With a good head on his shoulders and a heart that is open to life lessons, this internationally acclaimed race car driver is a winner on and off the track.
marlon stockinger gets our motor running.
“Racing is definitely a good school for life.”
What are you like on the track?
I’m quite fired up. To psych myself up, I do warm-ups and listen to hip-hop, rock, or whatever music I’m in the mood to listen to. It’s one way to literally drown out the noise, and it helps you focus and lock in for the rest of the competition. A lot of racing drivers look cool, calm, and collected, but under that helmet, there are a lot of emotions at play. There’s a lot of controlled aggression that goes into it.
What’s a common misconception about racing that you’d like to set straight?
With all the glamour and hype around race weekend, especially Formula One, people think that drivers just arrive in fancy helicopters, boats, or jets to the track. But behind the scenes, there’s a lot of hard work. You spend all your time building up to those two days that you’re going to go flat out. You’re working with a whole team—just starting up a racing car takes more than five people. You need a team to put the tires on, start the engine, warm it up, check the systems, and so on. So while people typically only see drivers take home the trophies, motorsport is very much a team sport.
What have you learned from all your years of racing?
I’ve been racing since I was nine years old, and the sport is definitely a good school for life. There are thousands of components in a racing car, and you’re just one piece of flesh amidst all that metal. You learn that some things can go wrong, that some things are out of your hands. In that aspect, you learn to not blame yourself for everything. You take the good with the bad and try to persevere.
You once dedicated a win to your mom, right?
Yeah, I was so happy when I got my first podium in one of the bigger series, and I dedicated that race to my mom. Aside from that, I think the best thing I’ve done for her is taking her out on a date for Valentine’s Day.
You also have a close relationship with your sister...
Audrey is only a couple of years younger than me, and we really get along. I mean, we tend to butt heads, but she’s really mature for her age. I can’t recall a lot of days fighting with her compared to getting along and talking through things.
How protective are you when it comes to her and guys?
I think it’s more of her trying to protect me! She’s really headstrong, and I trust her to make her own decisions. She left home when she was young, picked her university, and did all the steps the way she wanted. In the end, of course I’ll always be a big brother and step in if necessary and let her know if something’s right or not.
Moving on to other members of your family: tell us about your golden retrievers.
My sister and I have two dogs named Summer and Naya, who are three years old. I’ve always been a dog person—i think cats are cool, but I’m allergic to some types of cat fur. The best thing about having a pet is the unconditional love. Whether you’re having a good day or a bad day, whether you’re happy with them or mad at them for misbehaving, they’ll always love you.