His family is a real 'racing family', so it is quite normal that the Italian youngster Giorgio Roda is involved in the world of racing too. Currently, he is one of the most talented Italian racing drivers in GT's and won several races during the past seasons. For the 2016 season, he will be participating in the Blancpain Endurance Series with BMW Italia and their brand new BMW M6 GT3 car. RacingInside.com spoke to Giorgio Roda during the preparations for the 2016 season.
Hello Giorgio, some of our visitors will be familiar with the name of Giorgio Roda. Unfortunately, some of them may have never heard of you. Could you give a brief introduction about yourself?
Hello, I’m Giorgio Roda; an Italian racing driver and 22 years old. I am born and lived in Como and currently studying to become a Bsc in business management. I started racing at the age of 14 and I’ve done two years of karting, after that I competed for three years in Formula Abarth European Series and Formula Renault 2.0. In 2014 I won International GT Open GTS Class with AF Corse. Last year, I finished P4 in ELMS GTC Class. Currently I’m racing in Blancpain Endurance series with BMW Team Italia.
Some race drivers are getting involved in racing through friends or family. How did you get involved in racing? Did your parents support you from the early beginning?
Mine is a “racing family”. As you probably know both my father and my brother are racing drivers, therefore it has been obvious for me to ask the question to my father “can I test with a go kart?” and the story started from that simple question on.
You have started your career in karting, like many other drivers. Do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a race driver?
I’ve started late compared to the normal situation, cause when I first started karting I was already 14. I only did 2 years of karting. I believe that it’s important because it gives young drivers the basics of racing, however many drivers, like me, only did a few years of karting without any problems.
During the first years of your career, while racing cars, you have raced in single seaters. Why did you made the switch to racing in GT’s?
The main reason why I switched to GT is because of time. Three years ago, I was starting university and many of my competitors in Formula Renault had time to make plenty of tests while I found it hard to keep on being competitive with only 4 or 5 tests per year. Switching to GT’s was the best decision for me, as I won at my debut the International GT Open in the GTS class.
During the 2016 season you will race with the new BMW M6 GT3. What do you like the best at this car? In what way is it different from the Ferrari, which you drove during the last couple of seasons?
This is the beginning of my new challenge! First of all, it’s an honour to be part of BMW in this special year, the 100 years of BMW. I think the car has a huge potential due to the grip and engine power, the challenge lies in the fact that it is a completely new car, therefore every time we drive it we need to work on developing it. Compared to Ferrari; it is actually the opposite car, from the engine to the weight position, therefore it’s a new way of driving a racing car.
In 2016 you will race the Blancpain Endurance Series. Do you have any expectations for the 2016 season? What would you like to achieve in your further career?
Every racing driver has the goal of winning, and I believe that we have the capabilities of winning the PRO-AM category in Blancpain Endurance Series. Of course everything has to be perfect, but I’m sure that with the support and work of the whole team we can make it to the victory.
Every race driver has good and bad moments during his career. What is your best moment in racing, until now? What is the moment you would like to forget as soon as possible?
The best moment for me was when I won the second to last race of the GT Open in 2014 in Monza. Winning in the “home race” in front of my family and my friends was unbelievable.
The worst moment for me was last year, when I was leading the GTC class during one of the races of the ELMS. During my last stint I was overtaking a slower car and he hit me, which was the end of the race.
The life of a race driver is tough physically and mentally. Do you have a special training programme to stay fit and to gain strength?
In order to stay focused for endurance races; racing drivers need to train… a lot! My training routine is made of cycling (both road and mountain bike), gym, balance exercises which make me more sensible and even golfing is part of my training routine; it really helps maintaining mental strength for hours.
From the outside, being a race driver looks like a real dream. But there are also negative points, of course. If you could take people a look at the ‘inside’ of racing, what do you think is the most negative point of being a race driver?
I actually believe that being a racing driver is the best thing in the world, and I feel like I’m living a dream. I don’t think there are negative points of being a racing driver. Of course, it’s hard to train and sometimes there are bad moments. But if someone does what he likes most, he does not feel pain or fatigue.
What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
Go for it! There is always space for talent… in every sport!