So, you want to be a race driver? If you don’t know already, it takes incredible commitment, perseverance and yes, a lot of money. But it is possible if you want it hard enough.
In this edition of the Racecraft & Driver Development News roundup I bring you my regular dose of curated racecraft advice and race driver development news for those of you who seriously want to race cars. Enzo Mucci brings his usual actionable, and realistic advice in his 4 tips for aspiring race drivers, Austin Riley explains why he thinks that the Radical Cup is such a great development path for drivers leaving karts, and I bring you more reasons why F1600 is so good for driver development.
In addition to all of this, I bring you racecraft tips from Blayze Coaching, Ross Bentley and Grassroots Motorsports, the latest scholarship news about scholarships you may not be aware of, and a behind the scenes look at how an F2 team prepares for a race weekend. I also bring you 3 Driver Spotlights to take inspiration from.
All this and much more in this week’s Racecraft & Driver Development News Roundup. Don’t forget that tomorrow is also my weekly column on the Business of Being a Race Driver, which looks at the hard work you need to do off the track to raise the budget you need to pursue your racing dream. Thanks for reading and as always, take notes!
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
The race start is one of the most critical junctures of a race and the moment with the most anxiety amongst all drivers. Blayze Coaching breaks down not only how to get a great start, but also the details for what you should be doing leading up to the start. Those details are some of the most critical things you can do and are explained in the video above.
Grassroots Motorsports looks at how to pick the right track car for you and your needs, with feedback constructive advice from a wide variety of experienced race drivers. “The ideal track car could be a turnkey offering, a homebuilt special or just an unassuming sedan. It could be box-stock or incredibly complicated.”
Grassroots Motorsports also looks at the apps, sensors and traces you need to go faster in autocross. “One of the keys to going fast is knowing how fast you’re going, and one of the best ways to know how fast you’re going is with some sort of data acquisition system. For road racers, data acquisition has become more or less standard. But where does this leave autocrossers? Has the democratization of data for the track crowd rubbed off on the autocross side, or did the cone crowd get left behind?“
Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets answers the question, what advice do you have for me as I turn off the electronic stability and traction control when driving on track?
Blayze Coaching looks at the top mistakes amateur racecar drivers make. “The single most common mistake the coaches at Blayze see amateur racecar drivers make revolves around where they pick up initial throttle application. Before drivers start to work on trail braking or trying to “always be on the throttle or brakes” they need to focus on their lines and where they pick up the throttle.”
Race Driver Development News & Resources
Enzo Mucci always has great advice for race drivers and those who want to become one. In the video above, he gives more rock solid advice with 4 tips for aspiring race drivers. If you are looking to become a race driver, watch the video, read the comments accompanying the video and take notes!
You have seen me post quite a bit from MotiV8 Training here in my Racecraft and Driver Development column because Belinda and her team produce trusted advice that you can use. On the Taylor Talks blog, Tayla talks to Belinda Riseley, the founder of MotiV8 Training. They discuss Belinda’s background, the services that MotiV8 Training provides and the importance of developing both on and off the track. You can read it here.
Scholarship recipients are being announced for the upcoming joint venture between Radford Racing School and the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) to help transition young drivers from go-karts to race cars. Patrick Woods-Toth is the first driver to be announced to the Radford Racing School F4 U.S. Scholarship Award School through a nomination from the Motomaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship.
The four FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Senior drivers taking part in the 2022 finale have now completed their five-day training and assessment at the world-famous Ferrari Driver Academy in Maranello, Italy. A crucial wait begins before the announcement of the outcome of this third edition. The announcement of the winner will be communicated after the juniors’ finale taking place in Maranello and at the Franciacorta circuit (21-24 November).
For the 4th year, the Lucas Oil School of Racing are inviting the best young drivers to try their hands at racing a real formula car in their challenging two day Scholarship Shootout. Winners will earn a $80,000 USD scholarship for a full season racing in their 2023 Formula Car Race Series. “As a reminder, hopeful candidates must successfully pass our Basic Racing School or provide equivalent verifiable experience to be eligible. You may also apply if you’re awaiting an upcoming school. Submit your application now for a chance to be invited to their January 30-31, 2023 Shootout.
In the video above, watch as 6 Racing Pride drivers compete for a fully funded ERA Championship season.
Sabre Cook has won the Kelly Moss’ female driver shootout, securing a full-season seat in one of the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands next year. Cook was one of three finalists to have taken part in the shootout at Putnam Park last month, beating Sarah Montgomery and Loni Unser for the coveted prize. “When it came to making the final decision, Sabre has an incredible amount of experience,” said team co-owner Victoria Thomnas. “She is definitively an athlete. And with her engineering background, her ability to articulate what’s happening with the car and be able to understand what that means and how to read the data, we feel like it really gives us a leg up. And with that, the enthusiasm with the announcement of Sabre is equaled by the enthusiasm that has been picked up by the awareness we’ve raised.”
Dr Helmut Marko has hinted at how Red Bull’s junior academy will take shape in 2022. “Hadjar is driving Formula 2, Crawford is still there. Iwasa, too,” Marko confirmed, speaking to Auto Motor und Sport. “We also have a couple of new drivers, but we’re still [yet to] announce them.”
Last week I talked about how F1600 is such an essential training ground for young drivers transitioning from karts to cars. The video above continues to explain why Formula Ford is so good.
Aston Martin F1 has announced a multi-year partnership with XP who becomes the team’s Official Global Financial Services Partner. Lisandro Lopez, CMO at XP Inc: “As a business, we are focused on building strong, long-term relationships with companies and clients within our ecosystem. As a loved and respected brand within Brazil, we are now connected with the country’s passion for Formula One. And that will kick off a new era for our brand, connecting us to millions of Brazilians around the world. In addition, supporting Brazilian motorsport and young Brazilian drivers is one of our highest priorities for this partnership. The structure we are looking to provide absolutely aims to re-establish that hegemony and put Brazil firmly back on the F1 map.”
In the two videos above, Inside F2 looks at F2 team and driver preparations. Alex Brundle asks Carlin F2 Team Manager Benn Huntingford about how the team prepare for a race weekend.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is counting the days until its new 100,000-square-foot facility in Zionsville, Indiana, is fully operational. Count Ryan Harber foremost in anticipation. The former professional baseball pitcher whose fitness training expertise helped Dan Wheldon, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan earn Indianapolis 500 victories, was hired by RLL in January to build a unique program to prepare its drivers and crew members for competition. His title is human performance director. He explains on the IndyCar website how the Fitness Program works.
Austin Riley explains to Sportscar365 the route he has taken from kart to cars via racing in the Radical Cup. “I would recommend the Radical Cup program to anyone wanting to move up from karts. For the money, you can’t race a higher-performing car than a Radical SR3. The track time is some of the most affordable around the world and the paddock is family-friendly, yet very competitive. It is a great stepping stone for someone wanting to try and make a career in motorsports, but also a perfect home for a gentleman racer or hobbyist.”
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.
Queen of Speed documents the rise of Rally driving legend Michelle Mouton, who silenced all of her critics in a heavily male-dominated sport, to race her way into the history books. We caught up with British Rally Driver Catie Munnings, currently competing in the new electric off-road racing series, Extreme E. Watch her react to the documentary and share her experience of competing in what is still a male-dominated sport. One of her racing stories will have your jaw hit the floor… Watch the trailer here: QUEEN OF SPEED – TRAILER from DRUM on Vimeo.