1 (edited by jonharttrup 2021-02-24 01:26 PM)

Topic: Driver/wrench looking for Seattle based team for west coast races

Hi!

I've been a propulsion engineer (commercial airplane jet engines) for the last 20 years, so my technical skills are excellent...BUUUUT, I don't have a lot of experience working on cars.

That said, due to my profession, I have an excellent understanding of the underlying physics of how engines and their subsytems work. And I'm a damn quick learner, you're only gonna have to show me something once. Also got an MEng degree in Electronics, so same situation - I know my way around wiring and circuitry, but haven't applied that knowledge directly to cars.

On the driving side, I've been sim racing for 5 years, but don't have any real-world racing experience (yet - I had planned to get into Autocrossing in 2020, but then COVID happened).

I'm currently living just north of Seattle, and looking for a team based in the area.

Hope to hear from you!

Jon

Re: Driver/wrench looking for Seattle based team for west coast races

jonharttrup wrote:

I've been a propulsion engineer (commercial airplane jet engines) for the last 20 years, so my technical skills are excellent...BUUUUT, I don't have a lot of experience working on cars.

I had no vehicle experience when I started, and was actually less than useless by actively impeding progress (also fun fact - a close family friend was Hans van Ohain's #2 for a long time and eventually took over for him at the AFRL). I lucked out joining a great team that took me in and tolerated my incompetence. 

I did get Speed Secrets by Ross Bentley and read it before my first race, which was extremely helpful. Sim racing - and the ability to just hit reset when car crashes/explodes/breaks - is useful for kind of learning tracks IMHO, but even there, g-forces, bumps, track conditions, steering feedback, etc. make the real thing completely different.

I'm rust-belt based, but after ~30 of these races in a few different series, I'd also recommend starting in a Class C car as power will be the least of your worries on track for the first time. Learning how to be passed, watch for flags, understand traffic, what the car sounds like, what the tires sound like, and occasionally pass people are key.

Going superfast while trying to learn all this stuff can result in an Eastern Airlines Flight 401 situation if you're thinking about that intermittent whine from the diff in left-hand corners.

Good luck!

Re: Driver/wrench looking for Seattle based team for west coast races

Good pointers!

I'm very aware that sim-racing is only a pale imitation of the real thing, but I will say it's done a great job of teaching me to approach going fast by first going slow. Like, it's not taught me to be a fast driver, but it's taught me how TO LEARN to be a fast driver, and that transfers to the real world.

I've red Going Faster, which looks to be doing a similar job to Speed Secrets.