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.
“It’s an honor to be named Race Director for the American Le Mans Series and to continue working closely with the tremendous group of professionals that have made my years at IMSA so enjoyable,” Walter said. “I look forward to the challenges ahead, building on the continuity and success that our dedicated competitors and everyone at IMSA and the American Le Mans Series have worked so hard to develop over these years. I’m proud of our Race Control team and expect to build on our strengths and consistency.”
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.
He founded Metropolis Motorsports Group in 2000; the firm specializes in technical consultancy and project management.
“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. It also will mark the first race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. Visit sebringraceway.com for details on tickets and accommodations.