This week you will find out why you should not use F1 TV graphics for racecraft advice. You will also learn some more braking and shifting techniques, go behind the scenes of the 6 Hours of Monza and learn about the debut of a new Formula 4 series in the Middle East.
All this and much more in this week’s edition of the Racecraft & Race Cars Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Its news race drivers can use.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
In the video above, Driver61 explains why you should not be using the graphics in an F1 race as any sort of guide to racecraft. “Formula One has been lying to you. Well, more of a white lie, BUT their halo graphic does give completely wrong information – it’s nothing like what the drivers are actually doing. And if you copy this if you use that in your own gaming, karting or racing, it’s going to be costing you a tonne of lap time. So, these graphics have been around for a good few years now, and to be honest I think they’re mostly great. You’ve got the turn numbers, the throttle and brake position, the speed, gears and RPM – all cool information for us viewers to look at – AND it helps us to understand the drivers better.”
In A Driver’s Fine-Tuning Tool, Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets goes deeper into the secrets of fine-tuning your braking techniques. “Fine-tune what? Corner entry speed, load/balance, rotation, and ultimately how soon you’re able to begin applying the throttle. You can view using the brakes as a tool to help you get back to throttle sooner, improving your corner exit speed.”
Also, in Ross’s regular “Ask Ross” column, he answers the question, when and in what type of car can you upshift in a corner?
Esquire Magazine were embedded in the Ferrari WEC team during the Monza round to bring some fascinating insights into what goes on behind the scenes and there are some great driver insights.
“When I raced in F1, sometimes you had a race without any overtakes,” Giovinazzi said. “Here, every lap you need to overtake five, six times, and the slower cars, you never know if they will give you enough space. It’s quite intense. You need to be focused 100% every lap.” That was what stuck out to me: this was moment-to-moment racing with all the demands of F1, maybe more, but it stretches on for hours. I asked the two Italians how you maintain that commitment to mental sharpness over such long periods. “Time is different inside the car,” Pier Guidi said. “Le Mans, I drove four hours, but the feeling was quite short. If you sit down at a table for four hours, you are destroyed. The reality inside the car is completely different. You try to optimize everything, push every lap, stay on the pace, and then the time flies.”6 Hours with Ferrari in the Heat of the World Endurance Championship
The Driver’s Eye this week is on a little shake down of the repowered Track Advantage P3 car at VIR during Track Advantage Test and Tune.
In the free edition of On Racing Drivers by Terence Dove, Terence explains the 33 Superior Racing Driving Characteristics You Possess and Must be Proud of.
“Does short shifting affect your lap times? If so, then by how much and how can you spot this in the data? Here is how you can quantify your gear changes effects on your lap time – and make sure you’re changing gear at the right time on track. This article also includes a link to a done-for-you spreadsheet, and a custom visualisation technique to help you see this easily in your data.”
So you want to become a race driver? Ginetta has published a step-by-step guide on how to become a racing driver with some great tips on how to and advice no matter what series you plan to compete in.
Episode #158 of the Motorsport Coaching Podcast is called “Think. Race. Win” and looks at The Complete Driver Coach by motorsport veteran Wes McDougall. “It’s basically aimed at any race driver that wants to be improving themselves.”
You can listen to the podcast here.
Race Car & Series Developments
On Wednesday, December 6th, Spec MX-5 hosted a virtual town hall to find out everything you need to know about the 2024 SMX season. Both Mazda Motorsports & Spec MX-5 representatives responded to your questions LIVE. You can watch a recording of the Town Hall above.
IMSA is introducing a new approach to gathering Balance of Performance (BoP) data for its large field of cars in its GTD and GTD Pro classes. “Without going completely back to the drawing board on BoP, I think all of us are trying to achieve the same thing, and that is to provide a platform for the most equal competition among the most different vehicle platforms in motorsport with front-engine, rear-engine, turbo, and non- turbo cars, with aerodynamic capabilities that are all entirely different,” IMSA president John Doonan told RACER.
WSC Group, the rights holder of TCR, has announced a “TCR Gen I” group for 2024, enabling national championships to create a separate class for the first generation TCR models.
“We were aware of the need to create the ‘TCR Gen I’. This was a matter that has also been raised by promoters and competitors alike,” said WSC President Marcello Lotti. “Nearly ten years since the TCR concept was launched, there are still hundreds of first-generation cars competing in the different series around the globe and we want to assure them a longer and competitive racing life. The establishing of the ‘TCR Gen I’ will give the promoters the option of running these models in dedicated series or in a separate class within the overall championship.”
WSC has issued a list of TEN models which will be identified as “TCR Gen I”:
- Alfa Romeo Giulietta RF TCR
- Audi RS 3 LMS (SEQ & DSG)
- CUPRA TCR (SEQ & DSG)
- Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR
- LADA Vesta TCR
- Opel/Holden/Vauxhall Astra TCR
- Peugeot 308 Racing Cup
- SEAT Leon Cup Racer
- Subaru WRX STi TCR
- Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR (SEQ & DSG)
NASA has announced a new competition format called Time Trial Target. “Integrated with NASA’s existing Time Trial program, Time Trial Target emphasizes not the quickest lap time overall, but driver consistency. Time Trial Target is calculated among all eight classes of Time Trial competitors on a given weekend, rewarding the most consistent drivers in all of Time Trial. The three drivers with the smallest delta among their fastest lap times can qualify for an additional podium finish.”
(Press Release) INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (December 8, 2023) – GRIDLIFE will take its full Festival Tour to Road America for the first time in 2024, one of five stops in an exciting coast-to-coast season for the youth-oriented music and motorsport event series.
“We’re committed to motorsport inclusion and that means putting together immersive Festival weekends that bring car culture to a wider audience,” said GRIDLIFE Co-Founder Chris Stewart. “By bringing together an authentic car culture and motorsport audience with a music festival experience, we’re able to build a younger and more diverse fanbase than you might expect to see at a racetrack. Our five marquee Festival Tour events will include the best that GRIDLIFE has to offer both on and off track, and we can’t wait to get started on 2024: Let’s shred.”
Sure to be a highlight stop is the Festival Tour weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, July 26-28. Although GRIDLIFE has previously run Club Weekends at the venue, a new partnership with track management will make it a marquee event. Road America is a classic track with a rich history dating back to the 1950s. Sometimes called America’s National Park of Speed, the facility has been host to international racing with IndyCar, IMSA, and Superbike racing. And now the third of five stops on the 2024 GRIDLIFE Festival Tour.
With a newly-announced investment from Velocity Capital Management, Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) is ready for its best year yet as it heads into the 2024 race season. Stronger than ever, the organization is set for monumental growth with additional SpeedTour events added to the calendar, new race series set to launch, substantial growth plans for existing series, and new partnerships and alliances to expose new participants and audiences to SpeedTour.
“I’ve been seeking the right partner to help me realize my vision for Parella Motorsports Holdings, and I am thrilled to be collaborating with the Velocity team,” said Tony Parella, Chief Executive Officer of PMH. “I feel like we finally have the right recipe to achieve our true potential, and I’m excited to lead PMH through this next chapter of growth. With Velocity’s support, we have exactly what we need to grow both organically and through acquisitions. The 2024 season is going to be fun.”
Entering its sophomore season, Prototype Sprint Series Association (PSSA) gained international interest in 2023, with drivers traveling from around the world to compete in the sprint-format prototype races at some of America’s most iconic road courses. In 2024, the series will expand from eight to 12 events, while hosting both a PSSA East and PSSA West Championship—each offering a $10,000 prize to its champion. With expanded eligibility, a variety of Radical, Ligier, Revolution and Wolf prototypes will be able to participate on Hankook racing tires.
Feeder Series has the details on a new single-seater series has been launched in the Middle East called F4 Saudi.
Unlike F4 UAE or the new form of F4 SEA, F4 Saudi has chosen to run all twenty cars through one single preparator, as French F4 does with the FFSA or Indian F4 with MP Motorsport. “I chose the FIA single-make organiser because it is more cost-effective to run a championship in Asia, because drivers don’t have the same budget as in Europe. By going the single-make route, I can control everything and that’s why F4 SEA was successful. The new way of F4 SEA with multiple teams means there are globally as many drivers, but very few Asian drivers because they can’t afford to join European teams.” I believe the goal of F4 is to enhance national driver development. But if you welcome multiple European teams, nobody will be investing in the development of local talents. In F4 Saudi, I control the fees, I have my own sponsors, so we sponsor every drivers. I believe F4 is there for driver development, not for European teams to make extra money in the winter time.”
Formula Scout reports that Danish F4 has rebranded to Nordic 4 as it continues its FNordic alliance. “The motivations behind the move were similar on both sides. FNordic needed competitive grid sizes to be maintained before potentially introducing second-generation F4 cars in three or four years’ time, while Danish F4 needed to keep grid sizes up in anticipation of a point where the declining interest in the Formula Ford-based Formula 5 cars meant it could no longer share grids with them.”
Fourteen races over four rounds will comprise the 2024 NAPA Auto Parts New Zealand Formula Ford Championship with both North and South Island clubs hosting the competition to decide the 2024 titles. Included in the prize package is a two-day Formula 4 test in the USA for the overall winner with flights and accommodation covered by the category.
Formula Pro USA Winter Series and Western Championships officials are putting the finishing touches on their 2024 campaign. Operating both Winter Series and Summer Series programs, Formula Pro USA competes at some of the Western United States’ premier race venues including the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Sonoma Raceway.
Speed Cafe is reporting that S5000 creator Chris Lambden has issued a plea to save the category from impending doom by forcing Supercars to open up its driver eligibility rules. In his long open letter, Lambden argues that the V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive S5000 vehicles are an adequate means of grooming drivers for V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive saloon cars.
Masters Historic Racing has announced a merger with GP Extreme, the UAE-based global motorsports group. “Masters Historic Racing will continue to operate with its regular organisational team for at least the 2024 race season, ensuring a smooth transition. GP Extreme will welcome the Masters Historic Racing team to their burgeoning fleet of motorsport activities, which includes the Dubai Historic Grand Prix. The published 2024 Masters Race Schedule remains unchanged and will forge the first step on this new Masters journey.“
Autosport looks at how club racing has proven to be resilient in 2023. “There may have been a challenging economic climate over the past year, but an encouraging number of national series defied the gloom to grow their grids this season. Here is our annual deep dive into the health of the UK club racing scene.”
Flatrock Motorsports Park, designed by world renowned Tilke Engineers & Architects, is set to become a 5.9-mile, 34-turn racing circuit featuring a combination of both a 2.7-mile FIM and FIA Grade II certified competition ‘Grand Prix’ track and a 3.50-mile FIA Grade II private members ‘Club’ circuit for members. As part of the agreement announced on December 6th, Flatrock will soon take delivery of two of the latest Radical SR3 XXR models to support marketing and circuit demonstrations over the next six months, one of which was on display at the recent PRI Show in Indianapolis.
Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse motorsports division has unveiled the one-off Huracán STO SC 10° Anniversario. The unique build is a heavily upgraded track beast that, surprisingly, is also its first street-legal vehicle.
“The variant, which debuted at the 2023 Lamborghini World Finals in Vallelunga, Italy, might be the sportiest looking Huracán yet thanks to its new aero bits. Helping add to this is a racing livery that’s sure to turn heads. The car’s sharp-edged body is painted Verde Mantis green and Nero Noctics black. The bold combo is accented with a tri-color racing strip down its middle and a Rosso Mars red strop that runs along the bottom of the supercar and around its rear diffuser. Completing the package are a set of gloss black wheels and special “Squadra Corse 10° Anniversario” and Squadra Corse decals. Because it’s a one-off, there seems to be no plans to ever sell the Huracán STO SC 10° Anniversario. But if it ever does happen to hit the auction market, you can expect to pay well over the standard STO’s $335,000 starting price to add it to your collection.”
Rodin Cars has begun the testing and development phase of their bespoke, track-only hypercar which is set to rival the likes of Aston Martin’s Valkyrie, Gordon Murray Automotive’s T.50S Niki Lauda and others. The New Zealand manufacturer has turned its first laps on their FZERO hypercar prototype at their facility near Mount Lyford, on South Island, where they house three purpose-build circuits.