In this week’s Racecraft & Driver Development Roundup I have some great information that you can use both on and off the track. In Racecraft there is advice on adapting to low-grip tracks, going quicker and not just faster, tire slip angle explained, trail braking, mental preparation and more. In Driver Development I have news from the Spec MX-5 Shootout, FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Program, Team Canada Scholarship, the Queensland Women’s Introduction to Motorsport Program and more. There is something for every type of driver this week!
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- As part of their Racing Skills in 60 Seconds feature, Blayze Coaching looks at racing on low grip racetracks in the video above.
- Grassroots Motorsports looks at how to go quicker, not just faster, on track. “It makes no difference how fast the car can go. It’s how fast you can go.”
- Over at Speed Secrets, Ross Bentley answers the question: Which corners should I use trail braking in, and which shouldn’t I?
- Your Data Driven looks at Tyre Slip Angle Really Easily Explained. “You might hear tyre slip angle mentioned a lot motorsport. Normally it is when someone is trying to explain how a car corners. However, it is not immediately obvious what a “slip angle” is, nor how this relates to tyres. This article will help you make sense of what is going on.”
- Your Data Driven also has an excellent resource that explains What Can You Learn From The Pros In Motorsports. Host Samir Abid has distilled the advice from the various guests he has had on his podcast so far into what he calls The Motorsports Playbook which is available in various formats.
- The ESPN website answers the question, how are NASCAR’s drivers staying sharp away from the racetrack? Hours and hours of video games. “I discovered iRacing just by a simple Google search,” Anthony Alfredo, driver of the Our Motorsports No. 23 Xfinity Series entry, told ESPN. “I ended up getting one of those Logitech wheel-and-pedal sets to play at my desk, and as simple as that, for a couple hundred dollars, I was sim racing.”
- Grassroots Motorsports looks at how to go faster in autocross by looking at the apps, sensors and traces you need. “One of the keys to going fast is knowing how fast you’re going, and one of the best ways to know how fast you’re going is with some sort of data acquisition system. For road racers, data acquisition has become more or less standard. But where does this leave autocrossers? Has the democratization of data for the track crowd rubbed off …“
- In the video above, Enzo Mucci explains how to Stay Mentally Focused When Leading A Race.
- Continuing with the mental factor of racing, Episode 31 of the Mind-Design Sports podcast looks at the The Mental Side of Race Car Driving with Aditya Swaminathan. “Race car driving can be one of the most dangerous sports out there, so having a sharp mental game is important at all levels of the sport’s competition. Today, Brandon talks with Aditya Swaminathan, a professional 18-year-old race car driver from Bengaluru, India, to discuss his perspective behind the wheel.“ You can listen on the YouTube video above or through the various podcast services here.
Driver Development News & Resources
- Mazda Motorsports has announced the go-karters nominated to compete in this year’s Spec MX-5 (SMX) Shootout, two of whom will comprise Mazda’s factory club racing team drivers next year in the Spec MX-5 Challenge presented by Toyo Tires race series. They have also announced the MX-5 Cup Shootout At-Large Nominees.
- Following a worldwide detection phase, the FIA has selected 14 talented young female drivers aged between 12 and 16 to attend the third edition of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Programme. Gathering next week at the Paul Ricard circuit, the girls will undertake an intensive assessment programme which could lead to exceptional motor sport career opportunities. Following this initial phase, the FIA selected eight senior and six junior drivers, representing 12 countries, to continue the competition at the Circuit Paul Ricard, as part of the renowned Winfield Racing School.
- Team Canada Scholarship has announced the six young Canadian drivers that will be competing on August 28th and 29th for the chance to represent their country at the renowned Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy race in the UK, as part of the Team Canada Scholarship program. The drivers selected are:
- Robert Soroka 20, from Toronto, ON. Multi championship karting driver
- Louka St. Jean 16, from Lorraine, QC. Competing in F4 United States Championship
- Kevin Foster 19, from Calgary, AB. Current Rotax Canadian kart champion, and FEED Racing F4 finalist Jake Cowden 18, from Aurora, ON. Currently 2nd in Toyo Tires F1600 championship
- Emily Ryan 19, from Barrie,ON competing in F1200
- Connor Clubine 18, from Brantford, ON Currently leading Quebec F1600 series and is 4th in Toyo Tires F1600 championship
- Formula Scout reports that the UK’s Ultimate Karting champion is to get a prize GB4 test with Scorpio Motorsport. “We’ve really enjoyed being back in a single-seater paddock this year, and we have firm intentions to run multiple cars in GB4 next year,” Scorpio’s head mechanic Louis Kershaw said. “To do so, we need to tap into the karting scene and the UKC is where we’re looking at. There’s a lot of promising drivers who will do very well in a racing car, and hopefully a prize test with us for the champion will lead to them joining GB4 with Scorpio Motorsport next year.”
- Sports Car Digest takes a look at the 2022 Ferrari Challenge and Corse Clienti for a good overview of these one-make Ferrari race series. There is also a Ladies cup (any lady driver), and a Gentleman’s cup (over 65 years of age). As drivers improve, they are moved up in class. It is normal for the top three in a lower class (Shell Amateur) to be moved up in class in subsequent seasons. I also published a Ferrari Challenge Primer last year that you may want to check out.
- In Lindsay Wheelock Proves It’s Easy To Break Into Drag Racing, Dragzine Magazine looks at the career of third-year Factory Stock Showdown racer Lindsay Wheelock. “She and husband Dustin and their children represent the core of the sport: grassroots drag racing, working on their own cars, and having serious fun, family-style. They’re ordinary, heart-of-America folks with an uncommon passion for drag racing – who are helping the sport grow.”
- Motorsport Australia has announced the date of their Queensland Women’s Introduction to Motorsport Program. Set to take place on October 16, the program is designed for women looking to get a start in motorsport alongside other women. Set across a welcoming and safe environment at the purpose-built Norwell Motorplex driving facility, it is the perfect opportunity to learn the basics of motorsport and to network with likeminded women.
- F1 Feeder Series explains why they think that Red Bull has the best F1 driver academy. “Entry-level ages for junior academy drivers have been known to be as low as 11 years of age – such is the case of Mercedes Junior driver Luna Fluxa – but the RBJT driver programme have themselves a comparably mature group of drivers. Seven of the thirteen drivers currently on the RBJT roster drive in series as advanced as Formula 3 or higher, making the team’s general presence in junior formulae sit higher than most other F1 junior academies. Many of the prospects closest to Formula 1 lie in Red Bull’s hands, bringing superior on-track ability with them that only improves with time.”
- F1 Feeder Series also looks at how much difference European experience makes in Brazilian F4 by looking at three takeaways from the last round of the Brazilian championship.
- Finally, F1 Feeder Series also chats with Andreas Jenzer of Jenzer Motorsport on his approach to developing drivers. “Obviously I think today it’s very important to manage all what is around the driver. A lot of drivers today are arriving with managements or with their parents and I think it’s more important to manage the parents and the manager than the driver. I think if we have the driver to our self throughout the whole weekend, we have so much experience and we have had so many rookie drivers from all around the world, all the characters around the world. Obviously, I am trying to calm down the situation. Today you also have to push the drivers, obviously. Quite a lot of drivers today are not taking the maximum out of themself and out of the car, they need to believe more in themself, they need to believe more in the car. Sometimes, okay, they end up in the wall or they end up making a mistake but they are more driving at 95 percent than at 105 percent.”
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.
- The short documentary film above explores the winning mindset of professional racing driver Kévin Estre. “This film provides a deep and personal insight into the man beneath the visor and what motivates him to push himself and the car to its limit, in order to win at any cost.”
- The video above is a trailer for the documentary film Full Throttle, which chronicles the motorsport journeys of female racers Demi Chalkias, Nicole Havrda, Cherie Storms and Melanie Paterson. It should be released in the Fall of 2022.