Blackforest Team Founder Brian Nott dies
Brian Nott, who founded the GRAND-AM Road Racing team Blackforest Motorsports and was a winning crew chief across several racing disciplines, died Friday in DeLand, Fla., after a long illness. He was 62.
Born June 5, 1948 in Portsmouth, England, Nott's early training and experience in the highly competitive British motorsports arena allowed him to become a well-known and well-respected race engineer. He moved to the U.S. in 1985, quickly establishing himself as one of the premier race engineers.
Some of his top accomplishments came in the open-wheel ranks. He worked in the Champ Car World Series and IndyCar Series, and in 1996, he led Hemelgarn Racing and driver Buddy Lazier to victory in the 81st Indianapolis 500 as the crew chief.
However, his expertise was not limited to open-wheel competition. He also won the 12 Hours of Sebring as a crew chief and in 2002, formed Blackforest Motorsports, a sports car team based in DeLand. In 2005, Blackforest earned its first victory in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, winning overall and in the Grand Sport class of the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. It marked the first time a Ford Mustang FR500C model had triumphed in GRAND-AM's street stock series.
Nott also guided the team to a victory in the season finale at Virginia International Raceway, which provided them a fourth-place finish in the standings. Blackforest also won the opening three races of the 2007 season.
Nott retired from racing in 2009, and Blackforest was passed on to his son Chris. The team, now known as TPN/Blackforest, is now owned by longtime friend Tom Nastasi.
Nott is survived by his sons Chris, Benjamin and Daniel, and daughters Jennifer and Peggy.
A service is being planned for Tuesday, Dec. 14. Additional information can be found by contacting Chris Nott at firstname.lastname@example.org.