This week, the Racecraft & Driver Development Roundup is especially loaded with great information so here are just a few of the highlights that you can look forward to.
In Racecraft there are tips on how to stop over-driving, how to control oversteer, the art of the overtake, mental conditioning tips and more.
In Race Driver Development News, I have details on what to expect if you win the Motorsport Games F4 Cup, the scholarships on offer from the newly rebranded USF Pro Championships, using sportscars as an alternative route up the single-seater pyramid, the Trackhouse Karting Career Advancement Award and much more.
In the Driver Spotlight I look at the career and aspirations of “gentleman driver” Ben Keating, an amateur driver who races for the very simple reason of having fun, something that is often forgotten in the quest to climb the motorsport career ladder.
All that and a lot more advice and resources in this week’s Racecraft & Driver Development Roundup. It’s news racers can use.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- In the video above, Safe is Fast looks at Over-Driving: Stop driving the wheels off the car. “Have you ever felt like you’re driving the wheels off a car but your lap times don’t show it? A group of top IMSA and IndyCar drivers – including Filipe Albuquerque, Simon Pagenaud, Jordan Taylor, John Edwards, Earl Bamber and Kyle Kirkwood – offer their advice.”
- Blayze Motorsports looks at How To Control Oversteer. “A key factor here is to understand that there isn’t just one kind of oversteer. There are many scenarios where the rear can overtake the front, all with different causes. The following are the two main types of oversteer race car drivers experience:
- Trailing Throttle Oversteer (Snap Oversteer or Lift Off Oversteer)
- Power Down Oversteer (Corner Exit Oversteer)
- Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets answers the question, when heel & toe downshifting, what’s the right timing for the blip of the throttle?
- In a two-part series, Preston Lerner explains the Art of the Overtake. “What do you remember most fondly when you think about your seat time in a race car? The races won? Obviously. The improbable saves, the perfect laps, the magical corners? Well, sure. For me, the most deeply satisfying moments are the competitive passes. I don’t mean overtaking a wanker in a clown car in a Lemons event or blasting past an out-of-class back marker in a sprint race or moving up a position because the driver in front of you flubbed a shift under pressure. I’m talking about a do-or-die pass against an equally matched driver who’s aggressively defending his position.” You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
- In his video Improve Your Racing Results Using Your Mind – iRacing, Enzo Mucci explains how this video could help you. “If you know that YOU are the reason that your results are not improving, then this may be for you. This is how to simplify things down to make sure that you race at your best. In this video we talk about iRacing and how it can help you race better. Your mental skills and mindset are key for your racing success.” You can watch the video above.
- No Money Motorsports has put together The ULTIMATE Track-Day Guide. How to get on a Race Track NOW! (And what do do when you get there). “So you want to get on a race track. The biggest hurdle to starting track days for many people is simply knowing A) that track days exist and B) How to find them.”
- Finding and using a driver coach is key to progressing in the sport but the lack of credentials in the industry can make choosing a driver coach difficult. In How To Be Taken Seriously As a Driver Coach, Samir Abid at Your Data Driven looks at the questions all driver coaches should ask themselves and was prompted from the following email he received: “The biggest concern I have about growing my coaching [business] is about my credentials or lack of. I’m too old to be chasing racing dreams and use championship wins as credentials. How much does having a degree in engineering matter vs self taught & focused studying? I worry no one will take me seriously because I don’t have those.” Look for more details of how I will be integrating driver coaches into the Motorsport Prospects Directory in the next few months. Contact me for more details.
- Grassroots Motorsports brings you simple talk on the complex subject of aerodynamics. “No matter what the particular goals, any aerodynamic testing can be tackled using the same approach. It doesn’t take a huge budget or access to wind tunnels to make aerodynamic gains. You simply need a basic understanding of aerodynamic principles, a detailed plan of attack, and a method to test the changes you make.”
Driver Development News & Resources
- KCMG, manufacturer of the hybrid-powered and halo-shod cars being used in the Motorsport Games F4 Cup, expects a grid of over 20 at Paul Ricard on October 29/30 and has introduced a €10,000 prize for the gold medalist as an incentive for ASNs (national governing bodies) to enter the F4 element of the games. The gold medalist will also be in contention to join KCMG’s young driver development program.
- Fresh off their Porsche Sprint Challenge USA West championship with Laura Ely, Black Sheep Racing is pleased to announce the signing of a new partnership program with the Division 1 College Racing League Association. “D1 Racing League is a 501(C)(6) Non-Profit organization of solution-based Universities transforming the competition models of motorsports for female student-athletes. D1 can communicate a compelling business model for centering motorsports in college as an Emerging Sport for Women, generating systemic and self-sustaining values for all partners. D1 is a platform for purpose, a showroom for the future of mobility reaching the hearts of humanity in a sustainable way. There is no better place to develop the next-gen technologies of mobility than in the laboratories of our major universities. By sending motorsports to college, D1 is looking to unlock the lifelong benefits of sports.”
- In Following in Perez’s wheeltracks at America’s most famous racing school, Autosport‘s Jess McFayden discusses her experience at the Skip Barber Racing School. “The Skip Barber Racing School claims to have trained more winners than any other organisation, including the driver currently second in the 2022 Formula 1 standings. Where better for a single-seater novice to learn the ropes?“
- Motorsport UK magazine Revolution has a great article on the Motorsport UK Academy called How Future Stars Are Made. “The Motorsport UK Academy is the driving force behind many of Britain’s future motorsport stars. Will Gray investigates what makes it successful and asks four graduates how it made them what they are.”
- The American development series Road to Indy has been rebranded to the USF Pro Championships. “Although we are rebranding the Road to Indy, our goals remain the same – to develop drivers, teams and crew to advance to Indy Lights and ultimately the NTT IndyCar Series,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “With INDYCAR taking over the operation of Indy Lights this year, the Road to Indy designation really doesn’t work moving forward for all steps on the ladder. We are proud of our accomplishments under the Road to Indy banner and intend to further develop the full USF Pro Championships as the only real place for talented young drivers on the open-wheel path.” According to Motorsport Week, “Andersen Promotions is the long-time promoter of the junior series, and Motorsport Week understands that its loss of the ‘Road to Indy’ moniker is due to licensing requests from IndyCar itself.” F1 Feeder Series looks to answer the question, who killed the Road to Indy?
- Speaking of Andersen Promotions, they have announced the 2023 schedules and scholarships for their newly renamed championships.
- Andersen Promotions today unveiled the 2023 calendars for all three levels of the newly rebranded USF Pro Championships Presented by Cooper Tires as well as an increase to series’ scholarships totaling over $110,000 to help drivers advance up the ladder of the world’s leading driver development program. In total, over $1.6M in prize money and awards will be on offer.
- The new scholarship packages will see the USF Pro 2000 champion receive a scholarship valued at $664,425 to advance to Indy Lights, the USF2000 champion earning a scholarship valued at $440,125 to move up to USF Pro 2000, and the USF Juniors champion taking home a scholarship valued at $248,815 to graduate to USF2000.
- Additional prize money and awards include the Cooper Tires Pole Award for each race as well as season-ending awards for Rookie of the Year, Championship Team, Mechanic of the Year, Hard Charger, Move of the Year and Spirit Award.
- As the Official Racing School, Skip Barber will also provide its Formula Race Series champion a scholarship valued at $100,000 to advance into USF Juniors.
- Autosport looks at the teenage Le Mans record-breaker who could start a new trend. “While there has been no shortage of young talents pouring into endurance racing in recent years, most of the time the switch is made once every avenue in single-seater racing has been exhausted; either through a lack of performance, a lack of finance, or both. The same can’t be said for American teen racer Josh Pierson. After two seasons in USF2000, he eschewed the usual ‘Road to Indy’ route to IndyCar in favour of a switch to the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship, despite having the chance to take the more conventional step up to the next step up on the US ladder in Indy Pro 2000.”
- The participants for the 2022 Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) – Asia Pacific and Oceania regional selection program have been chosen with 24 drivers to attend Sepang International Circuit for the three-day event. The successful drivers between 14 and 17-year-old were selected from a pool of more than 60 applicants and will now head to Malaysia at the end of the next month where they will be evaluated on their driving, fitness and media skills.
- Selected Candidates
- Ruhaan Alva – India
- Hayden Bakkerus – New Zealand
- Jack Beeton – Australia
- Akshay Bohra – Singapore
- Jarrod Bottomley – Australia
- Christian Cowie – Australia
- Alex Crosbie – New Zealand
- Hayden Crossland – Australia
- Christian Estasy – Australia
- Anshul Gandhi – India
- Alex Gardner – Australia
- Patrick Heuzenroeder – Australia
- Zara Horn – Australia
- Kristian Janev – Australia
- Gael Julien – Indonesia
- Jesse Lacey – Australia
- Max Mason – Australia
- Chase Parks – Thailand
- James Piszcyk – Australia
- Gianmarco Pradel – Australia
- Beau Russell – Australia
- Ryuma Sako – Japan
- Lincoln Taylor – Australia
- Costa Toparis – Australia
- Selected Candidates
- The Ferrari Driver Academy’s Scouting World Final has expanded to six finalists for its third edition, with a Formula 1 junior slot up for grabs for the winner. “The final will take place at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters and Fiorano test track on October 24-28, and the participants – all aged between 14 and 16 – have been chosen from FDA-organised scouting contests held across the world this year.” Formula Scout has all the details.
- Major changes are coming for IndyCar’s Force Indy diversity project as the program expands its reach and focus in 2023. “Previously, the team, backed by IndyCar owner Penske Entertainment, ran Myles Rowe in USF2000 for its first season in 2021, and then jumped two steps up the ladder to Indy Lights with Ernie Francis Jr. Now Rowe and Francis will be placed with top teams, Rowe with Pabst and Francis with HMD Motorsports, while the Force Indy team members from Indy Lights last year will absorb into HMD with Francis.”
- In the video above, IMSA explains how they help open the door to the next generation of racers. “IMSA, in conjunction with NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick and NASCAR team Trackhouse Racing, is providing the opportunity for a promising karting driver to take the next step in their racing career through the Trackhouse Karting Career Advancement Award. Presented during the IAME USA Grand National Championship Presented by Hunt Brothers Pizza at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, North Carolina, the award includes the chance for recipient Christian Miles to receive a test day in an Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires car. The award comes through the support of IMSA, Trackhouse Racing and Harvick’s KHI Management. “All of us at the top level of motorsport need to identify where the next generation’s coming from,” IMSA President John Doonan said at the event. “In collaboration with Trackhouse, in collaboration with Kevin Harvick, and in collaboration with IMSA, we’re proud to be here at GoPro Motorplex with the season-ending event to present the career advancement award giving one young karter a chance at a Mazda MX-5 Cup test day with an experienced championship team – giving them that chance to go to the next level.
- In the wake of the collapse of the W Series for 2022 and some calling on F1 to invest in the series, word has come out during the U.S. Grand Prix weekend that F1 is set to launch a female-only series for younger drivers. “Although nothing has been confirmed it is likely that F4 machinery will be used, and the series will be run under the umbrella of the existing F2/F3 organisation, with the cars fielded by the teams already involved in the existing championship. It’s expected that there will be a grid of around 12-15 cars. F1 sources indicate that if W Series does survive and returns in 2023 it can run alongside the new initiative, as it features faster F3-style cars and older drivers.”
- The BRSCC has announced that Colin Queen has been named as the winner of GB4’s National Formula Ford Shoot-Out, following the assessment day at Snetterton earlier last week. “The assessment day followed simulator sessions at Fortec’s Daventry headquarters earlier this month. Fortec used evaluations from those simulator runs alongside the data from the on track tests to determine each driver’s ability, with Queen selected once the information had been presented to GB4 Championship organisers MotorSport Vision (MSV).”
- Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club has announced the debut of the new and improved Radical Racing School. “As the home of the new and improved Radical Racing School, which is set to begin in 2023 and feature the new Radical SR3XX, Spring Mountain continues its trusted relationship with Radical Motorsport, solidifying nearly 19 years of history between them. Designed much like their renowned Ron Fellows Performance Driving School, the Radical Racing School will cater to not only the aspiring racers that want to experience a fully prepared race car on a track, but it is also great for broadening even the most seasoned drivers’ skill sets. Spring Mountain’s Radical Racing School will host the largest fleet of Radicals across the nation and, to top it all off, students will be able to obtain their SCCA license upon completion of their course. So whether the student’s goal is to purchase a Radical Sportscar, become a future Spring Mountain member, or simply up their racing game, this is an unmatched program tailored to perfecting their driving skills! Be on the lookout for classes starting next year!“
- The SCCA has posted a recap of the President’s October Address. “As most of SCCA’s 49,777 annual members have seen in their daily lives, the cost of goods and services has been on the rise. Unfortunately, SCCA is not immune to this development. Costs associated with SCCA operations and event execution, which includes everything from track rentals to insurance coverage, have gone up. Consequently, Cobb noted some changes in membership dues and sanctioning fees will be required to keep pace.”
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.
If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a “gentleman driver”, you have no better example than Ben Keating. In the Road & Track article Ben Keating Is Living Our Dream, they explain what makes him so good and why. “I do this for fun, and, therefore, I’ve been very careful,” he says. “I don’t want to own a team, I don’t want to manage any people. I don’t want it to become work. And I want to be around people I enjoy. And so I really enjoy all I’ve done with Bill Riley and Riley Motorsports. That’s why I was teamed with him for so long. I really enjoy Bobby Oergel at PR1. I really enjoy Tom Ferrier with TF Sport in the WEC.”