The answer to who will be a Porsche Junior and Girl on Track Rising Star in 2023 should be known over the next few weeks. These are just two of the race driver development programs covered in this week’s edition of the Driver Development and Racecraft News, Tips & Techniques Roundup.
In addition to all that, Enzo Mucci brings you lessons learned from the Abu Dhabi race weekend, Samir Abid of Your Data Driven has a great webinar you may want to attend, and I have two more driver spotlights that you can take inspiration from.
All this and more in this week’s Driver Development and Racecraft News, Tips & Techniques Roundup.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
Enzo Mucci brings you 3 valuable lessons from the 2022 Abu Dhabi F1 Race Finale. You can see what they are in the video above.
Grassroots Motorsports has an excellent guide to getting on track in 10 easy steps. “Just like autocross and rallycross, getting involved in high-speed track events is relatively easy. Many clubs and groups host such events, and their structure generally caters to rookies as well as seasoned vets. The programs all feature a similar focus: Provide lots and lots of track time. A wise man once said that the longest journey starts with the first step, so here are 10 of them to help you get on track.”
Single-Seater Talk has a feature on a beginner’s guide to Front and Rear Wings. “Since 1968, front and rear wings have transformed F1 when engineers found they could boost cornering speeds. How is this achieved?“
Samir Abid from Your Data Driven is putting on a webinar on December 13th called Ask A Race Engineer Anything. Who is this webinar for? According to Samir, any amateur circuit driver wanting to learn more so they can go faster.
“Perhaps you’ve been wondering how to get the most grip from your tyres? What about understanding how to tune the balance of your car? How about knowing how to run an effective test day? You might have questions on where to start with data. Whether it is worth it. How to get more from what you are already doing. How to simplify your processes. You might have questions on specific kit you are looking to purchase. What are the secrets to driving faster? Where is that last half second coming from? As a coach (or self-coach) how can you better prepare? What is worth doing and what is not? If you use a sim, how can you get better? How can you use your any seat time more effectively?“
Race Driver Development News & Resources
Twelve particularly accomplished racing drivers recently took part in a three-day shootout in Jerez, Spain, with the intention of becoming the 2023 Porsche Junior.
“All the invited candidates share these factors: they are no older than 24 and have finished in the top five of one of the more than 30 Porsche one-make cup series around the world in the past year, driving the 911 GT3 Cup. And they all had to showcase their prowess on and off the 4.428-kilometre Grand Prix circuit. The jury took into account not only top lap times and the general performance on the track, but also looked at how they interacted with the race engineers, their technical competence, their interaction with the media as well as the results of mental and physical tests. In the coming days, the intensive analysis of the collected results and findings will serve as the basis for deciding who will be allowed to compete as the new Porsche Junior in 2023. The successful candidate receives a sponsorship package of up to 225,000 Euros. The new Porsche Junior will be announced at the “Night of Champions” on December 17th at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach.”
B-Max Racing ran a test with its Super Formula Lights cars at Okayama this week for several junior single-seater stars from abroad.
“Monaco Increase Management, the company that guides IndyCar champion and former Super Formula racer Alex Palou’s career, has launched ‘Project Japan’ and sent Formula 2 racer Lirim Zendeli and FIA F3 winner David Vidales to B-MAX’s test. Vidales has already said that he is targeting a full year racing in Japan in 2023 if possible. They were joined by 2020 Toyota Racing Series champion Igor Fraga, who B-MAX plans to run in SF Lights next year and has recently been selected to be SF’s official Esports ambassador, GB3 race-winner Bryce Aron and Honda’s Japanese Formula 4 champion Syun Koide. Toda Racing also turned up with a car for Kakunoshin Ohta.”
Autosport has a great article on the Top Gear experiment that UK national racing needs to embrace.
“No matter how talented you might be, the simple truth is that, without the right connections and a whole heap of cash, it’s nigh on impossible to crack.” Paddy McGuinness’s introduction to the most recent episode of Top Gear highlighted a simple truth about motorsport. The popular BBC programme has used national racing as a playground before (see Finishing Straight, Autosport 14 July), but it did something different last Sunday – taking two drivers and two mechanics who would normally have no possible means of reaching the heights in UK racing, and throwing them in at the deep end. Essentially trying to prove that talent is out there in all walks of life, even if they don’t have the money to realise their ambitions.”
I mentioned the new F1 Academy last week, and it has certainly generated a lot of comment since the announcement of this female-only, F4-based driver development program. As I mentioned in that post, the W Series, as well as Lyn St. James and Beth Paretta, have all come out in support of the program, with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso now joining them. The Race describes the series as a ruthless course correction while Sportsbyte Sunderland does a good job in articulating the two sides of the debate in is it a new opportunity for female talent, or something that is just performative?
Taking a slightly different approach, More Than Equal aims to offer females a shot into F1 within 10 years.
“The More Than Equal initiative aspires to change the absence of female drivers in F1 over the next 10 years through a specialised programme designed to offer support and help break down barriers that are preventing young girls and women from competing at the highest level of motorsport.”
The third edition of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s flagship program FIA Girls on Track- Rising Stars, designed to identify young girls who deserve to be supported in their dream of a career in motorsport, has ended as the junior’s finalists have now completed their karting camp within the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) in Italy. The crucial deliberation begins until the announcement of the two winners on 2 December.
“Following a worldwide detection of all the most promising young talents and several evaluation stages including those in Le Castellet in August, the four junior finalists – French Lisa Billiard, Italian Zoe Florescu Potolea, Japanese Sara Matsui, German Mathilda Paatz – have just experienced four more intense days under the supervision of the Ferrari Driver Academy and the watchfull eyes of Rahel Frey from the Iron Dames.”
Richard Mille Racing Team has announced that it will cease operations after three years of competing in the LMP2 category. The French squad, which was run by the Signatech team and funded by Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille, was founded in late 2019 as a platform for providing opportunities to female racing drivers.
“Our initial aim in creating the Richard Mille Racing Team was to make a strong impact and highlight the lack of opportunities for female drivers,” said Amanda Mille, head of the Richard Mille Racing Team project. “We succeeded this year with excellent and enthusiastic drivers around our project: Lilou Wadoux, joined by Charles Milesi, Sebastien Ogier and Paul-Loup Chatin later on. Women’s place in our sport is no longer in question. As our deputy CEO Giuseppe Bizzoca likes to remind me, some drivers refused to replace Katherine Legge after her injury in 2020. Today, some of them are calling us to join the program. It shows that women are finally being recognized as fully-fledged racers, as they should have always been.”
After selecting nine racers from over 100 female applicants to participate in a two-day shootout, The Heart of Racing has announced that two promising racers will join the team starting in 2023. Hannah Grisham (USA) and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt (NZ) emerged from the talented group as the top picks following the dynamic shootout, which was held at the APEX Motor Club in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, 17-year old Annie Rhule (USA) has been selected for a testing program with the team as they continue to track her progress towards the future.
Austin Olds is the latest driver who has joined the Radford Racing School’s F4 U.S. Scholarship Award School. Designed to help drivers transition from karts to race cars, nominations are rolling in from the top karting programs around the world.
“Karting is the purest form of motorsports,” said Power, the 2022 and 2014 IndyCar champion and owner of Will Power Kart. “To be able to tie the grassroots of racing into the higher level of motorsports is something I believe will benefit future drivers and motorsports as a whole. I am thankful to Scott Goodyear and F4 U.S. Championship for partnering with WPK to provide our drivers another avenue in motorsports.”
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.
Seb Coe’s Extraordinary Tales podcast is back and this edition features Bubba Wallace, the man at the heart of the changing face of NASCAR. He joins Seb Coe in the hot seat to open up on the unique pressures of being a high-profile Black figure in the sport, his reluctant activism, why a recent win in Kansas meant so much and more. You can listen here.
On the Kerbs with Thiemo Albers-Daly this week features Ukrainian racing driver Daria Bakai. They caught up recently to chat about how she chose a different route to most to get into motorsport, how rallying won her over more than any other form of motorsport, what she plans to do in the future and much more! I hope you enjoy our conversation. You can watch their conversation above.