Ask The Racing Manager Who Spotted Stars Like Sebastian Vettel Anything You Want About Race Cars

Illustration for article titled Ask The Racing Manager Who Spotted Stars Like Sebastian Vettel Anything You Want About Race Cars

What’s it like to campaign single-seater cars on the doorstep of Formula One and watch the teenagers and young men who may turn into racing legends down the line? Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, owner and president of the Spanish GP2 team Racing Engineering, has seen it all, and he will be here for the next hour, live, answering your questions about anything.

Seriously, ask whatever you want.

Regular readers of Jalopnik will recognize Alfonso’s name. Last December, he wrote a guest post for us about one of his former drivers, a certain 17-year-old German boy named Sebastian Vettel, who has gone on to win back-to-back Formula One drivers’ championships in 2010 and 2011.

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Alfonso was born on the Canary Islands, grew up in Houston and Switzerland, and raced cars for a number of years before he founded Racing Engineering in 1999. He raced a Ferrari 348 GTC-LM at the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for 11 hours after one of his co-drivers fell ill, and finished fourth in the GT2 class. In 1998, he drove a Kremer K8 Spyder to a class win at the 1000 Kilometres of Monza—ask him about what it’s like to take the Parabolica dozens of times!

Illustration for article titled Ask The Racing Manager Who Spotted Stars Like Sebastian Vettel Anything You Want About Race Cars

His team Racing Engineering have won a number of championships, including a row of six team titles in Spanish Formula Three, and the GP2 drivers’ championship in 2008, with the Italian driver Giorgio Pantano. They finished the recently concluded 2012 championship in 4th place.

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People who’ve traveled with him say that while Alfonso has hung up his racing overalls, he has more than a hint of racing driver about him when he’s behind the wheel of a fast car on the road.

Ask whatever you want from 4 PM EST today!

UPDATE: Alfonso has had to run. Many thanks to him for being around for two hours and answering a ton of questions. Also, F1-powered 355?!

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Photos by Balázs Fenyő.

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DISCUSSION

porsche9146
Fred Smith

do you ever look anywhere for talent but the traditional european ladder? I feel it's fairly flawed, and personally I think you'd be missing talent if you didn't look elsewhere.

for example, have you ever looked at IndyCar's will power? he's absolutely crushed on road courses in a series where the likes of former GP2 winner ernesto viso, former F1 driver takuma sato and multi time F1 race winner rubens barrichello have a combined one podium in the last two seasons.