Thursday, February 08, 2007

IMSA Names New Lites Manager

IMSA announced the immediate appointment of Mike Simons as Manager of Development Series, with his direct responsibilities being to manage IMSA Lites presented by Hankook and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin.

Mike's background includes 26 years of motorsports management experience, working with a variety of sanctioning bodies including NASCAR with the Goody's Dash Series, where he was series administrator; the SCCA and CART, where he was with the TransAm series as logistics manager.

"Both of these IMSA series have seen explosive growth, and it was critical to bring someone with Mike's level of experience to be a full time manager for these series, if they were to continue to see the phenomenal growth that they have enjoyed to this point," said Tim Mayer, Chief Operating Officer of IMSA. "The competitors in these series deserve our undivided attention; bringing Mike on-board ensures that we have both a dedicated Manager and the right level of experience to work with these great series."

"I have always enjoyed working closely with competitors," said Simons. "So the opportunity to work directly with the competitors of these two series is a great opportunity. There is still a lot of work to be done between now and the first races at Sebring, but luckily IMSA has retained the experience of many of the same people who have been working with these two series previously. My job is to grow the level of service that the teams can expect to receive, and to grow the profile of these series, as they compete in front of the greatest sports car fans in the world ? the American Le Mans Series fans."

Mike will be based full time at the IMSA office, and has started into his duties immediately.

The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin has rapidly grown into one of the largest Porsche Cup series in the world, this year featuring as many as 50 amateur competitors on the grid. The series will race at seven events this year; six times with the American Le Mans Series and once at the Unites States Grand Prix as a support race to the Formula One event in June. The series in being sponsored for the third year by Michelin, which has supported Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing around the world including with the Michelin SuperCup Series, which is the world-wide pinnacle of the sport, all the way through to supporting club racing events.

The IMSA Lites presented by Hankook grew explosively in its first year in 2006 and looks to continue to grow in 2007, featuring the best in prototype sports racers in three classes. The L:1 Class features the carbon monocoque Elan DP02, designed and produced by the same team that has brought to life the next-generation Champ Car, the DP01. The L:2 class features the very best of the 1000cc class of sports-racer with the West WR-1000L, leading the way in cost-effective, high-performance racing. The L:3 class features the Van Diemen / Elan DP06, which is the SCCA Sports Racer class of car, and is marketed by SCCA Enterprises. This class is the most cost effective way to race in front of the crowds of the American Le Mans Series, which all three classes will do at six events this year.

Drivers and teams from both of these series compete as part of the sports-car festivals that the American Le Mans Series provides, operated and sanctioned by IMSA, which also operates the American Le Mans Series. For GT and Prototype drivers, teams and owners, both series represent a viable step towards the top levels of the sport.

[ IMSA Lites Series ]