In 2008, after the market crashed, Shai’s personal friend, Joe Bacal, came to him with an idea. Having just beaten Hodgkin’s lymphoma and quitting his job as a test driver for Toyota Motor Sales, Joe wanted to pursue his passion and become a professional off-road race car driver. Shai and Joe devised a plan to pitch Lexus as a sponsor, and the rest became history.
Joe and Shai put together a sponsorship proposal, including a rendering of a Lexus LX-570 Luxury SUV as an off-road race car.
They presented the proposal and concept to Lexus corporate and were met with the phrase, “This has never been done before — Lexus doesn’t race off-road.”
In other words, it was a yes.
After procuring a Lexus Factory sponsorship, the team also approached the Cancer Treatment Centers of America for supporting sponsorship.
Two LX-570 race cars were built, along with all the support (chase) vehicles. H1 branded everything like a Formula 1 Factory Team, from the vehicle wraps to driving suits, helmets, chase crew apparel, hero cards, marketing assets to promote the team, and all video and photography.
When Joe showed up to the first race — the world-famous Baja 500 — people weren’t sure what they were seeing. He quickly convinced them what he already knew: he was a world-class off-road race car driver.
Joe placed first in his class in his first race.
He went on to race for six years, winning multiple championships and awards; he competed in 18 races, finished 16, and placed top three in most of them.
“It is not often that I meet someone who is directly inline with the latest trends — Shai Harary is one of those people who Just gets it. My entire program is successful due do the hard work and artistic level of his team. From vehicle renderings, to web design theRE really is no other option. Shai and I recently shot a series of videos for Lexus and the H1 team was AMAZING… I have been on set shooting for years and this professional team was spot on when it comes to high quality, being effective and operating in a safe controlled environment. “THIS IS THE STANDARD”