Tatuus iMagazine - page 12

What is the current mission of Top Speed
and what are the championship where
it’s active?
«After two years, my collaboration with the
Chinese group was over and we parted ways.
Together with my wife, in 2008 I founded
Top Speed. We had the luck and ability to
develop important requests made by the car
manufacturers, for example creating and
managing single‐make championships. Since
2008, Top Speed has grown consistently
both in terms of workforce ‐ we have more
than 70 full‐time employees ‐ and for the
number of projects we’re involved in. We
currently manage and organize projects like
the VW Scirocco Cup, the Formula Masters
China Series and the Lamborghini Super
Trofeo. We also provide management and
logistic service for top‐notch championships
like the Asian Le Mans Series and the
Ferrari Challeng Asia Pacific. We quickly
became a leader in the logistics of racing
cars and materials: a sector that won’t have
much sense in Europe where there is free
circulation of people and goods but that it’s
pivotal here where the customs proceedings
are varied and complex. Motorsport apart,
Top Speed is involved in on‐track activities
such driving experiences and driving
courses thanks to a dedicated team of
Chinese and international instructors
following events for some of the top car
brands in business».
When your collaboration with Tatuus
started and how it works? What makes
Tatuus the leader in its field?
«The personal relationship with Tatuus
started when I worked with Prema.
Following to my move to China, the
collaboration has grown first with the
management of the Formula Renault tram
and then with the Campionato Formula
Pilota (Abarth) which then became
Formula. At that point Top Speed became
the leading company in Chinese/Asian
open‐wheel racing and that was mainly due
to the quality and reliability of the Tatuus
products. In addition to being our
manufacturer, Tatuus managed to
understand such an important and non‐
conventional market by reacting to its need
with a versatility and initiative that I reckon
only Italians have. For many reasons, the
Chinese project steered away from the
Formula Abarth standard, and Tatuus
proved up to the challenge in terms of
timing and creativity. As an Italian who has
been living abroad for eight years, I say that
our strongest quality and gift, both as
individuals and businesses, is the ability to
adapt, modifying their programs according
to the markets’ needs. Without Tatuus and
their support, we wouldn’t be able to put
together such a solid program like the
Formula Master, which started in a little
amount of time and relies on a very
competitive package».
Let’s talk about the F.Master China
project. Who are the target drivers and
what are the car’s strongest points?
«The Formula Masters China program has
been started in cooperation with Formula
Pilota, which was started and is managed by
Top Speed, and Volkswagen Group China.
The long relationship between Top Speed
and Volkswagen China led to the creation of
this developmental series using Tatuus
FA010 chassis and 2.0‐liter VW engine. The
championship quickly became a reference
point for all the Chinese or Asian youngster
who want to drive open‐wheel cars with a
small budget in Asia before trying the jump
to Europe. The series is based on an unique
concept at international level and that
proved to be a winning choice in this
moment of crisis for motorsport in general.
It’s an hybrid management where all the
cars are owned by the management (Top
Speed) that lease them to the teams. By
using this kind of approach, the teams can
enter the FMCS without investing money
but only bringing their drivers, personnel
and know‐how. Volkswagen Group China is
the promoter thanks to a media campaign
that in only one year turned the
championship in the developmental series
with the country’s best following.
Volkswagen Group China also provides the
young drivers with the right links for the
rest of their career and they could be able to
continue in one of the group’s other
categories, like the Porsche single‐make
championship, the Audi and Lamborghini
series and in other programs like GT3 and
the Asian Le Mans Series. The drivers are
mostly young, from 15 to 20, coming from
different nations. The majorty are Asians
but there are some Europeans trying their
luck in an effort to become professionals in
Asia. In terms of performance the car is
similar to the Formula Abarth. The
Volkswagen engine has more or less the
same power as the previous one, while the
design and reliability makes it one of the
best open‐wheelers in its class».
You also operate as a driver‐coach. Can
you explain the nature of this activity?
«I followed many drivers on‐track as an
engineer and my experience helped me a lot
here in China, where the drivers need a
total support as there isn’t a real motorsport
culture. I had several personal requests from
car manufacturers to selection and train
young drivers that will represent the brand.
We tried to re‐create what I had witnessed
happening in Europe with Toyota, Red Bull
or Mercedes. We set‐up physical and mental
training sessions and test session on the
track. The structures and the
economic/commercial interest are there as
we can see with the many great champions
bred by China in various sports;
unfortunately the drivers are missing. Just
to explain myself: last year we had six
partial scholarships by Volkswagen in our
Formula Masters program, and despite the
tests and promotion we only received four
requests. With the same program in Europe,
there would have been at least 100 drivers
asking for a chance…».
You worked with many famous drivers,
from Nakajima to Kobayashi, from
Briscoe to Kubica. Who impressed you
the most and why?
«The years I spent with Prema have been
interesting and valuable also because it was
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