IMSA/ALMS 2011 Race Director Beaux Barfield, left, with IMSA/ALMS 2011 Clerk of the Course, Paul Walter looking on.Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)
Stairway To Heaven Begins With Background In ChampCar
In American professional exotic automobile racing, the path to on-track race management begins with an extensive history associated with ChampCar.
Announced this week were the appointments of two long time alums of ChampCar to top series race control and management - Beaux Barfield to IZOD IndyCar Series open-wheel racing and Paul Walter moving up to replace Beaux at the IMSA helm for American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón class-based sports car racing.
Last year, we had the pleasure of meeting both men at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the race control center on the North side of the Start/Finish line when the ALMS showed up for its annual six-hour race. The tour of the IMSA operation and staff was very eye-opening and left us with these insights after interviewing Beaux Barfield for a feature posting. Read Beaux Barfield interview here (9-21-2011): http://motorsportsunplugged.com/f1/?p=801
Beaux Barfield in the Race Control tower with the Mazda Raceway Laguna Raceway front straight behind him. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)
This excerpted and edited from YouTube (Edmund Jenks) -
Beaux Barfield & The ALMS/IMSA Race Control Team At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
September 17, 2011 - Video and Description by Edmund Jenks
If the IZOD IndyCar Series needed to update its approach to Race Control, they could not do any better than to adopt the approach used by Beaux Barfield and the ALMS/IMSA Race Control team.
The 2012 season with its introduction of the new Dallara (renamed the DW12 in honor of Dan Wheldon upon untimely his passing) requires a Race Control template that can deal with technology dynamics that will present themselves on the track.
The ALMS has four classes, running at various speeds and handling capabilities, on the track for many hours at a time. The new Dallara (DW12) will have three engines and the potential of many different body aero-package set-ups so a Beaux Barfield understanding, experience, and type of team approach might be just what the doctor would order for the future of the IZOD IndyCar Series Race Control management template.
In the YouTube referenced above, one could clearly see Paul Walte working shoulder-to-shoulder with Beaux Barfield in the Race Control tower above the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track.
Walter is the perfect choice with an equally strong background in open-wheel racing through ChampCar and its evolution.
Here, Paul Walter flips through a technical information catalog just before the ALMS cars get the Green Flag to race. Notice the display at the bottom of the photo - the race car transponders show the field just going through turn five at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)
This excerpted and edited from American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón news release -
IMSA PROMOTES WALTER TO ALMS RACE DIRECTOR
From: American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón
A new season for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón also will see a new Race Director. Sanctioning body IMSA announced today that Paul Walter will take over as the lead official for the ALMS, starting with the 2012 opener at Sebring.
Walter – from Columbus, Ohio – has been an IMSA official since 2005, with his most recent duty as Clerk of the Course. In his new role, Walter will be responsible for all officiating during ALMS races, qualifying and practice sessions. He also will conduct driver and team manager meetings on event weekends.
In addition to his duties in IMSA race control, Walter also serves as Race Director for the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda.
His background includes a variety of top-level motorsports championships including CART and Champ Car, Formula BMW and the North American Touring Car Championship. Walter also was involved on the team level at CART as team manager for Tasman Motorsports Group.
“Paul was the obvious choice to take over race control,” said Scot Elkins, COO of IMSA. “Our competitors know him very well as he has been the de-facto Assistant Race Director for the last three years. His knowledge of the series and the ALMS rulebook is better than anyone, and the consistency he brings to Race Control will help us continue building on what was a fantastic 2011 season.
“We’re extremely proud of the group we have at IMSA and glad to have Paul taking this leadership role within Race Control,” Elkins added. “We appreciate the time Beaux Barfield spent with us and are very proud that IndyCar recognized the level of talent we have within IMSA. We see that as a compliment to our organization and our approach. We wish Beaux the best and look forward to moving into the future with Paul.”
The 2012 American Le Mans Series season gets underway with the 60th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 17.
Score a one, two punch for ChampCar racing culture and competition in American professional exotic automobile racing! Congratulations to both Beaux Barfield and Paul Walter ... long may they rein.
... notes from The EDJE
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