Raymond Myrland gives us this introspective interview as BADTORO of the month: race pilot devoted to motorsports for 30 years and a successful businessman in his native Norway; a history of challenge, motivation, personal improvement and above all, passion for the engine.
Interviewing Raymond Myrland, BADTORO of the month
Raymond Myrland Car Racing Driver, regional director for his company who is the largest supplier of building materials in Norway. —We own around 30 warehouses in addition to approximately 200 franchise stores around the country—, said Raymond.
—Wife and four daughters, and a son in law that just started racing motorcycles. Two of our daughters also ride motorcycles so we are really a “petrol head family” No hobbies besides my three motorcycles and the Porsche racecar. Spend a lot of time with family and friends, and train regularly—.
At what age did you drive your first car? Do you remember what car was the lucky one?
Yes, I remember very well. I was six years old and we lived on a farm so there was plenty of space, and my father who was very much into motorsport himself, he explained how a car worked and he let me try. The car was an Austin Mini
How long have you been racing? Please state your name and your sport.
I have been racing “on and off” both cars and motorcycles for the past 30 years, but always on an amateur level. Last three years I have been racing the Porsche 944 Cup series
If you had to change profession: Which do you think it would be your profession?
Something in media. Television commentator for motorsport maybe
Tell us a place, first one to come in mind.
Do you exercise or practice another sport?
Yes, exercise a lot on my two bicycles. Both road and MTB. Have participated in several MTB races throughout the years, and I try to use bicycle the 32 km to and from the office at least two times a week
Do you feel inspire by or follow any athlete?
Valentino Rossi and Usain Bolt
What is your favourite sport?
To watch is MotoGP my favorite because of all the action. Unbelievable skills from the top riders, extremely fast, and great fun.
Tell me about yourself on a professional level.
A bit of a “workaholic”, and always looking to improve what I do. “Everything good can be done better”. My favorite quote is from the great racing driver and businessman, Mario Andretti, he said; “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough”
And I do my best to implement that in my work and life. If we do not challenge ourselves a little bit, and everything is comfortable around us always, then I believe we will stop improving. In my profession as a leader, I must also challenge the employees to give them responsibility, think for themselves and make good decisions. In fact, a lot of what is important in life is to make good decisions. Just as in racing.
How was the beginning of your career?
I had just turned 18 and borrowed a 1000cc Kawasaki Z1 from a friend. First time on a “big bike” and we had a street race from my hometown to another small town just 8 km away. A crazy thing to do, but I arrived close to 20 seconds before anyone else.
I understood then that I had some kind of a talent, but did not do anything about it. A few years later, a friend asked me if I could to be a guest driver in a three-hour amateur race, with BMW 3-series racecars, and the team was one driver short.
Of all drivers, I had the fourth fastest lap time, and again I understood that I maybe have a talent.
How old where you on your first race?
I believe I was 24
How did you start to race? (How has it occurred to you that it could be your passion?)
I have always loved motorsport, and I wanted to be a race driver for as long as I can remember, but we had no racetrack close by and not the money to by neither car nor motorcycle. Therefore, the career started late, unfortunately. After the first appearance as a “guest driver” I started to save money to buy a racing motorcycle, but it took a while and when I finally got it, I could only afford to participate in training sessions.
How do you exercise your mind to achieve your goals?
I bought a pair of cycling shoes a few years ago, and on the shoes, it’s printed with small white letters: “ALWAYS LEAD; NEVER FOLLOW”
I have copied that into my mind and think about it all the time.
Before races, I repeat three things to myself.
1. I have one power, I never give up
3. Always lead, never follow
Do you have some kind of ritual before every race?
Not before I’m strapped in. Then I sit back, close my eyes, imagining the track and break points, and repeat my three sentences over and over again.
Do you any kind of special diet? What do you eat the day before a race?
No, I do not have a special diet, but do my best to stay away from too much sugar. I drink water, eat a good healthy breakfast, four hours before a race I have a good healthy meal, and two hours before race start, I eat a small sandwich and a banana or other fruit.
Could you tell us a funny anecdote during the race? One of those that make you laugh a lot when you think about them.
Dan, one of my main competitors in the series, he is a fantastic driver and rarely do mistakes, but at a race last year in Sweden we drove together with a group of much faster cars and close to the end of the race we were lapped by the leading car. I gave room and saw that Dan did the same but he thought for a second that I was one of the faster cars as well even if I had been just a few meters behind him for the whole race. Therefore, he let me pass and the look on his face when he looked right and saw straight into my eyes. The disbelief, the surprise and the acknowledgment of his mistake ended in a stream of swearing, and even if I was in a noisy racecar, I felt I heard every word and started laughing loud inside my helmet. I still smile when I think about it.
I won the race, with Dan in second.
Have you had a bad experience during your years as a driver? If yes: Has it helped you for other situations?
I have had many crashes and learned from most of them, but in August 2014, I had a bad one that just as well could be lethal. I slammed into the barrier in over 170 km/h and ended up paralyzed in my left side for three months. Screws, titanium plates and very good surgeons, neurologists and physiotherapists are the main reasons why I am still able to race. I learned the hard way that in racing, unfocused for just half a second can kill you.
How do you manage nerves before an important event? Do you believe in the importance of mind-fullness or meditation?
Mind-fullness yes, meditation not so much.
I believe it is important to feel the nerves, use it to stay focused and feel the body and mind get ready.
Among all your triumphs, which one do you think is the most important and why?
I have not had that many, but I believe that it is always the next one that will taste best.
In fact, the one I appreciate the most is the first race after my crash in 2014. 13 months later, in September 2015 I was back on the bike, and that I managed to concur the fear, to beat the nerves and sat a new personal best lap time on that particular track. For me, that is one of my biggest triumphs.
“Describe the moment you looked up at the scoreboard and saw that you had won.”
The feeling to see the checkered flag, and knowing that all the rest is behind, that is a feeling which is very difficult to describe. Instant joy, huge smile, that tinkling sensation rushing through the body, knowing that later the top spot on the podium is mine. Audience and competitors saluting. It is just a sensational feeling
Tell us a little bit more about other teams. Is there a bond of friendship or do you face a more competitive environment that?
In the Porsche 944 Cup we are very good friends. We help each other, ask and get tip from other drivers and teams, and even borrow parts if needed. We drive to and from the tracks often together, and we also often have “pit-grill-party” the night before races when we gather at one of the teams and share stories over a good meal.
Why have you chosen BADTORO as a partner in your competitions?
Because I like what BADTORO stands for, never give up. It reminds me of my own life. I have not always succeeded bud never given up. I like the design, and it is great to have the eyes of the bull looking at me in the mirror during practice and races. He dangles from the roll cage inside the car and urges me on
If you had to choose between BADTORO or BADELK, which one would be your choice?
BADTORO, he reminds me more of myself.
We have three cars in our team #BADFRIENDSRACING, and the cars have been decorated with BADELK, BADBULLDOG, and BADTORO on the hood.
Could you tell us a phrase that identifies you?
I have one power, I never give up. (from Batman)
If you had to give advice to an athlete or people who struggle to achieve a goal: What would you say?
Even if you fail, even if things seem bad or progression seem never to come, keep it up, keep fighting, stay in there, never give up.
Tell us a positive word with the first letter of your name
If you were a bad friend, what advice would you give?
What are your projects for next year?
Keep improving the car, and go for the victory in one or both series. National and Scandinavian
Could you tell us a dream you have
To once in my lifetime test drive a F1 car.
Full-speed closing by Raymond
..hit apex, full throttle, rear sliding out just a bit, focus… third gear, do not focus on the car which is one meter behind. Breakpoint, hard on the brakes, turn in, the front tires ”speak” as they struggle for grip, hard downshift under braking, opposite lock on exit and full throttle, breathe…breathe…focus, third gear, focus, (sh… it is really hot in here) focus, do not think, focus. Fourth gear, the blind high speed left is approaching fast, focus…(sh…why is he still there two meters behind)… FOCUS… left foot brake, turn in, full throttle, hearts pounding and everything I hear is the roaring sound of silence. Engine screaming, gearbox screaming, sweat dripping and the only thing I hear is the heart pounding inside the helmet, the car and I is one, aim at the curbs, “RUMBLE” as I hit the curbs, perfect, downshift, next right, power slide through exit and there, there is the checkered flag, focus, it is not over, focus, the number 94 car is not behind anymore, he just got out of the slipstream and gaining, there is the line, rev limiter hits in, fourth, full throttle, the flag is moving up and down, that white number 94 car is on my right, almost along side, but…YES, Yes Yes, Pounding the air, screaming inside the helmet, I did it.
BADTORO of the month