Team Principal Nico Aaron Ugbaja talks about how progress has been so far for Ugbaja Grand Prix, and what plans he has for the team in the future.
I write this post during Ugbaja Grand Prix’s mid season break, the first two races of 2012 have been a mixed bag for us. We experienced what can only be described as “The worst luck possible” in Race Three, where the team by no fault of our own had victory snapped away. What made it worse was that we were on course for AT LEAST a podium from that race, until eight laps from the end I got black flagged on my stint dropping us to fourth.
After that race which was the worst moment of my racing career so far, I felt defeated, annoyed, I also blamed myself for everything so far. As team principal it is your responsibility to run the team to the best of your ability, after finishing fourth twice I studied the telemetry from both races really hard and took a different approach for the next race.
It paid dividends because we finished 2nd, very unfortunate not to win but we were on the podium. That feeling of satisfaction was back and wiped away the frustrations of the past year, it was a brilliant team effort and showed that if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
At the moment I am very satisfied with the achievements of the team so far, in the space of a year we have taken two podiums and never finished below the top four. With one of those podiums being a victory which we achieved in our first race. The team has challenged for victory in three of the four races we have done and also we have lead three of the four races as well.
None of this would be possible without the effort and dedication of the team, we started this for fun at first and won on the first attempt. Then we saw that we could actually take this team somewhere with the talent we have onboard, and when I sat down and explained the long term plans I have for the team, everyone was happy to stay onboard. Which personally for me is very exciting, the talent that is on this team is to be admired, which speaks volumes in our results.
Some people may say that indoor karting is not proper racing, I say that racing is racing, in what ever form it is. Whether it be indoor, outdoor or professional… Racing is Racing!!!! You still have an aim to go out and win, to cross the finishing line first, to be the best of the best. That objective is what we strive for whenever we go out on the track.
Everyone on the team has been karting for more than five years, so we know the game very well. Most of us are students as well, so we don’t have the budget to go professional racing. So racing the way we do is the closest thing to that, which makes it even more better when we pick up the good results and leave the circuit satisfied. To go racing on a budget of just over one hundred pounds each race and to be at the front, winning and taking podiums is absolutely mega.
I am all too aware that Motorsport is a cut throat business, that if you do not succeed, you get dumped to side and the next person comes along and takes your place. But that is not a deterrent, that is a reminder and a message to keep pushing and never give up.
It is time for this team to grow, the next step for us is owning a kart and entering kart championships, after that maybe and hopefully progressing into the super one series or the equivalent. Afterwards who knows, we also have ambitions to race into the Caterham R300 Series and also later in life racing in the British Touring Car Championship. We are under no illusion that those achievements are going to be easy, but we have a dream, we are Ugbaja Grand Prix, we keep pushing and we never give up!!!
Before I forget, the team is also coming off the back of a positive test, which gives us confidence for Race Five. I won’t bore you with the details but if you want find out for yourself you can do so here.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes, which is a reminder that if you have a dream go out there and get it.
“When we are young we all have dreams of speed, excitement and adrenaline. But we grow up, become sensible and somehow those dreams never quite happen….. And a dream can only become a reality if you chase it … and chase it … AND CHASE IT !!!!”