An exclusive one-on-one with Dennis Macchio of Bertil Roos Racing.

Le Mans, the classic ’71 racing flick, was the catalyst for Dennis Macchio’s lead foot and most recent entrepreneurial venture–Bertil Roos Racing. Like Steve McQueen’s 1971 portrayal of Michael Delaney Macchio knows what it’s like to be self reliant under pressure.

Sporting faded jeans and a pair of chucks Dennis gave us some insight into the life of an entrepreneur battling a collapsing economy… judging by his success on and off the track we think you’ll want to listen up.

Dennis taught economics at Long Island University and started his own economics and consulting firm, Business Trend Analysts, when the rest of us were suffering through our quarter life crisis.

Recently, Macchio blended his passion for racing and entrepreneurism when he purchased the legendary Bertil Roos racing school. Roos was a renowned racecar driver and dear friend of Dennis’s. Unfortunately, Bertil was more concerned with churning out great race car drivers than sustaining profit margins.

Macchio’s goal was simple—get the Bertil Roos brand name out to the masses and be regarded as the premier East Coast racing school. His background in economic strategy and passion for speed was the perfect combination for reshaping Bertils original concept to realize world-class operations up and down the eastern seaboard.

Dennis teaches the art of performance driving like you’d teach an MBA student how to write a business plan. You analyze and dissect the sport, approaching each driving method with caution and knowledge–it all coalesces to incredible speeds. The slower you go, the faster you learn.

With Formula cars, you can feel the tires, the suspension, the adrenaline, the drive. It’s not actually about driving–it’s about managing the 1200 lbs of machinery and utilizing every aspect of your functional I.Q. “I can tell a fast driver—he looks slow. I can tell a slow driver—he looks fast.” It’s all relative.

As for the Bertil Roos business surviving the recession…Racing is an easily postponable luxury. They were lucky to survive 2009. Dennis’s advice? “Hold on. There’s a shakeout coming.”

His worries now rest on post-recession values. “Recessions happen, systems cycle. But this regime has gone too far.” Dennis fears the auto-industry and banks both becoming nationalized. He cites concerns like taxes, limited freedoms, and decreasing entrepreneurial incentives in an increasingly subsidized world.

I think Dennis would agree you can sum up racing, business, and politics all with one quote:

“A lot of people go through life doing things badly. Racing’s important to men who do it well. When you’re racing, it… it’s life. Anything that happens before or after… is just waiting.” – Michael Delaney, LeMans (1971)