For all you young fans of racing – here is a “What’s up” with the “Girls on Track-Karting Challenge on and off the race track. After two rounds of in-country elimination the jury chose 14 candidates to further train and compete for three slots on the final race challenge at Le Mans in 2019.
The circuits chosen for the elimination races were set to the specifications set by the FIA. The races had a very technical character as the driving skills of the contestants had to be clearly demonstrated and measured by this same standard. Challenges included sharp turns, high speed sections, slaloms and rapid switch-backs. Negotiation of traffic cones set very close to one another and there were penalties for coming in contact with them.
Gosia Rdest, the Ambassador of the program, was there for the Girls during both elimination in Tychy on May 26-27, 2018 and in Rzeszów on August 12-13, 2019. Gosia, who started her own racing career at the Karting track being just 12 years old, fully understands the adrenaline rush, the unmatched feeling of being #1 on the podium both in Karting and now in speed racing. She has and is racing on race tracks all over the world from Daytona to Dubai. She also knows the feeling of despair of a race gone wrong, regardless of whose or what’s fault. She knows what it feels like when your hard work, training, sacrificing time with family and friends, all of it goes down the drain because of a mistake, bad weather, car failure etc. But she, also knows the most important thing. She knows how to get pass all of this, pick herself up, “get it together” and stand up and race and do her level best to race better than she has ever done before. She now that past mistakes are not to dwell on it, but to learn from them and she knows that the only competitor that we truly race against today is ourselves from the day before. So she was there to cheer and support and show that it is possible if you truly want it and are willing to work hard to get it.
But, Gosia also knows, from her own experience, that the iron will, talent and passion are not enough if the knowledge element is missing from the equation. And this is where the training program come in. All fourteen finalists will participate in a three month follow-up training program prepared by Gosia in cooperation with the Polish Motorsport Association (PZM) and a group of dedicated enthusiasts and pros of the motor sport. Participating in four program blocks, offered during a two-day weekend courses spanning over 3 month period, the Girls will learn “what it means and what it takes to be a successful race driver”. But they will learn more than that. as the curriculum includes: “the technical vocabulary of racing”; “Successful teamwork”; “interpersonal communication skills”; “self-perception; self-assessment, self-imaging and planning for success. There also will be a bloc on the Motorsport related professional opportunities, such as Motorsport journalism, personal managers and trainers of race drivers; dietitians and health advisers, technical support staff and more.
The training starts in September with a visit to the Polish Motor Championship Race in Poznań. Under Gosia’s supervision the Girls will visit the garages and the “PITS” and observe the work of the technical support staff and the training of the race drivers. The cherry on the cake will be a ride on the track with Gosia being seated on the next to the driver seat. So buckle up Girls and get your adrenaline flowing.
“We want to show to the Girls the “entire scene of the Motorsport” demonstrate to them that it comes as a complete set of tasks, skills, talents and activities. Even the best, most talented, race driver would not be able to race and win without the support of the best talents that work tirelessly behind the scene. Racing is a team-effort and there are plenty of opportunities to find a challenging career within the Motorsport not only as a race driver. For an example great communication and personal skills are needed for fundraising. And everyone knows that racing will not be capable to operate without the financial backing of patrons. We are very proud to have Ravenol as one of the sponsors of this training program. The Company has been involved in supporting women in Motorsport for some time now. Ravenol has sponsored me personally for the two last seasons. I am very thankful that Ravenol has agreed to extend our cooperation to include the Girls on Track-Karting Challenge project. I am keeping my fingers crossed for all the Girls. Yes, only three of the finalists will compete at Le Mans, but all of them will acquire portable skills to carry with them wherever their life may lead them and hopefully make long-lasting friendships built upon true and honest competition and teamwork.”
So yeah, that’s it for now. Keep your fingers crossed for the Girls and stay tuned for more info!