Motor racing is a sport loved by millions of petrol-heads across the world, but what are the top tips for aspiring drivers to hone their skills behind the wheel? There is no better place to turn for expertise than the men who do it for a living; professional racing drivers old and young.
Recently, 6 professional racing drivers shared their ultimate racing tip. In an interesting insight into the world of racing, young GT drivers, Blancpain racers and seasoned pros all chipped in to give a peak into their mindset.
Matthew Parry, a British professional racing driver, became the Formula BMW champion in 2012, as well as the Northern European championship in 2013; a man certainly qualified to give some advice on how to drive!
Parry suggests: “It’s about preparation. Your preparation needs to be spot on, whether that means looking at videos, sitting down with your engineer or going through data”.
If you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail!
Bobby Thompson, at just 20 years old, is a full time driver coach and performance driving instructor, precisely the man to impart his knowledge on the world of motor racing. In fact, Bobby is the lap record holder at Spa in Belgium, Rockingham and Snetterton.
“Left foot breaking is so important. My top tip; balancing the car on the breaks whilst you’re going as fast as you can around a corner, feeling the car move around and then slightly correcting it with the breaks whilst still on the power”.
At just 18 years old, Bartholomew has achieved a lot in the motor racing world for such a young age. His rapid rise from British and European karting competitions as a junior to the British GT Championship, coming second in 2016 driving an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, puts him in a great place to share his wisdom with aspiring drivers.
Jack suggests: “even the slightest knowledge of the car can help you hone your skills as a driver. One example is an awareness of how much power the engine has and how to apply it”.
An awareness of the mechanics of the car and every slightest detail is crucial; it’s the fine margins which can distinguish between the best.
Johnny Mowlem, at 48 years of age is one of the most experienced drivers around. He’s driven for a number of teams, including Skea Racing International, Ecurie Ecosse, RML, Risi Competizione, Creation Autosportif, Lotus Jetalliance and HVM Status GP.
Mowlem suggests: “Be brave on the approach to fast corners but be disciplined and controlled so you don’t over drive the entry to slow corners!
Matty Graham is also a young driver at just 21, who races in the British GT championship and has raced since being 8 years old on the karting circuit. From 2016, making the transition to the British GT championship, Graham has competed in 12 races, finishing on the podium in six of these.
Matty’s advice is: “You need to be aware of the weight of the car and how this moves from front to back when accelerating and breaking and really need to think about it when cornering. You need to make sure you get all of your breaking done in a straight line so you are asking the car to do less as it is going through the corners. Doing this while you are racing is what allows you to race wheel to wheel with other drivers and put in an overtaking move that has people catching their breath and thrilled by a good pass, rather than ending in the gravel with a wrecked race car and a red face!”
Follow the advice of these professionals, with a vast amount of experience and who knows, you could be the next motor racing star to emerge from the pack.
Original interview by TrackDays.