WITH ASHISH | One-On-One with David Perel
I’m curious… How many races have you taken part in altogether? In karting I am not sure, it’s a lot. In main circuit I’ve done 17 events. 10 of them were in the last 12 months, I have very little main-circuit experience.
Name: David Perel
What’s your take on South African Motorsports? It needs a serious redo. We’ve lost way too many fans, the general public has no idea that racing even takes place in our country. It’s sad because talent wise there is plenty of it, I can name 20 drivers who deserve a shot at a career in motorsport but as long as people don’t know about it, sponsors won’t be forthcoming.
Your most prestigious race win? Winning in the rain from last place at Spa in 2015.
What racing are you doing at the moment? I race for Lamborghini Bonaldi Motorsport in Europe. In 2015 I raced in the Italian GT Championship where I finished 2nd overall with the most wins, most poles and most fastest laps. I also did a one off event in the European Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship and won both races with fastest lap. I also take part in the occasional Western Province kart event to stay sharp 🙂
Choose one… Own 10 Lamborghini’s or a full race in an F1 car? I’m not attached to material things, I prefer experiences… so it has to be the F1 car 😉 In fact one of my co-drivers used to be a Ferrari F1 test driver (Mirko Bortolotti) and based on his stories I only wish I was young enough to have a proper go at getting to F1.
Any advice for upcoming drivers? Most important advice I can a driver is that you need to hold yourself accountable no matter what. It’s too easy to blame others for a crash or career progression but if you analyse it deeply enough you’ll come to realise that you had the power to control the outcome. Also, if you want to become a professional then I suggest you catch the first flight to Europe. When I figured out what I needed to do I was in Italy about 4 weeks later. Lastly, this sport is about money, accept that reality early on and make it one of your primary objectives.
How did racing all begin for you? When I was 14 a family friend introduced me to karting. Once I saw a real racing kart I was completely hooked and begged my dad to get me one. A year later he granted me my wish but he always told me that when I turned 18 the racing would be over and he’d stop funding my passion… he was true that as well! So from the time I left school I found ways to pay for my racing on my own but ran out of options at 24 years old and was forced to stop.
After stopping, I focused on my business with my brother and saved enough money to come back 5 years later at a one-off event at Imola in a Lamborghini GT car. I almost finished on the podium which lead to me being offered a full season for 2015. I still had to pay for it though which I managed to do by selling a chunk of my company shares, crazy but worth it.
Apart from racing, what are you currently doing? I run a web company called Obox Themes which makes products for a popular web publishing platform. Thankfully my business was successful enough to get my foot in the door in Europe. That being said it wasn’t easy, it took years of sleeping at my desk at my office to get to where I am now.
Besides Racing, what sports do you enjoy? I’m useless at every other sport other there. I do wish I could do more snowboarding though, I did that once and loved it almost as much as I enjoy racing.
What should we expect from you in the future? My performances this year have landed me an offer to race for the Official Lamborghini Junior team in 2016 in the Blancpain Sprint Series… provided I find the sponsorship required. My ultimate aim is to become a professional racing driver and hopefully race in Le Mans one day. My age is a big factor though so I don’t have much time to achieve my goals, which is why I’ve gone all in on my career. That being said, last year June I was sitting on a couch doing nothing. If you told me that by the end of the following year I’d have won at Imola, Spa, Mugello and podium’d at Monza… I’d have said you’re mad. So who knows, I just keep the faith and keep pushing to achieve what I set out to do.