Tyla Reynolds: Let’s get started, tell me how you got into racing?
Quentin De Boever: Well that’s a loaded question, it must’ve started when I was young playing with toy cars or racing video games and my interest just grew as I got older, creating a real passion for racing.
TCR: If you were given the option, which race track would you most want to race at in North America?
QDB: There are so many good tracks like Circuit of The Americas, Laguna Seca, and Road America. I could go on and on but honestly for me, I’d probably go with Laguna Seca because it’s such a unique track. The cork screw is such a legendary corner and I want to experience that and see what it’s all about.
TCR: Name a few racing drivers that have inspired you and explain.
QDB: Well obviously I’m no different than other racers, I’ve always been a fan of Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, and all of the greats. But I really like Jackie Stewarts’ story because he wrote an auto biography and really goes in depth with his life and racing. It is very interesting to me, he inspires me a lot.
TCR: What brought you back to racing in 2017 and what were you up to during your sabbatical?
QDB: If it were up to me, I would’ve never stopped racing, but for reasons out of my control I had to take a break. I think it was good for me in a lot of ways though, most of the time during my break I was basically saving up for a race car, so nothing too exciting about that. Just trying to get back to racing the whole time. And finally, back in April I got a chance to buy a race car and evidently it ended up working out so I’m happy.
TCR: Were there any major differences between racing in 2015 and 2017?
QDB: Where to begin. There was a lot of differences. The biggest difference was that I started racing by myself and not with a team, and racing by myself with no track side support and nobody else taking care of me was quite a different experience. I think I had a different mindset all together partly because it was all on me now. When you’re racing with a team you get a feeling of being unstoppable or that collateral damage isn’t a big deal, but when you race for yourself in a car you bought with your own money, it becomes apparent that collateral damage is not good and not something you want to happen. You start to respect the car itself much more.
TCR: How easy did you find it to transition from racing with a team to racing on your own?
QDB: It took getting used to, but I think that I anticipated how it would be. I could see it coming and saw that there would be differences and that helped. In a lot of ways, it’s more enjoyable being on my own because there is no worry about writing big checks or giving away money to these teams when something bad happens or for support. It’s all on you which is nice because you get to learn about the car, it’s a special connection. Like I am the reason this car is here, let alone the fact that I’m racing it around. This car might not be here and racing competitively without me prepping it and doing maintenance, so it provides you with extra satisfaction. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this and it’s rewarding.
TCR: What was the most valuable thing you learned while racing in 2017?
QDB: I’d say the most valuable thing I learned is that you’re not the most important person like some think they are. You’re not even the most important thing, there is a bigger picture than competing for yourself and trying to win. Going back to owning the car; it’s about keeping the car together, once you own it you begin to think “I want to be at the next race too” and to do that you need to keep your car in one piece, so you start making yourself less important. I learned how to play it safe so in the long term I can finish the race season. It’s better than doing something dangerous with another competitor and ruining the season because you don’t have the money to fix everything. I learned a lesson about who and what is important.
TCR: What was your favorite racing moment in 2017?
QDB: When I won in Daytona, no mistaking that fact. The feeling of winning against strong competitors like I did in Daytona, it’s a proud moment. An ‘against the odds’ and ‘classic underdog’ story. I know it’s not big or that important but to me it was a reassuring thing that I put that effort in to get there and it was worth it. Therefore, I worked this hard because I can be competitive. Watch the video on YouTube, it was a special moment. Don’t get me wrong it was luck, it’s all about drafting in Daytona, but none the less it felt special.
TCR: How do you feel about the SCCA racing community?
QDB: They’re just about the best bunch of people you can meet in my eyes. Everyone at the track is so helpful and it’s great to feel there is a sense of community. I really commend the volunteers that come out during the weekend, we wouldn’t be able to do it without them, and I’m extremely thankful. And all the teams; now I may not run with a team, but they can be very helpful and want to see people on the track, they want you to race as badly as you want to race. They may not want to see you beat their drivers, but they do like having the competition out there. All the Spec Racer Ford teams like Bryan Schofield at PM Racing and Duane Neyer, the CSR representative in the southeast for SRF, have been a huge help to me. There were moments when I may have not made it onto the track without their help and knowledge, so I am thankful that they’re willing to help those who need it.
TCR: What are your plans for next year?
QDB: I would like to race more than this year. That is my ultimate goal. I did three race weekends this year, so doing four in 2018 would be a success. Now I will try to plan at least six race weekends, and experience new tracks. Hint: Road Atlanta. So stay tuned and check out my social media for more updates.
TCR: Is there anything special you would like to say to your supporters, friends, and family?
QDB: I can’t thank them enough! Really, none of what I am doing would be possible without everyone that has supported me, mainly friends and family. I definitely need to give a few shout outs, mainly my sponsors, for their continued support. Venturi Motorsport Management and In-Gear Design, hopefully they continue to support me through the 2018 season and hopefully I can try to find more support. Huge thanks to my mom and dad. My mom always tries to make it to the races when she can, I may not say or show it, but I really appreciate that, nothing better than a supportive mom, it’s the best thing. It’s always exciting when I am racing and look over and see my mom cheering for me. And my dad is obviously a big part of the team itself and my racing career in general, he is the reason I got many of the opportunities I have so far and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to repay him for that. One day I hope to. Other than that, I need to give a shout out to you for always supporting me, and always coming to the track with me; thank you for helping with race preparations and taking care of things. I need to thank my friends like Jesse Grose, he has an extensive knowledge on SRF and helped me figure things out when I bought the car and prep it for the race track. Also, Ian Blankley, he helps a lot with prepping the racecar and gives me large amounts of support and I can never thank him enough. If I forgot to mention anyone I’m sorry. Thank you to everyone reading this. Thank you all because I wouldn’t be here without my supporters.
TCR: Summarize the 2017 season for us.
QDB: The 2017 season was by far my best racing season ever. I think I’ve matured as a person and a driver to the point where I can find a balance between enjoying myself and being competitive. I learned a lot about having fun at the track and not focusing on competing all the time because at the end of the day racing is something we do because it’s fun. Fun is an integral part of racing and if you aren’t having fun than why be at the track? I enjoy that I am at a race track and being allowed to race. There are so many people who would love to be at a track and don’t have the opportunity, I have been there, and it was not fun. My sabbatical certainly put things in perspective for me and changed my outlook on racing and it was helpful in the end. That’s why this season was so great for me, I didn’t race much, but when I was at the track I enjoyed every single second. That’s is exactly what I am going to do next season.