- Sodi ME and Daman Speed Academy on tour in France during the summer
- Steep learning curve as UAE drivers compete in French championship
- Top French drivers share their input with UAE contingent
In August, when it was hot in the UAE and tough to go on track, Sodi decided to team-up with Daman Speed Academy to try a new karting adventure for 15 days in France.
Both Daman Speed Academy (DSA) and SodiKart Middle East (ME) race with SodiKart chassis in the UAE Rotax Max Championship, thus this Summer Camp was a good opportunity to visit the famous factory in Nantes and also to discover a new country, race new lines and experience the French Rotax Max Challenge held on the very fast track of Laval.
The team consisting drivers from Sodi ME and DSA left the UAE with eight promising youngsters including: Khaled Rae Saab, Amna Al Qubaisi, Eliot Jones and Ahmed Akhamisi – with the objective to get to grips in different racing conditions, gain experience on the international stage, get ready for the new UAE Rotax Max season and of course have great fun!
The team went through different stages during the holiday training camp to make improvements and learn valuable lessons to refine and bolster their driving skills.
The program included circuit training, good nutrition, wet and dry practice on different tracks such as the well-known ASK Ancenis and the family track of Martini Kart Racing in Challans, and a good deal of interesting sightseeing.
Every day a different expert karting guest made an appearance to give driving tips to drivers in order for them to learn the respective tracks as quickly as possible.
Esteban Masson top French national driver in Minimes (Minimax), Cecile Martini ace driver in Senior Max, and Anthony Abbasse international SodiKart pro driver were all there to give their input and contribute to the progression of the UAE drivers throughout the summer camp.
Also present to give advice and coaching were: Vincent Fraisse (Current French Rotax Champion) giving advice on his home tracks, along with multiple UAE champion Piers Pakenham Walsh – both recently joined the SodiKart Middle East team.
The group had the privilege to go ‘behind the walls’ of SodiKart factory discovering one of the biggest operations in the karting industry. Also on the itinerary was a visit La Baule and its famous beach along with Guerande known all over the world for its famous salt.
The race weekend in Laval went well considering that the UAE drivers had only two days of practice before being thrown into the deep end to race. On the first day there was heavy rain in practice so quite useless for the drivers as the weather forecast was going to be good for the rest of the weekend – thus wet practice would have been meaningless.
One real practice day enabled the drivers to learn the track, seek the pace and make adjustments on setup to be competitive against an army of very experienced French karters battling for championship honours.
Results showed how high the level is in France – in most categories less than a second separated the majority of the field.
Sodi ME and DSA Drivers reduced the gap of about five seconds per lap on the first day and managed to finish within sight of the pace setters – a massive improvement from the drivers, but also realising there is work to do to get to the top international level.
This summer camp was a true human experience, making the Sodi ME and Daman Speed Academy teams stronger. Sharing different experiences other than the everyday practice in the UAE.
Importantly also an amazing learning curve for the drivers ahead of the UAE national racing season where Sodi equipped drivers are sure to be battling at the front.
From the notebook of Nicolas Fargeas, Sodi ME Racing Team Director