Bo­real Ge­nomics co-founder and UBC engi­neer­ing prof Andre Marziali races BMWS in B.C. and Fer­raris in Italy

BC Business Magazine - - Contents -

Be­hind the wheel with Bo­real Ge­nomics’ Andre Marziali

I've al­ways en­joyed cars. I fol­low For­mula One, so I’m not sur­prised I like rac­ing: the adren­a­line side of it, and it’s such a sur­pris­ingly phys­i­cal but also very, very men­tal sport. The level of fo­cus re­quired is in­cred­i­ble. It’s su­per sat­is­fy­ing when you get it right. And maybe not su­per sur­pris­ing, given that I’m an en­gi­neer, de­vel­op­ing the car side of it has turned out to be in­cred­i­bly sat­is­fy­ing. It’s OK work­ing on cars to keep them run­ning, but it’s much more fun to work on a car to make it faster and then get to see the re­wards of that when you’re at the track, try­ing to win events.

I have one [car] I drive to work, and I have a race car. It’s a BMW M3 from ’99. It’s been pretty heav­ily mod­i­fied.

I’ve been rac­ing for about 12 years now. I bought a ’97 BMW M3, the same model as the race car, as my daily driver to work. Shortly af­ter buy­ing that, I ran across the UBC Sports Car Club hold­ing a pro­mo­tional event. They hold these events where you spend $30 or $40 to come out for a race. This is au­tocross, so you’re not rac­ing against other cars; you’re rac­ing against the clock.

The group of peo­ple that ran these events was so wel­com­ing, it turned out to be a re­ally nice so­cial thing as well. I started com­ing out to their events and lit­tle by lit­tle got bet­ter and bet­ter. It went from that to do­ing some big­ger events. My favourite is the Knox Moun­tain Hill­climb [in Kelowna].

I’ve also re­cently been to Italy to race Fer­raris. Some­one wrote about me rac­ing in the UBC engi­neer­ing news­let­ter, and one of our alumni in Switzer­land —he owns seven or eight Fer­raris, most of them ac­tual race cars, not street cars—saw that I raced. He said, “We race on For­mula One tracks in Europe. If you’re ever in Europe, let me know, and I’ll in­vite you to an event.” I went out last fall and raced three dif­fer­ent cars in Tus­cany, [at] the Mugello race track. The events I run, we hit maybe 180, 190 kilo­me­tres an hour. There we were hit­ting 270, 280 kilo­me­tres an hour.

—as told to Felic­ity Stone

CAR-FICIONADO Marziali put­ters with his mod­i­fied '99 BMW M3

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