Senior on the fast track

March 9, 2009 — by Annie Lee

Not many students can brag that they have driven over 100 mph, but senior Nikola Radosavlijevich is no stranger to speed, having driven up to 160 mph on his motorcycle and 140 mph on his four wheel go-kart. Radosavlijevich started racing motorcycles at age 13 when his dad introduced him to the activity.

“My dad bought a motorcycle and I started to watch racing on TV, and that’s when I knew what I wanted to do with my life,” said Radosavlijevich. “The adrenaline and the speed is just awesome.”

A year after he picked up motorcycle racing as a hobby, Radosavlijevich traveled to Spain for a racing tournament and placed in the top 30 out of 200 participants. When he returned, he decided to try go-kart racing and took first place in his first indoor karting championship, winning a prize of one full day of outdoor go-karting.hgj

“After that day I was hooked on it right away, and a week later, I bought my own racing kart,” said Radosavlijevich. “My dad always says that on a motorcycle, I’m good, but on four wheels, I’m at a whole different level.”

Radosavlijevich currently competes in one to two races a month, and in 2007, he finished in second place in Northern California in his age group. However, his rewards do not come easily as he has to travel almost two hours to Sonoma County’s Infineon Raceway around three to four times a month for practice.

Because his practices are so far away, Radosavlijevich spends a lot of time training locally by running and biking about 30 miles per week.

“People might think that [racing go karts is] easy, but it’s very hard on your body,” said Radosavlijevich. “You have to be in shape and have endurance.”

Radosavlijevich plans on racing throughout his life and becoming a professional open wheel race car driver within the next few years by continuing to compete in tournaments and races.

“I always feel like I’m in control, and I don’t get scared when I go fast because I know my limits,” said Radosavlijevich. “When I’m racing, I’m always looking to win.”

Even with Radosavlijevich’s natural talent at racing go-karts, he always has a team to lean on.

“My family supports me a lot,” said Radosavlijevich. “My dad is my biggest supporter.”

Currently, Radosavlijevich is looking for some sponsorship help as he continues onto college in the fall of 2009.

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