Enprise sponsored the racing car of Database Administrator Phil Smurthwaite for his rookie race season, in which he placed a very creditable seventh overall.
Phil was one of 22 rookie drivers competing in their first race season in the Castrol BMW E30 Race Drivers Series. He finished 7th out of 22 rookies, and 26th out of 65 racers in total.
The result is a solid one, especially given that the term ‘rookie’ only means new to the BMW E30 series. Phil was racing against some ‘rookies’ who were actually highly experienced race car drivers.
“It’s very competitive, and the standard of driving is higher than I thought it would be,” Phil says.
“Either everyone else is a lot better, or I am a lot worse than I thought. I need to up my game to try to improve.”
A rookie season involves racing seven rounds, with each round comprising three races over the course of a weekend. The race distance can vary slightly depending on the track, but is generally around 22 kms. Of the seven rounds, five were in Auckland, with one in Taupo and one on Palmerston North’s Manfield track.
The secret, Phil says, is to produce the most reliable car and consistent driving over those 21 races.
“There are variations between the cars but it’s very controlled. We all have to stay inside the same rule book. It’s up to the drivers what they do to their cars – a big part of a driver’s success is the ability to understand how a car reacts to suspension changes and other tweaks. I’ve learned a lot in my first season.”
Enprise’s sponsorship helped subsidise the cost of transporting his car to race meets.
“The help was very welcome – the season costs quite a lot,” Phil says.
Phil is six foot nine inches tall, which means he had to get his race suit and boots tailored to fit him. He says that while the race season was hard ‘physically, mentally and financially’ he is keen to keep racing.
“When you win a round, all you get is a chocolate fish and a plastic trophy – but you just have so much fun.”
As a Database Administrator, Phil is responsible for looking after software customisation for customers. This can involve integrating any of the suite of companion products that Enprise delivers and hosts – such as Valogix, Microsoft CRM and Flow - as well as adding new screens or new functionality to existing implementations.