ATA Racing Show 2015 was supposed to be the last motorsport competition of this year in Romania. But in a country with an underdeveloped motorsport and with a short and insignificant tradition, this kind of event could spell disaster. So what was it really like? Of course, there were good parts and bad parts but it is an important step in the development of Romanian motorsport. ATA is the first professional driving academy in Romania and it is the dream of the rally champion Titi Aur.
Was it that bad?
In fact, NO! But there are still some bad stuff happening in Romanian Motorsport and an awful lot of things to be improved. First of all one can sense the lack of money among the participants. Patching is the word I would use. A lot of patching. Yes, yes, you will say that is the end of the season but one can feel that even the wealthy teams are on very tight budgets and no one can afford the luxury of having a car in perfect condition at the end of the season. Few teams could afford to bring a service truck or even a team of mechanics but most of the participants had only one or two mechanics and a small car with supplies. And that’s a general problem with Romanian motorsport: the lack of exposure that would attract sponsors and the public. Participating teams must often bring money from “home” to compete and this is a certain way of wasting talent and time.
Second of all, there are some problems with technology. A trained eye can see that most of the team members are amateurs and they are quite far from using the latest technologies and a studied design. Most of them work by trial and error and they have a hard time innovating and advancing with their solutions. Most of the cars and technologies are bought and not made and that is a bad thing considering that there are a lot of good and passionate automotive engineers emerging from the universities each year. Romanian motorsport could use an infusion of young minds to make it more competitive and enjoyable both for the public and for the competitors.
Weren’t any good parts?
After all that criticism it’s time to talk about the good parts. And there are quite a few really good parts. First of all, one can sense that this was an investment of over 10mil EUROs. Everything seems to be in its place, things are organized rather well, and it seems to be a lot of potential for development in this place. The Academy offers a variety of courses for amateur and professional drivers: from basic defensive driving courses to rally experiences in a real rally car.
Second of all, the event was well organized. There were enough parking spots for the visitors and all of them had access to the competitors, their cars, and near the best sections of the track. The safety wasn’t neglected either. Track marshals were highly alert and they took care of all the visitors and competitors.
Last but not least, the competition was very tight and all the participants were highly motivated to win. The competition had the classic of the “Race of champions”. Two cars on the track at the same time and two different road types: tarmac and gravel. At the competition took part a lot of rally drivers, some hill climb event drivers, and also some amateurs. All of them were split into different categories and the spectacle was a sure thing. Too bad if you’ve missed it.