Braking techniques and the new Cross Car for global race driver development are just two of the items featured in this week’s edition of the Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup.
In addition to this, there are guidelines for data acquisition and preparing your mind and machine for your first track day, the experiences of drivers in Ferrari’s Corso Pilota and Honda’s HPD GT3 driver development programs, more race driver development scholarship winners and two more race drivers to take inspiration from.
All this and more in this week’s Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
Blayze Motorsports looks at how racecar drivers change braking techniques for different corners in the video above.
Blayze also looks to answer the following braking-related question, You either have to be on the brakes or the throttle. “How many of you have heard this quote before from someone at the track? It seems to be one of the most commonly used pieces of advice from experienced drivers and instructors everywhere, but is it actually true? While it may be a good piece of advice it actually leads most drivers down a bad path. There are a ton of different factors that go into driving racecars and on track we need a priority list in terms of what we are executing on from the driver seat. From our experience drivers often take this advice too far and sacrifice more important areas of their driving to try and accomplish this.”
The final braking technique-related advice comes courtesy of Tom Long writing on the Hagerty Motorsports blog where he explains high-performance braking for beginners. “Braking is an incredibly important aspect of the sport. Teams pour millions of dollars into developing better stopping power and numerous companies work exclusively on braking technology. We’ll focus on the physical brake components in a later lesson. For this installation, I want to highlight the basic techniques used to slow the car down.”
Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets answers the question, What do you recommend for a video and/or data setup?
Related to Ross’s answer above is episode 78 of the Inside the SCCA podcast. The guest on Episode 78 of Inside the SCCA is Tim Wise. “Tim tells the story of how he became one of the first data acquisition engineers in IndyCar racing…and how he is now using that knowledge to help him go faster in club races. He shares some of that knowledge with us…in a way even we could understand.” You can listen here.
Winding Road Magazine looks at how to prepare your mind and machine for your first Track Day. “There’s plenty to do to truly prepare yourself mentally and mechanically, both outside and at the track. Heck, I’m no Joey Hand or Max Verstappen, but take it from me, a happy-go-lucky dunce who recently attended their first track day on a whim and a smidge underprepared. That said, here are three general reminders to get you set for your first track day.”
Grassroots Motorsports has prepared their ultimate guide to track car lap times at Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park. You can watch it in the video above.
Your Data Driven checked out ChatGPT to see if ChatGPT can help you with tuning track tires. “To see how much help it could you tuning your tyres, I put to it 12 of the tyre tuning questions I set out to answer in my track tyre tuning course.”
Race Driver Development News & Resources
In Model Behaviour: The Corso Pilota, the Ferrari website follows model Sean O’Pry and his partner Fernanda Liz as they attended Ferrari’s Corso Pilota at the Utah Motorsports Campus. The Corso Pilota is a “four-part intensive race driving education, where each level takes a Prancing Horse owner a step closer to being the pilotas they could previously only dream of becoming encompassing hot laps, timed races, racing lines and much more around professional race tracks.”
Actor and HPD Drivers Academy graduate, Daniel Wu’s enthusiasm for car culture extends well before he took his first laps on the racetrack. He recently stopped by the HPD Headquarters for a tour of the facility and to share his racing journey in the video above.
The Affordable Cross Car project designed to spearhead the FIA’s mission to double motor sport participation worldwide was revealed in Bologna, Italy, as part of the ASN Forum of this year’s FIA Annual General Assembly. This project will be conducted by a newly created, independent entity, called The Global Motorsport Development Company (GMDC). The purpose of this entity is to provide services to ASNs and enable them to develop motor sport activities and disciplines within specific projects.
The new Cross Car vehicle aims to significantly reduce the cost of entry by providing a full suite of standardised technical drawings for use by ASNs to build low-cost, easily maintained cars for entry level and grassroots competition. The ability to build cars in local markets will eradicate the excessive cost of importing cars from overseas.
Every year, Mazda supports talented drivers by providing funding and opportunities to race in the highly competitive Mazda MX-5 Cup series. After their first season in MX-5 Cup, scholarship winners Connor Zilisch, Bryce Cornet and Laura Hayes reflect on what they’ve learned, the opportunities they’ve enjoyed and what they hope to achieve in their future motorsport endeavors in the video above.
GB4 scholarship winner Colin Queen has joined Fortec Motorsports for his step up to the series in 2023. The 17-year-old won a shootout between the top three teenagers from BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 this year that took place at Snetterton in Fortec’s GB4 cars. It earned him £20,000 to be put towards a season in MotorSport Vision’s Formula 4 series.
Emilie Villa has won the first ever ERA Racing Pride scholarship and is the first confirmed driver for the ERA Championship Europe Series 2023. ERA and Racing Pride teamed up to offer a scholarship worth approximately 150,000 euros for an LGBTQ+ driver to compete in 2023. A unique way to support inclusion within motorsport.
Guenther Steiner admitted young drivers have a tough job in F1. “The lack of testing, and the opportunity to drive a current-spec machine outside of a race weekend, is a hurdle all young drivers now face entering F1. It leaves them at a disadvantage versus those who’ve raced for a number of years, evidenced by Steiner’s decision to sign Hulkenberg.”
Last Word on Sports explains what they feel is the issue with the Red Bull Junior Team. “Compared to the other junior academies such as Alpine, Mercedes, & Ferrari the team has an exceptionally high turnover rate. It has also developed a reputation for being short and cut-throat with its drivers.”
F1 Feeder Series looks at why Japan has suddenly become attractive (again) for aspiring F1 drivers. “The answer to that question has several layers. Different factors come to mind. One of the most logical, and therefore the least interesting, is the fact that there are only twenty seats available in Formula One. Suppose you are number twenty-one, then there won’t be a spot for you – clear as it can be. The days when every well-meaning privateer signed up a five-year-old rattle car so that you could at least (try to) make your Formula 1 début, are long gone.”
Learning from the experience of others is key to succeeding in any walk of life and racing is no different. In Driver Snapshots, I will feature the experiences of various drivers where you can get some perspective on what they have gone through (and continue to go through) as they work to make their motorsport careers happen. I hope you can take some lessons from these experiences and apply them to your own motorsport careers.
Forbes explains how Harvard graduate Aurora Straus is breaking down barriers in motorsports.
”I think my strongest attributes behind the wheel are the ability to learn and absorb feedback, and the ability to be consistent. Part of why I love sportscar racing is because it puts a particular emphasis on these two traits—in the endurance races that I have typically done, you run with other drivers, and try to leverage each other’s data to find extra time. For example, my co-driver may be braking later into a corner, but I get back to the gas sooner—so it’s possible for us both to learn from each other)“
The Race looks at how Alex Albon rebuilt his career after being dropped by Red Bull Racing.
“I’ve always had to fight for it,” he says. “I’ve always been feeling like every year has just been getting into the next year, getting into next year. That’s been the case since I was 14, 15 years old. So, I’m used to it. When you go through this feeling of being right on the edge of, I guess, survival, you actually get to a point where you start caring less – it’s almost like, you’re in it, and you’re worrying, but then you’ve got nothing to lose. And you can use that mentality as a good thing.”