GRC Personalities // In The Words of Scott Speed: Barcelona
Brazil was basically an audition to see if I liked Global Rallycross and if I could be any good at it, and both of those passed with flying colors. So it’s something now that I’m extremely motivated to do, because it’s been a long time since I’ve been in a car that’s been capable of winning, and as a racing driver, that’s important. It’s not always going to be the case that you can be in good equipment, so when you’re able to have a shot to win, that really drives you a lot as a racing driver.
But I feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement—a lot of things from the standpoint of making habits. For example, from the start of the race, there are a couple of things that you need to do before you start, and those are all very different from anything I’ve ever done before. And when you’re doing those things, you want those to be habit. You want those to kind of happen without necessarily having to think about it. And right now I’m having to think about a lot of things—where the E-brake lever is, where the shifter is at. They’re a lot of things where, as I get more time in the car, they’re going to come automatically. And that’s going to allow me to sort of just drive, just relax, instead of having to think about so many exact things. And the feeling of the car is constantly improving. I drove the car the best all weekend in the main event, and I know that, as I get more time with it, I’m just going to get better, because I’m not quite there by any means.
Looking forward, I’ve been to Spain a bunch. Barcelona was actually one of the Formula 1 tracks that we tested the most at, there and Jerez, mostly because a lot of the testing was in the offseason and that was the warmest place that you could go. I’ve definitely spent a lot of time in Barcelona. It’ll be cool to be racing there in something else.
My wife and little baby girl are going to come with me, and I think we arrive on Wednesday. So it sounds like she’s going to drag me around Barcelona, look at sights, and do the touristy thing a little bit. Then, once X Games gets going, we’ll definitely be there to check that out. Certainly a very cool experience of Brazil was to be able to see the different disciplines of X Games and to be around that crowd. It was obviously a lot different than I’ve done in my motor racing career so far!
It’s hard to tell from the pictures exactly what the track’s going to be like. But the fact that it’s in a stadium, on paper it looks so cool. It looks like you’re going to have just an amazing little arena to showcase the series in. And I think the jump going over the track is just freakin’ awesome. I’m really excited for that part.
Practice, seeding, and the race are all on the same day. It’s a lot different than Brazil was. I feel a lot more confident about that, actually, because you’re going to have to not make any mistakes all weekend. There’s no room for it. The big question mark that you’re always going to have when you’re on a track that’s primarily dirt is, what’s the condition of the dirt going to be? And that’s probably what I know the least about. But I spent a lot of time in Brazil over the days walking the track, looking at the dirt, then going out and driving. I feel like if I had to come to Barcelona as my first race, I would struggle a lot more than I did in Brazil, just because we had so much track time and access to the track.
I’m confident that we’ll be fast, and I’m confident that we’ll have a chance. I think the great thing about rallycross is, it doesn’t matter if you are the fastest guy out there and everything goes your way. You might go into turn one and you might not come out! Obviously that happened in Brazil for Tanner Foust. I think that if the race was somewhat normal, Tanner and I would have had a great race, because I think he was the only guy that had our speed all weekend. But he never made it out of turn one! There’s always that chance in GRC, which makes it so exciting, and for that reason I would never set expectations on what I would want to achieve as a result. But I certainly would hope that I’d be quick and competitive enough to have a shot at winning.
Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com