This week’s Racecraft and Driver Development Roundup is absolutely brimming over with great advice and information. In Racecraft Tips & Techniques, there is a case study on using a simulator to prepare for a sports car race, a guide to tire temperature, improving your corner entry speed and more. In Driver Development News & Resources, there is a look at the Porsche and Wayne Taylor Racing driver development programs, the new Team Canada Scholarship livery and shootout details, the costs of getting to Formula 1, some informative and inspirational driver snapshots and more. Dig in and don’t forget to take notes!
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- 130R Performance have published an excellent case study on sim preparation in simulator preparation with Tom Rawlings ahead of Spa British GT debut. “There is a school of thought that while simulators are a useful tool for learning new circuits, there’s no substitute for being in a real car, with factors like changing tyre wear, thermal dynamics, and mechanical processes being challenging to fully replicate in the virtual world. Countering this however, the accuracy of laser scanned circuit architecture used in contemporary simulators, alongside realism of the cockpit surroundings in a custom-made GT sim rig mean that a host of benefits in addition to just familiarisation with track layouts are now available to drivers. Vehicle dynamics are increasingly becoming more like their real world counterparts as more data is collected, while multiple channels of telemetry replicate those captured in the real world. This allows engineers or coaches to work with drivers on detailed elements of their performance with direct real world application.”
- Your Data Driven has two excellent articles related to tires. Highly recommended reads.
- Ross Bentley at Speed Secrets answers the question: How do I improve my corner entry speed when driving on a racetrack?
- Grassroots Motorsports asks the question, Can Virtual Coaching Turn Into Real-World Winning? “The key is not to look at driving in the simulator any different than the real car. You start slowly, add speed gently, and you’ll gain confidence. It definitely does take some getting used to. Without the kinesthetics, or feel of the car jostling you around, the braking g’s, cornering g’s—it falls to your hands and your eyes to determine when the car begins to slide.”
- In an interview with F1 Feeder Series, Founder and CEO of Mygale Cars, Bertrand Decoster discusses their new hybrid-powered F4 prototype developed with ORECA and why they are introducing it. It’s because it is getting more difficult to overtake in F4. “At the moment, with the Gen2 F4 cars, it’s getting more difficult to overtake.” comments Decoster on the current state of French F4. “The level of drivers is extremely high this year and the new cars don’t give a lot of tow which doesn’t help overtaking.”
- Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist at Stanford and in the video above, he explains how to focus.
Driver Development News & Resources
- At the recent Honda Toronto Indy race, Team Canada Scholarship unveiled their new 2022 livery while announcing further details on their shootout event. Two Team Canada Scholarship winning drivers that will be chosen at the inaugural TCS Shootout, taking place on August 28-29, 2022 at the Driver Development Track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, will race at the prestigious Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy races taking place in the UK this October. Full details can be found at the Team Canada Scholarship website.
- Racer.com has a great article on the Porsche driver development program in Topping the pyramid: GTP ride awaits those in Porsche program. “The Porsche Pyramid clearly works. Look at Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber. Both advanced through the Porsche ladder, culminating in victory at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 919 prototype. Bamber added a second overall Le Mans win for Porsche in 2017, and both remain involved in factory sports car racing programs in the WeatherTech Championship – Bamber for Cadillac, Tandy for Corvette Racing.”
- Sportscar365 has an in-depth look Inside Wayne Taylor Racing’s Driver Development Program. “While known primarily for its success in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s DPi class, Wayne Taylor Racing has also been making a name for itself as a leading team for driver development, particularly in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. The operation, under the Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing umbrella, has run a stable of championship-winning cars and drivers in the single-make series for over half a decade.”
- The SQN Agency has a great feature on Racing Pride called Proud partners: How Racing Pride is driving the inclusivity conversation in motorsport that is well worth the read. “One of the barriers to coming out in sport is not knowing how you’d be received by the people around you. If they’re showing their support the LGBTQ+ community, then you know that you can at least start to have that conversation.”
- David S. Wallens explains Why I’ll always autocross in his Grassroots Motorsports column. “I’ve road raced, run the quarter-mile, and done a ton of track events. I once helped Saab set a bunch of land-speed records at Talladega. I’ve been lucky to sample rally. I’ve shown cars on both the local and national scene. But I still come back to autocross.”
- The W Series is still controversial with some as not everyone agrees that a woman-only series is the best way to develop female drivers, but in W Series hoping to follow F1’s lead to reach goals, Sports Business Journal explain their business goals. Catherine Bond-Muir, CEO of W Series since its inception, told Sports Business Journal that while the series has made progress in its various goals on the business and sporting side, “we have a mindset here that we always want a bit more. … I don’t expect to get F1 figures [in terms of revenue], but I expect to keep growing at a significant rate.”
- Part of the debate around developing female drivers revolves around physiological issues. The Race looks at the issue in Do prospective female F1 drivers need a longer junior career? “Female racing drivers have a different physical peak age compared to their male counterparts, meaning a female racer making a Lando Norris- or Max Verstappen-like leap up the junior categories is only a remote possibility. That’s according to Alpine Formula 1 affiliate driver Abbi Pulling and her driver coach and fellow W Series racer Alice Powell.”
- Taking a complimentary but different approach, Autosport explains how Alpine wants to bring more women into F1. “And obviously today we are not exploring the whole pool of talent. We are depriving ourselves of half of humanity, because we are not looking enough at women. So that was the starting point of this programme. And that’s why it concerns also engineering talents, and also racing talents.”
- Meanwhile, Drag racers Leah Pruett, Brittany Force reflect on the progress of women in the sport. “It speaks to the younger generation of girls,” Force said. “Having females driving, competing and winning in these race cars shows that females can do anything. It’s a male-dominated sport but there’s a handful of us females and we do pretty dang well.”
- F1 Feeder Series looks at how Williams Racing’s F1 academy lineup has changed. “Many F1 teams these days have driver academies with the aim of getting the best talent into their Formula One cars. Whilst the biggest, such as the Red Bull Junior Team and the Ferrari Driver Academy, are able to sign as many talented drivers as possible, some have to choose which drivers very carefully. Like Williams Racing.”
- The FIA have put together a short documentary on Formula 1 drivers called When We Were Young. You can watch it above.
- While I don’t normally cover karting, here are two great articles that look at how karting is still a fundamental stepping stone to racing cars.
- Revolution, Motorsport UK’s excellent online magazine, has a great article on how to take part in circuit racing. “There are many different categories of circuit racing, some of which are ideal for beginners and others that are more suited to people who have racing laps under their belt. To pick what is right for you, do your research, both online and through speaking to people involved.”
- So you want to race in Formula 1? Enzo Mucci looks at How much does it cost to get to F1 as a Driver. You can watch the video above.
- Finally, you can enroll in a Masterclass with Lewis Hamilton who Teaches a Winning Mindset. “World racing champion Lewis Hamilton teaches you how to prepare your mind, body, and spirit for victory in your own life.”
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.
- Why is longtime Porsche hotshoe Patrick Long retiring at 40? “One reason: family. “Someone asked me what’s the difference between a 40-year-old who steps out of full-time racing and a 50-year-old. And I think some of that is where they are in their family life, and I’ve been very open with Porsche that I’ve given the last 20 years of my career where racing has always come first,” Long says. “Moving ahead, I want to utilize the foundation that racing has given me to learn how to contribute in other ways, but also to prioritize a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old and a great wife.”
- Rally star Jade Paveley on diversity, doubt and determination. “Her message to any and all youngsters is a simple one: why not? It’s clear that she means it, and that this is a cause she cares deeply about. “There’s no reason why you can’t do it. There’s absolutely no barrier at all. I am quite a normal person I’d say, I’ve got a day job as well, I work really hard and as long as you put the effort in and you’re focused, and like any sport you have to be dedicated, and motorsport’s not easy, it really isn’t – I wouldn’t like to say that it is for anyone – but don’t let yourself stop yourself, just go for it. Why not?”
- From virtual to reality: South Africa’s next potential star Mika Abrahams. “At that time, I was really stressed. It was insane. The level of competition was like, you can’t even compare it to South Africa. Everything was so different. It was like a completely new experience that I had to get used to. But as soon as I jumped out on track, it was completely better, it was so much more fun. I didn’t adapt so quickly, but I was getting there because the grip levels compared to South Africa were completely different, so I was just getting used to everything. The step up from South African karting to European karting was an amazing moment [in] my career.”
- Chris Hauenstein is an SCCA member, autocrosser and Time Trials driver who has found his place in amateur motorsports with his 1999 Mazda Miata. Coming from the world of motorcycles, Chis now wheels his Maita at autocrosses as well as on road courses like Sebring International Raceway, Carolina Motorsports Park, NCM Motorsports Park and more. Driving on a budget, Chris has been improving his lap times by reviewing data acquisition, watching in-car videos and studying Spec Miata races. Watch the video above as he explains his development path.