One of the topics covered in this week’s Racecraft & Race Cars Roundup is the use of virtual coaching for real-world racers. The benefits may surprise you. In addition to this, Ross Bentley does some myth busting, Terry Lyles teaches race drivers how to breath and details on a scholarship shootout in the UK aimed at drivers with no experience over 25.
All this and more in this week’s edition of the Racecraft & Race Cars Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
“We all know the added anxiety a driver experiences when they show up for their first session on a new track. We don’t have that comfort hundreds of laps give you, even worse this race weekend is on your rival’s home turf. In your mind you have already told yourself, “this is their home track, of course they will be quicker here.” So, not only do you have the disadvantage of not knowing the track, but now you are also losing the mental battle before you even get on track.”
In Ross Bentley’s latest newsletter he engages in a bit of myth-busting, specifically the myth that you should never coast.
“Still, I think it’s a good target to aim for, as the less time coasting, the more time decelerating and accelerating. Most of the time. But sometimes, immediately going from braking to accelerating can actually hurt more than it helps. There are times when you’re better off coasting – or as I like to call it, “hesitating” – after easing off the brakes and before you begin applying the throttle.”
Ross also answers the question, as a novice performance track driver, when is it advantageous to start going to more tracks?
A reminder that Ross Bentley will be presenting a 2-part MasterClass for drivers called Self-Coaching for Drivers on Tuesday, February 20 and Wednesday, February 21 8:30pm EST/5:30pm PST.
The best athletes in the world have coaches; so do the best race drivers. Do you? Okay, you say you can’t afford one… but you can! You can coach yourself!
I’ve spent nearly four decades coaching drivers of all levels, in practically every type of motorsport. I’ve learned a few things about coaching. And I want to share with you what I’ve learned. You might be wondering why I’d do this, since I could be putting myself out of a job! Well, I know there will never be a shortage of drivers who want me to coach them personally. And I want to help drivers who don’t have access to a coach, and even those who do, but want another perspective.
We all know that a coach can help us improve our performance more quickly than we can on our own, as well as helping us perform more consistently.
- What’s the most important part of your driving to work on next?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How do you turn weaknesses into strengths?
- How do you identify what you should focus on to improve?
- What should you practice next, and how?
- How do you bring out your best performance, consistently?
My experience tells me that the one thing most drivers struggle with regularly is knowing what to work on, and how best to do that. That’s a big part of what I do when I coach drivers (everyone from novice track day drivers to elite-level pro racers), so let me share this – my coaching secrets – with you. Let me tell you how you can coach yourself, so you drive better than ever before (and have more fun!).
With the right approach, you can take your driving to the next level, but you need to know how to do that. I’ll show you how in the 2-Part Self-Coaching for Drivers Masterclass webinar on February 20 & 21, 2024.
All the details can be found here.
In August 2020, Grassroots Motorsports asked the question, can virtual coaching turn into real-world winning?
At 38, racer Patrick Long is the only American Porsche factory driver, still has plenty of years left as a sports car racer. After all, his mentor, fellow Porsche shoe Hurley Haywood, scored a podium finish in the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona at age 64. But Long has seen a quantum shift in professional racing since he began his top-level pro career in the American Le Mans Series in 2003, when he was 21. And it makes him feel just a little bit old.
That quantum shift: online racing and coaching, specifically using iRacing. “I absolutely wish I had access to laser-scanned race circuits to utilize on simulations as an up-and-comer,” Long tells Grassroots Motorsports. For new drivers, he says, “it’s a huge tool.”Can virtual coaching turn into real-world winning?
Asian Motorsport recently visited Drivers Lab Dubai, a high-tech motorsport simulation center located near the Dubai Autodrome in Motor City, Dubai to find out how it can benefit race drivers. Drivers Lab is a collaboration between Hong Kong-based driver Dan Wells and Taiwanese racer Oscar Lee, who are reigning Pro-Am Champions in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia championship with DW Evans GT.
Speaking about Drivers Lab, Wells said, “It’s a great place for drivers to really hone in on their technique. It gives them that space, away from the engines and distractions at a racetrack, to lock-in, engage in one-to-one sessions with their coaches, and focus on what they need to improve.”
Lee added, “There’s no other place like this in the Middle East that offers these services to drivers competing at a high level. It’s encouraging to see the amount of interest in our facility, especially with the numerous championships racing in the UAE at the moment.”Dan Wells: Drivers Lab Dubai “a great place for drivers to really hone in on their technique” | Asian Motorsport
Samid Abid of Your Data Driven answers “What is the most important corner on a racetrack?” “In other words, if you could go just a little bit faster anywhere, where would you get the biggest laptime return? You have hairpins, fast sweeping corners, slow chicanes, high-speed S-bends, corners over crests, corners through dips, fast corners into slow… and on (and on) it goes. Where should your focus be?”
“Today, Lyles is a one-of-a-kind coach specializing in an activity that every human on earth practices but few ever stop to think about. He teaches breathing (among other things). He has coached elite business executives, military figures, and more than a dozen professional race-car drivers—IndyCar aces (Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Sharp, Will Power), NASCAR stars (Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, AJ Allmendinger), and more.”
Race Car & Series Developments
WSC has announced that the TCR World Ranking Final is to be revised, with the inaugural event that was set to take place at Portimao in March being ‘rescheduled’. The decision has been taken after the TCR World Tour was granted FIA status for 2024 in order to ‘avoid an excess of annual touring car competitions in 2024’ and to prevent two titles being handed out in the same calendar year.
Meanwhile, TCR Asia is back with the announcement of its 2024 schedule. The 2024 season will kick off with two rounds at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, a venue renowned for hosting the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix. It will then move to another FIA Grade 1 facility at the Buriram International Circuit in central Thailand.
If you are exploring endurance racing, Kanzah Mak thinks you should take a look at the 24H Series.
“Organized by the Dutch company Creventic, the 24H Series unfolds across multiple events throughout the year, featuring a mix of touring cars, GT3s, GT4s, and more. “Low costs, a convivial atmosphere with teams and drivers from all over the world, and fair competition on the track” are the objectives they hope to achieve through staging races. However, unlike other series, amateur drivers can also enter to compete alongside seasoned professionals. This mix adds an extra layer of intrigue, as teams must find the delicate balance between speed and consistency in these endurance events.”
You can find out more about the series here.
Entries for the 2024 Skip Barber Formula Race Series are now open. The first race of the 2024 season is slated for March 1 at Sebring International Raceway and a number of karting drivers have committed to compete in the championship. The overall champion of the Skip Barber Formula Race Series will be offered a scholarship valued at $100,000 to advance to USF Juniors in the following season.
With eight seasons under its belt, over 150 races contested, and nearly 30 different winners, the Spain Formula 4 Championship has become one of the leading single-seater categories worldwide. Looking to continue its growth and showcase the best of this discipline, the championship is on the verge of an exciting transformation with the launch of its double winter competition program, featuring 4 events scheduled between February and March. This initiative aims to provide teams and drivers with the opportunity to compete on the best national circuits during the winter period as preparation for the regular season.
Marco Rodríguez, the new General Coordinator of the F4 Spanish Championship, is excited about the possibility of setting new standards in winter motorsports: “We believe that we can offer a unique product in Europe, and we will put forth all our effort and experience to make this championship a reference in the near future.”
Full details can be found here.
“Supercar Driver was founded with the mantra of giving people a reason to drive, so for 2024, we are tremendously excited to have partnered with Radical Motorsport. The partnership will offer our members a path to live that dream and go racing whatever their age or experience. Their single-make race series covers not only the UK’s best-known circuits but reaches across the globe with world finals bringing drivers from across the world to Las Vegas in 2022 and Portimao in 2023.”
Staying in the UK, you can win a full season’s drive in the 2024 Ginetta GT Academy Series worth £100,000 by winning PalmerSport’s 2024 Ginetta Shoutout.
The talent-spotting program will run as a two-stage process in March, with those eligible initially taking part in an assessment day at Bedford Autodrome on either Tuesday 5 or Wednesday 6 March. This will include extended driving time and coaching in the Caterham PalmerSport Edition, Palmer JP-LM and the Ginetta G56 GTA itself. Participants will also be required to set solo timed laps in each of those cars.
The entry fee for the assessment day is £1,500 plus VAT per person, including catering and vehicle damage waiver. A maximum 64 places will be available across the two days, and we anticipate these will be filled quickly. The competition is open to any previous PalmerSport customer over the age of 25 who has never previously held a race licence.
More details can be found here.