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Interview with Craig Dolby

The reasonably new racing series called Superleague Formula has dragged some drivers out of the dust. One of those drivers is British Craig Dolby. Dolby is still young and became one of the youngest winners in Formula 2.0, so you could say he is talented. Unfortunately, this fast British guy has the problem of many drivers. This problem, called budget, stopped him in his move to the top. Fortunately, he proved himself in Superleague Formula an RacingInside.com spoke to him in an exclusive interview.

Craig DolbyCraig, you are a talented British driver and most of our visitors will know who you are. But could you please give a short introduction about yourself to the visitors that do not know you?
Hi, I am Craig Dolby. I am 21 years of age and I come from a small town in England called Melton Mowbray, about 20 miles from Donington Park. I have been driving since I was 3 years old.

How did you get involved in racing? Have you always wanted to become a racedriver yourself? Did your parents always support you?
When I was 3 years old my dad got my sisters and myself a go-kart to share. That thing did 60 MPH and my sisters did not use it much. I loved it straight away and my whole family have supported me from an early age on and still come to most of my races today.

You have started your career, like many other drivers, in karting. Did you enjoy your period in karting and do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a race driver?
I loved my days in karting. It’s where a racing driver learns his race craft from an early age, which then gives him that edge when they move to cars at top level karting. The feeling you have to have to set up the kart is a similar feeling you have to give to your engineer in cars and with already learning the race craft it’s one less thing to focus on learning in cars. So, I do think karting is essential for a young driver.

You have raced in different formula cars throughout the years. You have started with Formula Renault 1.6 and also driven the Formula Renault 2.0 car. Lately, you were racing the Superleague Formula. What are the main differences between those cars? Which car, do you think, is the most exciting to drive?
The differences between the Formula Renault 1.6 and the 2.0 are not that much, with a lot of the parts being the same just a bit more downforce and power in the 2.0 car. Then you get to the Superleague car. It is a different animal with 750 BHP. It’s great to have that much power, then the bigger breaks and a lot more downforce just puts a smile on my face every second I drive in it. But, all of these cars are fun to drive in their own way, to get the most out of any car makes me very excited. When you know you are right on the limit there is not better feeling.

Every race driver has good and bad moments during his career. What is your best moment in racing, until now? What is the moment you would like to forget as soon as possible?
I have had a lot of good moments in racing and have made a lot of great friends. I would say the best moment is winning my first Superleague race at Zolder this year, as there is a lot of good drivers in the championship. That is helping me improve my driving all the time.

The moment I would like to forget out quickly was my last race in Estoril. I was fighting for the championship, but got taken out on lap 2. It has now made it harder in the championship, but it’s not over till the final lap of the last race of the season.

In 2009 you have been on the background for a bit. What are your expectations based on your further career?
I think before Superleague Formula, not many people knew who I was. I was close to stopping racing due to budget problems, like a lot of drivers. But then my chance came and Superleague has given me a chance to prove myself and I would like to take this chance to thank them for that. The future, I am not sure about that. I have always had the dream of winning the Formula One World Championship, so all I can do is keep pushing hard and try and make someone notice me.

Dolby driving to his victory at ZolderIf you could change your life with another racedriver for just one day, who will be the one you are changing with?
I would have to change it with Ayrton Senna. He is my hero and if I was in his shoes I think I could learn so much from it. He was a super special driver, one that still just makes you smile when you watch a lap on a video or YouTube.

Although the racedriver is the one that really scores the results, there are always a lot of people on the background that also have a big influence on the results and career of a racedriver (sponsors, mechanics etc.). Is there a special person in your career that you would like to thank, and why is that person special to you?
I am grateful to everyone that has helped me in my career. I would like to thank Martin Betts for his personal support, but I think the main 4 people I have to thank is my dad Russ, my mum Julie and my 2 sisters; Lucy and Amy. They have been there for me through the good times and they have picked me up through the bad. And, they still come to my races now and stick by me then and everyone else too.

Many people think that the life of a racedriver is all fun and just a dream. But if you take a look to the ‘inside’ of racing, what is the hardest part of being a race driver?
Racing is fun and for me being in the car is a dream. But sometimes, when things do not go your way, the low points can be very low. I have had to miss seasons of racing due to budget problems and watch other people drive was hard for me. Then also, you have the training. Which I like, but driving puts our bodies under a lot of stress. So, we have to be very fit. Pushing your body that bit further every day can be painful, but like I said; I like that bit too.

What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
I would like to say that you should never give up on a dream. I believe that if you want something bad enough and never give up, one day that dream will come true. Also, take as much advice as you can and learn as much as possible from others.