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Posts Tagged ‘FIDA’

Go Ape!

When was the last time you climbed a tree? When was the last time you swung of a tree? Do you know what it feels like to slide down a wire dangling from a tree and landing in mud? These questions and many more were answered when the finalists went Go Ape!

After a long journey that lasted over ten hours, add to it, the jet lag that always effects you when you travel against time, the last thing you want is to wake the following morning and get down to work right away. The pressure is always mad at the beginning; very reason why the FIDA grand finale made its beginning with a refreshing day-out at the Go Ape, Woburn.

As the entity says about itself, if the word, “Go Ape” were to be in the dictionary, it would be described as ‘tree-top adventure’. With tree-top high wires, crossings including walkways, bridges and tunnels made of wood, rope and super strong wire and wind-in-your-face zip wires, the adventures takes a path amidst the woods, giving one a mixture of nature treatment and adventure.

Exciting, though it may seem, the activity is highly risk oriented. To ensure the safety of the apes, they were given safety training at the beginning, followed by a small demonstration before they were finally let to go through the course by themselves. With over 20 crossings over 3 trails and finish on a high (literally), with one awesome zip wire, rejuvenation is guaranteed. Having proven their ability with the karts, the finalists went on to show that they had a few more tricks up their sleeves as well. Further, they also proved their ability to adapt to a given situation when on being stuck, all they required was a little guidance on how to get along and the theory was put into practice right away.

Come evening, the finalists made their presence at the Force India’s factory situated in Silverstone. They were given a tour through the facilities by Mick and Damien, who went on to explain in depth the various aspects involved in the making and running of a Formula One car. What’s more, the contestants even got an opportunity to stretch their legs in those very Force India’s Formula One cars! They were then presented driving suits, shoes and gloves, customized to suit them.

With a relaxing adventure in the morning followed by the painting of a colorful dream in the evening, the contestants would sure be in the best of their spirits to bring the dream to life.


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Lights, Camera, Action.

The final day the one from a billion wildcard round was far from a normal day. The day began for us with an 18 year old kid setting the track on fire with a blistering speed of 23.737. Karting since he was an 8 year old kid, Parth was oozing with experience and it was clearly showing in his time as he gained time with every completed lap. A first year B.Com student from Kohlapur, he is a formula 4 racer. What’s more he also happens to be the national champion for three continous years from 2008 to 2010. Being asked what it was that got him into racing, he says its his craze for speed. Growing up watching F1, he adds, “The more you watch, the more you get into it”.

 If we thought one was filling, we were greeted by Jehan who went on to cut through Arya’s timing, thus topping the charts for the 12-14 group. A Mumbaikar, standard 8 student, the current national champion, he clocked 23.962. Speaking to us, full of modesty, he says, “I am a good racer. But if somebody drives better, they can beat me.” Now that speaks for him, doesn’t it?
Adding to the list of people giving competition to the topper, was Yaseer Raza, a delightful person. Karting for the first time, having clocked 26.078, he says, “Win, or lose, I have no problem. I am happy that I got a chance to participate.” We then got to know his brother too participated in the one from a billion hunt, when due to the age constraints, he could not participate. However, a month ago when the wildcard round was announced he was glad he could now participate. With a bit of practice, we are sure he could go on to do well.
We had a young 7th grade kid who not only karted well but also made us wait for a while before we could have a word with him. So eager was he, that no sooner did he get out of the kart, than he dashed off to have a peak at his timing. Coming from Chennai, karting for over six months, Tapeshwar clocked a time of 24.356. We could see the disappointment on his face as he made his way back, and all we can say is, there is always a next time kid.
Next among the zealous was Dhruv. A motocross racers son, he began biking at a very young age and it then, when his uncle found recognised his talent, that he got into karting. He clocked a timing of 24.458, which unfortunately could not ensure him a spot in the finals.
Wrapping up the wildcard round, we had two new break-ins ensuring that the final day did indeed go on to play its part in living up to its name, the finale. The two toppers Jehan and Parth, having topped the charts in their respective groups, have ensured themselves a spot in the finals that is going to take place shortly. We take pleasure in congratulating the duo on their success and wish them luck for the finals. With more action coming our way, we are eagerly awaiting the finals. Until then, its OFAB, signing off.

Support or no, I am racing..

Letting an interest to travel down the path of professional career, has always been a debatable issue. Atleast from the parents’ angle, you would say. The parent-children battle, over the choice of career has had a very long history, with all possible permutations long dealt with. In recent times we have had various movies on the same. However its easier said than done, which brings us back to the parents’ view, in turn, the debate. On the other hand, there are parents who are very supportive, doing every little thing they can to support their child’s interest. Support or no support, we have talent pour in, which brings us back to day 2 of the wildcard round. The second day saw just one competitor for Arya in the form of Srinath. Hailing from Hyderabad, a standard 9 student, Srinath has been karting from the time he was in 7th. However, that didn’t seem to help him much as he failed to cut through Arya’s timing. If the other competitor, Shamir clocked a 35.27, Srinath came closer by clocking 27.8, which still was over three seconds from beating Arya.

On the other hand, Mohit, the topper in the 17-19 group, at the end of day one, faced quite some competition. First of them was Akshay from Ahmadabad, an automobile engineering student, he managed to clock a 24.637. Rinaldo, a Goan, who has been into karting for three to four years went on the track soon after. Speaking to us, he said his dad was ok with his karting, whereas his mom was not happy with it. On finding out he had clocked a 25.121, he looked very disappointed and said it was one of his worst performances.

Next on the list was Viklesh, a Hyderabadi, mechanical engineering student, who got into karting hardly a week ago. For a person with hardly any experience to clock a 26.44, definitely not bad, you would say. Following him, to go on the track were Taran and Ahmed, who managed to clock 26.375 and 25.783 respectively. Another mechanical engineering student, hailing from Delhi, Taran says his parents find the sport dangerous. However they have no objection to his participation, which is evident from his presence, but they ask him to be safe.

The last of the lot in the 17-19 group was Yamir, an NRI whose parents are from Bengaluru, looked to be a promising talent. Being into the racing field for a few years and having experience of being a rotax racer, the American drove professionally. However, the best of his efforts failed to get him qualified as he managed to clock a 24.39, losing the top spot by half a second.

At the end of day 2 however, both Arya and Mohit still remain unbeaten. By the look of it, the time set looks strong enough to make it through tomorrow as well. However, the possibility of a surprise break in can never be ruled out. What the final day has got in store for us, we can only wait and watch.

A short day with quickies

‘Wish I were a year older, wish I were a month younger, so on and so forth..’ These thoughts, and many more similar ones were answered to, when The One From A Billion hunt decided to bring out a wild card round. As per the initial hunting regulations set up, the One from a billion was to come from the age group of 14 to 17 which meant the 12 to 14 age group would fall off as a result of early cut-off and the 17 to 19 age group would get chopped due to a late cut-off. The wildcard round takes form to amend just that. Unlike other wildcards, which usually include a knocked out competitor making it back to the challenge, this one was different. A tweak in the age limit, ensuring the inclusion of the 12 to 14 as well as the 17 to 19 age group, by opening up a slot each in both the groups, thus making the number of finalists to a hundred.

However, as all good things come with a catch, so does this one. A catch that is more of a glitch, a rule put in to ensure fairness to the contestants already done with. The catch goes on to say that, in order to be selected, the contestant is required not only to be the topper in his/her group but also has to beat the timing set by the 14th best contestant at the track.

The avid followers would recall reading about a mention of yellow line which lead to a cave that was used by Neanderthals to decide who’d lead the tribe, by karting. The wildcard round happened to stumble upon the same cave to find that amongst the structures installed as a part of the hall of fame, various happened to now have their nose pierced. No kidding, a clean pierce.

The first day of the wildcard round was opened up by a young driver who couldn’t just control his eagerness to get going. Awaiting his turn, he could be seen pacing around the kart. What’s more he moved around so much that we were unable to get a stable image that included him. We are talking about Arya Gandhi, the first contestant not only for the wildcard round, but also for the 12 to 14 age group. The Mumbaikar looked confident and it was evident, when speaking to us he said he would be the guy that would get selected. On being asked about the time he had thought to have been set, his calmly replied, 23 flat! In spite of having clocked the second best timing for the day, overall, he missed his estimation by 1.33 sec, a nominal difference, the auditor would say.
The next contestant to heat the tracks was Vibhor Tyagi from Delhi, a commerce student, his interests lie in automobiles. He wishes to get into aviation, quickly adding that its unfortunately not possible. Contradicting interests, you can say. Unfortunately, he could not beat the time set by his predecessor.

The light of the day came in the form of Mohit Ahuja, who also happens to have set the fastest lap timing for the day. Another Mumbaikar, he is been racing since eleven years, participating in various national and international events. He left behind a clear signature by beating the fastest time for the day by 0.2 seconds.

At the end of day one, remaining unbeaten are Arya Gandhi, with the lap best of 24.331, in the age group 12-14 and Mohit Ahuja, with a lap best of 23.973. With the best times already being in league with the top brass, we can only expect more talent to pour in, in the following days.