In this week’s Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques I bring you some incredible resources and inspiration to help you perfect your technique on the track. From using sim racing to improve on the real track to trail braking to making the most out of your track time and more, there is something here for everyone. I also bring you driver development news from around the globe and three great driver snapshots that are sure to inspire you as you work to be the best that you can be both on the track and off.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- In Use Sim Racing to Improve on a Real-Life Racetrack, Blayze looks at using sim racing as a tool to get better in the world of real track racing. “Real-life drivers have to decide if they want to use Sim racing as entertainment or use it as a tool to get better. They can do both, but they need the discipline to separate those modes in their mind.”
- In the video above, Blayze also looks at trail braking as they “try to figure out why everyone’s talking about it and why is it fast.”
- In his latest Ask Ross column, Ross Bentley answers the question Do different tires require different amounts of sliding to get the most out of them?
- Grassroots Motorsports looks at How to go quicker–not just faster–on track. “While each turn on track is an adventure, never doubt that every one is also a test. They are tests of your current and evolving judgment and skill. They are complex tests that need to be taken in earnest and should be viewed on a higher scale than just pass/fail.”
- Grassroots Motorsports also looks at how to make track time both safe and fun. “The race track is also a great way to enjoy a car at its limits. Although there are no winners, champions or real restrictions on car prep limits, noncompetitive track days have become a giant part of the sports car scene.”
- Finally in Go Faster: Laguna Seca, Sebring, VIR, Road Atlanta, Mosport, Road America, Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen, Grassroots Motorsports looks at what it takes to go fast at these legendary tracks.
- In The DNA insights of motorsport’s diagnostic mind, Autosport talks to Gemma Fisher, a Human Performance Consultant Osteopath at Formula Health. “You can have the most technologically advanced wing of the car from an aerodynamic perspective,” she says, “but if the person building these complex structures trackside is chronically sleep-deprived or struggling with acute pain, they won’t be performing at their best. Performance gains lie within reducing the risk of errors by investing in the health of individuals.”
- I end this section of Racecraft Tips & Techniques with this incredible video of the last lap battle between a Lola T70 and McLaren M1A at the Goodwood 79MM. Watch the video above and enjoy the racecraft.
Looking to Try Something Different?
If you are looking to experience motorsport beyond road racing, here are some tips on racing in rallying, rallycross, drag racing, hillclimbs and karting that you might want to investigate.
- Rally Racing Tips From Pro Driver Andrew Comrie-Picard
- So You Think You Could Drive a Top Fuel Dragster?
- Dirt, dust, fun | An introduction to rallycross
- This Is Your New Project: Crosskart Rally Karts
- Learn the mudslinging secrets of top rallycross driver Paul Eklund
- Vintage Racing with a Twist
- Experience the thrill of driving uphill | An introduction to hillclimbs
- FIA Creates International Masters’ Super Cup – KZ2
Driver Development News & Resources
- Michelin will remain as a valued supporter of the Ricciardo’s Racers and Australian FIA Girls on Track program, including providing support through an ongoing mentoring initiative. The ‘Michelin Mentor’ program will see Girls On Track Ambassadors and Champions partner with participants to provide support, guidance and advice to help young girls continue their motorsport journey. For Ricciardo’s Racers, Michelin will provide tires for the vehicles used by participants as a loyal partner of the junior development program.
- For the ninth year in a row, the Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund, named and established by the family of multi-time Solo National Champion Wendi Allen, awards three female Solo competitors a $1500 scholarship each to not only further the drivers’ successes in the SCCA, but to also encourage more women to get out on track. Maia Kirk, Layne Lindemann and Chelsea Tattershall were chosen to receive the scholarship for 2022 by a committee of “championship-caliber women autocrossers.” 2022 also marks the fifth year that Mazda Motorsports has provided funding for one of the three scholarships, with the funds going to a competitor who plans to compete in a Mazda this season. This year, that award went to Chelsea Tattershall.
- Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) and SpeedTour have confirmed three recipients of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship for the 2022 race season. Designed to create a more diverse field of drivers at the grassroots level, this year’s scholarship will provide free entry fees for all six championship events to one driver in FR Americas and two drivers in F4 U.S. Raoul Hyman, the 2018 F3 Asian Champion, has been selected as the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship winner in FR Americas. David Burketh, a Black American focused on one day becoming a professional IndyCar driver, has been selected as a winner of the F4 U.S. PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship. Madison Aust, a 17-year-old American from Mansfield, Texas, has also been selected a winner of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship in F4 U.S. competition.
- Wesley Brown has always had a passion for racing. Now Brown, a Palm Coast resident, has turned that passion into a nonprofit dedicated to teaching kids in the community a love for racing and all things automobile. You can find out more in ‘A passion’: Daytona’s Minority Racing Association teaches kids about cars, racing. For information on the program or to donate, please visit Minority Racing Association at https://mra-fl.org/.
- A total of six young drivers have logged mileage in the ‘Mercodore’ Supercar as part of an Erebus Academy test at Winton.
- Autosport has a great article on sim racer Jimmy Broadbent’s transition from sim racing to the real thing. “I think if you have a properly set up sim racing cockpit and you spend a couple of hours on it, you will immediately see the link [to the real-world] and the benefit of testing in a virtual space. We even use MoTeC when we practice at home. Braking traces and the curvature of how we’re getting on the throttle. It’s all analysed on the sim and we do exactly the same here [at Silverstone]. That is a directly transferable skill.”
- RaceFans reports that Formula 3 boss Bruno Michel says it is a “pity” W Series champion Jamie Chadwick failed to get a seat for the 2022 season. “We just want to make sure that when they come into F2 and F3 – because that’s the first championship that we’re promoting – they have to be ready. Because if they come just to make [up] the numbers, just to say we have female drivers in the championship, not only it’s not going to work, but it’s not going to serve the purpose of trying to show that female drivers can at this level win races because that’s really what we want to show.”
- As a new season of the Clio Cup kicks off, series organizer Renault looks at the challenges and opportunities facing the drivers. “The Clio Cup, which has played a key role in the development of young motorsport talent, saw Kévin Jimenez make the jump to the French FFSA GT Championship following his success in the Challengers last year.”
- In the video above, Enzo Mucci looks at ways to massively increase your chance of success. “In this episode I want to discuss a very straight forward strategy to help you be more proactive and to increase your chances of success. Sometimes the simple things are overlooked yet work the best.”
- PRI has a great overview on new safety technologies to explore and why safety equipment should be upgraded on a regular basis.
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.
While you may not be a Dani Pedrosa, the whole reason that you are racing should be to have fun! Yes it is expensive, super competitive and stressful but all those things matter much less if you are having fun. I remember talking to a race team owner in the Road to Indy paddock a few years back and he made the point that so many of the kids were walking around with not even a hint of a smile on their faces, despite the fact that they were racing cars! He found it a bit disheartening to see.
When asked why he was transitioning from motorcycles to cars and racing this year in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe program with FFF Racing Team despite the steep learning curve, his answer was simple. “It’s to have fun,” he explained to Sportscar365. “Racing is my passion since I was a kid, and that hasn’t died.”
Get Back Behind the Wheel!
I have mentioned Robert Wickens journey to get back racing after his horrific Indycar accident before and I do so again because his journey is so inspirational. We have all heard that cliche about “getting back on the horse” and the same applies to motorsport (and life in general for that matter). If you have suffered an injury, personal setback or major obstacle, the key to dealing with it is not to run away but to “get back behind the wheel.”
Robert Wickens was the guest on The Dale Jr. Download recently. “Wickens overcame severe tragedy before getting back behind the wheel in IMSA. Wickens chatted with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and co-host Mike Davis about his miraculous journey since the crash. Driven by a thirst for independence and a desire to return to racing, he fought through various levels of rehabilitation to get to his ultimate goal. That goal? Strapping in behind the wheel of a racecar. At first, E-Sports and iRacing were his proving grounds. Now, the next chapter has begun as Wickens is competing in IMSA’s Pilot Series for Hyundai in a racecar with hand-controls.”
There is a lot to learn from Robert’s continuing journey to “get back behind the wheel.” You can watch the complete interview above.
What Does Not Kill You Will Make You Stronger
Despite being diagnosed with bone cancer 12 months ago, Joel Pearson will compete in British Formula 4 this year with Chris Dittmann Racing. This is just one of so many examples of how the competitive nature of race drivers pushes them to compete regardless of the obstacles and challenges that health issues may throw their way. It may end in victory or in tears, but the key is to push the envelope and not give up.
“It has been a very challenging twelve months to get back to this position, but I’m immensely grateful for all the support I’ve received, not just from family and friends, but the entire motorsport community. It has been a huge motivation for me throughout my recovery to get back in the car and back to what I love doing, which is racing. I’m now looking forward to the next chapter in my career with CDR, and hopefully to a successful season ahead.”