The Physical Performance Show: Tim Slade – V8 Race Car Driver Team BOC & Freightliner Racing

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Episode 4: Tim Slade – V8 Race Car Driver Team BOC & Freightliner Racing

Brad Beer recently sat down with Tim Slade – V8 Race Driver for Episode 4 of The Physical Performance Show podcast.

Brad has a fire-side chat with Tim, discussing the highs, lows, and everything in between on Tim’s journey into the ranks of the V8 Supercar racing elite.

POGO Podcast episode 4

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The Physical Performance Show Brad Beer


Introduction: Welcome to the Physical Performance Show, the show designed to inspire the pursuit of your physical best performance. I’m your host, Brad Beer. Listen in as we delve into how the world’s top physical performers achieve their success, as well as the highs, the lows, and the journey of getting there. Let’s get ready, set, let’s go.
Brad Beer: Welcome, listeners, to another episode of the Physical Performance Show, the show that takes you behind the curtain of the lives of the world’s best physical performers. I’m your host, Brad Beer. If it’s your first time listening in, a big welcome. If you’re a return listener, thank you. I trust you’ll enjoy this episode and share it around with your fellow peak performers. Listen in as we derive and delve into how top physical performers achieve their success. We’ll take you behind the curtain, look at the highs, the lows, and everything in between on our guest’s journey to physical best performance.
In today’s episode, we have a fireside chat with Tim Slade, V8 race car driver extraordinaire. Today’s show is lovingly brought to you by Pogo Physio, the physiotherapy practice that helps you discover your best pain free performance.
Let’s jump right in.
I’m joined today by Tim Slade, V8 race car driver and guy to keep an eye on in the series. I’ve known Tim personally for probably four or five years through the practice and also life and mutual friends of ours. Tim, it’s great to have you along today.
Tim Slade: Thanks, mate. Good to be here.
Brad Beer: I believe this is your first podcast.
Tim Slade: It is. It is, much to your surprise. I thought I’d done everything else as far as this stuff’s concerned, but yeah. Haven’t done the podcast before.
Brad Beer: This is a treat. It’s my honour. I reckon it’ll be the first of many. I would’ve thought there’d been Motorsport podcasts around.
Tim Slade: Yeah. I don’t know. Like I said, I’d done all the other media stuff, TV and radio, talking to journo’s and whatever else, but no podcasts. Haven’t even listened to one. I will now.
Brad Beer: We’ll have to orientate you to the world of podcasts. It’s actually what I do when I run, I’m normally listening to podcasts. Speed sessions and that, you’ve got to be a bit more focused.
Tim, what’s something the world would find interesting about you that no one would know? Your followers in your sport, V8 race car driving, what would they find surprising about Tim Slade behind the scenes?
Tim Slade: I don’t know. It’s not that much other interesting stuff going on that people don’t know about. I don’t know. I enjoy my fitness, I’m a dog lover, love the Gold Coast. I’m from Adelaide. I think a lot of people already know that. I honestly don’t know.
Brad Beer: What dogs have you got?
Tim Slade: We got Max, he’s a Hungarian Vizsla.
Brad Beer: Hungarian Vizsla? What is that?
Tim Slade: He’d be a good running partner for you. He’s fast and runs all day. He’s actually from the pointer group of dogs, so loves his hunting. If we go for a walk, he’s always sneaking up on birds and wants to hunt them down. He’s awesome. We’ve had him about a year and a half now. He’s been a good addition to the family.
Brad Beer: That’s Danny and yourself?
Tim Slade: Yep.
Brad Beer: Family of three?
Tim Slade: Yes. Fur baby.
Brad Beer: Not including the bikes and the cars.
Tim Slade: No.
Brad Beer: Great. Dog lover. Tim, I like to start by asking guests on the show this next question: what’s the single greatest physical accomplishment you’ve ever achieved in the sport?
Tim Slade: Actually, Gold Coast race 2014. It’s a two driver race and there’s two 300 kilometre races, one on Saturday and on the Sunday. It’s October, Gold Coast, it’s starting to get warm. Late 20s, early 30s. You’re in the car for an hour and a half I think, each driver. Actually, the main driver does a little bit more than the co-driver. That particular race, my co-driver actually hit some tyres, and when we normally come in for our pit stop, they replenish all the cooling aids that we have in the car. They couldn’t actually get the door open because he’d hit the tyres, so they couldn’t fill up the cool box, which I guess circulates cool water through the cool vest that we wear. That needs to be topped up at a pit stop to keep it cool throughout the race. If it doesn’t get topped up, then basically the fluid that runs around through this top, it basically goes to whatever temperature it is inside the car, which it’s not unusual to be 55, 60 degrees in the car.
That started to get hot. The first time I went to get a drink, the drink straw popped off the drink hose. Then we also have a helmet fan which forces cool air onto our head through the helmet. That failed as well. I basically had no cooling inside the car, no drink, and I had to get through this hour and a half stint. We were actually quite fast that weekend. We’re running third towards the end of the race. The last half a dozen laps of that were extremely tough just because of the heat. We had to have cars on a different strategy behind me on fresher tyres. They stopped a bit later in the race and they’re catching me, so I had the pressure of that as well.
Being a street circuit, there’s no room for error in a place like that. You mess up your braking mark about five meters and you’re in a concrete wall and your days over. The concentration side of things was extremely hard because once the heat starts to get to you, your concentration goes. Had to focus extra hard on that. Given that I’d had such a tough run in the previous few races, I wanted to make sure that we came away from that race with a good result.
I think that’s definitely what motivated me to get through that race. Not let all of those factors affect me in the result that I wanted to achieve. We ended up third.
Brad Beer: For the round.
Tim Slade: For that race. We were fourth the next day. I think that was the toughest race I’ve ever done, just given that all the cooling stuff failed, it was a street circuit, so really high level of concentration, it was a long race, you need that concentration for extended period of time. It’s up there with the surfboard, the iconic Gold Coast race trophy, which is pretty cool.
Because I was so out of it when I got out of the car, all I wanted to do was get in the ice bath. There’s not many times where you don’t want to up on the podium, but this time.
Brad Beer: You were spent.
Tim Slade: I was cooked, absolutely cooked.
Brad Beer: How long were you driving in this extreme hot temperature for?
Tim Slade: About an hour and a half.
Brad Beer: Wow. On a side note, I’ve been in a car with you, at the back of Queensland here. It was for probably five minutes, and I got a sense from being in the car how hot it could get, get alone driving around 90 minutes like that. I must say, Tim, I’m still recovering from those few whole laps you gave me. Actually, we’ll hook up the video footage at the bottom of the show notes, guys.
Tim Slade: That’s actually one of the biggest things to get used to once you jump in a tin top race car, is the heat side of things. It’s not really something that you can train for. You need the miles.
Brad Beer: An adaptation.
Tim Slade: Yeah. You can do a bit of heat work in the sauna and stuff, but it still doesn’t really replicate exactly what’s going on in the car. Just to give an example of what it’s like, it’s like being in the sauna with a full length track suit on covering all your skin. Especially things that if you’re hot, you put your hands or your feet under cool water and it cools your whole body. We’re covered head to toe, balaclava, fireproof underwear which is full length, three layer suit, gloves, fireproof socks, race boots. There’s basically nothing that touches cool, fresh air.
It’s like being in that sauna, full length track suit, everything covered up, doing a workout for an hour and a half.
Brad Beer: As you said you can’t really replicate it, but do guys ever try and replicate the environment by getting into that in track suits?
Tim Slade: I did when I first got into the category back in 2009. That even came down to … I had an old Hilux at the time when I was living in Melbourne. During the summer, I’d drive around in that with the heater’s on flat out. There was no cloth trim in it, it was all rubber mats and slippery vinyl trim seat. You’d end up getting to where you’re going, if you’re driving home or whatever, if you didn’t need to look fresh when you got to wherever you’re going. It’s like a pool of sweat, pretty seedy, in the foot area of the car.
Brad Beer: Is this before you connected with Danny? She wouldn’t have jumped in the car with you?
Tim Slade: No, no one would’ve jumped in the car.
Brad Beer: Just picturing you doing that. That’s an interesting thing people wouldn’t have known about you, Tim, was that part of your training involved driving around in a hot car.
Tim Slade: Yeah. Not so much anymore, but yeah. Back when I first got into it.
Brad Beer: That’s cool. I imagine that race would’ve been even more special because it was a Gold Coast crowd. Lots of supporters there for you.
Tim Slade: Yeah, definitely. A few more friends at that race, family normally comes up from Adelaide for that race as well and stays at home. It is cool. It’s another home race for me.
Brad Beer: Yeah. Tim, in terms of another home race away from Adelaide, because you’re both-
Tim Slade: Clipsal,  Queensland Raceway. Gold Coast is good because it’s close to home. I ride my bike there, stay in my own bed, it’s nice.
Brad Beer: You ride your bike to the start line?
Tim Slade: The track. Not the start line.
Brad Beer: Sorry, no, the track. I’m just picturing that here, here’s the V8 race car. We’re going to talk about your cycling and your triathlon. How’d you get started in V8 race car driving? From an outsider looking in, my background is triathlon. I look at the world of elite motor sport, and it’s bar the conversations we’ve had and a few other little tidbits of drivers I’ve met over the years, I really am quite foreign to how people get started. Share with the listeners, Tim, how did you find your way into the professional V8 race car driving? I imagine most boys dream of that.
Tim Slade: Yeah. That’s where the interest came from was dad. He was always involved in motor racing, some way, shape or form. He did a little bit of driving, but nothing too serious. Just a few different categories around Sydney. I guess growing up at a few race tracks, it was always on the TV at home. Actually, I had a little Peewee 50 motorbike when I was four, I think, did a couple of races on that.
Brad Beer: On the Peewee 50? Come on.
Tim Slade: Yeah. I outgrew that. Then we went and did a “come and try” day at a go kart track. I formed an interest, but then it was dad that pushed me into that direction. Like any young boy, it’s not a hassle or it’s not something that you don’t want to do, go to the go kart track as a little kid. It’s pretty awesome. I got a go kart for my ninth birthday, that was pretty cool, waking up in the morning, turning over and seeing a go kart on your bedroom floor.
Brad Beer: Was that from Santa?
Tim Slade: I think that was from Santa.
Brad Beer: Santa is a good guy.
Tim Slade: I mind you, nine years of age today.
Brad Beer: You’re a pretty cluey guy, I reckon you might add some insight. Dad was a big catalyst. Going to go kart nine years of age, upgraded from the Peewee 50. Incidentally, I smiled when you said Peewee 50, I broke my jaw on a Peewee 50 in grade two or three at school, doing a jump and it landed on me. That was the end of my Motorsport days, any way, shape or form.
Tim Slade: I’ve had a few shunts on the motorbike, especially when the big kids tell you to go jump something that’s impossible jump, and you try and impress them and you end up smacking straight into it.
Brad Beer: I had my head like a mummy bandaged up at school. I remember everyone was looking at me for months, because I could get tension there anymore. That’s the last I did with anything motorised, mate. Went to push bikes from there.
Nine years of age, get your go kart from dad. Take us through that leap to get seated in a V8 race car.
Tim Slade: Dad and I travelled the countryside for the next eight years racing go karts, state and national championships. Then we moved into Formula Ford. It was tough, motor racing is tough, it’s extremely expensive to do. To be honest, I still look back on my path and think, “How the hell did we do it?” Even when we were in go karts, we’re like, “Okay, what’s the top level of go karts?” It’s actually what’s called CIK, which is an international Formula. Basically, the category CIK, you can go race with that exact same equipment at the world championships in Europe. That’s the sort of level that it’s at.
We looked at that and thought, “Yeah, we need to race there, race against the best guys in the country.”
Brad Beer: This is you privately inside your house, dad and mum, is that right?
Tim Slade: Dad, yeah. It was just pretty much dad and I. We thought all that costs X amount of dollars to do, I think it was probably about 30 grand. We thought, “Shit, we don’t have that money, how are we going to do it?” Eventually after two or three years, managed to race at that level. We won the junior Australian championship at that level.
Then we moved into Formula Ford. We didn’t actually really do … I think we did one year of senior go karting, but we never really wanted too. We wanted to move straight into Formula Ford, which is your traditional stepping stone after go karts. It’s an open wheel race car. Single seater.
Brad Beer: I just find that fascinating. Your dad and yourself were the team, you said won the national go kart championships?
Tim Slade: Yep.
Brad Beer: Which I imagine for every aspiring professional driver, is that like a landmark moment on the way to a professional career?
Tim Slade: Yes and no. It definitely helps, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean anything really. Money talks. You can basically …
Brad Beer: You don’t have to have a national go kart championship behind you to get anywhere.
Tim Slade: No. There’s no qualifying as such like there is in other sports to get to the top.
Brad Beer: Was there a fair few family sacrifices to fund the driving.
Tim Slade: Yeah, definitely. Dad put in every cent that he possibly could. Once I got to the stage where I was old enough to work, I always wanted to finish school. Even in the last two or three years of school, I was working.  I grew up in McLaren Vale in South Australia, big wine region. A lot of work there, either in the vineyards or winery. I worked in the vineyard pruning vines.
Brad Beer: I’m sitting here nodding, that goes to show how much I know about that culture.
Tim Slade: Pruning vines at that time of the year. I’d work for one of dad’s mates during harvest on the harvester. I finished school, actually went and worked in a winery for a year and a half. Basically, every cent-I still lived at home-that I earned from work, put into the racing as well. There was a period there in between go karts … My last year of go karts was 2002. Dad and I bought an old ’92 model Van Diemen Formula Ford, and we did a little bit of racing in that. Obviously, a ’92 model car is never going to be anywhere near competitive enough when it’s 2003. The main goal of that was to go and learn some of the tracks before we give it a red hot crack.
To do Formula Ford properly is upwards of $150,000. That definitely wasn’t achievable at the time, so basically 2003, 2004, 2005, we didn’t do much racing at all. We probably did over those three years a total of 12, 14 races under three years.
Brad Beer: This is in a national series?
Tim Slade: Yeah, in the national Formula Ford series. We got to the stage where we didn’t have the money or the support or the backing to do it. I had met in those previous few years the guy who runs the best Formula Ford team. He watched me a little bit. He thought that I was doing a pretty good job for the equipment that I was in. I gave him a call, because Adelaide, there’s not really much of an industry for motor racing, it all sort of happens in Melbourne and Sydney and Queensland. They’re based in Melbourne. I rang him and said, “Look, have you got any work?” Because I just wanted to get myself in the industry and be seen and then just try and put something together. Being in Adelaide, like I said, there’s not much of an industry and you’re never going to be seen as being out there and trying to put something together.
I moved to Melbourne in 2005 when I was 19 or 20. Actually went and lived with one of mum’s friends over there to start with and work for the race team in 2005. I didn’t do any racing for the rest of that year. Then I continued working for that team for the following year, but we actually put together a deal with that team to race in the national Formula Ford championship. We went onto finish second that year. Looking back at it-I guess if you look back at anything, hindsight’s a wonderful thing-we definitely had the speed to win the national championship that year, but I made a few mistakes, more so in the first half of the year in the races, just because I hadn’t had the consistency of racing in the past few years. I was out there probably trying too hard and making silly mistakes. I think we definitely easily had the speed to win the championship that year, but we were runner up.
The next two years, we were pretty tough slog as well in the Development series, which is basically the V8 super car series. They use all the same cars, but it’s basically like a stepping stone in the main V8 super car series. The first year of that, 2007, which was the year after my Formula Ford year. We did the majority of the championship. We had some good results, but we just, again, didn’t really have the money to do it properly.
Then the following year after that, I actually started my own team. Had some really good support from a person in Adelaide who supported me a lot throughout my career. He bought the car that I raced that year. I ran it out, being good mates with Jack Perkins for a long time, Larry Perkin’s son. Obviously got to know Larry pretty well. He owned a big race team at that period of time, just before he sold it. He allowed me to run my race car out of his workshop, and he gave me a big hand throughout that year as well.
There’s been a lot of people that have helped me a lot throughout my career, and I definitely wouldn’t be in this position without those people. That year, it was pretty cool actually. I had ran my own team, so it was a really tough slog. It was just me working on the car during the week, and then I’d employ two or three people to come away and help us run the car. Dad was still heavily involved, and mum helped out as well during that year. We won a race, won a round, and had some other good results. I think we got a podium at the last round as well. We were actually in the championship, the highest placed privateer entry, the entry without any sort of big backing or anything from one of the major teams.
That was cool. I had the opportunity to join the Paul Morris Racing Team. They had super cheap auto backing at the time in 2009. That was my first year into the main V8 super car championship.
Brad Beer: You were how old at that stage, Tim?
Tim Slade: 2009, I was born in ’85.
Brad Beer: Do the math on that.
Tim Slade: Yeah.
Brad Beer: We’re both looking at each other.
Tim Slade: Even that step, we had to put together backing. I had to put together backing to make that step. Paul was, “Yep, I’d like to have you in the team, but we need to come to a bit of a financial agreement.” That’s what a lot of people don’t realise about motor racing is basically to get to the top, you have to pay your way. Even Michael Schumacher, his first drive in Formula 1, he would’ve had to have brought some backing.
My friend from Adelaide, James Rosenberg, he was a big John Deere. We had lots of John Deere dealerships throughout south Australia. He actually bought the car that I raced in that year, and then had some backing from some other people as well and made it happen. The year after that was my first year getting paid and not having to bring financial support. That’s the history.
Brad Beer: It’s incredible, the amount of steps and the-
Tim Slade: It’s pretty crazy to look back on.
Brad Beer: -fact that the linear pathway, it’s not like the sport of swimming, you qualify through this time and you’re on the team. There’s a lot of variables.
Tim Slade: Yeah. No, there is for sure. I guess as a kid, it makes you grow up pretty quick because you have to get out there and do it yourself. A think a lot of people respect that, and I think that’s actually what’s worked in my favour, trying to put it all together as well. People were like, “Here’s this kid trying to put it all together, he hasn’t got a manager.” Dad did help out a lot, but it wasn’t as if he was the one making the phone calls and doing the deals. I think that actually worked in my favour.
Brad Beer: It makes you grow up because you’re out there, you’ve got to have the skills and negotiation, self-marketing, all those different things. It’s a pretty mature type of athlete at that stage, isn’t it?
Tim Slade: Yeah, definitely. Like you said, it’s totally different to the majority of other sports out there. For example, at Formula Ford, I said it costs upwards of $150,000 to do. I worked in the workshop that year and the money that the team paid me, basically take the minimum amount of that to live. The rest of that, I basically put straight back into the bill that the team gave me and dad. Dad, like I said, he put in every cent that he possibly could. We took the majority the following year to pay that bill off.
The team was awesome, and I’m still great mates with all the people in that team today. Like I said, without them allowing us to do that, it’s just one of the people that helped us out along the way.
Brad Beer: I think it’s like anything. You look at the top performers in any sport or any endeavour in life, there’s that illusion of luckiness. But they don’t see the hours and the steps and the sacrifices made. I just find that particularly compelling about this story is there’s a lot that’s been sacrificed. Overnight success, it takes years.
Tim Slade: Yeah, basically.
Brad Beer: Which is a good Segway. Tim, into this year. Tell us about this year’s drive. When I say this year, we’re just in 2016, February. What’s happening in the last few months?
Tim Slade: I’ll give you just a brief rundown of how it sort of ended up in this situation this year. After the 2009 year, which was my first year in the main championship, I joined Stone Brothers Racing, which are a well-established team, they’ve won lots of championships and obviously races. I raced with them from 2010 until 2012. We had some really good momentum going. 2011 was the year I got my first podiums, and then 2012 we actually finished 5th in the championship. The last round that year, I got my first pole position and had a second and a fourth in the two races at Sydney, at Homebush. That was awesome, definitely had some really, really good momentum going.
But then that team was actually bought by a new person coming into the sport, which is now Erebus Motorsport. They wanted to bring Mercedes Benz in and run those cars. That deal all happened pretty late. I still had a year left on my contract. I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, I had to continue on driving there even though it wasn’t what I essentially signed up for. But in saying that, everything looked really, really good on paper.
Come the first race of the following year, which was 2013, the cars were just way underdeveloped. Like I said, the last round of the previous year, I had a pole position, a second and a fourth, and the first race of the following year, we qualified third last, just because the car was nowhere near where it needed to be.
Motor racing, there’s lots of things outside of your control. You could be driving the best you ever have, but if the equipment’s not up to where it needs to be, then you’re going to be nowhere near the front.
Brad Beer: That must be incredible, for an athlete. I think most people that have come in contact with a professional driver or someone in Motorsport, quickly realise just how incredibly fit and athletic you guys are. For a lot of people, they wouldn’t have that understanding, would they?
Tim Slade: No. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put in, like I said, if the equipment’s not on par to where it needs to be, then you’re not going to get the results that you deserve. We would develop the car throughout the year and ended up getting some reasonable results in the second half of the year, but I decided that that wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to be in the position where I was constantly developing a car, still early days in my career. Maybe after I achieve what I want to achieve in this sport, then I will go to a situation like that where develop a car from the ground up and turn it into a race winning car. That’s not for me at this stage in my career.
I decided to move on. The last couple of years, I spent at Walkinshaw Racing in the super cheap auto car again, funnily enough. Same sponsorship but different team. It’s all a little bit complicated. I was part of a four car team. The Walkinshaw Racing team is also the Holden racing team. The priority on that team is that the two red Holden Racing Team cars. We achieved some good results, I think I had four or five podiums in my time in the past two years. Definitely nowhere near consistent enough. I guess there’s no hiding that the team didn’t really get to where they wanted to with the speed of the cars, as well.
As it turned out, that team, this year is scaled back from four cars to two cars, so there wasn’t a spot for me or the other driver that was there, Lee Holdsworth, this year. I managed to put together a deal with Brad Jones, he owns a team, Brad Jones Racing. They run the Freightliner racing car, the BOC sponsored car, and then a third car. They’ve had some really good success in the last few years with Bridie and Fabian Coulthard was there in the Freightliner car, that’s who I’ve replaced. He’s moved onto DJR Penske Team, which is based up here on the coast.
I’m really, really happy that I’ve ended up in that situation. I guess probably the most exciting thing is that I’m a priority in that team. It’s an awesome opportunity for me.
Brad Beer: Say watch this space.
Tim Slade: Yeah, pretty much.
Brad Beer: I’m sitting here in person doing this. I get a sense of the buoyancy you’ve got about you, you’ve got a spirit of excitement. Awesome, mate. It’s really cool, good to see. For the bit I’ve had to do with you, I’ve sensed frustration over the years at times. I’ve asked you about results.
Tim Slade: Yeah. Motor racing is an extremely tough game. You can’t afford to lay down and be kicked, you’ve just got to roll with the punches. Some people it’s definitely tougher for than others. That’s what can make it more frustrating, when you see other guys come in and it’s their first year in the sport and them just happen to jump in a really good car and get good results straight away. I guess it’s like anything in life, it doesn’t matter whether it’s sport, business, life in general, some people just have a tougher run that others, but it’s how you deal with it that matters.
I’ve been used to rolling with the punches for a while now. I guess I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason, too. I think bit cliché, but at the end of the day, it makes you a better person, tougher person.
Brad Beer: You wouldn’t change anything to date?
Tim Slade: I definitely like it’d to be easier than what it has been, but it is what it is.
Brad Beer: Tell us, Tim, what’s your morning routine look like?
Tim Slade: If I am home, I really enjoy my cycling. I’ve got a really good bunch of mates that I cycle with. Generally, jump on the bike, and if it’s during the week, we ride for two to three hours, then on weekends, we do three hour plus ride. I guess it changes year to year, what I do. I actually did a few triathlons and half Iron Man in Cains, which I was in here on this table a little bit in the lead up. Did that in 2014.
At the moment, I’m actually riding to my Pilates. I’m really enjoying the mat and the reformer. I just think it’s really, really good for what we do in the car. That and cycling at the moment, little bit of running. Not too much. And a bit of gym work, as well.
Brad Beer: Then some gym work.
Tim Slade: Sorry, that’s not really a morning routine. The morning routine would be, most mornings is on the bike and then home and get some good fuel back in and a good coffee.
Brad Beer: What does Tim Slade put in his body for fuel, not his car?
Tim Slade: I guess I try to keep my eating as clean as possible. I’m not very strict with any particular diet. I do the base of paleo diet, basically because it’s non processed foods, clean. I try and avoid those bad things. A typical breakfast would be, I live just down the road from Biscuit Café, so we quite often get their Veganola with a bit of fruit.
Brad Beer: You’re one of the regulars?
Tim Slade: The coyo yogurt.
Brad Beer: For non Gold Coast listeners, Biscuit’s a terrific café here on the Gold Coast, which if you go visit for the week, sounds like you’d likely run into Tim Slade.
Tim Slade: Yeah, sometimes. That or eggs, avocado type deal.
Brad Beer: Fairly clean.
Tim Slade: Yeah.
Brad Beer: Tim, you’ve run how many half marathons now? One half Iron Man triathlon?
Tim Slade: The first one I did was actually back in 2005. I didn’t even finish it because I had some dramas going on with one of my legs. The first one that I finished was Gold Coast 2011. In the half Iron Man, there’s a half marathon in that. My best time I did last year, I did a decent bit of training for that. I wanted to get into 126 bracket, but fell just short, did 127 something.
Brad Beer: Which is outstanding. I think there’s a bit of competitiveness between yourself and your partner Danny. From memory, what was the outcome there?
Tim Slade: Danny actually had the faster time. My fastest time actually came in the half Iron Man. I did a 132. Danny, I think it was the same year. It’s been unfortunate that I’ve had a race up in Townsville, it clashes with the Gold Coast marathon for a few years there. It didn’t last year, obviously. She did sub 90, she actually had the fastest time out of the two of us. Definitely wanted to make sure that I beat her. We managed to get a priority start, maybe, was that thanks to you? Maybe someone else, I can’t remember.
Brad Beer: We can thank Tim, the Gold Coast airport marathon organisers for that one.
Tim Slade: We started off the front and Danny went like a bat out of hell. I just kept an eye on my watch. It’s so tempting to go hard with everyone else at the start, with the people that are capable, like yourself, from going hard the whole way. Paced myself, I don’t think I got past her until about seven or eight Km in. I was a little bit worried there for a while.
Brad Beer: What did you say when you passed?
Tim Slade: No, I just gave her a little tap on the behind. She had her earplugs in and shot off into the distance. She runs really well. It’s a bit of friendly rivalry, there.
Brad Beer: In house rivalry. You’ve got the dog to throw in the mix too. What’s your favourite training session, first of all?
Tim Slade: At the moment, like I said, cycling has been the favourite form of fitness I do for the last few years. That’d definitely be my favourite form of training. Like I said, flavour of the month is Pilates.
Brad Beer: What do you like about Pilates?
Tim Slade: I just think it’s really good for what we do in the car. We’re strapped in to a position which basically requires … It all basically stems around your core, your glutes, your lower back. In the car, there’s nothing other than the braking, there’s no real brute force or strength that you need. It’s something that we’ve done, most of us, since an extremely young age. You develop all those same muscles, whether it’s in a go kart of a V8 super car, you’re still pushing the accelerator, pushing the brake and turning the steering wheel. The go karts actually have a high amount of grip.
I just find it … Time will tell, because I haven’t done a race since I started doing the Pilates stuff. I think it’ll be really good in that, really strengthens those areas that you use a lot of in the car. In the car, it’s all about repetition. Like I said, it’s not actual sheer strength that you need in the car, it’s just being able to do that same stuff.
Brad Beer: Control movement repeatedly.
Tim Slade: Yeah, basically.
Brad Beer: With as minimum degree of … There’s maximal movement execution as possible.
Tim Slade: Yeah. For example, in the longer races when the tyres go away, they’ll lose grip, so the car’s moving around a little bit more. Our cars are known to have good power but not much grip. You have to be basically treating the accelerator like you’re treading on eggshells. You’re being really, really precise with the input on the accelerator. To do that, with the forces …
Brad Beer: The forces are what, like, you’re putting a …
Tim Slade: It’s actually not too much in the V8. If you watch Formula 1, they’re up around the three, four, five G mark, whereas the V8, it’s two, two and a half, something like that. When you’re trying to be so precise with the throttle, you’re really switching on your core and your glute in trying to put in basically millimetre movements. Sometimes when I’m in that situation, I pitch up pushing the accelerator with my big toe. That’s how precise those movements are.
That’s definitely where I think that stuff will come in handy in those longer races.
Brad Beer: My first meeting of a driver was when I was just out of school on the Gold Coast here, still training for triathlon. I think it was, correct me if I’m wrong, Larry Perkins, is that right?
Tim Slade: Yeah, Larry’s based in Melbourne, but he might have been up here for something.
Brad Beer: I’ve probably got the name wrong now, but it was one of the guys in the circuit who was doing Pilates up a Runaway Bay here on the Gold Coast.
Tim Slade: Yeah, that wouldn’t have been Larry.
Brad Beer: That wasn’t Larry. I’ve got the name wrong. It’s been over 10 years. I remember going, “Oh, cool, it makes sense.” I think it’d be a great thing for you. Tim, what’s the worst training, what’s the one you don’t like doing, you least look forward to? You got one?
Tim Slade: I guess I’m fortunate I can choose my own training. I don’t particularly do stuff that I don’t like very often. When I was training for the half marathon, there were some sessions there my good mate Flappers helped me out with. There were some sessions there that the interval stuff. You look at it before that morning or the night before and you just dread it. That hurt.
Brad Beer: Some of those poor McRobert training runs.
Tim Slade: Yeah.
Brad Beer: Tim, tell me, what’s on your bucket list inside this sport and outside this sport?
Tim Slade: Inside the sport, I guess I’m no different to anyone else out there. You’re out there to win races and to win the championship. There’re definitely things that I want to tick off before I think about anything else. Still inside the sport but outside of V8 super cars, I’d love to do some more GT style racing, which I actually just did the Bathurst 12 Hour in a McLaren. The GT staff is like your Ferrari’s, your Porsche’s, your Audi’s, the McLaren’s, Nissan Skyline. All cars like that. They’re faster than the V8 super car, they’ve got less power but more grip. They’re really, really fun, cool cars to drive, and I’d love to do some more races in that.
But in particular overseas, your more iconic long distance races. Your Spa 24 Hour races, those long distance 12 hour, 24 hour in Sepang. Try and get overseas. Not so that it’ll effect the V8 super car stuff, that’s always going to be my priority, but if I can fit in some of that stuff around the V8 super car calendar, then yeah, that’ll be happy days.
Goals outside of the sport, bucket list stuff, I don’t really have any. It’s all about racing. If I achieve the bucket list stuff in racing, then I’m a happy man. Everything else is good. Life’s good.
Brad Beer: Life’s good. Last question, Tim. You’re actually heading off straight after this to a strength training session. Last question, what’s the greatest learning you’d pass onto aspiring physical performers? People who are trying to get their best out of their physical body.
Tim Slade: My sport’s been a little bit different in that it doesn’t necessarily come down to you being in the best physical shape as possible. I guess I could probably still relate it. From the story that I’ve told, you just no matter what obstacles come along, you’ve just got to stay positive and roll with those punches and keep on putting in what you can. I’m a big believer of, and I’m probably a little bit guilty of over analysing things, but not letting too many things outside of your control affect what you do.
I actually read a good thing the other day, it was stop comparing and do your thing. I actually wrote that down in my phone the other day. It’s like me before a race, you’re sitting there thinking about this, thinking about that, and you’re like, “Hang on, just go out and do what you do.” Because you’ve got to believe in yourself and what you do and no matter whatever else happens, you can’t control it. You just got to do that.
I don’t know if that’s good advice or not, but.
Brad Beer: That’s a tweetable Tim, stop comparing and start doing. I like it, do your thing.
Tim Slade: Do your thing.
Brad Beer: Tim, you’re off to a training session, so no speeding and driving there, although if there’s anyone driving fast on the road, you’d want it to be you because you can control the car. But mate, thanks so much for your time. I know the listeners are going to really enjoy this insight into the world of Motorsports. Thanks mate, and all the best for the year ahead, this series ahead.
Tim Slade: Thanks, mate.
Brad Beer: We’ll be cheering for you.
Introduction: There you have it. I trust you’ve enjoy this episode of the Physical Performance Show. I’d love it if you could jump over to iTunes and leave a five star review. Reviews help enormously in making this show more visible and therefore able to be enjoyed by more peak performers who, just like you, are seeking their physical best. If you’ve already left a review, a big thank you. If you’ve got any questions or comments regarding today’s show or guest, please shoot them over to my Twitter account. You’ll find me a @brad_beer. Copy of the show notes can also be found over at, and while there, make sure you subscribe to our weekly Pogo press, to my newsletter, which includes various hints and tips on how to get your best physical performance from your body. You’ll also get yourself two free chapters of my Amazon running and jogging bestseller, “You Can Run Pain Free.”
Until next time, keep pursuing your physical best performance. I’m Brad Beer, and this has been the Physical Performance Show.
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  • Miss C Thomas

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