This week’s Racecraft & Driver Development Roundup is packed as usual with great tips and advice. In Racecraft Tips & Techniques, there are 10 creative ways to find speed using data acquisition, managing tire degradation, 10 endurance race essentials and more. In Driver Development News & Resources, there are important announcements from IMSA and Porsche, a great program from Spirit Motorsport, advice on racing Formula Ford in New Zealand, Enzo Mucci’s 4 tips that will make you a racing superstar and more. All this plus some inspirational driver snapshots and the return of Parents in the Pits!
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- Grassroots Motorsports looks at 10 creative ways to find speed using data acquisition. Let’s say you have a data system and can handle the basics: lap times, max speeds, lap comparisons. But have you thought outside the box about what that equipment can also reveal? Here are some creative ways to use your data system.
- Check out these 3 minute lectures with Dr. Otto Lappi at Racer’s Brain. Dr Lappi is a Research Fellow of the Academy of Finland and an Adjunct Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Helsinki. He is interested in all aspects of the cognitive basis of everyday and expert performance (but driving performance most especially). In these mini-lectures I take a cognitive scientist’s look at some of the memory and visual processes behind the expert performance of a racing driver. With a total viewing time of about 15 minutes these will give you a crash course on just some of the cognitive building blocks high-speed information processing in the racer’s brain.
- Ross Bentley at Speed Secrets answers the question: How do I improve my driving abilities when I feel I’m pushing beyond them?
- Ross has also released Episode 8 of his No Dumb Questions with Jeff Braun podcast. On this episode, Jeff and I discuss what kinds of unspoken tricks or mind games pro drivers use on track (clean or dirty!) and whether the roll center theory is the opposite of the driving theory.
- In There’s a Science to Managing Tire Deg in Racing on the IMSA website, Jeff Olson looks at the complicated issue of tire degradation. If you follow racing, you’ve heard the term. It’s short for “tire degradation,” but it doesn’t necessarily mean what it seems. It’s not simply about tire wear. It’s a complicated mix of temperature, surface, compound, conditions and driving style. In other words, all the elements that cause rubber to break down and wear out.
- Grassroots Motorsports looks at 10 Endurance Race Essentials (That They Probably Didn’t Mention in Driver School). You’re getting ready to attend your first endurance race, and you think you have everything you need to run the event. The reality is that you probably have everything you need to run the event–as long as it goes perfectly. But what did you forget that will solve an emergency or just make the weekend smoother? Here are 10 things to add to the packing list.
- From the racetrack to the Virtual GP series, Splunk and McLaren are bringing Data-to-Everything. Watch the video above to see how.
- In Surviving the Big One, Mark Petronis, who almost lost his life at New Jersey Motorsports Park in a crash, discusses with Blayze’s Dion von Moltke what saved his life and what he wishes or could have done differently that would have kept him safer and lesson the extend of his injuries from this crash.
Driver Development News & Resources
- IMSA has announced the seven young racers who are finalists for the second annual IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship. “The Diverse Driver Development Scholarship is an important initiative for IMSA, and we’re proud to build on its initial success looking ahead to 2023,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “Once again, we were blessed with a wealth of talented applicants. Whoever the recipient of the 2023 scholarship is will be a fine representative of IMSA.” To be eligible for the scholarship, drivers must possess a fervent desire to compete in IMSA, have outstanding previous race results and/or proven on-track potential in junior racing categories and the ability to build a compelling business plan for securing the remaining funding needed to compete in a full season in 2023. The IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship recipient will receive substantial support from IMSA and partners including Michelin, VP Racing Fuels, OMP, RECARO and LAT Photo USA in 2023. You can read the full list of drivers here.
- I recently spoke to Spirit Motorsport Team Principal John Cowan who explained what the team is all about and their Driver Development Program as well as their plans for 2023. The Spirit Motorsport Driver Development program exists to enable a Driver to develop their race career from the initial stages of somebody with no track experience to the junior karter looking to move into cars. “For 2023 we plan to run cars in the BRSCC Formula Fiesta Junior Championship. We will create a bespoke package based around the driver’s skill, experience, objectives and budget with Driver Coaching, Fitness Training and Marketing Support included in the package. Spirit Motorsport Team Principal John Cowan said “Our approach is about building long term relationships with the Driver to enable them to achieve their Motorsport objectives and progress within the sport. For the driver with no track experience, we can arrange the ARDS (Association of Race Driving Schools) test for the driver once they have built up experience on track under the supervision of an instructor is safe control but fast environment.” Spirit Motorsport have 20 plus years’ experience within the Motorsport Industry including working with Le Mans Sportscar programs. Spirit work with a number of experienced instructors from disciplines ranging from Single-Seaters to Saloons. Another interesting aspect of Spirit is their commitment to corporate social responsibility. “Spirit Motorsport is committed to Corporate Social Responsibility with most of the Team member having disabilities. We are a Motorsports Team with people with disabilities rather than a disabled Motorsport Team. A key member of the team is Steve Hopwood of Swift and Sure who is a right sided double amputee.” For more information you can contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and the ADAC are expanding their partnership to promote youth development. The ADAC is the new partner of the Talent Pool, the youth development initiative of the Porsche Carrera Cup. Henceforth, the Porsche racing series and the German motoring association will work together on supporting talented youngsters. “Since its 1990 debut season, a large number of racing drivers have progressed up the career ladder from the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland into professional motor racing,” explains Hurui Issak, Project Manager of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. “Thanks to our comprehensive youth support programme, the series has turned into a successful career springboard for young drivers. With the ADAC, we’ve acquired a partner that, thanks to its extensive motorsport programme, adds a wealth of experience and offers career options for drivers with the ADAC GT Masters.”
- Lewis Hamilton has made it clear that the W Series needs to be improved so it can offer a true pathway for the champion to progress up the motorsport ladder. Putting his words into action, he has pledged to get more involved. “For these women, there is no progression from the W Series. It has been three years and we need to really work on trying to create… when you win that, do you progress into GP2 [F2], get a seat in [F2] or whatever it may be? We can definitely do a lot more to support those girls.” On whether he had put forward his thoughts on how to improve the situation, the seven-time champion insisted: “I will.”
- The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship hosted FIA Girls on Track, at the London E-Prix (29 July), empowering young women to access motorsport, in the presence of Robert Reid, Deputy President for sport and Deborah Mayer, FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President, and supported by Motorsport UK. After the successes in Mexico, Berlin, Jakarta, the London event is the fourth edition of the programme in 2022. Ahead of the London race weekend, 120 new girls will experience a very special day, with free activities and workshops including: careers talks with key role models involved in all aspects of the industry, simulators, marshals activity, Ekarting, garage tours, and much more thanks to the joint mobilisation of the FIA, Motorsport UK, Formula E and the teams.
- Speaking to Talk Motorsport, current North Island Formula Ford Series champion Bree Morris has some good advice for young drivers contemplating moving up to single-seater racing and entering the New Zealand Formula Ford scene. Having moved through kartsport and Formula First, the 18-year-old Aucklander has spent two seasons competing in both the South and North Island Series as well as the NZ Formula Ford Championship, culminating in winning the northern series. “I think personally, you don’t have time to muck around so you need to do it (Formula Ford) properly,” commented Morris. “It’s much better to do it with people who know what they are doing. Experience wise, you probably only have two years so might as well do it properly.”
- F1 Feeder Series sat down with the first ever female member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Maya Weug, to talk about her experience within the academy and women in motorsport. “Every year there are more girls in racing thanks to FIA – Women in Motorsport and what everyone is doing in the FDA, as well as Iron Dames, as Richard Mille [in WEC], they’re all helping it a lot; That is why there are more girls every time and why they’re more accepted, of course. There are still not enough girls, for sure, but the more girls there are at the top, the more girls will be influenced to start karting and to start racing. It’s difficult to get the same amount, of course, but still seeing that every year it’s getting more and more is already a good step forward.”
- Enzo Mucci looks at 4 Things That Will Make You A Racing Superstar in the video above. “Over the years we get to see what makes a top racing driver and what doesn’t. Here are my top 4 qualities that a driver must possess if they want to be a true champion.”
- MotorsportDays LIVE is coming back to Silverstone on 4th and 5th of November. The show celebrates the breadth of the UK motorsport scene: from tin tops and historics to single-seaters and everything in between. Experience the opportunity to test cars, network with like-minded professionals and prepare for the 2023 motorsport calendar.
- Mygale Cars has been one of the biggest feeder series single-seater manufacturers for more than 30 years and current chassis supplier of the French F4 championship. F1 Feeder Series spoke to founder and CEO of Mygale, Bertrand Decoster, about the exciting upcoming projects for his company, the loss of British F4, and competition with Tatuus. “(It’s) absurd that a 16-year-old must pay more than 500k for a season of racing.”
- The Going Pro SRO America documentary series follows grassroots racer Damon Surzyshyn and the championship winning Subaru Motorsport USA TechSport Racing and the Zignyl Forbush Performance Toyota GR Supra GT4 teams in SRO Pirelli World Challenge series. It is a good insight in what it is like racing at this level. You can view the Season 1 trailer above.
- The iconic British Motor Show kicks returns from 18 – 21 August with a jam packed line up. Taking place in Farnborough, a location synonymous with being the home of pioneering spirit, those attending will get to experience everything from rides in supercars and classics to an exclusive look at the latest up-and-coming road cars, and much more. In true British Motorsport Show style, ticket holders will not be held back. Everyone can get up close and personal with the cars and enjoy a hands-on experience. The full list of brands and exhibitors at this year’s show can be found here.
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.
- Laura Hayes explains to Racer how she is making opportunity count. “For Hayes, it’s proving to be a classic case of walking through the doors that are open, rather than banging on those that are closed. MX-5 Cup wasn’t part of her original vision, but the pivot is already paying off, and she fully intends to make the most of it.”
- Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc spoke to the BBC on honesty, learning from mistakes & downtime on the golf course. Errors, he says, are “part of the experience; it’s part of the path of anybody in whatever work you do – at one point, a mistake will happen. “Every individual will react in a different way. This is my way of reacting to it. And I’ve always felt the benefit of being honest with yourself and just grow from it.”
Parents in the Pits
- I used to do an occasional feature that I called Parents in the Pits that focused on the parents of young drivers and all the trials and tribulations that came with being the parent of a young driver. Consider this to be a mini-version of Parents in the Pits. The Whole Story is a chronicle of the life of the Spiezia family (mom Michele, dad Frank and race driver son Ellis) as they travel all over Europe in an electric van in support of Ellis’s quest to race electric cars. It is an honest, funny and realistic look at what it takes to support a young driver from the viewpoint of two parents who are completely new to motorsport. Highly worth the time for motorsport parents to watch as you will most probably relate to at least some of their adventures!