The first day of the second CAMS Academy junior camp kicked off today in Wodonga at the Logic Centre (Wodonga TAFE). Eight of the selected athletes were put through their paces and pushed to the limit in physical testing before hitting the tarmac for the first time in a series of driving tests.
George Miedecke one of the trainers from CAMS Academy is from a second generation racing family who started out in production cars, spent time in America racing in NASCAR, V8 Supercars, tarmac rallies and Radical Sportscars. He gave us his thoughts on how the junior athletes handled todays challenges.
“I think it went really well. I came with an open mind to what the kids would be capable of and I was hugely impressed. The biggest thing for me is that they became comfortable with cars. They quite quickly adapted to the extra weight of a real car. Some of the car control was far beyond anything I expected from these kids on the first day. So definitely a good result.”
"It gives the kids a head start on the next step, a go kart for example responds quickly so it gets easy to get caught in a certain way of driving, so this broadens the kids experience level so when they do get the opportunity to jump in a safer car they will be ready." Said George.
Karl Reindler, the CAMS Driver Development Manager was also suitably impressed by what he had observed in day one of the junior camp.
“Today mainly consisted of a recap of what they learnt previously with physical testing and education and then moved onto some on track stuff in the afternoon. The learning outcome was mainly skill acquisition, a lot of these kids haven’t had much time in a larger car having spent most of their time in go-karts. We started off with some basic acceleration and braking, stopping to a point and then ended up doing some skid control stuff with figure of eights in rear wheel drive cars.
“We had George Miedecke and Andrew Jones who have a wealth of knowledge as far as race drivers go, but mainly I have them here because they are great communicators. They are the best at what they do and they work really well with junior athletes.” Said Karl.
With the announcement of the format and scheduling for the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship recently, the significance of junior development camps is only more pertinent.
“I am really pleased we have accounted for the juniors as well as the elite drivers. A lot of the athletes from previous camps are considering Formula 4 and with someone like Daniel Ricciardo as a CAMS ambassador, it is exciting times ahead.”
The junior drivers will continue their education and training tomorrow, ahead of the CAMS Academy Camp’s conclusion on Monday.
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