On this week’s Motorsport Prospects debrief we look at some driver development news of interest to anybody racing or wanting to race a car, new series being launched, diversity in motorsport news, a new eSports development academy, a new driver coaching app and more.
New on Motorsport Prospects This Week
This week is a bit of a transition as I solidify my editorial calendar for the next few months. The plan going forward is to post a feature (either an interview, spotlight on a series or team, driver development or business of motorsport “how-to” etc.) twice a month on Mondays, a weekly “In the Marketplace” post on a racing car available to purchase every Wednesday and the “Weekly Debrief” every Friday. As time goes on I will be filling out the schedule with more planned posts so make sure you check back regularly!
Speaking of “In the Marketplace,” this week I featured a ready to race 2019 Radical SR3 RSX that is for sale in addition to some information on Radical Sports Cars, the Radical racing scene, a link to an interview I did with Radical dealer Group A Racing’s Jonathan Scarallo and how you can get involved. It is vibrant, well run club racing open to everybody.
Finally, if you are registering on the site (it’s free and there will be benefits!) please bear in mind that I need to approve all registrations to the site. There are a lot of spam bots trying to get through so this is how I currently deal with the issue. Registration also allows you to save articles and listings to your Motorsport Prospects account for future reference, be able to take advantage of new services and features that I launch and other perks yet to be announced but in the works. You may also want to register so that you will be able to subscribe to the upcoming newsletter that I will be launching over the summer (more about that below). As we all know, privacy is key these days and I can assure you that your email details will not be sold or shared with anybody. They are for internal use only as a way for me to connect directly with you when and if needed and to get your feedback. I appreciate and thank you for your trust.
Driver Development News
There are a number of interesting programs, tools and news of note for race drivers looking to up their game.
Heat Stress for Drivers Webinar
Epartrade.com has a webinar on June 2 that all drivers should attend as it deals with something a lot of drivers confront and yet often don’t know how to deal with. Titled “Heat Stress: Lessons from Corvette Drivers at LeMans” the webinar according to the website features:
“Heat Stress: Lessons from Corvette Drivers at LeMans” by Stand 21 with Doug Fehan, Former Corvette Racing Manager, Safety Legend, Dr. Terry Trammell, Yves Morizot, President, Stand 21 and Don Taylor, Director, Stand 21 Safety Foundation.
There is no charge to attend and you can register here.
Hunter McElrea Talks About Racing in the USA
The MotiV8 Training podcast returns to chat with Aussie raised Kiwi, Hunter McElrea who is currently competing in the Indy Pro2000 category on the Road to Indy. The podcast sounds interesting, especially for young drivers. Here is how host Matt Payne describes it:
We cover a lot of ground with Hunter, including the challenges of living in America, training to race on ovals and securing the funding to go racing.Look up on your favourite Podcast App or race to motiv8training.com.au/podcasts
Applications are Open for the Enhanced DISE
Motorsport UK has announced they are now accepting applications for the Enhanced DISE program this September.
According to Motorsport UK:
These days just being quick isn’t enough. If you want to make it to the top of the sport, the leading teams are interested in intelligent, pro-active drivers and co-drivers who can communicate on a technical level with their engineers, and understand complex data that unlocks those last few tenths!
The Motorsport UK Academy offers the Enhanced Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) course delivered in collaboration with Loughborough College. The bespoke two-year sporting excellence and motor vehicle education course is designed to support talented drivers and co-drivers through both the sporting and academic pathway. This unique course allows the flexibility to follow the education path of your choice within motorsport, whilst developing your driving or co-driving skills at the same time. The course is developed from the Government funded Diploma in Sporting Excellence qualification and combined with motorsport specific education to create a wholly exclusive programme.https://www.motorsportuk.org/the-sport/motorsport-uk-academy/enhanced-dise/
Full details can be found at the Motorsport UK website here.
Turning Trackday Fans into GT Racers
Autosport Plus has a great article on how the Knockhill Motor Sports Club is turning track day fans into regular GT competitors with their Super Lap Scotland series. According to the Autosport Plus article:
It’s an age-old question asked by event organisers: how to get more people involved in motorsport? One logical group to target as potential future competitors is trackday drivers – after all, these are people who are already showing an interest in cars and visiting a circuit.https://www.autosport.com/national/news/the-newcomer-friendly-series-turning-trackday-fans-into-gt-champions/6506814/
This approach of low cost, easy entry makes so much sense and will only help grow the sport with those that already show an affinity for hitting the track.
Are F2/F3 Costs Declining? Bruno Michel Thinks So
Bruno Michel, the man behind FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 thinks that the changes made to the schedule for 2021 in altering between F2 and F3 is lowering the cost of racing at this level and therefore the barrier of entry. While there is a lot still be done he told Motorsport Week:
“I think at the end of the day, the costs for the teams has been decreased,” explained Bruno Michel, CEO of both championships, to select media.
“It’s difficult to say at the moment how much it’s going to be and what will be the complete outcome. It would be interesting to see that over a full season.
“We’re monitoring it quite closely with the teams.https://www.motorsportweek.com/2021/05/12/new-season-format-has-reduced-costs-f2-3-ceo/
It truly is early days and as he argues elsewhere in the article he can’t tell teams what they can charge drivers, especially the more popular teams but he is hoping that will change:
“That’s something I would imagine we’ll adjust within time, because we can’t have teams that are selling 30 per cent, 40 per cent more than others. It will also take a little bit of time but it is going in the right direction.”
We shall see…
Developments for Getting Women and Girls On Track
It is heartening to hear that both the SCCA and the FIA are continuing their push to encourage girls and women to get involved in racing. The SCCA announced they are Getting Women on Track Across SCCA Programs.
“The SCCA Foundation is committed to supporting the mission of SCCA Women on Track,” said Tere Pulliam, SCCA Foundation Board and Women on Track committee member. “It’s our goal to see women interested in motorsports have a welcoming place to have fun with cars.”
As a group, the committee hopes to further promote women currently participating in motorsports and bring together others who have not yet made the leap. The committee meets monthly to identify barriers and challenges women face, share solutions and discuss how to help engage and grow programs at both Regional and National levels.https://www.scca.com/articles/2014993-getting-women-on-track-across-scca-programs
Girls on Track is a grassroots programme, set up by the Women in Motorsport Commission, with an aim to get more young women and girls involved in motorsport.
As part of the deal, ABB will help Girls on Track expand into new territories and markets worldwide, growing its global presence in the international motorsport community.
Going forward, Girls on Track will feature at four events every Formula E season to promote the roles of women within motorsport.https://www.blackbookmotorsport.com/news/abb-fia-girls-on-track-global-partner-formula-e-2021
More details can be found at the Girls on Track section of the FIA website.
Esport Development Academy Launched
The effort comes by joining forces with European-based JAS Motorsport to form the HPD JAS Esports Academy, with a commitment to find the next generation of talent spanning over three continents: North America, Europe and Asia. In a partnership with SRO Motorsports America, the search will put racers behind the wheel of an Acura NSX GT3 Evo on Assetto Corsa Competizione. Those selected to be part of the team will have an opportunity to become factory drivers in the Esports realm under the HPD JAS banner.
Selection for the HPD JAS Esports Academy will start on May 11 “with open qualifiers to determine the top 25 drivers in each region,” according to a statement from SRO. After that, a live streamed feature of the races in each region will determine those selected to join the HPD JAS Esports Pro team based on a series of criteria that include finishing position, pace, racecraft and strategy, among others.
Qualifications open on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 12:00am PDT and close on Friday, May 14, 2021 at 11:59pm PDT. To register, visit http://bit.ly/hpdesportshttps://racer.com/2021/05/11/hpd-jas-motorsport-form-esports-academy/
Hurry up as the deadline to apply is today!
A New Driver Coach App
Finally, Enzo Mucci, otherwise known as The Race Driver Coach has released a free app called the Driver Coach App. With this app on your iPhone, drivers who wish to send their performance overview to their coaches can do so easily. You can download the app here and you can read my interview with Enzo here.
Diversity in Motorsport News
I have made no secret of my support for any initiative to encourage more diverse participation in motorsport both on and off the track. It is something I discussed candidly with Carol Glenn of Next Racing Generation recently and I will always promote and encourage any developments to grow the sport and make it more inclusive.
In addition to the SCCA and FIA developments I already mentioned, some additional interesting news has emerged over the last week. There is a new team racing in Germany in the ADAC GT Series with the clever name Team Driverse. According to an article in Racers Behind the Helmet.
“If you want to promote diversity, you have to live it.” – reads the team statement.
Team Driverse is the extra step in the direction of diversity and inclusion in a sport that is finally becoming more receptive. With more and more talented women in a still heavily male dominated world, Team Driverse further sets the bar in terms of opportunities for professionals based solely on competence and commitment, with special attention to women in STEM roles.https://www.racers-behindthehelmet.com/post/brand-new-team-driverse-kicks-off-in-style-with-adac-gt4-program
And the cool thing is they are aiming big:
But the ambition of Team Driverse doesn’t stop here: if the project inaugural racing commitments will be in the competitive German GT4 championship, the outfit is already targeting to extend its presence at continental level, potentially in the European GT4 Series at a later date – to bring its values and role models to an even larger audience, as well as keep building on its diverse pool of talents.
Looking forward to seeing how this progresses both this year and beyond.
Over in the USA, as the racing world starts to focus on “the month of May” the Indy Star has a great article on how both Paretta Autosport and Force Indy are working hard to make a difference in the sport. In Paretta Autosport, Force Indy out to prove underrepresented ‘deserve to be’ at Indy 500, Nathan Brown looks at how both teams are preparing for the month of May and beyond and the incredible support they have been receiving from Roger Penske and everybody in his organization. The article is well worth the read.
The Business of Motorsport
The intention of anything I write under the Business of Motorsport heading is really to look at all aspects of the non-racing side of this incredibly complex and expensive sport. Not only do I cover the business from a driver’s point of view (for example techniques in pursuing the never-ending quest for sponsorship) but I also feel it important to understand the bigger picture both from within the industry and for those businesses currently sponsoring motorsport or looking to get involved.
This week I bring you a few articles that are well worth your time to read. Don’t forget that regardless of whether it is about Formula 1 or Formula 1600, the mindset and approach should be the same, just adjusted to scale. Knowledge is power and the more you know the better off you are.
And this final article from Morning Consult may come as a complete surprise but it opens up intriguing sponsorship possibilities (photo courtesy of Morning Consult).
After my series on getting green tech to sponsor your racing activities, this could be additional research you can use in your approach to any company involved in the EV space.
Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific has announced a new GT Sprint Challenge Series for customer based in China. According to their website the series is open to GT4, GTC, GT3 and GT2 cars. Further details can be found at the Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific site.
SRO Motorsport’s Stephane Ratel has announced that the recently announced GT Rebellion Series has been cancelled. According to Sportscar 365:
SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel has said that a lack of entries influenced by coronavirus pandemic measures led to the cancelation of the GT3-based Fanatec GT Rebellion Series, which was due to launch this year.
“You don’t start the series with nine cars. It’s sad because it just shows that it’s difficult at the moment. Having worked on it for six months, we didn’t do it by coincidence: we did it because quite a lot of teams had an interest in this Am series and because they have Am clients.https://sportscar365.com/sro/gt-sports-club/ratel-explains-cancelation-of-gt-rebellion-series/
Ratel indicates that he will be talking to the teams and drivers to determine the best way forward for amateur drivers at this level.
A new series has been announced in the USA for young drivers making the transition from karts to cars. Called Formula Americas, they aim to be a low cost, arrive and drive series and plan on kicking off with a pre-season test in June followed by the first race in July. More details can be found at their website https://www.fasupergp.com/formula-americas.html.
Finally in Canada, FEL Motorsports has announced a new sports car racing series called the 2021 Sports Car Championship Canada which will be a GT4 series licensed by SRO Motorsports. They have also announced a new Radical Cup series called the FEL Cup Championship with further details to be announced soon.
From the Motorsport Prospects Archives
Are you a race driver looking for a good podcast? Then you should definitely check out my recent round up of 8 Podcasts All Racing Drivers Should Subscribe To. Highly recommended if you are looking for excellent hints and tips to improve your performance both on and off the track.
Coming Up on Motorsport Prospects
There is a lot still coming to Motorsport Prospects over the next few weeks and months including a look at F1600, an interview with Paul Charsley where we talk GT racing and driver development, my monthly spotlight on a motorsport charity, sustainable motorsport news, the latest listings on Motorsport Prospects and the debut of the brand new Motorsport Prospects newsletter. And no, it will not be your typical newsletter but something you can actually use. More details to be announced soon.
The Final Lap
As we close out the week, what can be better than James Hunt ripping around Monaco to remind you why we love this sport as much as we do. Stay safe and see you at the track.