Simulation and self-control: an intensive workshop allowed the Formula BMW Talent Cup participants to add more key pieces to their career jigsaw. The second weekend in June saw the junior drivers head to the iconic racing venue that is Silverstone for a combination of simulator training, fitness test and media coaching. Using the iZone high-performance simulator, which was founded by BMW works driver Andy Priaulx – currently battling for points and podiums in the DTM – the 15 to 19-year-olds were able to complete valuable exercises in order to improve in the cockpit and take an analytical approach to their driving. The driver training lessons were also supported by mental coach Prof. Dr. Dieter Hackfort, who taught the youngsters techniques to help them master their self-control.
As well as the psychological and mental preparations for a career in motor racing, the focus was once again on the physical element. The young drivers were subjected to a fitness test during the simulator workshop and learned new, individually tailored exercises to prepare as well as possible for the stresses and strains they will encounter in the cockpit. The Formula BMW Talent Cup drivers will also be better equipped when they face the media: the participants practiced dealing with various interview situations in a media training session.
The Formula BMW Talent Cup prepares young drivers, most of whom come from a karting background, for a career in motor racing. 16 juniors started the 2012 season, in which they will learn the fundamental tools required to succeed, as well as physical and mental aspects of the sport. The next on-track event is scheduled for 10th to 12th July in Magny-Cours, France.
Dirk Adorf, BMW works driver and head instructor
“The simulator training is a unique opportunity to prepare for races and practice sessions. Motorsport is an expensive sport, so the amount of time spent practicing is always limited. The simulator gave the drivers the chance to work hard on improving their driving style and methods for choosing the right line. It allowed them to gain valuable experience. The mental, fitness and media training sessions rounded off the weekend perfectly. I think the participants will be considerably stronger when they travel to the coming event in Magny-Cours.”
“We were able to use the simulator training to implement things that are not so easy out on the racetrack. For each corner we came up with key words, which clarified the correct process and procedure for the respective turn. We also changed the way in which we view the corners. I now look much further ahead than I did before. All in all I learned a lot this weekend. It was also great fun. It will be exciting to implement what we learned on the track at Magny-Cours.”
“We learned a lot of important stuff this weekend, which will help us both in and out of the cockpit. One such important thing was the mental training, in which we learned about self-control and how to focus on every single corner when the pressure is on in the car. In karting the corners come in very quick succession, but in motor racing you have a lot more time, in which to prepare for each turn. The simulator weekend was definitely a step forwards in this regard.”
“We underwent our fitness test at the simulator weekend. Everyone’s fitness had improved compared to the fitness week in Finland – including mine. We learned new exercise that constantly increase in complexity and are precisely tailored to the demands in the cockpit. Every month we are given a new fitness plan. Only once you get into the cockpit do you really notice just how much fitter you are in terms of strength and endurance. The fitness programme really helps to be relaxed and focussed going into the weekend.”
You can find more information on the Formula BMW Talent Cup and the 2012 season at www.formula-bmw.com.