February 01, 2016 @ 04:25 PM

Go Fast or Go Home! We grab a chat with Daniel Woodroof

Daniel Woodroof will be hosting a unique travel show called Go Fast Or Go Home. But what is it really about and how did he land the role?

His name may not be as household as Alex Yoong’s, but Daniel Woodroof already has his feet wet in racing since the age of 12. Like every bona fide race driver, Daniel started his career in karting before working his way up to Formula BMW. His next stint will be bull-racing and we don’t mean the energy drink kind. I had to ask Daniel, how did it all started and how did he ended up here.
What kicked off your racing career?
Watching Formula 1 has been a family tradition. We’d sit in the living room, in front of the TV, order some pizza and watch the race. And after a while, I thought that it is something I want to do. But I didn’t know how to get there. So one weekend, my family and I were bored and we googled for things to do in KL. We found out about the go-kart track in Shah Alam and one weekend, we got ourselves there. It was really fun and I told my dad that I really liked it and wanted to come again and again. 
For my 12th birthday, if my math is correct, my dad enrolled me in a go-kart academy as a gift. The academy no longer exists but it was a two-month intensive training thing where I leaned all the basics with an experienced coach. I learned how to handle a race car, all the race procedures and all of this happened in July of 2008. A couple of months later, I enrolled in my first go-kart race and the rest was history. 

Were your parents worried about your safety?
That’s a concern for a lot of people who don’t understand the sport. I think karting is relatively safe. There are a few more dangerous sports out there. When you’re racing with professional who know what they are doing, I think you’ll come to find that it is quite safe. It is not to say that freak accidents don’t happen, I have had my fair share of accidents around the world, but my family understood more about the sport and realised it was OK. If you don’t act stupid, you’ll be fine.
What’s your most horrific accident?
The biggest crash I’ve had is probably in Zhuhai a couple of months ago. I was in third and coming around a hairpin. My teammate was behind me fighting another driver when they had a collision. At that time, I was already taking the corner but because of the collision, my teammate flew into the air and t-boned into my hip, wiping both of us out destroying the car. That probably hurt the most.
And your proudest moment?
That would probably be racing at the KL City Grand Prix. It was the first race where I really had huge local support. All my friends came down to watch me race for the first time in my life and I had proper fans coming up to me… it was an amazing weekend. Just the amount of patriotism with Malaysians when they see another Malaysian on track, doesn’t matter who it is, but they go crazy. It was amazing.
Besides racing, you also coach upcoming talents. How hard is that?
In terms of understanding what to do, it wasn’t too hard. I was coached myself and I understand the gist of it. Dealing with kids, I deal with eight to 11 year-olds, you need clarity in your speed. You need to really understand what you’re talking about and make sure that it’s very clear and easy to understand so the kids understand it.
From racing cars, to managing upcoming racers, and now you’re hosting a TV show. How did that happened?
Yes. It was an opportunity that came out of nowhere. I got a call from GOASEAN and they asked if I was interested in a show. Of course I am. One of the most important parts of being a professional racing driver is to constantly be out in the media. It is one of the hardest things to do and with a huge brand like GOASEAN and Astro behind you, I told myself it is an opportunity that I can’t miss. So I went down to the auditions and a couple of weeks later, I got a call saying that I landed a role in a TV show called Go Fast or Go Home, which has racing legs. 

Catch the rest of the interview on CAR's February issue! 

Chris Ng

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