This week I bring you a Gran Turismo film review you should pay attention to. Hint, it’s not just about the move but about race driver development.
Continuing with the Gran Turismo theme, you will also get some great tips on using sim racing to prepare for racing in real life, the latest candidates for the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award and why the man behind a new all-electric racing series thinks that it will slash the cost of competing for young drivers.
All this and much more in this week’s Driver Development Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
This is a great review of the new Gran Turismo movie from Suellio Almeida, a sim racer who is making the transition to real-life racing. And it is not just about the movie as there are great tips for anybody who is looking to do the same.
If you are curious about Jan Mardenborough, the sim racer turned real life racer that the film Gran Turismo is based on, you can read my interview with him from last January in Jann Mardenborough on Transitioning from Sim Racing to the Real Thing.
Speaking of sim racing, tips on becoming a mentally strong sim racer are just part of what you will find in last week’s Sim Racing Roundup which you can read here.
The 10 contenders for this year’s Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award have been named, with a prize of an Aston Martin Formula 1 test up for grabs. The long-standing award is for young British drivers and “primarily competing in a category below FIA Formula 3 or be an FIA F3 rookie”, must be 16 by the time of the Award final in October and no older than 24 at the start of 2023. You can find out more details at Formula Scout.
Annabella Fairclough will represent Motorsport UK in the FIA Girls on Track 2023 Rising Stars program, an international talent detection initiative to find champions of the future. The 12-year-old karter has been selected for the Junior category (ages 12-14) and will now join seven other drivers in her group at a training camp at Italian circuit Franciacorta on 4-5 September.
Motorsport Legal lawyer Sarah Franklin explains what she does in A Week in The Life of a Motorsport Lawyer as well as providing some advice for race drivers in an exclusive article for Motorsport Prospects. “Generic contracts, in my opinion, often cause confusion and don’t include everything that is needed, so, particularly during the off season, I spend a lot of time negotiating and preparing bespoke contracts – often picking up things that they probably haven’t even thought of.”
Motorsport Magazine has an interesting feature on the plans of junior electric race series Ace Championship, set to launch in August 2024. “The alternative junior discipline, which plans to be run in compressed three-month championships – each one in a different continent – will offer scholarships to six drivers, while others only have to bring a budget roughly a quarter of someone competing in a typical Formula 3 season, equivalent to ‘only’ £300k.”
When reading about the senior management trio leaving the McLaren Indycar team, the thing that stood out to me from a driver development perspective was the post-McLaren plans of competition director Billy Vincent. According to the article in Racer, Vincent’s decision to leave coincides with the growth of his karting team, MPG Motorsports, where he’ll focus his energies and continue to develop young drivers and crew members for junior open-wheel racing and IndyCar.
“It’s something that started in 2019 with a team I formed called MPG Motorsports, which stands for ‘My Parent’s Garage,’ which is where it all began,” Vincent told RACER. “And it’s literally just doubled or tripled in size year over year for the past three years. It’s been insane. And throughout that, I’ve developed a love for teaching these kids and we started with one or two customers, and now we’ve got 19. We’re looking at some GT programs like a Porsche Cayman GT4, and different cars for SRO or IMSA,” he added. “We’ve got a couple of families that are on board and that’s gonna take my full commitment to do that so I felt like the time was right to try to make this change.”
“My end goal for all these guys and girls is maybe five or six years from now, I can run to the podium [here at Indy] and there’s a driver that’s been through my team spraying milk around and three or four mechanics and engineers that have all come up through my program. That’s the real dream.”Billy Vincent
Shondaland has a great feature on how Sabré Cook is challenging gender stereotypes both on and off the racetrack. When asked on what does it take to compete at the highest levels in this motorsport, both as a woman and a race driver, Sabré had this to say: “It’s the same answer for anybody that is a high-performing person or athlete. It’s years and years of consistent hard work mentally, physically, emotionally, day in and day out, and understanding the power of consistency and just taking small steps forward every single day.”
“The people at the top know that motorsports needs to look more representative of the world it’s a part of. So, who is going to continue to step up and spend the money on initiatives like ours to make it happen? Slowly but surely change is inevitable. It’s the only way to keep our beloved sport alive. Become current and relevant or become obsolete and risk extinction. There are so many great organizations and programs out there working diligently to elicit change, now we just need the powers that be to step up and help realize it.”