Welcome to the Motorsport Prospects Weekly Debrief. If you are a race driver or are planning to be one, there should be something here that will be of interest to you and of use to further your motorsport career. If there is anything you feel should be included in the Weekly Debrief, please do not hesitate to contact me.
This week is another jam-packed edition of the Weekly Debrief. I touch on some great driver development initiatives, the basics of sponsorship and news for the business side of motorsport. Enjoy!
New on Motorsport Prospects This Week
Hard work and perseverance are the keys to success both in motorsport and in life, something that comes up in every interview I conduct with driver managers, team owners and sponsorship consultants. Paul Charsley strongly emphasizes the importance of perseverance, especially in the context of young drivers in our interview that kicked off the week. We also talked about the allure and opportunity of sportscar racing and it is well worth the read. Check out The Appeal and Opportunity of Sportscar Racing – In Conversation with Paul Charsley.
I also featured an awesome 1982 Porsche 935 Bob Akin L1 for sale in the Motorsport Prospects Marketplace that you also have to see to believe. It is available for you to buy as of the date of this post.
Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques
Stress and Performing Under Pressure
By definition, any athlete has to perform under pressure. As a race driver you not only have to perform under pressure on the track but you also have to perform in the boardroom. In the Hintsa Performance video Performing Under Pressure – Webinar with Advance, they will show you how to perform at your optimum under pressure without burning out. A valuable skill to have.
Continuing on the theme of stress, how you deal with it is key to both your success in your career as well as the key to maintaining a positive and healthy work/life balance. Jenni Shierman at JS Coaching has some great tips for dealing with stress in New Month, New Quarter…New You?
GT3 Driver Development, a Retro-Inspired Racing Series, a New Driving Club and Trans Am
The HPD GT3 Driver Academy is set for its second season kickoff with four new young guns for 2021. An excellent program for those interested in pursuing a career in sports cars, a type of racing that Paul Charsley feels has a lot of potential, especially for young drivers as he made clear in our interview this week.
Love vintage racing but you can’t afford a car? Heck do you love motorsport but can’t afford to race? Check out the planned British racing series by Dowsetts Classics.
“It’s not meant to be a replica, it’s an evocation,” Dowsetts’ CEO Jeremy McNamara told Autoweek when we spoke to him after the Tipo’s unveiling in London. “The original 158 was a one and a half liter and had eight cylinders, hence 158. Ours is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, hence 184.”
For the proposed UK race series all cars will have to run a common specification, this using a non-VVT version of the 1.8-liter engine and a five-speed gearbox. (McNamara admits the eight-branch exhaust manifold, referencing the straight-eight engines of the original Alfa 158, is “a bit of theater.”Autoweek: This British Kit Car Could Get Plenty of New People into Racing
Autoweek has more details here.
Gustavo Yacoman of Yacademy fame has introduced a brand new driving club at Homestead Miami called the Homestead Driving Club. According to Gustavo the club will run twice a month, from September Through May. Here are some details:
– 18 total days, from 9am to 5pm
– Mostly on Thursdays
– Memberships for Street Cars/Race cars/Open wheel cars
– 5 types memberships
– Driver Coaching included for street car members
– one-on-one coaching available on demand
– Lunch included at all of the days
– Perks from our Partners (Hankook Tires, ANSA car storage, TLM racing.)
For membership pricing go to https://www.homesteaddrivingclub.com/plans-pricing for more information.
With NASCAR increasing their races on road courses, some teams are looking to develop more road racing specialists. Michael Self of Silver Hare Racing talks about their focus on driver development using the Trans Am Series.
Sim Driving is Now Part of the Driver Development Mix
I have been talking about the potential that sim racing has of introducing motorsports to a new group of potential drivers for about two years now and the pandemic only accelerated things. Here are three articles that go into some detail about this exciting new development.
In Cem Bölükbaşı to make Euroformula debut with VAR at Hungaroring, a sim driver discusses his move into real racing. The key take away to me is this:
VAR’s CEO Rob Niessink added: “Cem embodies a new generation of racing drivers who have it in them to successfully translate virtual racing into ‘the real thing’. It’s a movement that, if asked a few years ago, would be considered practically impossible. It shows however how realistic the modern simulation technology is nowadays and how it can truly contribute to real-life racing. Clearly Cem has race talent, this he proofed in races he participated in so far. The team is excited to support him in his extra-ordinary journey and we all look forward to see him perform at the Hungaroring.”EuroFormula Press Release July 3, 2021
Here is a great round table talking about how sim racing, augmented reality and E Sports are becoming legitimate motorsport development tools. Watch the video below and get more details over at Autosport in Motor Valley Fest: Sim racing and augmented reality are part of motorsport.
Finally, The Race has a great aricle Inside motorsport’s first collaboration with the Olympics that goes into the details of the FIA’s first ever collaboration with the International Olympic Committee on their inaugural Olympic Virtual Series (OVS). The FIA have made it very clear why they got involved.
FIA president Jean Todt lauded the initiative, saying that “digital motorsport is an essential element of the wider motorsport ecosystem because it is offering safe, low-cost opportunities for young people and the FIA is fully committed to continuing its promotion.”
The key objectives for the OVS were simple – to find new ways for people who don’t have the regular budget for professional racing to enter the world of motorsport.Inside motorsport’s first collaboration with the Olympics
While we are on the topic of Esports, in my recent interview with Carol Glenn of Next Racing Generation she mentioned that NRG would be working with Red Bull in bringing some Esports competition that interested potential drivers would be able to compete in. Well she has announced the very first event in the Road to Race Esports Grand Prix. It takes place from July 29th -August 1st, 2021 and will feature the following:
- 20 minutes practice (Thursday/Friday)
- 10 minutes qualifying(Thursday/Friday)
- 20 quickest Drivers over the 2 day qualifying go through to the Saturday Semi<Final.
- 10 quickest Drivers from the semi-final go through to the Sunday “Road to Race” Grand Finale.
- Great prizes to be won
Full details and how to enter can be found here.
Will E Sports replacing karting or junior development series? No. What it has the potential to do is introduce new fans to the sport while reaching out to potential drivers who currently cannot afford to participate. Exciting developments to be sure!
The Business of Being a Race Driver
Racing is as much about performing in the boardroom as it is performing on the track. Unless you have unlimited personal funding the search for sponsorship will always be an ongoing journey so any tips and techniques that you can use to enhance the chances of you scoring sponsorship will enhance your career prospects.
This week I bring you some excellent resources discussing the basics of sponsorship and looking at sponsorship from the perspective of a business (always look at sponsorship from both sides of the boardroom table). I also look at why it is important to be flexible in your approach to your motorsport goals and career and feature news on a new and inspirational conference aimed at women in motorsport (or are thinking of getting involved).
First, let Enzo Mucci tell you why worrying about what other people think is never a good thing.
Worrying About What People Think…Will Kill Your Career
The Basics of Sponsorship
Having enough sponsorship will enable you to race, its as simple as that. But what is sponsorship exactly? If you think it is merely a company paying you to place a sticker on your car or bike you are mistaken. Here are some great resources that discuss what exactly sponsorship and how you need to approach the topic.
Racing Mentor has published the very comprehensive guide called The driver’s guide to sponsorship in motorsport. Used in conjunction with other tools and techniques from Racing Mentor, this will allow you to properly and comprehensively attack your sponsorship goals with a better chance of success.
Speaking of Racing Mentor and the basics of sponsorship, they also produce an excellent podcast. Check out Podcast 038: The Basics of Sponsorship for more tips and techniques.
The Brand Builders have an excellent video series called the Athlete Pathway Webinar Series which you should definitely subscribe to. Here is their video for “Sponsorship and Endorsements.”
Sponsorship from a Business’ Perspective
As I have mentioned numerous times, you need to stand in the shoes of a business to figure out what exactly they need and why in order to help you tailor your pitch to fulfill their business goals. This after all is the reason they are sponsoring a driver in the first place. Sometimes the relationship (sponsorship is always a relationship between you and the business sponsoring you) fails. Read Why Sports Sponsorships Fail to find out why.
Great Career Goal Advice
Last week I posted some inspiring words from Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo and encouraged you to follow him on social media. He recently posted his thoughts on career goals and the importance of constantly reevaluating them. It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Read IT’S OK TO REFRESH YOUR CAREER GOALS, THEY SHOULD EVOLVE AS WE DO… for some very practical advice from a leading driver in the sport. As we grow we evolve, learn to embrace it.
Women with Drive Summit
Taking place in conjunction with the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville, USA on August 6th, 2021, the Women with Drive Summit features a prominent list of successful women in motorsport. According to the organizers “Leading up to race weekend, we have organized some of the most influential people in motorsports to discuss the countless initiatives underway to empower women to the highest levels of professional motorsport.” Sounds very inspirational. Full details and registration information can be found here.
Big news in the world of sportscars and the WEC as Peugot released images of their new Hypercar and I must admit that, while I understand the economics and necessity of the LMDh class, this Hypercar really has a “wow” factor that’s missing even from the other Hypercars. It is gorgeous and quite radical in its looks and thinking. All the details can be found in the links below.
The Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar Joins the WEC Without a Wing
FIA WEC: Has Peugeot Reinvented the Hypercar?
Peugeot Unveils ‘Wingless’ 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar
Gallery: All the angles – Peugeot’s new Hypercar
Meanwhile the World Motorsport Council, in addition to announcing a BOP between Hypercar and LMDh that had no actual specifics, announced that the next-generation LMP2 car will be delayed until 2024.
Over in the Middle East, Aston Martin Racing is coordinating a new class for the 24H of Dubai and 6H of Abu Dhabi. The intention is to have at least five customer cars for both races that will be ‘enhanced GT4’ specification of the Vantage GT8R.
Finally, IMSA President John Doonan said GT Daytona Pro could serve as a “bridge” to LMDh for teams and manufacturers looking to prepare for a move into top-class competition by as early as 2023.
The New F4 Car
As I mentioned on a previous Weekly Debrief, the new halo-shod F4 car was formally introduced in Monaco this week. While it is debatable how “affordable” F4 in reality is, you can get all the details as well as various pics of the new car here.
If you are looking to race the new F4 car you have the opportunity to do so next season in the F4 UAE. Full details on how to order the car and enter the championship can be found here.
Formula Ford Down Under
Motorsport Australia has announced that they are looking into a one-make Formula Ford series to be introduced into the country after the failure of F4 Australia, an initiative that has been met with some controversy. As Chris Lambden argues, be careful what you wish for.
Depending on who you are talking to, NASCAR is either sliding into irrelevance or it is on the cusp of a renaissance with their Next Gen car. Here are two articles that are clearly of the “renaissance” persuasion. Personally I am intrigued and I am not much of a “stock car” guy. Time will tell.
NASCAR’s Next Gen Racer Is a Leap Toward the Future
Steve Phelps on Nascar’s rapid resurgence
The Business of Motorsport
Every once in awhile I am challenged by somebody to defend my love of motorsport, usually in the context of a new race being announced on city streets or after somebody is seriously hurt or tragically killed. I explain that racing is something enjoyed by millions, allows drivers to push the limits of what they are capable of and employs thousands of people globally. Now I have even more data for my argument. The FIA has just announced that a recent study has quantified the economic impact of motorsport and that impact is significant. Take a look at FIA study reveals motorsports €160bn economic impact for all the details.
Junior racing team Prema has joined forces with Iron Lynx to create an Italian superteam with participation throughout the racing ladder from Formula 4 to GT sportscar racing. There are a lot of synergies here as well as some interesting development opportunities for young drivers looking to move up the motorsport ladder.
Meanwhile, Roger Penske sat down with Forbes writer Maury Brown on the 50th anniversary of his first Indycar win to reflect on Success At The Track And In Business.
While Roger Penske reflects, his fellow Indycar owner Chip Ganassi sold his complete NASCAR team to Trackhouse Racing. Why now and what is its significance if any? Kelly Crandall at Racer looks at the deal in Why Trackhouse, Ganassi was the right deal at the right time – for both sides.
Finally, McLaren has announced a new alliance that will diversify talent in motorsport. According to McLaren CEO Zak Brown:
“McLaren Racing is fuelled by brave innovation, but brave innovation relies on diversity of thought and experience across all levels and functions, reflective of our fans, our partners and our communities. By investing in grassroots talent through these STEM initiatives, mentorship and inclusive development programmes, we aim to inspire the future generations of talent by fuelling their passion for engineering and F1.
“In doing so, we strive to become a more diverse and inclusive team and sport through our commitment to F1’s WeRaceAsOne platform.”McLaren Racing forms pioneering alliance to diversify talent in motorsport
This is an excellent move and will benefit not only the team but in my opinion society as a whole.
From the Motorsport Prospects Archives
Two years ago I interviewed 15 year old sports car racer Steven Aghakhani in He’s 15 and he races sports cars – A chat with Steven Aghakhani. Well now he is 17, still racing and winning and the star of a new motorsport documentary called “The Pursuit of Speed” focusing on his 2020 IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo season. You can check out the trailer here.
Coming Up on Motorsport Prospects
I have some very cool things coming up on Motorsport Prospects including my monthly motorsport charity spotlight, a focus on F1600 as an ideal training ground for young racers coming out of karting, a chat with an historic racer on how he feels racing cars worth a small (and not so small!) fortune, all this in addition to my usual Sustainable Motorsport Round-Ups, Weekly Debriefs that all race drivers will benefit from and cool racing cars in the Marketplace. All that and a few surprises tossed in for good measure!
The Last Lap
Speedholics has a great feature on former racer Stefan Johansson, a modern day Renaissance Man. In Stefan Johansson: Art Behind Every Bend he discusses his art and what inspired him as well as his adventures in racing.
If you love watches then this is for you. Check out MotorSport Watches – Your Road to Automotive-Inspired Watches for your own Steve McQueen inspired look.
Finally, if after reading my interview with Jonathan Scarallo or perusing the 2019 Radical SR3 RSX that is for sale in the Motorsport Prospects Marketplace you may be wondering, what is it like to race these things? Wonder no more.
Thanks for reading. Stay safe and I will see you at the track!