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Apr 26, 2014 - 05:49 AM
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Novich's Structured Racing Plans Taking Shape In Prototype Lites
Posted by: newsla on Apr 26, 2014 - 05:49 AM
Sports Cars
Novich's Structured Racing Plans Taking Shape In Prototype Lites


After three years of racing, at age 14, Andrew Novich knew motorsports was going to structure the rest of his life. And at 21, Novich is one step closer to his goal of racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

 

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Novich joined the Comprent Motor Sports team in the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series this year after three successful seasons racing in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

"The ultimate goal is to race in the TUDOR series," Novich said. "We chose to compete in Prototype Lites after three seasons in Continental because the carbon-tubbed Lites car is more relevant to the purpose-built race cars in TUDOR than the front-wheel-drive sedan I was racing in before."

Andrew Novich, right, leads Tony Bullock into Turn 1 at Sebring
Engineering has fascinated California native Novich from a young age. His first venture, at age 11, was a plan to build a half-pipe to fulfill his skateboarding ambitions.

The problem was there weren't any 2x4's lying around his yard. But there was an old lawnmower. It was missing the blades, but the engine worked just fine.

An enterprising Novich "borrowed" his mom's credit card to finance his first go-kart kit from eBay.

"It was one of those things that you couldn't really return," Novich said. "Eventually she gave in a let me keep it."

Novich built the kart in his garage and drove it around his neighborhood in the mornings before school. Upset neighbors and strong suggestions from local law enforcement encouraged him to take the home-built kart to nearby Sonoma Raceway. He heeded that advice.

After five years of karting, he was invited to compete in Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup. He earned three top-10 finishes and two top-10 starts in only 10 races during his first season.

Volkswagen discontinued the series in 2010, and Novich stepped up into the ultra-competitive Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with Honda, earning his first professional win in 2013 in the ST class. Now he is on the next step of his journey in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda.

Andrew Novich
Novich views racing as a business. He has looked everywhere during 11 years of competition to find the keys of success.

"To be successful in racing takes more than being quick," Novich said. "In order to last in this sport there needs to be a successful business to back the effort, in the form of sponsorship or otherwise."

His mother always has supported him and his racing aspirations. As a business owner, she helped her son gain perspective about sponsorships and making racing financially sustainable.

That's why Novich, a fourth-year student at the University of California, Davis, is a double major in biochemistry and managerial economics.

Novich plans to use his majors in the pharmaceutical business. He can then leverage that to funding a racing program.

"Since I was 14, I have structured my life around my racing," Novich said. "If I leverage my business ideas properly, I won't have the worry of sponsorship dollars. I will always have a drive in the paddock."

While trying to alleviate pressure later, Novich is packing his schedule now. Racing has not only become his passion but also an outlet, a time to relax from his hectic school and work schedule. Before the season opener in March at Sebring, he finished final exams and flew directly to Florida. The same thing will happen at his next race, June 7 at Kansas Speedway.

"When you're in the car, you let your brain go on autopilot, you just experience it," Novich said. "There's nothing like strapping in and the feeling you get going around the corners at 2G's. There is nothing else I'd rather do."

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