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WIM – Personal preparation takes centre stage for aspiring racers

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The second full day of the European Final of the Girls on Track Karting Challenge focused on off-track preparation and the importance of being physically and mentally ready for the cut-throat world of motor sport. Talent behind the wheel is fundamental to success, but having that extra advantage over the competition cannot be underestimated.

“All today’s activities are showing what it takes to be a complete racing driver,” said Gosia Rdest, Vice Champion of the 2018 Polish Touring Car Championship. “That is not only about being fast on the track, but having the possibility to prepare to be fast. It is about physical preparation, having a clean mentality and having good concentration and reaction time.  All the girls seem to be very motivated and prepared and I think it means a lot for them to be here; they are certainly doing their best to prove they have the right to be here.”

Relentless training is part of the motor racing game and the Girls on Track finalists were put through their paces in a number of different activities to demonstrate how a full training plan can help them reach a peak level of fitness, and therefore performance.

VMA (vitesse maximale aérobie/maximal aerobic speed) tests were included to measure endurance capability and thoracic capacity, and exercises to boost memory, hand and feet co-ordination required maximum concentration from the girls.

The Batak reaction machine - which has a series of visually bright LED targets that are randomly lit and must be struck out by the young athletes - proved fun as well as demonstrating how such exercises can help improve reaction, hand-eye co-ordination and stamina.

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, who was the first female to win a round of the Swedish Touring Car Championship, underlined the value of such training. “All these tests show how important the physical and mental preparation is. Of course the girls feel under pressure, especially with so many people watching and assessing them, but they have been 100% focused and able to exclude everything else around them. I was so impressed and motivated and it makes me so happy to see how dedicated all the girls are to doing the maximum.”

Tomorrow is the final day of the Girls on Track Karting Challenge European Final and the girls will once again take to the Le Mans Circuit International de Karting for final practice, semi-finals and the grand final for nine of the participants. As such, the final session of today will have again proved critical to their preparations for tomorrow as the FFSA Academy coaches spent time dissecting the track via on-board footage which demonstrated optimum racing lines, braking and acceleration points to set the fastest lap time.

Find more pictures here.