This week I look at tips on optimizing your racing debrief as well as more driver development news and racecraft tips.
In addition to this I look at analyzing the data to determine the fastest line through the Brooklands and Luffield complex at Silverstone, how you should not let ego kill your career, how Iron Lynx is expanding the presence of women in the IMSA paddock and details on some incredible driver development opportunities by Canada’s first non-profit amateur athletics association that specializes in motorsport. I also bring you three race driver spotlights that I hope you can take inspiration from.
All this and more in this week’s Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
Synchronised video and data gives you the ability to compare different driving lines for rapid analysis to help you go faster. In the VBOX Motorsport video above, they use Circuit Tools, with video and data from a VBOX Video HD2, to settle a debate between drivers as to what is the fastest line through the Brooklands and Luffield complex at Silverstone. The result might surprise you.
Formula 1’s YouTube page has posted a video of former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer as he looks at Fernando Alonso’s incredible racecraft at the Bahrain Grand Prix. You can watch the video here.
Your Data Driven has a great post on how you can level-up your racing driver feedback. “Whether you are giving or receiving racing driver feedback there are challenges. If you are providing feedback to an engineer, to your team or even just for your own records, it can be hard to know what to say. If you need the racing drivers views, how do you get the most useful information?”
Jeff Nunberg (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) joins Racer.com for their latest edition of Know the Track as they look to explore the first sector of the Homestead-Miami circuit. Beginning with the fastest corner on the track, the layout quickly tightens and slows as drivers approach Turn 3 where a compromised exit allows for the optimal line through Turn 4, also notable as the only bit of elevation change on an otherwise flat Florida circuit.
Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets answers the question, “Should I be using one hand more than the other when turning the steering wheel? And what are your thoughts on the so-called “top hand dominance” method?“
Race Driver Development News & Resources
Enzo Mucci, The Race Driver Coach is back with another season of informative and inspiring driver development videos on his YouTube channel and he kicks off Season 7 with a caution on how you should not let ego kill your career. “Allowing your ego to distract you mentally can be the silent killer to your success. As a race driver you must take responsibility for your mental focus.” You can watch his video above.
Motorsport Australia has introduced a new development program for young people, First Gear. Designed to provide the first introduction to motorsport for girls and boys, the program includes time behind the wheel under supervised conditions and will be run at locations around Australia throughout 2023 and beyond.
Available to girls and boys aged between 12 and 17, the program teaches the fundamentals of motorsport and outlines the steps required to begin competing more regularly.
First Gear will feature exercises designed for small groups to allow every child the opportunity to learn new skills from our expert instructors in a safe environment. After they have mastered the basics of car control, they will be ready to progress to participate in club level events.
A full 2023 events calendar can be found at motorsport.org.au/firstgear with bookings now open for events across the country. The first event will be held on 19 March in Sydney.
For more information and to secure your child’s place in this innovative program, head to motorsport.org.au/firstgear.
The Edge Magazine looks at how to train like a Formula 1 driver. “To compete in the highest echelons of motorsport, you need grit, persistence, racecraft, and the right team behind you. But that’s not all. You need to finely tune your body and your mind, so you’re prepared for anything. Throughout the course of a Formula 1 season, the races come at you thick and fast. It can be brutal and exhausting. That’s why drivers train so hard. Their fitness regimes are unique because the goal is to find the right balance between opposing forces. Formula 1 drivers need to be both strong and light. They’ve got to have lightning-quick reflexes as well as the ability to endure all sorts of racing conditions. As the 2023 Formula 1 season kicks off, let’s explore what it takes to meet the physical demands of racing’s most prestigious stage.”
The IMSA website looks at how the Iron Lynx program is expanding the presence of women in the paddock. “The Iron Lynx program features an all-female driver lineup that has achieved success in Europe and is competing for the first time this year in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races. And they’re not alone. Katherine Legge and Sheena Monk are full-season co-drivers of the Gradient Racing Acura in the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Ashton Harrison is part of the Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura lineup for the endurance events and a few other select races this season.”
Road To Racing Canada is now accepting applications for karters to receive a 2023 scholarship plus the opportunity to utilize their fundraising platform to provide the drivers supporters with charitable tax receipts. To apply, you just need to click on the “apply now” button on their Instagram page or you can email director Neil Braun directly at email@example.com.
They are also launching an open karting shootout for an $18,000 FEED School Scholarship co sponsored by Area 27 and Kartplex. Win this and you get the opportunity to win a full F4 France Scholarship in 2024.
Neil also gave me some additional background on some other plans for R2R. “As some more background for our scholarship applications, we are looking for them to demonstrate both their ability on the track in the way of success, but also success in fundraising in the past, and their passion for the sport. If they haven’t put together a pitch deck for example it’s hard to help them fund-raise. If they have done little research on the cost of the series they are proposing to enter, it shows us a lack of determination to move forward in the sport. We are also looking for partnerships with nonprofit groups that want to advance amateur motorsports. Team Canada scholarship is a perfect example. We also have a nonprofit called Speed Fanatics in Vancouver that we have partnered with who is fundraising for a F4 scholarship. We’re definitely open to more of those type of partnerships as well.”
The IMSA website profiles race driver Sebastian Carazo and how he has been successfully climbing the sports car racing ladder in single-make series sanctioned by IMSA and why he moved into multi-class racing. “(Multiclass racing) is something different because you’re driving on your own, concentrating on your race, and you’ve got a prototype which is going three times quicker than you on the straight, and it’s something you need to factor in. … The closing distance is huge. I do like it, it’s fun. The VP Challenge has a very good starting point for a young driver to learn to do multiclass racing,” he said. “Even though it’s a GT4, it’s a slower car but it’s not sluggish and it’s definitely not slow. It gets you up to speed quick on multiclass racing, managing traffic, managing tires. Even though it’s a 45-minute race, it’s more or less a stint of what the tires will do, so it puts you in a position to learn how to manage it.”
Marcus Ericcson explains the importance of mental health to his racing career in The Race post The mental help addition that Ericsson’s keen not to hide. “I started to work with a coach this winter, because I wanted to find ways to improve and as people go to the gym to be stronger, I went to a mental coach to be stronger mentally,” Ericsson says in an upcoming episode of The Race IndyCar Podcast being released next week. “So, I don’t feel like I have to hide that.
The Robb Report looks at Cameron Advanced Mobility the driving school that trains Dakar racers will help you take your off-roading to the next level. “Founded by Ken Cameron, a veteran of both the US Army and Camel Trophy off-road competition, the technical-driving academy features the CAM CIV, a training program based on Cameron’s own work with the US military, CIA and other global defense organizations, as well his experience in competitive all-terrain racing. CAM specializes in extreme off-road mobility and expedition driving, and the curriculum includes everything from vehicle familiarization, maintenance and repair, driver training, vehicle recovery, operational planning and field exercises.”
F1 Academy Managing Director Susie Wolff says it will take “a few years” before a female driver reaches Formula 1. “I know that it’s possible for a woman to race at this level and from that perspective, that experience is so important, especially handing down that experience to the next generation,” Wolff told Sky Sports News. “I think being in the paddock and with the full support of F1 behind the F1 Academy, it means we have all the right people and the decision makers looking and supporting us to make sure that when there is a talent coming through. We need to manage expectations. It’s going to take time. It’s about increasing the talent pool, raising awareness and inspiring the next generation to come and to make this sport more accessible for those that want to enter. It’s definitely going to take a few years. I think we can have some real success in the short term, but to find a successful girl racing in Formula 1, we need to think mid to long term, and that means we’ve got to be patient.”
Former Formula E Techeetah Team Principal Mark Preston argues in The Race that Formula E needs a feeder series for a new class of drivers. “Learning to drive these complex new electric vehicles requires experience and knowledge of their inner workings. It shows in Formula E as it can take quite a few races for a new driver to retrain themselves for these very different cars. Given that by the time many of the 11-years-olds get to the upper levels of motorsports many countries in the world will have banned fossil-fuelled vehicles, the whole game will have changed.”
In Have Helmet, Will Travel, John Oreovicz looks at the life of a factory driver. “Just 121 hours elapsed between the checkered flag at Daytona and the green flag at Bathurst, yet a total of 11 drivers representing Mercedes-AMG and Porsche who competed in the WeatherTech Championship opener spent about a quarter of that time making the 10,000-mile journey down under.”
Learning from the experience of others is key to succeeding in any walk of life and racing is no different. In Driver Snapshots, I will feature the experiences of various drivers where you can get some perspective on what they have gone through (and continue to go through) as they work to make their motorsport careers happen. I hope you can take some lessons from these experiences and apply them to your own motorsport careers.
Autoweek explains why F3 driver Christian Mansell is allowed to race with a cellphone in his car. “Formula 3 driver Christian Mansell competed in Bahrain with a cell phone in his cockpit. Mansell is a Type 1 diabetic and in order to manage the condition uses an implanted device which measures his blood sugar levels in real time.”
Nathalie McGloin explains how she wants to make motorsport accessible to disabled people. “I am a successful tetraplegic racing driver and race in a modified, hand-controlled Porsche against able-bodied men. Now, as founder of the charity Spinal Track, and as Disability and Accessibility Commission President with the FIA, I’m working relentlessly to make motorsport accessible for all.”
The video above tells the story of professional Hyundai race car driver Taylor Hagler – the only woman ever to win back-to-back IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR Championships.