Bisignano goes from pit lane to peaceful
SUMMIT COUNTY – John Bisignano’s life is a mixture of pit lane fury and the stillness of Boreas Pass Road.
The 30-year Summit County resident and race-day broadcaster for the Speed Channel is on the road with the Grand Prix tour 200 days a year. He loves his job, but he couldn’t handle it without knowing he has a peaceful place in Breckenridge to hang his hat.
“When I travel, it’s noise and congestion and working to deadlines, and I come back here and I can recharge my jets three times faster in Summit County than any other place, because it’s so polarized from a race weekend,” he said. “Here I’m in the extreme of mountains, and when I’m not here, I’m in the extreme of motorsports. And somewhere in there, there’s a balance.”
Bisignano bought his Breckenridge home in 1964, just before he began what has become a 35-year career in motorsports. He was a driver from 1968 to 1977 on various circuits in Europe and North America before bowing out of the game to develop his skills as a marketer and promoter. He has since become a veteran broadcaster, following the Grand Prix around five continents and focusing on live reports from pit lane for ESPN, ABC and the Speed Channel.
He is currently devoted to the Grand Prix of Denver, which returns to the roads surrounding the Pepsi Center Aug. 29-31 for the second year. Bisignano is the official spokesman for the event.
Aug. 29 will be reserved for qualifying, Aug. 30 will be a feeder league race and Aug. 31 will be the marquee CART race.
“The people of Colorado should not watch this event from their couch,” Bisignano said. “I would just love, during that three-day period, to turn around and every half hour see someone from Summit County.”
There are race fanatics in Summit County. In fact, the county has recently produced two aspiring drivers in Summit High School graduates Mike Potekhen and Craig Beardsley. Beardsley was also a world-class ski racer as a junior.
“There’s a lot of gearheads up here,” Bisignano said. “Motor racing and skiing and snowboarding are very much alike. It’s a high-speed sport that depends on the ability of one individual to master the equipment that he’s using to go very fast.”
Despite his hefty travel schedule, Bisignano still manages to ski almost 75 days per year. He’s also been mountain biking for about 15 years and, as a hiker, tries to summit a couple of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks each summer.
“There’s a lot of parallels between the lifestyle we have up here and motor racing,” he said. “Motor racing is just a little bit louder and the top speed is a little bit greater.”
Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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