Meet Rick Wohleber
Q: How would you describe your volunteer role at World of Speed?
A: I play two dramatically different roles at the museum. The week starts on Monday, when Dave, Allen and I spend a few hours with the cars, dusting, wiping fingerprints (how do those happen...) re-filling deflated tires, and cleaning up occasional oil leaks. The museum has a completely different feel, it's quiet with the music and videos off. There's rarely anyone else around and we get "inside the ropes" with a closer view of the internals of these terrific machines. Then I spend Friday afternoon on the simulators. This is a wonderful opportunity to interact with our visitors, helping them to really get a feel for what it's like to be a race car driver. Most visitors leave surprised at the level of difficulty, and frequently comment, "how do they do this for hours, and with other cars on the track?!"
Q: What do you love about motorsports?
A: There are so many different aspects of the sport that I find fascinating, starting with the technical side. By definition, every type of racing, and every class within pushes the boundary of engineering. From the basic amateur stock classes, which still requires a high level of suspension and engine tuning, through the most sophisticated professional levels. Everyone is continuously learning and inventing. And all the decisions are trades—weight for strength; aerodynamic drag for ventilation; horsepower for longevity. Then there's the variety—4 second drag cars, 200 mph motorcycle road racers; 24 hour sports car races. There is never a corner of this sport that is not interesting, and it's been going on for over a hundred years. -There's all that wonderful history. And finally, it is all about the competition; a team to cheer for, and sometimes cry about. An event to drive many miles to see, and friends to experience it all with. What's not to love?
Q: If you could choose one car to have on display...
A: The original 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe. The body design was sketched on the floor of Shelby America. The car was built in less than 90 days with a very small team and went on to huge success in road racing finishing its racing life by setting class records at Bonneville. This was a car, built quickly by a talented group, that immediately went on to beat the powerhouse of Ferrari in Europe.
Q: Tell us a fun fact about you.
A: I've spent the last six years heavily involved in road racing motorcycles. I was a performance track riding instructor at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for five years, and have finally retired from racing.