EMERGING FROM THE DARK AGES
Former Super Aguri sporting director Graham Taylor reckons that motor racing “remains somewhat in the dark ages” when it comes to human performance. He should know, after making a return as a race engineer with the Ganassi Ford World Endurance Championship squad following a seven-year stint as head of coaching at UK Sport.
He was charged with bringing what he calls ‘a race engineer’s approach’ to the coaching programmes of the organisation that played a key role in Britain’s record medal hauls at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games. What he doesn’t see are the approaches and knowledge that underpinned Team GB’S success being transferred the other way into motorsport.
“There’s something slightly wrong in motorsport because we are not looking holistically when it comes to the drivers and how we prepare them to go racing,” says Taylor. “There isn’t an integrated approach. Teams rarely look for the marginal gains that were championed by Sir David Brailsford at Team Sky in cycling.
“Racing teams are going testing at Snetterton or wherever, and the drivers are having lasagne and chips for lunch before getting back in the car. That’s a very 1980s approach to putting energy into an athlete’s body. Rarely do teams look at how to create the right environment to get the best out of the drivers.”
Taylor (right) thinks there is room to grow