As Canadian Grand Prix weekend has just concluded I think it is the perfect time to reflect on what has been going on at Motorsport Prospects both in the past and in the near future. So without further ado here is what has been happening:
One of my goals for Motorsport Prospects has been to provide interesting, insightful interviews on the Motorsport Prospects blog that cover all gamuts of motorsport, from driver development, fitness, mental conditioning, views from team management, sponsorship and the business of motorsport. The other goal was to move from bi-weekly posts to weekly posts. I think I have succeeded on both fronts.
I started off the year with a wonderful online photography exhibit of the works of motorsport photographer Joseph Bierschbach called A Sense of Speed. I felt it was a perfect way to look back at 2018 while getting ourselves primed for the upcoming season. His photos are spectacular and I urge you to check them out. Still sticking to my bi-weekly schedule the next post was an interview with Dr. Nathan Karpinsky where we talked about the particular importance and special needs of the endurance race car driver in The Healthy Endurance Racer. Moving on from the specifics of the health requirements of endurance racers I published my first guest post by Simon Hayes of Performance Physixx with Young Driver Coaching, an informative look at young driver development from somebody active in the field. I then switched tracks and chatted with Kiwi F3 racer Marcus Armstrong in Kiwi on the Move where we went into detail on the differences between the various series he has raced in and how a driver deals mentally with a serious racing set back, in his case stalling on the grid during the final Toyota Racing Series race while holding the championship lead.
Continuing on I then looked at the dynamics of running a racing team and what somebody like Richard Ollerenshaw of British F3 team Hillspeed Racing looks for in a young driver. Following up on that conversation I chatted with Mick Kouros of British and European F3 team Fortec Motorsports about the challenges of young driver development and his thoughts on the FIA’s young driver pyramid. His thoughts are quite interesting and thought provoking. Moving from open wheel racing to sports cars I then connected with 15 year old phenom Steven Aghakhani in He’s 15 and Races Sports Cars as he talked about the challenges of racing in both the Blancpain GT World Challenge as well as the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series at such a young age.
To kick off April I looked at the brand new Saleen Cup in an interview with the series organizers and the opportunities they provided both young drivers, as well as “gentlemen” drivers in Why Young Drivers Should Consider the New Saleen Cup in their Career Plans as there are some interesting opportunities both short and long term that should be considered. I then turned to the topic of mental conditioning, an often misunderstood aspect or racing cars in Are you Operating at your Peak Performance? The conversation with Carlos Salum of Salum International was fascinating. We then delved into the topic of sponsorship and the art of developing race car drivers with Phil Picard of Momentum Motorsports in Sponsorship, Developing Race Car Drivers and the importance of People in a Race Car Team. Phil was very clear in emphasizing that a racing team consists of people and it is the relationship that you develop with those people that will go a long way to determining your success in the sport. April closed off with my very first Parents in the Pits. In the first of a regular series I wanted to focus on the role of parents in a young drivers career and share the insights pf parents that have “been there and done that” in what is a very demanding sport in both time and money. For the inaugural post I talked to racing dad Russ Dykstra as his son Rayce (cool name right?) is in the process of working his way up the motorsport ladder.
For the first post in May I thought it appropriate to go global and talk to driver coach and professional racer Dan Wells about his experiences Racing in Asia. It is a market hungry for motorsport but as he points out, there are some differences racing on this vast continent. As May is also Mental Health Month I received permission from author Josie Smith to re-post her excellent and timely article Mental Health in Motorsports: Is It Time for Change? Thought provoking and necessary, Josie looks at an issue that is not often discussed in the sport, but should be.
The new female-only W Series has initiated a lot of debate about women in motorsport so I thought it only appropriate to go direct to somebody in the thick of the action. In She’s Young, Fast and Racing in Europe I talk to Canadian Megan Gilkes about her experiences in motorsport so far, how she was selected to race in the W Series and what she hopes to accomplish in her career. I ended the month with motorsport fitness guru Jim Leo of PitFit, one of the most recognized names in the sport in Talking Race Car Driver Fitness. His passion for the importance of fitness is evident but what is even more fascinating is the approach he takes in explaining that importance to parents and young drivers. It truly opened my eyes.
Finally in June I introduced the first article in my “Business of Motorsport” series where I talk about that aspect of the sport that everyone both loves and hates. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, sponsorship is the “cause of and solution to all a race car drivers problems” and I thought it would be illuminating to talk to a business owner that actually sponsors race car drivers. In Bob Yusko of Go Bobby Web Hosts Discusses what Businesses are Looking for when Sponsoring Drivers, you will be able to hear directly from what objectives a business owner is trying to achieve when sponsoring drivers in motorsport. There are some great lessons to be had for all drivers here.
While this has been a great first half of the season, I am not done yet. Look for even more interesting interviews and features in the coming weeks and months that cover the full gamut of both the business and sport of motorsport. Drivers, potential sponsors, parents and the wider community as a whole will, I hope, find some great nuggets of information that they can hopefully take and make use of in their corner of the motorsport world.
Next week I will discuss the Motorsport Prospects Directory, what it offers and why and what the future holds for Motorsport Prospects. After reading it I hope you will be as excited about the future of Motorsport Prospects as I.
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