tô pra dizer que esse foi um momento que entrou pro meu hall of doçura.
gentileza gera gentileza, só dizendo.
tô pra dizer que esse foi um momento que entrou pro meu hall of doçura.
gentileza gera gentileza, só dizendo.
Kimi’s avoidance tactics
to te vendo, menino!
Soon my personal website will be up and running.
As soon as it’s ready, I’ll post a link. So you will be the first to know.
Gilles Villeneuve = ultimate racing driver.
my middle name is Gilles…after him =]
From the cockpit:
As a Formula BMW driver, I am required to wear:
Nomex is the name for the fire-retardant material racing drivers use to protect themselves in the case of an accident. As you can imagine, wearing all this Nomex on a hot day could get very, well…hot. And when you sweat in Nomex…it becomes itchy.
The HANS device is the neckbrace that single-seater racing drivers use. The seat straps go over the device on your shoulders and the device connects to the sides of your helmet to reduce whiplash in an accident.
I have never felt so claustrophobic - yet more at home - as when I have been strapped into a Formula BMW. The seat-straps and HANS device restrict your movement to the point where you can only move your arms and your head about 30 degrees to each side - just enough to be able to see your rear-view mirror.
After having exerted themselves to the point where they are red in the face and their is sweat pouring into their eyes; the mechanic who is tightening your belt will ask if you are still able to breathe. If you answer yes, he will proceed to tighten you belts until breathing literally becomes painful.
There is hardly any space to move your feet - as you can see by the photos of the pedals - and it can get very uncomfortable if a part of your body becomes unbearably itchy - such as when you sweat while wearing Nomex…
The driver’s view is limited to pretty much the piece of road in front of him due to the low-ride height of the car. To put things into perspective; only about 30% of the top of the front tyre can be seen by the driver when he is strapped in.
However, all this is forgotten the second you dump the clutch and floor the accelerator. The concentration required for perfect braking, cornering, gearing and throttle control takes over any other worry or irritation which may be residing at the front of your mind.
That is why I love racing. There are no worries. Other than, of course: DON’T CRASH!
In 2009, my dad and I decided that the next best course of action concerning my racing would be to take part in the RGMMC Rotax Max Euros which is an open karting championship comprising of four 5-day events throughout the year in 4 different countries. In 2009, the circuits were: Zuera in Spain; KartPlanet Busca in Italy; Autodrom Ceska Lipa in the Czech Republic, and Salbris in France. There is also an additional event called the RGMMC Winter Cup which runctions as if it were a Euro event and awards the winner with a free entry into the four Euro events for that particular year. In 2009, the W.Cup took place in Campillos, Spain and that’s where these photos were taken. I didn’t finish particularly well due to multiple incidents on-circuit, but I did get the fastest lap in two of the three qualifying heats. This, at the time, was quite an exceptional achievement for a rookie driver.
The kart I was driving was a 2009 CRG Road Rebel and I was in the British team HRS Motorsport which was run by a man named Tristram Oman. The engineer’s name was Nigel Horner and he built amazing engines. I’ll never forget that year of racing. It was the first time I started travelling overseas for karting and it was probably the most fun any 15-year-old could have ever had.
If you wanna know…in the theory room, I’m the one wearing the blue hoodie. I have black hair and my hoodie says Italia on it. The teenagers in the room are those who qualified for the Formula BMW Talent Cup 2011. Made up of 10 Germans, an Austrian, a Portuguese kid, a Brit and two South African - one of which is me. Enjoy!
PS: My dad is the guy closest to the camera at 00:34 :)
These are just a couple more photos of me in action at the circuits Monteblanco and Cartagena both in Spain as I was qualifying for my seat in the 2011 program. The other photos are of the pit garage at Cartagena where the cars await their drivers and one of the 140 brake-horsepower engines being repaired. Good times…
The greatest song that ever existed. It’s one of those songs that you’ll either love or hate. It’s called Bromance (Avicii Arena Remix) by Tim Berg and it gives me shivers.
Recently, I have been putting up quite a few photos picturing myself and Sebastian Vettel (among others) concerning Formula BMW. But today I realised that I haven’t actually explained what Formula BMW is. So that’s what I’m gonna do…
Let’s start with the car. The details are going to be very technical and greasemonkey-oriented. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, then - by all means - skip this paragraph and move on to the more interesting bits. The Formula BMW FB02 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in about 3.7 seconds. That’s faster than most sports cars and as fast as a Ferrari Enzo. It has a top speed of about 240km/h depending on the weight of the driver and conditions. The funny things is this though: the engine specs are not that impressive. The FB02 has a 1.2 litre motorbike, in-line, 4-cylinder engine which only produces 140bhp. What IS impressive is the fact that the FB02 only weighs a mere…wait for it…455kg! There are actual people (not many) that weigh more than this car. Road cars average in at 1 500kg. This is all thanks to the Mygale-designed, carbon-fibre monocoque which even meets the safety spec of Formula 3. The FB02 also has a 6-forward, reverse-enabled gearbox derived from Formula 3 which is incredibly efficient and durable.
Story: In October last year (2010), I represented South Africa at the ROK World Karting Finals where I finished 6th in the Dell’Orto Final after starting 17th…in the wet. But I’ll write about that at a later stage; let’s focus on BMW. When I got home, there was an e-mail waiting for us from BMW Germany inviting me to attend the Qualifying Course for the Talent Cup 2011 (I’ll post sites later, but if you’re interested, type “Formula BMW Talent Cup” into Google or go to the BMW-motorsport website for more information). This was a huge break for me because Formula BMW is an internationally-recognised echelon for young drivers who are trying to make a career out of motorsport. The program consists of about 11 European events, of which 5 include racing. There are 18 races in the year (3 at each racing event), and the other 5/6 events include theoretical approach, PR training, media awareness, personal fitness and nutrition camps, as well as a Winter Camp where we go skiing or snowboarding as a bonding exercise. I think the Winter Camp also comprises some fitness, I think. The winner of the Grand Final - which take place at the end of the year - will receive a fully-financed season in ATS Formula 3. This is a huge prize, seeing as a season in F3 could cost as much as 400 000 Euros.
I went to the Qualifying Course at the Circuito Monteblanco, Spain. I was really nervous; I had never driven a single-seater in my life before, whereas some of the other drivers even OWNED their own cars. We started with some simple gear-changing exercises and braking exercises in order to get used to the car. It started off rather tediously when some of the other drivers stalled their BMWs about 6 or 7 times before actually getting it rolling. One driver even crashed into the pit wall at about 5km/h! I am proud to declare that I didn’t stall the car once the entire weekend - patience is a virtue. After the exercises, we drove around the circuit behind a safety car getting progressively faster to the point where some drivers started spinning due to either inexperience or downright fear. We took part in quite a few theory classes learning about driving technique (of which the most difficult thing to learn was the “blipping” of the throttle while downshifting into a corner in order to settle the weight transfer of the car), aerodynamics, suspension and racing line. The next day it started to, uh, rain…a lot. We went out scared as anything trynig to impress our instructors without spinning. The bottom of the car is so close to the ground that when you drive over a puddle, the car literally floats above the ground. When this happens, the car does not react to ANY steering or braking input. This is called aquaplaning and it is VERY scary. It started happening at around about 200km/h in some places. The instructors called us in early because the weather was too treacherous for inexperienced drivers. My dad greeted me with the knowledge that I had been the fastest driver that session. After the weekend, BMW Germany told me I had qualified to be one of only 15 drivers who were eligible to compete in the 2011 Talent Cup - 11 of which were German!
The program costs an incredibly affordable 125 000 Euros. This includes the Formula BMW car, travel, hotel accommodation, testing, team clothing, racing outfit (3-layer Nomex, suit, gloves, boots, HANS device, underclothing and balaclava), insurance, hiring of BMW engineers and mechanics…pretty much EVERYTHING any 17-year-old driver could ever hope for. How many other South Africans get to travel to Europe 11 times in one year to drive cars really, really fast? We even make appearances at the 24h at Nurburgring/Nordschleife and as a DTM support race at Oschersleben, Germany.
There’s just one problem: as affordable as the program is…I can’t afford it.
That is why I am doing absolutely everything I can to find potential sponsors. If I let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip it would be such a waste. If anyone knows anyone else who is willing to help me out, it would be hugely appreciated. I have my racing CV, letter of recommendation from BMW and other info on standby if anyone wants me to e-mail them.
Please guys. It would mean the world to me. Any ideas are appreciated.
Thanks a lot.
Aidan de Nobrega
Peace out :)
This is the group of drivers that officially qualified for the Formula BMW Talent Cup 2011. Sebastian Vettel was there to give the group some advice - not only about actual driving - but also about what it takes to be a Fomula One driver: commitment, dedication and confidence in our abilities. We were also spoken to about media awareness, PR knowledge and the dos and don’ts of social-networking. It’s all very complicated really…
This is me in my Formula BMW at the Circuito Monteblanco in Spain. I am waiting for my German instructors to give me the “go-ahead”. When I get the thumbs-up, I’ll dump the clutch, reach 100km/h in less than 4 seconds, reach 5th gear, brake hard, downshift from 5th to 2nd while balancing the car with the toe-and-heel technique through each shift, turn-in, apex, and accelerate out the corner without losing the back end of the car. This all happens in about 10 seconds. My efforts are then analysed and evaluated by the BMW instructors who will score me and give me advice on how to improve. My score is added to my overall evaluation. I qualified…