On April 13-14, the RAF Academy - SMP Racing was opened in the Rostov region, at the Lemar circuit.The main purpose of the academy is to prepare kart drivers in the elementary Micro class. SMP Racing drivers Vitaly Petrov, Alexey Basov and Vladimir Atoev attended the event and gave master classes to young drivers and awarded the winners of the competition.
The coaches of the Academy conduct theoretical and practical classes with young drivers in the the Micro class, the primary class in karting. Children aged 6-7 years study traffic safety on the highway, flag signals and rules of competitions, pass exams, practice on the track on the MGT-01 sports chassis with a 60 cc Parilla engine and successfully take part in competitions.
The main tasks of the Academy of the RAF - SMP Racing is to teach young drivers the basics of motorsport, to select young talented drivers who will later have the opportunity to develop and improve racing skills after joining the Academy and the SMP Racing Junior program. In previous years, SMP Racing Academy educated drivers who later took part in the world karting and formula series and are currently competing in Russian and European championships.
The members of the Academy of the RAF - SMP Racing also participate in the Karting Championships of Russia in the Micro class. The first event took place in Rostov-on-Don on April 12-14. It was attended by 23 young drivers. Alexander Ponomarev (Odintsovo, Moscow region) became the winner of the competition, while the drivers from Vladivostok, Efim Derunov and Dmitry Matrenin, took second and third place respectively.
“The RAF Academy - SMP Racing is a built structure, a kind of ladder that helps young drivers to move up from class to class in karting,” SMP Racing driver Alex Basov commented. “Children join the Academy at the age of 6-7 years old and first drive in the Micro class. Our task is to teach them how to work with a kart, how to behave on the track and to explain the rules of motorsport. I am engaged in the work of the Academy and my role is to look for talented, promising drivers who will be able to prove themselves in competitions in the future, and to give them a chance to join the SMP Racing Junior program. Together with other coaches we attend classes and competitions, answer questions, work with children individually. In Rostov-on-Don, we held the first round, came here with other drivers of the SMP Racing program and showed the participants the BR01 sport prototype, formula cars and junior dragsters, so that the children could see what they could do in the future. They could also speak with famous Russian drivers and ask them questions. In my opinion, the event was a success, all the guys were satisfied and are looking forward to the second round of the RAF Academy - SMP Racing.”
“I really liked the competition of the Academy of the RAF - SMP Racing, which took place in Rostov-on-Don,” SMP Racing driver Vitaly Petrov shared. “It is always very interesting for me to take part in events with children. Everyone is real here: the guys are fighting for a win, they have a goal. This is very emotional, I immediately remembered my childhood and my competitions. I gave a small master class to children, spoke about the championships and answered their questions. I liked that children take motorsport very seriously, ask interesting questions, even corrected me when I made a mistake. The main advice that I gave them is to use all the possibilities they have. Now in karting they have time to study the technology - engine, suspension, tires, and other important things, because later, when they go to more adult championships, there will be very little time for this. I will be happy to come to the next rounds of the Academy of the RAF - SMP Racing. It will be interesting for me to observe how young drivers are progressing."
There are six rounds of the RAF Academy - SMP Racing competitions which are held as a part of the Russian Karting Championship:
April 12-14 – Round 1, Rostov-on-Don
May 2-4 – Round 2, Ust-Labinsk (Krasnodar Krai)
June 7-9 – Round 3, Kursk
July 12-14 – Round 4, Ryazan
August 2-4 – Round 5, Ryazan
September 13-15 – Round 6, Evpatoria.