#2: Niclas Jonsson – 9 months living in a rental car to living his dream as a professional racer
Podcast with Host: Jai Shukla & Guest: Niclas Jonsson
Q1 – Highlight of 46 years in racing
Working with dad and kid brother but a huge factor. Winning petite Le Mans, the wins across time but also working with professional people behind the scenes. Racing is a real team sport. If the cleaners weren’t doing their job, others wouldn’t be able to do theirs.
Q2 – Steps of becoming a racer
You have to be passionate about it. Keep living your dreams no matter the ups and downs. Niclas Jonsson is someone who lived in a rental car for 9 months when he quit his job in Sweden and first came to America. Just traveled around handing out his CV until someone gave him a chance.
Luck plays a part too of catching a break and meeting the right people at the right time. Now he’s created a management company to help others.
Q3 – How does experience effect your drive?
Age and experience vs reflex and pure speed when younger is a balance. Patience is something you develop in not trying to win the first corner or the first lap. There will be yellow flags and pit stops especially in endurance tracks. The importance of taking care of the brakes, the tires, the gears and having a good car to hand over to your teammate plays a crucial role in a team sport. Staying in shape gets harder as you get older no doubt but the journey is worth it.
Q4 – 2018 – how was it & 2019 what can your fans expect?
Things haven’t changed from a preparation stand point. For Le Mans, he prepares 6 weeks out and wakes up in the middle of the night to work out in the gym for 1.5 hours to adapt his body and eating in a different way to be able to eat at 4 am. Hasn’t changed the way he prepared since the age of 20 just more pain when you get out of the gym.
In 2019 haven’t decided what it will look like yet but discussing opportunities. But loves working with 3 students who he coaches by providing physical, mental, nutritional, psychological training – like a full package to help them transform into the best drivers possible.
Q5 – What inspired you to give back?
Very few people will ever make it. Meeting the car and your level of performance in line is key for reaching your long term aim. Why – because he has a huge passion for it.
Q6 – At such a late stage, what are you learning?
New technology is something you have to adapt to but the only way to do that effectively is if you learn the basics.
Q7 – How does someone find a reliable team?
Community small so it’s not hard to find. See how things work, reach out to people, talk to people and of course have a passion for it.
Q8 – What makes you happier, your wins or your students?
Feels so proud and relate to them and he’s surprised at how happy it makes him to see his students progress.