What an advice filled episode!
Gabe Gutierrez attended a Cleveland Grand Prix with his brother and was hooked on racing and knew he had to get behind the wheel. Juan Pablo Montoya was influential to him as well. His wife purchased him a Stock Car Experience and we was hooked (an he blames her to this day)!
He started out doing lots of track days and he shares the story of leaving a wet Mid Ohio track day before the event was over. He's taken vehicles to more than 10 racetracks in 7 different states around the country. He's participated in multiple endurance races including the 24 hours at Nelson Ledges. Gabe's taken every opportunity to learn as much as he can and introduce people to the sport.
Gabe's hosted track days through his company, GANAR racing and found the experience to be fun and rewarding. He shares the story about helping get a new Porsche driver on track and that's what it's all about - sharing our sport and helping others.
When we were recording this Gabe was getting ready for NASA at Autobahn - we'll have to follow up and see how he did.
After we finished recorded he texted me and realized he didn't discuss finding a track mentor. This is a great point! If you want to get better find a mentor. They can help with advise, support and share their experiences. This will help in a big way!
Here's some great advice from Gabe:
Preparation is key for success. Having the car ready before the event weekend is really big and will allow for a “relax” weekend where time is spent driving instead of working on the car. I have a checklist of things to do before the event and during the event (after each session). I recently created a maintenance log to allow me to look back and be able to know exactly when I did something to the car.
Preparing the car is extremely important but it is also as important to prepare yourself. I make sure I have what I need during the weekend to be relaxed and stress free (ice, water, food, clothes, sunscreen, hat, etc.) I like to look at the weather at the tracks location to help me prepare for the weekend but take extra clothes just in case. Planning on resting is also very important to me specially during long trips, I plan my stops ahead of time and I know where I am going to park to sleep/rest.
Gabe is the king of checklists and documents!
He recommends having a checklist for the car, the trailer, and the truck. He has a post season checklist and uses a spreadsheet for all maintenance items on his vehicles. He even pre-plans his stops along the route to the track. Might be the most organized guy we've had on!
During our recording he shared some additional advice:
Gabe suggested listening to our Episode on 7 Tips for Getting Ready For The Track.
What are Gabe's ideas on getting to grid? He wants to be early. It helps him mentally prepare. He uses an alarm to remind him when to leave for grid.
Gabe recommends the following resources:
Facebook Groups (your type of car, the groups you run with, etc.)
Connect with companies involved with your model vehicle
Start learning how cars work (HPacademy.com is a great place to start)
Connect with Gabe: