The Racecraft & Driver Development Roundup is as much about opportunities as it is about knowledge and this week is no different. If you feel you have what it takes to be a race driver but lack the experience, then the Winfield School in France has an opportunity for you.
For knowledge, Enzo Mucci explains how to perform under pressure, knowledge that is especially important if you struggle to perform when it really matters.
As usual there is more racecraft advice and race driver development news that you can use as you work to make yourself a better race driver. All this plus two more driver snapshots to take inspiration from.
Week in and week out, the Racecraft & Driver Development Roundup features news that racers can use. So, use it!
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- In the video above, Enzo Mucci discusses how race drivers perform under pressure. It is aimed at those of you who struggle to perform when it really matters.
- In Episode 20 of the Your Data Driven Podcast, host Samir Abid talks race engineering with Jeff Braun. “Today, we’re talking to Jeff Braun. US-based race engineer. Jeff Braun has over 40 years experience race engineering at the highest level in North America. Working with both professional and amateur races. Jeff has the full spectrum of racing experience. We talk about optimising the setup for the driver, and adapting it for different weather conditions. Should you change it or should you not? What you might find most interesting however is the process and approaches that Jeff Braun adopts not only for his racing, but in fact for everything in his life. Jeff Braun makes his own coffee and applies exactly the same process to that as he does to his racing. It’s absolutely fascinating …” You can listen here.
- Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets answers the question, what line should I drive in a banked corner?
- In the video above, Blayze Motorsports explains how to go fast while defending your position on track. “The trick to defending and maintaining speed is knowing when and where to defend.”
- From the April 2021 issue of Grassroots Motorsports, Robb Holland helps you tackle the world’s greatest race tracks, both virtual and real. He covers the following tracks:
- Daytona International Speedway: Daytona Beach, Florida
- Suzuka International Racing Course: Suzuka City, Japan
- Mount Panorama Circuit: Bathurst, Australia
- Nürburgring: Nürburg, Germany
- Megan Meyer talks about how she used Blazepods to help her in her return to racing via karting. “The one thing that helped me prepare for getting back into drag racing is training my reaction time using Blazepods. It’s a really cool system of pods that light up either randomly or in a sequence according to a program you pick through their app. I worked together with them to set up a unique racing tree that has 3 yellow bulbs flash then a green one, and you can either tap the green with your hand or foot and see what your reaction time is. What’s great about these pods is they are tiny and fit in a small travel case, it’s all operated on your phone with either a free trial or paid monthly membership, and I can practice with them during my workout routine either at the track or at home.”
Driver Development News & Resources
- Mazda Motorsports has revealed which 12 young drivers will compete for three scholarships worth a combined $260,000 to start their Mazda MX-5 Cup career. The top prize in the MX-5 Cup Shootout is a scholarship valued at $110,000. Last year’s big winner, Connor Zilisch, went on to become this season’s MX-5 Cup Rookie of the Year, just missing out on claiming the overall championship by just 10 points. Additionally, two $75,000 scholarships will be awarded. At least one of the three winners will be female, as part of Mazda’s Women’s Initiative to expand opportunities for women in motorsports. You can find out who made the finals here.
- Emirati karter Keanu Al Azhari has earned a paid-for seat in Spanish Formula 4 next season after winning the fifth running of the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy shootout. After two days of on-track testing in F4 cars at Navarra, in addition to off-track assessments, the 14-year-old was chosen by the organizing All Road Management company’s jury as the best of the six finalists and will race for MP Motorsport in 2023.
- The Winfield Racing School has announced a Young Talents Driving Program to take place on 24-25-26 October 2022. You can book your seat at: email@example.com or +33 6 42 72 95 98. The program includes:
- 3-days training program at Circuit Paul Ricard open to young drivers (15 to 22 years old) from all over the world
- Driving sessions & challenging workshops: simulator sessions, physical preparation, data and video debrief…
- 15 experts: engineers, instructors, physios, mechanics…
- No single-seater experience required
- Places are limited: 15 drivers maximum.
- With the premature end of the W Series season (see Friday’s Business of Motorsport), a lot of questions have been made about what will or should happen now. While the series said that they still intend to fund seats for drivers, Charles Bradley at Autosport explains why the W Series must survive, and the further steps that are needed. “The all-female W Series will not see out the 2022 season for its three remaining races, and is now focusing on trying to resurrect the championship for 2023. While there remain questions about where its drivers should progress to, the prospect of losing it altogether should be a worrying one for motorsport, and underlines that more must be done to help female talent.”
- Dominik Wilde at DirtFish asks the question, should others follow Extreme E’s approach to female participation? “But while mandating female involvement in Extreme E has been a resounding success, it’s not something that could easily work in the wider motorsport sphere, according to Rosberg X Racing boss Nico Rosberg.”
- The Confederation of Autosport Car Clubs in British Columbia, Canada encourages everyone to come join with them in the thrill and excitement of motorsport competition. The Women in Motorsport initiative aims to increase the participation of women and girls in all aspects of motorsport competition. Whether as a driver, crew, course-worker, official, volunteer or spectator, there is a place for everyone in motorsports. Find out more about CACC Women in Motorsport on their Facebook page or reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Aston Martin F1 team have secured the services of veteran F1 test and race driver Pedro de la Rosa in a new, expansive role. The 51-year-old Spaniard has signed up with the Silverstone-based squad to become their team ambassador, which will be an all-encompassing role involving media, marketing, promotional, communications, commercial, and general advisory duties to exploit the knowledge gleaned from over two decades of involvement in the sport. He will also consult for Aston Martin’s newly-established Driver Development Program, whose first signing was recently announced – Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich putting pen to paper with Lawrence Stroll’s outfit. De La Rosa’s involvement will be to help identify future talents, as well as helping with their training and development.
- Las Vegas has become a hotbed of NASCAR drivers, much to the surprise of many. “More NASCAR drivers have come from Las Vegas over the last 20 years than any other single town—more than Charlotte,” said Brendan Gaughan, who happens to be one of them.”
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.
For Canadian NASCAR driver Amber Balcaen, racing is all business and she proves that every weekend that she is racing in NASCAR’s ARCA Menards Series. “Even with all these demands, Balcaen knows the importance of the business side – ensuring her sponsors are getting their money’s worth. In addition to physical and mental training, her days often include appearances, trade shows, commercials and content creation for current sponsors, as well as sponsorship negotiations to get new ones. That commitment is something she learned young. “Looks don’t put you in a race car,” she said in a recent interview. “The only thing that puts you in a race car is money and talent – but more money than anything else.”
Regina Sirvent discusses representing women and Mexico in NASCAR. “Representing women and Mexico within NASCAR is cool. I think it has its pros and cons. Its pros are that I receive the love of many fans, brands, and sponsors. But it has not-so-nice parts, like when I won my first NASCAR race in the Trucks in Mexico, they said I was cheating. Or when I was selected to be part of the diversity program in the United States, some important people in the media said that I had done something to be chosen.”