The right road for the job

Blog post posted on 19/12/16 |

Many people would like to become a Formula 1 driver, but as we well know very few achieve that dream. Some might say that their racing ambitions were thwarted by a lack of finance – but more likely, they weren’t actually that good!

The reason why I am talking about Formula 1 is that being a success isn’t all about speed. With our President being 1992 Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell, I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with him while he took part in a major written feature with Auto Express magazine.

What racing drivers like Nigel, and our mature driver ambassador and rally winner Paddy Hopkirk often say is that precision and skill are just as important as being fast.

For those of a certain age, there was something special about seeing the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell and Niki Lauda making their Formula 1 cars ‘dance’ around a circuit – and to marvel at how they could achieve such artistry around such tricky circuits.

We can learn from this. Some people like to drive on the roads as if they are racing a Formula 1 car – but forgetting that there is no skill by ‘thrashing’ your engine, wearing out your tyres or slamming on your brakes.

There is no skill or satisfaction from ruining your own car, costing you money you could easily spend on more enjoyable things.

IAM RoadSmart not only wants to make better and safer drivers and riders, but we want you to enjoy your driving and riding more. And this can be done just as easily at 30mph as it can be at 70.

If you feel you want to put the pedal to the metal, than choose the most appropriate place for it. There is no shortage of track day sessions to choose from up and down the country, including our own Skills Days.

There is nothing big or clever about burning rubber on the High Street, where you run the risk of running over a pedestrian who has no interest in your racing ambitions.

You can be a hero of the road without achieving the speeds of Lewis Hamilton. But if you feel the need for speed, then choose the right piece of tarmac!

Rodney Kumar, IAM RoadSmart senior communications executive