Alain Penasse

16 November 2017

Team Manager sounds like quite a varied role. What exactly does it cover?

The role of Team Manager is certainly wide-ranging. It requires a great deal of versatility. I oversee a team of six staff members, who make sure the team is run in the most professional atmosphere possible. Our team organises all of the testing and manages all of its logistic operations. This ranges from hotel bookings to flight reservations and event preparations, as well as all other practical solutions to ensure that everything runs smoothly. On event, I am responsible for guaranteeing that we adhere to all necessary sporting regulations for each event and managing our strategy together with our Team Principal, Michel.

What skills are required to manage a motorsport team?

The key point is to understand how people function. Logical thinking, trouble-shooting and organisational skills should be the key elements to running a team in the most efficient manner. In motorsport, you work a lot with people of different nationalities, so communication is also absolutely vital.

How did you come to join us at Hyundai Motorsport?

In early 2013, a mutual friend of Michel and mine mentioned that the new Hyundai rally team was just starting up and required a Team Manager. He then suggested that I might be the right person to take up this position in this young team. We quickly came to an agreement and I started in April 2013. Since then I have helped to build the team from nothing to what it is today. It’s something that makes me very proud.

What does Hyundai Motorsport mean to you?

Quite simply, being a part of this fantastic team is a young boy’s dream come true!

 You sound like a man who is passionate about motorsport. When did you first become interested in it?

It started really when I was a teenager. During a holiday in Spa, I remember being captivated by a race at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps. Soon I became addicted to rallying, which seemed to be even more thrilling than circuit racing. But spectating for me wasn’t enough; I wanted to get even closer to the action! So I became a photographer and a journalist, before becoming involved in team management and marketing positions of different major teams, and then eventually ending up where I am right now!

Outside of racing, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Free time in motorsport is a luxury. Mostly I enjoy spending time with friends, who are not addicted to motorsport! But I also still manage to organise a rally in my home country of Belgium. Just to see the sport from another side…