He only can be described in one way; as a true champion and hero. Winning several championships in Formula 3 and saving one of his fellow driver is why he deserves that status. Besides just being fast, he is a hard working, honest British guy with lots of talent and perseverance. RacingInside.com spoke to James Winslow about his career, winning the championships and his future in racing.
Hello James, you are a very talented British racing driver and also a very successful one. But could you please give a short introduction about yourself to the visitors of RacingInside.com?
Hello, I am James Winslow, 28 years young and a British – Australian resident. I love all things racing and can’t say no to ice cream either.
How did you get involved in racing? Have you always wanted to become a racing driver yourself? Did your parents and family always support you?
Yes, from the age of 5 years old I loved racing and would watch Formula 1 with my father. I went to Le Mans 10 times as a child and young teenager, never missing a single race for years. My family have supported my dreams from the beginning; our finances took us until karting, where I finished at 17 years old. We then had to find sponsors to move into car racing. As we are from a very humble hard working family, hard work and a never give up attitude goes a long way though I think!
What kind of job would you have, if you did not become a racing driver?
Good question, I love sports and snooker & skiing was/are a passion. But I’m not sure about jobs; I believe if you want anything bad enough you can achieve it though!
Did you start your career in karting, like many other racing drivers or did you race in racing cars right away? Do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a racing driver?
Yes, I started at karting at 9 years old. I loved it and it gave me an amazing childhood. I experienced things other couldn’t at that age and helped me grow up and have dreams and goals.
You have raced in several cars and especially several championships during your career, for example Formula 3, Indy Lights and A1GP. Which car that you have driven during your current career, is the most exciting to drive?
I was lucky enough to drive in Champ Car for some serious testing before a planned season in 2008. Unfortunately, the series went under that same year. Champ Car was amazing, turbo, downforce, great looking car, they had it all!
Every racing driver has good and bad moments during his career. Winning the several championships in Formula 3 are probably ranked at the best moments throughout your career. But, what are really the best and worst moments in your career?
Best and worst are the same moment. That moment is helping a fellow driver out of his burning car after a huge F3 car crash in 2006. Here is a clip of the crash/fire.
During your career you have made the step from the Europe to Asia and on to Australia and USA. We could call you a globetrotter with that. Why did you make all those steps throughout your career?
I have always chased the opportunities, wherever they were, wherever I could continue my career and progress. With no family money, I chased the drives that were available and if that meant moving around the world I jumped at the chance. I have been lucky enough to have seen the world a few times over and experience many different cultures and met so many different people. It has been amazing!
What goals would you like to achieve during your further career and what championships would you like to compete in during your further career?
I want to have won a championship in V8 Supercars in Australia and win the race at Bathurst. I want to have competed in Indycar and stood on the podium over there and the final goal is to win at Le Mans in any class, but ideally LMP2. I’ll not be giving up until I have ticked all these boxes!
If you could change your life with another racing driver for just one day, who will be the one you are changing with?
I love this question! Mmmm…I would go back to Indy 500 in 2011 and be my friend Dan Wheldon winning the Indy 500 for a second time and be the great guy that he was!
Although the racing driver 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 racing driver (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?
So many people have helped me get to this point in my career and life; I can’t pick one as there are literally 30 great people!
Many people think that the life of a racing driver 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 racing driver?
It is great and a very nice life and we all need to appreciate what we have and not what we haven’t got. There are tough times, but these make the good days even more enjoyable! Being alone travelling for the past 6 years or opportunities of life changing chances passing you by and knowing they will not be coming to you again is tough, but honestly I wouldn’t change any of it! I regret nothing and I loved every minute, I have worked so hard but I have also had some luck go my way to be where I am today, which is ‘almost but not quiet there yet’ I reckon! I was told ‘The harder you work the luckier you are' and it’s true.
What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
You can be anything you want to be in life, if you believe, work harder than everyone else and never give up!