A Different Life

Soaring Worldwide’s Design and Development Executive Richard Puddle talks us through his other life – behind the wheel.

“You could say my current role at Soaring Worldwide is about as different to my previous jobs as it could possibly be. Having come here from being a high performance driving instructor at UK race circuits, I’ve found many obvious differences between working in an office and working, quite literally, at 140mph. However perhaps more strangely there are some similarities.

I started racing at around eight years old at a local circuit down near Ringwood, Dorset. A friend’s dad was moving to Australia and had to get rid of his go-kart. We got up one morning to find that he had left it on our driveway! From then on, I have always raced anything I can get my hands on, from go-karts to saloon cars and single seater machines.

Winning a scholarship in 2012 meant I could race in the largest single make championship in Europe – the Mazda MX5 cup, which attracted over 100 entries in every round. Winning Rookie of the Year and finishing 11th in the championship, with three pole positions and one race win was a great feeling. It led to other drives at Castle Combe, my local circuit, in Formula Fords, smaller versions of Formula One cars.

Since 2009, I have worked at race circuits around the UK, providing high performance driver coaching at race schools and coaching young drivers at Loughborough University. The ability to cope in high pressure situations is paramount when you are travelling at high speed around a race track (even more so when you’re instructing from the passenger seat!) and it is skills such as these that are transferable to a role in a high paced marketing agency. Keeping calm under pressure when you have deadlines to meet is something that everyone needs to deal with, be it on a race circuit or even working in your local supermarket.

Working at Soaring Worldwide has enabled me to transfer certain skills but also flex my creative muscles by designing websites, marketing materials and different kinds of client content. Swapping race circuits for marketing and web design has definitely presented me with all kinds of challenges. However it is a learning curve that I have enjoyed and one that I will continue to conquer using some of the skills that I have learnt from racing over the years.”