This week’s Racecraft & Driver Development Roundup is full of really helpful and inspirational stuff. In Racecraft, Blayze explains exit speed corners, Ross Bentley tackles roll and J.G. Pasterjak looks at the joys of learning. In Driver Development News & Resources, Robert Wickens explains the importance of mental health, Kevin Foster discusses the path he is taking to develop as a race driver and Charles Espenlaub explains his approach to driver safety. All this plus three driver snapshots to inspire you and much more.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
- Blayze has produced the video above on exit speed corners on any race track. “Racers360 (the previous name of Blayze) pro-motorcycle coach, Ken Hill guides motorcycle riders and racecar drivers on how they can make the most out of exit speed corners on any race track.”
- In Life is better when you’re learning, Grassroots Motorsports columnist J.G. Pasterjak looks at the joys learning as he attends a two-day race school, even though is already has extensive seat time in a race car. “First, I’ll say that although I get a healthy amount of seat time, it wasn’t long after our two-day school started that I realized that pure seat time is no substitute for proper coaching and feedback time. Modern data gathering and analysis systems make it easy to get plenty of objective feedback during your track time, but ultimately there’s no substitute for the accountability provided by another human standing there telling you what you did right or wrong.”
- Stephane Vidal, vice president of product and brand at D-Box Technologies looks at the role of haptics in simulated motorsport training in an article at Blackbook Motorsport. “This article explores the basics of haptic technology, its benefits in sim racing, and how this revolutionary innovation creates advantages for professional drivers everywhere.”
- Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets answers the question: Does a car with less roll result in more cornering grip? He also has a new episode of his No Dumb Questions with Jeff Braun podcast. In Episode 9 “Jeff and I discuss if a tire gives its peak grip on tarmac at around 10 degrees slip angle, why do rally cars on tarmac exceed this and in some cases practically drift around slow corners. We also dive into when the performance of the car/driver isn’t where you want it to be, how do you diagnose and determine if the fix is more on the race engineer (car setup) versus the driver (driver technique)?” You can listen here.
- In the video above, Blayze motorsports coach, Colin Mullan breaks down how professional drivers save fuel while continuing to drive fast.
- Here is a tip. When you are leading a race, NEVER Celebrate Too Early! Watch the video above for a demonstration why.
Driver Development News & Resources
- AutoGuide takes a deep dive on Robert Wickens On Returning To Racing And the Importance of Mental Health. “It’s tough, y’know? Everyone has their own struggles, whether they make them public or not,” says Wickens. He has long believed in the importance of sports psychology even prior to his accident; he’s been working with the same sports psychologist since. He acknowledges that “it’s not easy to be positive,” but he’s a firm believer that positivity leads to a positive outcome. “Everyone has their dark days, and when you have those dark days, it’s not weak to seek help,” admits Wickens, who adds that one of the earliest decisions he made post-accident was to see therapists in addition to his sports psychologist. The physical damage from the accident was well-documented, but it wasn’t the only focus during recovery. “The mind is a powerful tool,” says Wickens,”and if your mind’s not healthy, you’re basically not giving yourself any chance to succeed.”
- The IMSA website explains why Extra Seat Time Is Worth Extra Effort. “If there’s one thing every racing driver craves, it’s seat time. Simulators are a valuable learning tool, but nothing helps a driver improve their craft more than time spent on track behind the wheel of a real racing car.”
- Grassroots Motorsports looks at how pro Charles Espenlaub does driver safety. “Charles Espenlaub has been racing professionally for over 20 years, and he can boast of an achievement that would scare most of us: He survived a roiling inferno with just the mildest of burns. What’s his secret? For one, he’s a stickler for top-shelf equipment.”
- Original sim racer turned real life sportscar racer Jann Mardenborough has teamed up with the Motors Formula Team for a multi-year agreement that will see him become the lead driver and ambassador for the organization. “Apart from continuing to raise awareness for DIVERSITY, #RACING4ALL in motorsports and to help young people through our initiatives (more to be announce soon), Jann and MFT have set important goals for their cooperation. The main one is participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024, where MFT intends to enter the first team mainly composed of racers and staff of African descent and black heritage (Jann drove there in LMP1 + has a podium in LMP2 class).” Jann was the winner of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy in 2011.
- F1 Feeder Series talked to some F3 front-runners on driver academy politics in light of the Oscar Piastri ruling. ‘It’s important to stay loyal’
- The Face to Face ChassisSim bootcamp is back for 2022. “If you want the hands on training on how to use simulation to get the maximum possible performance out of your racecar this is a must attend event. Also after a 3 year hiatus the bootcamps will be face to face. You can find all the details on this link.”
- Jacques Villeneuve’s protégé Kevin Foster spoke to F1 Feeder Series about his driver development plans. “Kevin Foster also has high targets for his future, even if he knows Formula One will be almost impossible to reach given his financial background. “I never thought of F1 as my dream. It’s always been a world away to me. Single-seaters have always been the most attractive to me. I think realistically, Super Formula in Japan is already a big enough goal for me. Getting there would be difficult for sure, but possible” he explains.”
- W Series has announced three of its drivers will take part in a Formula Three test at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France from 16th to 17th September. The aim of the test is to introduce the trio from the all-female single seater championship to the demands and challenges of this level of the support ladder. Hamda Al Qubaisi, who races at the Formula Regional and Formula Four levels, will also be taking part in the test.
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.
- Known for his successful YouTube channel ‘SuperGT’, Steve Alvarez Brown is jumping up to real race cars for the final round of Radical’s SR1 Cup, 17th-18th September 2022. Steve will race alongside over 30 other Radical’s at the Donington GP circuit, including Valour Racing’s Daryl DeLeon Taylor who is currently leading the SR1 Cup championship. While being Radical’s “entry level race car”, the SR1 is a full-on purpose-built race car generating lap times faster than GT4 cars costing three times as much. The Radical SR1 Cup is the complete “motorsport starter kit” making it the UK’s most compelling entry point into circuit racing. Radical’s UK Motorsport Manager, Nicole Van der Walt said, ‘we’re excited to learn that Steve is joining our grid for the penultimate race of the season. He’s obviously very talented in the sim racing and virtual world, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs on track.’
- In his column in The Checkered Flag, Will Aspin explains how he’d love to race in the Porsche Supercup. That and trying to make a career out of it. “It’s been a bit tricky, going from Ginetta GT5 into Porsche, learning a new way of driving a car. It makes me a better driver but learning how to drive the Cup car properly is extremely hard and it’s difficult to put a lap together, the car really is a beast. It’s something that we struggle with, and we’ve just got to do it. There are no excuses, you just have to get your act together and do it. Self-belief is something which I’ve struggled with a bit throughout the years, so I have to believe I can do it. Once you believe you can do it, it makes everything else a lot easier. Not a lot more enjoyable, but you have that little bit more satisfaction, knowing ‘I can do it now.”
- F3 driver Juan Manuel Correa explains to F1 Feeder Series how his perspective on racing has changed “Last year, it was a little bit too much for me, and this year it worked well. I was able to be just a driver during the whole weekend – focus on my job in the F3, focus on my job in the team and enjoy it a little bit more with less background noise.”