If you’ve ever watched the 2005 documentary “Dust to Glory” which covers the Baja1000, you’d know that many racing enthusiasts consider it the most dangerous off-terrain race in the world. And that would probably make you feel like getting in a car to experience the rush of adrenaline that ensues.
We’ve caught up with one of BOLDR’s Sponsored athletes, Daniel Wells who not only has a vast experience in racing but he aspires to participate in the Baja1000 someday.
My name is Daniel Wells, I’m 29 this year, from Melbourne, Australia and I’m currently engaged to my lovely fiancé, Emily.
Q: What exactly is it you do?
I compete in the Australian off-road (ARB) racing series more commonly known as desert racing, which is something similar to Dakar rally. It’s a one day, 500 kilometre race.
Q: At what age did you start racing?
I started off go kart racing since I was 6, and after 14 years of go-karting at the national level I eventually transitioned into desert racing.
Q: Congratulations on finishing 3rd place in the Australian Off-Road Championship, what are your thoughts on that and what’s next?
Well, I would say that finishing 3rd is a pretty respectable showing this time around, even though we actually qualified 1st and were leading quite comfortably for a significant portion of the race. Unfortunately, we encountered a failure with one of our rear wheels and lost about 3 minutes trying to repair the problem in the pits, which ultimately cost us the win.
I’m currently preparing for the next race, “Sea Lake 400”, considered to be one of the toughest races even though it is just around a massive lake 60 km wide. I’m definitely looking to better my showing for that one.
Q: What is the one thing that you always remind yourself while racing?
To be patient. Races like the ARB desert race can be classified as an endurance race; sometimes I get stuck in the car for 5 or 6 hours, what’s worse is that you may even be stuck behind a slower car.
Drivers like us really need to properly manage our rides, because the terrain is extremely strenuous on the car itself, and if we try to push and overtake or speed up too much we might risk breaking our car and eventually forfeiting the race.
Q: What are the best and worst memories in racing?
The best memory for me would definitely be winning the national championship in 2017 as I worked really hard for that. I think the worst would have to be me rolling the car in my first ever race; I had a massive accident and rolled my car a couple of times and actually broke a lot of stuff, but luckily it was just stuff within the car (laughs).
Has to be my father. He was doing ARB racing way back during the 80s and 90s and in that time he became a 2 time national champion. My father always had a hardworking and positive attitude towards all aspects of racing and his experience as a driver is unparalleled. I’ve always listened to everything he says because his results justify the advice given, and quite frankly he hasn’t been wrong so far.
Q: What are your goals in racing, where do you see yourself 5 to 10 years down the road?
Wow, that’s a tough one; I have made so many friends from the racing scene because of my travels all over Australia. What makes this even better is that I get to share all of it with my family, which means a lot to me. I would definitely love an opportunity to one day compete in an international race, like the Baja1000.
Q: How has racing affected your life?
Well, to be honest, it’s really hard juggling the preparation work between racing and family time. I am lucky that my fiancé, Emily fully supports me and she understands that to get good results you really need to be putting in the hours on the car. A good example would be the 2nd last race of 2017 - my father and I put in over 400 hours into the car and that required sacrificing our time together. I am really thankful for her support and understanding.
Q: Lastly, can you give our BOLDR fans any advice on pursuing adventures?Tackle your adventures head on! Try planning and be organised you'll only learn from your mistakes. And also have a BOLDR on your wrist because they will never let you down #ruggedwatches #desertproven
Note the interview was completed in June 2019. Daniel has since competed at the Sea Lake 400 and has gone on to compete in other races, we wish Daniel all the best in 2020.