What could go wrong

Bay News - - AROUND TOWN - TAU­RANGA CITY HOT DEAL FOR TWO ADULTS! From $76 per per­son one way.

Re­cently I drove a car— made when Iwas six years old— that I barely fit­ted in as a gan­gly 6ft 4” gen­tle­man with all the flex­i­bil­ity of a Jet Star check-in clos­ing time, and with next to no ex­pe­ri­ence.

Iwas rac­ing it around Hamp­ton Downs Mo­tor­sport Park, at speeds up to 170km/h among about 40 other cars, with all am­a­teur drivers.

What could pos­si­bly go wrong, right? We dressed as the Dirty Mex­i­cans— sweaty and cov­ered in what­ever the heck that black dust is. And Mex­i­cans be­cause we thought pon­chos would keep us warm in the pits and som­breros kept the sun off. We’re smarter than we look!

There was a small nod to the strug­gle Mex­i­cans might have if Trump built that wall, man didwe have some walls to scale dur­ing this week­end! It could also be said, as that orange sack of mess that runs the US said of Mex­ico: “They are not send­ing their best”. Ara­dio an­nouncer, a prop­erty pho­tog­ra­pher, amort­gage bro­ker, a land­scape con­struc­tion ex­pert and a 16 year old. What could pos­si­bly go wrong?

As Iwas spin­ning out on my sec­ond lap and watch­ing cars com­ing to­wards me as I faced thewrong way at close to 100km/h, Iwon­dered if I’d made wise life choices. Turns out I had though.

Imet aw­hole bunch of new peo­ple from com­pletely dif­fer­ent walks of life, laughed at and learned from­mymis­takes, learned a new skill and con­tin­ued to get bet­ter at it (I dropped 11 sec­onds of my lap times over the week­end, #hum­ble­brag). I learned a lit­tle about cars— at the start of the week­end I still thought a flux ca­pac­i­tor (from Back to the Fu­ture movies) was ac­tu­ally a thing Maybe I’m just an id­iot! To be fair that knowl­edge now still re­ally only ex­tends to know­ing the names of a few more parts of a car. When the ac­tual work was be­ing done on the car Iwent to the apart­ment we were all stay­ing in and cooked din­ner for the team, amas­sive man-feed of burg­ers and sausages. Stick to your strengths I say!

But the thing I got out of this week­end im­per­son­at­ing a race driver is that over my life I’ve never once re­gret­ted do­ing the scary stuff.

Even if at the time I’m ques­tion­ing it, or un­com­fort­able­with it, scared about it, wor­ried for my safety and how much I could mess up oth­ers around me, or even if I ab­so­lutely hated the whole task, there’s al­ways learn­ing, there’s al­ways a new mem­ory and per­spec­tive and I AL­WAYS get a sense of achieve­ment. Which means I’m al­ways glad I did it in some way.

You can ap­ply this to rac­ing a car, or just to do­ing the weed­ing out the back that you’ve needed to do for months. There’s al­ways a pos­i­tive. Life is too short to see it any other way, I reckon.

We did 496 laps of Hamp­ton Downs over the week­end . . . and our car broke an hour be­fore the end of the race so we didn’t fin­ish it. Guts! But I’d do it all again in a sec­ond and al­ready can’t wait for next year.

Plus the pho­tog­ra­pher on our team got a sweet shot of me thought­fully jump­ing against a yel­lowwall at the race track. What more could you want from a week­end! Sec­ond thought, maybe I should’ve been more fo­cused on the driv­ing than the rad In­sta­gram pic?

Nah, pri­or­i­ties!

■ Will John­ston is host of The Hits 95FM Day Show. Live and lo­cal from 9am-3pm, ev­ery week­day in the Bay of Plenty.

Im­per­son­at­ing rac­ing drivers.

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