In December 2023, Buggyra ZM Racing, in cooperation with Buggyra Academy, launched the Dakar Classroom, a unique experience where four young talented drivers, co-drivers, and engineers had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a close look at how a race team works. Now, Buggyra is launching the endurance equivalent, the GT classroom. Intended to groom young drivers and engineers for the 24-Hour Series, the GT Classroom was launched at the recent 12 Hours of Spa with four trainees, Slovakian brothers Marko Kazarka and Tomas Kazarka as well Dubai-born racer Yasmeen Koloc and Czech engineer Matej Hadascok.
The Dakar Classroom as well as the GT Classroom are part of Buggyra Academy, launched in 2019 by Martin Koloc. As Buggyra ZM Racing’s CEO and a double European truck racing champion, Martin knows all sides of the motorsport industry. When he established the Academy, he wanted to give young and aspiring motorsport talents the opportunity to learn on the task, with experienced mentors. Four years later, the Academy comprises four poles: truck, karting, rally raid, and the recently launched GT endurance pole.
GT Classroom trainees
The GT Classroom was launched at the 12 Hours of Spa in early May with four young talents. Until the 2024 Mugello race, part of the 24-Hour Series, Slovakian brothers Marko Kazarka (15) and Tomas Kazarka (19) as well Dubai-born Yasmeen Koloc (18) and Czech Matej Hadascok (25) will follow Buggyra ZM Racing in their GT endurance season to learn how to become an accomplished endurance racer or engineer respectively, with the target of being operational for the 24-Hour Series next year.
18-year-old Yasmeen Koloc has already gained a varied experience in motorsport in her short career. She only started three years ago, in 2020, in the Renault Clio Cup. She then trained a lot in a Can-Am and the ACR Formula 4 series before she won her first GT4 Race in 2021 at the Autodrom in Brno in the ESET V4 Cup. Since 2022, Yasmeen has been focusing on GT racing as well as rally raids. Due to an accident last year that stopped her racing career for nearly a year and which she is only now slowly building up again, she is also developing skills as a motorsport engineer.
Marko Kazarka is only 15 years old and is a talented junior ice hockey player. So far, he has no motorsport experience but is very keen to learn. It will be interesting to see how the Buggyra Academy can help a youngster to develop motorsport skills from scratch.
His brother Tomas is, at 19 years of age, already an accomplished athlete with successes in MMA and Thai Boxing. In addition, he has gained some motorsport experience by navigating Robert Kasak, the experienced Tatra Buggyra Slovakia Truck Team driver, at this year’s Dakar Rally.
Matej Hadascok is currently studying at the technical university and is a junior engineer. Together with Yasmeen, he takes care of the online data during the races and calculates the data of the competition. His training will focus on developing engineering skills for the team rather than being a racer.
From April to August 2023 Marko, Tomas, and Yasmeen will spend extensive time in a simulator, trained by experienced driver and engineer, Czech David Vrsecky. In July and October, they will get extensive kart training in the KZ category, the highest class in karting, taking place in the Czech Republic, Spain and Dubai. The training will be round up by a minimum of 10 test days in a Mercedes AMG GT4 in Most in the Czech Republic from July to October.
The young racers will finalize their pre-season GT4 testing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from November 2023 until March 2024 by participating in the UAE GT race series as well as some additional track days. With that amount of training, the young Buggyra Academy squad should be well prepared to be on the starting grid of the opening race of the 24H European Series next year, the 12 Hours of Mugello in March 2024.