You need incredible physical stamina
Beyond the mental aspects of the game (which Bentley says account for 90% of a racer’s skill), drivers need to be incredibly fit to race well. Racers experience over 4 G’s of lateral acceleration on turns, so even holding one’s head up for hours becomes a problem. Just turning the steering wheel is tougher, since there’s no power steering and the lateral forces are much higher. “Racers have to be some of the most fit athletes out there -- some keep their heart rates above 160 bpm for a two-hour race. Not many people can perform at that level.”
You have to stay in the zone, no matter what
When Tom Brady loses his zen and throws an interception, he gets a nice break while the defense takes the field. When race drivers lose their focus and make an error, they have to regain control within seconds. Consider this: let’s say that after a mistake, you spend 3 seconds feeling bad about it. At 200 mph, that means you’ve just traveled 900 feet thinking about your past decisions, instead of what’s next. Bentley advises his racers to develop a “pre-planned thought” that helps regain focus. Similar to a mantra in meditation, a pre-planned thought is a simple phrase or visualization that gets a driver refocused on driving. That way, you won’t be making deadly high-speed turns while thinking about your last deadly, high-speed turn.