Polish version: thepitcrewonline.net/2018/07/06/dziewczyny-na-karty-gosia-rdest/
Racing, adrenaline, speed, endurance, challenge, power, endless trainings, self-discipline. Only you and the car. And full focus for sometimes several hours? Truly, is all that for girls?
But of course! This would be, I am sure, the answer that you would hear from any of the almost hundred teenage girls whom participated in the first round of elimination for the Girls on Track- Karting challenge program, for which I have the honor to be the Ambassador.
The two day elimination was held in Tychy on May 26/27,2018. It attracted almost 100 teenage girls wanting to try their skills and luck on the specially constructed karting track for the occasion karting track. There were three challenge sessions. First, the test session and then two more for the best time score. It was spectacular to see the girls go and how fierce the competition was. Each of them truly did her level best to win. Looking at them, I could not help, but to think back to the day when my Dad took me karting for the first time. I was 12 at the time and I got hooked on racing. And it is still my greatest passion.
The track was demanding to give the jury the opportunity to truly asses the abilities, skills and the potential of the contenders. It was exciting to watch the girls compete. The jury made up of members of the Polish Motorsport Association (PZM), they selected 8 finalists. It must have been tough because all the girls tried so hard. The key factor was the time of the ride. Considered also were general disposition, spatial orientation and the overall potential of the contenders. There was also one-on-one interview that was carried in both Polish and English which gave the PZM a better understanding of the drivers. The goal was to assess the self-motivation, dedication and determination to make the Motorsport a big part of their future. The level of performance was different, of course, but overall it was quite high. Several contenders demonstrated a significantly higher level of motivation, predispositions and the passion to win?
The next round of the elimination will be held in August. The final goal of the program is for the girls to compete with their counterparts from eight other countries in the European Finals of the program at the famous Le Mans Race Track. This will be an incredible opportunity. To be there with the best of the best from eight other countries; to race with them and to potentially stand on the podium there – at the famous Le Mans; and to bring home the trophy. Would this not be grand? Would it not be enough? Perhaps, yes.
But together with the Polish Motorsport Association (PZM), we believe that there should be something more for the girls in this program that will help them polish and develop their skills, to bond with the group to learn more and to understand more about racing and motorsport. Racing is my life and my life is racing. I know, of course, that I will not be able to race for the rest of my life. As with any sport ? when taking the long-term view ? time is not on our side. But for now, racing is my life and I will do my level best to keep it that way for long time.
I started my car racing adventure with Karting. In 2011, I won the Polish Championship Competition. Later I represented Poland as a member of the Poland?s National Team. Today, I race on race tracks all over the world from Dubai to Daytona. This season I am racing in the GT4 European Championship. It has been, and it is an exciting journey, an adventure that was paid for by putting racing before and above other things; endless hours in training, both on the track and in the gym, countless airplane trips and, what sometimes seem as endless, times spent waiting at the airports. I would not give it up for anything in the world.
Do I know my way around the track now? Do I understand the nature of the beast? Have I tamed it? To some extent, yes, although there still are surprises and nerve wracking moments. As they say there is never a dull moment at the racetrack. But, all in all, this is a part of the wonder, it keeps you focused and on your toes. It keeps your skills sharp and your attention where it needs to be. Because, when you are at it, there behind the wheel, every particle of every minute and every second matters; and you are all that you have to depend on.
Do I still remember, what first steps in Karting was like? But, of course. It is something that you never forget. I still remember all the questions that I wanted to ask and the only person I could turn to ask them was my Dad. The magic terminology that I did not know and then the same terminology even more magic because in a foreign language. The things that were there, and still are, to learn, internalize and make it a part of your natural reflexes and responses. The entire you, as the race driver, that you must develop and keep working on improving it day after day, minute after a minute, a race after a race. I was and am lucky, I met some wonderful people who helped and guided me, had raced with the best and had the opportunity to learn from them, and most of all there always was and is my Dad, my best fan and best friend who is the backbone of my support.
But is does get lonely and scary, especially at the beginning. Therefore, together with PZM and a group of expert-friends, we put a 6-month training program for the selected finalists. The program consists of six two-days hands-on training sessions – during which the girls would not only have opportunities to improve their practical driving skills, but also acquire the critical technical English vocabulary and interpersonal communication skills to communicate with the support teams and to be able to converse freely with their counterparts. There will be a workshop on life after racing, and the professional opportunities for those who would like to make Motorsport their professional life. Just like Motorsport journalism, becoming a personal trainer, or becoming a specialist within the media and Motorsport branding campaigns and many more. They will also learn about team building, developing their personal and interpersonal skills and how to sustain self-motivation and self-discipline. We truly want the girls, not only to be best as race drivers, we want to help them be the best, at what is most important, to be best at being people.
I am very happy PZM has the overall patronage over the program. That Rafa? Sonic has also accepted the ambassador function for this program and that many other well-known persons from the Motorsport, moto-journalism and other professional domains are involved in promoting this program. I believe, with all my heart, that this is a wonderful occasion to truly show the girls what Motorsport is and how many opportunities are in it even for those who do not decide to make racing their life but would love to stay professionally involved with the Motorsport. And of course, I will keep my fingers crossed for our Polish team to be the best, at Le Mans Race Track.