THE Coronavirus has influenced everyone in society, with the impact forcing many to innovate to get by.
WORDS & IMAGES: Mark Walker
Introducing Production Sports Car racer Nick Leontsinis, a lifelong fruiterer, whose wholesale business out of the Rocklea Markets in Brisbane is one of many hit for six in recent weeks.
Like others in the goods and services space, he has had to adapt to overcome, swiftly converting his business into a fruit and vegetable home delivery service, which has taken off within the tight-knit motorsport community.
“Things got very different, very difficult, very very quickly!” said Nick.
“So, we had to adapt, we’ve gone from wholesaling to a bunch of wonderful restaurants and cafes, to not very many restaurants and cafes, and they are now struggling to just do takeaways.
“We’ve gone back to the old school, the 70s and 80s when there were home deliveries… and it’s kind of fitting, I’m out of a motor racing job, and I’m almost out of a fruit job, so let’s combine the two!”
Nick’s workday kicks off at 2am at the markets, a venue like many that has introduced a raft of changes to the logistics chain to ensure safe distancing is practiced.
From there, its behind the wheel of his less preferred racer where he gets his driving fix.
“It’s been a struggle… but the feedback so far has been great, essentially we’ve just spent the past week sowing seeds with new people, the word of mouth has spread, our social page, the Fruitologists Queensland has been fantastic,” said Nick.
“Our aim is just to keep the doors open, it’s not to make big dollars, it’s not to do anything above surviving.
“We’re still there to support whatever’s left from the wholesale perspective, and there’s still a few wonderful little places that are doing takeaways, and we’re doing everything we can to help them.
“The single positive out of it is that we’re still working, and there’s a lot of people struggling.
“All we’re trying to do is do it for minimal margin, so that people can order next week when they don’t have money, and the week after that until life gets back to normal.”
Like many frustrated racers, it’s the online motorsport world that has been given a solid workout.
“We’re stuck with iRacing… my little old Hyper Stimulator has copped a caning at the moment!” Said Nick.
“Everyone can’t wait for the Supercars and the whole racing world to get back to it, and for me to get my bum back into a car.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s amateur or pro, we’re all in it together.”
The verdict from the author: absolute top-notch quality fruit and veg, way, way better value than copping a price gouge at the supermarket, the delivery came with a bog roll (genuinely lifesaving), and its home delivered, so you totally avoid supermarket rage and the spread of disease.
The best bit is, it’s keeping life going within the motorsport family – at times like this, if we stick together and play the game, the outcome at the other end will be better for all.
If you’re in Brisbane, hit Nick up through the Fruitologists Queensland Facebook page, and tell him the Race Torque sent you!
To everyone else out there, hit us up on our socials at @TheRaceTorque, we love to tell good stories from within the sport, especially in these interesting days ahead.