Mental Travelling Weekend: 24 Hours of Le Mans

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Cars, driving, sport and art: 24 hours of Le Mans soon to start.
Even if is very unhealthy to sit down for prolonged periods; in the immediate future I am not going, travelling, anywhere physically:
In about 24 hours I am going to sit down for 24 hours glued to my tv and watch 24 Heures du Mans.

Regrettably I will not be watching the event live, it is still on my To Do List (bucket list). The closest I yet have been to the 24 Hour experience was driving 280 km/hour in an Audi R8 aka popular safety car model of this race.

Like! Watch supercars, Audi and Corvette of course, and Danish motorsport superheroes, Tom K (24 HdM eight time winner, six times consecutively and only six-time winner of 12 Hours of Sebring) and Jan Magnusson (24 HdM four time class winner) plus four more danes competing in this years race.

Audi Motorsport Fitness

Audi R18 E-tron Quattro 24 Heures du Mans 2013.
Foto: Arnaud Cornilleau/ACO ©

Is motor sport really a sport? Yes, it is. It is a mind-body sport; a competitive sport with physical and mental work requirements; tactics, motor skills, concentration, speed, stamina and endurance.

Cardiovascular fitness
During a race the heart rate can be close to 200 beats per minute, so cardiovascular fitness is important for race drivers: Most important is driving the car, then endurance (and interval) training, e.g. running, rowing and cycling (all basic training must be safe to avoid injuries).

Strength endurance
High G-forces are present in motor sports, so the drivers must have adequate neck muscle strength endurance; the weight of the head and helmet amounts to approx. 6 kg; and with added G-forces during cornering and accelerations this amounts to ca. 30 kg.
Also strength, endurance and stability for the arms and shoulders, legs and back, core stability, is required.

Coordination
Reaction time (responsiveness).
‘Motor’ skills; timing (force control); controlling the steering wheel, car, braking and accellerating.

Mental capacity
Problem solving (tactics)
Concentration (ability to focus)
Voluntary muscular control (contracting and relaxing muscles).

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