Well, here we go. As the streets are empty and people go into the Great Lockdown of 2020, people around the world are twiddling their thumbs as they wait it out.
With an unseen enemy (tiny little virus) and no real defence except to sit tight, wash your hands, keep well away from other people and go nowhere, soon we are all going to be wondering what to do with the next 21 days.
If you are a petrolkop, however, there’s nothing to fear. There’s no shortage of interesting stuff to do. First though, you might just be tempted to hit the couch, or the driving chair, if you’re lucky enough to have one, and build that Gran Turismo profile. There’s even that 24-hour endurance race over 4250km, that’s not been a possibility before. There’s never been a better time to twiddle those thumbs holding a Playstation controller - and no one will judge you for it.
Screen time can get boring though so it’s time to broaden your horizons.
You know those times, where you’ve taken your cabbie to the shop because the thing that needed fixing was too complex and would take up too much time. Now’s the time to get some know-how going. That mechanical knowledge you’ve been regretting never getting your head around, well now’s the time to get stuck into YouTube.
Start with a basic get-to-know-you-car walkthrough, and develop your interest from there. Find out how fuel injection actually works, of how a clutch plate operates, even how to do a basic service on your vehicle.
This reminds Bobby Nitro of the documentary A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story that he watched just the other night. Fangio, or ‘el Maestro’ as he was known, has been touted as likely the best race car driver of all time.
He says one aspect that kept him at the top of his game for a decade was his intimate knowledge of all the working parts in cars, so he learned to drive a motor to its limit, but never over. Those into old school cars and driving tactics will love this show.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Formula One: Drive to Survive on Netflix, which takes you through the trials and triumphs of young F1 drivers, mostly focusing on the tense rivalries in the mid-field, as well as the frustrations, gambles and skelling uit that happen behind the scenes in this big money game, as technical experts try to get the best out of cars, and team principles motivate and curse temperamental drivers.
It’s addictive watching. But pace yourself, you’ve got plenty days to go, don’t burn those tyres out in the first weekend.
Of course, for those who have one, the old project car that’s been irritating the wife in the backyard is just beckoning for attention. In busy times, we try to build these project cars up faster than they rust away, but here’s a time to tip that balance and get some real work done.
Filling and sanding takes hours, and now you’ve got those hours. And get the kids involved, they are captive labour and can even be a captive audience for your stories and ramblings as you reminisce about the MK1 Golfie you had when you were 20.
Who knows, stopping the world and staying home might just have an upside, as we all slow down radically, spend dedicated time on what really interests us and out family.
And rev ons karre rof innie bekjaart.