To say that 2020 has been a challenge is an understatement. Tragic, confusing, frustrating and solemn are just some of the words that can be used to describe the weirdest year in memory but that does not mean that it has been without some triumphs and progress. Society as a whole and racing in particular have made some tentative yet positive steps forward and like most people, once the effects of the gut punch that were March and April started to subside I put my head down and got on with things at Motorsport Prospects the best way I could.
What follows is an update of what has gone on with the site and in particular the blog so far. Normally I do a half year review in June but then, like everything else these days, things got delayed. So, here is how the year on Motorsport Prospects has evolved so far. If you missed anything, now is your chance to catch up.
The year started off with a revamped website that is both more efficient and I hope pleasing to the eye and with that we started the year with some great interviews on the blog. January kicked off with an interview with Belinda Riseley of MotiV8 Training who discussed everything from athletic performance, setting mental goals, marketing, PR and social media and the importance of working hard both on the track and off. A key takeaway here was the importance of building your brand and how it can affect your career. I was also a guest on her excellent podcast.
Then it was Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets fame who had so much great tips to share that the interview was split over two parts. In Part one of Whatever it Takes Ross discussed the importance of the will to learn, doing “whatever it takes”, technique vs copying and the importance of doing your homework. In Part two he delved into the importance of the mental game, utilizing a holistic approach to racecraft and the changing perception of using a driver coach.
In February I wrote about the power of your story and how important it was to your search for sponsorship. Everybody has a story and what that is and how you frame it can be key to garnering interest from potential sponsors. February also brought an interview with physical trainer Stewart Wild who has worked with everybody from Jenson Button to Will Power. His emphasis on having a winning mindset is absolutely key.
February also saw me interview legendary Canadian F1600 team owner Brian Graham, an interview conducted incidentally in the paddock of the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix where his team was competing in one of the support series. Brian has some great advice for young drivers both on the importance of F1600 as a vital training ground for young drivers coming out of karts as well as the benefits of racing against senior or masters level drivers on the same track at the same time, something that really makes sense when you analyze it.
March needless to say was a rough month for everybody so the blog focused more on whatever positives I could focus on all things considered but things started to pick back up in April. In Sports Prototypes, the Future of Motorsport and Running a Motorsport Business in the Age of Covid, Jesse Gröse of Von Gröse Motorsport Management discussed the very real financial effects of the pandemic on a racing team as well as some interesting thoughts on the future of motorsport.
April also saw the launch of the Motorsport Prospects Events page, a page intended to be a quick and easy global guide to racing and industry events, seminars, webinars, trade shows, track days and testing opportunities. Feel free to contact me if you have an event that you want added.
We continued the Covid theme (what else could we possibly talk about?) with Tina Mitchell interviewing both F3 driver Quinlan Lall and sports car racer and driver coach Nico Rondet about just how a racing driver is supposed to stay fit and motivated during a pandemic. They both offered some excellent advice that still applies regardless of the “new normal.”
July brought a fascinating interview with Jim Tramontano of No Money Motorsports. In What Are My Options of Racing on a Limited Budget? Jim discussed the options available to the club racer on a budget in North America and how you can get involved. This is an area I want to expand on in the future, looking at other areas of the world as not everybody wants to make racing a career or has the money to race in something like GT3 and GT4 or the Ferrari Challenge.
July and early August brought a fascinating and, in my mind, little discussed approach that can be used by racing drivers in the search for sponsorship, that of sustainability (something I touched on in my review of the racing documentary And We Go Green). In the two-part series Sustainability, Partnerships and the Racing Driver, Tristan Niesslein discusses how drivers can use the move towards sustainability to appeal to a new breed of sponsor, one who is purpose driven and who embraces sustainability as a whole in all that they do. Part one discusses the more general concepts and approaches a driver needs to understand and accept and Part two focuses on actionable things that a driver can do to embrace the change and make it a part of who they are on and off the track. Look for a follow-up article from Tristan on this coming soon.
Finally, in 8 Podcasts All Racing Drivers Should Subscribe To I focus on 8 podcasts that racing drivers should listen and subscribe to. Covering everything from racecraft to the business of being a racing driver, these are essential listens and views that will help you grow your career and skill set both on and off the track. All are highly recommended.
So that is what I have been up to so far. Look for more insightful and most of all helpful interviews to come as I work to make Motorsport Prospects the number one global source for resources for the racing driver. Thank you for your comments and support so far, let’s try hard to make the remainder of the year one that will help us put what has been a trying time as far behind us as possible.
All the best both on and off the track.