For this week’s Motorsport Prospects Weekly Debrief I have a lot of great stuff to get through including developing your performance state of mind, tips on branding and some great marketing templates you can use in your sponsorship pitches. I also look at the release of the Hamilton Commission’s report on diversity in motorsport in the UK and a new FIA approved race track in Canada plus a whole bunch more.
Before we get to that, this is what happened this week on Motorsport Prospects.
New on Motorsport Prospects This Week
As part of my contribution to the motorsport community I am shining the spotlight every month on a motorsport-related charity. This week it is on Sir Jackie Stewart’s Race Against Dementia, a disease that whose impact on a family strikes close to my heart. Read all about the charity and how you can get involved to help fight this dreadful disease.
Formula Ford is the class that just keeps on giving. Besides being a great development class for drivers in 2021 it also has a rich historic racing scene that you can take part in with the Crossle Formula Ford 16F/70/40 that is for sale in the Motorsport Prospects Marketplace. Wondering where to race it? I outline a few series around the world that you can take to the track in anger as well as a great video that shows the appeal of historic Formula Ford racing. Best of all, the car is still available to purchase!
Now on to this week’s Weekly Debrief.
Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques
You cannot be successful if you do not love what you do! Let Enzo Mucci explain why this is so important.
Planning on running in the SCCA Runoffs this year? Then you may want to read SportsCar Feature: How To Win The Runoffs for some tips on best practices.
Your Data Driven (one of my 8 recommended podcasts all drivers should subscribe to) recently featured an excellent interview with Ross Bentley on developing your performance state of mind. And if you are not regularly consulting Ross Bentley’s regular Q&A feature Ask Ross, you are missing out on some valuable insight in developing your racecraft. For more insights from Ross check out my two-part interview with him on the Motorsport Prospects blog here and here.
Autosport Radio has a great interview with Jim Leo of PitFit Taining. You can watch the Zoom call below and follow that up with my interview with Jim from 2019 here.
Formula Woman has announced that they will host two assessment days at the Bedford Autodrome on the 15th and 16th November. These dates follow the day at Knockhill two weeks prior, and are open to applicants across Great Britain and Europe. You can get more information and register at the Formula Woman website.
Here are two drivers who talk about how sim racing slots into their motorsport careers. The first is Cem Bolukbasi whom I mentioned in last week’s Weekly Debrief. The second is Nascar Infinity racer Jesse Iwuji who talks about his experiences sim racing in iRacing and where it all fits in the driver development picture.
- Why Bolukbasi was against the odds for a Euroformula debut splash
- Xfinity Series Driver Jesse Iwuji: ‘You’ve Got to Drive Using Your Body, Feeling It’
Race Fans has a great article on why the Superlicense points awarded to the Indycar Champion are so low, especially if the FIA wants to encourage American drivers to race in F1. Seems like a no brainer to increase the points but as “F1 wants a US driver, but an IndyCar pipeline suits no one” points out, it is not as obvious a solution as it seems for either side.
From AVL Racing: “AVL RACING joins forces with the Knowledge Visualization group of Know-Center GmbH. Together we are evaluating the performance of racing drivers using the latest wearables technologies, data analytics and vehicle dynamics simulation software from AVL. The goal is to measure human factors related to perception, cognition, and muscles’ activity with biosensors synchronized with vehicle data at a Driver in the Loop (DiL) using market leader vehicle dynamics simulation software AVL VSM™ RACE, offering the possibility to analyze together human sensor data with data logged during the driving sessions. Learn more about AVL RACING: https://www.avl.com/race-racing“
The Business of Being a Race Driver
Part of the business of being a race driver is branding. Not sure how it works? Check out this interview with Stephen Huneycutt on the MotiV8 Podcast for an overview of what it means and why it is important.
The fine folks at Ikoniqa have put together a pretty cool assortment of motorsport-related mock-ups for your next sponsorship deck or marketing materials. And that is not all. They are in the process of putting together some pretty impressive motorsport resources for all your off the track business needs. Check out their motorsport resources page here.
Understanding how a business can utilize your sponsorship is key for both parties to get the most out of the relationship. Sponsorship Activation Spotlight: Asset Integration looks at how a sponsor can integrate their sponsorship assets for maximum impact.
I mentioned in a previous Weekly Debrief that Formula E was looking at developing a support class since the demise of the iPace Trophy (which really was more of a showcase for Jaguar than a true development class). They have narrowed down the options to a short list but don’t expect any changes before their Gen 3 machinery debuts. Could that be because they want to use their Gen 2 cars for the support class? Time will tell.
On last week’s Weekly Debrief I mentioned that IMSA and the ACO have announced that Hypercars will be eligible to race in IMSA competition using a new BoP but no details were announced. Now we have the details and 2023 looks like it will be an interesting debut of a new “golden” age of sportscar racing!
New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series have announced plans for 2022 and they include a return of the championship to the South Island. With Superlicense points on offer and an impressive roster of graduates who have gone on to bigger things, Operations and Category Manager Nicolas Caillol suggests that drivers express their interest early. Full details and registration information can be found here.
Finally, Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 have announced plans to incorporate the halo for 2022 thereby joining Indy Lights who added the halo this year. “With our current monocoque and fuel cell approaching their useful life expectancy, the timing was right to introduce an upgrade to ensure our cars will be set for the next five-plus seasons,” said Dan Andersen, CEO of the Road to Indy’s promoter. In addition to the halo, there will be new sidepods, underfloor, engine cover, air ducts, damper covers and fuel cells on the widened monocoques of both series.
The Business of Motorsport
The Hamilton Commission releases its report
The big news this week was the release of the Hamilton Commission Report. Titled ACCELERATING CHANGE: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport, the report explores the barriers to the recruitment and progression of Black people within UK motorsport, which start in early life and throughout their educational journeys, and provides ten recommendations to address them. It was nice to see that both Carol Glenn who I interviewed back in March as well as the partnership of Wavey Dynamics and MFT who I have mentioned in my Weekly Debrief from May 21st were both featured in the report.
Reaction to the report has been positive overall with Formula 1 announcing a number of new scholarship and apprenticeship initiatives in an effort to start to address the issues that the report lays bare. But as Dieter Rencken points out in Why F1 needs a global equivalent of the Hamilton Commission’s report on diversity, F1 is a global sport and there should be a solution that looks beyond the UK, an idea that introduces its own complications.
To me the good news is that F1 at least seems to be taking the issue to heart and is actually implementing initiatives to begin to address the diversity imbalance. After all, if Formula 1 prides itself on attracting the best and the brightest, it has to start looking outside the usual places in order to uncover people who are just as exceptional and talented as those currently working in motorsport. Or as The Drive rightly puts it “If F1 wants to genuinely say it has the best people, it has to look for them everywhere.” The issue is complex and the solutions will take some time to implement but that just makes it worth the effort. Anything less is a disservice to motorsport and society as a whole.
Here are some great articles analyzing the report and its potential to make a meaningful impact on motorsport. You can download the report here or view an interactive summary here.
- The Hamilton Commission’s Findings of Racism in F1 Are Damning
- Hamilton Commission reveals stark F1 diversity findings
- Exposing sinister problems is why Hamilton report matters
- How F1 team photos acted as Hamilton’s wake-up call
- For Black students, the proportion achieving a 1st class honours degree in engineering is 20% – less than half that of their White British counterparts, at 43%.
- F1 ready to act as Hamilton Commission report released
- Formula 1 announces scholarship, apprenticeship, and intern placements for underrepresented groups
Motorsport viewing figures are trending in the positive
It seems that as we emerge stumbling and rubbing our eyes from the glare of the sunlight post-pandemic, viewership figures are trending upward. Indycar, Formula E and Formula 1 have all posted positive numbers which augurs well for the future. Have a look at what is happening in Indycar and Formula E:
- IndyCar enjoying most-watched season on NBC as races average 1.5m viewers
- Formula E viewership up 125% in key markets
- Formula E Brings Growing Fan Base, Momentum to New York
New Canadian track gets FIA certification
It is pretty exciting when a new track debuts, especially when you hear of so many closing so the news that the new Oro Station track outside of Toronto has been approved by the FIA as a Grade 3 track is great news.
From the Motorsport Prospects Archives
In 2019 I had a great chat with Phil Picard of US-based Momentum Motorsports. In Sponsorship, Developing Race Car Drivers and the Importance of People in a Race Team – An Interview with Phil Picard of Momentum Motorsports we talked about the importance of hard work, how sponsorship really works and how parents should choose the team that they entrust their child to. A great read with advice that still stands today.
The Last Lap
Get your sim racing rigs ready as Chad Knaus and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society have teamed up with iRacing for a great charity event that you can get involved in. The event takes place July 31 and full details can be found over at Racer.
Speaking of motorsport doing good, F1 champion Nico Rosberg truly believes that motorsport can be a force for good. Using his participation with a team in the new Extreme E series he states:
I see motorsport and the wider mobility industry as an ecosystem, where every aspect of it can help drive positive change, from the sustainable solutions it develops to the role it can play in educating people on the threat of climate change and how to tackle it. Innovating, racing and educating together is how we can make a difference.Rosberg: Why I believe motorsport can be a force for good: Autosport July 9, 2021
And it is just not with respect to sustainability that motorsport can provide solutions and good examples. From the brand new diversity initiatives just announced by F1 to the various motorsport-related charities that exist and that I have started highlighting once a month, motorsport can be more than an exciting, glamorous, cutthroat form of sporting competition. It can also deliver a positive message and more importantly, offer positive, constructive solutions to some of our most pressing problems. Can it solve all the world’s problems? Of course not, that is not the primary mission of sport. But it can make a positive influence which is something that should be encouraged each and every time.
Finally, sit back and enjoy an Aston Martin Valkyrie Scream Up the Hill at Goodwood. I can see you smile.
Stay safe and I will see you at the track.