The Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge driver training got underway at Sandown Raceway today with the celebrity drivers all itching to get behind the wheel of the All-New Mazda3, in preparation for the 2014 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
Mark Skaife and his team from Skaife Racing began the day with a simple car familiarisation exercise ensuring all seats and race harnesses were correctly fitted for each celebrity driver.
The group then had the opportunity to show off their reaction times and reflexes with a series of breaking exercises designed to improve overall control and understanding of the car when the celebrities take to the Albert Park street circuit from Thursday.
In their final practical for the day, the celebrities were educated in the key principles of line and length, which teaches a race car driver how to approach a corner, where to enter a corner and how to exit with the most efficiency.
Head trainer, Mark Skaife said that while there was no obvious stand out drivers out on the track today, there was still two full days of driver training to go.
“The drivers are still at the early stages of learning the key competencies of becoming a race car driver,” Skaife said.
“They are all applying themselves well and the next two days should start showing us who the top contenders will be.”
Australian Cycling Legend, Robbie McEwen said his first day of training was reminiscent of going back to high school, but unlike school he wasn’t here to make friends.
“These three days at Sandown are all about absorbing as much information as possible while we have Skaifey and his team with us,” McEwen said.
“It’s great getting to know the other celebrities and having some fun but once we get to Albert Park there will be no friends on the track, it’s all about going as hard as possible – I’m here to win.”
The Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge will feature 20 vehicles and bring together celebrities from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines to compete at Melbourne’s Albert Park street circuit during the 2014 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
The 2014 Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge drivers are: