This week on Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques I have a number of racecraft-related tips that you can apply on the track and a number of driver development-related program news and application information for you. I cover everything from BRDC superstars to the Formula Woman program, the future of Indy Lights and Michael Andretti’s plan to support young American drivers looking to race in Formula One. All that and more.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- The St. Petersburg Grand Prix just concluded last weekend and as usual, the MX-5 Cup provided much entertainment on the streets of St Petes. Racer.com looks into the art of street racing, MX-5 Cup-style and what it takes to race these cars on a street circuit.
- How do drivers adapt to different race cars and cope with change such as what F1 drivers are currently doing with their new, and very different 2022 cars? Speed Cafe dives into understanding driver adaptability.
- The top of every race result or lap chart is typically dominated by talented drivers. But the pointy end of the field also has something else going for it: better equipment. Read Dialing in: How to separate your race effort from the rest of the pack for the details.
- In Episode 002 of the Speed Secrets podcast, Ross Bentley talks to Jeff Braun to discuss the engineer’s perspective of drivers.
- Ross Bentley also answers the question: Is there a correlation with learning to be faster and being more inconsistent with lines?
- Here is a fascinating insight into using analytics at the track: A Year After Winning the Daytona 500, Michael McDowell Is Still Riding Analytics. “A closer look at the stats shows that McDowell, who drives the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, has been steadily improving on superspeedway tracks in recent years, owing to his own studies of video and data through the SMT Team Analytics platform. Now 37, McDowell had a career-best five top-10 finishes in 2021 with the Daytona win and a third place in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. He made the Cup playoffs and finished 16th.”
- Blayze gives some great racecraft tips in Learn To Drive Like a Professional Driver Off the Racetrack. A Few Skills You Can Work on While Driving Your Everyday Car.
- Curious about how F1 teams analyze their race strategy? The MIA School of Engineering has two great related articles you should check out.
Driver Development News & Resources
Last week there were a number of interesting driver development announcements that I want to highlight for you that you may be interested in looking into closer for your own driver development needs.
- The Motorsport UK Academy has unveiled their 2022 driver and co-driver talent selection. “This year, the recently re-developed Team UK Futures programme expands to its planned two-year structure, with the initial intake of rising stars bolstered by 27 newcomers from across all disciplines of the sport. Enhanced DiSE graduates Abbi Pulling, Casper Stevenson, Gordie Mutch and Josh Steed all progress into the second year of the programme.”
- Speaking of the DiSE, the Motorsport UK Academy has opened registrations of interest for DiSE. According to Motorsport UK: “The bespoke two-year programme is designed to offer the stars of the future an opportunity to complete their studies alongside their competition calendar and is one of the first steps on the governing body’s performance pathway. Open to drivers and co-drivers aged between 16-18 years, the academic programme – delivered at Loughborough College’s award-winning facilities – is complimented by a motorsport programme including modules on human performance, nutrition and psychology, physiological development and training and an introduction to media and communications.” More information can be found here.
- The British Racing Drivers’ Club has announced the full roster of drivers on its BRDC SuperStars program for 2022. The UK motor racing talent supporting scheme will add four new names who, between them, secured several championship titles last season. The 2022 class are: Ollie Bearman, Luke Browning, Seb Priaulx, and Matthew Rees, who bring with them seven championship titles, despite being an average of just 18 years of age.
- I have talked about the Formula Woman driver development program before but it is always better to hear from the participants on how the program works from the inside. Semi-finalist Laura Jones explains how Formula Woman is helping find female racing stars.
- Last week in the Business of Motorsport I outlined Michael Andretti’s latest Formula 1 team aspirations. Last weekend at the St Pete’s Grand Prix, while discussing how he has been trying to buy Haas F1 team for two years, he opened up about his plans for a driver development program that would promote American drivers from F4 to F1. “That’s what I want. I want to bring young Americans and give them a legitimate shot to make it to Formula 1. I want to do the ladder system like we do over here and if we find a couple of kids that we think are really good we’ll put them in Formula 3 and Formula 4 and see if we can get them up there.”
- Indy Lights has had a rocky last few years but as series director Levi Jones explains to Autoweek, Penske Entertainment has big plans to jump-start the Indy Lights Series.
- When Jamie Chadwick announced she was returning to defend her championship title despite previously announcing she had no plans to back in November, it elicited a lot of criticism. Here are some articles discussing the situation and Chadwick’s response.
- On Episode 14 of the Inside the Cockpit podcast, host Graham Lougheed speaks to long-time driver coach and driver development expert Jim Kearney. Jim won the 1992 Valvoline Pro Vee Championship, two Runoffs podiums, and the Jerry Knapp award in 1994. After a successful driving career he formed Kearney Driver Development which is a drivers coaching service. His driving coaching has become extremely successful and has the results to back it up. To learn more about Kearney Driver Development, visit: www.kearneykdd.com
- Alister Yoong makes some really good points in his appearance on the F1 Feeder podcast in How to fix F1’s feeder series: ‘They can afford the crash damage, so they go for these moves.’
- Finally, on Episode 107 of the Motorsport Coaching podcast Fueling to win with Kaz Plam, they speak with Kaz Plam, a personal trainer with over 17 years experience. Kaz specialises in performance sports coaching and vitamin supplements plans. Kaz is an elite athlete in her own right winning multiple titles in body biodling. Kaz currently works with Supercar drivers Zane Goddard and Matt Chanda and rider Andrew Houlihan.