June 17, 2014 6:12 pm

Former farmer chasing dream at 250 km/h

WINNIPEG – The tree-lined race car tracks of Europe are a long way away from David Richert’s rural Manitoba farm.

“Every single day, I would have to go out into the chicken barn and gather 9,000 eggs,” said Richert, who grew up near Niverville.

Richert has been living life in the fast lane since 2002.

“The biggest thing for me, in order to chase my dream of driving race cars, I had to step out of my comfort zone,” said the 32-year-old.

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Richert got his start behind behind the wheel in Gimli with the Manitoba Karting Association when he was 20 — a much later start than those living in racing’s hotbeds.

“Most kids will start when they’re four, five or six years old, like we do playing hockey here,” said Richert. “In Brazil and Europe, that’s what they’re doing. Instead of playing hockey they’re racing go-karts.”

Since then, his racing career has accelerated. Richert currently competes in the Formula Renault 2.0 series in Europe, an entry-level circuit to professional racing.

“Europe has a real mentality where it’s all or nothing,” said Richert. “So you win or finish last.”

Richert has hit a few roadblocks along the way. He had to take an eight-year hiatus to raise enough cash to continue racing.

“You can literally be the fastest driver in the world but if you don’t have the money, you go nowhere,” said Richert.

But that hasn’t forced him to leave his ultimate goal in the dust.

“The dream for an race car driver is F1,” said Richert. “As long as there’s still a possibility of that, I’ve learned to never say never. Because a farm kid from Manitoba shouldn’t be driving race cars yet here I am. So anything is possible.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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