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You Don't Have to Be a Champion... to Be a Winner!-bookcover

By: Brian Sims

You Don't Have to Be a Champion... to Be a Winner!

Pages: 308 Ratings:
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From fitting wheels to wheelbarrows in a builders’ merchant, Brian rapidly climbed the business ladder and became a Xerox salesman. He was unaware that the professional selling skills he was learning would one day propel him into the glamorous and overtly commercial world of F1.

A disastrous debut at a racing driver school was the spark that lit his passion for motor racing. Aware of the need for some serious financial backing to be able to take part, Brian embarked on a variety of highly innovative and often extremely entertaining ways of securing sponsorship, including working with the cast of a top 1970s’ BBC sit-com, as well as with John Cleese, of Monty Python fame.

A chance meeting on a plane with Max Mosley offered an opportunity of managing one of the most popular F1 Grand Prix circuits. This, in turn, led to the heady heights of a factory drive for Mercedes and the establishment of South Africa’s first racing driver school.

It was only a matter of time before Brian’s exceptional sponsorship-acquisition skills took him to F1, where he quickly made a name for himself by securing multi-million pound deals with three of the most sought after global corporations.

However, Brian’s greatest achievement in motorsport was to establish the Motorsport Industry Association in 1994, in a bid to secure government recognition of the industry in its own right. Once again, Brian’s sales skills played a key role.

Without ever becoming a household name as a motor racing champion, Brian’s story of how he most definitely became a winner is not only inspirational, but highly entertaining, amusing, often irreverent and informative.

You Don’t Have to Be a Champion... to Be a Winner is the story of Brian Sims, who left school in 1963 with just 5 GCE O-Levels and a shattered dream of following in his father’s footsteps as a Royal Air Force pilot.

Born in Chiswick in 1946, the son of a wartime RAF pilot, Brian was educated at Hounslow College, attaining five GCE O-Levels.

A few years later, as a Xerox salesman, his exceptional selling skills helped him acquire the sponsorship necessary to embark on what was to become a professional race-driving career. These same skills eventually took him to Formula 1, as the marketing director of the Lola Ferrari and the Benetton Grand Prix teams. In a fascinating career, Brian also became the founder of the prestigious Motorsport Industry Association, manager of the Kyalami F1 Circuit in South Africa, a Sky TV motorsport presenter, a guest lecturer for the World Academy of Sport and the author of two highly acclaimed sponsorship books.

Awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2018 by Birmingham City University, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the motorsport industry, Brian has recently been appointed the Motorsport Industry Consultant to the University of Wolverhampton. He now lives in Shrewsbury with his South African born wife, Liz.


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