This week in Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques I have a bumper crop of information for you. In Racecraft, I have 10 tips to improve your racecraft from Todd Lamb, why Daniel Ricciardo has embraced sim racing as a training tool, fitness tips for when you are traveling and more. In Driver Development news, I look at the work that the Skip Barber Racing School is doing with North American veterans, news on both the Girls on Track Rising Stars and Ferrari Driving Academy programs for 2022, advice on how to turn things around when they are not going your way, the experience of driver development in Ferrari’s Corso Pilota and more. I also bring you another inspirational Driver Snapshot.
I will be away for a few days so next week there will be a Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques of what has been covered since this column was launched last January. The next column will be posted June 20, 2022.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- In Grassroots Motorsports’ How to go from also-ran to national champion, 10 tips from pro racer and driving coach Todd Lamb, the racer and driver coach explains how these tips will help you improve your racecraft. “Whether you’re pondering a pro ride or just want to climb the competition ladder, winning a national championship is often part of the dream. Before entering the pro ranks with both the Pirelli World Challenge series and IMSA, Todd Lamb made that dream come true: He captured two Spec Miata national titles with NASA and finished fourth at the SCCA Runoffs. He also has an SCCA Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup title to his credit.”
- Sim Racing Academy explains why Daniel Ricciardo has embraced sim racing as a training tool. “The biggest challenge that I’ll say all of us F1 drivers have is we only get a few chances each weekend to put a new set of tires on and do the perfect lap. There’s sometimes three weeks in-between races, and then at the end of the season there’s two or three months. It is crazy, for a sport that’s so precise, and there’s so much technology involved, and with such precision, that it’s hard for any of us to ever really be perfect because we just don’t get the mileage.”
- Belinda Riseley at MotiV8 Training shares some fitness strategies when traveling. “Any travel over 3hrs can affect your performance. This week in the Motorsport Fitness Group, Belinda shared some strategies to consider when traveling.”
- In the video above, Duane Black answers the question, how much time are the curbs worth at VIR? “These laps were run about 5 minutes apart in the same session. I ran 3 consistent 2:13s, then decided to go for no curbs and compare the times.”
- Paul Gerrard at The Optimum Drive explains the concept of the Data Trap. “Our senses are analog, we talk a lot about digital and our enhanced amazing digital world but ultimately it is just a storage medium. As I say in Optimum Drive our brains are organic supercomputers but much better because we are blessed with some (varying levels) of reason that comes from our consciousness (that is some part nature and a big chunk learned). Everything digital is just a hugely simplified approximation of what we quite naturally do and learn to do better and better. It is so simplified because everything in our lives is interconnected and hugely complex as a result. Where do you draw the line between necessary information or and just nice to have? You can’t code everything every time you try to replicate something, you strip away everything but the core components and roll with that and it works…to a point. You have to know your audience/market and at least hit their level of “good enough”. I like the analogy of music and art from preschool to grad school and the ever escalating “good enough””
- Ross Bentley answers the question: How should I warm up my street tires when driving on a race track?
Driver Development News & Resources
- I know this is a post presented by the racing school but in How Skip Barber Racing School is giving back to veterans, they explain their work with Resilience Racing and Operation Motorsport and the positive effect it has on the veterans that get involved. “Skip Barber Racing was a natural fit [for us],” says Tiffany Lodder, Executive Director of Operation Motorsports. “I watched how the crew works together in the paddock and the pits. I watched how they treated [Sgt. Burkhalter], who was a new beneficiary. “The SBRS team gets it, [as] evidenced by how many veterans they currently employ. Everyone wants to give back, and Skip Barber Racing School is making it happen with this partnership.” Well done to all involved! If you are a veteran interested in this program, you can get more information at SkipBarber.com
- Episode 3 of The Blair Project‘s Diversity In Motorsport video series is now out and you can watch it above.
- The FIA and its Women in Motorsport Commission are pleased to announce the third edition of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars project, with the opening of registrations. “The programme aims to detect and nurture the female racing talent of the future of the best 12-16 years old female drivers from around the world. It offers them a unique opportunity to forge a professional career in motor sport. The first two editions brought out three promising young female drivers, Maya Weug (17 years old, Dutch), Laura Camps Torres (17 years old, Spanish), Maria Germano Neto (12 years old, Portuguese). Now, under the wing of the Ferrari Driver Academy, they progress in the best conditions towards the top level.” The registrations will open from 30th May to 12th June 2022. For any inquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Motorsport Australia is to outline the 2022 Ferrari Driver Academy selection process on an online webinar this week. The webinar, which will be held at 7.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT +10) on Tuesday, 7 June, will include details about the application process as well as what to expect at the selection camp. A replay of the webinar will be available on Motorsport Australia’s website for those unable to attend on the night.
- Lamborghini Squadra Corse has announced the 15 Young Drivers and 23 GT3 Juniors who will aim to be selected for a shootout to gain official manufacturer support next year. The 38 drivers, all of whom are racing in Lamborghini machinery, will be assessed throughout the season in areas such as driving performance, consistency, experience, professionalism, attitude and technical feedback. Young Drivers are racing in Lamborghini Super Trofeo championships, while GT3 Juniors have full-time programs driving the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Sportscar365 has all the details.
- Honda Performance Development has named its third class of drivers for the HPD GT3 Academy, which is set to kick off later this week. Run in collaboration with Racers Edge Motorsports, this year’s academy represents a diverse group of drivers holding a variety of motorsports backgrounds. Kyle Loh, Luca Mars, Dr. Chris DeFreitas, and Daniel Wu make up the GT3 class with instructors including Ricky Taylor, Mario Farnbacher, Ryan Eversley and Marc Miller. Sportscar365 has more details.
- Enzo Mucci explains how to turn things around through tough times in the video above. “We all have bad runs, losing streaks and times when things are just not progressing. In this video I want to give you my perspective on how to turn things around and how to get your mojo back again. I hope this helps someone.”
- Actor Nicholas Hoult describes to Vanity Fair what it is like to learn to race Ferraris as part of their intensive Corso Pilota driver-training course. “So Much Fun It’s Ridiculous”
- Formula 2 driver Clement Novalak has explained to Formula Scout his strategic decision to not pursue a place in a Formula 1 young driver development program for 2022. “I don’t want to say anything bad about Oscar [Piastri, F2’s 2021 champion who is now Alpine’s reserve driver], but in that position where you essentially have done the job and have the ability to, and the results, to be able to join a F1 team. And to have to sit on the sidelines because unfortunately the two drivers that are there are already signed for quite a few years. So, it was a bit more of a calculated thing in terms of the strategy of when I would want to sign for a team, when I have a clear picture of where the opportunities are.”
- Vroom Kart conducted an informative interview with Gianfranco De Bellis, the CEO of Tatuus, where he discusses their work in various junior driver development series and the FIA driver development pyramid. “The F.4 introduced by the FIA in 2014 immediately proved itself to be an excellent car for the transition from karting to auto racing; this due to a set of factors desired by the FIA, first of all, the safety aspect; never before, from F.4 to the successive F.Regional and from this year with the new F.4 2nd generation, has this aspect elevated so much, which together with the car’s technical content and a calculated in-built reduced aerodynamic balance has allowed us to create a car that’s easy to drive and very simple in management and with very low costs. Furthermore, the creation of this category and the successive F. Regional has allowed the FIA to create and complete a pyramid of well-defined categories with the attribution of points for obtaining the super-license (F.4 – F.Regional, F.3 Inter. F.2), offering drivers a clear and well-defined path, where F.4 represents the first step. Compared to the past, it’s possible to start racing in F.4 at the age of 15, therefore with a trend of a few years earlier than in the past, but it’s also true that the preparation youngsters acquire in karting is much higher than in the past and they arrive extremely well prepared for the passage into single-seaters.”
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.
Aaron ‘AJ’ Muss: The Olympian who beats brain damage to race for Hyundai
Autosport has a great feature on Olympian Aaron ‘AJ’ Muss. “Despite a life-changing trauma that meant he had to learn to read, write and speak again, Aaron Muss made a successful career in snowboarding and even reached the Olympics. Now, he’s attempting to translate his skills to the track in IMSA’s TCR series with the Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai team and has lofty ambitions.” It never ceases to amaze me how those who want to race find a way to conquer any medical obstacles that confront them. If this is a situation facing you, take inspiration from AJ.