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Adrian's Blog: Visit to Prodrive

 

 

It is important to get as much done as possible in the off-season to prepare for next year. Obviously, I am really excited about the new Aston Martin open-cockpit LMP1 car for 2011, so I made a trip to Prodrive last week to see how the development was coming along. I just went for the day but it was time well spent. It was energizing to see the progress being made on the new car and engine designed by Prodrive.

 

George Howard-Chappell, who is the team principal, leads an extremely good and motivated engineering staff at Prodrive. I had the opportunity to speak with the engineers and the designers of the chassis and engine about the new car, and get a first-hand look at what we are expecting for next year.

 

I was able to help with input on different things from a driver’s perspective like the seat positions in the car. It was a great visit and a good time to catch up with the mechanics and other personnel as well. I also spent some quality time with Tony Schulp, the commercial director, and David Richards, the chairman.

 

Prodrive is just an amazing company. They employ over 500 people with locations in England, India, China and Australia. It is a great organization and they are extremely busy. They have a lot of different programs in addition to the LMP1 car – GT1, GT2, GT3, GT4 Aston Martins, the new MINI World Rally Championship program and the Subaru World Rally car to name a few. A very, very successful company.

 

One day I would love to have a go in one of their rally cars. I have always been curious to see what it is like and hope I get the chance to do it!

 

Lately, I have been doing some karting with my very good friend, Kevin Weeda from California. I haven’t done any karting since I left IndyCar and I was excited to get back into it. He took me to South Garda Karting in Lonato, Italy. A lot of Formula One drivers practice there – Massa, Schumacher, Rosberg, etc.

 

 

I have been driving Kevin’s go kart but I plan to get one for myself. I really enjoy it and you get to practice with so many great drivers. It is really the best way for me to stay in shape. Right now, I am going karting one day a week but I plan to increase it to two days because I need to be ready when we start testing the new car which could be in February.

 

Even though I go to the gym, it is just not the same as driving. The gym can prepare you for certain things and develop different muscles and all that but there is nothing like the real thing. Karting is the closest and is actually more physical than driving the race car so it is perfect training.

 

I’m looking forward to taking Niko to see if he likes it. He has a little kart with Lowe’s logos that Luis Diaz’s father gave us as a present and he always drives that around with Valentina. I will look forward to going with him so he can see all the go-karts.

 

It is amazing how many drivers have children involved in racing. I saw Jos Verstappen at a track recently with his son, and to see how involved he is in his whole career is just incredible. I also talked to Mika Hakkinen at the German Grand Prix about his son racing, and Michael Schumacher has been getting his son involved as well. It will be interesting to see if Niko likes it. If he does, I will support him but if not, I am not going to push him.

 

This is the 120th anniversary of the founding of Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, which announced today that is will be now be known as Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, unveiling a new corporate image and enhanced relationship with Heineken. For me, it was a privilege to represent the company and Tecate for so many years. I want to congratulate everybody involved starting with Jose Antonio Fernandez, the president and director general of Grupo FEMSA – a great leader and great friend of mine – and the many friends I have enjoyed working with through the years. I wish them another 120 years more of success.

 

Thank you for your support,
Adrian
 

 


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