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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Aug. 12, 2014) – When she was only eight years old, Brooklyn Lutz’s father built her a go-cart, and since then they have enjoyed a mutual interest in racing that today has left the University of Central Missouri senior public relations major from Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada yearning for a possible career in the sport. Fueling a desire to combine her skills in public relations with her love for auto racing, Lutz had the opportunity of a lifetime this summer when she was selected as a “Fan Reporter” by ZF Motorsports during the Tudor United SportsCar Championship earlier this summer at Watkins Glen International in New York.
Lutz learned about the opportunity through Adam Horn, one of her UCM PR professors who also works for ZF Motorsports. To be chosen, she submitted a question that she was selected to ask Andy Lally, driver of #44 Magnus Racing Porsche, during a video produced Motor Racing Network. During the experience at the race track, she also met several other individuals who work in auto racing and the auto PR industry, as well as the entire Porsche North American race team. Adding to this rare opportunity, she met Patrick Dempsey, a popular race car driver who is also known for his acting career and his role in the hit television program, “Grey’s Anatomy.”
UCM student Brooklyn Lutz, right, joins Andy Lally, left, Magnus Racing Porsche driver, and Toni Rizzuti, ZF race reporter, for an interview at the Tudor United SportsCar Championship earlier this summer at Watkins Glen International in New York
“I learned so much from this amazing experience,” said Lutz, who is president of the UCM Student Public Relations Society of America. “I had the opportunity to speak with a former PR director of NASCAR and she gave me some really good advice on how to make it in the auto racing industry. I also enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at how the industry works. I found out that it is very fast paced and definitely an industry in which I would love to work.”
As a longtime fan of auto racing, Lutz was already familiar with many of the drivers, particularly Lally, who competes in several different racing circuits. These include NASCAR’s Nationwide and Sprint series.
“Meeting him and getting to interview him and hear his strategy on how he adapts between racing in different cars and racing circuits was awesome,” she remarked.
Lutz said the Tudor United SportsCar Championship differs from NASCAR in that in NASCAR all of the cars race in the same series, and the vehicles all have similar features. In Tudor racing, four cars, which vary in their makeup, compete at the same time in the Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans and Daytona races, and there is a winner for each race.
“Each of these series differ in the build of the car, so the Prototype series is able to run much faster than the others, making it very interesting to watch,” she said. Lutz added that with a little experience a fan can actually identify the different types of cars just by the sound of their engines.
Lutz is pleased with her decision to attend UCM. As a student in the public relations program, she is planning to complete her bachelor’s degree in December 2014. She said the hand-on experiences are particularly beneficial, and will enable her to “graduate with the skills and knowledge most employers are looking for.”
“What I like most about the PR field is that it is always changing. No two days are alike,” she said. “UCM’s program is great because we are taught by experience rather than a textbook. We work with actual clients in our classes and are pretty much thrown into the industry before we graduate.”
Consistent with what UCM has termed, “learning to a greater degree,” Lutz believes her role as president PRSSA, along with two internships, and volunteer work in PR for non-profit organizations are contributing to her development as a future PR professional and a great job candidate.
“I believe that my outside learning experiences will be what separate me from other job candidates, and I can’t stress enough about how important they are,” Lutz noted.
Of course, the opportunity to share a favorite pastime with her dad isn’t going to hurt her career ambitions, as she learns more and more about the racing industry.
“We visit the local track to watch the drag and stock car races and watch the professional races on TV together,” Lutz said. “And I have always been interested in the actual make-up of the cars racing, too. I enjoy working on cars with my dad and walking through the garages at races to see and talk with the teams working on the cars.”
Gaining confidence from her experience as a “Fan Reporter, Lutz sums up the benefits of this recent opportunity noting, “I have always wanted to pursue a career in the auto racing industry, so having this experience with ZF just made me realize I want it even more. The jobs are high demand and it’s difficult to break into the industry, but I’m confident that if I’m persistent, and I will land my dream job in racing.”
See Lutz’s interview with Lally at http://youtu.be/7N1mVQF80do.