Chandler Horton is used to testing to improve as a racer, but the Formula 4 United States Championship driver recently went through tests that he hopes will help improve out of the car as well.
The Alliance Racing Sponsored by Gas Monkey Energy driver recently completed a series of driver-oriented fitness tests at Michigan State University, where he worked with David Ferguson, Sam Barthel and their team of undergraduate students at the Spartan Motorsports Performance Lab.
"From a young age, I have always been interested in fitness and how it relates to racing,” said the 21-year-old Horton. “As a collegiate cyclist at Marian University, fitness and a healthy lifestyle are integral parts of our performance, and I try to bring that to my driving. Being tested by Dr. Ferguson, Sam Barthel and team, was a great experience and it gave me a better understanding of how my fitness compares to elite level drivers.”
A large portion of Ferguson’s academic career has been focused on better understanding the physiological stress associated with race car drivers and their pit crews. He recently published a book, The Science of Motorsport, a first of its kind, which aims to provide the reader with a greater understanding of the human performance aspect of motorsport.
Ferguson, who holds a doctorate in kinesiology, created a testing protocol backed by science to test a driver's fitness levels. These tests include mental acuity exercises to measure brain activity, a BodPod test to measure body composition, a Vo2 max test to measure aerobic capacity, a Wingate test to measure muscular strength and a negative pressure body chamber to measure G tolerance.
These same tests have been administered by Ferguson and his team to multiple current drivers in Formula 1, INDYCAR, NASCAR and IMSA. In all tests, Horton fared very well, placing among the best scores of Formula 1 and INDYCAR drivers.
“We had Chandler visit the Spartan Motorsports Performance Lab at MSU to evaluate his physical fitness to drive elite level race cars,” Ferguson said. “After 15 years of working with Indy car, Formula 1, NASCAR and endurance racing drivers, we have determined the physical fitness requirements to be successful in elite level racing. Due to Chandler’s consistent training, he is equally fit as most F1 and Indy car drivers. We are very excited to see his progress through the ranks in the coming years.”
To stay up to date with the latest racing news from Chandler and his team, follow along on their social media: @chandlerjhorton, @alliance.racing and @gasmonkeyenergy.