This week in the Racecraft & Race Cars Roundup, I bring you the story of a driver who explains how he is racing into his 40s and how others have raced well past that age.
I also have a huge assortment of racecraft videos for you, a peek at the new Aston Martin GT3 and the return of the Sepang 12 Hours.
All this and much more in this week’s edition of the Racecraft & Race Cars Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets answers the question, when starting with wheel-to-wheel racing, is it best to buy a car, or rent one?
Q: “I have a dumb question for you. I’m older (mid 40’s) and I am really enjoying track day events in my car. I’d like to do W2W (wheel-to-wheel) racing. Would you recommend a budget-built car and racing in local clubs, or gain experience by renting a race car and have the freedom of renting from well-funded teams locally and throughout the nation?”
In the subscriber-only edition of On Racing Drivers by Terence Dove, Terence explains how to defeat concentration killers for karting perfection.
Nissan has revealed the results of its innovative and ground-breaking Brain to Performance program. The findings of this initiative, which studies driver brain function and anatomy, show how brain training protocols can successfully improve the cognitive functions of Nissan Formula E Team drivers.
Furthermore, the data indicates that racing drivers who participated in the Nissan Brain to Performance training experienced enhancements in complex decision-making, stress and fatigue resilience, and quicker reaction times. These improvements can help reduce on-track errors and maximize drivers’ pace and consistency.
Continual training could enable the Nissan Formula E Team drivers to reach the maximum potential of their brains in terms of clarity, which relates to their ability to perform in high-pressure environments, and speed, measuring how quickly they can process information.Nissan Formula E Team demonstrates improvements in cognitive function with bespoke brain training program
Joining Thiemo Albers-Daly this week on the Paddock Sorority podcast On the Kerbs is motorsport performance coach Sabine Tyrvainen. “We caught up recently to chat about how the combination of motorsport and psychology ended up with her working at the top level of racing pretty quickly, how that led to helping New Zealand’s Olympic team, the challenges to embracing mental health in motorsport today and much more! I hope you enjoy our conversation.” You can listen here.
“When we talk about athletes, the image that often comes to mind is that of someone in traditional sports – soccer, basketball, or athletics. But motorsport athletes, such as racing drivers, face intense physical and mental demands that are every bit as challenging. The difference is, their arena is a roaring engine, dizzying speeds, and split-second decisions. This makes their wellness – both physical and mental – paramount. Here’s a guide on how motorsport athletes can maximize their well-being and improve performance.”
Mark Wilkins explains to Grassroots Motorsports how he wins at the age of 40. “There are a lot of great drivers even up in the 50s,” Wilkins said. “Thinking back a little bit, you got Scott Pruett, Bill Auberlen, Gabriele Tarquini. These are guys who have raced forever and they didn’t let a number be influential.”
David Coulthard discusses the mental pressure of F1 in the latest edition of the F1 Explains Podcast. You can listen to the episode here.
“Formula 1 is a high-speed, high-stress sport. Staying cool, ignoring distractions and recovering from setbacks requires huge mental strength, composure and resilience. How do F1 drivers cope? How do they make sure their minds are in the right condition? What support and training do they get to help them?”
Race Car & Series Developments
PMW Magazine goes in-depth on the new Mustang GT3 race car. “Overall, Holt is adamant that everything about the Mustang has been designed to work for the customer, drawing on everything that Multimatic learned from the GT and other projects but reworked to create a car that flatters drivers across all conditions. “We’re looking at the teams, trying to make it easy to work on, looking at drivers, making it easy on the tires and being able to get a lap time at the end of 25 laps at Sebring. We want to get the same lap time at the end of that stint as you did at the beginning.”
Speaking of GT3 race cars, the evolution version of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 under development ahead of a release to customers in time for the 2024 season was photographed for the first time during general testing at Silverstone this week according to Autosport.
“New Aston Martin head of endurance motorsport Adam Carter has confirmed that the new cars will be homologation evolutions of the existing GT3 and GT4 cars introduced for the 2019 season.”
Mike Pryson in AutoWeek explains how it is hard to argue with IMSA’s Balance of Performance Report Card in 2024.
“By definition, Balance of Performance is designed to produce a level playing field. In a perfect BOP racing world, every manufacturer, every team, should have a chance to run up front or at least have a fair shot at standing on the podium at the end of a race weekend. If that’s the goal, then the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship officials and BOP arbiters got it right in 2023 and have reason to smile this weekend at Road Atlanta—site of the season-ending Petit LeMans 10-hour race on Saturday.”
The first TCR World Ranking Final will take place in Portugal at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão on March 1/3, 2024. The event will attract sixty competitors from the different TCR-sanctioned series around the globe, including the top 15 drivers classified in the 2023 KUMHO TCR World Tour and other 45 drivers classified in the KUMHO TCR World Ranking.
WSC Group president Marcello Lotti commented: “We are excited to bring the first ever TCR World Ranking Final to Portimão, a circuit where Touring Cars always provide entertaining races. Its up-and-down layout, wide carriageway and safe run-off areas provide the best possible setting for the door-to-door battles between the TCR drivers. On top of this, the facilities are big enough to accommodate such a large field, and the staff – management, services and marshals – are amongst the most professional in the business.”
The Sepang 12 Hours is set to make its return from the 14th to the 16th of March in 2024, reverting to its original 12-hour format at the Sepang International Circuit.
“This prestigious event will welcome a diverse array of cars, including GT3, GT4, GT Cup, and Touring Cars, all adhering to the regulations established in 2023. Each entry will feature four drivers, ensuring a fiercely competitive and captivating race. Following the inaugural Shanghai 8 Hours event held on October 3-4, the Sepang 12 Hours will provide an invaluable platform for Asian and international teams to hone their skills and prepare for the challenges of the 2024 season. A unique feature of this event is the opportunity for participants to race under the starlit Malaysian sky, adding an extra layer of excitement to an already anticipated event.”