Brownsburg, IN (February 10, 2019) – In October 2013, Gerda, me and my dogter Cha Cha made the biggest move of our lives; we shipped everything, our whole life, in a 40 foot container 4150 miles from Amsterdam to Indianapolis, USA.
The content of the container comprised our private belongings and a race car plus equipment. Arriving in our new home country, our new life started – we had to start all over again.
The difference is that this was not a normal new beginning like when you are born and things start taking its course. We are used to working hard for everything we want to achieve; nothing will come for free, but that’s what makes you appreciate things more when they come together. I’m successful in business, but it’s not that we have funding available to invest millions to start a racing career in the USA, it needs to be built, step by step.
Gerda and I started with finding a normal daily job, like most of you, we have to bring in a paycheck to pay the bills. In the meantime we were saving money to get our Top Fuel program back up to speed again; a lot of money is needed to get all equipment and parts certified to be allowed to race at NHRA tracks. The first step was made two years ago when we were able to rent a small race shop opposite Don Schumacher Racing’s 145,000 square feet headquarters, to be able to start working on our race car program. In early 2018 we were able to finish the race car with new front and rear wings, also the front part of the chassis has been replaced to comply to the current NHRA rules.
Because my race license had expired, I had to make license runs before I was able to get back into action again. We ran at really iconic places like the Texas Motorplex and the big daddy of them all, Lucas Oil Raceway in Indy to get my racing license active again. After I became a certified NHRA Top Fuel pilot, we entered a couple of NHRA races during the 2018 season. This was the time were we needed to start building our team from a crew and logistical point of view. Another thing that needed attention was our parts inventory; running the ETs and speeds on those killer NHRA tracks requires an upgrade of a lot of parts.
The first race we entered was the US Nationals, the biggest drag race in the World. We had an awesome time with the fans and it was cool to make history, being the first Dutchman entering this race. After this race we went to St. Louis (Gateway Motorsports Park) and Charlotte zMax Dragway. We did not qualify for any of the races we attended which is not something to be proud of, but running a Top Fuel team from your weekly paycheck in a NHRA Championship format is a challenge which will take a bit of time to be able to see success. #NeverQuit
Going into 2019 we had some time over the winter to work on our program. We found some issues that caused a lack of performance which resulted in our non-qualifying performance. Our first race in our 2019 schedule will be the 50th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Florida 14 – 17 March. We are still running our program with a limited budget, but we are confident we will qualify for this iconic event. I’m looking forward to shaking hands with a lot of our European Fans who always like to attend this race in Florida.
I would like to thank our ever loyal Fans who support us through thick and thin, also a big thank you to Gilbert Groot from JLM Lubricants who support us with their high quality engine oils and additives and last but not least my wife Gerda, my biggest Fan and partner.