I had the pleasure of attending a spectacular event on Friday called ‘The Forgeois 500” and I not only enjoyed my time participating, but I also had the honor of interviewing the star of the event, IndyCar racer Luca Forgeois. The Forgeois 500, created by JJI, was an interactive and competitive event that took place at Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City, NJ, featuring an array of journalists and bloggers who competed against Luca to determine the king of the track.
Luca, who is 18 years young, competed in five preliminary events, winning each, then battled the top two winners of each group and won that race, as expected. “I loved it. I think there were definitely some guys who gave me a scare,” Luca joked after the event. I would be willing to bet all of the money in my Swiss Bank account that I was one of those who gave Luca a scare!
One of the first questions I asked Luca was about the conception of such a fun event. Janine (from JJI) was the brain behind the event. “We got her to help us out, she’s our PR…she’s just phenomenal…we put this event together (so people could) see who I am.” Mission accomplished.
I asked Luca what inspired him to become a race car driver, and he told me he got the love of it from his father. “My dad was very passionate about racing. He came from France and racing was a big deal…my dad came to the United State with a dream to race.”
How did his father’s dream become his? “After years of watching it…I kept bothering him for like two years straight, and finally when I was 13 he said ‘you know what? I’m going to put you in a go-kart!’ The rest has been racing history. Luca showed potential in a go-kart, and, at the age of 15, showed even more when he was placed in a race car. Luca’s father learned that perhaps his dream of racing would be lived through his son.
Off the race track, Luca is an advocate for ADHD and is a celebrity spokesperson for Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (CHADD). “I just had learning difficulties but nobody knew…it took a toll on my confidence.” It was discovered that Luca had dyslexia, and now that he has been diagnosed, Luca is inspired to share his story with those who suffer the same and wants to do even more. “If given the opportunity I would really like to be the national spokesman.” Hopefully Luca will have that chance in the near future.
What’s next for Luca? He plans to use 2014 to raise money and get back to high-level competitive racing in 2015. “We wouldn’t be well prepared for 2014…would rather do it right,” he said of the reasoning for his 2015 goal. Competitive racing is a ‘heavily financed industry,’ Luca told me, and I believe it is a good goal for him and his team. I am confident that when Luca finds the funding he needs, he will be successful, and among some of the biggest names in the industry because he is an IndyCar champion in the making.