Motorsport Prospects Weekly Debrief for May 21, 2021 – Dollars, Sense and Developing Race Drivers

New on Motorsport Prospects This Week

I started the week off with a roundup of Sustainable Motorsport news and why this is such an important topic for today’s racing drivers. I also featured an awesome 2018 Ferrari 488 Challenge EVO currently available in the Motorsport Prospects Marketplace for anybody who has always wanted to own and race a Ferrari. (Let’s face it, who hasn’t?)

I am also getting ready for a major push on updating the Motorsport Prospects Directory with a lot of great listings, especially in the Services section. If you want to be listed in the Directory a basic listing is free and you can contact me here.

Driver Development News

Good News for the Kiwi Driver Fund

I mentioned in a previous Weekly Debrief that the Kiwi Driver Fund was looking for new partners. There is good news in that according to infonews.co.nz they have just added Michael Clark as an independent trustee. I particularly like his take on the role of F1600 in a young driver’s development:

He says this is a perfect intermediate step before young racers tackle the more powerful ‘aero’ cars of the annual Castrol Toyota Racing Series, New Zealand’s premier single-seater category.

InfoNews NZ

Agreed. You can read more in Formula for Success.

Arden & YRDA to provide prizes to UKC champions in 2021

Back in February, UK-based junior racing team Arden announced that they would be supporting the Ultimate Karting Championship with some pretty cool prizes in cooperation with the Young Racing Driver Academy. Full details can be found here.

Porsche Canada Supports Young Canadian Talent in new Carrera Cup North America

This is a bit of old news but with the launch of an official Porsche Carrera Cup in North America, Canadians will be eligible for their Young Driver Program with Red Deer’s Parker Thompson being the first Canadian announced.

“I’m thrilled to have been identified as a rising young talent to contend in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America this year and have Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. alongside my journey with the strong and dedicated JDX Racing team,” said Parker Thompson. “I’m excited for the season to get underway and to start chasing checkered flags and the top step of the podium!”

Porsche Press Release

Full details can be found here.

What Can Be Done to Get American Drivers into F1?

Ever since Mario Andretti remarked how he thought that Colton Herta would be perfect for F1, there has been debate back and forth on how to get an American into F1. I think Alexander Rossi is being the most realistic in suggesting a European development program for a young driver starting at the age of 14. Who should pay? I am not so sure about the FIA. Perhaps a combination of the American companies currently involved in sponsoring various F1 teams?

Anyhow, here is a roundup of some of the suggestions and commentary.

American F1 drivers desirable but not realistic in short-term – Domenicali

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

What F1 needs to do to turn its US driver dream into reality

America’s Got Talent – but when will we see the country’s next F1 star?

Motorsport Ireland launch Rally Star campaign

I don’t cover much rallying news here despite being a big fan of the discipline but I do plan to change this. Motorsport Ireland is behind a great young driver development program with their Rally Star campaign.

Candidates for Motorsport Ireland’s Rally Star program will be selected for the European Continental Finals by two means, a digital challenge and a slalom challenge. Details of how to participate in the digital challenge can be found HERE and the supplementary regulations can be viewed HERE. The Irish top 10 from each of the remaining FIA Rally Star WRC9 #RallyAtHome challenges will qualify for the Motorsport Ireland Rally Star National Digital Final which will take place in September in association with Irish sim specialists, Digital Motorsports. Also taking place in September will be the Motorsport Ireland Rally Star Slalom Final where affiliated clubs will be invited to put forward two candidates, one male and one female, who will then partake in a slalom style event in a production car. Details of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Star Slalom Final and its regulations will be circulated once a date and venue has been confirmed.

Motorsport Ireland

Full details can be found at the Motorsport Ireland website here.

15 Candidates For 2021 Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy

Speaking of driver development programs, Aston Martin has announced their latest Driver Academy candidates. From the article in Daily Sportscar:

The initiative has been developed to effectively coach drivers in the early stages of their careers.

Drivers aged between 17 and 26 with Vantage GT3 and GT4 race programmes in recognised championships are eligible.

The prize on offer for the successful graduate includes financial support towards their 2022 race program, as well as assistance and guidance from the factory, tailored to their season plans.

Daily Sportscar

You can read more about the program and the candidates over at Daily Sportscar.

‘There’s always naysayers:’ Georgia teen on vying to be next Black NASCAR driver

Being a race driver can often be a lonely, soul-destroying pursuit and things are often compounded for those who are visible minorities. Hayden Swank is not letting anybody deter him from becoming a NASCAR driver and only the second black driver in the series. As he explains in this piece on NBC News:

Hayden Swank, 19, is from Woodstock, Georgia, and he’s racing to become only the second Black driver to enter the NASCAR circuit. Swank says, “There’s always naysayers,” and people that doubt him and think he’ll only make it far in racing because he’s Black.

NBC News

Every successful driver will always tell you the same thing, never give up. It looks like Swank is not planning to. You can watch the feature here.

Reimagining Motorsport: MFT x Wavey Dynamics

Motorsport Prospects Weekly Debrief for May 21, 2021
MFT young driver Noah Andy has his eye on the prize this year. (Photo courtesy of Motors Formula Team and Wavey Dynamics)

Speaking of diversity and driver development in motorsport, Wavey Dynamics and Motors Formula Team have teamed up to offer a driver development program that aims “to take direct action towards diversity and showcase the value of our sport.”

As explained in Reimagining Motorsport: MFT x Wavey Dynamics, Jahee Campbell-Brennan has some pretty significant goals:

After being invited to take part in many conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion within the sport and the difficulties that must be overcome, I’ve been wondering what the new image of motorsport needs to be and what needs to be done to get there.

Recent years of my life have been driven by the challenges I’ve faced with breaking into the industry from the outside. I have a clear vision and burning desire to make it a reality, so when I didn’t get any movement from traditional routes, I had no option but to break away and create my own opportunities. Needless to say this is partly why myself and Ludovic at MFT get on so well, but this isn’t a path that everyone should have to take.

Between us, MFT and Wavey Dynamics have all the skills and infrastructure of management, engineering and drivers needed to compete at the top. A racing programme to take direct action towards diversity and showcase the value of our sport is an easy decision to make.

Once we’re rolling, our mission will be to change the mood and accessibility of motorsport:

The ultimate objective is to compete as the first majority Black owned, driven and engineered race team at the Le Mans 24h, generating the exposure and marketing power we need to complete the mission and take advantage of the opportunities it presents to expand further.

Wavey Dynamics

Looking forward to tracking their progress. Look for an interview with Ludovic at MFT in the near future.

Inside an F1 Simulator with Nico Hülkenberg

Slightly more advanced than your simulator at home but it is fascinating to see how the pros use sims.

The Business of Motorsport

A 19-Year-Old Racer Is Trying To Break Into Nascar While Working As A Mortgage Broker

If you are reading this you are probably a driver who knows that a racing driver will do pretty much anything to make their racing dreams happen. Nick Sanchez is a perfect example of somebody who works full time while trying to make things happen to get on the track.

There’s another way Sanchez differentiates himself from the rest of the young up and coming racers. While most young drivers receive financial help from their parents, and Sanchez has done that, he is making his own way financially off the track. While his parents did pay some of the bills for his racing, they also gave him something else: The teenager is also a licensed mortgage broker.

“I use it more as a tool to focus on my racing,” he said. “Like if you look at most drivers there, they’ve kind of put all their eggs in one basket. You know, if they don’t make it in racing, they have no idea what they want to do, but they don’t think of that.

“But utilizing this mortgage industry and knowing that, you know, if I don’t make it racing, I still have a very good opportunity to do well for myself. So having that in the back of my head kind of fuels that fire to my race and it allows me to attack it even more I feel like. So, it takes some of the pressure off… It really does honestly,”

Forbes

A couple of important lessons here. The first is to work like heck, something everybody who is involved in motorsport continuously says is key. The second is to have a “Plan B” if things don’t go to plan.

You can read the complete article on Forbes here.

How Much Does It Really Cost To Go Racing?

Your Data Driven (One of our 8 Podcasts All Racing Drivers Should Listen To) has a great video on the economics of racing.

Recently (mid-2020) I teamed up with the 750 Motor Club in the UK, and Scott Mansell (Driver61 fame) to put this helpful video together. The pricing of course is an indication. The car options you have in different countries will be different (although the MX5 / Miata is everywhere!) Therefore consider this as one perspective that aims to help you understand a bit more.

Your Data Driven

You can watch the video here.

The Costs of Racing Part 2

Speaking of the costs of racing, this graphic is a little dated but fairly accurate.

Motorsport Prospects Weekly Debrief for May 21, 2021 - Dollars, Sense and Developing Race Drivers

Not sure where I found this so if you know please let me know and I will properly credit them!

How to Make Yourself Attractive to Sponsors

Megan Meyer-Lingner offers some great advice on sponsorship acquisition, marketing and branding for the race driver. As a highly successful driver herself she knows what she is talking about. In this article she goes into detail on what you need to do to make yourself attractive to sponsors. You can read it here.

Series News

BR Engineering launches single-seat sports prototype for the Russian market

Over in Russia BR Engineering has announced a new sports prototype race car for the Russian market called the BR03.

According to the company, the car has been designed by an all-Russian engineering team along with university students. “Having created several successful cars that have brilliantly shown themselves in the World Championships and European Endurance Racing Championships, we decided to create a completely Russian racing car for performance in national championships, adapted to Russian conditions,” explained Rotenberg.

Professional Motorsport World

You can read all about it over at Professional Motorsport World.

Formula 2 & 3 News

Formula 2 & 3 CEO Bruno Michel has been talking up both series plans for 2022 and beyond in regards to the calendar and chassis upgrades as reported in Motorsport Week.

F2, F3 open to flexibility over 2022 calendar structure

F2, F3 to prioritise upgrades over introducing new cars

The jury is still out on the split calendar concept, and already the fear that drivers running in both series would dilute the talent pool may be off the mark. Matteo Nannini just announced that he will be only racing in F3 instead of pursuing a dual program as was the original plan. Budget issues were given as the reason which should not be a surprise as just running in one of these series is expensive enough.

From the Motorsport Prospects Archives

A great interview that I did last year and highly recommended for all drivers to read is the interview with Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets another of my 8 Podcasts every driver should listen to). In the two part feature called “Whatever It Takes” Ross explains how important it is to have the will to learn, technique vs copying, the importance of the mental game and more. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Coming Up on Motorsport Prospects

Look for a feature on a new motorsport-related charity coming up on the Motorsport Prospects blog in the next few weeks. if you are involved in a motorsport-related charity or know of one, please let me know on the contact page so I can spread the word about their great and inspiring work.

The Last Lap

Often in debates about motorsport (usually in the context of sustainability) I am challenged as to whether motorsport has a place in society. I always push back and explain that absolutely it has a place in society. Aside from employing thousands and generating revenue and taxes that benefit individuals and governments alike, the sport gives participants an outlet to be their very best while entertaining millions. But as Dieter Rencken of RaceFans points out in Motorsport benefits us all in surprising ways – it should shout that fact from the rooftops, it does that and more as he notes from a recent report on a FIA commissioned consultant report.

Some examples?

  • Healthcare – numerous advances were previously made in the sector, with Covid-19 accelerating the process
  • Greener society – technology and knowledge transfer has positively influenced society at large
  • Safer mobility – ranging from motorcycle helmets to safety simulations undertaken by the FIA Foundation.
  • Electric mobility – motorsport has accelerated development of energy management and safety
  • Hyper efficiency – accelerating the science of moving further while using less.
  • Along the road – new fuels, revolutionary manufacturing techniques and the human influences of motorsport.

You can read more on the RaceFans site here. I am not suggesting that motorsport, or any sport for that matter will solve all our problems be they environmental, social or otherwise. What I am saying is that the contributions that motorsport make to society as a whole are often hidden or at the very least not heralded to the general public which is perhaps how the sport would like it. That being said, the sport’s contribution to society as a whole is significant and shows no sigh of abating any time soon. Am I a proud motorsport fan? Absolutely! And you should be as well. It does a lot of good.

That’s it for this edition of the Motorsport Prospects Weekly Debrief! Stay safe and see you at the track.

Mark

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

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