlet. After spending the day speaking with customers he flew back to Perth at 4:00pm before a short cardio workout in the hotel gym.
Thursday May 5
The Thursday prior to a race weekend is generally the busiest in the schedule, especially from a public relations perspective. Yesterday began with the Ford Superbreakfast held at the WACA with all Ford drivers in attendance from 7:15am. Jason was also presented with a cricket bat signed by the Australian cricket team for his recent birthday
Following the breakfast and some cricket practice both drivers made an appearance at the Telstra Bigpond office (a Championship sponsor) to meet staff and present several sales incentive awards.
By midday the pair made their way to the AHG Driving Centre where guests and staff from Orrcon underwent a series of high speed controlled driving courses.
Friday May 6
Today both drivers arrived at the circuit by 8:00am before conducting an interview for the on-track television, followed by a meeting with the team engineers for an hour prior to the 2-hour practice session this afternoon.
After practice they meet with the engineers to discuss the set up of the car followed by the competitors briefing and dinner in the team catering area.
Saturday May 7
Arrive at the track by 7:30am have breakfast with the team followed by a meeting with the engineers to follow up on yesterday's debrief. The on track action consists of a qualifying session and top ten shootout. Both drivers will make an appearance in both the Orrcon and Ford corporate areas between 1:15pm and 2:25pm.
The 50-lap race begins at 3:00pm which will be followed by a debriefing meeting with the engineers. Once again both drivers will dine with the team at the circuit at approximately 6:30pm.
Sunday May 8
Again the drivers plan to be at the track by 7:30am to have breakfast with the crew in the team catering area which will be followed by an engineering meeting to discuss a race strategy for today's two races.
In between races both drivers will make an appearance to speak with the guests at the Orrcon corporate facility. At the completion of the day the drivers will have an overall debrief of the weekend with team management and engineers while everything is fresh in their mind.
Jason will fly to Melbourne from Perth at 11:40pm while Mark will fly out Monday lunchtime.
As can be seen by the 10-day diary being a V8 Supercar driver involves much more than just being a talented driver!