We spoke to 6 professional racing drivers exclusively and asked them to share their top driving tip for track day drivers. We heard from GT winners, Britain’s most exciting youngsters and seasoned pros. Here's what they had to say:
22-year-old Matt Parry is a professional British racing driver hailing from Suffolk and now living in Cardiff. Beginning his motorsport career at the age of eight, Matt moved into the highly-competitive karting circuit winning the FKS National Junior Championship and coming second in the World Kart Finals in 2009, followed by the British Junior Kart Championship title the following year.
Crowned Formula BMW Champion in 2012, this was shortly followed up with winning the Northern European Formula Renault Championship in 2013.
This spectacular record was cemented when Matt won the 25th McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2013, joining the likes of David Coulthard, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta. In the same year, Wales also recognised Matt’s achievements awarding him the Carwyn James Trophy as the Young Welsh Sportsman of the Year sitting alongside the likes of Gareth Bale.
Matt now races Blancpain GT for Nissan.
"It’s not so much what you do at the circuit, it’s more about what you do before the circuit. 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. You wouldn’t go into an exam without revising! You’ve got to revise and prepare".
Aged 20 and currently working as a full-time driver coach and performance driving instructor, Bobby is just the person to share his tip with you. Between 2015-17, Bobby raced in the VW cup championship and ended up with numerous wins and podium finishes. He’s even the lap record holder at Spa (Belgium), Rockingham and Snetterton!
In 2016, he tested for BTCC and at the moment, he’s working towards racing for the BTCC in 2018.
"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 the tender age of 18, Jack has already had a pretty substantial career in motorsports. Starting his career like most pro drivers, Jack took part in British and European karting competitions from 2008- 2015. Jack moved on to the BRDC F4 Championship before making the transition to the British GT Championship n 2016, in which he drove an Aston Martin V8 Vantage and came second!
Jack is currently competing in the 2017 Super Trofeo Asia Series with Triple F Racing driving the HURACÁN LP 620-2 and has been selected for Lamborghini’s young driver programme. His racing hero is Aryton Senna and he hopes to continue in GT, Prototype and LeMans cars and perform on the global stage.
"It is vitally important to understand the piece of machinery underneath you; 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. Plus, 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. One last point, track familiarity will greatly enhance the ability to achieve fast laps".
Johnny Mowlem is an 18 year professional racing driver who has been competing for the last 25 years, starting off in junior single seater championships before being hand-picked by Sir Jackie Stewart for his staircase of talent team alongside the likes of Dario Franchitti, Allan Mcnish and David Coul?thard. Since switching to Sportscars he has become a two time British Porsche Cup champion and one time European Le Mans GT champion. He has been a factory driver for Porsche, Ferrari, Saleen, Zytek and Lotus and has competed at and finished on the podium at all the major endurance races in the world, including the Le Mans 24 hours ten times, and has won the Daytona 24 hours and Sebring 12 hours. He now owns and runs Red River Sport Ltd. , a company that mentors and coaches amateur drivers with a goal of racing at the famous Le Mans 24 hour race.
"Be brave on the approach to fast corners but be disciplined and controlled so you don’t over drive the entry to slow corners!"
William is a 17-year-old driver from Milton Keynes who featured in 2016’s Ginetta Junior Championship’s and achieved six race wins. He seems to have a promising career ahead of him, confirmed with his 2017 GT4 win. William is also a member of the British Motor Sports Association's national training squad.
"Calm down physically and mentally. Don't rush! Imagine the car as a lost person, you have to lead them around the track. It is all about being smooth with the steering input and just direct the car into the corner. And most of all, have fun! It is what you should be in the sport to do."
Matthew Graham is a 21-year-old racing driver from the North East of England. He currently competes in the British GT championship with In2Racing, driving a McLaren 570S in the GT4 class. Matty has raced since the age of eight, after he was bought a Go-Kart for Christmas and has earned a reputation as an exciting driver who has won multiple titles.
These include the 2011 CIK-FIA U18 World Karting Championship (aged just 15) and the BRDC F4 Winter Series in 2013 though the momentum generated by his performances has been hampered with no sponsors to help him open the necessary doors to reach the higher echelons of the sport.
Since moving from single seat race cars to GT machines in 2016, he has contested 12 races and has finished on the podium in half of these, with three second places and three third places to date.
"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!"
We hope you can put some if not all of these tips to the test for your next track day or experience day.