When not competing across the UK and Europe, racing driver James Pickford can often be found sitting in a passenger seat somewhere. But far from taking a hard earned rest, James is hard at work, using his Championship winning experience to improve the driving skills of his prestigious client base.
So for a racing driver, is it frustrating, frightening or just a chore to be sat in the passenger seat? “Genuinely, I take almost as much pleasure in seeing my clients’ confidence build during a session as I do in a fastest lap time on track” says James.
“My instruction work on the road is all about helping clients understand the capabilities of their car. In doing so, they become a better, more confident and safer driver. It also whets their appetite for getting on track!”
According to James, real car enthusiasts are unable to resist the prospect of taking their car on track to explore its full potential. Of course, this is also a service James is ideally placed to assist with, through his company, JP Motorsport.
“We’re able to run track days for clients and their friends, family or business associates.” says James “Whilst most people like to use their own car, we can also provide a range of different vehicles for them to try. It’s a fantastic way for them to explore the limits of their latest toy and to sample the atmosphere and environment of a racetrack.”
Whilst for many, track days with their road cars are as far as it goes, other clients go further still, and acquire their racing licence. James continues; “Once people have had a taste of driving on track, they can often get ‘the bug’. Our organised track days are very well regulated from a safety point of view, so experience what it’s like to really race, there’s only one way they can go.”
James is able to take a novice through the entire process from completing forms to undertaking the ‘ARDS’ test to obtain their racing licence. Ongoing tuition as the client develops their racing career is commonplace, as is support from the pitwall when the racing debut occurs. According to James, it’s commonplace for even the most confident and experienced racing drivers to occasionally require a ‘second pair of eyes’ in the car with them.
He’s predictably modest and professional when quizzed about who he might have helped, but with a wry smile he says “You might have heard of a few”. What’s clear to us is that this young man has approachability and likeability to go with his driving ability, and anyone with even a passing interest in improving their driving skills would be well advised to get in contact.