ANDRA Fastlane 20 - Page 18

who is your DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR? Alternative Division Director South Australia Divisional Council Making a high school friend would lead to a long-time love for the sport of drag racing for Vladimir Ostashkevich. “I remember as a 13-year-old being in awe when my friend Craig Chapman and I used to go in the shed and look at his father’s dragster. I think it was Proud Australian Top Fuel Dragster then. I went to the drags a few times with the Chapman family,” Ostashkevich reminisces. From that introduction came trips to Adelaide International Raceway for the national open meetings and also with older brother Sergei for street meets in his Monaro. When Sergei partnered up with Bob Sherry in the 80s to build an A/Street Commodore, the bug well and truly bit for Ostashkevich and he started working as part of the crew. At the same time, he was studying a business degree in Marketing at university and was soon using that knowledge to chase sponsors for not only his brother’s exploits, but for the sport of drag racing, even holding a marketing seminar for the Group One racers in 1986. After establishing his business Quarter Mile Marketing, Ostashkevich and his brother would buy Jim Read’s dragster and take it all over the country with support from West End Beer, with Bob Sherry driving. Spending time with American Chuck Swift around this time would years later lead to Ostashkevich racing in Vegas, Seattle and Spokane as well as Australia and Tasmania in a Wheelstander alongside Swift in an experience Ostashkevich says he will never forget. In the years since, Vladimir has worked as the Marketing Manager for the Hidden Valley Drag Strip, which was run at the time by the King Cobra Rod and Custom Club, and would also go on to run a Fuel racing program with his brother with the support of NEC Corporation. “It was the first motorsport sponsorship the company had ever undertaken globally. We sold over six million dollars’ worth of computers for NEC in three years,” the South Australian proudly recalls. Vladimir Ostashkevich Email: South Australian Council Members Andrew Favotti Bob Scerri Bruno Romeo Rob Rath Danny Buccella Sergei Ostashkevich Margaret Oppes Andrew Braithwaite He also organised the first drag racing demonstration at the 1988 Adelaide Formula One Grand Prix after two years of discussions with the Australian Grand Prix board, and negotiated a television deal with Channel Seven Adelaide for a local drag racing show – Drag Racing Today – hosted by Bruce Abernethy. He also organised the show’s funding with major companies such as Tectaloy, Wynns and Sprint Auto Parts and sold the show to the Sky Channel in England. “Drag Racing Today was one of the most successful motorsport shows on TV at the time, out-rating local football shows and the cricket,” he said. Later, he would be contracted to the Adelaide Speedboat Club as its Marketing Manager. As part of the role, he organised the Australian tour of world record holder Scott Price (Kentucky Thunder Top Alcohol Drag Boat), with the tour gaining wide recognition for the publicity it received nationally. Now, Ostashkevich is hoping to use his business and marketing experience for the benefit of South Australian racers as the Alternative Division Director for ANDRA in SA. At the same time, while he might not be racing, he keeps his finger in the pie with sponsorships of a number of racers. “I get enjoyment out of watching the racers we sponsor through ULX110 Oil,” he explains. “It is hard to be a spectator once you’ve been a racer, but for now I’m happy just begin involved and working to lift the profile of the sport by organising events such as the demonstration we will have at the Adelaide 500 this coming March.” 18