This week’s Racecraft & Driver Development Roundup is absolutely packed. So much so that I had to pare it down and save some stuff for next week such is the volume of great tips and advice that I have compiled for all types of race drivers. In Racecraft Tips & Techniques there is everything from smooth inputs, race car tire pressure, how an anti-roll bar works, advice from Fernando Alonso, and the 10 seconds that could make or break your race. In Driver Development News & Resources I cover everything from the potential return of the Volant Winfield program, being self-aware, transitioning from sim racing to the real thing, and whether there should be an alternative to F2 for young drivers. All this plus more driver spotlights for inspiration and much more.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- In a recent Racing Skills In 60 Seconds by Blayze, Dion von Moltke covers smooth inputs. “One of the most common mistakes new drivers make is being too aggressive on initial turn in. We all watch our favorite professional racecar drivers on tv and see how fast their hands go. And we want to copy that on the track. But their cars are much lighter and have much stiffer springs. This allows the weight of the car to move much faster and more efficiently.” Watch the video above for more.
- Your Data Driven looks at How To Set Racecar Tyre Pressures. “You’ve done your testing. Done the maths. You know the cold tyre pressures you need to get the perfect hot pressures on track. You’re ready. Using your favourite and trusty tyre pressure gauge you set your cold pressures. Head out on track. Run your session. The car feels ok but not great. Back in the pits you discover your hot pressures are way off. What is going on and what can you do about it? Find out here.”
- The video above is a racecraft demo on staying visible when side by side.
- RaceFans positively reviewed the book The Science of the Racer’s Brain and it sounds like a must read for drivers. “Motorsport science and understanding driver’s brains has advanced somewhat in the past three decades, from a time when Professor Sid Watkins would routinely present x-rays of an empty skull as a driver’s brain scan, to a far stronger appreciation of the neuroscience behind the sport’s greatest athletes.”
- In their Handling Basics series, Grassroots Motorsports looks at What Is An Anti-Roll Bar and How Does It Work?. “On the street, proper anti-roll bar selection can turn a miserable-handling car into a true sport sedan. Racers love tinkering with anti-roll bars because they can provide dramatic performance improvements for competition. Since anti-roll bar modifications are allowed in many classes of autocrossing and roadracing, it’s worthwhile to look into the workings of this device.”
- Ross Bentley at Speed Secrets answers the question: With a Front-Wheel-Drive car, should I rotate it early in the corner to reduce wheelspin on exit?
- In their latest video, Safe is Fast looks at The Start: Ten Seconds That Can Make or Break Your Race. “A group of top IMSA and IndyCar drivers – including Filipe Albuquerque, Simon Pagenaud, Jordan Taylor, John Edwards and Callum Ilott – reveal their secrets of making fast, but safe getaways.” You can watch the video above.
- Episode 55 of the podcast Inside The SCCA features Blayze founder Dion von Moltke. You can listen here.
- Speaking about the new LMDh cars Ricky Taylor believes that the launch of the LMDh platform will bring a “new dynamic” to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races. “You’re not counting fuel anymore, you’re counting energy, so how you save energy. How much fuel you actually use is going to be so interesting because you might not need it all.”
- Fernando Alonso recently spoke to Autosport and has some good advice for young (and not so young) drivers. “Not every lap is the last lap. These kinds of things I used to make mistakes, early in the races that now I try to avoid. And this only comes with experience and with your own mistakes.”
Driver Development News & Resources
- In his latest video, Enzo Mucci explains how you need SELF AWARENESS to get to F1. “You always need to know the truth of where you are at when going for a big goal, such as Formula One. Only you can look in the mirror to see the truth. Become self aware and take control of your career.” You can watch his video above.
- Racing News 365 explains how simulators have become one of the most important tools in F1. “Join AlphaTauri drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda as they talk through the key elements of a simulator session and what’s involved in extracting the most from their virtual set-up.”
- Fitzroy Motor has a great article from sim racer turned real life clubman competitor Mathieu Gauthier-Thornton called Sim Racing To Reality: Mathieu Gauthier-Thornton’s Tips For Track Success. “In this week’s article I’m going to explain exactly how you can use your home sim racing setup to help you prepare for racing success in real life. While it might sound easy to translate time in the simulator to the track – just spend a small fortune on fancy equipment, load up your favourite circuit, and off you go, right – sadly that doesn’t really work. If you truly want to use your home simulator as a training tool, rather than just a bit of evening fun, here are some crucial things to consider to get the best out of both your sim, and yourself…“
- Speaking to Sportscar365, Josh Pierson is taking his sports car racing progression “one year at a time” after signing on for another FIA World Endurance Championship season with United Autosports. The 16-year-old American driver, who recently became the youngest-ever finisher at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was announced in June as a member of United’s six-person LMP2 driver lineup for next year, following on from his debut campaign which is ongoing.
- Pierson’s success, and that of other young drivers in the past, has once again raised the question, Do Racing Drivers Start Too Young? “The fact you can race in cars from the age of 14 might have a part to play in this. A Racing car at 14 is just insanity. Again in no way am I questioning the skill of these drivers. A lot of them are really, incredibly good. Look at Conor Shanahan in drifting. 14 years old. Already beating people with years more experience. He’s clearly a top talent in that category. But take your time. Spend another few years in junior categories, shaping your craft even more. It’s not going to hurt. Also the level of maturity will increase massively in those precious years. There has been a lot said of Verstappen and his occasional tantrum. It’s tricky as he is undeniably world class, but you can’t argue an older person would have been more likely to keep their mouth shut, put their head down and handle it a little better.”
- The legendary Volant Winfield program could be coming back and the intentions are big as Winfield Group President, Frédéric Garcia tells F1 Feeder Series: ‘We want it to be the best’. “Our absolute dream would be to organise once again the Volant Winfield. It had been a success when we started it back in 2018. We are slowly recovering financially, but without the help of a main sponsor we are still do not have enough funds to organise it this year. We want to do it, but we want it to be the best and that can only be achieved with the help of a partner.”
- Radical Motorsport and Radical Philippines have announced the debut of the inaugural Radical Cup Philippines. Billed as the fastest racing series in the region, the series will take on the local Batangas Racing Circuit and the FIA Grade 4-certified Clark International Speedway in Pampanga, north of Manilla. As well as the Radical Cup Philippines, there’s a Philippines Radical Racing Academy where aspiring racing drivers can learn how to pilot a Radical in a safe and controlled environment with expert guidance.
- The Team USA Scholarship Shootout returns to the Polecat Training Center this week for their annual shootout competition to determine who gets to represent Team USA in the UK’s Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy races this Fall. The six finalists are:
- Elliott Budzinski, 19, from Ann Arbor, Mich. – partial season in the FRP F1600 Championship Series
- Alessandro De Tullio, 16, from Miami, Fla. – currently second in USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires
- William Ferguson, 18, from Pacifica, Calif. – currently leads the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship (Canada)
- Ayrton Houk, 19, from McCordsville, Ind. – currently second in the FRP F1600 Championship Series
- Colin Queen, 17, from Palm City, Fla. – currently second in the BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 Championship (UK)
- Thomas Schrage, 17, from Bethel, Ohio – currently leads the FRP F1600 Championship Series
- F1 Feeder Series reports that Christian Lundgaard, the Danish former Formula 2 driver and Alpine junior who this week signed a new multi-year deal in the NTT IndyCar Series, is convinced that IndyCar is a great alternative for Formula 2 drivers looking to further their career. “Both Lundgaard and 2020 Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott have had strong rookie seasons in IndyCar this year and the Danish 21-year-old thinks IndyCar could be a good option for former colleagues like Felipe Drugovich and Marcus Armstrong. Both have been mentioned regularly in the current IndyCar silly season for a seat in 2023.”
- Lundgaard’s opinion is something that James Scott over at Single Seater Space would agree with as he argues that Formula 2 needs a rival series as young drivers deserve better. “The problem? In order to compete in Formula 1, the FIA’s squeezing of the junior ladder renders it nearly impossible to enter the pinnacle of motorsport without passing through F2. The ladder has been slimmed down so significantly that young drivers are forced into competing in F2, and as a result they must find a couple of million even to think about achieving their dreams.”
- F4 racer Hugh Barter explains to F1 Feeder Series how he has competed in 42 races in 7 months. “When you watch FRECA, the polesitter is the one who wins the race. Doing two F4 championships at the same time was about the same price as FRECA, and it allows me to get much more seat time.”
- Racing News365 explains why Coulthard’s plan to support a future female F1 driver isn’t a token gesture. “But our project is based on something similar. We are not linked to any current Formula 1 team, but we would like to remain independent, and our strategy is to really find and support young drivers at the age of 10 to 12, and to give them the support.”
- Last week I presented two possible scenarios if a driver salary cap was instituted in F1 in Would an F1 Salary Cap Hold Back Investment in Young Drivers? “Regardless of the reasons, I present to you two differing views on the impact that such a cap could theoretically have on young drivers. Since such a cap may or may not happen, it is interesting to understand the issue and to see if such a cap would be a detriment or not to young driver development. Here is a brief summary of the two competing views of what would be the impact of such a salary cap on the development of young race drivers.”
- Future Star Racing has announced test days at Putnam Park Road Course this September. They will take place on September 19-20. Contact Future Star Racing for more information here.
- Finally, with the proliferation of meal kits, it is no surprise that one has been launched for athletes and sports teams. Fuel Hub, a U.K.-based meal prep startup that delivers healthy meals to sports teams and elite athletes, has raised a new $1.4 million (£1.2m) funding round. The company was founded in 2019 by former English professional rugby player James Laithwaite and his wife Michelle Laithwaite.
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.
- Front Office Sports looks at how TV star Frankie Muniz went from TV to NASCAR. While he’s out to prove he’s more than a celebrity hobbyist, his star power may help fund a team. “A team may see value in what I bring to the table, either from the acting side or from my racecraft.”
- Females in Motorsport explains how Rebecca Busi, 26, from Bologna, Italy, couldn’t stand it for any longer as she watched others accomplish her goal. So, two years ago, she made a decision. “Dad, mum, I’m going to the Dakar,” she said, and now she’s become the race’s youngest Italian driver. A story that teaches us that no matter what the difficulties are, how much sweat is shed, or how damaged the suspension is, if you want to do it, you can do it.
- Females in Motorsport also tells the story of the motorsport journey of Reema Juffali: “Motorsport and racing were an impossible dream”.