This week in Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques I have a full slate of great news drivers (and potential drivers!) can use. From Racecraft tips to scholarships and programs for disabled drivers to scholarships for women autocrossers, there is as usual something in here for every type of driver. I also feature three driver snapshots that I hope you can take some inspiration from.
Feel free to drop me a line of you have a scholarship or driver development program you would like included in my round-up. Hopefully this will help drivers, potential drivers and by extension the sport as a whole.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
This week’s Racecraft Tips and Techniques looks at what kind of feedback Scott McLaughlin gives regarding the balance of the car, Ross Bentley answers a question about tires and throttle when exiting a corner and James Colborn gives an AiM Race Studio Analysis quick tip.
- Racing Car Technology looks at Scott McLaughlin’s version of how he feels the balance of the car and the feedback he gives in Scott McLaughlin on Cornering at the Limit of Grip.
- Ross Bentley answers the question: How can I go full throttle & still have steering in when exiting a corner – I thought that was asking for more than 100% from the tires?
- Racer James Colborn asks the question: Do your data traces look a bit busy or slightly unreadable? Does the signal coming in from your engine (perhaps from an older car) look to have spikes or dips? If so, this AiM Race Studio Analysis quick tip video is for you. You can watch the Video above.
Driver Development News & Resources
There are a number of scholarship programs available worldwide for deserving young drivers and yet, the drivers or their parents and advisors are often not aware of them. This support can be crucial to a young driver at an early age and any and all should be considered. Every week I bring news from the various scholarship programs to the digital pages of Motorsport Prospects and add them to the Directory so that more drivers will be aware of what is out there.
- For 2022 the Loughborough Car Club in the UK has launched the 12th edition of its innovative Disabled Driver Scholarship, a scholarship which offers a free season of club level motorsport for two people. Applications are invited from anyone aged 14 or over who can control an automatic car using basic hand controls. The scholarship will offer two individuals the opportunity to participate in a range of club motorsports events in the Loughborough area.
- Submissions are now open in the USA for the 2022 Wendi Allen Scholarship. The Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund (WASF) benefits female drivers wishing to compete in or grow their involvement in SCCA autocross. Nominations or applications are due by March 1 and should include what makes someone a good nominee, how they got started in autocross, competitive background, SCCA involvement and plans for the 2022 SCCA Solo season. Three women will be chosen to receive $1,500 a piece to assist with travel to Tire Rack National Solo events and the Tire Rack Solo Nationals Championship. Additionally, the SCCA will waive entry fees for scholarship winners to all Tire Rack National Solo events attended during the year.
- IndyCar hopeful Hunter McElrea will be getting support from the New Zealand-based Tony Quinn Foundation for his 2022 Indy Lights program. In addition to McElrea, the foundation has already made several commitments this year. The winner of this year’s Toyota 86 Championship in New Zealand will receive a test in a Triple Eight Race Engineering Supercar. The foundation has five trustees. Quinn is joined by Josie Spillane, CEO of the Highlands, Hampton Downs, and Taupo circuits. Four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy, commercial lawyer John Gordon, and Horne complete the trustee line-up.
- It has been announced that Canadian Mac Clark is set to compete for Future Star Racing in the FR Americas F3 Series. Future Star Racing helps North American race car drivers advance to the next level by supporting talent that lacks resources. They look for genuine racing candidates who possess strong moral character and genuine skill at going fast.
- Formula Regional Americas will be keeping their Super Formula scholarship for the next two years. This year’s scholarship will be valued at up to $600,000 and incorporate an engine supply agreement for two SF seasons. As Honda is involved in choosing the line-ups of the teams it powers in the series, it will choose which one the scholar races for.
- MSV has announced a £20,000 GB4 shoot-out prize for National Formula Ford contenders. The prize will go to one of the top-three teenage Avon Tyres National Formula Ford drivers in the championship’s final standings. The successful trio will be invited to take part in a three-way GB4 shoot-out, with the winner scooping £20,000 towards a 2023 campaign in the new single-seater series. Any Avon Tyres National Formula Ford driver who will remain 19 years of age or under by the end of 2022 is eligible to compete for the package.
Driver Development Programs & Schools
There are a number of excellent driver development programs run worldwide offering everything from testing to specialized services like disabled driver and diversity and inclusion programs. Here are a few making the news this week.
- The British Army Motorsport Association is promoting their Women in Army Motorsport program in cooperation with Extreme E. “The Women in Army Motorsport initiative is a brilliant idea to set up a forum of like-minded individuals that can provide a supportive peer network and a strong voice amongst the British Army Motorsport Association,” stated Colonel Lucy Giles, who is a member of the Women in Defence Governing Body and head of of UK Armed Forces Orienteering and Director for the Foundation of Leadership through Sport. “I have been involved in sporting teams since I joined the Army 30 years ago and recognise the power that can be harnessed from this approach. There are some amazingly talented women out there, so let’s get into top gear, drive up the revs and accelerate forward.”
- FEL Motorsports has announced its first-ever FEL Motorsports Academy, scheduled to take place April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park’s Driver Development Track. FEL Motorsports has teamed up with Brack Driving Concepts and the CASC to deliver an approved curriculum for drivers looking to obtain their race license, or to upgrade their license to enter one of the two professional FEL Motorsports series. This 3-day licensing program has been designed to allow drivers of different levels/grades and experience the opportunity to obtain a full CASC race license for the start of the 2022 racing season. More details can be found here. To sign up you can do so at the FEL Motorsports page here.
- VETMotorsports is collaborating to provide a hand control car for those drivers suffering from catastrophic injuries as part of the Military & Veteran Hand-Control Car Road Race School in Bloomingdale, GA. Participants, who should have experience using hand controls, will earn their provisional road race license after the successful completion of the three-day course. Students have 365 days after completion of the course to obtain their SCCA Novice Permit or Full Competition License. Women meeting the event requirements and wanting to participate should reach out, as additional support may be provided. Anyone interested in attending or requiring more information may contact VETMotorsports at firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details can be found here.
- Allen Berg Racing Schools and Doran-Kroll Competition have partnered to offer a private F4 testing program. According to the school: “To advance your driving skills, you need the ideal combination of race car, engineering prowess, experienced race team and professional coaching. Enter Doran-Kroll Competition (DKC) and Allen Berg Racing Schools (ABRS) who are thrilled to announce a strategic alliance to offer programs for ABRS grads in the DKC Ligier JS F4 race car.” Full details can be found here.
- Curious as to how Porsche chose its next British junior star? Autosport was invited to see how Adam Smalley emerged on top to earn potentially vital backing for his future career as part of the Porsche GB Junior Program.
- Toyota Gazoo Racing is working on developing the next generation of Japanese rallying stars and they have announced that three Japanese drivers have joined their WRC Challenge Program. Out of the eight drivers that took part, three drivers passed the test which are 20-year-old Hikaru Kogure, 21-year-old Nao Otake and 24-year-old Yuki Yamamoto and they will be joining the team’s challenge program, which will be headed by former WRC star Mikko Hirvonen.
Miscellaneous Driver Development Opinions & Resources
- Check out the latest Motorsport Coaching Podcast which features Melinda Price, Mum, Driver and Naturopath. You can listen here.
- If you are an American, do you need to move to Europe to race in Formula One? As the article in The Race states ‘Their system, their people’ – The only route for US F1 hopefuls.
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.
Be a Role Model
- As Tatiana Calderon undertakes her rooking season in Indycar, she understands the significance of this moment and what it means for legions of young girls who are looking for a role model at racing’s highest level. “It’s incredible, really. I never thought I would be a role model,” she said. “I have so many messages coming from people from the track saying they got inspired because they saw what I was doing. For me, that means the world. First, I started competing for myself, but I quickly realized I was also, maybe just through my story, encouraging people to try new things and to never be afraid to show what they like and really pursue their dreams.” Being a role model for women in racing is something that Calderon relishes but you may be thinking how that applies to you, somebody who may be racing in a series with a slightly less visible impact. It does not matter. Lead by example, demonstrate good sportsmanship, be a leader both on and off the track. These things will make a difference to someone else, whether you realize it or not. Your behavior could be the difference in encouraging others to get involved in the sport or not. Be a role model.
Nothing is Impossible If You Want It Bad Enough
- Australian paralympian Grant Patterson has taken up karting for 2022, hitting the track aboard a modified 4SS Tony Kart. The 32-year-old’s dwarfism required special pedal extensions to be fabricated and the seat to be moved and modified, work that was undertaken by experienced local, Michael Peake. No matter the obstacle, if you want it you can achieve it but you need to work at it. Yes it is tough, and expensive and frustrating but overcoming those obstacles are what make the end result all the more worthwhile. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Watch the video above for Grant’s story.
Things May Not Always Go Your Way So Adapt
- Nyck De Vries has tasted success at every level of motorsport he has competed in, but when the doors to enter F1 closed, he pivoted to Formula E and continued his success there. As the article in Vroomkart says better than I: “Nick is also an example of how victories in cars of all types, regardless of the arguments of circumstance, are the best possible response to the qualities of a driver.”
That’s it for this week. Be sure to stop by tomorrow where I look at the other side of the coin, the Business of Being a Race Driver. Here’s to your success on track.