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PODIUM CLUB SPOTLIGHT

Tim Rose 

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Tim Rose is currently the Chief Driving Instructor for the Podium Club Racing Academy and the administrator for Podium Club Business Development & Design. His responsibilities include creating the master site plan, overseeing various construction phases for the Podium Club, and managing the development of infrastructure buildings.

 

With over thirty years of experience in motorsports at the professional level, Tim began his career as a competitor in various formula car disciplines. He later transitioned to roles as a driving instructor and coach while continuing to race. Tim has been a lead instructor for the Skip Barber Racing School, the Marlboro Racing School, and the Bondurant Racing School, where he  became the General Manager.

Outside of his work at the Podium Club, Tim channels his creativity into his side business, TLR Design, additionally, he drives the Pace Car/Safety Car for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and their various support series at all their races, 2024 marks his tenth year as the primary Pace Car/Safety Car driver for IMSA.

How did your career in motorsport start?

During my freshman year of college, I was working for an inground pool company, along with a custom home builder, as a designer and draftsman. At that time my plan was to become an architect. One of my good friends was racing SCCA Autocross events in his Toyota Supra. He convinced me to start going to the autocross events with him and race my ‘71 240Z. During our sophomore year, we started to have regular success. We both decided to take the next step and go to racing school. We looked at all the different schools in the US and Canada but ultimately decided to go to the Elf Winfield School at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France because if you finished in the top five of your class, you were invited to come back later that year to compete in their Pilote Elf Fran Am Formula Renault Competition, all travel expenses paid. Plus, as another incentive, part of the package included VIP credentials, hospitality, and seating for the Monaco Grand Prix immediately after the school. Sign me up! So we headed over and had a great time. My friend finished 1st and I finished 3rd out of our class of 16 students, so our fate was set at that point. We took the racing bait, hook, line, and sinker. Besides, there are enough architects out there! Later that year we went back to France for the competition but learned very quickly about the realities of the sport. We both performed well and finished in the top ten out of the 24 competitors but only the top four drivers made the cut. We then came back to the states and pursued our new addiction. Today we’re both still involved in the sport and see each other regularly during the IMSA and IndyCar race weekends.

What was the first race you ever attended or participated in?

The first race I attended that really got me excited about a possible future in motorsport was the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix Formula 1 race. When I saw the VW Super Vee support races that weekend, I thought “I could do that!” The first race I participated in was the Skip Barber Formula Ford Race Series at the old Las Vegas Speedway in March 1990.


Looking back to when you started in motorsport, where did you see this journey originally taking you?

After going through the Winfield Pilote Elf Competition I knew that Formula 1 was going to be a pipe dream, but I thought coming back to the States to race and shoot for a career in IndyCars or IMSA SportsCars was an achievable goal. I was flying blind and had no idea of what would be involved or the challenges to get to that point.


What would you say is your greatest motorsport achievement to date?

Being tasked and given the opportunity to design the Podium Club circuit. Then working with Apex Circuit Design UK as they took my design and made FIA and FIM improvements to it, creating the technical plans for construction. Apparently motorcycle riders don’t appreciate off-camber corners. Who knew? Seeing the track design become reality was amazing.


What motivates you?

Coffee, Sushi, the Detroit Red Wings, and the original lineup of Van Halen! Setting goals, making the effort, and always trying my best to achieve them.


If you could participate in any motorsport event, what would it be?

The Monaco Grand Prix, preferably in the 1990 Ferrari 641 F190, or the current Ferrari SF24 F1 and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1W15 F1 cars. Incredibly fast and beautiful cars.


Are there any race tracks on your bucket list that you have not driven yet?

I’ve been very fortunate to either have competed on, or driven, all the major pro road courses in North America, including most of the IndyCar and NASCAR ovals. So for me, it would be going to Europe and racing at Silverstone and Brands Hatch in the UK, Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the iconic Monza in Italy, then head to Asia to race at Suzuka in Japan.

How has being a member of the Podium Club community influenced your motorsport journey?

Being involved in this project nearly from the beginning has been fantastic. With my various roles at the Podium Club, every day is something different or new, so I never get bored. I get to use a lot of my different interests and skillsets, from design and marketing, to driving and instructing, it’s the dream job for me. Meeting all the different Podium Club members and learning about their motorsports and business interests has been very influential. After seeing all the fun they were having I decided to pull the trigger, buy a couple race cars and start racing again at the club level. This was after a very long hiatus, so shaking the rust off and getting back in the groove has been a fun process. Becoming friends with some of the members, then watching them compete or competing with them on track has been a great and rewarding experience.

 

What is your favorite and least favorite corner at the Podium Club and why?

My favorite corner is Turn 7/9. It’s very fast and fun in either direction,  I like the esses too. My least favorite corner? Look who you’re asking, of course I don’t have one.

If you had one day off to do anything in the world – but you could not race or be on the track – what would you do?

I’d keep it pretty simple and head to South Florida to go island hopping between Key Largo and Islamorada in a 22 ft. Donzi Classic speedboat. Eventually beach the boat, do a little snorkeling, lounge on the coconut palm lined beaches, and enjoy fresh seafood.


If you could give the younger version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Do not get distracted by or get involved in a serious relationship with the opposite sex until you achieve your racing goals. Stay laser focused, do not deviate, I’m serious,  hey, you’re not listening to me.


What advice would you give to someone new to motorsport?

This truly is an amazing sport and it attracts a lot of interesting people. Unfortunately, not all of them have good intentions or your best interests in mind. I’m just being honest and speaking from experience. Use your best judgement and discernment to stay away from the bullsh@#ers, which you’ll meet many over time. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, move on don’t waste your time and energy because it will become expensive or you’ll become guilty by association. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. This sport rewards those that are passionate about it, so set goals, create a gameplan, network, and make the effort. You’ll never know unless you try. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve. Most importantly, be happy, have fun and enjoy the ride.

So if you see someone at the track with a coffee, sushi and rocking out to Van Halen its probably Tim!

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