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Victorious Weekend for Team USA

A victory for Josef Newgarden in the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama capped a fantastic weekend for the Team USA scholarship programme, which is supported by the Road Racing Drivers Club and SAFEisFAST.com.

Team USA’s current drivers and alumni won at every level of the Road to Indy series at Barber Motorsports Park. Newgarden, who was a Team USA driver in 2008, took his first ever IndyCar series victory. Having qualified in fifth he got off to a flying start gaining three places on the opening lap and taking the lead after the first set of pit stops. From that point on he controlled the race from the front and drove his way to an impressive maiden win. In doing so, Newgarden became the programme’s sixth alum to win an IndyCar race, emulating Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, A.J. Allmendinger and Charlie Kimball.

In Indy Lights, Spencer Pigot won both of the weekend’s races, leading from lights to flag in the first and finishing more than six seconds ahead of the competition in the second. The 21-year-old, who drives with SAFEisFAST decals on his Juncos Racing car, was a Team USA driver in 2010 and 2011 and now leads the Indy Lights championship by seven points.

Neil Alberico, a Team USA driver from 2011-2013 extended his lead at the top of the Pro Mazda Championship with a win in race one and a fourth in race two in Alabama. He will be hoping to emulate Pigot, who won the championship last year before graduating to Indy Lights.

In the USF2000 series, the first open-wheel rung on the Road to Indy ladder, 23-year old Aaron Telitz pulled off two spectacular passes on his way to victory in the first race of the weekend. Telitz won his Team USA scholarship last year and is now competing in his second year in the USF2000 championship, having won rookie of the year honours in his maiden season.

Team USA is an initiative that provides scholarships to aspiring racers, helping to nurture their talent and propel them to the top of the motor sport ladder. Last weekend’s race wins in the USF2000, Pro Mazda Championship, Indy Lights and IndyCar series continues a history of success for the programme that counts multiple CART and IndyCar race winners amongst its alumni.

Watch our video ‘Winning a Racing Scholarship with Team USA’ to find out more about Team USA.

Published on 28 April 2015 at 01:17PM by , tags

Gil de Ferran Becomes Global Ambassador

Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time IndyCar CART champion Gil de Ferran has become the Global Ambassador for SAFEisFAST.com, the online driver development program from the Road Racing Drivers Club.

A prodigious talent known for his speed and sophistication, de Ferran enjoyed a successful career in his native Brazil, as well as in Europe and the United States, culminating in the early 2000s, winning back-to-back IndyCar CART titles in 2000 and 2001 with Team Penske. The Brazilian also won the 2003 Indy 500 in his final season before retiring from open-wheel racing.

In his new role, he will help to promote SAFEisFAST.com at races and events across the world, participate in online tutorials and encourage other professional drivers to do the same. The initiative is designed to empower aspiring racing drivers to improve their skills and safety levels through educational materials, such as videos on handling techniques, driver fitness and cockpit safety. De Ferran takes over from fellow Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who was Global Ambassador for the 2014 season.

De Ferran commented: “I was fortunate throughout my career to have many fantastic people advising and encouraging me and I believe it is our duty as former professional drivers to pass on what we have learned to future generations of racers. When you’re starting your career you can never get enough help and you can certainly never stop improving, so I think this sort of resource is an essential tool for all aspiring champions.”

Bobby Rahal, President of the RRDC, said: “This is fantastic news for young drivers everywhere. We started this program to help the next waves of talented racers to be successful and safe on the track, so to have such a knowledgeable champion represent us and provide advice is a really great thing.”

In a further boost, Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm of Honda, will remain as the presenting partner for SAFEisFAST.com for the next three years, enabling the program to continue to produce high-quality content and reach out to young and amateur drivers worldwide.

Published on 17 April 2015 at 04:52PM by , tags

Best of Ask a Pro: Mental and Physical Preparation

From learning the circuit to eating the right things, preparation is key to being a successful racing driver. We have chosen a selection of answers from different drivers in our Ask a Pro series that give you an insight into how to prepare physically and mentally for a race.

As a racing driver fitness and diet is key but how do I know what is enough to eat and the right foods? What’s a typical race day menu for you?

Bruno Senna (Formula E and former Formula One driver): Food is so important in a racing driver’s life. To keep fit, you need to eat well and do lots of training as you know but you also have to find out the foods that agree with your stomach when you’re under stress. I’m a bit peculiar as I have intolerances to rice and eggs, so I can’t eat those around a race weekend but rice and pasta are great sources of carbs to eat before a race, together with either, grilled fish, chicken, turkey and vegetables as you like them cooked. Don’t forget your hydration is at least as important as the food, so drink lots of water or drinks with electrolytes when the day is very hot and you sweat a lot.

You have become known for your composure before a race. Do you have any tips on how to prepare before the start of a race?

Dario Franchitti (Multiple IndyCar and Indy 500 Champion): Yes. Be focused. Don’t be distracted. Don’t be looking around and seeing what’s going on or who’s there. Just focus on what’s going on inside your head, rather than what’s going on outside. You can do some deep breathing, relax yourself and bring your heart rate down. Just compose yourself and think about all those different things that you’re going to have to do during the race. Some people need themselves pumped up; some people need to relax. I prefer to chill out beforehand and get ready that way.

What do you find to be the best way to learn a new track?

Jenson Button (2009 Formula One World Champion): We have the simulator – which is useful for set-up, but also for learning new tracks. But you mentally file away every corner and you just draw upon that resource when you learn a new corner. So you might remember a similar, high-speed, fourth-gear corner and use that as the basis for your approach, but, for instance, it might have a tightening apex and a big kerb at the exit, so you’ll draw on other experiences to fit that into your profile. But you learn them all quite quickly.

Are there any training/hydrating tricks you can suggest that could help someone new to GT racing cope with the cockpit temperatures?

Patrick long (Three-time American Le Mans Series Champion): High cockpit temperatures are never easy! I suggest doing as much hot-weather cardio training as possible. Being acclimated to high heart rates while in hot environments is huge. Also, I try to minimize my exposure to air conditioning in everyday life. In my opinion, the North American culture is obsessive when it comes to A/C, so I really try to stay as far away from any sub-72 degree F environment.

Upon getting to a new track how long does it take to memorize the layout and know what speed you can carry into each turn?

JR Hildebrand (IndyCar driver): Memorizing a track becomes fairly natural over time, but getting it right in the car is a constantly evolving process. The more tracks you race on, the easier it becomes to look at a new circuit and relate the look of new corners to ones you’ve seen before, and have a general idea for what to expect. A lot of us practice a bit of visualization to get ourselves in the right mind set going into practice, qualifying, or whatever the situation might be. Really nailing it once you’re in the car is a tougher prospect because conditions are always changing and there are various aspects of a corner to consider and eventually get right or wrong. That invariably takes some trial and error, so you have to take some risks at first to get yourself in the ballpark, then re-evaluate where you’re at. Can you take another big swing at it, or are you pretty close and just need to chip away? The answer to that question can definitely get you into trouble if it’s wrong, but as a driver in that position, your primary objective is to reach the limit of the car as quickly as possible so that your team can get to work. So it’s a necessary time to be calculated, focused, and rather aggressive. At the IndyCar level, if you don’t have a fairly good handle on how to get around a new track by the end of the first session, you’re probably already behind, so it’s a big deal to get up to speed quickly.

Being a professional racing driver requires not only a lot of physical training and testing, but also travel. What is the best way to deal with things like jet-lag and how do you keep yourself alert and ready for each race?

Bruno Senna (Formula E and former Formula One driver): Jet-lag can be a big problem to frequent travellers. People tend to cope with it differently, but I tend to make sure to get in a gentle training session (swim, run or bike) when I arrive at a place with a different time zone. Other than that, trying to eat light foods and not sleeping during the middle of the day are key to the shortest adaptation period possible.

Training your body is part of keeping fit for the races, but how do you train the brain to keep focused throughout the race?

Dario Franchitti (Multiple IndyCar and Indy 500 Champion): I think a lot of that is built up from years of experience. That’s a great question. You start off with shorter races and you learn to concentrate for that length of time, and then as you move up the ladder and the races are a bit longer, the cars a little bit faster, you learn to concentrate for that whole time, and that goes on. For me, though, the first thing that happened when I drove the next level of car above – whether it was going from Vauxhall Junior to Formula Vauxhall-Lotus or the Formula 3 car or the DTM car or the Formula 1 car or the first time I drove a Champ Car, my brain was just trying to process the speed at which things came at me. It was like somebody took a DVD and fast-forwarded it and you were trying to process that information. That was the first thing to master, and then the focus over the race distance came along and then it was the ability to think about other things while you’re driving at that speed, that was the next thing.

Thanks to you for taking the time to answer questions. How do you mentally prepare yourself before a race? Is there a certain routine that you follow to help keep yourself focused?

Alexander Rossi (GP2 driver and former Formula One test driver): I don’t really have a routine, but in terms of preparation I try to keep things as simple as possible. Obviously my main focus is the car; however, I often have to do PR and sponsor requirements around my time on track throughout the weekend. Before I step into the car, I prepare approximately half an hour before the session goes green. I usually physically warm up via boxing and stretching, while making sure the environment is as calm as possible.

How do you stay focused throughout the course of a race? Do you practice often or have certain techniques you use to prepare?

Will Power (Reigning IndyCar champion): I think you just become very focused as soon as the race starts. You just get in the zone. It’s not something I really practice. I believe it just comes down to years of racing and understanding the sort of focus that you need to run mistake free and always strive to be at that top level.

When you started out in the sport – even though it wasn’t that long ago :) – there wasn’t much emphasis on driver fitness or nutrition programs, for example. When did those elements appear on your radar screen and how important are they in racing these days?

Johnny O’Connell (Four-time class winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans): Fitness has always been important, and I’ve been training pretty much my entire career. I was probably in my best shape when I was doing martial arts full time, but that also led to injuries. That said, I know that with Corvette we began taking a much closer look at driver conditioning around 2004 when we all worked with a personal trainer to get us all on the same page nutrition and exercise. These days virtually everyone that I know is training as it does make a difference toward the end of a stint or race.

Published on 08 April 2015 at 01:01PM by , tags , ,

Team SAFEisFAST brings the car home at Sebring

Officially sporting SAFEisFAST livery for the first time, Team SAFEisFAST had a promising and eventful outing at the inaugural iRacing 12 Hours of Sebring.

The team competes in the iRacing Endurance Championship, driving a RUF Porsche in the GT3 class.

For the uninitiated, iRacing is an online motor racing simulator that emphasises realism and competition for it’s 55,000 plus members. Users can compete in a range of different classes and competitions at various different real-world circuits.

In qualifying the team showed that they have raw pace, with driver Mathieu Rioux setting a sub 2:05 lap time that placed them ninth on the grid.

Rioux started the race and set about moving up the pack for the first hour and a half, eventually clawing his way up to second. At the first driver change Dave Beland took over and set about the task of retaking the positions they had lost in the pits again managing to get the #024 car back into second spot.

A series of disasters struck beginning on the last corner of the lap 71. Beland got loose and struck the wall resulting in time lost due to repairs and dropping the team down to 18th. As the repairs were finalised Ed Benson took over for his first stint, only to be felled moments into it by a glitch in the virtual track. Although it appeared that he had not made contact with the wall, the car was bounced across the pit lane resulting in another 47 minutes of repair.

Determined to counteract his misfortune, Benson resumed and managed to log enough laps to meet the mandatory minimum each driver must complete. He then left to go to his day job – something Dario Franchitti has probably never had to do.

Drew Bickel, Steve Coe and Rioux combined for the final stints but two blown engines and a collision resulted in more time in the pits. They eventually crossed the line in a hard-fought 17th place.

Dave Beland, owner, manager and driver of the team, commented: “Our week started off very well, with competitive practice times, testing setups, and working through strategy for qualifying for the best possible position. Our main goal was to keep it safe and finish the race. Mathieu Rioux (Crew Chief, Team SAFEisFAST) was able to get us into a setup that was very stable as well as competitive for all the drivers on our team. The team had a great time competing, cheering one another on, while also providing words of encouragement and support. But the race just didn’t go our way today. We didn’t achieve the results we wanted today, but we’ll regroup and come back again in a few months when the 2015 iRacing Endurance Championship resumes July 11th with the Six Hours at the Glen.”

Published on 02 April 2015 at 03:16PM by , tags

From the Bottom to the Top: Honda’s Racing Ladders

One of the classic issues aspiring drivers face is picking the correct racing ladder through which they progress their career. It’s not always clear which series a racer should aim to progress to next or even where that move will allow them to go in seasons to come. Honda is striving to change that.

The brand’s racing division, Honda Performance Development (HPD), is developing a linear path for racers to follow to the pinnacle of the sport, with clear progressions for open wheel, short track and closed wheel drivers.

In an in depth article on racer.com HPD personnel explain how they’ve created three Honda-oriented paths that give a clear route from karts, quarter midgets and saloon cars all the way up to Indy Car and prototype sports cars.

They also layout the benefits of Honda’s involvement at every step of the ladder and explain that it is possible for a driver to never have to move away from the brand’s cars and equipment from motor sport’s grass roots to the top of the racing world.

The idea behind the scheme is to try to keep the barriers to entry to professional motors port at a reasonable level. By creating a linear and clear path to follow and by being able to rely upon the support of a single manufacturer along the way, Honda believe they can help many aspiring achieve their goal of reaching the upper echelons of motor sport.

Learn more about HPD’s racing ladders here:

http://www.racer.com/insight-hpd-from-sea-level-to-summit

Published on 11 March 2015 at 11:19AM by , tags , , , ,

Sparco Competition Winners Announced

Five drivers have each won a pair of top-level Arrow RG-7 race gloves from leading motorsport apparel manufacturer Sparco, as part of the latest competition from SAFEisFAST.com.

The competition received over 1,000 entries from aspiring drivers across the globe. The five winners, who all correctly answered a set of safety questions, are:

Rachel Saunders (US)

Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa)

Sam Adams (US)

Rodrigo Gini (Brazil)

Sean Doyle (Ireland)

The ultra lightweight Sparco Arrow RG-7 race gloves are approved by both the FIA and SFI Foundation governing bodies. Thanks to a pre-curved design with external seams, they provide a great fit and comfort to the driver.

The Sparco Arrow RG-7 provides high levels of control as the palm is printed with high-grip HTX, an impact absorbing flame resistant, high-grip material, which is exclusive to the Italian manufacturer.

The Winners

Rachel Saunders races in the SCCA Solo and ProSolo championships in the United States. The 19-year-old competes with a 1997 Mach Legrand “Dragon”.

In 2015, Kelvin van der Linde will once again drive an Audi R8 LMS V10 in the German ADAC Masters GT championship. Last year, the 18-year-old South African became the series’ youngest ever champion driving for the Prosperia C Abt Racing team.

At 16-years-old, Sam Adams is the youngest winner of the most recent SAFEisFAST competition. In 2015, the US-born driver will take part in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge behind the wheel of a Mazda MX-5 Cup Car.

Rodrigo Gini is a 41-year-old rally driver and journalist, who drives in national and regional championships in his native South America.

Sean Doyle is a 21-year-old driver. While competing in the 2014 Formula Ford 1600 championship, the Irish-born racer was awarded with the ‘Young Driver of The Month’ accolade in June and was a Dunlop Sexton young driver finalist.

All five winners have selected their Sparco Arrow RG-7 race gloves, which are available in five colours and seven sizes.

Published on 09 February 2015 at 11:36AM by , tags

Top 10 Pro Tips of 2014

This year, we have welcomed an array of top driving talent who have offered advice in our Ask a Pro section. From ex-Formula One drivers through to a five-time Le Mans winner and the current IndyCar champion, they have answered your questions in detail, covering a variety of subjects, such as fitness, mental concentration and racecraft. We have chosen the top 10 pro tips from 2014 to help with your racing development.

How can an amateur with little funding get started in racing?

Oliver Gavin (Four-time Le Mans class winner): Any driver will tell you how difficult it is these days; it’s never been easy but it’s even more difficult in today’s economy. Most people will start in karting to learn their race craft and that’s what I did. My Dad bought a kart for my brother and we used to run it, with us learning how it worked and how to work on it, all really good training for the future.

From there I moved onto car racing, with my Dad paying the way to begin with and then with some sponsorship as I moved up. Getting sponsorship is mostly about who you know, rather than what you know. But think about what you can do for a sponsor instead of what they can do for you and you’ll have more success. Anyone can go karting, at any age, or you could do something like stock cars or dirt racing…do whatever you can within your budget and have fun. Good luck!

My 9 year old is pursuing his dream of being a professional driver. What path did you take in your early years and what was the most valuable part of those years that feeds your racing today?

Bruno Senna (Ex-Formula One driver and GP2 race winner):I had a very disrupted career as I stopped racing between 10 and 20 years old, so definitely not the most traditional way. Regardless of that, the best way for a driver to have a real chance in racing is for he or she to go through the steps in a structured manner.

Spend a few years in karting and search for the most competitive championships to learn race craft. Then move on to junior single-seater series or GT cars. Always aim for the highest level you can find or afford as this will always give you an indication of how competitive the driver can be and how far he can make it. The most important advice however is to be able to dream but not exclude other options outside of Formula One as there are plenty of great championships to race in.

SAFEisFAST.com Video: Making the Transition from Karts to Cars

I am currently racing in Skip Barber and looking to move up to US F2000. When moving to a new team, how can I make sure I find the right team with a fast car and one that will fit with my personality?

Oliver Gavin (Four-time Le Mans class winner): You have to do your research carefully, find out all you can about the team rather than looking only at results, but to be honest at your level it’s as much about whether they like you as whether you like them. Don’t just look at the last season’s race results, but look at practice and qualifying too…they might have had a great car which is more than an equal to the eventual race winner’s, but the driver used to go to pieces in qualifying or something like that. Don’t just go to the team that has won, go to several and see how they approach racing so you can find the one that suits you. Talk to the engineer as well as the team boss, as you’ll spend more time with him than the boss!

How difficult do you find it to adapt to a new race engineer? What do you suggest to speed up the communication process?

Graham Rahal (IndyCar Series race winner): It’s always difficult. A race engineer and his driver must always be on the same page. An engineer should be able to look into his driver’s eyes and know what he’s thinking before he says a word. Any sort of relationship-building time like dinners together, team meetings, phone calls – all those things – so you both get on the same page is always a big help. Relationships make this world go around, and Bill [Pappas] and I work very hard on this all the time.

SAFEisFAST.com Video: Working with an Engineer

Karun, You have had experience across the whole motor racing spectrum, how often have you had assistance from a driver coach? Also, how many drivers actually seek professional coaching? It is rarely mentioned as a part of a successful drivers experience although I know many drivers all the way up at F1 level still have some coaching even they may be race winners, just like professional golfers and tennis players have a coach.

Karun Chandhok (Ex-Formula One driver and GP2 race winner): Great question! I was always a believer in driver coaches. It’s funny how many drivers actually believe they don’t need a coach, but as you say, if Rafa Nadal, Tiger Woods or Lionel Messi still have coaches, then why should we be different? When I was in Formula 3, I worked with Andy Priaulx, who is now a multiple World Touring Car Champion and he was fantastic. I still work with Rob Wilson, a Kiwi driver coaching legend. Rob is a great observer of drivers and has a fantastic critical eye for what drivers are doing. I know a number of drivers on the current F1 grid who owe a few tenths to Rob.

SAFEisFAST video: The Driver Coach

As a racing driver fitness and diet is key but how do I know what is enough to eat and the right foods? What’s a typical race day menu for you?

Bruno Senna (Ex-Formula One driver and GP2 race winner): Food is so important in a racing driver’s life. To keep fit, you need to eat well and do lots of training as you know but you also have to find out the foods that agree with your stomach when you’re under stress. I’m a bit peculiar as I have intolerances to rice and eggs, so I can’t eat those around a race weekend but rice and pasta are great sources of carbs to eat before a race, together with either, grilled fish, chicken, turkey and vegetables as you like them cooked. Don’t forget your hydration is at least as important as the food, so drink lots of water or drinks with electrolytes when the day is very hot and you sweat a lot.

SAFEisFAST.com Video: Nutrition: Fuelling the Driver

I race shifter karts and also do some simulator racing to practice my focus points on turn-in, apex and exit. I notice at times that I tend to “tighten up” or stop breathing. Not sure if you have experienced that before. I notice that I lose tenths of a second when I am in that state. Is there a way to get back to a state of relaxed focus? I have read Jacques Dallaire’s book and I still struggle at times with the focus.

Graham Rahal (IndyCar Series race winner): Of course. We all experience that. I have noticed it on the simulator before, as well as in the car. Honestly, I think it’s all about time in the car. The more you drive it, the more comfortable you become. However, when you are pushing to 10/10ths, you will always have some sort of heightened heart rate or slower breathing. This is normal. The most important thing is to make sure you’re in good enough physical shape to sustain this and to keep your mind clear so you aren’t making mistakes, getting sloppy, when your heart rate ramps up. It will always happen, and it has always happened to all of us.

SAFEisFAST.com Video: Focus and Concentration

How do you keep your focus for an entire race distance?

Karun Chandhok (Ex-Formula One driver and GP2 race winner): I always try and focus on the laptime and try to develop a rhythm that allows me to drive at a consistent pace. You focus on doing the laps one by one within as small a variance as possible. Getting good references for braking is key for this I find, so you can repeat the way you drive that particular corner in the same way lap after lap.

SAFEisFAST videos: Focus and Concentration and The Mental Edge

As an aspiring racer who races at an indoor karting facility, I’m constantly looking to improve my lap times, so if I want to achieve that where do I start?

Will Power (2014 IndyCar Series champion): You always start with understanding what is the quickest time around there and who set the quickest time. Then you should race against faster guys so that you can start to see and understand where you need to go faster, what lines are better/worse and how to close up on people, using a different line and understand where you lose time. Then you’ll start to work it out and start working on the details.

SAFEisFAST.com video: The Fast Line

Have you had to use degressive braking techniques and which car did you use them in?

Derek Bell (Five-time Le Mans winner): I have to say I have never been one to lock up brakes that much but it happens from time to time when in sheer panic you keep your right foot down too hard. In sports cars we always had that compromise to not lock up the wheels otherwise we were going to lose time and have extra tyre changes apart from brake wear! As John Wyer used to say you need: ‘Good hands.’

SAFEisFAST.com video: Braking

Published on 01 January 2015 at 12:00AM by Publify Admin, tags

Overtake of the Week - Daniel Ricciardo

With the racing season coming to a close, we look back at one of the best Formula One overtakes of the year, with our weekly award going to Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Dicing with his world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Ricciardo on fresher tyres was looking for a way past. As he closed up on the back of the sister Red Bull down the main straight, Vettel jinked right to protect the inside line.

The Australian took to the outside as they headed into the chicane, with both drivers stepping on the brakes late trying to get an advantage.

The four-time world champion managed to maintain his position in front of Ricciardo as they exited the chicane. However, Ricciardo was now right on to the gearbox of his German teammate.

Sweeping through the next turn, a right-hander, Vettel once again positioned his car to protect the inside line for the coming left-hand turn. This forced Ricciardo, who was carrying greater speed and momentum, to the outside of the 27-year old.

However, the Australian understood that to pass his teammate he would need to secure the inside line. He therefore backed off the throttle slightly before attempting a cut back to the inside of Vettel.

He switched back to the left of Vettel without the German driver realising and was brilliantly placed to grab the inside line as they hit the brakes going into the next chicane.

Vettel realised his Australian teammate was on the inside too late and had no answer as they turned in allowing Ricciardo to secure the position.

The overtake garnered praise from large swathes of the public and media, with many calling it the overtake of the year in Formula One. Edd Straw, Grand Prix Editor for Autosport, said: “The way he backed out of the throttle on the run through Curva Grande when he was carrying more speed in order to reposition himself to mug the other Red Bull at the second chicane was stunning racecraft. Many would have simply kept their foot in, but Ricciardo out-thought Vettel. That was what was impressive about this.”

It was a great overtake in what was a brilliant year for the young Australian as he dominated his more prestigious teammate.

Watch the overtake here:

Published on 10 December 2014 at 02:55PM by Publify Admin, tags

Overtake of the Week - Anthony Davidson

Our latest Overtake of the Week goes to Toyota Racing driver and newly crowned World Endurance Champion, Anthony Davidson. Battling for the lead in the season finale of the World Endurance Championship in Sao Paulo, the Brit pulled off a fantastic switchback move on the number 14 Porsche.

Heading down the start/finish straight, the blue and white Toyota of Davidson looked to the inside of the Porsche as they both passed traffic.

Under braking into the left hand turn one, the Toyota looked to be pulling alongside to potentially take the position and the lead of the race.

However the Porsche, co-driven by Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas, held on around the outside of the corner.

This gave a tighter line into the next right hand corner. Davidson decided to take a wider line into the turn and attempt to carry more speed through the exit. Braking earlier, the 35-year old managed to get on the power earlier than his rival ahead.

As the Porsche slid towards the exit of the corner, Davidson was already on the throttle and able to make a cleaner and straighter exit from the turn, shooting into the lead.

It was a beautiful pass and one carried out with care and precision.

Watch the overtake here (move at 1:45):

Published on 03 December 2014 at 03:07PM by , tags

Overtake of the Week - Sam Bird

Our latest Overtake of the Week comes from the FIA Formula E Championship, the new all-electric race series. It is awarded to Sam Bird for his race-winning move in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Following an early Safety Car period, Bird’s chrome Virgin Racing machine was tailing the all-black Dragon Racing car of race leader and former IndyCar star Oriol Servia. As the green flag dropped to restart the race, the Brit got a fantastic exit out of the final corner on to the start/finish straight.

Servia, using all of his experience from over 15 years of open wheel racing, checked to the inside to cover Bird. As they blasted their way towards the tight chicane which formed the first corner, the 40-year old was able to keep ahead of his rival in second.

The 27-year old Virgin Racing driver opted to fall in behind the Spaniard and attempted to carry more speed out of the corner and on to the next straight.

He managed to do this and was quickly able to draw alongside Servia heading along the small straight leading to the next corner.

Despite Bird’s great exit, Servia held the inside line for the 90-degree right-hander at turn three. Bird, unwilling to let the opportunity pass, decided to brake earlier than Servia and attempt to cut back inside the leader for the next turn.

Servia went deep into the turn and allowed Bird to pull alongside him once again but this time, critically, handed the inside line to the Englishman. Bird, who is renowned as a street circuit specialist, finished the move into the next corner and never looked back as he cruised to victory in the Putrajaya ePrix.

The overtake was a treat for the fans as both drivers showed off all their years of hard earned racing experience to battle it out fairly for the lead.

Watch the overtake here (move at 12:30):

Published on 26 November 2014 at 04:14PM by , tags