OLSON TO COMPETE IN 2005 ROTAX MAX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RACE SERIES
For Immediate Release
August 12, 2004
Taipei, Taiwan -
Racer Peter [“Pete”] Olson has made it up the racing ladder from the carefree teenage days of his youth, street racing
his nitrous-injected VW Scirocco, to piloting a 280kph/174mph Formula Renault race car in front of more than 40,000
race fans and millions of television viewers just two months ago at the newly-opened Formula One circuit in Shanghai,
But Olson certainly hasn’t forgotten his roots behind the wheel of a 145kph professional racing kart.
Olson had only been in Taiwan for a few weeks this past February when he made it out to ‘Tao Yuen’, twenty
kilometers north of Taipei City, to test his racing skills against the Taiwan Rotax Max Race Series Champions.
The Rotax Max Race Series is a new international kart racing series in which the top drivers from each competing
country are awarded a fully-sponsored trip to international locals each January to compete in the World Championship.
In 2003, the top drivers competed in Egypt. In 2004, the Championship was held in the Canary Islands, off southern
coast of Spain.
The Rotax Max concept is an innovative idea that began in the Rotax Company in collusion with Bombardier
Aeronautique (Aerospace), a Canadian company headquartered in Montreal, which specializes in civil and military aircraft
production. The international series has grown exponentially in popularity since its introduction just a few years ago.
Traditionally, professional karting has been dominated by those who not only had the skill to race, but also modified
their karts extensively to achieve performance advantages. In the Rotax Series, all karts are only allowed to run with
sealed Rotax 125cc engines, with no modifications allowed.
“The great thing about the series is that all karts run with equal performance, so the only difference at the finish line is
the ability of the driver,” said Olson from his home in Panchiao City, Taipei. “That was the great thing about racing at
JHR [Jim Hall Racing – Ventura, California] back in the States. We could focus on the driving instead of messing around
with fuel mixtures and piston clearance. Of course, there are still things like chassis adjustments that I have to work on
with the mechanics at each race. But with my experience in Southern California and now, in mainland China in Formula
Renault, I have come here pretty well prepared.”
Olson is no stranger to the 125cc karts, which are capable of 0-100kph (0-62mph) in less than 4 seconds and have a
top speed of over 145kph (90mph). Olson drove a Rotax for the first time at JHR in 2002, one of the many rewards
for his sprint kart Championship that year. “Jim Hall had a Rotax at the track for testing the day I won [the
Championship] and offered me a chance to test it. I never turn down a chance to drive. I remember thinking that it
was a blast…it had the power of a shifter kart, but without the gear changes. The power came on in a big rush at
about 8,000 rpm, and the kart would just take off.” Olson said, “It’s just like driving one of the old 80’s turbo Porsches
- some throttle lag and then a huge amount of power. Controlling that power is the key to racing in these karts, you
have to think a little bit ahead in each corner and drop the hammer about a half second before you want the
acceleration to hit [Olson set the fastest lap times of the day in the Rotax]. But I love it, it’s a total rush.”
“I am coming into the series too late to compete in the points for 2004, due to my Formula Renault commitments in
China. But the 2005 World Championship is within my sights, thanks to the sponsorship of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher
[www.GibsonDunn.com] and I plan to take it to the top. Racing is my life, it is what I have dedicated myself to, and I
am planning to add some more trophies to my collection.”
Quite a statement from Olson. The dedicated racer moved to Los Angeles from Boston, Massachusetts in 2001 to
become a professional race car driver. In 2002, after years in street racing, karts, and motorcycles, Olson made his auto
racing debut behind the wheel of a Skip Barber RT/2000 [210kph/130mph] open-wheel racecar,
In December 2003 he completed the advanced three-day professional racing school [ARC] through Jim Russell Racing at
Sears Point International Raceway/Infineon Raceway [www.jimrussellusa.com] in Sonoma, California, fully sponsored by
Jim Hall Kart Racing. In the ARC, Olson achieved the distinction of completing the fastest lap times at the Sears Point
raceway near San Francisco, California.
But the highly competitive driver races for something far more than glory. The back of his nomex fire-proof racing suits
display the words “ChristianChildrensFund.org”. He never stops promoting the Christian Children’s Fund, his first
sponsor. “I think that the greatest thing you can do in your life is to not only to do what you love, but to use it to
help other people as well. For me, it’s always been children. They haven’t yet been conditioned to ignore the ‘limitless
possibilities of life’, as my father once said. I don’t see any reason why anyone shouldn’t pursue their dreams, and give
it everything they have, deep inside. Life is full of risk, and I’d rather live my way and die my way than live with regrets.”
Quite a statement from Olson, who will once again be competing in Formula Renault at 280kph/174mph in Zhuhai,
China at the challenging Zhuhai International Circuit in October, as part of the famous FRD Motorsports Team.
Olson has made quite a debut in Asia. Will Olson be jetting around the world once again next spring, to compete in the
Rotax World Championship? Will he be spraying champagne from the top of the podium once again, at the conclusion
of the Rotax Championship Series? No one knows the future, but one thing is certain: Olson definitely has the
determination to reach the top.
For more information on Peter Olson, visit his website at www.peteolson.com.
For more information on Peter Olson/Racing for Children contact:
Christian Children’s Fund
Media Relations Contact Agent for Pete Olson:
Christian Children’s Fund
2821 Emerywood Parkway
Richmond, VA 23294
Olson Motorsports, LLC
Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C.
Tel: + 886 9 3567 8609