This week in Racecraft & Driver Development News, Tips & Techniques, I bring you some great resources to help you maximize your track day experience, tips on how to work on your breathing technique and an in-depth look at what makes the FFSA Academy so effective in developing drivers. I also remind you of deadlines for UK drivers applying to the FIA Girls on Track program and for Australian drivers hoping to take part in the Erebus Academy. All this and video of some awesome racecraft by Indycar driver Colton Herta.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- Grassroots Motorsports has a number of great articles on getting the most out of your track day, whether it be your first or your one of many. I have highlighted three that you can start with.
- Check out above this unbelievable save by Colton Herta in last weekend’s Indycar GMR Grand Prix 2022.
- Grassroots Motorsports’ Robb Holland helps you tackle the world’s greatest race tracks both virtual and real. He looks at:
- Daytona International Speedway: Daytona Beach, Florida
- Suzuka International Racing Course: Suzuka City, Japan
- Mount Panorama Circuit: Bathurst, Australia
- Nürburgring: Nürburg, Germany
- Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets website is a treasure trove of racecraft tips and techniques that I post from often. As Ross explains in his latest newsletter, “I know this may seem like a minor thing to you, but to me it’s a big deal: SpeedSecrets.com finally has a search option! If you click on the magnifying glass icon in the upper right of https://speedsecrets.com, you’ll be able to search any word, phrase or topic you’d like. So, if you’re looking for anything I’ve created to help you be an even better driver: trail braking, tuning your suspension, upping your mental game, how to drive Turn 5 at Road Atlanta, vision techniques, racecraft, tire pressures, or whatever, try using the search function.”
- Blayze has a great article that will be helpful to all athletes, and not just race drivers. In Science of Breath Work: Breathing for Athletes, they ask the following: “Are you breathing correctly? Did you know that most people do not? You were born with the innate ability to breathe air into your lungs. It seems like a simple and easy task to do. Your brain automatically signals your body to breathe. But, without training, you don’t unlock the ability to use the breath to get the most out of your body and mind.”
- Granted this is a promoted video on Autosport but it is an informative look on how perfect vision in all conditions is key at the Le Mans 24 Hours. “For a driver engaged in an endurance race, having the best vision is essential to achieve the best performance. At every moment, in complex situations, there is a crucial need for visual accuracy and for managing the continuous changes of light that alternate in the passage from day to night.”
- Finally, Enzo Mucci posted this and it is a fascinating video to watch. Steve Nichols discusses the differences between Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. As Enzo points out, “We are not here to simply copy the previous champions but we can always learn from them and understand how they achieved what they did. Take from it what you can.” You can watch select clips above.
Driver Development News & Resources
- In last week’s The Business of Being a Race Driver I talked about the costs of racing in the French Formula 4 Championship and how the series is “half the price of Germany.” In FFSA Academy and the French F4 success story: “Results speak for themselves”, F1 Feeder Series looks at how the French series is structured and why it has been so successful. “The French federal system to form young drivers has proven to be one of the bests in the whole world. In the last decade, the FFSA Academy and the French F4 championship have revealed several world-class drivers (Gasly, Vandoorne and Hubert, to name a few) and future champions (Pourchaire, Iwasa, A. Leclerc, Collet, Martins and Hadjar). How has the FFSA Academy managed to become one of the most eminent motorsport institutions? F1 Feeder Series went behind the scenes of the FFSA Academy headquarters in Le Mans.”
- Motorsport UK is seeking applications to represent the nation in the 2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme, an international talent detection initiative for future female champions. To apply, drivers should fill in the online application by clicking here. The deadline is Wednesday 25th May.
- In Marshall Pruett’s column The Myles Rowe conundrum, Marshall asks why a leading driver in a Road to Indy championship series is not given more support. It is a question with no easy answers.
- The Erebus Academy has opened up to a new intake of aspiring racers, offering the opportunity to drive one of its Supercars at Winton next month. The initiative, dubbed ‘who’s next’, has been put together with the intent of unearthing fresh talent and providing youngsters with fundamental skills. To be held on June 7, it will be the third of its kind which Erebus will have conducted, after starting the programme at Norwell last year. Prospective applicants should send expressions of interest to the squad via firstname.lastname@example.org by close of business on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
- Finally, F2 and F3 boss Bruno Michel argues that some F1 academies have “too many drivers.” As he explains to Formula Scout, “Is it going to be more of an issue for them to go to F1 in the future? That’s the real question that they need to ask themselves, because when you are part of an academy it’s quite automatic, in fact you become – you look at [2021 F2 champion Oscar] Piastri. They come into the programme, and even if they don’t get into a seat, then they are part of the academy and they continue and be a reserve driver.”