The best time to start racing is now. This is the advice of a race driver who started his motorsport journey at 74 and this week you will learn more about why.
Also, in this edition of Racecraft & Race Cars Roundup you will find out how to drive a vintage Lotus 77 F1 car, why drivers push on track and the latest FIA driver categorizations.
You will also find out about Aston Martin’s sports car plans, the return of Formula FARA and a driving school featuring classic Ferraris.
All this and much more in this week’s edition of the Racecraft & Race Cars Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
Grassroots Motorsports profiles 76 year-old autocrosser Drew Hierwarter who explains that the best time to start is now. “The guys in the SCCA and Porsche clubs are welcoming and encouraging,” he says. “They want you to come and learn autocross. They have a high tolerance for beginners. If it’s your first time, they’ll help you. They have instructors who will ride with you.” Drew started competing in autocross at age 74.
“I sometimes wonder how many people have ended their involvement in motorsport because of how much disappointment, how much s*#t they’ve experienced? (Of course, I also wonder how many people would walk away from their involvement in motorsport if things always went perfectly according to plan, and there was never any disappointment? Would the lack of challenge get boring?)“
In his regular Ask Ross column, Ross answers the question “What’s the best way to practice my high-performance driving?”
Monterey County Weekly profiles top amateur racing driver, Mark Kvamme on how tough it is for an amateur racer to compete in the sport and the importance of the team.
“You just can’t do it on your own. It’s not an individual sport, it’s truly a team sport. If your tire changer screws up, if your engineer screws up, if the driver screws up – you’re done. Once you get an appreciation of it, it’s fun. The first time I got in a car at Daytona, I spun in the third turn. Like anything else, if you do it enough, you become familiar with the intricacies. You understand how to do it. Also, you have to be in good shape. People have no idea how physical this is. I don’t think people understand the demands. It’s very similar to football. At LeMans, I’m hitting three-and-a-half Gs in the corners – more than three times my body weight.”
Esquire UK has a great feature on Le Mans at 100: All Day and All of the Night.
“A sultry night. The centenary staging of Le Mans, the iconic 24-hour motor race held annually in northwestern France, has been running for just over eight hours. The mechanics of the Porsche Penske Motorsport team are asleep, stretched out on folding chairs beneath the operating-theatre glare of the garage. Outside, the pit lane is quiet. The silence will last for three minutes until the 50-odd entrants in the race, currently held behind the safety car, scream down the start/finish straight in a deafening strobe: Porsche 963 hypercars trailing red Tron-like brake lights, a salvo of 911s, scudding Chevrolets, Ferraris, Toyotas, LMP2 Orecas and Alpines, Aston Martins, the crazed firecracker of the lone Nascar blaring then fading as the train disappears toward the Dunlop chicane.”
“You can hardly practice doing something that you don’t have to confidence to do in the first place, right? So, that’s the basic impossibility of confidence building…. that’s why working on confidence is so hard and needs some real thought.”
In How to become a better racing driver with the Porsche Track Experience, Porsche profiles driver Fred Poordad, a world-renowned scientist in the field of liver disease who is also a successful racing driver and how the Porsche Track Experience helped him recover from a major injury.
“Then, in 2017, Fred suffered a major setback. He achieved one of his ambitions to drive in the legendary 12 Hours of Bathurst race in Australia – although this time, it was not in a Porsche. Unfortunately, Fred had a serious accident during the race in which he sustained multiple fractures and suffered a collapsed lung. He ended up in intensive care and it would take a whole year to recover. It was then that a friend – racing team owner John Wright – advised him to take part in the Porsche Track Experience to get back into shape.”
The 2024 FIA Driver Categorizations have been published. Drivers wishing to contest the decisions now have a 7-day appeal window before the categorization is finalized.
Race Car & Series Developments
Aston Martin was in the news last week and it was not just about their F1 program as the manufacturer has confirmed the rumored Valkyrie Hypercar program revival for 2025. While Lawrence Stroll explained the reason behind the Hypercar revival, their GT program will not be stopping.
In 2024 Aston Martin will debut a brand new GT3 and GT4 Vantage, which is already out testing and is expected to compete in global GT competition, to help ensure Aston Martin has a customer GT presence in the FIA WEC, IMSA and in SRO’s World Challenge series going forward.
Development of a Vantage GT3 Evo kit is known to have been in progress for several months, while Sportscar365 understands that the car could take design cues from a future facelift of the road-going Vantage. A name for the updated car hasn’t been stated.
On the heels of the announcement that McLaren Automotive has chosen United Autosports in a bid to compete in the LMGT3 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship last week, the super car manufacturer has partnered with Pfaff Motorsports to campaign a 720S GT3 Evo in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD PRO class. It will mark McLaren’s first GTD PRO effort in the WeatherTech Championship, where it before had a single full-time customer team (Inception Racing) in GTD. As Racer explains, it’s unlikely that the timing of the announcements is coincidence.
“The impetus is really the excitement around the brand and where they’re heading,” explained Pfaff Motorsports General Manager Steve Bortolotti. “We believe there’s so much opportunity for growth within McLaren brand both on the retail side of our automotive business, but also in the motorsport landscape as well. Ultimately when the chips are on the table, that was a deciding factor – McLaren being a true partner of ours, we weren’t just like any other customer, which is something we’ve been striving to achieve for our program for a number of years. But then also looking ahead to the future what may be coming down the pipeline. Obviously there’s no guarantees in this sport that anything goes the way you want it to, but making sure that we’re positioned appropriately for any future opportunities that may come our way.”
SRO America President and CEO Greg Gill is expecting further growth with the GT2 class, both in GT America powered by AWS and the possibility of Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS next year.
“GT2, we’ve seen the growth into a dozen-plus cars in Europe. We know how trends come from Europe back to the States. I think we’re going to see the same way. It gives people a really fun race car that is not at the complexity level for both driving and technology that modern-day GT3 is.”
(Press Release) After launching several successful racing programs throughout North America, Gustavo Yacaman and the Yacademy are helping revive Formula FARA – “FF” as it makes its triumphant return. Building upon a rich two-decade legacy that encompassed both Formula and GT cars, FARA is embarking on a journey back to its origins. The unmistakable allure of open-wheel racing is set to rekindle the thrill in Florida, promising unparalleled competition and unforgettable moments.
With meticulous consideration, Formula FARA has selected the Ligier F4 as the vehicle of choice. This decision ensures that local race teams can offer an unparalleled experience at an affordable price.
“The Ligier F4 will make the Formula FARA program approximately around the $100,000 price point,” explained Yacaman. “Obviously prices may vary depending on the team, but FARA promises a thrilling entry into the world of open-wheel racing. The Ligier F4, powered by the reliable Honda Engine and supported by the esteemed Quicksilver Racing Engines, will be the base platform for this program.”
This six-event, twelve-race championship welcomes emerging talents fresh from karting and seasoned racers eager to embrace the challenge of open-wheel racing. Whether you’re a rising star or a seasoned veteran, the track beckons with the promise of unmatched excitement. Taking place at two iconic venues – the Homestead Miami Speedway and the illustrious Sebring International Raceway, these premier Florida facilities will host the return of open-wheel racing to Florida.
Tentative 2024 Formula FARA Schedule
- February 9-11 – Homestead Miami Speedway
- March 29-31 – Homestead Miami Speedway
- May 24-26 – TBD
- July 26-28 – Sebring International Raceway
- September 20-22 – Sebring International Raceway
- November 22-24 – Homestead Miami Speedway
Yacaman added, “Save the dates and stay tuned for more information.”
Formula FARA is poised to create history once again. Will you be a part of this exhilarating journey? Stay tuned for further updates as we gear up for the remarkable return of Formula FARA.
More news is coming soon, but for additional inquiries and opportunities, please reach out to FF@FARAUSA.com. Also, follow FARA Racing and Yacademy Drive on social media at @fara_Racing and @yacademydrive.
Kellymoss has announced the launch of the Kellymoss Classic Porsche Cup for 2024. This new program is set to redefine the vintage racing experience by focusing on driver development coupled with top-notch technical support and luxurious hospitality at eight hand-selected venues across three race series in the United States. This exclusive program is designed for a limited group of clients who share a passion for vintage Porsche racing.
The Kellymoss Classic Porsche Cup for 2024 is open to a select number of participants to ensure a personalized and premium experience. This exclusivity guarantees that each participant receives the utmost attention and care from their dedicated team.
More details can be found here.
The NASCAR Drivers Recruitment Program will return ahead of the 2024 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season with a test day on November 16 and 17th at the Circuits de Vendée in Fontenay Le Comte, France. The program represents the best opportunity for all sorts of drivers to test the ultimate “Pure Racing” car and potentially earn a scholarship to join the official NASCAR European championship, the best stepping stone towards a NASCAR career in the US.
One of the highlights of the NWES ecosystem, the Drivers Recruitment Program has proven to be the best way to enter the world of NASCAR. Experienced EuroNASCAR PRO drivers support participants to discover the Pure Racing character of the car, while off track each DRP driver will meet NWES President and CEO Jerome Galpin and the series’ organisation team to discuss their racing projects and potential needs to join the series.
Drivers from all over the world can apply for the program by visiting https://www.euronascar.com/drp/, filling out the entry form and submitting it to email@example.com. A participation fee will be asked to each driver joining the Recruitment Program depending on the package of choice.
Checkered Flag reports that competitors hoping to run the Dakar Rally for the first time will once again have an opportunity to earn free admission to the 2025 edition if they win the Road to Dakar subcategory at participating events in 2024. Like in previous years, bike riders and side-by-side vehicle (SSV) drivers may take part.
Inside Hook spends a day at Corso Pilota Classiche, Ferrari’s classic driving school.
“A Ferrari representative adds that seat time can be a valuable tool to bolster confidence before driving an obscenely expensive steed at speed in a historic driving event, like the Mille Miglia or Le Mans Classic. For my purposes, the 1.9-mile Fiorano Circuit offered the chance to flirt with museum-worthy beauties at a spirited pace without the threat of external forces — traffic, pedestrians, etc. — dampening the fun.”
Starting in 2024, GT Race Experience will be offering a new, affordable, and structured driving experience at Shannonville Motorsport Park in Ontario, Canada. Following a growing demand, drivers looking for the ultimate thrill of fast driving in a controlled environment will be able to do so at Shannonville Motorsport Park.
“Everything is possible at Shannonville Motorsport Park” shares Christopher Swinwood, owner of GT Race Experience. “In fact, GT Race will be the only Motorsport Experience program available where clients can experience what high-performance driving is all about using unique safety measures that come from our years of experience in developing this program.”