On December 1st the brand-new Motorsport Prospects soft-launched (surprise!). Over the next two weeks I will be reviewing what has been going on since the last mid-season review in June and explaining why I revamped the site and what you can expect in the future.
What is Motorsport Prospects?
The mission of Motorsport Prospects is to help race drivers find the motorsport resources they need to make their motorsport goals a reality. Whether it is a karter researching their first racing series for cars, a gentleman driver looking for a physical trainer with expertise in motorsport or a driver in a junior development series looking for information on young driver programs, Motorsport Prospects has you covered with the information on the resources you need to make the right decision for you.
What has been going on in the blog since the mid-season review?
Every Tuesday I publish an article on the Motorsport Prospects blog that I feel is of some interest to a wide variety of drivers out there. I have been lucky in that some great people have agreed to be involved and this looks to be gaining even more momentum in 2020!
On June 10th I wrote a mid-season wrap-up of what has been featured on the blog up to that time. In case you missed some of the features and interviews you can read the mid-season wrap-up here.
Since that time the blog has continued to consistently publish information of interest to drivers at all levels.
In June I conducted a feature-length interview with professional race driver and driver coach Tom Long. In The Eyes are the Keys to it All we looked into why a driver should use a driver coach, what a driver should get out of the relationship and how to find a coach. We also talked about the differences between coaching in a single-seater and a sports car and the Global MX-5 Cup, a series that Tom is particularly enthused about.
Starting in July I conducted my first interview that focused on the “gentleman driver” market. To kick off my look at that market I interviewed another professional driver who just happens to also do a lot of work with gentlemen drivers, Johnny Mowlem. In A Discussion about the Role of the Gentleman Driver with Johnny Mowlem we discussed what makes a good gentleman driver, whether the sport needs gentleman drivers (it does) and advice for both the young driver looking at a career in sports cars as well as advice for the aspiring gentleman driver. We also touched upon at what point a driver should engage a manager, something he is familiar with as he also manages drivers through his company Red River Sport.
I then did a deep dive into a topic I am passionate about owing to my background in the law, the intersection of law and motorsport. The interview was conducted with a preeminent motorsport lawyer, Genevieve Gordon of Tactic Connect. This is an interview I am particularly proud of as it is a subject that is most often given little consideration by drivers and that is driver and contracts. In the extensive two part interview Fit for Purpose – Exploring the Role of the Lawyer in Motorsport with Genevieve Gordon Part 1 & Part 2 we discussed when and how to engage a lawyer, the difference between a lawyer and a manager, the concept of “motorsport law”, what to look for in driver contracts and in particular what to be careful about as well as motorsport licensing.
The topic of motivation and how it is key to success on the track was the primary focus in my interview with driver coach Enzo Mucci in Motivation is the key to everything. We spent time talking about the mental aspect of driving, the transition from karts to cars and one on one versus distance coaching in addition to how motivation is the key to everything. We also touched on the sponsorship acquisition program he runs and how to resolve problems between driver and coach.
July ended with a special interview as part of my occasional “Parents in the Pits” column. For this edition I spoke with Kayleigh Hilborn whose son Caleb races karts. While 9 year old Caleb is your typical motorsport-mad boy, there is one difference in that he has Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed as having a mild form of autism. What really impressed me about this interview was how resilient and determined Caleb is in pursuing his dream of racing and how he will not let something like diabetes slow him down. If you are a parent of a child with any sort of disability, I urge you to read the interview. Kayleigh feels that karting was probably the best and most effective therapy that Caleb could ever get.
After a bit of a break while working almost non-stop on the new site only to be hit with numerous technical issues and delays, I jumped back in on the run-up to the annual Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy with a feature on the latter written by driver Michael Gibaut . Getting the perspective of a driver who has actually competed in the event should give other young drivers the incentive to pursue a similar path.
We all understand that being a race driver is not only about be fast on the track but being successful at raising sponsorship off the track. One of the key parts of being successful off the track is building and maintaining your brand, something I discussed with Paul Coltman of ASGUK Ltd in The Importance of Branding for a Driver . We discussed why and how drivers should establish and build their brand, how it makes them appealing for sponsors and how to manage your brand on social media.
With the Formula Ford Festival running in October and the appearance of both Team Canada and Team USA drivers taking part I spoke with motorsport legend Jeremy Shaw, who started and runs the Team USA Scholarship program about what the program is looking for when selecting their drivers for the annual award. In The Team USA Scholarship – What Does It Take? we touched on the continuing relevance of the festival, the importance of networking and being realistic in your aspirations.
In November I continued my look at gentlemen drivers with an interview with driver Derek DeBoer. If you are at all familiar with the Amazon Prime and YouTube series Fastlife you will be familiar with Derek. In A Gentleman Driver Living the Fastlife we discussed how he juggles his various commitments, the never-ending search for sponsorship and what advice he can offer to older racing drivers.
In November I also discussed a topic that came up in numerous interviews I had conducted with team managers, driver coaches and series officials and that is the importance of networking. In this article I give drivers 10 reasons why networking is important and what you can do and how to make it part of your routine, even if you are naturally shy.
I ended November with an interview with the winner of the Young Class in the brand new Saleen Cup, Carter Fartuch. Seeing as how I had argued that the Saleen Cup was something young drivers should look into back in April before the series hit the track, I felt it informative to talk about Carter’s experience in the series and what opportunities this has given him going forward.
In 2020 look for more interviews and features aimed at drivers of all sorts with a few surprises mixed in every Tuesday. If you have any suggestions for an interview or feature, please do not hesitate to contact me here. https://www.motorsportprospects.com/contact/
Next week I will talk a little bit about what has changed on the website and what new services and features you can expect in 2020. Thank you for reading and as always, thank you for your support and patronage.