The coronavirus crisis has thrown a lot of curveballs for the motorsport community in recent months, but one team’s smart way of operating means that it is perfectly positioned to weather the storm.
Leading US rallycross outfit Loenbro Motorsports has been at the forefront of the sport for half a decade, despite not having the sort of resources as the likes of Subaru and Volkswagen Andretti.
That, however, has proven to be something of a blessing in disguise during the unprecedented difficulties that 2020 has thrown up.
“It’s 100% affected us, it’s absolutely 100% affected us,” team boss and lead driver Steve Arpin told DirtFish.
“But it’s also one of the benefits from everything we’ve done for so long and running as lean as possible and trying to do things on as tight a budget as possible, because of the lack of funding without manufacturer support.
“It’s all those years of kind of practicing that approach to how we run our team that’s made it survivable for a time like this.
“It’s kind of one of those things where we’re grateful for all the hard times over the past five years because it’s really taught us how to cope with these times well.
Despite its relatively small size compared to its North Carolina neighbors, the team endeavored to retain its workforce, despite having to halt operations – like most motorsport teams.
“We kind of looked at this and evaluated the whole situation,” said Arpin.
“What would’ve been financially best for us from the team’s standpoint as far as the business end of it and our pocketbooks was to lay everyone off until we had work and then bring people back
“But it’s one of those things where we spent a lot of time and a lot of effort, and to be fair a lot of money finding the right people and getting those people trained.
“We live in the Mecca of motorsports in Charlotte, North Carolina, from the community standpoint, but it’s the NASCAR community and people can go from team to team to team on the NASCAR side of things and just adapt because they’re all so very similar.
“These cars are so unique, not so much on the European side but on the American side, there’s not a lot of people here in the racing world that have a lot of experience on these types of cars.
“We’ve been so fortunate to put together the right group of guys, that [is] the most important thing to us, more so than the financial viability of the team in the short-term, the most important thing to us was keeping those people, keeping the right people onboard so that when we get to the other side of the storm we’re ready to hit the ground running.”