Passion…

10 Feb

Based on my previous post earlier today, I wanted to follow that up with a post centered on what drives me. I don’t want there to be any confusion whatsoever with regard to what motivates me to turn the Redline Pro Time Attack series into a successful motorsport series.

It all comes down to a passion for the sport.

I may be biased, 😉 , but I consider myself THE biggest fan of Time Attack.

Through Redline Track Events in 2003, I began hosting Focus Challenge events at the Streets of Willow. The format we used for the Focus Challenge events (1 warmup, 3 hot laps, 1 cool down), is what we decided to use for Redline Time Attack in 2005 (and have used up until the start of the 2011 season). There was no outlet that felt right, that was comfortable, or accommodating. I had a Ford Focus, I was a member of the SoCal FocalJet.com group, and I had been hosting open track days since February 2002.

When other groups of enthusiasts at our open track days saw the Focus Challenge events, they too wanted to get in on the action. So we hosted a MINI Challenge event. And ultimately hosted a Honda/Acura “Time Attack” event in the spring of 2005 at Buttonwillow Raceway. A portion of this event was featured on the Street Tuner Challenge TV program. With each event, I became more passionate for what we were doing. I saw how much fun everyone was having. It was exciting!

This led us to host a “test” event at Auto Club Speedway in the summer of 2005, then our first official Redline Time Attack event at Spring Mountain in November 2005. And then we were off!

I want the Redline Time Attack series to be successful. I want it to be relevant. For the sport as a whole to be accepted by the motorsport community as a viable and respected form of circuit racing. I have literally, and of course figuratively, bled, sweat and shed tears over the last 6 years. I’ve lost tens of thousands of my hard earned dollars from my day job. I’ve worked the 8 hour nights following my 10 hour “day-job”. I’ve worked the 20-hour days on event weekends. I’ve spent time away from my my wife, my three boys. I’ve sacrificed family vacations, friend’s birthday parties, time with friends, my personal interests and hobbies. All to put in as much effort, “smart” work, thought and preparation to move Redline Time Attack and the sport as a whole in the direction I believe they both needed to go.

Yes, yes.. I know. This is what nearly every small business owner or entrepreneur endures.. simply for the LOVE of it! 🙂

I did not launch Redline Time Attack to make money. I didn’t have goals of becoming famous or notorious. I could care less if I was accepted into the “tuner scene” cliques in SoCal. That’s not how I roll. That is not what matters to me. I don’t need to hear my name. I don’t need to be invited to VIP parties.

What I do care about is turning Redline Time Attack into a respected, relevant and viable motor sport series. Not just to the “import tuner market”, but to the motor sport and car enthusiast market as a whole.

Time Attack has such great potential as a motor sport. To provide something different. An outlet for tuners, manufacturers, drivers, OEMs, enthusiasts, media and fans that cannot be found anywhere else. The activity is so pure…. It is so simple. yet the challenge to teams/drivers is so very difficult. There are clear winners and losers. It is not subjective. The clock doesn’t lie. The rule set generally allows for a fairly large box to work within when building/prepping a vehicle. Compared to the rigid rules of SCCA, NASA and other circuit racing events, time attack is refreshing.

However…..

A problem that is plaguing the sport of time attack, is that there are too many people directly, and to some extent, indirectly involved with time attack, that do not share the same passion. They place the survival of time attack, the relevance of time attack and the sports viability second, or worse for some of them, to their own personal agendas (agendas that are damaging to the sport……). It is less about being a part of a successful motorsport series, and more about drawing attention to themselves and their supposed significance. It is more about milking money from one sponsor or employer, and moving to the next before the well dries up. And of course there are those that have $$$$$ as the primary reason to try their own ideas or launch their own series, fragmenting the nascent community with complete disregard for the sport as a whole. When it comes right down to it, they could care less if the sport thrives.

I’ve learned over the last 6 years, that even though I am extremely passionate about time attack, I cannot allow that passion to blind me. I do not allow that passion to fog reality.

My next post will focus on scope, vision, self imposed limiting, comfort zones and short-sightedness…. My take on those topics, as well as the exhibited behavior and stated beliefs of those who propose “they know best”….

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One Response to “Passion…”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Passion… « Mr. Time Attack -- Topsy.com - February 10, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Naderi and William Cannady, Nikolas Malechikos. Nikolas Malechikos said: Passion… http://wp.me/p1deyX-1G […]

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