What is Fingers Crossed Racing?
By the time I was six months old, I had spent many weekends at the racetrack and by the time I was three years old, I had “driven” a few laps on my Daddy’s lap. Racing is in my blood. It always has been. There isn’t much that anyone can do to keep me away from a racetrack.
A lot has changed since those days on Daddy’s lap, but the passion will never die. As my career continues to develop, I am constantly looking for the next step forward. This past fall, there were some pretty significant changes to my racing career that threatened the 2012 race season. By then, I had already spent quite a bit of time testing with professional race teams and preparing for the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. All of a sudden, nothing was certain and everything that I thought that I had had, was gone. When I was coming up with ideas of what that next step would be, I went out for a Chinese dinner. At the end of my meal, I opened up my fortune cookie and inside the message read, “Don’t wait for your ship to come. Swim out to it.” Fingers Crossed Racing is my swimming out to my ship.
At the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, I met a driver named Valentin Ivanitski at the summit. Valentin is a mechanical engineer out of Boulder, Colorado. After chatting with him at the summit, I became fascinated with his story. His passion for engineering began when he was a young boy growing up in Russia. After moving to the United States, he began to get more interested in motorsports and he ultimately made the decision to race Pikes Peak. He wanted to have the opportunity to race on the historic dirt before it was too late. He made his dream of racing Pikes Peak a reality. I enjoyed hearing all about the trials and tribulations that he experienced while building his race car, and Valentin was bursting with pride at the summit.
Lots of people had suggested that I build a car for Pikes Peak. Everyone was just, “Oh yeah, just build your own car…. It’s not that hard. You got it.” But it wasn’t that easy for me. I had never done anything like that before… I know that everyone has to start somewhere, but building my own car for Pikes Peak seemed like a big jump. I doubted if could be able to build my own car. I didn’t think too much about the suggestions.
Valentin and I kept in touch after the hill climb, often checking in with each other to see how one another’s careers were coming. When things kind of fell apart for me in October, I opened up to Valentin and reached out to him for some advice. There must have been something about that night that Valentin and I met up it was either the reminiscing about Pikes Peak, me kicking his butt at indoor go-karting, or just finally having someone to talk to…. But not too long after that night Valentin and I purchased a 1991 Audi Quattro Coupe that we would build for me to race at Pikes Peak. This car isn’t going to be just a Pikes Peak car we are planning on building, it to compete in rally events all over the country throughout the next couple of years. Pikes Peak is just the first stop.
Through Valentin’s support and encouragement, I’m doing it. I may be crazy, but I’m swimming out to my ship.
And together, Valentin and I co-founded Fingers Crossed Racing. The idea behind the Fingers Crossed Racing team is that we are just drivers that are swimming out to our own ships. We are fighting hard to build our own cars, to raise our own money, to make our dreams come true. And just in case we need it, our fingers are crossed for just a little bit of luck. We aren’t alone in this adventure because so many drivers have been or are where we are right now everyone knows the importance of keeping the fingers crossed and wishing for the best.
We are both excited to share our stories with everyone. Our website (www.fingerscrossedracing.com) is now live and we are (of course) on Facebook. The pictures of the Audi build so far are available below and on our website.