Colin Braun drives, the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 Prototype Challenge (PC) car, in the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. Having won multiple championships and countless races and poles, Colin is the youngest driver to podium at Le Mans and is considered the crème of the crop among sports car drivers. He will be writing a series of blogs for us this year to highlight the driver’s perspective on a variety of topics.
I want to take an opportunity to talk about a couple of “street car” related questions I get all the time.
What Do You Drive?
The number one question people usually ask me upon finding out I am race car driver is, “What kind of street car do you drive?” Now, I think that everyone who asks that question is ready for me to have some awesome answer since most people think a professional race car driver would never drive anything but a Porsche, Ferrari, or Lamborghini – haha – not true! I drive a Ford F250 on Continental TerrainContact A/T tires as my daily driver. Hey I am a practical guy. I have some land that I need to have a pickup truck for and I love to throw my mountain bike in the back of the truck to go for a ride, and of course, tow the boat to the lake! I also have a pretty sweet 1972 Beetle that I restored with my Dad and my brother but it’s not my daily driver.
Do You Drive Fast?
Then the next question is always something about, “I am sure you drive like a wild man on the streets since you do this for a living?”! Underwhelming answer again, NO! Of course I don’t drive crazy on the streets – only at times on the race track - haha! I am the most by the book street car driver. I find absolutely no satisfaction in doing any kind of crazy driving. My wife always gives me a hard time for how much of a grandma driver I am. If you really think about it though, as a race car driver, we get the chance to drive on the limit of some really amazing race cars in a very controlled, and for the most part, safe environment – the public roads are certainly not the place for this! Pushing something like the IMSA WeatherTech PC car to the limit around a great track like Mosport (with some minimum corner speeds upwards of 120mph) makes driving on the roads at the limit seem pretty lame.
For non-race car drivers there are some great ways to exercise that burning passion to drive fast. Check out your local track for a track day or driving school. There are some great places to go and drive safely and get some great instruction along the way. I am a huge advocate for safe driving and take driving on the road seriously. I know there are quite a few places to get that next level of driving education and I wish more people would invest in their lives, and the lives of others, by going to those schools. I also wish there was a more robust driver education platform in schools to assist teens when they are ready to drive.
So after answering those two questions the way I always do; I feel a bit like I need to have some super cool follow up to make sure people think of race car drivers as cool still. So, I like to remind people that I am a bit of a dare devil and do hold the fastest lap recorded at Daytona International Speedway at 220+ MPH – that usually does the trick!
I do also like to remind everyone to check their tire pressures and change the oil regularly too, I feel a bit like it is my civic duty as a race car driver to impress upon people how important and serious these things are. Just like in racing, there are parts of it that aren’t glamorous but without the long hard hours that my mechanics at CORE Autosport put into our race cars there would not be any racing at all, or reliable cars! It is easy to overlook the little things but a little bit of preventive maintenance can go a long way towards making you safer out on the roads and also save you some money along the way!
If you have any other questions for me, Tweet me @ColinBraun. Happy driving!