‒ 16 year old Damani Marcano sets new records against experienced racing drivers -
Damani Marcano wows the crowd once again in the VAG Trophy at Donington with fastest lap in the final race of the weekend. During an impressive qualifying round Damani was placed on the front row in second, out-qualifying experienced and highly respected drivers from top tiers of British motorsport. He then went onto score the fastest lap in the final race of the weekend. At 16 years old Damani is the youngest driver to ever race in the VAG Trophy and therefore the youngest to ever score a fastest lap or qualify on the front row in this series. Up until 6 months ago Marcano had never raced in cars and up until 3 months ago he was still classed as a novice by the Motor Sports Association (MSA). To now be scoring fastest laps in races and qualifying in second place is a huge achievement for the 16 year old.
During the weekend Damani also caught the attention of ex-Mercedes AMG F1 Driver Support specialist Ivor Bourne. Ivor helped to coach Damani through the pressures of racing at such a high level in such a short period of time. With only a few months experience of driving and racing cars Damani has to deal with pressures well beyond his years and the high expectations of everyone around him. Bourne has a great deal of experience with drivers having worked with Lewis Hamilton during his transition to Mercedes when he won the 2014 F1 World Championships.
Team HARD racing driver Damani Marcano comments: “Racing this weekend was exhilarating! The drivers I out-qualified are people I really look up to and I thought it would be years before I achieved that. Finding myself qualifying so high amongst such experienced drivers this weekend came with a lot of pressure and expectation from everyone. Because of this I found myself in a couple of incidents in race one and two that normally I’d have avoided but I think I let the pressure get to me. On Sunday, Ivor helped me create the kind of routine used by drivers like Lewis Hamilton to keep me focused and it all came good in the final race! I can’t wait to get back out there and turn this experience into podium finishes with what learnt on Sunday!”
Having now set two records, Damani and his team now hope to raise the sponsorship to give him the chance to set two more – youngest pole position and podium sitter in the VAG Trophy in the last races this year at Oulton Park on the 24th October.
Damani qualified in second place and began the first race well however was unable to finish after an incident, that Marcano would normally have been able to avoid, meaning he had to retire until the second race. Beginning the second race at the back Damani fought his way through the pack and made up 9 places. A mid-pack car ahead jumped on the brakes much earlier than Marcano expected and in trying to avoid hitting this driver Damani found himself beached in the gravel. In the hours before race 3 Marcano spent time with Ivor Bourne who talked him through his race preparation and calmed any wavering nerves. Damani began the third race in 22nd place, he worked his way up through the pack, in a skilled and measured way over only 6 racing laps, to finish in 9th place. A huge achievement for the young driver.
Ivor Bourne of Integra Sports Partners comments: “I had been watching Damani and his career progression for around 6 months when I saw him race at Donington over the weekend. It was obvious to me that all of the natural skill and ability was there with Damani, but the pressure of racing well and placing high was something that was beginning to take its toll. As a 16 year old racing driver that has only a number of months behind the wheel, all Damani needs is coaching before and in between races, how to focus the mind, who and what to listen to. I’m excited to work with Damani in the future, I feel this star is about to rise in the world of motor-sport.”
Supported over the weekend by Team HARD, The Clever Baggers, Wakaleo Consulting and RiverGlide, Damani really put his racing skills to the test, competing against drivers, all over 18 and many with as much as 16yrs more experience than him. To train for such races Damani has only a couple of hours before each weekend with driver training specialists Pro-Sim, where Damani develops his skills on simulators.
Damani is the youngest driver to ever compete in the VAG Trophy. He began his first step into racing cars this year with the backing of Team HARD Racing, the largest team in the Volkswagen Racing Cup and a fan favourite in the British Touring Car Championships. Up against experienced adult drivers, Damani was the only competitor in the VAG Trophy and the Volkswagen Racing Cup series who is too young to hold a road driving licence.
See some of Damani’s overtakes from his previous weekend at Donington Park in the Volkswagen Racing Cup:
Watch Damani’s story, “A Drive to Drive”, on YouTube; a video that supports his racing career crowd-funding (http://patreon.com/DKMRacing & http://gofundme.com/DKMRacing) and commercial sponsorship campaigns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TV_TbaCQuA
Title photo by SiNiMi Photography
For more information, photography or to arrange an interview with Damani please do get in touch.
Issued on behalf of Damani Marcano by In The Bag PR.
For further information please contact Pippa Gibb on 07970 441 046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Damani pilots a fully race prepared VW Golf GTI R Cup Car in the Volkswagen Racing Cup, racing as an occasional guest driver in the VAG Trophy, 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).
VW Golf GTiR Cup Car: a 260 bhp race-prepared hatch-back capable of speeds of up to 150mph. These cars are based on a road car but stripped of all parts, not essential to racing, and fitted with a safety roll-cage meeting safety regulations of the VW Racing Cup. Additional differences are adjustable racing suspension and racing tyres that increase the amount of grip, and therefore cornering speeds that the car is then capable of.
For more background on Damani, please see: damanimarcano.com/about
For more information on The Clever Baggers please see: www.thecleverbaggers.co.uk
You can follow Damani’s journey:
On Twitter (@DKMRacing)