The final round of the 2015 Academy Trophy has just finished at Le Mans and with it a second cycle of three years of successful collaboration with the CIK-FIA. In preparing for the next phase of this beautiful adventure, it's time to take stock, extremely positively, of this innovative approach from Parolin Racing.
"The Academy Trophy has demonstrated the feasibility of running a global competition for young people with a very reasonable budget," explains Marco Parolin. "Both technically and sportingly, we have contributed to widening the base of drivers in international competition and the emergence of new talents. That was the purpose of the Trophy and we are proud to have fulfilled our mission."
On the particular configuration at Le Mans for the first time in Academy, while the grip conditions sometimes made driving difficult, the hierarchy has again changed. Of the 44 drivers present, a very satisfactory number for the last race of the season, new young people were able to shine, while the safe bets materialised their ambitions. The Spaniard Xavier Lloveras Brunet confirmed his progress by winning the prefinal and the final and his compatriot Marta Garcia Lopez ensured her victory in the Trophy. The weekend saw new names appear at the top of the rankings: the Belgian Ugo De Wilde in qualifying, the Russian Artem Slutskiy in the qualifying heats, the French driver Enzo Coursimault and the Briton Alfie Brown in the prefinal and finally the Brazilian Murilo Della Coletta in 2nd place in the final.
For an example of the quality of delivery from Parolin Racing and its FIM engines, the top six of the prefinal finished in the same second while the five fastest drivers in both races have been grouped in less than one tenth of a second. "Our greatest satisfaction comes from the thanks from many of the participants," continues Marco Parolin. "Drivers from distant countries were delighted to learn about international competition in these conditions and many of them have caught the racing bug thanks to the Academy Trophy. They are now motivated to continue in other categories." Since its inception, the Academy Trophy has been a springboard for drivers who are now at higher levels in karting and even in motorsport: Charles Leclerc, Ben Barnicoat, George Russell, Dorian Boccolacci, participated in the earlier editions. Richard Verschoor was last year's winner, and Marta Garcia, who has won the trophy in 2015, have a bright future.
"I think we have demonstrated our expertise in the particular field of the one-make competition during these six years," concludes Marco Parolin. "The experience we have garnered is priceless. The team is well-oiled and controls all technical and logistical aspects of this challenge. We are involved in a project on the model of the Academy, which will soon be launched in Bahrain, and the concept can easily be extended to many other countries thanks to its simplicity and its low cost, two qualities that are lacking in many categories."
"International karting is evolving and we have already prepared to face new challenges in terms of the call for CIK-FIA tender for which data is not yet known. We have always believed in the one-make formula to develop karting and we are determined to continue the adventure."