Team Manager Graham Horgan on the importance of taking risks

I rang my brother-in-law the other day.  At the end of the call, he said:  “Bye” and, in a soft, faux-caring voice, said “take care”.

It made me think: What kind of instruction is that? Why do people say “take care”?  I don’t want people to take care. I want them to take risks. Risks in business; risks in travel; risks in sport. It’s what makes us alive.

I’ve been working with Team BRIT for three months now, as team manager and driver coach. What has struck me the most is that the drivers are risk-takers. They wouldn’t have joined the armed forces if they weren’t. But they are taking risks in a way that wasn’t first apparent to me.

Motorsport isn’t as risky as it seems at first glance. The cars are built to be safe and, if you have an accident, there is an ambulance and medical team at virtually every corner of the circuit. Driving to the track will be the most dangerous part of the day. 

What’s risky is getting out there and doing it. It’s a personal, internal risk. The Team BRIT drivers are doing something new, for the first time. They are driving a real race-car, against other race drivers, on a race circuit, on the limit of the car and on the limit of their personal capabilities. Pushing themselves in ways that they haven’t experienced before. In front of a crowd of on-lookers, both in real-time at the circuit and on-line as a result of the incredible press and TV coverage that Team BRIT is generating.

Those risks are paying off. In the first two races of the season, at Silverstone and Oulton Park, we have had two great results:  Out of a field of 32 cars, the two cars finished 16th and 22nd; and 15th and 27th respectively. Not bad at all.

We are now preparing for the next Fun-Cup race at Brands Hatch on the 3rd June.  As part of our coaching programme, we will be there for a track day on 23rd May, for an introduction to the circuit. We then have entered a preparatory race in car 158 for Andy Searle and Tony Williams to gain experience of the track in a real race environment. This will be on Bank Holiday Monday 29th May.  The final part of our preparation is a test day on the Friday before the main race. Here we will use live timing and full data logging so each driver in the team can compare their lines, braking points and lap-times with each other and hence learn from each other. This is one way how we are building the team and all getting better through teamwork.

Team BRIT - Competing on equal terms. It’s risky. But it can be done.

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