The MBA Motorsport Management course welcomed the first international student this semester. The Motorsport Management course at the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern does not primarily focus on international students, but due to its worldwide uniqueness, more and more requests for studies come from all over the world. With Mrs. Anna Lenzi the first official student is now signed in. Mrs. Lenzi takes part in the certificate for the 3rd semester course in Motorsport Management. She comes from Houston, Texas, and works as a team manager at Risi Competitzione. Risi is a Houston-based, Italo-American professional Ferrari factory-backed racing team founded and managed by Giuseppe Risi. The Risi Competizione Team races in different series in North America and Europe, giving a wide range of exposure to all levels of partners, sponsors, suppliers, fans and customers. Risi Competizione has won races and championships in the IMSA GT Championship, American Le Mans Series, Rolex Sports Car Series as well as earning 3 class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998, 2008 and 2009.
Reuter: What is your background? Could you tell us something about your motor sports career in advance?
Lenzi: After I graduated from the University in USA, I was looking for an internship and found one at Ferrari North America (New Jersey). My internship was great and Ferrari North America ended up sponsoring my work VISA, so I stayed with them for 8 years working in logistics. After that, in 2014 the Ferrari factory in Maranello invited me to go work there managing their Atelier program, custom making and configuring for the top 500 customers from Ferrari worldwide. I accepted and stayed in Ferrari for 3 years. In 2017 I moved back to USA, Houston, and started to work for Risi Competizione. I had known Mr. Risi since my Ferrari North America days and it felt great to come over and work for his team. That is how I ended up in Motorsport, but during my entire life I always had passion for racing!
Reuter: What do you currently do for a living?
Lenzi: I am the team manager for Risi Competizione.
Reuter: What does your working day look like?
Lenzi: It depends, it changes while I am in the office or at the track. My typical track day, or let’s say race day, starts very early by leaving the hotel around 6:00 am usually. Get to the track, have breakfast with the team (we usually have all our meals at the track) and then go to garage/paddock area. While the mechanics are working on the car for warm up I usually go make sure the drivers are around and ready. I also overlook our social media accounts, driver interaction with fans, media, then go to pits area make sure all we need for the race is in place, drinks available for crew and drivers, put my radio on and get ready for the start!
During a long race I am responsible to get the drivers ready for their driving stints, and after they drive make sure they rest, eat, have a massage, etc. Hopefully at the end of the race my day is over by me going to the podium!!!
In the office I usually have a day behind a computer screen, catching up on emails, updating invoice sheets, sending payments, making plans and reservations for the next event, dealing with logistics, etc.
Reuter: Why did you decide to study Motorsport Management at the University of Applied Science Kaiserslautern?
Lenzi: I felt the need to have a better structured knowledge about the field since pretty much in this area you learn as you go. I think that having some “basics” is always helpful, or having someone show you the same things through a different point of view is always valuable. Basically I get a lot of practical experience but not enough theory, so I think this course will complement me as a professional in that way.
Reuter: How did you become aware of the study?
Lenzi: Researching online. At first I found an MBA in Business of Motorsport offered by Leicester University, but that did not work since they did not have enough students for their online course to start. That made me look even further and eventually I found your MBA.
Reuter: How does the correspondence course run for you in terms of time and organisation?
Lenzi: For me this works fine, especially now that we are not racing. I think if you are developing this to be something bigger and available to the entire world, you might want to do “pre-recorded” classes that we could access at our convenience and then do a follow up class, shorter. Just an idea.
Reuter: Which lecture/seminar do you especially like to remember and why?
Lenzi: I only had 3 classes so far and all 3 were very engaging in different ways. The professors all had different styles and the subjects were very different. The one I remember the most is the one with Fabian Berger, I think his “military” style was very different and easy to remember.
Reuter: What has been most interesting for you so far, which contents can you use directly in your professional environment?
Lenzi: I think the class with Fabian Berger, as a lot of his reality can be applied to a race team, and we even did a check list together, by me thinking specifically on our race team.
Reuter: What are your further career plans?
Lenzi: I have not been in motorsport for too long, so I would like to adventure in this world a little bit longer and see where that takes me. I think overall managerial roles is what I look to, but this could change in the future.
Reuter: Further comments?
Lenzi: I would love to be able to finish the entire course, and by that get the MBA title instead of a certificate for the 3rd semester only. I think if you are able to offer this possibility, more people from motorsport would be attracted to this. I personally know people who would most likely do it.