Parenting Blog

Racing A Toyota Sienna and Learning Things I Already Knew

Toyota Sienna R-Tuned Racing Minivan

There’s no logical explanation for the opportunities I’ve been granted over the past 18-24 months. This crazy dad blog/social media/photography life has taken me to some superb places and along the way I’ve met some even more superb people while doing, frankly, some ridiculously rad things (like racing a Toyota Sienna).

I don’t say all that because of some vain glory I feel but to tell you that while all of the traveling, people-meeting and stuff-doing is without a doubt wonderful (especially when I get to involve my family), what I’ve come to cherish most are the quieter moments of reflection found between courses at a press event dinner, during a product presentation or while lingering in a hotel lobby waiting for the next ridiculously rad thing to begin.

One such period of deep thought curation came during the personalized instruction I received from a real life race car driver while helmeted and strapped tightly into the impossibly snug driver’s seat of that sharp R-Tuned Toyota Sienna minivan pictured above. I kid you not.

While the engine rumbled and the gas pedal awaited my physical instruction, I heeded these words from the pro:

1) Never brake into a turn. Instead, accelerate firmly in the moments just before approaching the turn, brake with purpose in the braking zone leading up to the turn, maintain speed through the turn and press down on the gas pedal again as you unwind the steering wheel out of the turn. Not only is that amazing driving advice, following those instructions produces an AMAZING feeling while actually doing it on a race course!

2) Focus on the turn after the next turn and on the upcoming changes in the track topography by keeping your line of sight parallel with the ground. Meaning, don’t stare at what you are doing in the present, prepare yourself and the vehicle for what is coming up next.

Toyota Sienna R-Tuned Real Performance_On Track Jeff Bogle #2

My handsome Italian race car driver/instructor probably thought he was only referring to what I was about to try to do in the lightning quick R-Tuned Toyota Sienna with those instructions but what I heard were life lessons and parenting teaching points.

Regarding not braking during a turn, this is crucial advice for anyone striving to accomplish anything in life! You accelerate, sometimes quite literally, out of the gate with a full gas tank of excitement over the possibilities that lie ahead for you and your project/endeavor/etc. But, it is necessary to pause as you think through crucial decisions and develop a viable game plan for success before heading into the meat of the process (the turn) because that’s when you must steadily navigate the execution of the plan. Finally, you gradually pick up speed on the straightaway out of the turn when you and your new venture are up and running. Yes!

The 2nd instruction is not dissimilar in that you should exist in the present, of course, but your eyes needn’t be fixed solely on the here and now. By looking out and up ahead you will be able to survey the possibilities in your future while still hitting all your marks in the present. Not only will this make you a more prepared person, but should you ever find yourself racing a Toyota Sienna minivan on a road track, a much better race car driver too!

*Learn more about how Toyota is attempting to put more performance into their Sienna minivans, and what it feels and looks like to actually race that black & yellow beauty built by DG-Spec for Toyota.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Jeff,

    Awesome driving lessons…especially no. 2: why limit your potential to the here and now? Why focus on the future that you fail to live in the present?

    This is something to remember…

    Always,
    Akaahan Terungwa

    P.S.

    I never knew Toyota were taking the Sienna up the track…for many years, I’ve always regarded the minivan as one for shopping groceries and running basic errands 🙂 Thanks for the enlightenment.

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