IMPA has had many presentations about using fuels other than gasoline for motor vehicles, but this month’s presentation takes the discussion into a very different arena – motorsports. Scott Atherton, president and chief executive officer of Panoz Motor Sports Group and the American LeMans Series will explain the ALMS’s expansion of its 2007 mandate for competitors to run on street-legal alternative fuels to include a green racing award for 2008 with the protocols for the competition affirmed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. ALMS racers last season ran on either zero-sulfur diesel fuel or an E10 ethanol/gasoline blend, both of which can be purchased at the pumps of neighborhood filling stations.
The January 17 program begins with a reception at noon followed by Atherton’s presentation and a question-and-answer session at the 3 West Club, 3 West 51st Street, New York. Tickets for members are $35, $45 for others.
Scott Atherton biography:
Scott Atherton is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Panoz Motor Sports Group (PMSG), one of the most comprehensive motorsports companies in the world. Recognized as an industry leader in all areas of motorsports, PMSG encompasses the American Le Mans Series, three race tracks, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) sanctioning body and Elan Technologies. In his leadership role, Atherton is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the Series including scheduling, relationships with participating manufacturers, team owners, sponsors and event promoters, and the Series’ executive duties with sanctioning body IMSA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the controlling entity of Le Mans. In total, Atherton oversees the operations of 10 Panoz Motor Sports Group companies with collective annual revenues of approximately $70 million.
Hand-picked by Panoz Motor Sports Group founder Don Panoz in 2000, Atherton is given credit for the amazing development of the multi-faceted Panoz motorsports companies. In just eight short years PMSG has achieved Panoz’ dream of becoming the only completely vertically integrated North American-based motorsports company in the world.
The holdings within the Panoz Motor Sports Group include the American Le Mans Series, Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway, Mosport International Raceway and Elan Technologies (comprised of Elan Composites, Elan Power Products, Elan Precision Engineering and Van Diemen). Under Atherton’s guidance, Elan Technologies pulled off a motorsports coup in October of 2005 when the renowned builder of race cars and racing engines beat out seven other competitors to be the exclusive builder and supplier of the new chassis for the Champ Car World Series beginning in 2007. Elan Technologies, an ISO 9001-certified manufacturing company, also won contracts to build the new European-based Superleague Formula car as well as numerous aerospace and defense-related composite parts.
Among his many responsibilities, Atherton serves on the board of Panoz Auto Development – builder of the Panoz Esperante sports car – and is active with the ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee for the United States) and LMS (Le Mans Series) boards.
There is no such thing as a “typical” week for Atherton. A weekly business schedule for him may include meetings with auto manufacturers in Detroit, conducting business in the Greater Atlanta corporate office, traveling to France for a day of meetings with the ACO or England to visit the Van Diemen facilities, returning to North America for meetings at Mosport International Raceway or Sebring International Raceway, and traveling to New York City to participate in a press conference announcing an exciting new American Le Mans Series initiative.
Atherton joined the Panoz organization in August of 2000 after serving as President and General Manager of California Speedway in Fontana, CA. He served in a senior management capacity with Penske Motorsports, Inc. for several years, first as president and GM of Nazareth (PA) Speedway before shifting to the Penske Motorsports, Inc.-owned California facility. Penske Motorsports was acquired by International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 1998, and Atherton remained with ISC until he accepted the position with Panoz. Prior to his time with Penske and ISC, Atherton served as President and General Manager of Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, CA, for five years. He also formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and is a past president of the promoter group of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART).