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Gentlemen,start your enginges!

(2009-04-03 11:48:22)
标签:

frd

metrozine

杂谈

Gentlemen,start <wbr>your <wbr>enginges!

忘记了哪天METRO ZINE主编Sophie Li来电说:董慧,我们想做一个赛车的专题....

可能是之前一直是对媒体的出口,找到我很容易吧哈哈!

“其实我也不是很专业啦,只是在赛车圈混过几年而已”我的潜台词呵呵!

“请问有什么可以帮你的吗?”我说

“我们是想做国内的赛事专题,一些赛事推广公司之类的.....”Sophie Li说了很多他的想法

经过沟通,最终还是推荐了FRD,因为觉得他们的资历和成绩都比较符合Sophie Li的要求!很快METRO ZINE的编辑们列出了QA给KEN MA,几经周折,数周之后的这一刻,我收到了杂志的样刊!

 

 Gentlemen,start <wbr>your <wbr>enginges! Gentlemen,start <wbr>your <wbr>enginges!

Gentlemen,start <wbr>your <wbr>enginges! Gentlemen,start <wbr>your <wbr>enginges!

 

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines! 先生们,可以开始了!

text by: Vanessa Fitter, translated by: Shirley Yang

The glitz, the glamor, the stars, it has it all! No, it's not Hollywood; it's Formula 1. But the descriptions are just as apt for F1 as they are for Hollywood. Iconic drivers, adoring fans- including European royalty, and of course the first-ever night race. All that and more add up to an action-packed Sunday, every fortnight! 

One may knock it for its over-the-top opulence, but one thing is certian. The sport has raced across continental boundaries and shows no signs of slowing down. F1 is currently doing the rounds in Asia, Australia, South America and Europe. But at some point in history , every continent, with the obvious exception of Antartica, has staged F1 races. If all goes according to plan, each continent will once again see F1 come to town.

Of the 17 races that will be held this year, seven will be on Asian soil, much to the delight of the continents' diehard racing fans. Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes that the future of the sport is in Asia. Known for speaking his mind, the F1 boss once predicted that Europe in the future would not be able to compete with China, Korea or India. "In the next 10 years, Europe is going to become a third-world economy," he said. Keeping those words in mind and looking at the F1 track record, it could be said that the sport is steering towards a future pot of gold in Asia. 

In China, F1 is fast gaining speed among the masses, especially since the Chinese Grand Prix has been added to the circuit list. The internet is filled with fan pages and forums dedicated to racing heroes. In cities including Beijing and Shanghai, diehard fans take to the streets to try their maneuvering skills on their pimped-out rides. Drag racing, although illegal, does take place while the cities sleep. Lonely expressways on the outskirts of the cities are where it all goes down. Although authorities have put up CCTV cameras, racers  have outsmarted them with fake number plates.   

On the other hand there are those who stick to the legal ways of doing things, like going for a spin in a kart around a safe track with a tire boundary, in case someone should lose control. Many schools and motor sport companies are beginning to sprout up around the country and invest in young drivers. Keeping in mind the expenses that go into racing, companies also make sure they advise the rising stars on the most lucrative offers. The need for sponsorship and the act of sponsoring go hand-in-hand. The racer benefits from the investment and the companies from the publicity. The good news for China is that not only are Chinese nationals beginning to lend support but foreign investors are also reaching out.

Formula Racing Development (FRD) was founded in 1997 by racing enthusiast Kenneth Ma. The aims of FRD are four fold, first, to train and assist young Asian drivers achieve their ultimate goal of becoming an F1 driver and second, to promote racing in Asia through specialized events. Third is to help corporate partners build their brand image by providing a stable and recognized platform. By fulfilling these three aims, FRD will hope to fulfill their final one - becoming the leading company for motor sport in Asia.

At the moment, FRD is in pole position, leading the way for fellow motor sport companies in Asia. But that does not mean they will rest on their laurels, says Ma. “FRD continues as the leader of motor sport in Asia with more goals than ever. As the company expands year by year, goals are successfully reached and standards are raised.”

FRD follows high standards using European technology and systems as references. Mix that with a couple of solid partnerships and Ma hopes he has the recipe for success. “With FRD's close cooperative relationship with Shanghai International Circuit, Zhuhai International Circuit, Beijing Goldenport International Circuit and strong connections to European teams like Renault F-1 team, it may only be a matter of time before China has its first F1 driver.”

The first event organized by FRD was their junior Formula series, Formula Campus, in 1997. Ma had a clear objective for this. “FRD brought over the Formula Campus from France for one simple reason. To offer a technologically advanced single-seater at a low cost by keeping all the cars identical.” FRD worked closely with Chang'an Ford on this project in 2006 and 2007, which saw the series change its name to Ford Formula Campus.

Another big success was the Formula Renault 2.0, which started in 2000. “FRD brought FR 2.0 single-seater cars to China and held the Asian Formula Renault race debut, which is considered the best stepping stone for young drivers to move into higher series,” explains Ma.

Since then FRD has launched a variety of races and even conducts events for amateur racers, like Track Day, Racing School and Corporate Day. Ma and his team have been working round the clock to come up with new programs to train young Asian drivers so that one day they too can achieve success like some of the company’s famed alumni, Marchy Lee, Jim Kato, Jiang Tengyi and Franky Chang.  Ma couldn't be happier. “Most of these drivers are enjoying a successful career in racing and gaining international attention.”

Ma, who is quite the accomplished racer himself, agrees that the future for racing in Asia is bright, “It's all about commercial value. As you know, Asia is developing. People nowadays focus on Asia.” He seemed happy with the way F1’s newest race addition, Singapore, stepped up. “Excellent! It was very attractive. The races, cars, drivers and atmosphere were all good. It was  really like a carnival. Hospitality is very important; it created a good atmosphere for everyone.”

For Ma and fellow racing fanatics out there, let’s hope that the chequered flag continues to fly high!

镁光闪烁,群星夺目,大腕云集,这里的一切都令人炫目!不,我说的不是好莱坞,我说的是F1赛场。这些词难道不能用来形容今天的F1吗?声名赫赫的赛车手,痴迷狂热的赛车迷,我不得不补充一句,这些人中更是包括欧洲皇族,当然,还有首次举办的夜间赛车。

也许有人会说这种烧钱的运动只是有钱人的专利,但不能否认的是它已¾­超越了国家甚至大陆的界限,它还将越战越勇,打破更多的禁忌和界限。目前,F1已¾­登陆亚洲,澳洲,南美和欧洲。曾¾­F1的足迹踏遍过全球所有的大洲(当然,南极洲除外),如果计划没有改变,这一历史还将重演。

今年的17场F1比赛中,有7场在亚洲举办,这让亚洲的F1迷们兴奋不已。F1首席执行官Bernie Ecclestone认为亚洲才是这项运动的将来。这位F1当家人的心直口快是出了名的,他说,“未来十年,欧洲只是一个世界排名第三的¾­济体,它无法同中国、韩国和印度竞争。”这位Ecclestone先生显然话里有话,再看看F1的成长轨迹,这显然就在说F1必须调整好方向,随时向着遍地金银的金銮殿出发。

在中国,F1迅速捕获了一大批粉丝,特别是自从中国大奖赛加入到F1的队伍之后。粉丝们在网络上建立论坛和网站来表达对车手的拥戴。在北京上海等大城市,粉丝们在街头举办À­力赛,比拼车技。尽管是违法的,但飙车活动还是在半夜睡熟中的城市里悄然上演。城市外围的高速公路就是飙车勇士们的战场。电子摄像头也不管用,因为他们会通过伪造车牌等方式来逃避处罚。

另一方面,还是有很多人坚持用正确的方式来表达对F1的痴迷,比如,在安全的赛道上玩卡丁车。很多赛车学校和赛车公司也开始在全国范围内涌现,培养年轻车手。考虑到赛车运动需要投入的巨额费用,赛车公司要确保他们投资的车手必须是有潜力的新星,日后能为他们带来丰厚的回报。车手们需要资助,赛车公司们给予资助,双方的亲密合作为赛车运动的发展奠定了基础。车手受益于赞助公司,而给予赞助的公司受益于公众。近来,不仅仅是中国国内的公司,很多外资企业也开始资助车手。

集老板、推广人和车手等身份于一身的马汉华先生,于1997年创办FRD方程式赛车有限公司。FRD的目标很明确,首先是要发掘并培养中国年轻车手不断向F1的大舞台迈进;第二是要举办高水平的亚洲赛事;第三是为车手提供优质且实惠的配套服务;在实现了这三大目标之后,FRD现在正在实现它的第四个目标,那就是成为亚洲赛车运动的佼佼者。

目前,亚洲范围内,FRD已¾­在众多赛车公司中脱颖而出,但他们并没有躺在成绩上睡大觉,马先生说,“FRD将继续成为亚洲赛车运动的领跑者,我们又有了很多新的目标。公司在一年年壮大,我们成功实现了很多目标,也制定了很多新的标准。”

马汉华先生希望自己胜券在握,因为FRD参照欧洲相对成熟的技术和系统,同时拥有两位颇具实力的合作伙伴。“FRD与上海国际赛车场,珠海国际赛车场以及北京金港赛车场都有密切合作,另外也与欧洲知名车队如雷诺 F1保持着联系,中国迟早会出现自己的F1赛车手,这只是一个时间的问题。”

首个由FRD组织的赛事是初级方程式系列赛,1997年开始的康巴斯方程式赛。马汉华的目标非常明确:“FRD从法国引进康巴斯方程式赛的Ô­因很简单,那就是提供一种高级且高科技的单座车,并且通过保持所有赛车的统一性来降低成本。”FRD在2006年和2007年与长安福特紧密合作,名称也改为福特康巴斯方程式赛车。

另外一个成功就是2000年引进的雷诺2.0方程式赛车,马汉华解释说:“FRD引进雷诺2.0单座汽车,举办了首个亚洲雷诺方程式比赛,这一举动颇受关注,成为年轻赛车手进入更高级别系列比赛的垫脚石。”

FRD设置了各种规格的比赛,甚至也有专为业余赛车手安排的项目,比如赛道日,赛车课堂以及社团日。马汉华和他的团队致力于采用各种新项目来训练年轻的亚洲赛车手,目前有李英健,詹家图,½­腾一以及程丛夫这样的优秀选手脱颖而出,说到这里,马汉华的快乐溢于言表:“这些赛车手中,大多数在赛车生涯中取得了成功,并受到了国际关注。”

马汉华先生自己也是一个优秀的赛车手,他十分看好亚洲光明的赛车前景。“商业价值十分可观。众所周知,亚洲发展速度很快。现在人们的目光都聚焦在亚洲。”他对目前新加入F1赛事的新加坡似乎十分满意,“太好了,赛事非常吸引人。比赛,汽车,赛车手,还有气氛都十分火热。真像是一场嘉年华。一个城市的热情十分重要,创造了良好的气氛。”

我们衷心希望马汉华以及追随他的赛车狂热爱好者能够走的更远,飞得更高!

 

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