What is a Teenage Car Enthusiast Doing Right Now?
Stuck in quarantine, your options to feed your car needs seem low, but are they?
We are experiencing a global pandemic. It truly is an awful time and quite scary. Many people are being forced to stay in their homes for safety reasons, me including. I live in a place where, if you have been following the virus on the news, you probably have heard of, especially if you live in the US. I have been out of school for 16 days as of the time of writing this article, and have been, feeling weird really. My education is now through a webcam and Zoom. My day consists of sleep, work, eat, work, sleep for the most part. That free time in between, that's my time, time for me to do whatever. You may be thinking "Oh so you do nothing?", that is not the case. Yes, I do spend a bit too much time hoping for March 27th, when my mandated quarantine is over, but that is beside the point of this article. Cars fill that time. I can't drive, so..... that sucks, just not old enough, SOON THOUGH! You may be asking yourself, "What is Jonathan doing then, all motorsports are canceled, all car shows are gone, and he has been locked inside for week?" Well, semi curious reader I will tell.
LET'S GO (SIM)RACING
I love sim racing. For me it is the closet thing I can get to driving a real car, besides, maybe karting. After I have gotten all the boring things out of the way in my day, I usually do the following, go to my basement, pop on my headset, fire up Forza Motorsport 7 on my Xbox, and sit in my chair behind my Thrustmaster TMX wheel. I love competing, especially racing, my life revolves around it at this point, with my biggest skills being the ability to swim back and forth very fast and drive a go-kart in circles very fast. With this Coronacation of mine, I've decided I'll start being a little more competitive, joining forum races or doing the multiplayer's race regulations mode, the most realistic and competitive it gets on Forza. The most important question, am I any good? Ehhhhhhh. It depends. Any road car expects me in last place. Any open-wheel race car though... when I am lapping you please get out of my way and as a bonus no assists whatsoever, ABS who?
LET'S GO (SIM) RACING... again
Yes, more sim racing, but not me this time. If you have been living under a rock, let me catch you up. EVERYTHING IS POSTPONED AND CANCELLED. BASKETBALL, BASEBALL, SOCCER, FOOTBALL, EVERY SINGLE HIGH SCHOOL SPORT, EVEN THE OLYMPICS. But the most important to me, motorsport. It's a shame really, but completely necessary. Am I sad? Yeah. I was planning on attending the Canadian GP for my birthday and the NYC ePrix, but as of now they are TBA for dates and if they will even happen. With the Indy 500, Long Beach GP, along with Melbourne, Shanghai, and even Monaco being canceled and postponed, it's going to be boring not having those races, or will we? That's right, we will, just a bit differently. They will be ONLINE. Yeah, it isn't the same but it is what we have. Several organizations have accepted the idea of having online races. THERACE paving the way with their streamer and pro filled races. Followed by F1 having their online races with celebrities and drivers and sim racers and soon to be Indycar the following suit. I must say, they work. THERACE and Veloce Esports have been the most professional of the events, with primarily skilled people, with Formula 1 offering some good entertainment, thank you Johnny Herbert and LandoBOT. Yes as silly and odd as these things can be, it also brings sim racing to a more mainstream platform which I think is great. This is also allowing us to see how drivers from different series and backgrounds stack up. It has been very interesting seeing sim drivers and real drivers such as Lando Norris, Felix Rosenqvist, Max Verstappen going at it on an even playing field. It has also been hilarious watching Jimmy Broadbent and Lando Norris' streams, entertainment in its purest form.
Watching races... wait? what?
Just because there isn't any races happening right now doesn't mean there isn't a shortage to watch. We have something called the internet, and it is glorious. At our finger tips we have millions of laps we can watch, and racing series and media outlets grant us this power. Motorsport.com has so many races to watch with many series to watch. Then there is Youtube. Indycar and Formula E post all of their races on the site for us viewers to enjoy. I personally recommend going on and watching Race 1 of the NYC ePRix from last year. Why, 'cause it was wild, and I was there and you see me on camera. I'd also recommend any Indy 500, last years Long Beach GP an the past two years at St. Petersburg. THERACE also has recent Super Formula races with English commentary. I highly recommend it. Formula 1 also ha plenty of offerings. They are now streaming some excting classic races from the past few years on their youtube channel, next is the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, who doesn't love a classic duel in the desert? F1 TV also gives you practically every Formula 1 race... ever. Not much more to say.
Watching... not race
My idea of a calm night, sitting on my couch, pressing the Netflix button and watching Gunther Steiner destroy everyone and Christian Horner is an absolute savage. Netflix's critically acclaimed "DRIVE TO SURVIVE" is an incredible docu-series following the Formula One series, with season two releasing a little over a month ago at the time of writing this. It is such an amazing show and every time you watch an episode you see something new. It is also an amazing way to get your friends and family into F1, it has worked for me. Top Gear, The Grand Tour, /Drive, and Head 2 Head are up there with my favorite TV shows, along with Drive to Survive being the Number 1. I can spend hours watching those shows, and I do. I can probably recite the Hovervan episode of Top Gear word for word now. Let's talk about Youtube again. Youtube is a car enthusiast heaven, with no shortage of content. Donut Media offers one of a kind information and pure entertainment, I love you guys, The Smoking Tire offers some of the best reviews on the internet and an AMAZING podcast. The other, best reviews are by Carfection, with their visually stunning videos. Drivetribe, well, I'm here. I love their videos on Youtube and that lead me to here. Next, any video with Chris Harris behind the wheel is going to make your jaw drop. Finally, WTF1 with their funny, interesting, and random Formula One videos never fail to make you smile. They also have a very good podcast.
Yes, two wheels. I love biking, I just do, it's great fun and great exercise. Last week, before I was locked in my home by the county. My friend and I would bike around for hours, exploring the beautiful waterfront neighborhoods in our area, wooded paths, and racing each other, 'cause who doesn't when they are biking around. In four days of biking, he and I racked up 80+ miles, just having fun, and enjoying the empty roads, parks, and beaches of New York. For me, this is also the next best thing to driving. I'm on roads, I have tires and disk brakes like a car, and gears, and it moves, in my mind, it's practically a car *sarcasm, wink, thumbs up.
I'll get back to you on that, I need to finish this article.
Compared to most people who will probably read this, I'm not like them. Primarily, you are older than me, can drive, and don't have an education to deal with anymore. All of our experiences will vary at this time. This isn't meant to shed light and dismiss a global pandemic and say "Look at all these fun things I'm doing". I write these articles as a way to block out the bad and focus on the good. Yes the thing's I write about are fun and I hope interesting, and those are the things I am doing during this confusing time.
This is what I want to do in life, write and drive. Why not start now?