Driver fitness when you have limited time is just some of the advice in this week’s Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup as I bring you a home workout routine that you can do when time is of the essence.
In addition to driver fitness, I bring you tips and advice on going faster at VIR, mastering the driving self-critique, why the MX-5 Cup is such a great series for drivers looking to race professionally, why concussions in motorsport are finally getting the attention they deserve and much more.
All this in this week’s Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
In the Grassroots Motorsports video above, pro driver pro driver Andrew Pinkerton “talks us through some common mistakes people make while driving at Virginia International Raceway and how to avoid them to get a faster lap.”
I have some great advice and updates from Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets this week. In the first, Ross answers the question “As an HPDE instructor, should I tell my student about faster cars approaching from behind?“
In his No Dumb Questions with Jeff Braun podcast, episode 13 has Jeff and Ross discussing shaving off that last second off your ultimate pace, understanding the role of a limited slip differential in track driving, and whether to take a more risky or conservative approach when planning out strategy. You can listen here.
Finally, Preston Lerner on the Hagerty Motorsports blog talks about Ross Bentley’s plans now that he has stopped publishing his weekly Speed Secrets newsletter. “I’m going to continue to write because I love doing it,” he says. “But I want to spend a little bit of time on more videos, maybe some more podcasts, and different formats of getting information out there. Also, it’s just time for a change. Not that I didn’t enjoy doing it, and not that I didn’t think it was still providing some value. But I want to try something different.”
In a recent Racing Skills In 60 Seconds, Dion von Moltke of Blayze Motorsports answers the question, why am I lost in a corner?
This is an interesting read on The Race who discuss which current F1 drivers can drive around a car’s problems? “This is one of the most fascinating aspects of Formula 1 to my mind – why some drivers thrive in whatever car they end up in, some struggle so badly in the same equipment, and why some can thrive in certain environments but not others. It’s a complicated chemistry, because you have the skillsets of the different drivers intersecting with the technical and human balance of the teams, plus their own emotional make-up.”
Grassroots Motorsports explains how to master the driving self-critique. “Let’s suppose that you want to become your own track coach. You shouldn’t expect to learn any new skills, right? Wrong. Driving coach E. Paul Dickinson explains how you can still monitor and critique your own driving using your built-in data acquisition device–your brain. In the end, you’ll be lapping faster and safer than ever.”
Race Driver Development News & Resources
The Race looks at North America’s Mazda MX-5 Cup or as they describe it, the US racing scene’s crazy-competitive hidden gem. “We’d love to say about the series [that it is good value], because in comparison to some of the other spec series and any other racing in North America, it really is a very cost-effective programme and platform to get involved in,” Jonathan Applegate, the program manager for Mazda Motorsports adds. “But at the same time, we don’t want that grassroots expectation. We really are trying to elevate the professional profile of the series and get it to a point where people are seeing the schedule, they’re seeing our product, and it’s all defining premium.”
The article really goes in depth on the economics of racing in the series and how it is an excellent springboard to a career as a professional race driver. Well worth the read.
Your Data Driven tackles Race Driver Fitness with a home workout when you have limited time. “You know that driver fitness is important. Not everyone wants to be an exercise addict though, even if you had the time. This article has 7 easy strength training exercises you can do in as little as 20 minutes, from the comfort of your own home.”
In last week’s SportsCar 365 Weekly Racing Roundup (1.2.23), they mention that Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup champion Jules Gounon has switched to an Andorran racing license after previously driving under the French flag and how he hopes to work with young drivers from Andorra. “In a post on Instagram, the 28-year-old said: “I’m excited to race for the country I live in and love. Apart from that, I will also support the up-coming [sic] young drivers from Andorra, offering them my experience and expertise.” Gounon was disappointed not to be mentioned in the French FFSA federation’s end-of-year awards.”
GP Fans reports of the somewhat premature claim from Carlin deputy team principal, Stephanie Carlin that “F1 Academy has already done more for women in motorsport in the last month than has been the case for the last 10 years.”
“For the first time, the top teams in junior motorsport are speaking exclusively with women drivers about races, test programmes and driver development. These are conversations that happen with leading junior drivers every season. However, due to the under-representation of women in the sport, these are almost always conversations exclusively with men. As preparations for F1 Academy now start to gather pace, there has already been so much progress and positive momentum.”Carlin deputy team principal, Stephanie Carlin
Only time will tell but I believe it is still a positive development for a lot of the reasons that she states. I just think it is best to make comments like this once there have been some constructive developments to point to and not just their potential.
In what could be a growing trend by young drivers with the appropriate budget, USF2000 Series racer Danny Dyszelski is doubling up on his race efforts by running in the Blue Marble Radical Cup North America series. “I am starting to realize my goal to become a professional driver, and it is driving me to work hard to be the best driver I can be in the world of motorsports. I am confident that running in both series in 2023 will accelerate my development as a professional driver, and I can’t wait to get started with Wisko Racing, VRD Racing, and to run select events with DDR’s new Radicals out of our race shop.”
Off-Road racer Jeff Proctor has stated that motorsport is finally starting to recognize concussions and take them serious when discussing concussion treatment. “Every year there are about 300,000 cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occur in a sports and/or recreation setting. About 90 percent of sports-related TBIs are mild (MBTI) and may go unreported,” he wrote. “Concussions compound with each incident. Racing off road created 100’s of sub concussions with each whoop my brain experienced during a race. Since the first major concussion, each race, the recovery would get longer and longer. I would recover just in time to feel good enough to race. Then the process would start over. I was in denial that I had a TBI. These persistent symptoms [led] me to do research and find answers that neurologists aren’t equipped to treat or don’t want to treat. Even when these symptoms everyday can be life altering and debilitating.”
Learning from the experience of others is key to succeeding in any walk of life and racing is no different. In Driver Snapshot, 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.
CNN profiles Dania Akeel, the Saudi woman taking on one of the world’s toughest motor races in the Dakar. “She is helping to create a path for women and future generations of young women to follow in Saudi Arabia, similarly to what Molly Taylor is doing in Australia, Cristina Gutierrez is doing in Spain, and Cory Weller is doing in the United States. These are women creating a path for other women to push their limits and get in the game, whatever the rules are.”