Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nissan GT Academy. Final. Day 2. 29.09.2013.

On the second day at 7-30 we had a breakfast. Then at 8-30 the instructors came in and divided us in 3 groups. One group moved for interview with general manager of Nissan GT Academy, the other people went to drive Nissan GT-R on International part of Silverstone, another group went to Stowe circuit to drive Nissan 370z. I was in first group and was interviewed at first. There was nothing special, just ordinary questions. Then I drove Nissan GT-R. It was really amazing. I have never even been the passenger of such a fast car. First three laps instructor showed me the breaking points and the right trajectory. Then he said me: “It is your time, man”. My instructor was Rob. He is really good and friendly man. When I sat to the car and start driving, I was excited. The acceleration, breaking, turning are amazing. However the weight of a car is big, about 2 tones. At that moment I felt a difference between computer game and real driving. First laps I made a lot of mistakes, sometimes I was too quick in the entrance, sometimes too slow, sometimes I missed the apex. It was really difficult, in game you see all the apexes, because the screen is small and the camera is higher. However in real life the size of a track is huge, the distance between corners is big and it is very important how and where you see. Sometimes the speed reached 250 km/h. Then the instructors were changed and Max Snegirev sat into the car. I started to drive and Max quickly described me the mistakes that I did. He helped to improve my skills. Thanks a lot, Max.
Then our group went to Stowe circuit to drive Nissan 370z. The procedure was the same. My instructor was Alex. Alex is good man and very sporty. It was easier to drive on Stowe, because the circuit is small and you can see all the apexes. Also Nissan 370z has a manual gear box with a stick. I like it more than shift paddles on the wheel. Instructor made some corrections, when I was driving. I understood, that you should drive and do all the actions smooth, but quick. It is very important how you manage the weight of a car. This is the reason why you should do everything smoothly. I liked Nissan 370z. It is a really good car with good balance. When the exercise finished, instructor made some notes. 

In the afternoon we had a lunch and moved to the class for some instructions of driving Formula cars (single seaters). It was exciting to drive Formulas. They had 1.6 liters, but the weight was very small, about 400 kilos. We made some laps behind the safety car and then stopped in pit stop. We did not know what we were going to do next.

The next event was the first real competition in Nissan GT Academy. It was called quatrothlon. At first you run (about 900 meters), then you took tire and run with tire about 50 meters. This was the first stage of the competition. After the stage, the last two of us left the competition. I took the first place on this stage. However, Denis Yartsev started very good and was in front of all nearly all the distance. Then we might wear our racing suits and go to the Formulas. I lost some time here and was second one who sat in Formula. So I started the second, but lost else one position, because my car has problem with switching to 4th gear, so I cannot use the maximum speed on the straights and as a result lost this place. This was Stanislav Aksenov (the winner of Nissan GT Academy) who overtook me. I lost time on straights, but was very quick in corners, I even overtook Stanislav one time in corner, but then he overtook me back, because I cannot use 4th gear. Stanislav said me that he had problems with 3rd gear. It was an interesting and honest fight. Thanks a lot, Stanislav. So we drove three laps in Formulas and finished on the following positions: Artem Vohrintsev, Stanislav Aksenov, Alexey Sirotkin, Stanislav Yarkov, Igor Chichaev and Vitaly Kuvarzin. There were 6 of us who continued the competition. Then we might ride a bike for about 4 kms. I lost some time on wearing my open-face helmet and started 4th on bike. Somebody changed my bike as a result I have a very low seat and cannot go fast, however I overtook one man and finished 3rd in this competition. The last stage was three laps in Silverstone on Nissan GT-R. When the competition ends, my result was 3rd position. The distance was big between us before the last stage, so I had not chance to improve my result. On the one hand I was happy that I was 3rd. On the other hand I was upset, because I lost all the time on dressing and I was able to fight for the first position. The first real competition finished and we moved to the boot camp.

The next task for all of us was one flying lap on Stowe circuit on Nissan GT-R without test attempts. The instructors noted the time. Then they checked our progress related to this time during the week. I made three huge mistakes, Nissan GT-R is much faster than Nissan 370z and the weight is bigger. It is quite heavy car. It is very important how you manage the weight. On Nissan GT-R it is very important to work on exists. If you try to break hard on entrance and miss an apex a little, it will break the exit and you will lose much time. My mistakes were very late breakings. The entrance was very quick three times and I lost the apex. As a result I lost time on exit. However I shown the 6 result of all (I heard this in radio set). Without these mistakes I could be a one second faster. After the first day I was really surprised with my results. In everyday life I even had not a car. I drove a real car five times this year (took my father's BMW X3 to catch my parents from airport and drove to shop). I did not know whether the instructors had this information, but they were surprised, when I said them this info last day in the dinner. The second day came to the end and one of us might leave the Nissan GT Academy. Unfortunately it was Evgeniy Neitman.

No comments:

Post a Comment