Coulthard has no intention of switching to NASCAR Two drivers, two continents and two very different ways to prepare for the Canadian Grand Prix because while Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard crossed over to north America early to check out how they do things at NASCAR, teammate Mark Webber was watching the most famous and dangerous motorcycling road race in the world: the Isle of Man TT.
So, what was David’s take on closed wheel racing in the good ol' US of A?
David Coulthard climbs into Brian Vickers Red Bull car at Dover
“It’s been great to get to see behind the scenes at the NASCAR race,” said DC. “We had dinner with Brian Vickers (who drives for Team Red Bull) in his motorhome on Saturday night – and everyone’s been really accommodating. I had a look in the pit complex this morning and met some of the officials, who have been very welcoming. It’s incredible to see how close all the competitors work together, shocking is too strong a word, but it’s amazing that the mechanics hardly have any space around the cars to work.”
“I heard that this is one of smaller complexes NASCAR visits, but you can understand how the self-policing system works here! No-one can get away with anything as everyone’s working right alongside each other, very closely so you can see what each team is doing all the time. It’s very different to F1, you’re working in small, hot areas and it shows the importance of the team working very well together.”
“It’s also interesting to see that teammates and team cars are not next to each other in the garage and that the car/garage order is arranged on the points system instead, logistically that doesn’t seem very clever, but it obviously works. It separates out the individual cars and drivers and shows that, although you have one team with two cars, the two cars are very much driving and competing against each other.”
“It’s great to come here as a fellow competitor from another series. It’s good to see the sport close up as I’ve admired it for many years on the television, and it’s interesting to see the rules and regulations they have out here. From a racing spirit point of view, NASCAR is a good as it gets, wheel-to-wheel racing 36 weekends of the year. To see what the drivers have to do here – fighting the heavy cars around the ovals is impressive, it’s very different to single-seater racing. I’ve been asked if I’m planning to switch to NASCAR and the answer is no. As much as I admire the series, my experience and enjoyment is in single-seater racing cars.”
While David was in the US, Mark Webber was checking out the motorcycle road racing on the Isle of Man in the UK and he was similarly impressed…
“I’ve always heard of the TT being hugely unique but as usual TV, YouTube, etc just doesn’t do justice whatsoever to how special the event and the competitors are. To start with, the course itself is absolutely phenomenal; I’ve been to plenty of race tracks around the world but to see 37 miles of public roads closed off for racing is just awe-inspiring. I’ve been to some of the biggest sporting events in the world too, and standing there with my dad, it’s the first time I’ve been blown away as a spectator by such an event. These guys deserve so much more recognition for what they do. People talk about concentration in sport; I would like to see one that rivals what they do.”
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