Hello AI… I thought for my first blog I should introduce myself and give you my background in Racing and the Tuner industry! I’ll be contributing to the site with news of racing in North America, some behind-the-scenes content, and hope to share driving/racing techniques with you to become a better driver on and off the track.
I got my start in racing in 2000 when I took a 3-Day Racing School at Skip Barber, driving their Formula cars around Laguna Seca. I got hooked and immediately looked for ways to go racing. We chose to utilize Skip Barber’s ladder system to help get me into the high levels of racing through scholarships and affordable racing. I competed a few seasons in the Formula Dodge Western series and took the championship in 2002 with 8 wins and 9 pole positions. I moved up to the next step and competed in the Formula Dodge National Championship against drivers like Scott Speed (Nascar via F1), AJ Allmendinger (Nascar via Champ Car), and many other future stars. In 2003, I won a scholarship from the prestigious Barber-Champ Car Runoff to race a limited schedule in the Barber Dodge Pro Series.
From then on I’ve competed in several series including Star Mazda, Formula BMW USA, and NASA. For 2009, we are working hard to race in the Indy Lights series or Grand-Am Rolex sports car series.
As for the Tuner industry, I’ve been heavily involved in this market for the past decade in the states. I started off working for a tuner shop called Area 51 Fabrications, building SEMA cars and project cars for OE manufactures. After I got hired by the IDRC organization to oversee the marketing for their import drag race series (IDRC) and two new publications (DRAG Sport and Tuner Performance Reports). Once we saw the drag racing trend start to die, we changed the name of the magazine to DSPORT. This allowed us to include drifting, high performance driving, road racing, and still keep drag racing. We built many project cars, hosted huge national motorsports events, including the first D1GP competition, and just had a lot of fun! I now do marketing consultation for companies looking for a specialist in motorsports and/or the youth-oriented tuner industry.
And if all that wasn’t enough, I’m also a professional driver coach. I’ve been coaching for the Skip Barber school for nearly 6 years now and also do a lot of private coaching with aspiring racecar drivers (including Mark and Michele Bumgarner, Gaby dela Merced). I also work with a lot of exotic and sports car owners, helping them build a solid foundation of driving fundamentals to understand how to drive their cars to its potential. I love coaching because it allows me to help others learn the craft and to see them succeed is self-fulfilling.
So stay tuned as I try to bring you interesting content from the States! In the meantime, feel free to check out my website at www.montinola.com.