At the 13 th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, Darrell Carlisle capped off the best season of his career with a win in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama. Powered by VP100 unleaded racing fuel, Carlisle finished second in the final championship point standings with his second win of the season following his victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park in June.

Carlisle attributed his success primarily to his new partnership with Kelly-Moss Motorsports of Madison, WI, as well as a new program of training and mental conditioning. “With 25 years of experience, they did an outstanding job of prepping the car all year, particularly our mechanic, Pete DeVries. We had no hiccups.” 

VP’s VP100 racing fuel was also a key component of Carlisle’s program. “The last thing you want to deal with is fuel problems and because VP is one of the best fuels out there we don’t have to worry about it,” said Carlisle. “VP is always consistent so you know you can count on it. Regardless of conditions—including the extreme heat we experienced in New Jersey this summer—VP100 performed flawlessly all year and it shows in our results. With one exception, we never finished lower than 4 th all year.”

Carlisle’s upgraded physical conditioning regimen served as a foundation to all the other elements that came together to yield success in 2010. “While I’ve always been in good shape, I doubled my commitment this year to about 2.5 hours of workouts a day, including cardiovascular work every day and strength training every other day.”

“Our races are normally 45 minute sprints, with one lasting an hour and 15 minutes,” said Carlisle. “It’s physically exhausting and it wears on you mentally. Each lap is like a qualifying lap, where you have to be as fast as you possibly can every single lap. Immediately from the green flag, you have to be totally focused, before the tires are even warmed up until the very end when they’re overheating. It’s not an endurance race, where you actually might get a few breathers, primarily trying to avoid car trouble and just finish the race.”

“With that level of intensity, you can become fatigued relatively quickly. It affects your focus and reaction time -- your mind starts telling your body to slow down, brake a little earlier, etc. But with my improved conditioning, I found myself better able to maintain focus throughout each race and stay in the zone. But it still requires the car prep and everything else to come together, including the little things Pete is so adept at anticipating – even down to keeping my water bottle filled.”
Based in McLean, VA, Carlisle got his start with Porsche club racing as well as SCCA local and national events. His hard work paid off when he made the leap to IMSA GT3 in 2006.