Back in the spring, I spent a little time in Andy Pilgrim’s” office“, and little is the operant word. Strapped into his Cadillac race car with him, I and a few lucky others got to spend a couple of scary minutes (he turns 2:10’s ) on the track at Road America .
Hoping to get some pointers from Andy while on the course, the ride quickly became what I imagine my 1st day of kindergarten would have been like, had I done it on meth. Holy Crap…
Andy Pilgrim’s Office photo courtesy Pirelli World
But later I did manage to get in some off track questions with the man.
Q-Your 1st car?
ANDY-a 1972 Ford Escort Van.
Q-Top 3 race courses in the world?
ANDY-in no particular order, Monza in Italy, Road America in Wisconsin, and Zhuhai International Circuit in China.
Q-you’ve had lots of wins and podium finishes but what’s the best race you ever had, win or lose?
ANDY-in 2000, I was driving for Corvette in the Petite LeMans at Road Atlanta. All day long I had been dueling with a Viper, but I finally passed him for the win with 2 laps to go.
Q- what tips do you have for the weekend warrior?
- a very common mistake is what I call “low eyes”—looking at the track directly in front of you. This makes you miss the vanishing point, or where the track is going. Always watch the track a bit farther ahead than what you find comfortable.
- work on having slow hands—the initial turn of the wheel as you hit your entry point must be done slowly, gently, setting up the car to do the work of rotating around the apex.
- and finally practice patience. The fastest drivers are always patient, and patience leads to smooth driving, and smooth drivers are fast drivers.
And Andy Pilgrim’s true passion:
The Andy Pilgrim Foundation
Q-You started a foundation for young drivers. What’s that all about?
ANDY-With over 5,000 teen deaths a year, it’s one of those statistics that can be changed with encouragement and education. Driver’s Education is failing young drivers because there is simply no money to do it right. Kids have so many distractions; cell phones, texting….thousands of deaths can be avoided if we just take the time to show kids how to stay alive.
Me and Andy
Thanks to Andy Pilgrim for taking the time to answer my questions. Follow him here:
See you on down the road,