Simulations Training Program Announced for Women Racers A group of America’s most promising young women racing drivers will have the opportunity later this spring to learn how to use state-of-the-art motorsport simulation software to advance their professional racing careers. Sixteen members of the Women in the Winner’s Circle Driver Development Academy will spend time in iRacing.com’s Driver Development Lab in suburban Boston.
Under the watchful eye of 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James and a team of professional driving coaches, the students will learn how to use operator-in-loop simulation software to learn new tracks, become familiar with the performance characteristics of new cars, and make more effective use of expensive real-world track time.
“Driving simulation is already an important aspect of the training regimen of Formula One drivers,” said St. James, founder of the not-for-profit Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation. “It’s clear that going forward, drivers at all levels of the sport will need to use this cost-effective tool if they want to succeed. With iRacing as the official simulation service for the academy, we can be certain that our students will have the benefit of the best technology available.”
The Driver Development Academy, which welcomed its first class in 1994, is a full-year program that provides women racers with comprehensive learning experiences on topics critical for developing a professional driving career. Subjects covered include physical and mental preparation, business and media relations, and technical and on-track factors. Candidates for the program must have three years of prior racing experience.
Graduates of the program currently active in the sport include IndyCar racers Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher; ARCA Re/Max stock car competitors Gabi DiCarlo and Alli Owens; NASCAR regional and Weekly Series stock car drivers Jessica Brunelli, Kristin Bumbera, Megan Reitenour, and Natalie Sather; sprint car and midget racers Jennifer Greenberg, Julia Landauer, Alison MacLeod, Caitlin Shaw and Samantha Taylor; Star Mazda road racers Jessica Brannam and Kristy Kester; Formula 2 racer Natacha Gachnang and Skip Barber National driver Ashley Freiberg.
“Our Driver Development Lab was created for exactly this type of training,” said Scott McKee, iRacing’s vice president of marketing. “And thousands of racers and driving coaches all over the world have already realized just how good a teaching tool our simulation can be. We’re really pleased to work with Lyn and the WWCA to help these women achieve their goals in motorsports.”
In addition to donating the time in the Driver Development Lab, iRacing will provide all of the Academy’s attendees at the simulation training module with three-month subscriptions to the company’s internet racing service.