In this week’s Motorsport Prospects Weekly Debrief I bring you news of new driver development programs, what you can learn from a pro driver, how the growth of women participating in the highest levels of motorsport is key to its growth, tips for producing video content on Instagram, green tech company research tools for sponsorship acquisition and more. All this plus some awesome onboard videos. Welcome to news racers can use. Let’s go!
Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques
- 130 Performance and Scuderia Fern Racing have announced a driver development program for 2022 and beyond bringing an “affordable path to F3 level racing.” Full details can be found here.
- I had mentioned this in a previous Weekly Debrief but here are the details of Honda Performance Developments’ HPD Drivers Academy Program.
- Curious as to what you learn when you use a pro driver as a coach? Travis Okulski at Road & Track finds out in What You Learn After Racing With a Pro Driver
- McLaren has announced that they will give a 2023 GT contract to their best Driver Development Programme driver competing in the 2022 British GT Championship.
- DXDT Racing’s Kevin Boehm discusses the Five Things I Learned in My Second Year as a Pro Racer over at Sportscar 365. There are some great words of advice for anybody racing whether you are a pro or not.
- No Money Motorsports has put together a Basic Spec Miata Maintenance Guide which could come in handy after you see the car I am featuring in this week’s Motorsport Prospects Marketplace…
- The IMSA website is shining a spotlight on their IMSA Diverse Driver Development Candidates with the first half being featured here.
- Finally, Extreme E successfully completed a ‘Rookie Test’ looking for new talent.
The Business of Being a Race Driver
- Last week I posted a very informative interview with Tami Powers of PowerDrive Motorsport Futures where we talked about why connecting female racers with corporate brands is so important to the future of motorsport. I highly recommend that all racers read this interview to better understand the situation facing female race drivers.
- With all the various social media platforms around, you need to understand their strengths and weaknesses and maximize them for your situation. If you are struggling to come up with ideas for Instagram video, Megan Lingner has published a great post that will help called Content Ideas to Use Instagram Video to Boost Your Impressions.
- While there is a little bit of advertising for themselves, Sport Dimensions in their post Big Decisions with Little Experience talks about how sponsorship is not the same as most other marketing decisions that a business will make and why that is so.
- In my post Getting Green Tech Motorsport Sponsorship in this Age of Sustainability I talked about how to approach green tech companies for sponsorship and included some resources to help you in your research. You can add the Solutions Explorer to that list. Solutions Explorer is a searchable database of companies working on green tech solutions and is constantly updated. A good addition to your sponsorship acquisition tool box.
Drive & Testing Opportunities
- Rice Race Prep has some drive and test opportunities available. As per Greg Rice:
- As you complete your racing, and look for your next challenge, please consider a program with our fine RiceRace team. We do not race F4 cars, or rebranded F4 cars. We do race FF/F1600 and FC/F2000 cars. FF and it’s big brother F2000, are the best development class for young drivers who want to move on to bigger things, or just have fun racing in the most competitive racing in the world, as it has been for almost 60 years. We have small SCCA club racing programs starting for as little as $30K and full Pro F1600 and SCCA programs doing a dozen events for 4x that price. We only have one F1600 Pro seat still available though so please reach out if interested. RiceRacePrep.com
- K Hill Motorsports have one seat remaining for their annual 5 days of driver training consisting of 2 days of private testing on November 23-24, 2021 at Roebling Raceway then 3 days on November 26-28, 2021 at Sebring Raceway. You can contact the team through their website here.
- The BRSCC has launched their next generation Junior Fiesta Championship race car for the 2022 season. In other Fiesta-related news, the 2021 BRSCC Fiesta champion will receive a Motorbase BTCC test drive prize at Snetterton.
- With all the recent changes related to Indy Lights Michael Andretti is bullish about the future of Indy Lights but wants more support from other IndyCar teams.
- Sportscar teams In2Racing and Hart GT have committed to the new GB4 Championship bringing the teams interested in getting involved to 10. The 8 other teams can be found here.
- Over in the UAE, Global Racing Service has joined F4 UAE as the new Tatuus car was shown to teams at Monza.
- There was some wondering if Motorsport UK would approve the new GB4 Championship but with it’s approval, Autosport’s Stefan Mackley argues that this key early victory could challenge UK junior racing’s hegemony.
- A sign of things to come? SRO Motorsports is joining forces with the ACO and ALMEM for the 2023 Asian Le Mans Series.
- Canadian racing team Exclusive Autosport will be making their long awaited debut in Indy Lights in 2022. This means that they will have their own complete driver development ladder from F1600 to the highest levels of the Road to Indy.
- I have covered the Ferrari Challenge on the Motorsport Prospects blog before (A Ferrari Challenge Primer) and to reinforce what I said about the series while going into even more detail, JR Hildebrand looks at the series and proclaims that the Ferrari Challenge Is about much more than you think.
- According to Road & Track, the Toyota GR Supra makes a superb GT4 racer that is “approachable for amateurs and enjoyable for professionals alike.”
- HPD has revealed that the new intercooler is key to the Acura NSX GT3 Evo22. “This is a good thing to make the gentlemen drivers’ lives easier. I think the bracket in the rear is a good step froward.”
- There’s a reason why the MX-5 Cup is so popular with drivers and fans alike. It offers exceptional racing at reasonable budgets. The cars are fun to drive and the series offers an excellent development path for young drivers looking to race in sports cars. Ross Bentley explains that There’s a Reason Why Everyone Loves the MX-5 Cup.
Esports & Sim Racing
- Speaking of Ross Bentley, he has just announced the launch of his Sim Racer Academy. From Ross himself:
This membership program is geared toward all levels and types of sim racers – from newbies to hard-core, experienced sim racers; from those who began by using simulators to drivers of real-world cars who have migrated to sim racing; and everyone in between.
The Sim Racer Academy has just one goal: to help sim racers be even better sim racers. (And yes, practically all of the content applies equally to real-world racing and track driving)
I’ve taken everything that I’ve learned over the past four decades from coaching Indy 500 winners, IMSA champions, NASCAR winners, junior formula champions… and winning sim racers, and put it into bite-sized and manageable learning resources, ranging from videos to illustrations to text to audio clips to demonstrations to… well, you get it.
- ESE’s Digital Motorsports brand has launched the “First Annual Digital Motorsports World Cup.” Top professional drivers from around the world will participate in this unique esports race using Porsche 911 GT3 cup cars on the iRacing portal. Six drivers will compete in a state-of-the-art studio with the remaining drivers joining remotely from locations around the globe. The live event will have two hosts, two commentators, and three analysts, bringing Digital Motorsports’ racing to the same production level as major global tournaments such as CS:GO, Valorant, and League of Legends.
Business of Motorsport
- Lots of Formula 1 news this past week as F1’s Q3 revenue climbs 12% to US$668m. And as the sport increases profits, the value of the teams racing is only going to get larger with some mentioning teams could be worth billions. Could this be part of the reason why the Andretti-Sauber talks broke down? Racer meanwhile argues that the time was right for Andretti to pursue a deal. And Zak Brown is diversifying into other series but only to strengthen the McLaren F1 team.
- Ferrari is doing well as they experienced double-digit growth in Q3.
- Stop me if you have heard this before but Porsche is interested in getting involved in F1 but this time with a twist. It may come at the expense of their Formula E team which they have only committed to compete with until the 2024 season.
- In NASCAR news NASCAR President Phelps talks Next Gen, ratings and more in State of the Sport address but are they doing enough about being more inclusive?
- Here are a number of other developments in the business of motorsport.
- The Race Media Awards recognise creative excellence, genuine impact and global influence.
- Envision Racing reveals new look for 21/22 FE season at COP26
- Terry Mattox Takes Over As American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) Owner
- McLaren Racing and Creative Access announce career development bursary
- F1 Miami GP organisers launch local business and education drives
- Massive F1 Fan Survey Reveals the Most Popular Drivers, Teams, and Races
- The Company Spending $500 Million On Sports Sponsorships
From the Motorsport Prospects Archives
Historic/Vintage racing is increasing in popularity. If you are wondering what the appeal is check out my article The Appeal of Historic Racing.
The Last Lap
Here are a few things that caught my eye over the last week that are related to motorsport in some way.
- Porsche have announced that they are opening a Porsche Experience Centre in Toronto. Here is what you can expect.
- The Indy Autonomous Challenge powered by Cisco recently took place at IMS and the technology is pretty cool. And let’s be clear here. Nobody is saying that this is intended to replace human driver-controlled race cars!
- I always find these stories fascinating from a rubber necking point of view. Have a listen to the podcast Bikes, Racing and Dirty Money – The History Of Unsavory Financial Backing In Grand Prix Motorcycling.
- This looks like an excellent documentary that will also support a worthy cause. Racing with Autism: Austin Riley’s Road to Inspiration is a a documentary following the Riley family across the country as their son, Austin, chases his dream of becoming a professional race car driver. Proceeds from the video will go towards sponsoring other young racers with autism. The video is available for viewing on the Vimeo link here. Watch the trailer below.
- Have a look inside Ferrari’s invite-only ‘Cavalcade,’ a 4-day road rally of prancing horses.
- Ready for a few in-car videos? Here are three. The first is a lap of Bahrain with Alpine’s Nico Lapierre. The second is on board a Mazda MX-5 Cup Car at the brand new Ozark International Raceway and the last is onboard James Hunt’s 1974 Hesketh from the 2021 Monaco Historic Grand Prix.
That’s it for this week. Stay safe and I will see you at the track!