Beachburg, Ont. racecar driver shifts career into high gear
Nathan Blok leads the pack from the Ottawa Valley when it comes to his skill behind the wheel.
Driving out of his hometown of Beachburg, Ont., Blok has won three Canadian Championships in his 13-year professional racing career.
This season Blok is taking the next step by launching his own racing team, Futec Motorsports, and driving his own car, a 2009 Nissan 370Z.
"It's my world; it's everything I do," Blok told CTV News.
"So I'm very fortunate to be able to make [racing] a long term commitment."
Until this year, Blok has been driving other people's cars under their team names. Blok says starting his own team allows him to save costs, create his own racing brand, and cement a legacy as a winning driver and team lead.
"I didn't become a three-time champion because they sent the trophy in the mail. I had to work for it," he said.
"It's a new venture for me but I know I have enough experience to be able to handle it."
Following a 3rd place finish last year, Blok will be moving up a competition level this season, racing in one of Canada's most competitive fields, the Super Production Challenge.
"We have a good car, we're competitive, we're fast, and I know that I have the abilities to be able to do it."
Blok has lived most of his life in the Beachburg area and is proud to be steering his way to success from where his dream first took off.
"I'm very happy to be from the valley," says Blok.
"A lot of people want to be hockey players or whatever. But it's not very often that you hear of people who say they want to be racecar drivers and then are able to act upon it."
His freshly wrapped car sits in an unassuming garage behind a modest house in the Beachburg area. It's an indication of how much money goes into putting a successful racecar on track and all the effort and support he's received from the local community.
"It's probably close to 1,000 people that have either helped me in the past or are actively supporting me now."
Blok admits he is still welcoming sponsorship support and wants to contribute back to any sponsors that do appear on the side of his car. To bring in dollars Blok will also be renting out his car to amateur drivers and giving racing lessons.
The first race of the season takes place at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville on Victoria Day weekend.
Blok says he first needs to win races in order to grow his team and bring on new drivers and additional vehicles.
"Money punches your ticket to get into the show; it's what you do with it afterwards that counts," he says.
"And I've spent basically every waking moment of my life practicing, preparing, studying, doing everything I can so that when I get in the position to have that ticket punched I can actually do something with it."
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