The 4 kinds of racers

There is a long history of sorting people into 4 different types.

  • Earth, Air, Fire, and Water
  • Phlegm, Black Bile, Blood, Yellow Bile
  • Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Slytherin
  • Guardians, Rationals, Idealists, and Artisans
  • Stabilizers, Clarifiers, Unifiers, and Activators

With that in mind, I decided to make a system that categorizes drivers into 4 types: Professional, Genius, Champion, and Winner. What type of driver are you? Probably a little of each. Like all such sorters, they oversimplify. Real people are very complex entities. Still, these kinds of categories are fun and can help you understand different parts of your personality. One of these days I’ll make an actual questionnaire, but for now, here are the categories along with a suggestion for an author of each type to read.

Professional (concrete optimizer)

The Professional takes pride in doing things… well, professionally. Whether you’re talking about prepping the car or driving on track, the Professional takes it all very seriously and pays attention to details more than any other type. The Professional expects everyone to know their jobs and pull their weight. Unexpected things happen in a race though, and the Professional understands and prepares for this. When someone fails to do their job, the Professional chooses to fix rather than blame. To get a professional view on driving, try reading Optimum Drive by Paul Gerrard.

Genius (abstract optimizer)

The Genius often gives the appearance of being more interested in improving the car or driver than actually winning races. Why? Because they actually are. They have a long term vision of race development and don’t get too worked up about minor setbacks or triumphs. The victories in the garage or practice session are equally rewarding as those on track. In their search for perfection, Geniuses can sometimes be too demanding of teammates or themselves. If you identify with the Genius type, you’ll like lots of books, but you won’t be satisfied until you start writing your own book (at which point you still won’t be satisfied).

Champion (abstract racer)

The Champion wins races, sure, but their real goal is winning life. A car race is a microcosm of life. A successful race is not only judged by finishing position, but by the dangers braved, lessons learned, hardships endured, and friendships forged. A Champion takes equal pride in a teammate’s performance as their own. Win or lose, a Champion seeks out rivals and gives them a pat on the back. Champions are intolerant of poor sportsmanship and disapprove of cheating. Champions are all conflicted because they believe in the honor of a fair fight but they also know that the track is the track. You can see the Champion in Ross Bentley’s writing.

Winner (concrete racer)

The Winner’s primary goal is to win. The secondary goal is also to win. That’s how important winning is to the Winner. The tertiary goal is to beat the snot out of you so badly that you come back weaker and even easier to beat next time. No, the Winner isn’t a very nice person on track. Nice guys finish last. Despite their on-track demeanor, they may be a sweetheart off track. If the winner is an engineer, he takes his building as seriously as his driving and bends the rules that aren’t outright broken. Only a fool enters a fight on equal footing, and the Winner is no fool. If you identify with the winner and like to read books, try those from Carrol Smith, who is the consummate winner. The favorite saying of winners, to their opponents, is “other sports beckon”.

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