Updated: May 20
This short phrase...just three words long...holds so much meaning to me on a personal level. The phrase "Live A Little" was the tagline for the company that I worked for, learned from, and led me to the path that I am on today.
"Live A Little..." was the tagline for a company named Robispec - Full Race Preparation. I was fairly new to driving on track doing the occasional track days and quickly progressing to a new sport called Time Attack. While on track, I found myself chasing a silver Mitsubishi Evo with the Robispec Logo on back. Lap after Lap, there he was...still in front of me, just within reach...but I couldn't pass. Something about that car, the speeds it held into the corners, the way it transitioned...and the sheer grip of that car was incredible! I just had to figure out what made that car so fast!
That's when I met the driver, Robert Fuller aka "Robi" who just so happened to be the owner and brains behind Robispec. Robi and I started working together to make my car faster...everywhere. With Robi's education, guidance, and friendship, I was able to take my racing to an entirely new level. What started as a customer relationship...ended in working together on a professional level. The term "Live A Little..." was his quote...and he taught me what it meant.
Under his wing, I learned about chassis setup and how to make a vehicle faster around the track by not just adding power...but with the use of braking, suspension, aero, and driving ability, as a package together, it was possible to keep up with and even drive faster than most others on the track with way more horsepower! Robi really was a genius when it came to thinking outside the box in order to make things happen...in fact, I don't think he even knew there was a box! Every single day was an adventure and an experience that I have taken with me as I have ventured on with everything else in life.
While working with, learning from, and racing alongside Robi, I definitely learned to "Live A Little..." With that, we brought vehicles around the country to compete at different events and in return, showed up in a few popular magazines as well!
This was my first appearance in a Magazine where they pitted me against Professional Formula Drift Driver Stephan Verdier so see which car would be faster at varying types of corners. As terrifying as it was for me to compete against a professional driver...everyone was surprised to find that our setup ended up being faster in just about every configuration they set up for us!
Another fun project we worked on was an Evo vs. STi showdown for Modified Mag. Although we had some mechanical issues during the shootout (intercooler piping kept popping off), Robi was busy setting 3 of the 4 cars up for the competition. It was an awesome experience to drive at Spring Mountain Raceway in Pahrump, NV.
The car was starting to get lots of attention in the magazines and on the track...which eventually led to our first feature story in Auto Performance and Sound Magazine.
I have countless memories from my time at Robispec and am grateful for the fact that I got to share some really amazing times and learn from an automotive guru like Robert "Robi" Fuller.
Earlier this year, I had received the news that Robi's life had tragically ended. Robi was more than just a mentor to me...he was family...and throughout the years, even though I had moved on to do other things...he always made the time to call...or just drop by to take me to lunch...just because. He has been the glue for many of us in the racing industry, always willing to lend a hand and help a fellow competitor.
I have taken his lessons with me in life and I will never forget where I came from...and most importantly...thanks to him...I have learned to "Live A Little..."
In Loving Memory of Robert "Robi" Fuller