The concept that fun breeds success may seem to be obvious but then again, you sometimes wonder if racing cars is much fun for some drivers.
In the first Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup for 2023, I feature Radical Cup driver Alan Miller in one of my Driver Spotlights. His philosophy is as simple as it is effective. You cannot be successful on the track if you are not having fun and I thought it was an appropriate way to kick off 2023 on News Racers Can Use.
In addition to Alan, my other driver in the spotlight is Sgt Joshua Hansen, a military veteran who explains how motorsport helped him find peace and purpose after retiring from a career of active service.
In the Driver Development News Roundup, Pippa Mann explains what needs to be done to help women get on a more equal footing with men in motorsport, Kush Maini describes the difficulties Indian drivers face in making it in motorsport, the route to Le Mans followed by one gentleman driver and how wellbeing is the foundation of sustainable performance.
I also have some great Racecraft Tips & Techniques for you including the best videos from the last 6 seasons of The Race Driver Coach Show, Ross Bentley on what constitutes an apex and Blayze explaining what understeer is and how it can be corrected.
All this and much more in the Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup. Happy New Year!
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
It seems appropriate to kick off 2023’s Racecraft Tips & Techniques with the top 5 episodes from the six seasons of The Race Driver Coach Show as voted on by members of the Race Striver Club. Enjoy the video above and get ready for season 7 of Enzo Mucci‘s extremely informative and motivating video series on what it takes to succeed as a race driver.
Not really sure what an apex is? Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets has you covered in Mr. & Mrs. Apex Get a Divorce. “Like many people, I was taught that the apex is the place where you most closely approach the inside of the corner. I was also taught that the apex is the place where you finish entering the corner and begin to exit the corner. “Wait!” I said to myself. “Those are two different definitions, but only one term — apex. And I don’t think they belong in the same place in every corner.” At that moment, I knew that Mr. and Mrs. Apex needed a divorce.”
In his regular Ask Ross column, Ross answers the question: What’s causing my rear tires to wear on the outside of the tread more than the front tires?
Grassroots Motorsports explains what you need to know about the Racepak IQ3 Logger Dash after they installed and tested one themselves.
Race driver Atharva Desai explains about his recent racing experience at Sepang with a detailed look at the track on board a South East Asia F4 car. “After every session, I only got faster and started bravely navigating corners. It was reassuring to see myself perform this well on Sepang. Like I said before, it was one of my favorite tracks on the sim but also one of the hardest to master. It is such a unique track because, on every lap, it is a different type of corner. It is a unique combination of low, mid, and high-speed corners.”
In the video above, Blayze looks at what is understeer and explains how it can be corrected.
J.G. Pasterjak of Grassroots Motorsports explains the 6 driving fundamentals I wish I could explain to a younger me. “Fundamentals are the core structure of process, how you do something with clear objectives and report cards. Fundamentals are looped, meaning they reconcile and build upon each other.”
Race Driver Development News & Resources
(Editor’s note: By permission of Pippa Mann, here are the verbatim comments that she posted on social media in response to the New York Times Article Motorsports Is Looking for the Next Danica Patrick. And the One After That.)
It’s the day after Christmas, and the The New York Times has published a great piece covering all aspects of what it’s like being a woman in motorsport.
However as their lead, they have chosen to focus on why female drivers are struggling to rise through the ranks – a subject you all know is close to my heart.
Back when I competed at the #Indy500, I was the main person out there trying to raise enough funding to make it happen every year. Every year I always thought that if I just did more with what I had, if I did better on track, worked harder off track, maybe next year would be the year I would have enough money to mount a serious campaign…
Did you know that in 2019 I was one of only 3 or 4 drivers who didn’t get to do those extra two days of testing?
Did you know that when I strapped in for the first time each May, it was often the first time strapping back into a race car like this since the previous May?
In other sports athletes have the opportunity to practice when they’re not playing major games. In Motorsports, money keeps you out of the car almost all of the time.
Imagine showing up to the Super Bowl, to play, and the only time you’ve ever taken a snap in practice is in the two weeks leading up to the game. You haven’t played all year, but now you need to be ready to go…
I always thought it was a ”Pippa problem” – this inability to land a big sponsor, to find enough money that I wasn’t scraping, scratching together, relying on the good will and support of team owners to take me over a driver who had enough sponsorship to bring them profit from running an extra car.
Spoiler alert: it wasn’t a Pippa problem.
I was facing a problem faced by many women in many sports, but in my sport the lack of funding literally means many women struggle to have the opportunity to even compete – let alone be in good equipment, have the opportunity to practice, have appropriate support off the race track.
I know that ALL racers struggle with the funding to compete. I get that. But when you’re part of a group, that aside from a few exceptions to the rule, has struggled more, it hurts when you see your fellow winning women sidelined from competing due to lack of financial support.
At Shift Up Now we’re working to change things for talented female racers. We already have the proof, both from our racers and race teams, that when we find female athletes the can win races, and projects like the Iron Dames have proved this on a global scale.
But we need to get more brands engaged, more partners who want to be part of driving change, more supporters committed to equality in our sport. We need to bring in gifts from those who can afford them to our 501c3 so that we can start writing grants. We need to raise our profile, so that we can raise the funding we’re able to raise, and make more of a difference to more racers.
We need to find those who are willing, able and want to make a difference. We want to find those who are willing to drive change.
Here’s The NY Times link: https://www.nytimes.com/…/women-motorsports-f1-indycar…
Here’s the link to the Shift Up Now website: https://shiftupnow.com/
And here’s the link to our Foundation: https://shiftupnow.org/
Let’s do this.
When RLR MSport named their Asian Le Mans LMP3 roster for 2023, it illustrates how some young single-seater drivers are looking to sportscars to build their professional careers. “I’m pretty happy with where I’m at on the ‘Road to Indy’, which hasn’t been without its challenges, and my ultimate aim is still to compete in the IndyCar Series, but I recently tested an LMP3 car at Sebring and I think it was pretty good for my first time in a Le Mans Prototype,” said Garg. “It was a very different experience from what I’m used to in single-seaters because there’s a lot more weight and it requires a far less aggressive driving style. My approach still needs a little bit of work but there was definitely a lot of improvement that day and I’m comfortable with the car going into the Asian Le Mans Series.”
Following a successful first running of GB4’s National Formula Ford shoot-out in 2022, MotorSport Vision (MSV) and the British Racing and Sports Car Club (BRSCC) have confirmed that the initiative will continue in 2023. This year’s £20,000 prize went to American racer Colin Queen, who has gone on to secure a drive with Fortec Motorsport in next year’s GB4 Championship. The same prize and format will remain for the 2023 National Formula Ford Championship Pro Class, where again, the top-three teenage drivers in the category will be invited to drive GB4 machinery at the end of the season Shoot-Out. Any National Formula Ford Pro Class driver who remains 19 years of age or under by the end of 2023 will be eligible to compete for the prize.
F2’s Kush Maini explains to Feeder Series on what it is like trying to make it to F1 as an Indian: It’s a lot tougher. “For sure, it was a lot of sacrifice. If you’re a kid from the UK, you just go on the weekend on the racetrack to drive, but when you’re in India, you’ve got to really commit to it early on. I left a lot on hold and [have] given up a lot, but I would do it all over.”
Via Daily Sportscar, Christoph Ulrich is one of the joys of any sportscar paddock – An utter enthusiast, always with a smile and a tale, and now here’s the story of his passion on video, Watch it, and get a little bit more of an understanding of what makes a Gentleman driver truly tick! “From visiting Le Mans the first time in 2015 as a fan, to winning the “Route to Le Mans” support race in 2018 and becoming a 24h of Le Mans finisher in 2022. Enzo Ferrari once said; “se lo puoi sognare lo puoi fare” – “if you can dream it you can do it”. Not even in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined to race at Le Mans. This is a little movie about a part of my journey to participate, as a 50 year old gentleman driver, at the most famous motor race in the world!“
Alpine has committed to continue its academy despite the pain caused by Oscar Piastri’s switch to McLaren. Asked if there was long-lasting damage caused to the Alpine Academy, team principal Otmar Szafnauer told a select media roundtable, including GPFans: “At the time, you look at everything, and I think Laurent said that we’ve got to reconsider that if we spend this money and get drivers to a certain spot that they want to go elsewhere, should we really be doing this? That was something we looked at, but we’re definitely continuing to be committed to the Young Driver program and to the Alpine Academy.”
The CEO of Hintsa Performance argues that wellbeing is the foundation of sustainable high performance—not a reward for it. “In this interview with Fleur Tonies of Aberkyn, a McKinsey company, and McKinsey’s Jan Ascher, Hintsa describes the links between wellbeing and performance, as well as how leadership stereotypes, stigma, and management inattention keep senior executives from prioritizing the wellbeing of their organizations, teams, and even themselves.”
In this episode of the Strong Mind Podcast, Hazel speaks with race car driver coach Ross Bentley about how he uses psychological tools and strategies to help drivers perform at their best. You can listen here.
Driver development program Future Star Racing is holding an open house on January 7, 2023 from 12:00 – 5:00 PM.
Fun breeds success, according to entrepreneur and perennial most-winning Radical driver Alan Miller. “There’s an old adage that is equally applied in business as it is in racing — “It’s only fun if you win.” Blue Marble Premium Cocktail’s founder and CEO Alan Miller believes a better mindset is “having fun breeds success,” and it’s clear whether he’s on or off the track Miller’s approach has led to a lot of winning.”
Sgt Joshua Hansen
Sgt Joshua Hansen, a decorated US Army Veteran who earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart while serving, had a hard time adjusting to civilian life after losing several members in combat and several more to suicide. He found peace and purpose while restoring his “drive” when he reached out to Peter Cline at VETMotorsports. Joshua was able to get into Autocross and currently runs a Dodge Challenger in the CAM-C division in the Utah SCCA. You can listen to him being interviewed on The VeST above.