This week on Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques there is a lot of talk about mental conditioning and adopting the right mindset for the race driver, a critical requirement for your success on the track. I also highlight a number of racecraft tips and techniques that you can use whether they be blog posts to read, podcasts to listen to or videos to watch. I also bring you some great driver development news for young Asian drivers, a driver search in Australia and New Zealand, marketing resources for young drivers and more. Finally, I include two driver snapshots for inspiration.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
Mental Conditioning and the Race Driver
- Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award finalist and new F3 driver Ollie Bearman discusses with Autosport about working with a sports psychologist at Ferrari ahead of his rookie FIA F3 season. “So I worked with a mental trainer over the winter in Maranello, and it has been quite helpful just to kind of look at everything. It’s tough to really see gains in your mental state – you go to the gym, and you can see yourself getting stronger, but you can’t see your brain getting stronger. You have to really wait until the time comes where you struggle and then you’re just making sure that these things don’t go wrong.” You can get more information on this important topic in the Autosport article How Formula 1 teams look after their mental health.
- Also looking at the mental aspect of racing, in Episode 108 of the Motorsport Coaching Podcast they discuss getting your head into the race after a pandemic.
More Racecraft Tips and Tools
- On Episode 35 of the Your Data Driven podcast, successful single-seater driver and top line driver coach, Ray Phillips talks to host Samir Abid on how to use an objective approach to drive faster. They cover topics such as how to use data to improve driving performance and ways to develop a great handling race car. You can listen here
- Ross Bentley in his weekly Speed Secrets Q&A answers the question: I seem to hit a plateau with my lap times – how do I push beyond that and go even faster?
- Ross also has an upcoming Garmin Catalyst Chalktalk where according to Ross: “If you own a Garmin Catalyst, or are considering getting one, join me in a Q&A Chalktalk session on March 28th, where I and my guests — two of the key developers of this unique driver performance optimizer — will answer any questions you have about it.” You can sign up here.
- New Motorsport Prospects contributor Davin Sturdivant in his first post discusses The Benefits of Sim Racing. “Much like how there was once doubt around the benefits of having a driver coach to develop a racer’s mental skills, the benefits of sim racing have met similar skepticism. Although the digital world does not offer all the kinesthetic experience of driving on a racetrack in the real world, there are still many benefits for racers who properly take advantage of sim-racing as part of their development program.”
- The Sports Car Club of America has announced that it has partnered with Blayze (previously Racers360) as a driver coaching partner for the 2022 season. Through this partnership, SCCA’s Track Night and Time Trials drivers will gain access to video walk through guides from the professional driver coaches at Blayze for every single track the events visit. SCCA Members will also be able to access 1-on-1 coaching with Blayze coaches at reduced costs throughout the year to continue to improve their driving. The first 300 Blayze+ members will get a one-year SCCA annual membership and access a special white-glove service to help them find the best place to drive their cars with the SCCA.
You Are What You Eat
- MotiV8 Training has an excellent article on Nutrition For The Adolescent Athletes (12-18 years). “Special consideration emerges for those with a high level of participation in sport. To ensure that the adolescent athlete fulfills their potential, eating patterns should consider the needs for sporting success with the nutritional considerations for healthy growth and development.”
Make 2022 Your Year!
- Enzo Mucci is back! In his first video of 2022 he discusses self-coaching. According to Enzo: “In today’s episode I will run your through the way I start a coaching relationship with someone in the hope that you can do the same a improve your results this year. I also use this format when reviewing a drivers recent performance. Follow this 9 step coaching process and use it to help you progress in 2022.” You can watch the video above.
How To Tackle Your First Track Day
- Grassroots Motorsports has an informative article from 2015 that discusses how to tackle your first track day. “That first track day can be intimidating: high speeds, looming walls and the variable of traffic. Fear not. Millions before you have successfully tackled their first track days, and your friends at GRM are here to help you do the same. We come bearing lots of advice presented in easy-to-digest, bite-sized chunks.”
Driver Development News & Resources
- The Geely Group Motorsport have announced the “Geely Group Motorsport Development Driver Program” which is designed to assist junior drivers in Asia. “We have launched this program to create a viable opportunity for young talents in Asia to take their step into professional motorsport,” Chen Jun, Commercial Director of Geely Group Motorsport in China. The program is open to drivers between ages 20-35 that reside in China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan and two winners will be selected for a yet to be confirmed Asian touring car series in 2023.
- The Della Penna Motorsports Next Gen Foundation has announced that it has established two advisory councils to support its mission to empower girls from age 5-16 with opportunities to “supercharge” a future in motorsports, whether it’s behind the wheel, in the pits, or behind a computer. The Drivers Advisory Council consists of a group of all female drivers currently on the racing circuit, while the Industry Advisory Council consists of pre-eminent leaders in the motorsports industry.
- Mygale Australia is conducting their annual driver search. Australian and New Zealand-based drivers should call them at the phone number on the graphic above.
- Sauber Academy has announced its line-up for the upcoming year, adding Roberto Faria to the program while also retaining Theo Pourchaire. “Sauber Academy has been an incredible support throughout my career and I am so happy to continue with them for 2022,” Pourchaire said.
- In a racing world full of driver development programs, Rod Wortham is working to develop brands. “To a certain degree, having a tremendous amount of talent is inconsequential compared to the ability to forge relationships, connect with potential partners and cultivate a following. That is what Wortham has created over the past five years in Race Face Brand Development – an agency that specializes in media skills training, social media engagement, career path mapping and marketing.” Read more about the program at Racing America.
- The London Sunday Times has a sobering look at why finding the next Lewis Hamilton is only getting harder as it investigates the costs of karting.
- Is a Road to Indy-type scholarship program the solution to funding drivers in Europe? F1 Feeder Series talks to team owners at Prema and Trident to get their thoughts.
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 All About Balance
Esteban Gutierrez says the prospect of achieving an “equilibrium” with his main business endeavors facilitated his racing return in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Explaining the background to his comeback, Gutierrez said that he has been focusing on a range of business interests in recent years but only now has the opportunity arisen to balance that life with racing. In order to be successful at anything in life, you need to work hard to find the right work/life balance. When you sacrifice one for the other, eventually you will sacrifice your happiness.
Ensure You Have the Right Mindset For Success
From a major F4 setback to an F1 Academy contract, Abbi Pulling has endured a roller coaster year. “I learned a lot as well in mindset – going into it focusing on the preparation and the outcome would come in itself.” Control what you can which means being as prepared as you possibly can be, have the right mindset that you can do what it is you set out to do and let the outcome take care of itself.