Driving Forward Together was honored to have the opportunity to talk with Eric Simmons, 2011 D Street Pro Solo National Champion and 2016 E Street Prepared Pro Solo National Champion.
What class do you drive? What car? STR 2017 Miata
I understand you have owned a number of cars. How many? Can you tell me more about that? I have owned 132 cars so far, I tend to get bored easy and I like the challenge of driving many different cars.
Wow so many, could you elaborate on what have been your favorites to drive?
It's hard to pick a favorite, but here are 3 fun ones.
91 Civic Si with 450whp and converted to AWD
72 Chevelle SS, very fun car and good looking.
2015 Mustang gt set up for ESP...was a fun car until it blew up
When did you start autocrossing? How did you start? 1986 My parents (and sister) did autocross, Hillclimb, and Road Racing when I was growing up.
Do you participate in other Motorsports aside from solo? If so, what? I did a few track days many years ago. I also did Rally cross.
What kept you coming back to autocross?
I kept coming back to autocross because of the competition and the people.
When you’re not autocrossing what can you be found doing? Probably buying or selling cars :) I am on a bowling league during the fall/winter. I like going out to see rock bands also.
What is your favorite autocross memory? Probably winning my 1st Pro Solo Championship in 2011. I was behind on Saturday, but I knew what to do to pick up time on Sunday and got lucky enough to take the win.
What are your plans for the 2019 season? Tours? Nationals? I will be doing Charlotte tour, NJ Pro, Finger Lakes tour, Peru/Toledo Pro, Oscoda Pro, Finger Lakes divisional, Pro finale, and Nationals. Plus a bunch of local events between 4 or 5 regions.
In the weeks before, how do you prepare for nationals? Do you have a routine? Keep a list, mentally etc. I definitely make a list, I go over the car to make sure it's ready, then try to pack all the stuff I am bringing.
How do you prepare mentally before driving?
Before I take my first run, I try to drive the whole course in my head.
What will you be focusing on improving this season? My driving, I need to be smoother with my inputs for the ND compared to other cars I have owned. Also I will be getting the car to handle the way I like it.
What skills or lessons have you taken from autocross into every day life? It definitely makes you a better driver for the road. I think my life revolves around racing during the season.
Any words for newcomers or someone hesitant to the sport? Don't be afraid to come out and try it, most people that I try to get into the sport think that they need to upgrade their brakes, and buy special tires before they come out. This Is not True, just make sure your car is safe and come on out. I would definitely ask for an instructor if you are new to autocross, they can be very helpful and make the day go a lot smoother. Don't be afraid to ask questions from anyone there, we are all friendly and willing to help out.
How does the #DFT initiative align with your views? I love when the women run in the open classes, because I don't think they need to be separated. I heard some stories of men being rude or looking down to the women who run open class, and I REALLY hope this can change. We are all there because we love doing the same thing.
We thank Eric for taking the time out to speak with us. Who knows what car he'll be driving next!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blog do not necessarily reflect those of the guest, host or the DrivingForwardTogether initiative.