Through The Esses - Ryan Hermans Horsepower Ranch Is Now Open For Business
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Ryan Herman of Horsepower Ranch Racing
02/23/07 -
© Andrew S. Hartwell

At the season opening round of the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, held at Daytona International Speedway on January 26th, there were 104 cars entered in the race. Yes, 104. With that many production-based race cars chasing after a win, it surely takes an extreme level of intensity, and a magnified sense of competitive spirit, to prevail against such incredible odds. The same can be said for anyone who embarks on a journey into the realm of uncertainty that envelopes any new business venture. Risks taken on the track mirror the risks taken to establish and build a business. Granted, erroneous moves on the track can have dire physical consequences whereas an unsound move in business will not normally put a life at risk, but there is no denying that a consequence of failure is a reality in both worlds.

For some people, combining the risk factors of both worlds is exactly the kind of challenge they have a passion to overcome. This is certainly the case with Ryan Herman, the owner of one of the newest teams to enter the KONI Challenge Series, the Horsepower Ranch racing team (HPR).

Herman, while still a young man at 33 years of age, has experienced the exhilarating and often exhausting process of building a business from scratch, having it grow substantially on principles and practices that are rooted in integrity and fairness, and ultimately find that business to be valued highly enough by the competition for them to want to buy him out. An astute businessman, Herman sold out while his business was at the top of its game. Having tasted success in one field, he decided it was time for him to start over and attempt to build a new business. This time he would again incorporate the same solid principles that worked before, but he had one additional element to add; a passion for racing.

We learned that the business model for Horsepower Ranch Racing is to race a team car using professionals in pursuit of a championship, and support that effort by providing two additional Porsche 996s for customers to drive. The model further includes having all three cars prepared to win and not favoring the team car over the others.

We spent some time talking with Herman about his new venture into the world of running a professional race team that provides an outlet for would-be racers to try out their skills against some of the finest professional drivers in the sport of road racing today.

I grew up in Maui, Hawaii and moved to California to go to college in Los Angeles. About ten years ago, after college, I started a mortgage company in Orange County. I spent those last ten years growing the company and about six months ago I sold it to the HSBC banking organization.

Several years back, as my company became more successful, I decided to pursue an interest in racing by attending the Bondurant School of Performance Driving. I was 30 years old when I decided to get into racing. I always loved driving fast. I used to go speeding down the interstate convinced that I was a race car driver! Isn't that what everybody does?

When I found I had actually reached a point in my life where I had the funding to pursue my interest, I decided from both a personal and business standpoint that I was going to get involved in something that I had a lot of passion for; something I could see myself doing for the next 40 years.

Herman decided to create a new race team that would apply those same basic principles that helped him build a successful mortgage company. Lightning is said to strike twice in the same place because the conditions were right the first time. Herman intends to mirror the right' conditions of his first business in his second one.

We don't have a mission statement per se, but we do have four principles we use to guide our business.
1. Show integrity by following through with our commitments.
2. Develop and prepare fast race cars.
3. Use enthusiasm as a key el