Allison named new Ford Racing Boss
Jamie Allison, a 22-year Ford veteran with experience in engineering, product planning and marketing, has been named director, Ford North America Motorsports, effective January 1, 2010, it was announced today.
Allison, who most recently has been Ford Performance Group Manager, will replace current director Brian Wolfe, who has been named to a new position in global product development by Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development and Tony Brown, group vice president, Ford Global Purchasing.
“I’m excited about the challenge of helping take Ford’s racing program forward,” said Allison, who has been part of the Ford Racing management team for just over six years. “For a kid who wanted to work for Ford Motor Company, to help carry forward a tradition that Henry Ford himself started is something special.
“Brian Wolfe really made a great difference in the program in his time as director, opening up so many opportunities to reach out, not just the professional racers, but to the grassroots and sportsman racers as well. He installed a philosophy that we were going to be ‘racer-friendly’ in all that we do, and we as a team will carry that forward.”
Allison joined Ford Motor Company in 1987, after graduating from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with an electrical engineering degree. He later returned to earn a MBA in marketing from the same university.
He began his career at Ford in product engineering, and spent the first 10 years of his career working within engineering and product planning.
In 1997, Allison made the transition to product marketing, and held a series of marketing jobs within the company before joining Ford Racing Technology in 2003, where he has overseen the Ford Racing Performance Parts business, as well as North America Motorsports Marketing.
Under Allison’s leadership, the Ford Racing Performance Parts business was transformed by offering ready-to-race vehicles for production-based racing, Performance Packs and new vehicle modifications for enthusiasts. The team also partnered with Shelby Autos on the launch of exciting new Shelby performance vehicles, and created the Ford Performance Group as an outreach to Ford Clubs—all of which reinvigorated Ford's support of performance enthusiasts.
Wolfe became director, Ford North America Motorsports, in July 2008, and has had a major impact on the program since then.
Ford captured Mustang championships this season in NHRA Funny Car, Grand-Am KONI and SCCA World Challenge GT, as well as Ford’s first Daytona 500 win since 2000.
Under Wolfe’s direction, the company also launched the NASCAR Nationwide Series Mustang, secured official vehicle sponsorships with the NHRA and American Drag Racing League, and assisted with bringing the European Fiesta to a successful racing debut in North America, with a second-place at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and a 1-3-4 finish in its X Games rally competition debut.
Wolfe opened the door to additional grassroots opportunities for Ford in circle track racing and road racing, but may be best known as being the man to help bring the Cobra Jet Mustang sportsman drag racing car back to the track after 40 years, along with Ford’s re-entry into NHRA Pro Stock.
The 2008 Cobra Jet won its initial outing at Pomona in February 2009, and went on to set records across the country. A 2010 version of the Cobra Jet will go into production in January, with all 50 being sold in advance of production.