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Opinions from ex-pilots on Velociudad

Enrique "Quique" Mansilla, is an ex-professional driver with enriching experiences in various European competitions including Formula Ford and Formula 2. Osvaldo "Cocho" Lopez, who is well known for his accomplishments in national and international categories such as Formula 2, TC, TC 2000, Pilot Club Argentine (Champion in 1985, 1986 and 1987) and Top Race. Both respectful veterans shared their insights on our new motor sport venue that is being built in Argentina.

"Velociudad is a wonderful project. It is very positive to have this kind of development in the country. We need a venue with these characteristics", says Mansilla, who was very close to signing with a F1 team in the 80´s. He was unfortunately unable to due to financial resources and the outburst of the Falklands War. In regards to Velociudad's future "Academy", a center of excellence to train young talented drivers, Lopez who additionally competed in the South American Super Tour and Sport Prototype says, "It is key for future talent to have an academy like this. Nowadays, young drivers need the support of an institution behind them to prepare themselves not only physically, but also mentally in order for their careers to nourish."

Mansilla continues and explains how a driver should model his career, "The most important moment is the transition from karting to the European series. It should be a step-by-step strategy for the young driver and his acquaintances. Formula Ford in Great Britain is an exceptional category to start that particular transition and hence, later achieve a seat in greater categories worldwide."

When asked about the lack of Argentine drivers in international elite competitions, Lopez, adds: "We should take the case of Spanish driver Alonso as an example. One of the greatest impediments is the lack of a national TV market and PPV [pay-per view] viewer ship of competitions. We will have to work on that." Once a prominent driver races in an international competition and performs well, natives of his country are likely to draw in and pay to watch races; thus making international races and the particular category more desirable, marketable and profitable.

Before leaving the interview, Mansilla finishes with a comment about Eddie Freedman (CEO of Velociudad), "Eddie could be the one to get international competitions hosted in our country again. With his involvement a national pilot might also return to Formula 1 too."

To watch the complete interview (Spanish only) on Velociudad TV please click here.

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Corie Chu
International Publicist
Velociudad Speedcity Circuit

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