Dad, I didn't know exactly how I should have put this into words, and maybe you will find this a tad bit cheesy, but I wanted to take some time and thank you for everything you have done for me and how you have shaped me to be the person I am today.
Growing up I remember I had boxes full of toy cars that I would spend hours with playing on top of my bed, making car sounds and then never cleaning the mess up. You had bought me so many cars throughout my childhood years that half of my closet was just full of storage boxes for me to put them back in. You always took some time to show me all those classic Ayrton Senna-era F1 races you recorded on VHS tapes, and explained to me what everything was, and who everyone was. I remember you used to take me to the local race tracks a few times a year to show me the magnificent racing scene our home country had to offer. Those were some fantastic memories I still have in my mind to this day, but there is one day in particular that I will never forget.
On January 27, 2007, you woke me up early in the morning, telling me to pack up. I of course thought I needed to pack up for a regular school day, until you asked me where we were going. When I gave up after several guesses, I remember you pulling out two tickets from your pocket and saying those unforgettable words that undoubtedly changed my life forever; "We're going to the Rolex 24". You surprised me with the biggest gift a 13 year old racing fan could ever ask for. This was a time where I was just starting to become interested in sports car racing, especially in endurance racing, but I wasn't too sure how long I was going to be interested in it, until you took me to Daytona.
Dad, if it wasn't for that trip, I probably wouldn't be who I am today. After experiencing such an event, I had decided what I wanted to be when I grew up... ok I wanted to be a racing driver but of course that didn't work out very well. However, I knew that my life will be around the automotive/motorsports industry. This is what I wanted to do. 10 years later and thanks to you I became a design engineer at just 22 years of age and already working inside the automotive industry.
Last year, while being thankful for what you have done for me, and thinking about all these fantastic childhood memories, I asked myself how I can repay you back. Since you surprised me for my first Rolex 24 visit, I thought I'd do the same for your first visit... but this time, Le Mans. Tomorrow morning you and I head over to Le Mans, France, where we'll be experiencing the most prestigious endurance race in the world. Dad, I can't thank you enough, honestly. You deserve this trip and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed my first endurance race. This one's for you. I love you.