A young driver interested in getting into racing? Follow these top tips from motor racing’s up-and-coming superstars to ensure you stand out from the crowd:
1. Do your homework. “It’s not so much about what you do at the circuit, it’s more about what you do before the circuit” says 22-year-old Matt Parry, a professional British racing driver who won the 25th McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2013. “Your preparation needs to be spot on, whether that means looking at videos, sitting down with your engineer or going through data.”
2. Stay calm and focused. William Tregurtha, a 17-year-old member of the British Motor Sports Association’s national training squad, says to “imagine the car as a lost person, you have to lead them around the track”. And once you have mastered this he suggests you, “have fun! It is what you should be in the sport to do.”
3. Know your car. Both Jack Bartholomew, who, aged 18, has been selected for Lamborghini’s young driver programme, and Matty Graham, a 21-year-old competing in the British GT championship with In2Racing, agree that this is one of the most important pieces of advice they can give to an aspiring track day driver.
“Even the slightest knowledge of the car can help you hone your skills as a driver,” says Jack. “It is important to understand the braking capacity, grip level and the weight of the car.
These factors have a significant effect on performance and can help to greatly improve your ability to adapt your driving style and obtain the most from the car.” Matty agrees, “you need to be aware of the weight of the car and how this moves from front to back when accelerating and braking and really need to think about it when cornering. You need to make sure you get all of your braking done in a straight line so you are asking the car to do less as it is going through the corners.”
Matty Graham (in the middle of the photo):
4. Work on your left foot braking. This is the top tip from 20-year-old Bobby Thompson who, alongside working as a full-time driver coach and performance driving instructor, has also found the time to set the lap records at Rockingham, Snetterton and Spa in Belgium. He suggests working on “balancing the car on the brakes whilst you’re going as fast as you can around a corner, feeling the car move around and then slightly correcting it with the brakes whilst still on the power.”
5. Corner like a pro. “Be brave on the approach to fast corners but be disciplined and controlled so you don’t over drive the entry to slow corners!” These are the words of Johnny Mowlem who, at 48, is someone the younger drivers can look up to. Johnny has heaps of experience driving for Skea Racing International, Ecurie Ecosse, RML, Risi Competizione, Creation Autosportif, Lotus Jetalliance and HVM Status GP.
Interview courtesy of TrackDays.