Hello, My name is Bobby Carville and I am really excited about being the newest addition to the CtWatchdog/Hoffman Auto Group team of journalists.
Truth be told, I am not really a journalist. However, I am a former professional racing driver who now owns and operates our family leather tanning business in Upstate New York together with my wife Jennifer. My racing experience goes back over 30 years to when I was a kid racing go-karts.
My career accomplishments include two seasons racing in England in both Formula 2000 and the British Formula 3 Championship, three national championships including being the SCCA National Runoffs Formula Continental Champion in 1989 and the Export A Formula 2000 Champion in 1990. At the time, that was the premier Formula 2000 series in North America and I beat out some pretty talented drivers for that title including Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy. After a few years of “ride hunting”, I found a good one and finished 5th in the 1994 Toyota Formula Atlantic Championship.
However, one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my racing career was the year I spent teaching at the Skip Barber Racing School located at Lime Rock in Lakeville, Connecticut. Teaching average drivers the skills and tools needed to be safe drivers and how to push the limits of a vehicle in a controlled environment was a blast. It amazed me how the younger 16-18 year old drivers with relatively little driving experience were often the best students.
They had not developed bad habits or the sense that they were already “good” drivers. And that is the goal of my column, to share some of my experiences and offer my advice to the average driver. My hope is that you will learn how to be a safer driver and will enjoy driving even more by having a better understanding of vehicle performance and handling.
I won’t get into too much detail in my first column other than to say that the greatest risk we face our roads today is distracted drivers. I know, it sounds like a broken record but with the endless flood of technology today, cell phones, IPods, MP3 players and the like, we are all faced with making decisions about connectivity and entertainment vs. the safety of ourselves, those riding with us and other drivers on the road. It all leads to the subject of my next column..spatial awareness.
No successful racing driver ever won a race without having extreme spatial awareness – not only knowing where he was on the track at all times but where the other competitors were in relationship to him as well. And no distracted driver has good spatial awareness – they can not co-exist. Don’t worry, I will get into a few performance driving tips in my next column as well for you more serious motorists out there.
Please leave your comments and suggestions for Bobby at the end of the column. You can also reach him directly at:
Editor’s note: Bobby Carville is CtWatchdog Editor George Gombossy’s son-in-law. DrivenCt.com is a consumer auto guide which George helped to create and provides guidance and advertising in return for a marketing fee. The columns that I publish from DrivenCt.com are edited by me and sometimes, like in this case, the topic was suggested by me. In full disclosure, my son Ethan Gombossy is the Porsche service representative for Hoffman. And of course from time to time the dealership pays for advertising on CtWatchdog.com. Obviously I have such a huge conflict of interest that I cannot publish any positive or negative comments from readers about Hoffman Auto Group. As I have in the past, any complaints that I receive about the dealership I turn over to owner Brad Hoffman.
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