Tampere-based high school student Luka Nurmi, 16, will compete in the Ferrari Challenge series European races this season. The series is driven by a one-way game with 670 horsepower and a top speed of 340 kilometers per hour.
Light gray a moped car turns into the yard of a big hall in Lempäälä near Ideapark. Get out of the car Luka Nurmi, 16. Next, he jumps into a red Ferrari with a familiar main color, but the Finnish flag is painted on the ceiling.
The Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, priced at EUR 300,000, is a GT track car used by Nurmi. In fact, he has two of them.
The other is for the Ferrari Challenge series competitions on European tracks, and the one in Lempäälä is mainly for training in Finland but also abroad.
In addition, Nurmi handles public relations with it: partners are happy to be picked up. This happened, for example, a couple of weeks ago in Levi.
How has it turned out that 16-year-old Nurmi is already driving in GT car races and the youngest ever in the Ferrari Challenge series? In fact, Nurmi has already raced in the previous two seasons in similar competitions organized by Porsche and also won the Porsche Sprint Challenge Nez championship last year.
However, it all started when Nurmi was two years old, even though he was not at the wheel of the go-kart at that time.
“We have to thank our early neighbors Juha Nurmea [ei sukua Luka Nurmelle]. He had noticed the Pirkanmaa karting children’s driving course announcement. Then we went to Luka’s big brother first Nikin and their sons Tuomas with. They have [naapurilla] it stayed in that driving camp, but we didn’t stay there, ”Luka Nurmi’s father Tino Nurmi laugh.
Brother Niki stopped driving after a few years, but Luka, who started at the age of 5, toured the European karting race at the age of 11. Since karting or any other motorsport is not a very cheap activity, the money is gone too.
“The money has burned out, too,” sighs Tino Nurmi, Luka Nurmi’s contract manager.
Because in karting it is very difficult to get sponsorship agreements, Nurmet moved into the world of track cars when Luka Nurmi had just turned 15 years old. It was not necessarily thawed in Finnish karting circles.
“Jumping from karting to Porsche probably no one has done before. Within the species, it also became a critique. Now you can see that it was the right solution for the athlete and also for the backgrounds. Building a collaboration around Porsche was much easier than around a go-kart. Traveling around the Europe is a lot of fun and finding partners is really difficult, ”says Tino Nurmi.
For the beginning season, Luka Nurme also had three options: to continue on Porsche or move on to Lamborghini or Ferrari. He did successful tests on all the cars, and Nurmi said the solution was easy in the end.
“Perhaps the biggest decisive factor was that we can keep another car in Finland,” says Luka Nurmi about a car owned by Luxury Collection, which sells Ferraris.
Tino Nurmi adds that Ferrari’s overall package was the most attractive overall. Luka Nurmi drives in the Danish Formula Racing garage, but he receives the depot and maintenance services of the Ferrari factory garage AF Corse.
“We got to negotiate directly Amato Ferrarin [AF Corse -tallin omistaja] with. He was also following Luka’s tests, ”says Tino Nurmi.
Also Toni Vilander is an AF Corse driver and won the 2014 Fia Wec Championship.
“When we were at AF Corse’s factory in Italy, there were Toni posters everywhere. He is one of the longest driving drivers in Ferrari, ”says Luka Nurmi.
“It’s that great car to drive.”
Although when it comes to driving in a factory garage, money must also be found in your own bag.
“Yes, the world of motorsport goes so much that money has to be taken away. There are probably five carriers from Finland who do not have to export, ”says Tino Nurmi.
However, Tino Nurmi emphasizes the support received from Ferrari.
“Ferrari’s investment was significant in giving the car and a substantial amount of money, making it much easier to collect the rest. We are in such a good position with our partners that we were able to make this decision. ”
In total, the season is estimated to cost just under € 400,000.
What kind Ferrari gt car is driving?
“It’s that great car to drive. All in all, this car has its own feel, ”says Luka Nurmi.
He has had time to try the car at Iitti Kymiring for a few laps and a little more during the Italian test runs. Here, too, the money comes in: according to Tino Nurmi, a test day on European lines costs about 14,000 euros and in Finland 4,000–5,000 euros. One test day means about 300 kilometers, or about 70 laps.
“Kymiring has a really fast section and a really slow section, but it lacks fast bend sections,” says Tino Nurmi and therefore tests must also be done on European lines.
There are also large price differences between different tracks in Finland. Kymiring is in the highest category of the International Motorsport Federation, so the hourly rates are clearly higher than in Alastaro, for example.
“At Kymiring’s prices, events also become pricey,” says Tino Nurmi.
When talking about Ferrari, it easily combines with formula ones, although Ferrari is a long-time success in, among other things, the most famous race of GT cars in the Le Mans 24-hour race. Luka Nurme has also had formula sets in mind, at least in the past.
“Yes, it is also an interesting dream. When here [gt-autoissa] talking about large sums, it would be a multiple. There were no financial opportunities for that, ”says Luka Nurmi.
“It resolved that Luka himself said he wanted the gt side. For that I am pretty happy. If you want to drive in two European Formula 4 top series, for example, it is about a million euros, ”adds Tino Nurmi.
In addition, there are also physical reasons for driving GT cars.
“With the Finnish genetic inheritance, the shoulders widened and the sound dropped too early a year. Luka’s physique just doesn’t go for formulas to drive. You can’t have an extra gt driver either, but it’s not a few kilos, ”says Tino Nurmi.
“Whenever there is a place, you have to go past.”
What kind where is Luka Nurmi?
“I’m closer to the aggressive, but I’m not a pig on the track. Karting kind I’ve learned that whenever there is a place to go over. If there is no place, it is not worth voting. ”
In addition, he states that he is able to quickly internalize the tracks associated with different tracks.
“For example, if a data engineer shows curves that some driving in a bend should be fixed in a certain way, pretty quickly I will be able to transfer the data to the track [ajamiseen]. ”
Luka Nurmi considers his pressure resistance to be one of his good qualities.
“The pressures aren’t present on the track,” he says.
Instead, somewhat surprisingly, there is more pressure in simulator races, he said.
“It has to be run completely flawlessly all the time, and it’s not controlled in the same way. However, driving on the track already comes in some way from the spinal cord, ”Luka Nurmi explains.
Tino Nurmi finds the good side of simulator competitions from his own point of view.
“As a father in simulator races, the good thing is that you don’t have to be afraid. In the real world, you sometimes need to be afraid. ”
Motorsport indeed, there is still a sense of danger, even though car safety has evolved significantly. According to Tino Nurmi, the risks in karting were greater than now in track cars.
“Of course, if you pull 300 kilometers per hour to the railing, it can go bad or if the car catches fire as a result of a crash. However, the safety areas of the tracks and the safety arches and other safety devices of cars are currently at such a level that I am not terribly afraid of that side, ”says Tino Nurmi.
There have been no major injuries to Luka Nurme, but no crashes have been avoided.
“In Rallicross, I knocked on the railing more briskly and the car pretty much broke into pieces. Nothing happened to myself. The pace was about 150 kilometers per hour. ”
In karting, the game went to its roof a few times and one of these happened in Vihti when the mother Kaisa Nurmi was watching the race.
“From there, Luka came out by ambulance. Watching my mother’s races stayed with it. He hasn’t been watching for 3-4 years, but now he’s going to come again, ”says Tino Nurmi.
“Pretty good time to go to school.”
Just motorsport is not Luka Nurmi’s life, as he started high school at Sampo Central High School in Tampere in the autumn.
“Pretty good time to go to school. On race trips, whenever there is a place, I do school chores. The school has gone just fine. ”
However, going to school is not always easy, as school tasks accumulate in periods when he gets to school.
“It can have four trials in four days. When a trip becomes tired, it is not over immediately, but a lot of things have accumulated. ”
While the goal is to be a professional in motorsport, it is not intended to make career plans on its own.
“Of course, education must go at the pace that if everything doesn’t work out, then there is something else that can be done,” says Luka Nurmi.
But next, Luka Nurmi is going to get rid of the moped or, as Tino Nurmi says, “milk”. He turns 17 in April and is applying for an exemption to get a driver’s license.
“That is the goal now.”
■ A 16-year-old Tampere-based motor athlete.
■ Race this season in the Ferrari Challenge series of European races.
■ There are seven races, the first of which will be run from 10 to 11. April at the Monza line.
■ Won the 2020 Porsche Sprint Challenge Nez Championship.
■ In karting, among other things, the OK-class Finnish Championship bronze at the age of 14 in 2018 (the winner of the series was 22 years old) and AKK’s newcomer driver of the year in 2017.
■ Engages in Thai boxing and snowboarding. He used to play hockey in the Tappara juniors.
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