How to Set a Fast Lap and More

If you are looking for tips on how to set a fast lap and more racecraft advice, this week’s Racecraft and Driver Development Roundup once again has you covered.

From why you can’t overtake cars that are not as fast as you to measuring the impossible, there are all kinds of Racecraft Tips & Techniques this week that will help you on the track.

In Race Driver Development News & Resources, I have details on the future expansion of Lewis Hamilton’s Mission 44 initiative, auto racing physiology, how Radical Motorsport is supporting karters, how to properly fit a racing helmet and much more.

I also have 3 more Driver Spotlights that you can take inspiration from. Enjoy!

Racecraft Tips & Techniques

  • In the short video above, Blayze explains how to stay focused longer on track.
  • Blayze also explains why you can’t overtake cars you’re faster than. “When we’re faster than the car in front of us it can be difficult to take advantage of our speed to make a move. So, how do we change our approach to use our speed to actually make the overtake?
  • In Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets column on the Winding Road website, he presents a thought provoking article called Fools and Tough Stuff that deals with what goes on inside a race drivers helmet. “The tough stuff we all face when on the track is, well… tough. Often, what’s hardest is admitting to what happened, what caused it, and how it should be dealt with. Derek Mortland has dealt with tough stuff, but more importantly, has helped a LOT of other people deal with it – on and off the track. He and I were talking a while ago about how we, as drivers, are often tasked with facing the difficult realities, the stuff we deal with inside our helmet. Get ready, this is an article that may require more than one read, and some self-reflection.”
  • How to set a fast lap | Qualifying guide is from the December 2016 issue of Grassroots Motorsports but it is still informative. “Being able to set a fast lap right out of the box is a core part of our world. Drivers don’t have all day to get up to speed; they need to get out there and do it now. Fortunately, Tommy Archer is here to offer some advice on how to qualify faster.”
  • In How To Measure The Impossible – 7 Types Of Inferred Metric, Your Data Driven deals with how to get creative when measuring something that is hard to quantify. “Despite having “mountains” of data, the truth remains that often we can’t directly measure what we really want to. In fact, smart people can often put several balanced and convincing arguments to us about why getting that measured data is impossible – Tyres anyone!? It can be tempting to accept that but it is nagging though, especially when you want to improve.”

Race Driver Development News & Resources

  • Researchers David Ferguson, Ph.D., and Michael Reid, Ph.D., are collaborating with the FastMD Racing Team to open the conversation of auto racing physiology; by exploring the conditions racers endure, their research is highlighting these underestimated athletes. Read more about their work here.
  • Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he is hoping to expand his Mission 44 initiative to the USA and Africa. “Mission 44 is aimed at improving education and opportunities overall for black students, as well as improving diversity and representation generally across motorsport and STEM industries for underserved groups in society. But it is currently only focused on the UK, where it has received support from broadcaster Sky.”
  • RLR MSport discuss what stood out from a driver development perspective as they worked with South African racer Andrew Rackstraw at their recent Portimao test testing young drivers for future LMP3 seasons. “We tried an array of setups and the engineers really enjoyed his feedback on how the car was behaving. In this sort of scenario you often find drivers are completely overwhelmed, terrified of damaging the car, but Andrew was impressive from his very first lap, taking the car right to the edge and showing incredible car control. We wish him all the best with his studies and really hope we have the chance to work with him and nurture his talent further, potentially in the 2024 ELMS or Michelin Le Mans Cup.”
  • Last Word On Sports asks the question, is the Mercedes Academy the way forward for young drivers?The Mercedes Academy was relaunched to help develop young drivers hone their skills as they graduate from karting championships through the Formula ranks. Just like the Ferrari Drivers Academy (FDA) and the Red Bull Junior team (RBJT), it is a program that is run by their parent team that races in Formula 1. Despite its short history, there have been several notable graduates including Esteban Ocon, George Russell, and Pascal Wehrlein. But there are two young drivers who have become to garner attention as potential future F1 drivers.”
  • A bumper crop of drivers from around the world took place in the 2022 edition of the Formula Ford Festival where Max Esterson was declared the Formula Ford Festival winner after a rain deluge red flagged the final after only 2 laps. “The race started on a dry circuit but dark rain clouds loomed ominously overhead. GB3 racer Esterson made a great launch from pole, as Don Hardman Racing’s Joey Foster took second away from Michael Eastwell, with Chris Middlehurst slotting into fourth.”
How to Set a Fast Lap and More
  • Radical Motorsport has been named as the presenting partner for the ROK Cup USA ROK Vegas event. “Radical Motorsport is delighted to be announced as the Title Sponsor for one of North America’s premier karting events, now in its fifth year and expected to attract more than 300 competitors this year,” explained Jon Roach, global head of marketing. “Radical will have branding throughout the event in addition to having representatives present each day to discuss opportunities with our Radical Cup North America program.”
  • Having teamed up with Racing Pride to offer a scholarship worth approximately €150,000 for an LGBTQ+ driver to compete in the ERA Series Europe 2023 season, the ERA Championship have announced the six shortlisted candidates for the Racing Pride Software AG ERA Championship scholarship:
    • Samantha Evans
    • Milan Fasotte
    • Nina Hahn
    • Luke Pullen
    • Jordan Rand
    • Emilie Villa
  • After a full year of operation, Marshall Pruett at RACER looks at Force Indy’s next steps. “How can this become a sustainable model?” he says. “That’s what I’m working on now. I have a database of kids who may not have the financial wherewithal — who’ve hit the ‘green wall’ — and simply don’t have the money to get here. I’ve had a lot of kids come up to me who’ve said they want to drive or get involved in other aspects of racing, and so I created a database to get their information so I can then guide them. You know, one kid is 22 years old, and I said, ‘Let’s look at Plan A, B, and C. If your Plan A is to be a race car driver, let’s understand the obstacles and the money you’ll need.”
How to Set a Fast Lap and More
  • The IMSA website explains how Jaden Conwright credits his Diverse Driver Development Scholarship for his career boost. “Jaden Conwright, the inaugural recipient of the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship, said the award did exactly what it was designed to do for young, aspiring drivers: to get seat time in IMSA competition, gain recognition, make connections and open doors that otherwise would have been closed.”
  • On the Conduct Detrimental blog, Zachary Bryson does a deep dive and explains the flaws with the F1 Super License System. “I don’t have the answers as to what would be a more appropriate award of super license points, but it is apparent that there is a negative bias that needs to be corrected within the rules. Especially as Formula One gains popularity in the United States and teams continue to look to drivers from the US to capitalize on this added interest, the disadvantage drivers have by participating as professional drivers in IndyCar needs to be remedied in some way moving forward. While the hopes for Herta in 2023 are dead on the vine, the FIA needs to be cognizant of these developments and issues with their current implementation of the super license system and work towards a “better” remedy.”
  • In the video above, Grassroots Motorsports looks at how to properly fit a racing helmet.

Driver Snapshots

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.

Logan Sargeant

How to Set a Fast Lap and More

Twelve months ago, Logan Sargeant was preparing for his first IndyCar test after his European dream appeared to be coming to an end. He’d just completed an impressive season with an uncompetitive Formula 3 team, but looked to be out of options to fund a Formula 2 move. Then Williams came along with an academy place and everything changed. “To be honest, I’m comfortable,” he says. “I mean, at the end of the day, we’ve been rapid all year. There’s no reason that it’s going to change. At the same time, I feel like I’m doing everything I can to be as well-prepped mentally, physically… even staying mentally sharp in a car because I’ve been given these FP1s. There’s nothing better than that in terms of to keep me sharp.” Make sure that you are ready and willing to take advantage to the fullest any and all opportunities that come your way.

Destiny Klym

How to Set a Fast Lap and More
Photo by Destiny Klym

Destiny Klym has become the first Saskatchewan and Indigenous woman to compete in Nascar-sanctioned race. Although she has roots in Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba, Destiny calls Saskatchewan home. She has competed in hobby stock, street stock and modified cars across the Prairies and in several states, taking home multiple championship trophies. “Not all men have reacted as enthusiastically to Destiny’s success. She says male competitors will occasionally get angry about her beating them, but generally she finds the sport to be a supportive and welcoming environment. Destiny recalls female drivers being rare when she started racing. That’s not the case anymore, and Destiny has happily picked up the role model torch.” Stay true to your roots and try to set an example for those that will come after you.

Aliyyah Koloc

Aliyyah Koloc

Aliyyah Koloc spent her childhood playing tennis. When injuries prevented her from continuing her pursuit of a career in tennis, she switched to motorsport, starting with truck racing in 2019. In the 2023 Dakar Rally, Aliyyah will also venture onto her first Dakar, together with sister Yasmeen. “Of course, there have been difficult moments and I try to use these as a learning experience. But as a person, I always focus on the positive. However, it was a difficult few months for me when I had to give up my tennis career. I wasn’t sure what would come next and felt a bit lost. What helped me then was to focus on something else. I started to follow my dad more to meetings and events and eventually the opportunity arose up to do a test. I haven’t looked back since. Also, what helps me to overcome tough times is that I have a great group of people around me.” Read more about her story here.

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.