The FIA Institute Academy starts as a selection, but it’s basically not a competition, as there is no real winner in the end, the winners are all participants. Well, in the end there is one first: this year the British Jordan King, driver in GP2 and test racer of the Manor F1 team, but our representative Tim Novak, despite his dewy 21 years, once again proved with excellent performances why we consider him the greatest hope of Slovenia. racing.
For the fifth year in a row, the FIA is looking for young racers with potential, and at the same time they will be able to be ambassadors of safe driving in normal traffic. Among the 12 most promising racers in the world is also our 21-year-old mechanical engineering student Tim Novak, who graduated from this year's academy with excellent performances in Melk, Austria.
“Although the last workshop was dedicated to driving, it was much more varied, as we didn’t just turn the steering wheel and press on the gas. On the first day, they first checked our progress in physical fitness from the first workshop in Edinburgh. I knew I was making progress, but I wasn’t sure if that was enough. After checking, however, I was relieved, as the progress was huge, especially in terms of fitness. I think this is one of the biggest leaps in all previous Academies in the field of fitness, which really made me happy, because my efforts and hard work have more than paid off. "
This was followed by a kart race, where the racers are of course more at home. “It was pretty rough at first because they knocked me off the track, but it’s a real race. In the end, I won 6th place, which was a great result for the given situation, "said Novak. The first day ended with a lecture on safety equipment in racing cars, potential injuries and some first aid procedures at the race. Lectures were given by FIA chief consultants Andy Mellor (technical consultant) and dr. Paul Trafford (medical assistance consultant). “It was interesting to hear in more detail about safety equipment, and above all, a lot was said about concussion, which is unfortunately a fairly common injury in traffic accidents. And we are not even aware of that, so such a lecture should be heard by all racers! "
Then finally drove the real cars. They started on a slippery surface for safe slalom riding and obstacle avoidance, and then finally started racing. “First we had a start-up competition, of course on a wet smooth surface in a powerful Lexus RC F that draws about 8‘ horsepower ’from the V480 engine. This was followed by fast laps on the racetrack, the only difference was between a standing and flying start or a flying and standing finish. The overall goal was quite interesting, as we all tried to brake as late as possible. I didn't win individual competitions, but in the end I was still in 2nd place after adding up all the points, which means that I was pretty constant, "added Leščan and added:" This time there was no theory, just a few general hints. by the instructors, which was of course a challenge for us. So I had to rely quite a bit on my feeling and use the knowledge I had gained in previous workshops. I took into account the words of Alex Wurz that it is better to be a little over the limit of optimal grip than a little below. I think the tactics were appropriate, as I have made good progress in this area, ”
On Friday, when the competitions were over, the instructors also announced the recipient of the Driver of the Year title (at the Academy, of course). This is the British Jordan King, although there were quite a few candidates for the top spot. “There are no losers in this competition, as we all gained a lot of new knowledge, experience and met a lot of new people! For me, this is the biggest win of my career, as I never thought I would ever be part of such an elite society. I didn't expect a victory in Zagreb, but I did my best and then it all started. This experience completely changed my view of racing, what kind of approach is needed to succeed. From physical and mental fitness, where I made a really huge leap, to driving alone, where I noticed great progress - especially in understanding the physical background of driving! I learned what’s going on with the race car and realized what changes are needed either in the driving mode or in the settings to make you race faster. All of this would not have been possible without the great coaches and instructors I have worked with over the past year. It’s a shame it’s already over as I really enjoyed it, but all things end once and for all. For us, this experience is a real motivation for the future! ”
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