Train Like A Race Car Driver

by | Mar 18, 2016 | Fitness

We wrote about Dave Perel’s incredible tenacity in carving out a place for himself on the international race circuit in the August 2015 issue. From Gran Turismo freak to go-kart champion to massively successful entrepreneur to Lambo driver, we thought Dave had done it all.

But we’ve just learned that Dave has gone even further, signing with the Kessel Racing Ferrari team to race a Ferrari 488 GT3 in the AM category of the Blancpain World GT Endurance Championship. Incredible!

Here’s how he did it:

Get up at 6am and do 1½ hours of racing simulation using Gran Turismo. I do a three-lap race around a short track to warm up, then a 15 to 20-lap race around a long track.

I go back to a short track with lots of corners and work on technique issues I noticed during the long race. Every evening I go for a 6 to 10km run. If I do a 6km run then I include 1 200 steps. I try to minimise weight training, as carrying too much muscle can compromise concentration and add weight.

Every opportunity you have to hold a steering wheel and have pedals under your feet is an opportunity to become a better racing driver. Dave says

PlayStation’s Gran Turismo helps racing driver wannabes learn specific techniques. “It may be the virtual world but it’s close to the real thing.

Although you can’t simulate the physical forces you can still simulate techniques and iron out bad habits,” he says. He recommends that aspiring pro drivers play a racing game for at least 30 minutes a day.


1/ rFactor (PC only)

2/ iRacing (PC only)

3/ Gran Turismo 5 or 6 (PS only)

“I mix gaming with workouts. Racing simulators become considerably more difficult when you play them right after high-intensity exercise.” Dave uses phone apps to improve concentration and for

activation before a race. “People laugh but it works well. The best games to play are ‘endless runners’ as they never end and actually speed up the longer you drive – this helps you develop anticipation, faster reactions and greater concentration.”

His workout routine consists of: 

100+ push-ups

50 to 100 pull-ups

50 to 100 burpees

150+ air squats

100 to 200m sprints

Gym routines take about an hour. Mixing rowing, ski-erg and airdyne into the mix helps with high-intensity workouts.



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