With a new book coming out set in the world of motorsport, the question that I’m asked on a regular basis is would I go back to racing? Like most drivers, I didn't quit the sport. Money quit the sport for me. And a lot has changed in almost twenty years since someone last asked me to start my engines. I’m married. I live in a different country. I have a mortgage. Writing is a full time career that sucks up a bunch of my time. The list goes on. And if I’m being really honest, I’m not sure I have the drive that I had twenty years ago to spend hours prepping a car, getting up at the arse crack of dawn to travel to some corner of the country and I certainly don’t have disposable income to underwrite a racing fix. But if someone were to say, “Simon, can you be at Infineon? There's a car waiting for you,” I’d be there in a shot.
Or so I thought.
The other week, the question of me returning to the track came up, but this time, it was said in front of my wife. I answered yes. My wife answered no. That was a shocker.
We hadn't met when I raced so she isn't aware of the life I led in those days, so I was little surprised at her reaction. To her credit, my wife has backed me in every damn fool venture I’ve thrown myself into over the last fifteen years, even when I’ve doubted whether it was a good idea or not. She was the one who suggested I junk my career so that I could write full time. Her vetoing my motor racing dreams seemed more than a little out of character. So I asked her why no on the cars. Her answer was simple. She didn't want the stress of race days. She didn't want to be hoping the phone wouldn’t ring to tell her something had happened to me. Aw, she cares. I saw that she was pretty adamant on this issue, so I kinda didn't take the conversation any further.
The problem is that racing is an addiction and I’ve been clean and sober for 18yrs, but if someone offered me a fix, sobriety would go out the window. I’d jump at the chance that to climb behind of the wheel of a race car, any race car.
So I’m faced with a tricky problem. Would I go against my wife’s wishes? She's never stopped me from doing anything my heart has desired and I more than owe her for it, so I should honor wishes on this one. I don’t think the circumstances would ever arise where a return to racing would ever be in the offing, so it’s a moot point, but should that unlikely situation strike, what would I do? I think I know. I think I would do the right thing. The only problem is I don’t know what the right thing is. :-)
Yours on the fence,