Success StrategiesYoung Entrepreneurs

Winning.The most Successful Car Racing Team. Strategic Planning Process

By April 7, 2010 3 Comments

While flipping through my father’s old sports magazines, I came across this famous story:

In the 1970s there was a car racing team that won one race after another. The team consisted of Finnish driver Timo Mäkinen and his British pilot Henry Liddon. They raced together for more than twenty years and their international rally wins were:

  • 1964 Tulip Rally (Mini Cooper S)
  • 1965 Monte Carlo Rally (Mini Cooper S)
  • 1965 1000 Lakes (Mini Cooper S)
  • 1966 1000 Lakes (Mini Cooper S)
  • 1966 Three Cities Rally (Mini Cooper S)
  • 1967 1000 Lakes (Mini Cooper S)
  • 1972 Hong Kong Rally (Ford Escort RS)
  • 1973 Arctic Rally (Ford Escort RS)
  • 1973 1000 Lakes (Ford Escort RS)
  • 1973 RAC Rally (Ford Escort RS)
  • 1974 RAC Rally (Ford Escort RS)
  • 1974 Ivory Coast Rally (Ford Escort RS)
  • 1975 RAC Rally (Ford Escort RS)
  • 1976 Ivory Coast Rally (Peugeot 504 V6)

Pretty Impressive…! They were an unbeatable team but it was not plain luck; there was a key to it. This is their story:

Two weeks before every motor race, Henry Liddon, being a navigator or pilot as some call it,  arrived at the rally location. He borrowed a car and went through the whole track several times to familiarize himself with it and learn where the important places would be, like the service bay. After several days when he knew the plan nearly by heart, Mäkinen would arrive and they would practice together, using Liddon’s notes. They went through the whole track several times and the result was inevitable.

They won.

During the race, the navigator needs to have quick solutions to questions, and the answers come from preparation, intuition and experience.

The business environment is a carbon copy of this. You need speed, quick reflexes, sharp skills, and you need to be able to look far into the future. When you prepare and write a detailed business plan, you become hardwired for success. Writing a business plan makes you more creative, able to see the big picture—the purpose of your entrepreneur idea—and  lets you see what is needed in order to succeed.

We all love to win. And there can only be one winner. What creates the winner is:

–          passion and drive, as well as awareness of purpose (that’s the driver)

–          a detailed plan of action, a  business plan (that’s the brain of the race)

Without these qualities you can still drive, but without a plan you may end up going nowhere.  It is the strategic planning process that takes you further. Having a plan enables you to become a winner.

And here is what Lance Armstrong*  has to say about winning, mindset and strategy

Lance Armstrong – an American professional road racing cyclist who is best known for winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, after having survived testicular cancer. He is also the founder and chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research and support~Wikipedia


  • Keith Davis says:

    Hi Martyna
    Came over from Justyna’s site via your comment.
    Nice post, reminds me of a quote…

    “Everyone has the will to win; what is important is the will to prepare.”
    Bobby Knight

    That applies to so many areas of life. We all want instant results but without all the hard work needed to achieve it.
    The web is full of get rich quick schemes and instant solutions all without “the will to prepare”
    .-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Flying in formation =-.

  • Hi Keith

    nice to meet you:)

    yes, I believe that it is true- the web being full of such get rich quick schemes. I have this impression on my mind- of a horse and a carrot. The horse will go everywhere you want to as long as it sees the carrot and has strength to walk.

    Easy success sells like fresh bread, but has the opposite consequences

    thanks for your comment
    have a great day


  • This is a very inspiring post. It has been said over and over again that failing to plan is planning to fail. This shows us that if we do not plan then failure is almost automatic. Racers plan before a race. Some practice months before the big day and the results are that they win just like the example you have given.

Leave a Reply