qualifying session, or how they did in a stint,
and they’re comparing it against everyone
else: Who’s the fastest driver? Who’s the top
five? Who’s the top 10? The available data
has just grown so much; it’s out there and
everybody can grab it now. You can’t hide.
Setting the fastest lap isn’t what people are
looking at. The guys earning the respect
are the ones who set the fastest overall
averages, and that’s a massively different
outlook on our sport from what it had been.
You need to be pushing every lap.
There’s no pushing for a little bit then
cruising. It’s flat-out all the time. Even
Le Mans has turned into a 24-hour sprint;
Daytona’s much the same. In the decade or
so that I’ve been at this, it’s really evolved.
LL I think of Sebring, and how it’s gone
from a place where all of the thoughts were
to make the finish, to today where you don’t
even worry about the car breaking down.
All you think about now is maximum
attack the whole time you’re in the car.
It was strange in the beginning when it
became like this, but you kind of adapt to
it. Now you just do it and it’s normal.
While we’re carving away at the sports car
stereotypes, how has the intense fitness
regimen you both undertake influenced
your careers? Will it allow you keep going at
the same rate of speed and effectiveness
well into your forties or early fifties?
OG Yeah, that’s my plan. I want to stay as
fit as I possibly can to drive as long as I
possibly can. Marathon training, I feel, has
been a benefit for me. Through the
marathon training I’ve learned to suffer a
lot. You suffer a lot when you run a
marathon, and you suffer a lot when you
“There’s no pushing for a
little bit then cruising. It’s
flat-out all the time. Even
Le Mans has turned into
a 24-hour sprint”
drive the racecar, too – especially the
longer races. Whether it’s hot, or your
hands hurt, or your neck hurts, or your
feet hurt, you have to keep going.
Driving at three o’clock in the morning
in the rain at Le Mans, or whatever, you’re
going to suffer at some point. So running
a marathon, just the mental ability to deal
with suffering while you’re doing
something physical, has been incredibly
beneficial and educational. I push myself
so hard because I know it will keep me at
the leading edge in my profession.
Lucas Luhr is a
two-time GT class
winner at the
24 Hours of Le Mans,
driving Porsche 911s
for The Racer’s Group
in 2002 and Alex
Job Racing in ’03.
In the ultra-competitive world of GT
racing, winning or losing can come down
to split seconds. “Cruise mode” isn’t in
the repertoire of today’s GT drivers or
crews and long gone are the days when
pit stops weren’t carefully choreographed
and rehearsed in advance.