Racing Development Driver Adderly Fong Feels the Need for Speed
By Herbalife Staff
August 9, 2016
There are some opportunities in life that are so rare that only a select few individuals will ever get to experience them. One of them is being selected as a racing development driver, in which an up-and-coming driver has the chance to attend races and tests, while learning to drive a high-power car. Herbalife-sponsored race car driver Adderly Fong, the first and only development driver from Hong Kong, is one of the chosen few. “I’m proud to be chosen as the first in Hong Kong,” says Fong. “I’m especially grateful for all of the things I have learned working with my racing team.” Fong is also currently the only driver in Hong Kong with a Super License – a qualification that allows him to compete in the world championships as a driver.
Driven by Passion
Fong’s passion for cars at an early age paved the way for his interest in racing. At 14, he had the opportunity to attend a race with his father and see from up close a Formula Renault 2000 race car. His father asked him if he wanted to try driving it, to which he swiftly responded with a yes. At the time, there was a one-year waiting list for driving classes, so Fong’s first experience driving a race car ended up being on his 15th birthday. He was hooked.
He began training at the Zhuhai International Circuit in China for one year, obtaining his racing license and participating in his first official race on his 16th birthday. After years of training, Fong won the overall championship in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in 2013. He also attained his aforementioned Super License. “The Super License is extremely rare,” says Fong. “I would say the number of people who hold one is probably the same as the number of people who are astronauts, if not less. Not only do you have to be given the opportunity to drive a top race car, but you also have to successfully demonstrate your ability to drive a car at competitive speeds and at distances of no less than 300 kilometers (186 miles) in a day, which is the equivalent of the entire Gran Prix.”
Racing Against Gravity
For those interested in getting into the sport of auto racing, Fong warns that it can be difficult. “The right factors have to align in one’s life in order to become a professional race car driver,” says Fong. “It’s not like most sports – you can’t just go out and buy a jersey or a pair of shoes and get started. You have to have a race car and a crew to keep it running in top form. You have to have access to tires, fuel and all of the additional equipment you’ll need. You also need a track at which you can train and be willing to put long hours into your training.”
According to Fong, there are also unique physical and mental demands that come with the sport of racing. “To be able to drive a race car, you need an advanced level of fitness,” he says. “The reason being that while cornering, decelerating and accelerating at high speeds, your body can experience up to five times the force of gravity – that means your body weight is trying to work against itself by five times. This can result in a number of challenges, including moving your helmet to the point that it restricts your vision. You also have to become accustomed to dealing with the heat in the cockpit, which can reach 50°C (122°F).” Fong notes that while experiencing all of these things, often simultaneously, he has to remember to drive the car according to procedure, on a variety of different modes. He also has to monitor things like the tires – how they are heating up and cooling down, and be able to relay that information to his crew. “Racing a car becomes as much of a mental game as a physical one,” he says. “You have to have razor-sharp concentration and that takes time and dedication to master.”
Fueling the Body
In order to keep his body and mind strong, Fong focuses on his fitness, paying special attention to building his core strength while increasing his power and endurance, as well as focusing on nutrition. “I think of my body like I think of my car – if I don’t give it the right fuel, it won’t run correctly,” he says. The incorporation of Herbalife® products into his training regime is extensive, with his favorite product being Herbalife24® Hydrate because it offers him advanced hydration with bioavailable electrolytes – and it tastes great. He also uses Herbalife24® Formula 1 Sport and Herbalife24® Rebuild Strength. “Overall, Herbalife® products offer me exactly what I need to handle the sport and lifestyle that I lead,” he says.
Fong’s future as a race car driver looks bright, as he gets set to partner with Bentley Team Absolute later this year and drive the latest factory Bentley Continental GT3 race cars. “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had,” says Fong. “I look forward to the road that lies ahead.”
Adderly Fong – Most Recent Achievements
- 2015 GT Asia series – 1st runner-up (overall)
- 2015 Became the first and only Development Driver from Hong Kong
- 2014 Became the first and only driver from Hong Kong to obtain a Super License
- 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup – Overall Champion
- 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup Macau Grand Prix – 3rd place