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Andrey Birzhin on the Official Drivers’ Categorization List of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has published the 2017 official Drivers’ Categorization List. According to the Motorsport.com this list can be considered ‘a complete list of all race drivers of the world’…

‘There are almost two thousand names on the published 2017 list. In fact it is a full list of those who have participated in the GranTurismo competitions or in prototype races at least once in the last five seasons’, informs Motorsport.com. Each of the participants has their own status – platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

There are 39 Russians on the list (12 more than two years earlier). Among them are Vitaly Petrov, the famous Formula 1 racing driver also known as ‘Vyborg Rocket’; Mikhail Aleshin, the World Renault Series champion; Andrey Birzhin, businessman and investor, having a position in the amateur racers and gentlemen drivers category. Last year Birzhin and Italian drivers Rino Mastronardi and Fabio Mancini have participated in several prestigious European competitions. The team drove the Ferrari 458 GT3 super car.

For many businessmen and CEO’s doing sports has become a fashion. Thus, Oleg Tinkov is fond of cycle racing; owner of the SUMMA Group of Companies Ziyavudin Magomedov is a wrestler. Many businessmen spend a lot of their time on water sports and track-and-field athletics. Different people like different sports, it depends on personal preferences.

Andrey Birzhin has celebrated his 34 birthday having come third in one of the runs of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

“Я не мог лучше отпраздновать мой день рождения. Отличная стратегия гонки, хорошие впечатления от вождения и действительно заслуженный подиум”, – поделился впечатлениями Биржин.

‘There couldn’t have been a better celebration of my birthday. These were best racing strategy, pleasure from driving and the well-deserved podium’, Birzhin shared his impressions. The team advanced to the second place on the Silverstone track in the Great Britain. ‘I am very happy with the British stage of the championship. Despite all the difficulties the team’s technical staff lived up to the challenge’, Rino Mastronardi commented on the results. The team swept gold in the prestigious 1000 m race on the Paul Ricard track in France. Competition between the Birzhin-Mastronardi-Mancini team and the BMW Team Russia was the toughest.

Also, a few years ago Birzhin participated in two extreme expeditions. The first of them was the Snow Challenge in the cold Alaska – a snowmobile race in one of the most pristine and scenic parts of the world. Birzhin and another famous Russian explorer Vlad Minin along with other participants of the most adventurous races on the planet – the Iron Dog Race – have crossed 1800 km through the Subarctic areas to the town of Nome on the Bering Sea shore. ‘Almost two thousand kilometers in five days!’, said the racers. ‘It was freezing cold but very beautiful, too. Snow-covered plains, frozen rivers and lakes looked spectacular. Although up- and down-hill rides proved to be quite steep’.

After that Birzhin has participated in the Unstoppable project, an extreme expedition in Mongolia. That time Andrey and his team fellows were driving a Triton off-roadster pickup truck. While in the Subarctic it was just plain cold, when crossing the Gobi Desert the travelers experienced rapid changes of temps. During the daytime it would be around +5 C⁰, and in the night the temps would drop to –10 C⁰. Weather in Mongolia was changing as often as landscapes: high winds would blast any time, sand storms would take turns with snow blizzards.

As one author once said, ‘In the direction that your fear is growing, you’re on the right path’. However, the purpose of taking part in such expeditions is not the pursuit of adrenaline rush as such. Races like these are true challenges, a way to test oneself, one’s willpower and intellect. Also, extreme races are an excellent metaphor for business and life in general. In his interview to the Lenta.ru Birzhin said that his approach to such races is the same as to solving complex problems. According to him preparation is essential both for business and expeditions of this kind. It is imperative to build a team of people who you would trust in any situation and to pay attention to details; to know where it is worth taking a risk and where it is better to be prudent and accurate.

Birzhin is not only himself a passionate fan of the active and athletic lifestyle, he also encourages such endeavours of his company’s employees. Thus, within the Glorax Life project the corporate running team Glorax has been organized. Running is one of the most universal sports. It is a good way to stay fit. At the Glorax Group running is also considered as a way to build connections between the company’s employees on yet another level: ‘Doing workouts and races together is, among other things, good for strengthening communications between colleagues, it motivates people for achievements.’

In October 2016 members of the Glorax Life running team have tried themselves in the first scratch race at the TITAN competition in the Moscow Region, having shown good results in the 5 and 21.1 km distances. One of the competitors has even won a prize in the women’s final standing. In early February 2017 the team is going to run in a massive race.