The Pacific Northwest is well-known for its automotive prowess—from vibrant shows to competitive drifting—and no one showcases that more than KA Racing Motorsports.This startup company sells performance enhancements for JDM vehicles, such as Honda, Mazda, Acura, Nissan, and more.
“KA Racing is…a company that focuses on motorsports advancement,” Siddick said. “For us, it’s more of a way of life.”
Rashaad Siddick, CEO of KA Racing Motorsports, grew up in Zimbabwe, where his vehicular passions took root. His whole family regularly went to racetracks, whether or not his uncle was participating. And, because of that, Siddick would often find himself in the pits among cars and drivers.
“It was called Donny Brooks,” Siddick remembered. “My whole family used to watch—my sister and my mom, too.”
The smell of racing fuel in the air left a lasting impression on Siddick. An impression that later manifested into KA Racing Motorsports.
“I was introduced to it at a young age. I became infatuated,” Siddick said. “I remember two cars—two BMWs—came up from South Africa that were part of a race team down there. I remember telling myself that ‘One day, I’m going to be like those guys’. When they came through, they came through.”
While studying at Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, Siddick met Selali Kalevor. Not the level of enthusiast that Siddick was, the culture grew on Kalevor and turned him into a bona fide devotee of driving. Of course, the flourishing friendship helped nurture that new-found addiction to cars (and an appreciation for Siddick’s full bolt-on Acura Legend).
“He’s from Ghana and I’m from Zimbabwe…African’s have an instant bond,” Siddick said. “So, we instantly connected and became best friends; not just through cars but life.”
Kalevor is the financial and regulatory compliance mastermind, having added ‘automotive enthusiast’ to the list.
Siddick knew the crew wasn’t complete though. He needed someone who could do engineering via SolidWorks and other CAD software. Enter: Mike Hagen.
“Over winter break, Mike came by and we started talking. We vibed,” Siddick recalls. “People focus too much on life, the business aspect and the fundamentals that vibe within people.”
Hagen majored in engineering, with a focus on vehicle engineering through his passion for cars. And, even thought Siddick didn’t have pay capital, Hagen was on board for KA Racing Motorsports.
“He looked me in the eye and said “alright”, and ever since then we started pushing work and making products,” Siddick said. “What came first was the friendship, then the business.”
In their post-college lives, they’ve not only started the KA Racing Motorsports business but have also found time to compete in local drifting competitions and build their own Pro/Am vehicles (two competition spec 2JZ swapped Nissan 240s). Even their personal builds are adventurous, to say the least; a a RB26 swapped Acura Legend and a 1UZ swapped FC RX-7.
“KA Racing is legitimizing what we want to do in the field we want to be in,” Siddick said.
While producing their own lineup of performance products, KA Racing Motorsports is also competing in local drifting competitions. They are already making preparations for the 2019 drifting season, including contracting drivers and developing their Nissan 240SX build.
“We want a presence in motorsports,” Rashaad reiterates this, and it’s apparent that there are plans to branch out to different competitive forms of motorsports in the future.
Siddick and his crew are working around the clock engineering new products, forming their drift team, pushing content creation, and working on personal projects. KA Racing Motorsports embodies what it means to be a true enthusiast, and their tagline epitomizes the car lifestyle:
“Because the love of motorsports is international.”
This story has been updated and edited for accuracy.
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