Ask Patrick Series
“What Goes On After a Race?”
One thing we know for sure, Rally racing is not for the faint of heart. To be successful, it takes an entire team to work together toward a single goal – winning. In this edition, we caught up with Green APU Rally USA Racing driver Patrick Gruszka to discuss what goes on at the end of a typical Rally race.
How long is a typical race?
Patrick: “For us, the actual race really starts about a week before, with all of our preparation. We start by doing a lot of testing, and then move onto “Recce” (scouting the roads of competition before the event). Then after all that, it is time to run the actual race. We will do about 300 miles, with half of those being the race itself”.
How do you feel after a race? Exhausted? Full of energy?
Patrick: ”As a team, we go through a lot of training in order to minimize the recovery time after an event. Regardless of those efforts, everyone is pretty tired after a race.”
What happens immediately after a race? Does the car have to be inspected?
Patrick: “After a race, the car goes back to our shop, so our team can do a comprehensive inspection, and repair or replace anything that is needed.”
What do you learn after looking at the car when a race is finished?
Patrick: “I think about a lot of things. The first thing I do is reflect on how well I drove, and whether there was anything I could have done better. As far as the car goes, we look at its overall condition, and determine what parts will need fixing or replacing for the next run.”
What parts need replacing on the car after a race?
Patrick: “We will fix or replace anything that needs attention. Usually, the parts that need repair or replacement the most are the ones that get worn during a race, such as the suspension etc.”
What other activities go on after a race?
Patrick: “The minute a race is over, we start prepping for the next one. During this time, we also start working on the post event videos that we put out for fans.”
Tell us about packing up after a race.
Patrick: “As you can imagine, we have a lot of equipment and gear with us for a race. After we pack up our tools, tires, and other pieces of equipment, the last thing to go in the trailer is the car itself.”
How long does it take to get home?
Patrick: “Races take place in many locations, so it ranges from just a few hours in some cases, to over a week.”
What is done to the car to prepare for the next race?
Patrick: “Anything and everything that is needed. We inspect the car very carefully to make sure we are 100% ready to compete again.”