It takes four wheels to make a car roll. This is why a team comprised of four students from Algonquin College and Carleton University works so well.
Kishan Sondegar, Brandon Abou-Zeidan, Julien Mamazza and Ramzi Estaphan are the founders of the Greasy Fix, Ottawa-Gatineau’s blog about the local automotive community. With a focus on the local automotive businesses and what our city has to offer car-wise, the blog aims to help fans like them feel as passionate as they do.
Beyond that, they want to get people to the track, build cars, promote driver safety, help charities and most importantly, grow the city’s niche car community.
They came up with TGF in 2016. “Some people think [the name] sounds dirty,” explains Kishan Sondegar, a computer engineering student at Algonquin, “but let’s be real: if you’re into cars, you’re bound to get a little greasy.”
Now, as winter slowly but surely comes to an end, the team is busy planning events to unite all petrolheads in the city.
“This year is all about explosive growth,” says Brandon Abou-Zeidan, Algonquin College automotive service tech graduate and team member. “It’s about expanding our idea and showcasing more of this damn city’s gems.”
One of the many events they’ve been planning over winter is the Run91 Rally, an event founded and organized by The Greasy Fix taking place on June 23.
The trip begins at Calabogie Motorsports Park and ends in Cayuga where rally goers will travel twisty, windy roads, the perfect recipe for a fun time behind the wheel.
“The rally is one we’re all so pumped about, we want everyone to get a taste of the cars,” says Abou-Zeidan. “Anyone is welcome. Being able to cruise with people from different walks of life and showing each other what the car community does is amazing.”
The team says they’ve been working around the clock to get as organized as possible for the two-day rally. “We probably spent five days straight of skipping lunch breaks and dinners to figure out the camping situation and get costs as low as possible for attendees,” says Sondegar. “This is our first attempt at an event this size, but we see people getting excited about it and it really makes us feel like we’re headed in the right direction.”
Planning an event of this magnitude does have it’s downfalls though.
“We work full time and do this on the side, time is always a factor,” explains Sondegar. “The hardest thing to break through is our competition from similar car pages. They make us look like what we’re doing is bland and boring, but we plan to crush them this year. Metaphorically, of course.”
Motivated by last years success and experiences, they’re keen to keep pushing. “I think our best moment from last year was successfully getting media passes for the Redbull GRC that came to Ottawa,” says Abou-Zeidan. “At the time we were pretty small, and to be accepted into a huge international event like that was awesome. It really fired us up for this year.”
Through trial and error, the auto blog has been learning what it takes to own their end of the media spectrum. “There are so many styles in the automotive world,” says Sondegar. “Not everyone likes stance, or trucks, or supercars or whatever – we all understand the work and dedication it took. That’s the purpose of The Greasy Fix.”
“We’re here to make a stand, bridge gaps and create connections. Let’s make this community less devided.”