Teenage racing sensation, Damani Marcano, took his next step into senior car-racing by passing the rigorous Association of Racing Driver Schools (ARDS) test to obtain his senior Motor Sports Association “National B” car racing license aged only 15. Normally carrying a minimum age of 16, his instructors had to obtain permission from the MSA to allow Damani to do his test prior to his 16th birthday, which is in January 2015.
It was a cold and damp wintery day in December 2014 with slippery conditions on the circuit. Candidates had to show that they could drive a car with the accuracy, precision, maturity and high-speeds required to be safe on a race circuit.
After an intensive morning of theory and driving practice, the afternoon came and it was time for Damani’s test. He sat the 30 minute written theory test first. The test provided challenging questions on everything from flag signals to how to compensate when a car understeers (when the front wheels slide forward) or oversteers (when the rear of the rear of the car kicks out, skidding sideways). Damani passed, scoring 100%.
He then had to deliver on the track. The examiner provided no instruction, other than when to leave and when to return to the pits. Damani had to drive with precision and at speed. A single mistake, a single spin or slide would result in a failure. Other instructors drove cars on track providing additional cars that Damani and other candidates had to catch and pass as part of the test. Again, Damani passed on all counts. He excelled in vision, steering technique, racing lines and throttle technique – all among the numerous criteria for which he received ‘A’ grades.
Damani delivered “more than enough pace” from his first session on the track, according to his ARDS instructor from MSV Track Days at Brands Hatch. This was despite having no experience on a race circuit with an H-pattern manual gearbox & clutch (the kind found in manual road cars).
Damani commented: “It was such an awesome day! I still can’t believe I was driving around Brands Hatch! I learned a lot and I’m really happy to have had the experience. I have a much better idea of what to expect when I race cars for the first time in 2015. I know that, once I’m in my first race, that’s when the learning really begins!”
Damani must now wait until his 16th birthday in January to apply for his license. This will then entitle him to race, later in 2015, in the VW Racing Cup with Team HARD.
You can watch Damani’s own account of the day via his vlog on YouTube:
For further information please contact Sophie Kermani on 07739554794 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Damani will pilot a fully race prepared VW Golf GTI R Cup Car in the Volkswagen Racing Cup alongside regular proven and experienced racing drivers. Racing in the VW Cup will be Damani’s first step on a multi-year programme to eventually race in the British Touring Car Championships (BTCC). After he obtains his license, he will be classed as a novice and will need to obtain 6 signatures on his license to then upgrade from a novice grade license to a full racing license. Until then, he still competes alongside everyone else but carries an “X” on his rear bumper to indicate to other drivers that he is a novice.
Team HARD Racing is a racing team with drivers in multiple racing series, including the British Touring Car Championships & the VW Racing Cup. Team owner, Tony Gilham, is a racing driver himself with years of experience in sports and touring cars.