Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques is my weekly survey of various tips, techniques and news related to developing your racecraft and developing as a race driver. It is the on-track component of what you need to develop as a race driver and expands on my previous Weekly Debrief. The second component is what you need to do related to business off-track, something that is covered in the weekly Business of Being a Race Driver column.
This week I feature everything from reference points in corners, off-track training with flashing lights, a new Australian driver development program for karters, the new Driver Spotlight series and more. All of this is aimed at doing one thing, helping you to develop your skills and motivation as a driver so that you can go faster on track. Let’s dig in.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
I make no secret of recommending Ross Bentley and his Speed Secrets series of tools and resources because he knows what he is talking about. Not only that but he connects with other racing professionals who add their experience to the mix.
- In the Speed Secrets column “Ask Ross,” Ross Bentley answers the question: Which reference points are the most important when approaching & driving through race track corners?
- The kind of racecraft tips that I mention above can be found in Speed Secrets Weekly, a weekly paid newsletter from Speed Secrets. A good example of what you will find is in the January 18th edition: “Six unique, yet actionable answers from five of my great colleagues and friends in this week’s Speed Secrets Weekly. Tom Long, David Murry, Michael Zimicki, James Kearney, Allen Berg and I opine on this common question, posed by Ross Bentley, for drivers at ALL levels.” And just to make it clear, I receive no remuneration for this recommendation. I just believe that it is a valuable resource for all race drivers.
- You may have caught a glimpse of this during an episode of Drive to Survive but Autosport has an informative article on Blazepod, the flashing light tech helping F1 drivers get in the zone.
Driver Development News
Driver Development News features information on formal driver development programs as well as news and analysis related to how various series can contribute to the driver development process. Here is what has been happening in the last week.
- SP Tools has announced a Karts to Cars pathway program in conjunction with Karting Australia and Porsche Cars Australia. The SP Tools program is designed to guide the scouted talent within the Patrizicorse Australian Kart Championship Team to a partially funded seat in the SP Tools Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars run by Earl Bamber Motorsport. The drivers will then have the support needed to ascend Porsche’s proven Motorsport Pyramid via the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Series and Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship.
- Red Bull has firmed up its junior line-up for 2022 with nine full-time and three supported drivers as members of its Red Bull Junior Team.
- Newly announced IndyCar driver Tatiana Calderon says there are more opportunities available to female racing drivers in American racing series than elsewhere in the motorsport world. “Here in America, in IndyCar, there have been many female drivers coming through. So I think there is more opportunity at the moment for us here.”
- Finally, while I don’t normally cover too much related to karting, this recent statement by FIA Secretary General Peter Bayer caught my eye. “Programmes to attract the general public to karting will be developed in several countries that do not yet have access to a karting culture or adequate infrastructure. The creation of FIA Karting Regional Cups will then facilitate access to competition in FIA Karting categories along the lines of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy, which has proved the relevance of its accessible single-make formula for over 10 years. In addition to the FIA, F1 is also committed to supporting a number of initiatives to develop kart racing through its global audience”. The more kids karting, the more motorsport will grow.
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.
It’s Never Too Late to Start
Everybody has different ways in which they approach their motorsport career. Some start in karting and progress up the single-seater ladder. Some race on the side while building successful businesses that then enables them to race in Pro-Am championships. Some come to a point in their life where they realize that its now or never. Such is the tale of 39 year-old carpet fitter Leon Morrell who demonstrates the point that it is never too late to work towards fulfilling your motorsport dreams.
Don’t Let Anybody Define Yourself or Limit Your Dreams
Reema Juffali is Saudi Arabia’s racing pioneer. She has endured in fulfilling her dream of being a race driver, despite a female driving ban in her home country. Luckily that ban has since been rescinded but Reema is leading by example and inspiring a whole new generation of Saudi girls and women to take to the track and make their motorsport dreams a reality. Don’t let others define who you are and what you are capable of. Just get out there and do it.
Take Advantage of Any and All Opportunities
Taylor Hagler took advantage of an unused gift certificate to the Skip Barber Racing School given to her sister five years ago and now she is an IMSA champion. Opportunities are only opportunities if you take advantage of them when they are presented to you. You must have the mindset that you will act when the opportunity presents itself as you never know when that opportunity may lead to bigger and better things.
That’s it for this week’s Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques. Stop by tomorrow as I bring you some great tools and advice as you work off-track to raise that all important ingredient for racing success, money in the Business of Being a Race Driver. Stay safe.