Thursday, 14 December 2017 | News today: 14

After the titles in European Hill Climb Championship appetites grew

Igor Stefanovski – Idze is the Macedonian that attracted the attention of world public by winning two titles in European Hill Climb Championship. His next goal is to participate at the European Touring Car Championship, but he needs enormous funds.

In the past two seasons you became European Hill Climb Champion. What’s Igor Stefanovski – Idze’s limit?

Stefanovski: I have to emphasize that by winning the European Hill Climb Championship last season and by defending the title this season I have achieved a huge success. No driver from any European team hasn’t achieved that for whole ten years. The success is huge knowing that I’m fighting real wolves in this sport. I attracted the attention of the whole world public to me and to our country knowing that this is an expensive sport in which, besides the driver, there are many other people that stand behind him. I have a modest budget of around 100,000 euros for the whole season, and that is just a fifth of the competition. I’m not complaining, seeing other drivers that beside themselves have 20 people in every race I become stronger for the next temptations in my career. I want to continue with the successes, but every year the competition is getting bigger and stronger.

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What does the preparation for a race look like? What are you most concentrated on, do you, perhaps, use simulator on the tracks?

Stefanovski: I don’t have any special preparation. To be honest, what so far has helped me the most were video games based on the tracks that are driven at European Hill Climb Championship (he laughs). The finances are very small so that I could afford to try the track on the very spot a few days earlier. No matter if drive a race car or a car I can rent there. The hardest and the longest track is the race in Italy. It is over 18 km long and it is the most difficult track in Europe. I hold the record there as well. I didn’t have the opportunity to try the track at a training, but that;s where the video games helped me. I have no special preparations and I do not use stimulants for concentration. I maintain my physical fitness with exercises, which I think are best for me. I have no professional help or chefs that will prepare me a special diet as all my competitors have. Because absent from Skopje most of the year, while I’m here it is my family that helps me the most . I have two children and I spend my free time with them. It relaxes me and gives me strength to go on with the successes. I must say that it is a very extreme sport because every season many fatal accidents happen even to the much more experienced colleagues. If I had the opportunity to have my own simulator, as the other drivers have, I think I could achieve better results. Of course, at the moment I can’t afford that because it costs more than 50,000 euros.

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You mentioned that at least 100,000 euros are needed to round up a season. How do you handle with that and could it happen such talent as you to stop because of lack of funds?

Stefanovski: I, myself provide most of the funds from the domestic budget. We have a company for spare car parts. And I have huge support from ‘Vitaminka’, which is my main sponsor and for four years now, since I’m participating in the European championships. In the first two years I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in all races. Besides “Vitaminka”, I get also help from ‘Kozuvcanka’ and, of course ‘Motocentar’ who is supplying me with tires and other supporting parts. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have any chance to get to the championships in Europe.

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By: Bojan Momirovski
Photo: Georgi Licovski