Women in motorsport and a great book list on racecraft highlight this week’s Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup.
The question of how best to increase the participation of women in motorsport and develop them as drivers is a big part of this week’s Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup. From programs developed for women race drivers both on and off the track and a spirited video debate on the topic, it is covered extensively in this week’s column.
I also have some great racecraft tips and advice, including a book list you will want to take note of, more news on winners from a number of race driver scholarship programs, how the changes coming to DTM in 2023 are significant to German motorsport and more.
All this in this week’s edition of the Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
Peter Krause explains how to shorten lap times–one section of track at a time, in both the Grassroots Motorsport article linked here and the video posted above. “Improving lap times when self-coaching is kind of like eating an elephant. You have to start small. Without a detailed plan, that goal is going to be really hard to achieve.”
In How to go from also-ran to national champion, Grassroots Motorsports presents 10 tips from pro racer and driving coach Todd Lamb. “Whether you’re pondering a pro ride or just want to climb the competition ladder, winning a national championship is often part of the dream. Before entering the pro ranks with both the Pirelli World Challenge series and IMSA, Todd Lamb made that dream come true: He captured two Spec Miata national titles with NASA and finished fourth at the SCCA Runoffs. He also has an SCCA Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup title to his credit. Looking for a shortcut to the next level? Feel free to crib from his notes.”
Blayze Motorsports looks at the details required in preparing for a race weekend. “A frequent question I get from our racers is “how do I prepare myself for race weekends?” This is an excellent question because prep work is crucial to a successful race. In reality, if you are waiting until the actual week of the race to start preparing it is likely too late. But, starting late is better than not preparing at all!“
If you are a regular reader of this column (thank you!), you will know that I often post racecraft tips and advice from Blayze Motorsports like I did above. If you are wondering about their remote coaching services, the video above from James Colbourn looks to answer the question, affordable professional coaching from Blayze, is it any good?
The Racing Mentor presents a guest post by Craig Muirhead, a 1:1 Neuro-Performance Coach at Camino Coaching who explains the concept of flow-state thinking, the secret to shaving off seconds. “Everything starts in the mind and is then turned into reality by the body’s movements. When you focus your thinking entirely on where you want to go, your mind will make it happen subconsciously without you having to process thoughts and think about what to do. When you are overthinking and trying too hard to go fast, your conscious brain is in control, which is the wrong part of the brain for performance. You actually go slower, because your conscious brain simply cannot process information fast enough.”
Your Data Driven has put together a helpful list of good racecraft-related motorsports books. “These motorsports books range from helping you with your data analysis to understanding your race car setup. A couple are very maths heavy, race car engineering and design books I have used professionally. There are also a couple with good practical tips on running a race car at the track. Some are definitely old (!) but I feel you would still find them relevant.”
Winding Road Magazine have put together a comprehensive Guide to Road Racing that they call the “ultimate guide to getting your start in racing.”
Simon Reynolds discusses driver performance in the latest episode of the Tomorrow’s Motorsport Podcast. “How do drivers in elite motorsport perform at their highest? What goes into long haul races and what is the secret to success? Well we have the answer with this week’s guest, Performance Coach to some household motorsport names, Simon Reynolds. Simon is the founder of Formula to Perform and has worked with elite athletes throughout motorsport WEC, Formula E World Champions and Formula One World Champions included, Simon is at the cutting edge of performance and we could not be happier to have him join us for a chat. In this 2-parter, Simon gives us the low-down on his driver preparation approach and some smart advice about sleep, in fact after listening to this, take a nap – you probably aren’t getting enough! (remember, after you listen to this…!)“
Formula Development Series champion Eric Wisniewski spoke to F1 Feeder Series about what it was like to race an F4 US car against historic single-seaters in the new-for-2022 series. “They’re irreplaceable cars. They’re like 1960s F2 cars you can’t replace, so I learned a lot about respecting others on the track,” Wisniewski explains. “The biggest challenge for me was just trying to get some spatial awareness and understanding where I am on the track.”
Race Driver Development News & Resources
Yashish Manohar has won the first ever Next Gen Racer scholarship and joins the ERA Championship Europe Series 2023 driver line-up. ERA Championship Co-Founder and Director, Beth Georgiou said, “We are very happy to announce Yashish Manohar as the winner of Next Gen Racer 2022-23 and are looking forward to him joining the ERA Series Europe grid next year. The competition was fierce and we were overwhelmed by the level of talent across all participants. Yashish proved throughout the assessment day that he really has what it takes to proactively work with our team and quickly adapt on track to get the best out of the Mitsu-Bachi F110e. We believe that motorsport can be more accessible to talented drivers from any background, who demonstrate potential and are enthusiastic to begin their career in motorsport. The competition will run annually in order to launch new drivers and create success stories year after year.”
Lucas Oil School of Racing announces
a $250,000 scholarship to be awarded to the winner of their arrive and drive five-event, 15-race 2023 Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series. The quarter-of-a-million-dollar prize is over 3-times the cost of the $75,000 full season entry. Also, the scholarship may be utilized by the 2023 champion to move up to an approved series. Early approved series include USF4, USF2000 and TCR and more series are pending approval. You can apply here.
Drivex School has announced its first two drivers for the 2023 Spanish Formula 4 season, and both are part of former Formula 1 driver Sergey Sirotkin’s S35 Academy. After being dropped by Williams he then occupied reserve driver roles with several teams and was part of SMP Racing’s World Endurance Championship line-up. He also joined the Russian company’s driver coaching roster before establishing his own young driver development program, where his focus now fully lies.
Red Bull and Can-Am, a brand of BRP, are adding a fresh look and new racers for the Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team’s upcoming season, as well as launching a new Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team in a program that develops the next generation of off-road racers. The teams’ campaign opens with the start of the 2023 Dakar Rally on December 31.
Shift Up Now, an organization founded to help fund talented female racers in motorsport, has announced the addition of a 501c3 foundation. Shift Up Now was started by Lynn Kehoe in 2016, who turned over the organization’s management in 2020 to seven-time Indianapolis 500 competitor Pippa Mann. Its mission is to afford female racers the opportunity to climb ladders and break barriers. Thus far, Shift Up Now has accomplished its organizational goals via traditional sponsorships, partnerships and social media agreements.
The foundation will live alongside the for-profit business, continuing to strive for gender equality for female athletes in motorsport. The Shift Up Now Foundation will be able to further the mission by accepting tax-deducible gifts, donations and grants.
Funds raised from donations will be used to award opportunities to racers believed to have the talent and aptitude to succeed in motorsports. This will allow these racers access to more competitive equipment, seat time for testing and practice, and resources to help grow their careers.
Jalopnik explains how Porsche racing team Kelly Moss Racing is getting women behind the wheel in the Carrera Cup. “It all started with a phone call. Former race car driver, and current driving coach and mentor, Lyn St. James called up Victoria Thomas, co-owner of KellyMoss Road and Race, to ask her what program would be best for an up-and-coming woman driver. In the last 10 years there has been a noticeable increase in young women yearning to race in the bigger series, but finding it difficult to get there. Thomas, one of the few female team owners in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America paddock — or in racing in general — looked around and asked herself, “where are all the women?”
The SCCA website explains how their SCCA Women on Track program enabled Amanda Haines to get on track. “The SCCA Women on Track (WoT) initiative is exactly what it sounds like – a program driven to get more women involved in motorsports. Though its association with the SCCA Foundation, SCCA Women on Track works to provide financial support to women looking to get more involved in their favored aspect of motorsports – and this year, SCCA Women on Track did exactly that, quite literally putting a new female driver on a racetrack.”
Two aspiring female racers, one American whose apparent promise has gone unfulfilled and a New Zealander fairly new to auto racing, will be competing in Pirelli GT4 America in 2023 thanks to The Heart of Racing team and its recent shootout of nine young women. “We had originally intended to bring one driver on, but it was clear after reviewing everyone’s performance through the event, that pairing these two in SprintX was the best solution and we are pretty excited to be able to offer both of them this opportunity to race together,” said team manager and driver Ian James. Sporting manager Paul Charlsley and Heart of Racing drivers Alex Riberas and Roman De Angelis, along with 2022 GT World Challenge America Pro-Am champion Ashton Harrison, observed the shootout and assisted in selecting the winners.”
Formula 1 has revealed the five teams that have signed up to field cars in the new all-female F1 Academy Series that is being launched in 2023. The teams that will provide cars are ART Grand Prix, Campos Racing, Carlin, MP Motorsport and PREMA Racing. All of the squads have a strong pedigree in junior categories. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “It is exciting to be able to announce the five teams that will be racing in the F1 Academy for next year and who will be providing this fantastic opportunity to the young and talented women to begin their journey into competitive motorsport. We believe it is important that everyone has the chance to follow their ambitions and get the support and guidance needed to progress and excel. The F1 Academy is an important part of our plan to increase diversity and representation in motorsport and we are looking forward to the first season in 2023 and stay tuned for more news in this area.”
Eliza Seville and Alana Carter have been named as winners of the Shepherd Compello Motorsport Insurance supported Formula Woman competition in 22/23. After a grueling series of tests at Bedford Autodrome, over 200 applicants were whittled down to fifty who were then reduced further to the Top Ten Shoot Out. Over 23 different countries were represented in this year’s competition, with many like-minded women all hoping to win the ultimate prize, to compete in GT Cup next year.
Formula E has announced Hankook as presenting partner of the FIA Girls on Track initiative for the 2022/2023 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season, delivering programs next year in race cities of Mexico City, Diriyah, São Paulo and Jakarta with virtual sessions for the first time. The Season 9 program will include more hands-on workshops and behind-the-scenes experiences for girls aged 12-18, with an increased focus on education, off-site careers talks and touchpoints at all races. Aimed at countering gender inequality in the motorsport and engineering industries, where only 1.5% of all driver licenses are held by women, the one-day immersive experience helps inspire and educate girls on the different roles open to them within motorsport.
Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel says the series’ next car, to be introduced in 2024, is taking considerations of female inclusivity into its design. Comments made by FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem that junior single-seater cars “had to accommodate” for men and women more equally has instigated F2’s approach. It also follows comments from several high-profile women who race single-seaters about the physical challenge of certain cars at the higher levels of open-wheel racing.
If you do not think that the issue discussed above related to making F2 cars more accommodating to female racers is significant, have a look at the latest edition of the MotorMouth Podcast above for a discussion of how it affects driver development for women in motorsport.
Autosport looks at why the DTM-instigated upheaval in German motorsport is a big deal. “To make room for the DTM on its platform, the ADAC has effectively reorganised its pyramid of championships. GT Masters will now become a second-tier series, sharing grids with the LMP3-based Prototype Cup Germany, while Platinum-graded drivers will be barred from entering. It is hoped that the newly-renamed DTM Endurance Series will be an arena for gentleman drivers to thrive, and for young drivers looking to step into DTM to show their credentials in GT3 cars.”
Due to the complexities of the new Gen3 cars and the limited time that they have to develop them, Formula E teams are increasing their push against Formula E’s new F1-style rookie rule. The Race understands that the inclusion of the new rule, which comes under article 32.6 of the current sporting regulations, came against teams’ wishes after a period of consultation earlier this year. “The antipathy over its inclusion has intensified in recent weeks, largely as a consequence of the huge task in getting the Gen3 cars race ready for the start of the 2023 season.”
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.
If you are wondering what it is like to race in the Kenyon Midget Series while struggling to get a budget together and perform on track, have a look at Isaac Johnson‘s story in the documentary above.
This will be the last Driver Development News & Racecraft Tips & Techniques Roundup of 2022. I am taking a break to recharge my batteries and relax with family and friends over the holidays. A new edition will be published on January 2, 2023. Happy holidays everyone!