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Cardiac chronotropic adaptation to open-wheel racecar driving in young pilots

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Objectives: we aimed to evaluate heart rate (HR) response in pilots to repeated bouts of race car driving.

Design and methods: Eight young male student pilots (18.75 ± 3.41 years) participated to a training session consisting in 5 successive bouts (27.81 ± 1.50 min) of driving a “Formula academy” open-wheel race car on the “Bugatti” Speedway of Le Mans (France) . Mean and peak speeds were calculated after lap duration measurement using a telemetric infrared timing device. HR was recorded continuously on 5-second intervals using a portable cardiometric device.

Results: when driving at a mean 134.94 ± 2.96 km/h speed, mean HR was 132.71 ± 10.71 bpm corresponding in 67.88 ± 5.37 %HRmax intensity. No significant differences were found between the different driving bouts whatever the parameters considered.

Conclusions: these results showed good repeatability of the measurements and they suggested that HR monitoring is a valid method to evaluate racecar pilot adaptation to driving . Moreover, the lack of relationships between duration variation, mean or peak speed and HR all along the experiment confirms the major role of muscle isometric loads on energy expenditure and therefore on HR when driving a “Formula academy” open-wheel racecar.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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