In 2003, Arek Wojciechowski was just your average IT consultant – a geek – who didn't know much about racing.
"I didn’t even know [racing] existed," he shamelessly admits. "Just thought is was something professionals did. I never even thought about it."
Fast-forward to 2011, he's part of the winning circle of Canada's highest racing series – the CTCC. In the span of just nine years, from behind the computer to behind the wheel, Wojciechowski and his 8Legs Racing teammates have put together what is now (becoming) a full-blown professional race team.
It all started out with a lapping day that Arek had seen advertise on a forum. "It sounded fun," he recalls. So much "fun" in fact, it trickled down to regular drives in SoloSprint competition.
Moving on from time trials in 2007, he bought a street BMW M3, intended to soon be turned into a road racer, with the help of teammates Eric Hochgeschurz and Grant Cybulski. Except you don't just improvise yourself a car builder. It's not a set of skills one normally picks up by surfing the web.
…or is it?
That's what our geek set out to do, anyway: "The key is research, and then not be afraid to try [things]," he says.
"Like doing work on the house… have I ever installed a toilet? No, but what the hell, let’s just go out and do it. What’s the worse that can happen? [In] the end [a race car] is just a bunch of bolts and stuff."
Just like that, in 2008, through lots of trial and error, Arek and Eric, backed by Grant, were gearing up for their first full season of national competition in the CTCC. These backyard racers were slowly but surely evolving into actual, structured professionals. Now they’re so serious, they race their own sleek pair of BMW 330s. No fooling around, the drive to win is real.
"[I want to] be faster than [the others]. I guess I'm egotistical and deep down inside I like that feeling, whether it's just winning a plastic trophy or whatever… it’s fun."
Sad then, that Lady Wojciechowski doesn't share her husband's enthusiasm: "[Tania] likes rollercoasters, but not in the car. I don’t know why. I’ve hit the wall only three or four times."
What they all share however, is the ambition. They all want the 8Legs brand to grow and make racing viable because, in the end, spending more time at the track is what truly matters to everyone.
Same "it sounds fun" attitude, different scale.