Cabot Bigham is well on his way to being a household name. At only 20 years old, Cabot is living a dream that many young men and women wish to lead. Defying gravity, and pushing a car to its absolute limit; it’s safe to say that one of the most promising talents in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship series, simply known as “The Ham”, has one of the best jobs on the planet. Starting his GRC career in 2016, racing in the GRC Lites event, Cabot came in with one goal in mind; win. A goal that may seem unattainable to some in such a short amount of time, The Ham strapped himself into his car event after event and chased. 12 rounds and 452 points later, Cabot would claim top spot, and be crowned the 2016 GRC Lites champion, a title no rookie had ever had the honor of claiming.
Inside The Slipstream got an exclusive opportunity to sit down with the 2016 Lites c(HAM)p and ask what many of us have been curious to find out:
ITSS: Cabot, first and foremost, please let us address our first order of business which is congratulating you on your move into supercars for the 2017 season! Please tell us how you feel about this dynamic advancement in your career?
CB: Moving from Lites to Supercar is a very big transition. The caliber of driver is higher, the cars are faster and configured differently. Non-the-less I am more excited than ever to drive. Last year was a massive transition for me. So being able to capitalize on my weaknesses was ultimately what lead me to the championship title. I would be lying if i said I wasn’t feeling butterflies in my stomach about the 2017 Supercar season, but that has never stopped me before.
ITSS: You’ve had such a solid career so far, and it’s clear to see you’re only going up from here , what are you looking forward to most for your inaugural supercar season?
CB: One of the things I am looking forward to is being able to compete side-by-side with some of the best drivers in the world. These drivers were my idols last year, specifically Scott Speed. He is a fellow Californian and a hell of a wheelman. I admire his consistency in the heat of the weekends, and look forward to learning alongside him in 2017. I am also excited to learn how to wheel a 650 horsepower vehicle in a myriad of conditions. Here is to 2017.
ITSS: Have you gotten an opportunity to test out the supercars you’ll be using for next season?
CB: As of late I have not driven a supercar, but before the season i expect to have some seat time. I am not allowed to reveal much more on our testing front, but I hope to hit the ground running come race one in Memphis.
ITSS: You know, we have an all time favorite question that we always like to throw out. During your season is there any specific venue you love to visit or drive on more than any other? And of course, why is that?
CB: Global Rallycross takes it’s competitors to many exciting venues. My rookie season, 2016, was confined to the United States. I really enjoyed our race in Seattle, primarily because the temperature was a beautiful 65* F. The venue was also incredible, two banked corners and a dynamic internal section. This made for some interesting racing despite my unfortunate finish (DNF).
ITSS: Can you give us a rundown on how you feel, when you’re in such a powerful machine slashing corners, or defying gravity?
CB: When I am behind the wheel I feel right at home. I am cool, calm and collect, but most importantly excited to find the limit of man and machine. Every time my wheels leave the ground I think how incredible it is to defy the parameters of the human race. We go faster than we could ever run, jump higher, and stop faster. All in all it is a life changing experience every time.
ITSS: You’re a young driver with so much talent, and we’ve got followers of all ages, what are some words you’d share with our younger demographic who want a career in motorsports?
CB: The biggest piece of advice I can offer to young drivers trying to make it is: Learn the business of motorsports. This career path is extremely costly, but don’t let the big numbers deter you. It is possible to find partners, but they wont come until you can offer them exposure, a solid ambassador role, and activation. Additionally, If you know how to react in the most emotionally testing situations, you are already ahead of 80% of the crowd. As a business owner with a 1 million dollar marketing budget, if you leverage a measly 5% of that, it can pay for a lot of expenses. Find the right people, make sure they are the types you would let talk to the president, and never…. ever… ever…. let people discourage you. The motorsports ladder is a weening process. As you advance, you see less and less of your foes, friends, and team members. Picture yourself at the top, and you are half way there.
ITSS: Is Red Bull GRC where you want to stick, or is there another form of rally cross you’d like to pursue? I.e Rally America, or the FIA World RX?
CB: I have my heart set on being the next Global Rallycross Supercar champion. Once I reach that goal, I can consider a European World RX campaign, but one step at a time. One must set realistic goals.
ITSS: You’ve got one of the most rewarding careers, but that doesn’t come without a ton of hard work off the track. Can you tell us about what a normal couple of days leading up to a race weekend look like for you?
CB: My race starts 7 days before I land at the venue. This typically looks like 3 hours of dedicated physical training 5/7 days. I eat at a consistent time and very clean in order to allow my body the easiest acclimation process upon arrival. Travel certainly takes its toll on the body. I make sure to have 3 L of water per day, as GRC is notorious for crazy hot weekends. I will spend a few hours on my driving simulators or on an xbox Forza game to keep reflexes and eyes sight moving. It is pertinent to keep your nervous system alert when racing, otherwise your stamina takes a hit. I still live normally before these weekends, because high stress can work against you. I combat this with rad hikes, biking and trail runs in Marin, my hometown.
ITSS: You took the grid by absolute storm winning the GRC Lites championship, or shall we say HAMpionship, in your rookie season. Can we expect to see you on the top step competing against the likes of Scott Speed, and Tanner Foust?
CB: Great question, I certainly did not sacrifice this much to come third. I expect to be challenging for the podium within my first couple races. Like I said, the caliber of driver is higher, so it wont be easy by any means. I have faith in my abilities and want nothing more than to pilot the BHRS Ford to the top step.
ITSS: I know that training off track is sometimes grueling because you all have to be in peak conditions. What does your normal workout regimen usually look like?
CB: I cant reveal too much of my training, but here is what I typically shoot for in a 7 day cycle. 2 days of heavy weights (push and pull muscles), 5 days of circuit training (supersetting bike sprints, treadmill sprints, stairclimbers, and burpees with weight training. The heavy lifting encourages building strength, while my circuit training keeps stamina high for those hot car sessions. Each session is between 2-3 hours and I usually sit in the sauna for 20-30 minutes afterwards. The sauna is good heat training, and forces me to rehydrate in conditions similar to GRC weekends.
ITSS: Alright, alright. It’s not always business I’m sure. What are some of your hobbies when you’re not racing, or training to race?
CB: I love hiking around the Bay Area. I am truly blessed to be able to live in such a action-sport conducive environment. Mountain biking, weight lifting, surfing, trail running, tree climbing, all great outdoor vices to take my mind off of the down time. Additionally I run Spartan Races to stay in shape and challenge myself both mentally and physically. #ThanksOralIV
ITSS: I recall seeing your most recent picture on IG being you on a snowmobile, did you take part in any snowboarding or skiing?
CB:I lived in Weston, MA for 10 years of my life, starting at the age of 7. Part of my developing years were spent in Vermont coping with a 50% snow to 50% ice ratio. Albeit I had a fantastic time skiing the East. At age 17 I moved back to San Francisco and began skiing the Sierra’s and the Rockies. It was these trips that allowed me to learn how to wheel a snowmobile.
ITSS: Our last one may send your fans into a whirlwind….Star Wars, or Star Trek?
CB: Star Trek all day, baby.
Cabot, I’d like to thank you so very much for taking the time to sit down with us and give us an inside look on being such a great talent. We look forward to seeing you claim another championship and are excited to see your career continue to blossom.
CB: Great questions, thank you for your interest. It is promotion like this that allows the young drivers to advance. You guys are the real heroes. God bless.
For more exclusive interviews be sure to follow our social media accounts below. Also, be sure to follow Cabot Bigham’s endeavors and career highlights for the upcoming season by following his IG @followtheham.