Kids study extra about driver security and fireproof underwear from Professional Racer forward of the Lengthy Seashore – Press Telegram Grand Prix this weekend
It was a crash course in driver safety from a man who recently had his own lesson in crashing.
Pirelli GT4 America Series racing driver Nicolai Elghanayan made pit stops at four schools in Moncton on Wednesday April 10 to teach them about driver safety and racing ahead of the 2019 Moncton Acura Grand Prix. The visits, which will continue on Thursday with another four schools, should also teach the students the intensity of the sport and the prerequisites for professional training.
Students at Patrick Henry Elementary School and John Muir Academy squealed with excitement when Elghanayan arrived in full racing gear. Against the backdrop of two racing cars, he talked about the sport’s safety precautions, from his bulky helmet to his fire-retardant suit. He got a few laughs from students when he mentioned a particularly important part of his uniform – fireproof underwear.
During most of Elghanayan’s visit, students asked questions and eagerly raised their hands to ask about his hobbies and fears. Elghanayan, who crashed for the first time a few weeks ago, said it was a matter of moving step by step.
“Of course there will always be fear,” he said to Patrick Henry. “There’s no room for error and if you screw it up you might hit a wall like me.
“Of course there is fear, but you always have to try to bring your next foot forward,” Elghanayan continued. “But practice makes perfect. The more repetitions you do, the better you are. “
The 25-year-old USC graduate, who works in an architecture firm in Moncton, also discussed the importance of education.
“I think the advantage I have – maybe compared to other drivers – is that I did some training before the race started,” said Elghanayan after speaking to students at the Muir Academy. “It turned out to be a really fruitful plan for me because not only do I work for the company, but I also sponsor myself.”
The professional racing driver from Laguna Beach also told the students about his growth in racing – which he started with karts as a young teenager.
That wowed Xander Leising, a fourth grader from Henry Elementary, who said he wanted to become a professional racing driver one day.
“I like racing cars because they are fun and fast,” said the 10-year-old. “And since I’m going to go-kart racing for my birthday, I think that’s pretty cool.”
Elghanayan will visit four more schools on Thursday with Jackie Heinricher, another professional racing driver from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Sophia Griffieth, director of the Muir Academy, said these experiences are important for children.
“We continue to try to give our children more access and contact with things that are happening at both local and national levels,” she said. “So it’s a great thing.
“Although the Grand Prix has been held in Moncton for years, a lot of my kids are completely unfamiliar with it,” said Griffieth. “I think it’s exciting to hear about this young man’s journey too. Hopefully some children will be inspired to look into different career paths. “
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