MONSOON DELUGE NOT ENOUGH FOR TAIWAN’S ‘RAIN KING’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2006
PRK Circuit, Kaoshiung, Southern Taiwan -
Saturday night. It is 10pm, pitch black under the deluge of a September monsoon. As the wind howls, the tropical rain
pours down in sheets, while thunder and lightning crackle across the sky. Under a bank of floodlights that fight a losing
battle to clear a path through the torrential downpour and foggy humid air, half of the PRK track is covered in dark
pools of standing water. The garages have long since closed, and the last of the spectators and drivers having scurried
home for a hot shower and dry clothes. Yet, under the howling wind and darkness, a lone man drives on and on, lap
after lap, until long after even the safety crew have given up and sought shelter under cover.
That lone driver is, of course, Pete Olson.
In a display of bravado, and perhaps even reckless and foolhardy dedication [mostly due to the prominent lightning
storms over Kaoshiung at the time], and as the only competitor who had not previously driven the PRK Circuit in
Southern Taiwan, American racer Pete Olson went for ‘all or nothing’, as usual, under the dangerous monsoon
conditions, unable to practice earlier on Saturday afternoon under a sunny sky with the rest of the drivers due to
engine problems. When the monsoon passed over the track after dark, the mechanics were still working on Olson’s
engine. Leaving the comfort of the PRK’s modern racing facilities for constant repair updates and to confer with
mechanics, Taiwan’s ‘Rain King’ simply said ‘Put on the rain tires and tell them to turn on the floodlights’, as the howling
wind and rain knocked over tents and blew debris from the infield across the track.
In typical brash understatement, Olson said “What was I supposed to do? Not practice? I have no fear of the rain,
actually I love dancing a car or a kart in the rain, as I do in Zhuhai in Formula Renault, and I knew there was concern
over the danger of the lighting, but what are the odds of a lightning strike? You have better chance of winning the
lottery. So what is there to fear? That’s in God’s hands. Some day my number will be up, why waste time thinking
However, after Olson’s display of extreme rain driving skills on Saturday night going almost wide open throttle, sideways
in the pouring monsoon, drifting through the partially-flooded track at high-speed, at times bouncing off of kerbs and
even Armco barriers, Olson’s races yesterday were shades of F1 superstar Kimi Raikkonen’s F1 frustrations –a Champion
plagued by mechanical mishaps.
After Saturday night’s daring solo practice Olson fought ahead in the first race Sunday, under sunny skies, only to retire
when his engine gave up the ghost after only a few laps, due to track debris smashing through his air intake valves. The
DNF [Did Not Finish] relegated Olson to last place for the start of the second of the three races of the day. However,
the Gods smiled on Olson when Taiwan’s ‘Rain King’ saw the skies cloud over with another deluge just before the
second event, giving him another shot at glory. Olson started the second race in last place and blazed through the pack
to finish 4th in the pouring rain, to finish just 0.10 seconds behind the 3rd place driver in yet another demonstration of
his ‘Rain King’ skills.
Little did Olson know that his hard-won position for the final, third race would be ruined by a freak mechanical mishap,
as with his first race and his F1 hero Kimi.
“Raikkonen never gives up, no matter what happens, and neither will I” said Olson, when asked about the final race.
As the last race started, with Olson in the front of the pack thanks to his heroic rain drive, Olson went through the first
turn in his typical ‘winner takes all’ style, only to have slight contact with another vehicle. The contact was minor, yet
little did the American racer know that his flywheel had been bent by the impact, ripping the chain off into shards of
metal, thus severing the link between the motor and drivetrain. His race was finished, yet the California native remains
upbeat about his racing endeavors.
“You win, you lose, I’ve dealt with this so much by now that I really can say ‘it’s just racing’.” However, I definitely can
say, there were no cheap shots going on like the last races, we were all very competitive but those Kaoshiung pilots
were good racers…I am definitely looking forward to my next race in Southern Taiwan.”
We wish Olson the best of luck in the final Taiwan races in mid-November, as well as his Formula 2000 Championship in
Canada next spring/summer. As Olson says, “It’s flat-out, all-out, all the time, or nothing.”
We wish the American racer the best of luck in November.
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