FIA Veteran Gabriel Cadringher Named GRAND-AM Chief Technical Consultant Gabriel Cadringher will take 30 years of expertise working at international motorsports' highest levels to GRAND-AM Road Racing in 2012 in the role of chief technical consultant, GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe announced today.
In his new role, Cadringher will work closely with Managing Director of Racing Operations Mark Raffauf and the GRAND-AM competition department to support implementation of many new engineering-based initiatives including aerodynamics, engine and turbo technologies. GRAND-AM and NASCAR also will benefit from the deep respect of the global motorsports community that Cadringher brings to this position.
"GRAND-AM and NASCAR have developed a comprehensive and synergistic strategy that should add several new elements in the future, and Gabriel is an important addition to support that future vision," GRAND-AM Chief Executive Officer Ed Bennett said.
"This strategy, combined with Gabriel coming aboard, has the goal of making GRAND-AM's door-to-door style of road racing even more safe and exciting, in the process enhancing our status as North America's premier sports car organization."
For 2012, leading European manufacturers Ferrari and Audi will produce cars specifically for Rolex Series GT competition, while GRAND-AM continues talks with DTM series leaders and manufacturer participants in Germany with a goal of possibly launching that type of racing in North America in 2013.
"Throughout his career, Cadringher has been at the cutting edge of new technologies," Bledsoe said. "He has enormous credibility world-wide and will be an excellent ambassador for GRAND-AM as we continue to enhance our series on the world stage."
After working as an aircraft engineer, Cadringher joined the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) in 1982 as director of the technical department and president of the Technical and Homologation Commission. He was also technical delegate for the FIA Formula One World Championship for 10 years.
Cadringher became president of the FIA Manufacturers' Commission in 1993, representing all of the automobile manufacturers from around the world taking part in motorsport on the FIA's governing body, the World Council. This role included constant liaison with the auto manufacturers looking to introduce new technologies into motorsports, a role that required high level negotiation skills to unite often disparate interests.
"GRAND-AM, with NASCAR, is one of the great organizations in American motorsports," Cadringher said. "I'm honored and looking forward to the new challenge and opportunity. I'm happy to take my experience to GRAND-AM, where I can learn and gain in my appreciation of the American way of motorsports."
A native of Turin, Italy, Cadringher joined the Panavia Company in 1976 where he designed wings for combat aircraft. He was personally recruited by then FIA President Jean-Marie Balestre in 1982, leading to a 30-year career with the governing body of international motorsports.
Cadringher is fluent in five languages. He authored Manifesti Navali (Ocean Liner Posters), an art book recently published in four languages that traces the history of transatlantic travel through posters of the great passenger ships.
He will be based at GRAND-AM headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla. and work closely with the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.