WHEN YOU KNOW THINGS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE FOR GOOD!! Please see below a transcript taken from a personalised column of WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore following the highly successful V8 Supercar event in Shanghai, China. **** There are many...
WHEN YOU KNOW THINGS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE FOR GOOD!!
Please see below a transcript taken from a personalised column of WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore following the highly successful V8 Supercar event in Shanghai, China.
There are many things in my life I am able to find a comparison to -- many things I usually have a view on or have had some experience with, therefore I can make general comment about. Nothing, but nothing, could have prepared me for the last 72 hours -- and I mean nothing!
There are only two moments in my life that I can remember which reflects properly my last 72 hours -- and both of them changed my life forever. The first of these moments happened at 5.20am one morning in 1983. On this morning Australia was placed firmly on the world map. I don't think there is an Aussie out there who would argue with me. On that day in 1983 we as a nation grew stronger, more confident and more proud. Regardless of what happened or has been said about Alan Bond since, there can be no argument that he changed the character of our nation that morning. Willingly or unwillingly he, the team and crew of Australia 2 changed our lives forever.
I remember running into the streets where I then lived screaming at the top of my lungs -- wanting the world to hear of our achievements and dreaming, hoping and praying to one day be part of something so great. I will never forget that moment. To me it stands as a monument to the human race -- a statue of achievement beyond the trophy -- a life changing experience. For me, this moment changed my life.
I don't want sound too over the top. But there is a point to make here. The events of that day impacted so greatly on me, I doubt I would be here today if I hadn't experienced it myself. I am also certain the impact on many other people's lives was just as significant. To me it gave us hope. And with hope came faith and with faith came the courage to stand up and be counted.
The second moment in my life was just as special, yet from an unlikely source ... or so I thought at the time. I was stuck in traffic on the F1 travelling out of Sydney and heading for home on the Central Coast. I had only just started Wright Patton Shakespeare (WPS) and was making the daily trek to Sydney and back. It was hard and things were tough -- as it is for any business just starting out. I knew the event was on, the whole bloody nation did. You would have to have been blind Freddy not to have an interest or opinion on the outcome. I was panicking I would miss it. The car in front of me on the freeway just seemed to be going slower than usual and traffic was banked up for miles. I didn't give myself a chance ... yet for some reason, a reason I can't explain, I needed to see what was about to unfold. For months the commentators speculated on the result ... yet in me and millions more there was a hope, a certain kind of dream that needed to be fulfilled and as a nation there was only one person who could deliver it to us. When you consider the burden and evaluate the months before that fateful day in 1996, it is impossible for mine to imagine the capacity to deal with it ...
I listened intently to the radio as I crept closer to the house. I turned into the driveway as the race started. Fighting an anxiety attack like the rest of the nation, I bolted inside and glued myself to the television ... 15 minutes and 38 seconds later I was in tears and struggling to deal with the events which had just unfolded in front of me. Against all odds -- against most commentators that day and during the event -- Kieran Perkins won his second straight Olympic gold medal in the 1500 metres freestyle.
What made this event so extraordinary, what gave it such power to lift the nation and fill us with the courage to take on the world again? It's not the fact Kieran won his second gold at an Olympic Games (although on its own an incredible achievement nonetheless). It was how he went about doing it against huge adversity. He was suffering from a viral infection, just scrapped into the Olympic team and most commentators were bringing his career to an end in mediocre circumstances. Kieran qualified for the final by less than one tenth of a second which therefore started him from the dreaded lane eight.
As the race started I remember the Australian commentators not giving him much hope, playing down his chances. Again, during the race the commentators scoffed at his start (he jumped too early) and as the race went on they criticized his performance as lacking thought and not pacing himself (It will be hard for him to hang on from here -- he has simply gone out too hard too early). These commentators, these so-called experts, were really pissing me off. Yet with four laps to go they started to get an inkling this guy was going to do what came to Atlanta to do -- WIN. And win he did. When he touched the wall and turned to the crowd -- both hands in the air, both index fingers raised gesturing to the world (Number 1, Number 1!).
I have a video of that day and when things are getting a little on top of me I pull it out and play it so as to remind me of the requirement for determination, faith, courage and sheer guts it takes to do something great ... to remind me of what it did for me and our nation.
As a kid growing up with somewhat hefty ambitions I have to say I have dreamt of being a part of something so significant, something so great that it uplifts not only those involved but the entire nation. Who wouldn't want to be part something so great?
Well on Sunday the great and incredible team of Avesco gave us the opportunity to be part of history and partake in a moment just as I had dreamed of. They were lead by Tony Cochrane. And lead he did ... although we will all recall how we always knew Shanghai would be an unbelievable success. Know the truth ... we heard all the knockers kicking it in the guts and planning accommodation at Winton just in case. I know who the knockers were, what they said and how hard they pushed the wagon of failure and mediocrity. They will either say nothing about the events of the last 72 hours or join in singing the praises of the most unbelievable event.
To me it will be remembered in the same light as Australia 2 and Kieran's 1500m gold. For me the odds were so highly staked against Tony and his team (including from within). His and his team's victory on Sunday afternoon will and has changed the make up of our nation yet again and forever changed the world of motorsport. Ford and Holden had better pull their heads in and give the sport and fans a fair go -- before other manufacturers do. Let's hope it's the latter.
Congratulations and thank you ... you have helped me achieve a life long dream.