#15: Miro, 57 year old Slovakian racer still winning races!
Podcast with Host: Jai Shukla & Guest: Miro Konopka
Q1 – How are you at the age of 57 still winning races?
Started in motorsport as a young boy. I had no money to start – I drove as much as possible.
Q2 – How do you compete with people half your age?
If you have the motivation – why not, what should I do? Sit at home? It’s my life, it’s what I love.
Q3 – How did you get sponsorship?
My first word was ‘auto’. There is only one team in my country. We are a country for ice-hockey. I use my money for motorsport that I make through properties.
Q4 How do you distribute your time?
80-90% before was spent on the business but the last 5 years, now that I have sold off quite a few things, the distribution is a lot more towards motorsport.
Q5 – You’ve participated in countless races – which one is your favorite and why?
Endurance races are my favorite. I race in Africa, Australia. But I love Uberich because everyone can compete since it’s cheaper.
Q6 – When it’s something like Le Mans where it’s high stakes – is there more pressure?
Yes, of course, a lot more pressure in certain races. But I like endurance racing because of my ages – I think it suits me better.
Q7 – How did you go from Civil Eng to real estate development to racing – was it all for motorsport?
I started in Civil Eng – and as a developer, it was good work. But I wanted to race as a long time. Full time in racing.
Q8 – When was the first time you got into a race car?
I was 33 – and when I first raced – I was last every time. I learned, through stubbornness – I got better and better. Same lessons in business.
Q8 – How do you keep up with people half your age in terms of training?
In my country, we play ice-hockey and that’s what I do for fitness. I don’t like fitness, running or swimming. I have good genetics for ice-hockey.
Q9 – Isn’t it dangerous?
The players are nice to me and don’t play too rough.
Q10 – You’ve funded yourself – how did you find teammates and everything else?
I’ve been known everyone for over 20 years and developed a reputation of paying on time, ensuring everyone is happy and motorsport is a small world so it helps. People contact me, various engineers – if I say something I get it done, so people trust me.
Q11 – What effect has that had amongst the team members and how do you develop a good relationship amongst them?
In team – drivers are friendly – but everyone is having a great time. The gentlemen class is always about having a hobby.
Q12 – How do countries vary?
Every country is nice. Kangaroos on the track – it’s all novel in its own way.
Q13 – What do you feel people don’t know about motorsport?
People don’t know about the back end. 95% is preparation, techniques, a lot of work. People see 5%. Young people have a romantic idea about motorsport. It’s getting harder and harder every year.
Q14 – Over 25 years – how has it changed?
All cars are much more expensive. Let’s cars and more people. Hard to get sponsorship.
Q15 – What message can you leave to help the fans to believe in themselves?
Believe in yourself. And be ambitious that you can do it one day, believe in your dream. Luck needs to be on your side of course but you must try.