I’d been hearing rumors of this for a couple days, but the news was officially announced today. Petter Solberg is back in a factory ride for the 2012 World Rally Championship. He and co-driver Chris Patterson will be in a Ford Fiesta RS. For me, this is very exciting news, but there’s a big lesson behind this I’ve not seen in any other automotive publication.
If you don’t really follow WRC, here’s the backstory in a nutshell. A couple years back, Petter was a factory driver for Subaru. In a particularly hairy game of musical chairs at the end of the season where almost everyone was unsure if they would have a ride the following year, Petter was still on his feet when the music stopped. Where other rallyists might have retired, opened a driving school, or gotten into another form of motorsport, Petter wasn’t done with the WRC yet.
He spent the next couple years bankrolling his own WRC campaign. He bought his own cars and service vehicles. He hired technicians, tooled them up, and got them slick uniforms. He went out and negotiated sponsorship deals with energy drinks and tool companies and – together – they organized what would have to be one of the largest “grassroots” campaigns the world has ever seen.
Ever ship a small package to the other side of the world? Expensive, isn’t it? Imagine shipping a race car, a couple service trucks full of spare parts, tools, and a whole race team back and forth around the world a dozen times in a single year. The cost of competition at this level is simply staggering, yet Petter believed in himself and his team so strongly, he knew it would pay off in the end.
And therein lies the lesson we can all take from this. If there is something you believe in doing with every fiber of your being, do it the absolute best you can. Do it for free. Do it if you have to pay for it all out of your own pocket. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. And if you have to do it – you can’t NOT do it.
Here at GBXM, we love rally, and one of the biggest reasons why we love rally so much is because the people who make up the international rally community are among the most inspiring gearheads you will ever meet. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing Petter back on top of the world in 2012.
You can get the story straight from Petter’s website here.
- What’s the one thing you believe in so much you’d do it for free?
- Why do you think Petter believed in his dream so strongly?