Monlau Competición: "More than a team…and more than a school"
It is an establishment where most weekends of the year they re-arrange the 'desks and classrooms' to well-known circuits and in championships like the SEAT Leon Eurocup, where the race team competes with two cars that are continually vying for points. With vast experience in the world of motorcycle racing, the auto division was added to the set-up in 2003, and in 2006 was expanded to include racing activities. From the beginning the remit for the car project came under the control and gaze of David Simón, the current Technical Director of the department and also a teacher at the centre.
"The philosophy of Monlau Competición is training and development. It is more than a race team and more than just a school. The racing structure is 100% professional. The technicians that go to the races are the same people who teach at the school to continue the education of our students," explains Simón. "However our structure at the races can subsequently offer our students the ideal environment of practical experience at the actual events and in series like the SEAT Leon Eurocup. The sole purpose of the team is racing and the schooling is total."
"We have examples of graduates that are really satisfying for us like Alberto Castaño and Álex Salas that are currently two chief mechanics of the department. They both passed through the formative and professional stages. It makes us proud to see how these guys have progressed with their careers and their profession," added Simón.
"I started in Monlau Competición in 2008 as a student. Then I moved onto the car racing team. When I finished my studies I was the second mechanic, then first mechanic and worked my way up to be chief mechanic," says Alberto Castaño, who is also the first mechanic for Fran Rueda (Monlau Competición) who holds fifth position in the current standings of the SEAT Leon Eurocup with two victories from the eight races disputed in 2015 so far.
Castaño is the best example of the passage of education and training that Monlau Competición offers and provides. "I finished my Masters last November and in February David [Simón] called me," commented Marc Philipp Caamaño Santos, an ex-Masters pupil of engineering from 2014 and now a track and data engineer in the race department of Monlau Competición and directed specifically towards the SEAT Leon Eurocup. "It's another level. When you are studying the theory in class there are many concepts to grasp and you see it from another perspective. When you are actually living your work then you have that added responsibility. What I actually want is to keep learning from all the people around me. I want to absorb all this practical experience because in the end it helps you grow. Race by race I grow and progress."
Behind it all is the passion for the job and the sport. "The schedule of the races and the classes is hard to manage but the passion and the dream to do what we do is what drives us on," confesses Simón. "When you specialise in something you like and enjoy then it only gives motivation. It is a push but you take it with a lot of enthusiasm", concurs Caamaño. The professionalism, the passion and the dream of a project found in the depths of the SEAT Leon Eurocup has to be the best scenario possible…