“If an outsider had looked in on us, he would have seen 5 overgrown boys with huge smiles on their faces as they explained with arms and legs,” says Thomas Raldorf in the July-August 2003 issue of The Scandinavian Bulletin, describing the lunch break on the day he experienced the power of a Renault formula car on the track of Bira International Circuit Pattaya.
Thomas Raldorf has organized other four ‘overgrown boys’ to gear up in full racing trim for a drive of a lifetime. It is undoubtedly difficult to keep such a thrilling experience to oneself, so he told the story to readers of the Scandinavian Society Siam’s (SSS) Bulletin, of which he is the editor.
“I have been driving racing cars and go-karts before, but this was the tightest place I have ever been in,” he recalls his first seating behind the steering wheel of a formula car.
Thomas Raldorf is not nobody on the Thai racing tracks. He is the very active leader of the SSS’ motorsport section and he last year won the Thai Go-kart Championship. Before these he was a high profile go-kart racer in Denmark.
“As I sat in the car looking out at my two front wheels and the cones 300 meter ahead my heart was beating. I felt confident and hit the gas, the power of the car flipped my head back, but it was stopped by the head support.”
“You were supposed to change down from 4th to 3rd and 3rd to 2nd. What happened?” asked Mr. Takayuki ‘Taki’ Ueda, Taki Racing’s president who took the role of an instructor at Mr. Raldorf’s special experience day.
“I don’t know. It all went so fast,” was all Thomas Raldorf could say.
Taki Racing <http://www.takiracing.com> is the first and only racing establishment in Southeast Asia that provides professional racing techniques to interested individuals.
After an hour of more testing, Raldorf mastered the braking and shifting apart from a few missed gears from time to time.
“I managed the fastest time of the day with a 1 min 17 sec lap, about the same as the Thai Touring Car Championship drivers do in their cars,” says Thomas Raldorf with pride.
“Then we asked Mr. Taki what would be a fat lap time in the car.”
“I will show you,” Mr. Taki replied, and did 2 laps in 1 min and 05 sec each lap.
Mr. Raldorf was quick to calculate that in a race and found out that he would have been over taken by 1 lap after only 5 and a half laps.
But they all had a great day which they will never forget.
“I was pretty impressed and so were the others,” says Thomas Raldorf.
Mr. Thomas Raldorf presently works for Mermaid Maritime in Laem Chabang, Chonburi. Last year he formed up a Scandinavian team of go-kart racers in Thailand, comprising of two drivers from Denmark, one from Sweden and one from Norway. The Scandinavian Racing Team has The Pizza Company as its main sponsor and receives additional support from Jotun, Castrol, Davcon, Nordin Enterprises and SSS.
The Scandinavian Bulletin, No. 6, July-August 2003
Bulletin, No. 1, January 2003