Hello World might seem a little cliche. But it’s actually the perfect statement!
I’ve FINALLY completed my degree in Automotive Engineering and find myself searching for the next steps to take.
I have my final goal in mind. My own garage creating unique 1 off masterpieces of engineering beauty… However getting to that goal from here can seem a little difficult. Well now that obstacles are apparent in my life.
All of this reminds me of growing up.. If I wanted something, and I never had the money to get it, I definitely had a method in mind of how to achieve it myself.
Starting when I was a little nipper. I’d always wanted those race tracks for your hot wheels cars that would be contained in a little carry case.
But I’d have to wait until birthdays and Christmas for those and the allure of an action man was too much to pass up on. Especially when I had the ingenuity to create my own! In the words of the once great Jeremy Clarkson (that’s a debate for another time) How hard can it be? At the age of around 7 I would take old shoe boxes apart and draw little race circuits on them. It was no spa franchochamps but it was a pretty decent effort, similar to a modern-day Tilke-drome, a bunch of flat 90 degree corners(making best use of the available space as you do) I created not just carry cases for my toy cars, but wonderful circuits with lavish scenery such as folding grand stands and grassy/gravel trap areas along with corrugated curbing.
It was at this age I realised I had a gift.. I was destined to create, invent and just generally skimp out on paying for anything by doing it myself..
I went on to create mini golf sets, football pitches (shout out to Subbuteo) and more advanced race track designs with hill sections and bridges even.
I always had other things to build and create with, Kinex sets and a big box of Lego. Although Mechano was slightly going out of fashion when I grew up, I always wanted a set but never got one.
A few years after messing with the Kinex/Lego sets, making the RC cars out of Kinex and Lego buildings I started collecting a D’Agostini magazine run for a Subaru Imprezza RC car. I saved my lunch money each week for the £5 issue and collected it from the co-op. It was a great learning experience for general information on electronics and suspension systems. Basic information on damper and spring settings, battery life, camber angles and other things I can hardly remember at this point in time were all in there.
In typical fashion though I couldn’t just follow the instructions. I decided to create a pod for my phone camera to fit into the body shell so that I could record my laps around the park, the chassis got drilled for lightness, the bodywork also got Aero upgrades for reduced drag, well what I assumed would reduce drag at 11 yrs old. In the end however it suffered a nasty side on collision with a curb and I could never repair the suspension arms for them to not fail again. Also the speed controller over heated and the plastic melted so it would no longer pick up low-speed inputs. That was the real killer.
Moving on from toys to computer games! I started out as a Gran Turismo fan from the very first edition, playing with friends on a daily basis, the Evo 6 was one of my dream cars growing up because of it. Heading into GT4 i joined the PlayStation forums and got involved with online competitions ultimately leading to proper racing simulators starting with LFS and ending at rFactor.
If you have ever played LFS then you will know how accurate the physics are on there and it is hands down the best force feedback engine of any sim out, even to this day. As such it can(or rather could) get very competitive and quickly we formed a team from the PlayStation forums on there. As a member of this team I competed in different competitions and decided I’d create my own competition based on ideals I felt were missing from every other league. And so the IGTC was born. Using my Bernie Ecclestone like abilities I managed to secure free web hosting and a race server via sponsorship deals in turn for a few well placed adverts on the website and other media publications. Soon the league grew and a team started to develop. Eventually the IGTC became one of the premier leagues in the LFS community and even the sim racing community with live streams and news bulletins courtesy of Inside Sim Racing. Eventually I fell out of love with IGTC and moved over to rFactor where I saw a lot of success as a driver competing in the Touring Pro Series v8 Supercar league.
The ultimate thing that I am taking from all of this, is that growing up obstacles did not seem as big, just little inconveniences that we can overcome. However it seems as we grow up that blind confidence, or even ignorance you could call it, disappears. We grow-up, we become realistic and we lose all hope of who we always wanted to be.. I wanted to be a racing driver not own my own garage. But that realistic goal makes its way forward through years of our real dreams being pounded away through circumstance.
So Hello World! I’m taking back my dreams via improving my circumstances. I want that garage just as much now as I wanted to be a racing driver back then, through learning about engineering and growing to love it. But that’s not going to stop me building a track car and taking it for a run up Shelsley Walsh!