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  • Part Three: Being an RSG sponsored racing driver

    Posted In: General

    Posted Date: 11/09/2017 17:05:22

How I Deal With The Pressure

The pressure of a race is quite high. After all that work Ďoff circuití to get racing; the last thing I want is to have a crash and spend money on repairing the car; but more importantly, I race to win, and so want a good result.

Itís very easy to overthink it as a racing driver. I get to the race circuit on Thursday, and the weekend isnít over until Sunday. Itís so easy to overthink things, and desperately want the win too much. One piece of advice I always offer young drivers and people in business, is to think about the process rather than the product. This really helps me to achieve the maximum, without worrying about the outcome or adding pressure.

If you think about how youíre going to do something, and how you can extract the best out of that situation, then youíll do far better than if you focussed on the outcome. In my case; instead of dreaming of standing on that top step, I focus on free practice and qualifying first. I make sure Iím feeling good and prepared and then Iím driving well. I go even more detailed and start focussing on corner by corner & lap by lap Ė am I driving the right lines? Am I taking the right speed into the corners? Am I braking at the right points? All of these questions and thoughts allow me to keep my head in the game without thinking about winning or adding pressure to win the race.

I focus my energy on the process of what Iím doing, rather than the outcome. When it comes to race day Ė Iíll do exactly the same thing. On Sunday race day, Iíll have lots of sponsors and guests, all asking me questions, wanting photos with me and looking to have a piece of my attention. Thatís completely fair, and I enjoy it. But Iím there primarily to race and win for them. So I make sure Iím relaxed at that point and not pent up Ė once Iíve done all of that, and spoken with my race team, Iíll then Ďzone iní and focus on the race ahead. I wonít add any pressure by thinking unnecessary thoughts or by thinking things like ĎIíve got lots of sponsors here; I need to perform.í Instead I think, ĎIím looking forward to showing all of my guests and sponsors how good I can be and ready to think about each stage of the race.í

We all feel pressure at various stages, and my advice is to focus on the Ďnowí, focus on the process and not the outcome. Break it all down bit by bit so you can allow your energy and time to work on what you need to do in order to achieve the goal and outcome you desire.

What If I Donít Get The Result I Wanted?

Inevitably, it can happen in business and sport that you donít get the desired outcome you were after. It should never be considered a failure Ė I donít ever get a bad result and think Iíve failed. If I do think that, it negatively impacts my following race or even potentially my whole season and off track stuff. What I will do is look at the situation and take all the emotion out of it and just analyse it to see what can be improved for the next time/race. I know itís a bit of a clichť for coming back stronger and so on, but itís a tactic that works for me in my sport and in business. The amount of sponsors and businesses that have turned me down is beyond what I would care to remember. But each race, or each deal that didnít work out for me, made me look at it and improve or tweak the technique for the following time.

For my racing, usually I have two races on a Sunday. If I donít get the win or podium for race one, I have to very quickly pick myself up and go again for race two. I canít let the negative result affect me for the following race. I try and look at each result and case without any emotion, and just see what I did that was good vs bad, and how both could be improved the following time. If I do this, I can be honest to myself as a driver and then look to improve. I firmly believe we can all improve in whatever it is weíre doing, and that is my best way to fight back against a result that didnít go my way.

Whatís Next?

As I write this, Iíve got 4 weekends of racing left, with two races a weekend, we have 8 races to go. Iím lying 3rd overall this year with a fair few podiums to my name. Podiums donít interest me anymore though; I want the wins! I signed with a new team this year, so despite finishing runner up last year, this was a new challenge and a new year ahead. Weíve been improving every race and the last race we did was at Le Mans where I finished 2nd overall out of 60+ cars. If you havenít watched the last couple of laps from that race, I urge you to head over to my Facebook page and watch the link I posted up.

Iíve spoken about how to get over a setback; this race was in itself a good example of me working through that Ďliveí. I remember leading the race on the first couple of laps, and then not having the straight-line speed to keep the cars behind me. I fell back to 4th half way through the race and it was looking at mid race that I could fall back even further. Imagine that? There are over 300 thousand people watching trackside, millions of people watching on TV. Itís the biggest race of my career that I did well to qualify 2nd and then snatch the lead off the line. However, the straight-line speed was compromising and keeping the cars behind was extremely difficult. In the end, I kept my head, regathered my thoughts and took the emotion out of the whole situation. I didnít think of the outcome or the end result whilst I was competing Ė I knuckled down and thought to do the best job I could possibly do. The first step was to consolidate 4th place and defend my position. I did that, before launching an attack for the podium positions. I snuck up into 3rd position with an opportunistic move after a safety car restart, and then on the final lap I went into 2nd with a clever move up the inside of a French driver. I had overall win in my sights, but ultimately I finished 2nd 0.6 seconds behind at the line. It was close, but I was happy with how I fought back and defeated the adversity.

We have the second half of the season coming up and Iím excited to get some wins and put a strong show on. We will be welcoming lots of RSG guests to Silverstone and Brands Hatch in September and October respectively.

If you want to find out more about me and my career, just visit me on the social media platforms @DinoZamparelli. Feel free to send me a message or an email via my personal website DinoZamparelli.com. Iíd be delighted to hear from you and if I can help with anything that may relate to business and or sport, Iíll gladly put forward my input. I look forward to meeting lots of RSG clients and staff at my races this year, and feel free to be one of those that adds to the pressure on race day, by asking me lots of questions!!

- Dino

Read part one here

Read part two here

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