The Craft of Driving Down Under

There are two kinds of people who can do things on the highest level. Genuises and masters. Genuises are born artists, masters are hard-working craftsmen. Here one of the latter ones from Australia.

I believe the people who are born with a certain talent and exploit it the way the highest possible way will be untouchable by anyone else - simply because they made for the task. People who earned their skills the hard way may never reach that sort of ruling, even if the difference is minuscule, there will be the extra "creationism" involved that makes the difference one way or the other.

On the other hand, people with the proper genes will never be able to explain their nature within, they will not be able to pass on their knowledge the same way as people doing the "trial & error" drill much harder. The uniqueness dies with the individual.

Lachlan Higgins, professional racing driver and instructor from Australia - affiliated to GT racing and V8 Supercars to an extent - is definitely one of the guys if you want to turn to for advice when it comes to driving, as you shall now discover.

What is racing for you as an instructor and as a driver? What drives you to get in the car and be competitive and what makes you want to share this experience with others?

I have a very different approach to motorsports when I'm racing comparatively speaking to when I'm instructing. When I'm racing, my focus is on performing to the highest of my own abilities and getting the most of out the car, whilst being able to still balance the longevity of the vehicle (e.g. tyre/brake/mental, etc.) through the race. This is all happening simultaneous to fighting to gain or hold position, or overall race strategies. I'm driven by an internal desire to go faster, to be competitive and to win!
Instructing however, as the majority I do is more for people who want to learn how to drive their street car on the track is focused on basics, such as car control, braking points, track spacial awareness etc.
Racing for me is difficult to qualitatively describe, for example, I can turn into a corner at over 200km/h, full throttle without hesitation and the only thought is "How can I do it faster/better next time". I love it!
I have not found a single thing in life that matches intrinsic rewards of racing (the excitement, adrenaline rush) and it is this that I Like being able to share with people. Seeing someone get out of the passengers seat with me and not being able to stand up afterwards is probably a highlight of exactly that!

What can production car racing offer other series can't? What is the appeal of racing modified road cars?

Production car racing has a few huge draw cards:


- recognisable to the public
- Recognisable to potential Sponsors
- Availability of spec componentry

These things, as well as many others draw more competitors, which draws more spectator interest, which then draws potential sponsors - further increasing the strength of the cycle. With spec categories, where cars are of similar performance the racing is much more intense and exciting!
I think the 'relatability' to road cars is a great aspect of it, people can see just what a road car (albeit with fair bit of time/money spent) can really do!

What does being at Bathurst mean to you - either as a driver or "just" a team member?

Bathurst is an incredibly special track in Australian Motorsport, and it's somewhere that I've personally yet to race (soon to change hopefully). I'm sure I will have more to say on the subject after racing a few laps around it!

How would you describe the sensation of driving the RR layout 911 GT3 Cup car as opposed to the other race cars you're normally driving?

Good question! The Porsche GT3 cup has been a steep learning curve, having to basically re-think and re-learn the way in which I drive on track. Luckily, Porsche have designed and built an incredibly capable car, making things a bit easier. I've found so far, that it is possible to get good pace out of the car without too much trouble, but getting the last 10-15% of speed requires maximum commitment and skill - Still working on that part!

What is V8 Experience and what do you enjoy about it the most?

V8 Race experience gives the general public the chance to get behind the wheel of a V8 Race Car and drive a few laps. As an instructor, I help assist people during their laps to try and get the most fun and enjoyment out of the experience as possible. Its exceptionally enjoyable to see the reactions of the drivers after a few laps, with many saying they will be back for more!

Now that both Ford and GM announced shutting down their production in Australia, how do you see the future of V8 Supercars?

I think there is a great opportunity for growth and expansion for the V8 Supercars moving forwards, and we have already seen this with the emergence of new manufacturers, who are clearly not just there to 'make up the numbers' (especially after Volvo's recent win). Obviously, there will be an effect on the sport with production of the GM and ford vehicles ceasing, however, I think change can often be a good thing, and will bring with it new perspective to the sport. As Australia's premier Motorsport category, I have no doubt that it will adapt to the new situation and continue to thrive. Personally, I'd love to see more manufacturers (BMW would be great!) and larger grids. ...I'd also love to get behind the wheel of one of the cars!

image is from Lachlan's LinkedIn profile