This week on Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques I have some racecraft techniques to catch up on and courses and test days to consider. I also have a number of driver development updates from NASCAR and Formula One, North America and Japan. Finally, I have two Driver Snapshots that you can draw inspiration from.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- Pro racer Robb Holland in Grassroots Motorsports gives advice on how to make your front-wheel-drive car faster.
- In Data or driver? Formula E driver Lucas Di Grassi discusses whether the driver or the engineer is the most important element in Formula E.
- Calan Williams discusses the difference between shifter karts and Formula cars which he describes as different but ‘the same.’
- What do you think is happening when the racing car turns a corner? What’s happening at the tire contact patches? The online course The Physics of Race Car Handling for Drivers by Racing Car Technology deals with this very topic and more.
- Driver61 is having a track day on May 16 at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. More details and to sign up can be found here.
Driver Development News & Resources
- In a major boost to women racers in the USA, Busch Light has launched their ‘Accelerate Her’ program to boost female NASCAR racers. The Anheuser-Busch brand has committed to spending $10 million over the next three years to elevate women in NASCAR with the Busch Light Accelerate Her program. The objective is provide more funding, track time, media exposure and training to prospective female NASCAR racers aged 21 or older. Busch Light will invest directly “in every” female driver 21 or older and put in place a program to track their development, improve their access to the sport and celebrate their success. A portion of the $10 million commitment will be reserved as a standing sponsorship fund for up-and-coming drivers. The official launch of the program will occur through an advertisement during the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20.
- The 2022 SpeedTour Formula Development Series plans have been confirmed by Parella Motorsports Holdings. The SpeedTour Formula Development Series was created to provide up-and-coming racing talent with an additional opportunity to hone their skills with transitioning from karting to open-wheel competition, while keeping budgets in mind. The series utilizes the existing F4 U.S. chassis and features low entry fees with sanctioning by PMH. Open to drivers ages 14 and up, the winner of the 2022 SpeedTour Formula Development Series will receive a scholarship from PMH to cover their entry fees for the 2023 F4 U.S. season.
- Nissan and NISMO announce 2022 motorsports programs. The NISMO Driving Academy: To connect road car users with motorsports, the academy will hold driving lessons for owners of NISMO road cars, the Nissan GT-R, Z and the Skyline 400R. The lessons started in 2016 and have been very popular. With Michael Krumm as the principal and NISMO drivers as instructors, this activity is scheduled to be held at various circuits around Japan.
- The Alpine Academy has announced their line-up of supported drivers for 2022. The Academy line-up increases Alpine’s international presence with its drivers representing Europe, South America and Oceania. Interestingly, Australian Jack Doohan has switched from the Red Bull Junior Driver program to Alpine and explained to Autosport why.
- Meanwhile, Mercedes has expanded their junior program with two new recruits including Spanish-British karter Luna Fluxa the first female member of their driver academy.
- Driver Juan Camilo Perez explains Drifting as a Car Racing.
- Finally, Anderson Motorsport has selected their latest Supercars aspirant in Toyota 86 podium finisher Brad Vaughan who will be racing in this year’s Dunlop Super3 Series.
- Robert Wickens’ return to racing has been inspirational on all levels. What is important to learn from his example is his absolute commitment to return to racing. While some may have doubted his chances, he had absolutely no doubt he would be back racing and he had the commitment to follow through. It is not enough to want something. You need to be committed to do all in your power to achieve it.
Age is Truly Just a Number
- Not only did Jacques Villeneuve qualify for his first Daytona 500 at 50 years old, he finished 22nd. ‘I don’t realise I’m 50.’ With the right mindset and training, you can start racing at any time in your life and make it the success you want it to be.