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Targa: The Team

A few posts back we annouced our entry in the Targa Newfoundland, and we mentioned we'd be bringing some updates, including information on our team members. Somewhat complete biographies past the jump.

The Driver
Bill Caswell

Bill is a self-taught racing driver, mechanic, and fabricator that rose to worldwide internet fame by taking a $500 Craigslist BMW to a World Rally Championship event in Mexico in March of 2010. His exploits have been featured in outlets like ESPN Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, NPR Radio, Wired.com and Jalopnik.com.

Caswell graduated with an MBA from University of Chicago in 2004 and spent several years working in finance. The economic downturn gave him the opportunity to follow his dreams and after constructing a car on his own, he entered the world of rally in 2009. The next fifteen months saw Caswell embark on his rally adventure culminating at WRC Mexico 2010. With no team, little budget, and only a co-driver for help, he achieved a podium finish in one of the sport’s most grueling events. Bill typically competes with Rally America and NASA Rallysport in the U.S. and has competed in the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, built his own BAJA 1000 racer in less than 14 days and drove it in the race, all the while developing an international following.

Paramount Pictures announced the development of a major motion picture based on his racing life starring Academy-Award-nominated actor Jeremy Renner (‘The Hurt Locker’, ‘The Avengers’, and ‘The Bourne Legacy’). Filming begins this summer.

Bill was voted one of the ten nicest guys in racing by followers of Jalopnik.com: “The quixotic rally racer and his endlessly abused BMW have developed a fervent fan following by all but inviting us along for the ride. He's in it for the raw fun, it shows, and he probably knows what it means to the rest of us who watch him battle against the big guys-- an inspiration, both as a racer and as a public face.”

The Co-Driver
Horst Reinhardt Jr

Horst is an engineer, US Army Reserve officer, experienced mechanic and partner in VRPerformance, a highly respected automotive performance workshop headquartered in SE Michigan. He is active in the BMW Car Club of America where he’s been the editor/publisher of the MotorCity Chapter’s newsletter for the past decade.

After a successful first career in the machine tool business, Horst partnered with his friend Eric Volz in 2005 to open a performance parts retail and installation facility. VRPerformance quickly became the local benchmark for hardcore automotive enthusiasts. The shop’s first race car project hit the track in 2009.

If leaving the safety net of a guaranteed paycheck to open a small business was not adventurous enough, at the same time Horst joined the Army Reserve as a combat engineering officer. Once an idea enters his head, be it competing in the One Lap of America, organizing events at race tracks, opening a business or joining the military, he doggedly pursues the notion to the end.

The Chief
Eric Volz

The “V” of VRPerformance, Eric apprenticed with a race team while attending university in Iowa where he received his degree in mechanical engineering. When not at the shop and under a car, Eric is putting his track experience and engineering degree to work in the vehicle development field.

He met Horst at a BMW club event almost a decade ago. They quickly realized that they shared the same passion for automotive performance and racing. Thanks to Eric, VRPerformance has become the shop in SE Michigan to go to for suspension tuning.

Eric compliments the big vision of the other team members with the attention to detail and discipline to turn those often lofty ideas into reality.

John Sandrock

John is a commercial banker, trading in foreign currencies and energy derivatives. He graduated from the University of Colorado and then returned to his home state of Michigan. During the course of a career in capital markets that has spanned thirty years he raised a family at his suburban Detroit residence.

In common with all the team members, John has been inspired by automobiles since his youth. Early activities included repair shop mechanical work and performance rallying – all before leaving high school. Restoring sports cars, participating in car club events and motorsports all serve as outlets for John’s passion in cars.

One Saturday morning, several years ago, John stopped by the VRPerformance with his E30 M3. He has not been the same since