The 2017 edition of Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s youth programs enters the heart of the season. In June, the Imola Autodrome hosted the first training session for members of the two talent programs of Lamborghini’s Motorsport division: the Young Drivers Program, open to young drivers who compete in the single-brand Lamborghini Super Trofeo, and those in the GT3 Junior Program, reserved to young talents who race in the major GT championships worldwide with the Huracán GT3.
In all, more than forty promising young Motorsport talents were selected by Lamborghini Squadra Corse with the aim to help them grow toward becoming professional drivers and brand ambassadors.
For Lamborghini’s racing division, in fact, talent and speed on the track are not the only prerequisites necessary for becoming a “Pro”. Other qualities are required, and for this reason Squadra Corse’s talent programs are organized so as to offer the young drivers all the tools necessary for honing and developing their qualities in the most effective way. This means improving their skills as racing car testers by working closely with the technicians and engineers of the racing division; guiding them towards the most effective athletic training for the Motorsport discipline; and teaching them the values of the Lamborghini brand through guided tours at the Sant’Agata Bolognese headquarters, in addition to product training and instruction in behavioral and communication aspects.
“At Lamborghini Squadra Corse – comments Giorgio Sanna, Head of Motorsport of Automobili Lamborghini – we are proud to see the growth of the Young Drivers Program year after year. The importance of this program and the interest it is generating in both the drivers and industry professionals throughout the world means that we have to set high quality standards and apply cutting-edge instructional methods in Motorsport, because – I have to underscore – even if only a few arrive at being official drivers during their experience with Lamborghini, in any case we have contributed to creating driving professionals for the near future.”
Track testing and development with the Lamborghini Huracán
One of the special features of Lamborghini’s youth programs is allowing the drivers to participate in the development tests for the competition cars, working alongside the staff of the Motorsport division.
At the Imola Autodrome, Lamborghini Squadra Corse sets up a real racing team, just like on a race weekend, who are engaged in two areas of testing: with the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo for the participants of the Young Drivers Program and with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 for members of the GT3 Junior Program.
The program is supervised by Raffaele Giammaria, director of the Scuola Federale ACI SPORT, along with a staff of professional drivers who assess each individual driver during the training period. The aim is to teach the young drivers to work as a team and relate with team members, and to assess their sensitivity and their ability to adapt to the car during the testing phase.
The activities include simulations of races and qualifying sessions, as well as set-up tests for the cars and the tires with technical partner Pirelli, which also provided the new PZero Velo tires for the bike sessions. Following the lap sessions, ample space is given to telemetry data analysis with the specialized engineers, as well as feedback between the driver and the technicians after each driving session.
But above all, the supervisor and the Squadra Corse coaches have the opportunity to observe the aptitude of each individual driver and to evaluate their work, compiling a detailed report that takes into account not only on-track performance but also behavioral and character aspects, which are the basis of professionalism.
Good physical fitness is the basis of any sports discipline, Motorsport included. Lamborghini Squadra Corse therefore gives particular importance to the athletic preparation of its drivers, using fitness professionals who can monitor and improve the physical condition of the young trainees.
One of the new features of the 2017 edition is the introduction of cycling, a sport that can be easily practiced by all the drivers when they are not engaged on the track. The athletic training session of the Lamborghini drivers kicks off with a morning session on racing bikes over the almost five kilometers of the Imola Autodrome, including remote monitoring of their physical condition in real time.
Next comes the real training workout: a circuit comprising different stations with aerobic and strength-building exercises alternating with reflex tests. One of the objectives, in fact, is to assess each driver’s mental concentration during extreme physical exertion, which in essence is what drivers actually confront during endurance competitions. The athletic program is supervised by Driver Performance fitness professionals, whose job is to monitor the drivers’ fitness levels and compile a dedicated report that will contribute to the overall assessment of each driver.
The values of the Lamborghini brand
Another fundamental aspect of the program is the theoretical part, an immersion in the values of the Lamborghini brand to impart behavioral and communication notions. All the members of the Young Drivers Program and the GT3 Junior Program are invited to Sant’Agata Bolognese to have a first-hand experience of Automobili Lamborghini. The guided tour of the production lines and the Lamborghini Museum is an extraordinary opportunity for the young drivers to get to know the brand values up close. They also participate in workshops on Lamborghini products to discover all the secrets of the latest models and their technical features.
Last but not least is the importance of communication, whether in regard to how to relate with the media during an interview, the correct use of social networks, or relations with customers as an instructor at the Accademia.
Life experience as well as professional experience
What Lamborghini Squadra Corse offers the young Motorsport talents is not just a program aimed at grooming them to be professional drivers. One concrete opportunity is to become an instructor at Lamborghini’s official driving school, the Accademia. Drivers who demonstrate that they possess the right qualities and attitude are selected by the team and given specific training for this type of profession, which for many of them is their first work experience, thus they become brand ambassadors. For the young drivers, it is an extraordinary opportunity to work in contact with a professional staff, to share their passion with the Accademia customers, and to encounter people from different places and cultures.
The next training session of the Young Drivers Program and the GT3 Junior Program is scheduled to take place in the last week of October, once again in Imola.