Welcome to the relaunch of the Weekly Debrief here on Motorsport Prospects. Every Friday I will consolidate a variety of news and opinions, updates and tidbits of interest to race drivers, potential drivers and the motorsport industry as a whole. If you have some news about race driver development or the business of motorsport you want included here, please contact me and let me know.
New on Motorsport Prospects This Week
This week on Motorsport Prospects I peered into the race driver’s brain with Sabine Tyrvainen, CEO of the Winner’s Institute UK. In The Importance of the Race Driver’s Brain – In Conversation with Sabine Tyrvainen we talked about why the brain should never be ignored in a driver’s development program. It is as important as physical conditioning and racecraft.
New on the Motorsport Prospects Directory is Allen Berg Racing Schools. Coincidentally (and beating me to the punch), EKN has a great interview with school namesake Allen Berg. He has some wise words and advice on driver development as well as recounting some of his experiences as a professional racing driver.
Finally, I am excited to announce the launch of the Motorsport Prospects Marketplace in partnership with Racing Edge. If you are looking for a racing car for GT, Club, Vintage or track days this is the place to go. The partners featured in the Marketplace is impressive and a veritable who’s who of dealers and tracks with a solid reputation and an incredible selection of racing cars. Every Wednesday I will be featuring a racing car from the marketplace that you can purchase. Look for this to launch next week.
Driver Development News
Formula Woman is back!
Formula Woman is back and this time they are offering GT4 race cars courtesy of McLaren Customer Racing. According to the website:
All applicants will be offered a place on the on-line tutorial and will include a theory assessment, which due to current Covid-19 restrictions, will be held on-line and is scheduled to be available in May 2021.
Further on track assessments will take place from September 2021 at selected venues around the country (Covid-19 restrictions allowing).
The 16 finalists will be selected during the Winter of 2021/2022 for the final ‘shoot out’ and the six winners of the competition will be trained and coached between February and April 2022 in fully sponsored Formula Woman McLaren GT4 race cars.
KCMG Launches Driver Development Program
Hong Kong-based racing team KCMG has launched a driver development project and have announced Formula 4 driver Alex Dunne as their first junior driver.
The KCMG-DDP will provide top level support for its members, supplying a dedicated driver and performance coach from the team’s impressive staff roster for mentorship. Off-track support will also be provided as driver fitness will be handled by an exclusive physiotherapist to ensure participants are performing at their maximum potential.
Other programme benefits include driver management and representation, as well as lessons in media and communications, including foreign language tutoring. Financial support is also provided, with entry fees, running costs and testing opportunities covered by the team.https://www.kcmg.com.hk/?p=10003
More information can be found on the program and all their extensive racing activities by going to https://www.kcmg.com.hk/.
2021 Lucas Oil Scholarship Open for Applications
The 3rd annual Lucas Oil Scholarship Shootout has been announced. Aimed at karters interested in graduating to cars, the shootout winner gets a $75,000 USD scholarship award that will be applied to their 2022 Formula Car Summer Series. Full details can be found at https://lucasraceschool.com/shootout/.
Kiwi Driver Fund Seeks New Partners
The Kiwi Driver Fund, a development program that supports young New Zealand drivers is looking for funding help.
Trustee and former McLaren Formula 1 team member Bob McMurray says the fund “is probably the single most important instrument for helping drivers take that crucial next step in their careers.”
The fund is a fully independent registered charity overseen by a four person board of trustees: McMurray; former Toyota motorsport manager Steve Boyce and former Toyota New Zealand senior executives Bob Field and John Fowke. New Zealand racing identity Kenny Smith has a mentoring, driver training and ambassadorial role as patron of the fund.https://veritasnz.blogspot.com/2021/04/kiwi-driver-fund-seeks-new-partners.html
More information on the fund can be found here.
Road to Indy’s Rob Howden Describes His Vision for the RTI
Rod Howden is a man deeply involved in the grassroots of motorsport so it was not a surprise when he was named as the Series Development Director late last year. The F1 Feeder website has an excellent interview with him here. One of the things I absolutely agree with him on is the important role that F1600 plays in a young driver’s career, something I plan to dig a bit deeper into soon on the Motorsport Prospects blog.
The Secrets behind Michael Schumacher’s Relationship with his Team
It is no secret that the most successful drivers build an incredibly close relationship with the teams they race for. It is not just jumping in their arms after a race win or spraying them with champagne, it has to go deeper than that. Ignition Human Performance has an excellent article on what he did and why over at How Michael Schumacher engaged with his team at Ferrari to unlock their Ultimate Performance. Well worth the read.
What Makes a Driver Into a Champion?
Hintsa Performance has posted an excellent video with World Champion Mika Häkkinen asking this simple yet complex question. It has some great insight into the mind of a champion and can be viewed here.
How to Get to MotoGP
While Motorsport Prospects is mostly about cars, the plan is to branch out into bikes in the near future. If you are like me and love MotoGP but are not sure how a rider makes it to the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, have a look at The Road to MotoGP™: the first beginnings of World Champions.
The Business of Motorsport
Money makes the wheels of motorsport run and sponsorship is how a driver generates that money so this week I have a few articles and a video that you should have a look at. Remember it is important to understand the sponsorship value proposition from both sides of the relationship so make sure you do not just look at it from the driver’s perspective but from the potential sponsor’s perspective as well.
Sustainable Motorsport News
Sustainable motorsport is moving from niche to mainstream and to paraphrase Michael Andretti, it’s just another race car. Aside from the fact that on a personal level it is the right thing to do, motorsport is embracing sustainability as a necessity for its continued relevance and some may argue its very survival.
With that in mind, all drivers must keep an eye out on the series currently being powered by non-internal combustion engines and the number of series is expanding rapidly. Aside from the obvious ones like Formula E and Extreme E, here are just a few that are coming.
The ERA Championship is a soon to be launched junior development series. As for a lot of series that intended to launch before Covid derailed those plans, things have been a bit quiet but they have recently announced a driver bootcamp to take place in California and Nevada in January 2022 in preparation for the series formally launching in Europe in the summer of 2022.
The FIA have announced details of the brand new FIA Electric GT Championship to debut in 2023. According to Autosport:
There will be two races over the course of each two-day meeting held on permanent circuits for the cars built to regulations framed to enable them to run in the same performance window as conventionally-powered GT3 machinery.https://www.autosport.com/general/news/fia-reveals-electric-gt-championship-plan-ahead-of-2023-launch/6503347/
The great thing about this series is that it is not a spec series and should interest a lot of the current manufacturers racing in GT3 as well as the new breed of all-electric manufacturers that seem to be proliferating in greater quantities every year.
In touring cars the FIA have announced that as of 2022 Pure ETCR will become the FIA eTouring Car World Cup. Even drag racing is not immune with the news that the NHRA will be launching a new EV class in 2022. Clearly momentum is growing in sustainable motorsport and as a driver you need to track these developments closely.
Next week I will explore how teams and series are incorporating sustainability in areas you may not have realized. Innovation is definitely alive and well in motorsport.
More and more we are hearing about sim racers making the move to the real thing. Nobody will ever argue that sim racing will ever replace racing on the track but drivers have been quite clear that sim racing and simulators themselves are excellent tools to prepare for a race weekend. But how does a sim racer handle the transition from the simulator to a real race car?
In How sim champion Frede Rasmussen adapted to real-life Formula E over at Traxion, eSport champion Frede Rasmussen talks about his experience behind the wheel of a real life Formula E car. Expect to see more of this in the future.
From the Motorsport Prospects Archives
There is a growing amount of articles on the Motorsport Prospects blog that will be of interest to the current or aspiring race driver. Covering everything from sponsorship to series and team spotlights, interviews with team managers, physical and mental conditioning coaches and more, the list is growing weekly.
This week I call your attention to the simple yet vital concept of networking. We hear the word all the time but what does it mean and how and why should you be doing it if you are not doing so already? In The Importance of Networking I answer those very questions.
Coming to Motorsport Prospects
There are a lot of great things coming to both the Directory and Blog in the coming weeks and months including a chat with Paul Charsley of GT Racing team Speed Club, a look at the importance of F1600 to a young driver’s development and a comprehensive global list of young driver development programs. Make sure you sign up to the upcoming newsletter to stay up to date on everything coming!
The Final Lap
Racing is tough. Racing is expensive and racing is frustrating and often not fair. But never forget that it should be fun. I have always said that motorsport is not fueled by gas or ethanol or battery packs or fuel cells but by passion. One look at the face of Robert Wickens after his run this week in a BHA Hyundai Veloster N at Mid-Ohio 988 days after his brutal Indycar accident is testament to this passion. Despite all the setbacks, frustrations and hardships, never forget why you got involved in this great sport. Have a great weekend and see you all next week.