Being the fastest and best driver on the track is Greg Vandersluis’ goal when he races.
Helping out, giving back, being friendly and making driving safer one person at a time is his higher calling.
Professionally, Greg is the lead driving training instructor at the Bosch proving grounds in Flat Rock, Michigan and winter-proving grounds in Baudette, Minnesota. These locations are where Bosch Mobility Solutions innovations get put to the test.
Greg teaches a performance and safety driving program that helps to provide engineers with the driving skills to validate and calibrate their innovations on the test tracks. The program which he had modified and advanced meets some of the highest standards in the industry.
Greg’s mission goes beyond his job. Several weekends a year he and other professional drivers volunteer to teach new teenage drivers how to avoid being in an accident.
The teens get instruction and hands-on experience in skid control, emergency lane change and ABS emergency braking. They also learn about the hazards of distracted driving, what to do when stopped by law enforcement and the true costs and responsibilities of owning a vehicle.
Giving back, helping out and always being friendly and approachable comes from his family’s legacy.
In the 1920s, his great-grandparents came to the U.S. from Holland. Despite barely being able to make ends meet, they mentored, fed and housed other newly arrived Dutch immigrants. As Greg sees it, “what I am doing is very small compared to the sacrifices they made”.
Greg’s love of racing came from his grandfather who raced sports cars as a hobby. “I always wanted to be like my grandfather and make him proud. We were very, very close.”
As a teenager, Greg drove a racecourse lap so fast he tied his grandfather’s best time on that same track with the same car. Turns out Greg was a natural and he was hooked on racing.
Even in the highly competitive sport of auto racing, Greg is always helping and being friendly, even with competitors.
This approach to life led him into a friendship with a shy fellow competitor who just happened to work for Bosch. That connection eventually led Greg to his current job. It also shows that when you give you get something back.
As Greg sees it, “I’m having this great life because so many people made a difference for me and because I want to make a difference and pay that forward.”