VOLO MOTOSPORTS – PURSUING A PASSION
Volo Motorsports—Pursuing a Passion
Rod Morley is a self-made man. He has always been an entrepreneur, starting his first successful business in high school. His subsequent ventures include Axiom Financial, an award winning mortgage company, for which he was honored by Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year awards program. In addition to his mortgage ventures, he currently helms three other companies as well as the Life Hope Foundation, which he created in 2001. But if we were to stop at defining him as businessman, we would miss a much more exciting picture of a man who is an adrenaline junkie and a racing fanatic. He explains, “Before I started racing cars, I had forty speeding violations. Since getting into racing, I’ve only had three.” It seems that such an outlet has allowed him to not only build another successful business, but to find a legal outlet for his need for speed.
In 2004, Morley created Volo Motorsports to pursue his passion for racing and the team immediately began to make their mark in the SCCA D-Sports racing circuit. Although he began his career mid-season , Morley won four races and set records at Second Creek Raceway, Thunderhill Park, and Buttonwillow Raceway Park. Not bad for their first year! The following season, Rod had eight wins, set six track records, and placed second in the nation for DSR at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs which aired on the Speed Channel. Always looking for a new challenge, he added the American Le Mans IMSA Lites series to his racing resume the following year.
Since that time, Rod and his team, led by crew chief Korby Van Valkenburg, have continued to strive for excellence. In 2009 theteam transitioned into production car road course racing. In the same year they began building a 2003 Evo 8 into a fully race-prepared Time Attack contender and entered their first Redline Time Attack event at Buttonwillow Raceway in March 2010. The Lancer Evo 8, driven by Rod Morley, ran an impressive 1:54:77.
Volo Team members state that Morley has an uncanny ability to push the car to its limits and to “consistently shave time off lap times”. They go on to say that “between practice sessions Rod uses simulation and visualization to course-correct. When he’s done and gets out on the track, he consistently shaves a half second off each lap which adds up quickly! He almost never goes off the track.” This off-track preparation has also led to multiple track records set at his first race on a new track.
The team built the Evo from the ground up. This means that each team member knows exactly what the car is capable of. This is an important factor, one which Van Valkenberg stated in an interview with “Modified” magazine: “We wanted to do something that was a little more hands-on than the DSR [Rod] was doing. He had a crew that would maintain the car, and it was kind of like an ‘Arrive and Drive’ type of thing. Rod wanted to really get in there—into the nitty gritty—because as a driver, it’s important to really understand the inner workings of your car. The best way to understand and improve how your car is handling and running is to know exactly what’s going on under there, mechanically speaking.”
The crew enjoys working on the cars almost as much as the racing itself. Their goal is to have fun and to overcome each challenge that may come their way. They are a testament that you don’t need tons of money to build a car, but a passion, clear goals, and a well laid out plan for execution.. The team is currently putting that passion to work with their latest acquisition, a sleek F1000 they are racing in the 2011 F1000 Pro Series. Although pleased with the checkered flags they brought home from the first two races, they are still laser-focused on how to make the car faster. The Volo Motorsports team is sponsored by: Axiom Home Loans (www.axiomhl.com), SealSource International (www.sealsource.com), and Consensio, LLC. For the Volo Motorsports race schedule, photos, and updates, visit their website at www.volomotorsports.com.