“Education is important, racing is importanter”: is this true for this generation of drivers?
Written by Alessandro Roca.
Economy is based on the concept of added value: when you run a business you’ve to make sure that revenues overtake costs and this is only possible when you sell products/provide services with an added value respect to the cost of that service/product. Without mentioning Carl Marx and his literature, I’ll go straight to the point: what’s the added value of karting?
Being a kart driver means spending days and weeks on track and this is not a negative thing after all, but it means that it’s really difficult to attend public schools. This is a huge sacrifice that has to be done if you want to succeed in motorsport, but for what? Do you (dad) have the budget to ensure that your little champ will be a professional driver? I hope that for you, but for many dads out there is not so easy to afford a racing career to their sons. It may seem that karting is a waste of money and it pushes kids away from colleges and university, but that’s not the point and it’s not true after all.
In the United States there’s another concept of sport, far far away from the one that we have in Italy for example: they award and help pro young athletes. They have scolarship for basket players, for example, in order to help them to grow both athletically and culturally. Someone has done the same in karting: the American squad Ocala Gran Prix announces that they will be giving away a total of three prepaid college/university scholarships in 2017. Drivers in the Vortex Mini ROK, Rotax Mini MAX, and Vortex ROK Junior categories who compete on the local Florida karting circuit are eligible. One scholarship will be given out in each category. With the understanding that motorsports takes children out of the classroom on a regular basis, Ocala Gran Prix is committed to keeping their drivers smart both on and off the track as they try to balance the life of karting and school.
"I have been dreaming of this for a long time, and now OGP is able handle the responsibility of having such an important program," explained OGP President Jorge Arellano. "This is something that I have had in the works for a while, and it is great to finally make it happen. We are expecting a huge showing in these three classes for our local series and I could not be more excited. I am happy to help racers and see smiles on all the kids' faces. Hopefully this will encourage all of them to hit the books hard before and after race weekends."
How great is that?! I really hope that this will “imported” also here in Europe.
Anyway, back to our business: so what’s the real added value of karting? First of all they’re made to bear a lot of responsabilities, they’re ready to fight again themselves and their rivals to succeed and this determination will help them outside of the track. They’re more mature than their contemporaries and they grow in a very dynamic environment. The perfect example is Andrea Kimi Antonelli: did you hear his last interview on Castelletto’s podium? He was like a little F.1 little …! When I interviewed him I had the feeling to interview a real pro-driver!
Moreover they learn how to drive: I started driving on track with a Formula Junior 1.2 Monza when I was 16 years old and this “racing” attitude saved my life once or twice on the public road: this driving experience along tracks, thanks to a chance of experimenting limits and dynamics of a vehicle in various weather and climates, is a good way of prevention. Driving along a track for them has become a sport, driving on a road is then something that they have been trained to do. Karting is a serious thing, especially when it can help to save lives!
To conlude: it doesn’t matter if your child is the next F.1 World Champion or not, karting is a preparation for life and it will learn them more than school, but it’s better to find a good balance between the one and the other…!