Pete Olson Bridgestone Racing Academy
Pete Olson  -  Formula Renault Pilot
BIOGRAPHY

A rare mix of cultural and educational dynamic, Pete Olson's story began with his adoption in Irvine, California when he was less
than a year old. Given the birth name "Roberto", his birth parents were a twenty year old hispanic construction worker from
Mexico, and an eighteen year old waitress of European descent. Without the financial means to raise a child, Olson was given up
for adoption.

"I have never met my birth parents, but I always have felt blessed by the opportunities that I wouldn't have had if I wasn't
adopted" says Olson. "Especially with regards to racing, I seriously doubt I would have had the financial support that was necessary,
especially in the beginning of my racing career. I have always had the best opportunities in life with the only limits being those I
would impose myself on my growth as an individual."

Graduating from private prep school, Olson participated in various sports as a teenager, including being Captain of the rifle team his
Junior Year.

"I liked the individualism of riflery, you had a team but in the end, it was your individual skill that got you the trophy" said Olson. "Its
the same in racing: it takes a team effort, but in the end, with the right equipment the results come directly down to the driver.
Good or bad results, it comes down to his or her own skill and most of all, dedication."

Graduating Boston University with an honors degree in International Relations and hispanic scholar award, Olson continued in Boston
University to receive a Masters in Business Administration - all the while, pursuing his passion for speed.

During high school, Olson worked part-time evenings at a local service station despite the demands of schoolwork, picking up basic
auto mechanics skills and spending his weekends working on his first sportscar, an old VW Scirocco. Soon it was tuned with nitrous
and every conceivable speed bolt-on. "I used to street race every chance I got, and in the end I would say I am lucky I didn't hurt
myself or anyone else. As I learned later, it takes far more skill to drive on the track then to simply drop the hammer on the street"
said Olson.

While living at Boston University, Olson attended Motorcycle Road Racing School at New Hampshire International Speedway in
1998, receiving a regional racing license and participating in several races, placing 3rd in his very first race, on a 500cc SuperSport
Ninja. "At the time I was really into sportbikes, had a Yamaha R6 among others, and seriously considered pursuing a career in
motorcycle road racing. My instructor, a national superbike champion, told me I 'had some real skills', and the thrill aspect of racing
bikes definitely outweighed any fear factor for me. But I had always had the dream of becoming a professional formula car race
driver, that was where my true goals were: the Indy 500 that I watched every year since I was a kid."

So with the obsessive work ethic that had helped him through his educational achievements in Boston, Olson took to his dream
with a single-minded drive. Soon he was spending every weekend karting, later working full-time in finance for several years to fund
his dream. "My parents, especially my father, were an invaluable help to me" says Olson. "But they instilled the idea in me that you
can't have things handed to you, and it was the same with their support of my racing. I did receive essential support from them,
but they made it clear that if I was to succeed, I would have to make a success of myself, and not rely on them for support. In
fact, I will never forget an email my father had sent to a friend telling him how well I was doing in my racing 'avocation' - in other
words, 'hobby'. I reread that email many times, knowing in my heart that I would show him what I could accomplish in racing - and
several years later, he was watching me drive in Canada, as a sponsored driver for Bridgestone in F2000 racing. That was a very
special day for me, and certainly for him as well."

After years of broken bones and bruises racing everything from BMX to sailboats and later, street racing in nitrous-injected
sportscars, Olson had graduated to motorcycle racing then professional karting, with the next and final step being formula car
racing.

In 2003, Olson attended his first formula car racing school at
Jim Russell USA at Infineon Raceway near San Francisco on a karting
scholarship award. Moving on to do race weekends in the Skip Barber Western Regional Series, after good results Olson ultimately
distinguished himself in the highly-competitive Bridgestone F2000 MTP Championship in 2007, when he attended the
Bridgestone
Racing Academy at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario, Canada to work as a race mechanic in exchange for 'seat time' in
order to continue funding his racing career.

"Even with working in finance full-time prior to 2007, it was hard to afford much formula car racing. I could only do races here and
there" says Olson. "But one thing that it taught me was the value of the driving: I was working all week day in and day out doing
something I didn't enjoy, in order to fund my real passion - racing. And so when I would get in the car, I maximized every minute
of it. I didn't think it was anything unusual to watch a track video 50 times and take 5 pages of notes before going to a new track-
I couldn't understand why everyone else wasn't doing it. Then in the fall of 2006 I learned about the Bridgestone Racing Academy
MTP program: I could work as a race mechanic for a season in exchange for seat time, and thus afford to finally do my first full
formula car championship. I went into it flat out, so to speak, because for me it was an incredible opportunity, one in which I could
finally show what I was made of."

Olson took to the MTP program with a passion, waking up at 6am every morning to go to the gym before working on race cars for
the rest of the day, with many 50 to 60 hour weeks during the 8 month season. Despite the challenges, Olson dominated the
2007 MTP F2000 race series with four wins, two 2nds, one 3rd, and five pole positions in the seven race series. "My only regret is
that I feel that I should have won every race, and to this day the minor mistakes that cost me those three victories in my first
formula championship still bother me, even though I was still on the podium for all the races. But I suppose that is what being
competitive is all about."

Thanks to Olson's obvious enthusiasm and work ethic in the 2007 MTP program, he was invited back as a salaried '2nd year' MTP
for the 2008 season. In addition, he received the all-important Bridgestone Racing Academy sponsorship for the 2008 F2000
Championship, thanks to clinching the 2007 MTP F2000 Series. Olson went on to win the 2008 series, but as the sponsored
champion driver is only eligible to receive a single season's 'ride', Olson was no longer funded by Bridgestone at the end of 2008.

By the fall of 2008, the economy had completely downturned, and Olson was without a ride, or even motorsport employment
prospects, for 2009. "It was a horrible time for me, at the end of the 2008 season" said Olson. "Most of my savings had gone
down significantly in the stock market, and after the accomplishments of the previous two years, suddenly it was looking like I was
going to have to give up everything - and I couldn't stand the thought of that. I had given up a lucrative job in 2006 in order to
PAY to work my way into professional motorsports. I had lived overseas, given up relationships, family, spent a small fortune of my
own hard-earned money, and worked incredibly hard to accomplish everything I could with what means I had. And suddenly it
seemed like it all wasn't enough, like it was all going to come to a crashing halt despite all the effort I had put into it. Then
suddenly, everything changed the very last night at Bridgestone, Halloween night Oct 31, 2008."

"I had spent a couple of years working in finance in Taipei, Taiwan before coming to Canada for Bridgestone's MTP program in
February 2007. In Taipei I was working in Capital Securities, the largest brokerage house in Taiwan, and spending every weekend
at the kart track, as I was racing in the Taiwan Rotax Max National Championship at the time. While I was living in Taiwan in 2004, I
had flown down to Zhuhai, China, to do some testing and a couple of race weekends in Formula Renault [once again all I could
afford at the time]. I had raced in a team called FRD Motorsports."

"So at the end of the Bridgestone season in 2008, I was contacting FRD about racing and coaching, along with Skip Barber, Jim
Russell, and a bunch of other formula race outfits in the States- and I was getting nowhere. So its the last night of Bridgestone
MTP 2008 up in Ontario, Halloween night, everyone was packing up the apartments and finishing off the beer, and in the middle of
the night I decided to call FRD in Hong Kong one last time - and I finally got through to the owner [who I had met in 2004 when
I'd raced in FRD in Formula Renault]. We had a brief talk and he told me to pack my bags and come to Hong Kong by December
1st. There was no formal hiring - it was just 'yeah come on out and let's talk'. It sounded promising from what little conversation
we had about my coaching and racing prospects - but there was no formal agreement. So with Bridgestone finished on November
1, 2008, I drove back to the States and spent the next few weeks packing up to move to Asia. I had no idea what would happen,
but I had no real alternative, and told everyone [including my parents] that I had a job secured as an instructor for FRD
Motorsports, and that I was moving to Zhuhai."

"So December 1, 2008 after 24 hours of travel I was in the FRD office in Hong Kong, half dazed and much to my relief, signing a
year's contract as the Chief Instructor for FRD Motorsports. A week later I was coaching a Formula Renault class of 15 drivers at the
Zhuhai International Circuit. And a week after that I was behind the wheel of a quarter million dollar, 425hp Ferrari 360 doing
testing - and I think that's when it finally hit me: 'Here I am, halfway around the world, getting paid to test a quarter million dollar
race car'. Funny sidebar is that as soon as I got used to the car that first test day, despite having never driven a 425hp Ferrari 360,
I decided to drop the hammer-  and almost put it into the wall in Turn 4. I slid off the track into the grass [too heavy on the
throttle] and careened to a stop about 3 feet from the concrete wall. First day in the Ferrari, 2nd week in FRD. That would have
ended things real quick."

"As Chief Instructor for the team, I was given the opportunity for discounted Formula Renault racing and testing. And thanks to my
savings that the market crash hadn't gotten, and generous help from my father and Aunt Deborah Callard, I was able to join Asia
Formula Renault for the 2009 season. But I was hampered by a lack of pre-season testing, because of my financial situation. I did
relatively well in 2009 with the little time I'd had in the Formula Renault, and ironically, by now I have done so much testing in the
Formula Renault since then, that I am far faster and am one of the few drivers to brake at over 2.0Gs, which is something few
Renault drivers master with the difficulties of brake modulation with the aero package on the car. But in 2009, due to funding
issues I was only able to do two Formula Renault weekends - despite my best efforts at sponsorship, due to the economic
situation, despite several promising prospects, in the end it always came down to 'we think its a great offer but.." "we would have
done it two years ago but..." and so forth. So I spent the remainder of the season at least getting regular testing, almost every
week in fact. I moved over to Champ Motorsport as a Formula Renault instructor in 2010, and actually sealed a lucrative media
sponsor deal for the 2010 Formula Renault season - things were looking up once again. I was talking to prospective corporate
sponsors who could leverage the magazine deal I had secured, when in February of  2010, I had a motorcycle accident which put
me out of the car for half the season - there went 2010. Since then, it has been simply a question of finding the right corporate
marketing partner. Though its not easy, I know that with continued hard work and utilizing my skills off the track on the business
side, it is only a matter of time before great things happen for everyone.

And I should make it clear that I have no regrets - and I don't believe in second guessing. My parents taught me to be a self-made
man. I have seen many drivers, especially in my work as an instructor, who have great talent but simply lack the funding to take it
to the top. I have also seen many drivers who are simply well-funded, normally by family, and race to their heart's content but lack
skill, or do have skill but don't take the sport seriously enough.

But for me, ever since the first time I was on a track, this was never about just getting in a car and doing something exciting that
most people only dream of - it was always about going all out, to be professional, to take it all the way. Its what gets me in the
gym on the days where I am exhausted - its the days I spent in the monsoon in Taiwan in my Rotax, in the cold rain doing a few
hundred laps when no one else showed up. And it was giving up a lot, in order to pursue The Dream. Few people can say that
they wake up every day and love what they do, and I feel lucky, and blessed, to have had the opportunities that I've had in my
life, especially with racing. But it certainly wasn't handed to me on a silver platter, and I never will join the ranks of those who are.
In the end, if someone just handed a million dollars to go race, I would still be out there looking to do it the proper way:
professionally.

The difference between an amateur and professional racer is simple: a professional has sponsors who he brings a profitable return
on investment, and a certain level of talent to a team. And that, in the end, is why he is paid to race. Even in Indy and F1, the top
rungs of the ladder, almost all drivers in every team are there because of the value that they bring to their sponsors, not because
the team actually pays them to drive. And in the end, I intend to use my cross-generational, cross-racial, cross-educational/athletic
and multi-national/language dynamic to bring value to sponsors, and continue to the top, no matter what it takes. After all, The
Journey is half the thrill of achieving Your Dream.


-Pete Olson, October 16, 2011
Pete Olson
Instructor and Test Driver [BAR team - Black Arts Racing]
Winner, Circuit Hero 500kms - Caterham R500, 2016
2nd, Formula Endurance 2hrs, 2016
3rd overall Asia Formula Renault 2013 Championship;
Asia Formula Renault 2012 Championship [first full season- 9th overall of 22]
BELL factory-sponsored driver
Drift Innovation-sponsored driver
Charity sponsorship program “Racing for Children” with ChildFund International
Asia Formula Renault Championship 2009 - select races
Winner, 2007 & 2008 Formula 2000 Bridgestone Championships [Canada]    
Strong F2000 results USA Skip Barber Eastern and Western regional race
series 2003-2005
Multiple Karting Championship wins USA, Taiwan Rotax Max 2000-2006
Podium finish in first professional race
[500cc Supersport Motorcycle Road Racing, 1998]
Education: B.A. & M.B.A. Boston University – Understanding of business &
marketing
Intermediate Mandarin language ability
Aiming to be “First American to Win a Racing Championship in China” =
Enhanced media attention China, North America
#asiaformularenault #afr #zic
#zhuhaiinternationalcircuit #champmotorsport
#art #asiaracingteam #drivertraining
#hongkong #ifc #central #hkcentral
#lankuaifong #actionsportshk #hkracing
#hongkongracing #hongkongmotorsports
#asiaformularenault #asiaformularenault
#asiaformularenault #zhuhaiinternationalcircuit
#zic #zhuhai #tangjia #zhuhaicity
#pandeltaracefestival #pandeltaracing #zhuhai
#asiaformularenault