Interview with… Uldis Galdiņš


Today we have a special guest, that is why the interviu will be conducted in English. And if you do not know the language – sorry folks. There will be no translation whatsoever, but you can use google translator for such pursposes of course.

So we have Uldis Galdiņš from Latvia in the „AF1@F1: Interviu su…“ today.
Uldis is a long time karting fanatic-maniac and as far as I remember – he was always obsessed with karting and his focus was on promoting and establishing amateur karting in Latvia.
So please welcome Uldis to my blog and have a nice reado!


Uldi, you know, it took me ages to find this small „n“ letter with a „tale“ in alphabet (this one – ņ) to write your surname in a right way. How do you live with that? 🙂 And now without any jokes – do you have any nicknames and why these?

U.G.: An easy thing if you are latvian and no problem if you write down my name without little tale below „n“ and even without little roof on „s“ 🙂 No somehow nicknames do not stick to me.


So we know each other from like 12-13 years or so. During that time you‘ve expanded Latvian amateur karting massively, hats off (I mean if I would Lauda I would take my red cap off too)! What drives you in this mission?

U.G.: To be honest I am not the only guy, all credits to my mate Lauris too, he is doing awsome job and our teamwork is that gives the result. I am very happy that two recent Openkart champions have got Prokart titles (popular and competitive sports karts series) this year, many made excelent debuts, one our best drivers Laipnieks clinched RedBullKartFight World title this year. It makes us proud and happy of what we do.
Of course the main drive behind it is passion about racing and competing. Thats from my childhood – I started to organise tournaments in various desk games as soon as early years in school. Two sports I associate myself from my early days is basketball – I started to play it at age of 7 and ended up in my late 20ies, and racing – my mom was race secretary in Bikernieki during 80ies, so I spent a lot of time there. As my parents said later – thanks God, I was quickly introduced to basketball and even didnt realise that there is karting 🙂


Just recently you‘ve visited newest Lithuania karting track Speedway. How‘s the impression of layout, tarmac quality, complicity of the track itself?

U.G.: For more that ten years we have visited only Plytine as this is very nice track with very good and friendly attitude and we will keep visiting Vilnius in the future. About the new “Speedway” track – awesome job is done, lucky you, have one nice track more. The layout is perfect, demands a lot of skills to drive and I love that track looks good too. The place – as in textbooks – near the busy highway and visible. As Speedway kartdoromas will mature, they have a chance to be one of the Baltics best karting facilities in years to come.


And now please take your time and have these questions below. We hope to know you much better and understand how a hobby can change a life if you go for it full power!



– – – – – – – – All about F-1 and more – – – – – – – –

Introduce yourself – who / where from / why / how / what for? 🙂

U.G.: From Riga, living in Sigulda – Latvias winter olimpic medal factory and very nice place to live.


When and how you fell in love with Formula-1?

U.G.: As I said my mom is responsible to make me passionate with racing and loving pinackle of that – Formula 1, was only a matter of time, or to be honest matter of ability to follow and watch races – I am 39, and information in 80s was very limited. First race I watched Live was Monza 1991 thanks to my fathers self made satelite reciever set.


The main criteria why F-1 is so exceptional?

U.G.: Its hard to judge, but is Formula 1 still that exceptional? In terms of technology yes, in terms of racing, not so sure. So the answer today would be technology, in 90s? Speed, sound, wheel to wheel racing.


Best driver and why him? Any positive and negative personality attributes?

U.G.: Senna – simply he was first driver I started to cheer for and after my first Live race (Monza 1991) I found myself very passionate about him. Most memorable race – 1992 Monaco, last laps I thought my heart will jump out of my mouth J Then Schumi, maybe because he started Formula 1 when I started to watch it. Today – none! I like when underdogs win!


And what about team if any? Why this specific one?

U.G.: Thought for 5 minutes – none.


What would you change in F-1 in order it to improve as a sport and a show, but at the same time to be attractive for business and still interesting for race drivers themselves?

U.G.: I hate those DRS, its not pure racing anymore. How to deal with ability to pass – this is for engenuers how to balance aerodinamical and mechanical grip.


What is your opinion on F-1 management and business model? How do you see F-1 without Bernie Ecclestone (it is inevitable, isn‘t it)?

U.G.: There is somethng wrong, I dont know where? Maybe I am geting older hahaha 😉


Which historical F-1 moment stroke you at most? Was it so important that it laid down some foundation to change your life in some way, if any?

U.G.: The moment where you remember where you where and what you did when it happens – for me Monaco 1992, Monza 1991 (simply my own memorable moment). Definetly Imola 1994 – I hope it will never happen again.


The most interesting F-1 personality (historical or from current times) for you is…
If you‘d meet him/her, how would you start the conversation?

U.G.: I think Mario Andretti funny guy to talk with and James Hunt to party with 🙂


What do you think of F-1 attractiveness to business people? What similarities Formula-1 and busines do have?

U.G.: Formula 1 is business itself, I guess. And huge one!




– – – – – – – – The other side – – – – – – – –
What car do you drive and why especially this one? Any interesting story behind it? And maybe you are a fan of specific car make?

U.G.: Somehow I am rarity, for me I dont have any dream car, it means nothing to me. I drive 10 yo Skoda Fabia and I am completely OK with that.


Do you like speed? How do you express this passion?

U.G.: Yes I love it, but I very rarely am fast on raods. Thats why karting is introduced 🙂


How come it occured that you became an amateur racer? How did this step influenced your life in past ~decade or so?

U.G.: About my passion to racing, I mentioned earlier. Why I started myself? I tried several times hobbikarts, first time I was the slowest in my company even girls were quicker, but then somehow I started to understand how it should be done and in March 29th 2001 I did my first „public“ race with F1 fun club – ancestors of Openkart. Now I race occasionaly – 2-3 times ayear, but for 14 years amateur racing was part of my life. I counted more than 250 races, it could be the most races per driver in all Baltics 🙂 So Openkart is part of my life, a child. It sais everything – cant imagine not making races.


Your business / job. Why? How does it „drive“ you?

U.G.: I left track operator business adter some hard time, so now back to what I did before – I am Corporate communications manager in the biggest real estate company Latio.


What do you value in people? I am talking about either family, friends or business mates, colleagues.

U.G.: Honesty, empathy


Who influenced your life in a major way?

U.G.: My family – wife, daughter


Historical personality that you‘d like to meet. What would you ask him/her?

U.G.: None, it doesnt bother me 🙂


Please define luck and success

U.G.: If you are lucky to do what you like, you will be succesfull. Luck and success comes hand to hand


In your opinion, what can be forgiven, and what – cannot?

U.G.: everything, I really mean it!


Your strongest and weakest personality areas

U.G.: when I do something I want to understand it completely, I hate doing things just because I have to – reason is major part. I am too chaotic


Who‘d you become if you‘d be able to choose it?

U.G.: Myself again, I think those kind of questions useless 🙂 but OK, keep going 🙂


And an unexpected (for you, not for our readers 🙂 ) end to an interview – you can ask any question to the interviewer himself.
Please be polite! 🙂

U.G.: What drives you to keep yourself active racing viewer not just, sitting in sofa and watching races?
Thanks for an interview, it took me more than a year to do it? 🙂

AF1: It‘s important that we‘ve finally made it, even it took a while 🙂
As for the question itself – I think just the passion for doing what I like. There are also other passions in my life, but this – Formula 1 and related activities – is surely one of the TOP 5 😉


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