Louis Ferdinand - Motorsports

My passion for motorsport dates back a long time. My father used to race cars, I even learned to walk on a circuit! 

One summer, my brother and I did a short karting course for a week. It was fun, we were happy and wanted to do a little more so we thought that we would try to participate in a race. It was a small regional competition, we knew nothing, and it was not easy to make the jump into a full race.

I realized that I had started the sport later than the other racers. I was 10 years old while my competitors had started at the age of 5 or 6 years. Every Wednesday I would train and try to fill my lack of experience. Finally, after a year, the first results appeared. It was good for my morale, and it made it easier to negotiate with my parents to let me compete for a second year. I aspired to take the next step and participate in national races, with better equipment, experienced drivers and a real structure to the races. With new circuits to discover it was not easy at first, but with some work, humility and effort, it paid off, it felt like a real job for an 11 year old! In 2011 I wanted to challenge myself even further and I had the ambition to win a championship, so I embarked on full winter training so that I would shine in the season in late April.

Unfortunately in February 2011, I had a terrible ski accident with a clear diagnosis: 4 collapsed vertebrae and fracturing 3 others. I spent 6 months in a corset from my chin to pelvis, which of course meant that I could not participate in any sport. I thought that I would never return to Karting but in my heart, I felt a sort of rage which gave me the strength to accelerate my rehabilitation. With the support of my parents and through a waiver of the federation, I was able to participate in the final race of the season. I had to start from the 32nd position out of 34, however with a tremendous effort, I ended up finishing in fifth place, more than a victory for me.

In 2012, I changed my category to cadet. It was a difficult start as I had now had 1 year without any driving experience. Doubt did set in, but with support from my brother and my parents, I decided to fight. I went on to gain the pole in the championship of France, but unfortunately mechanical problems prevented me from finishing. However, I then achieved 2nd place in the Coupe de France. In 2013, when I was 14 years old, I had to change category again and to face new opponents, some of which were 20 years old.

Again, I had the opportunity to return to the podiums and in 2014 I had victories in France and the European Championship. My younger brother joined me in this category, we drove on the same team and we helped each other. We won all the first races of the season in France! However, the sport was demanding more and more of my time and it was getting difficult to keep up with school work, I was coping less and less with the pressure and stress of these major events.

It is very difficult to stay focused and in total possession of your mental faculties during a full week of racing. While I love the sport, I am not ready to sacrifice everything for karting. I have I realised that I also love photography, movies, to meet friends, work with my father, skiing, etc ... So I decided to stop the high-level competition and to seriously resume studies and accept other challenges in life. But I will keep great memories of this incredible experience, the taste of the effort, the constant questioning, fighting on the track and the opportunity to socialise with opponents outside events, the teamwork, rigor ... and the fleeting happiness of victory.

I left one team but I found another. At Beau Soleil, I have found spirit, friendship and fraternity that I did not have in karting.