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Open-Wheel Race Car Driving: Energy Cost for Pilots

Beaune, Bruno; Durand, Sylvain; Mariot, Jean-Pierre

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 11 - pp 2927-2932
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cc243b
Original Research

Beaune, B, Durand, S, and Mariot, J-P. Open-wheel race car driving: Energy cost for pilots. J Strength Cond Res 24(11): 2927-2932, 2010-The aim of this study was to evaluate the energy cost of speedway open-wheel race car driving using actimetry. Eight pilot students participated in a training session consisting of 5 successive bouts of around 30 minutes driving at steady speed on the Bugatti speedway of Le Mans (France). Energy expenditure (EE, kcal) was determined continuously by the actimetric method using the standard equation. Energy cost was estimated through physical activity ratio (PAR = EE/BMR ratio, Mets) calculation after basal metabolism rate (BMR, kcal·min−1) estimation. A 1-met PAR value was attributed to the individual BMR of each volunteer. Bout durations and EE were not significantly different between driving bouts. Mean speed was 139.94 ± 2.96 km·h−1. Physical activity ratio values ranged 4.92 ± 0.50 to 5.43 ± 0.47 Mets, corresponding to a 5.27 ± 0.47-Mets mean PAR values and a 1.21 ± 0.41 kcal·min−1 mean BMR value. These results suggest that actimetry is a simple and efficient method for EE and PAR measurements in motor sports. However, further studies are needed in the future to accurately evaluate relationships between PAR and driving intensity or between PAR and race car type.

Interactions Performance, Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Maine, Le Mans, France

Address correspondence to Bruno Beaune, bruno.beaune@univ-lemans.fr.

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association