Preparing for any big job interview can be stressful and the Ginetta Junior Scholarship is no different. It’s a competition that could change your career, it could see you racing on the TOCA package and it will certainly give you a taste for sports car racing.
Whether you’ve got your sights set on that championship or you’re just looking for some experience, the Ginetta Scholarship is a good choice for young racing drivers. But, let’s assume you’re in it to win it. Here’s some advice for preparing ahead of the big day.
Get in some track time
If you’re able to test a Ginetta before the scholarship, great! Make sure to get in as much seat time as you can as this will give you the edge on the track.
That being said, if you can’t get on track in a Ginetta, don’t worry. Track or simulator time will also help you hone your skills. Showing natural driving talent is just as important as showing practised skill.
Find out what you can about Ginetta
As with any job interview, you should do your research. Find out what you can about Ginetta, its racing heritage, history and more. Knowing all this kind of information shows that you’ve taken your time to get to know the brand but it also gives you a chance to show your passion. If you can talk eagerly about the Ginetta G58, for example, it shows you’ll be a great ambassador for the brand.
Get ready to be interviewed
There’s usually a media interview as part of the Ginetta Scholarship. The judges will want to know how you cope in front of the camera but they’ll also take this opportunity to find out a little bit more about you. Do some mock interviews with family or friends so you can get used to being questioned.
Another tip is to watch interviews with existing Ginetta Junior or British Touring Car drivers to look at how they answer questions.
How you come across is often more important than your answers. Be confident (but not arrogant), and relax.
Throughout the whole process, remember to relax and breathe. Not only will this make you a faster driver but it’ll help you when being interviewed too.
If you find yourself getting worked up or stressed at any point, just take a couple of deep breaths and carry on. On track, this will help you find your flow and when you’re being interviewed it’ll stop those nerves rising to the surface.
Train, train, train
Most scholarships include a fitness test so make sure you’ve been training. Regular cardio and resistance training will give you a good all-round standard of fitness but there are plenty of motorsport performance coaches out there who can help you. If you’re interested in how to get fit for racing, read this post from Strakka’s Dean Fouache.
Get to grips with sponsorship basics
Ginetta wants to know that after you’ve won the scholarship, you’ll be able to carry on your journey. For most people, this means picking up sponsorship. If you understand the basics of sponsorship, even if you don’t have any partners just yet, you’ll be in a good place to show how you can progress over the next few years.
It’s also important that you know how to act as a brand ambassador. Understanding the basics of how to promote sponsors to the press and to your online audience is important no matter where you are in your racing career.
Last year, I coached Lewis Galer to second in the Ginetta Junior Scholarship. Read the full case study for details of how he learned to relax in front of the camera and improve his interview presence.
He’s now making waves in the MINI Challenge JCW championship.
If you’re interested in the Ginetta Scholarship, there are more details on Ginetta’s website.