CEO´s Column

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We have come a long way, but have a long road ahead..

May 6th: Today is one of those magic days. The first race of the season is on its way and reports från Vårgårda Dragway, Sweden says they are having great weather and have completed qualifications. We are entering “race mode” and that is a special feeling.  Today sad news also reached us that Safety Group co-founder Björn Eskelund passed away after having lost the battle to cancer. I am lost for words and there is little comfort in thinking he might be able to join other loved ones involved in drag racing, who have left us this last year. Oddly enough the sun is still shining,  just like nothing has happened.

The last month has been and will be a bit of a milestone for Speedgroup. Our shareholders elected a board on April 23rd and with that we got three new members on board. Lin Granlund from Norway who is known to many people in European drag racing, having engaged deeply in NDRG Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen for many years and in Norwegian and Nordic drag bike in particular. She was also a driver for years, something I have to admit I did not know about. What I do know is that she has been a solid and a genuine person for as long as I know.

The other person is the highest educated in sports management I know, although she is just 27. She started her career as project co-ordinator at Mantorp Park at age 15 and moved on to be event manager at Tierp Arena (under the former management) after finishing her education. Emelie Carlswärd will be a valuable addition to the board too I am sure.

Our shareholders voted to re-elect Roger Lyrén, chairman Pelle Lindelöw, Kjell Pettersson and Anders “Charley” Karling. Mats Eriksson  who was a regular member will be a substitute instead, which he had expressed a wish for.

Veteran Simo Patoharju from Finland joins the board as a new substitute and Simo´s career and skills are as solid as can be. When I first met Simo he was team companion with Anita Mäkelä when they competed in methanol dragster (in the mid 90´s). This year he is involved in tuning Janne Ahonen´s Top Fuel dragster, distributes VP Racing Fuels in Finland.. runs his own Specialty engineering company, is a family father of two.. and now also a Speedgroup board member. I am pleased. Micke Kågered and Dick Koster stay with their engagements as substitutes for another year.

Two significant and longtime board members have left the company during the last eight months. In September Micke Gullqvist resigned both as CEO and member of the board. And since April 23rd Speedgroup founder Leif Andreasson is no longer a part of the board. Both have made unselfish and amazing efforts for Speedgroup and the sport through the years since I became involved with Speedgroup.

Gullqvist formed Speedgroup since 2007 and has in many ways managed to make sure we are a part to rely on, rain or shine. And if it was not for Leif and co-founder Lars-Erik Lindberg we would not have state of the Art Tierp Arena to race at today.

I will enjoy watching the European champions 2015 (methanol Funny Car) Leif and (Pro Modified) Micke at the championship events this summer.

On May 10th we have one remarkable happening scheduled. Speedgroup is moving into a new office at Marma Gård Företagsby, situated in the region of north Stockholm/Uppsala with closeness to the Stockholm Arlanda airport. This is the first joint physical base we establish and it feels like it is going to be a good move.

We have come a long way, but there is still a long road ahead until we reach a point we want to be. We have started to set the pace and I see an interesting as well as challenging phase ahead the nearest year. If you are following our operation regularly, close or from a distance, you will be able to follow our continued journey. I will have reasons to reflect more on it, I am sure. But that will be in another column, another month.

I still have a few more weeks before I will be on a race track the first time this season; the Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, UK May 27-30th. If you are planning to go there maybe we will meet. In any way, I hope your month of May will be a good one!

All the best,
Åsa Kinnemar CEO Speedgroup
tel. +46-70 531 53 32