I am fairly new to driver coaching, but have been racing myself since 2008. I am happy to announce that I am Lamborghini Super Trofeo Am World Champion after winning all 4 races out in Malaysia, Sepang in November. I owe a lot of my success to winning the world championship from being able to learn the circuit with Base Performance Simulators.
Being totally honest, I have always been a little put off coaching due to the inherent risks of getting into a car with someone you may have only just met, and the last few years peoples fears have become a reality with the sad passing of Sean Edwards whilst instructing in Australia. Tragic events like this unfortunately is a massive part of people’s decisions to stay away from coaching, which then in turn makes it harder to help people get into the sport, and to improve driving standards as quickly as possible.
There is now a new way of coaching with virtually zero risk to your safety. Instead of being at a freezing cold track in early February, all wrapped up trying to keep warm, after a 3 hour drive to the track first thing in the morning, you can use a simulator in the warm and dry! I have been very lucky to be able to use Base Performance Simulators for coaching in the last year, which is great to use. I have used both their single seater simulator and the GT simulator for coaching and it is such a simple and straight forward way of being able to interact and guide new drivers all the way around every lap throughout the day. It isn’t every day you can sit alongside a novice racing driver in a Aston Martin GT car with a great bunch of really helpful people around you, risk free!
With everything in the fast world of racing constantly changing I see this being the best coaching tool. Not all coaches encourage the use simulators with their customers, but even without the potential for damage bills on a track day, using a simulator is much more cost-effective for your customer whilst they are still covering the basics, which might help save their funds to take their racing further down the line.
Whilst it may be cheaper, it’s certainly just as good, if not better, for teaching than a normal days coaching on general admission trackday for a few reasons. When you are coaching on a normal track day, can you pause the customer half way around the lap and talk about the corner you just went through? Can you guarantee no traffic and no red flags? Some circuits on the British and European racing calendar don’t have a huge amount of availability. A simulator gives you such a massive selection of tracks from every part of the world, which you just wouldn’t be able to get to otherwise.
Every time I have used BPS for a day of driver coaching my customers have come away extremely happy and wanting to book another day straight away because they can see the improvements they’ve may in the course of a few hours, in lap time, consistency and confidence.
It is not just safer for yourself and for your customers to use a simulator for driver coaching, it also develops them technically. They are able to review every part of each session with same detailed telemetry they will see at the track, which both the coach and customer can take home with them. I love the simulator for coaching for its simplicity and easiness for both customer and coaching. If you haven’t used it yet, now is the time to get involved and have a try.