Barber Dodge hires former Robert Yates Engineer, Scot Elkins.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 13) - The Barber Dodge Pro Series has contracted former Robert Yates Racing race engineer and test team manager for the number 88 Ford Taurus, Scot Elkins, to be its race engineer. During the 2004 Champ Car Barber Dodge season, Elkins will oversee data acquisition on the fleet of Reynard-Dodges and will provide data analysis for all series drivers and driver coaches. He's also engineering the remaining BDPS winter test days at Sebring International Raceway in January, February and early March.
Prior to his three-year stint at Yates, from 1996 to 2000 Elkins was the NASCAR business unit manager for Pi Research, the UK-based designer and manufacturer of motorsport electronics and software. At one point during that tenure, he doubled Pi's sales in the Winston Cup and Busch arenas. Elkins recently returned to that position with Pi Research (with the additional responsibility of sports car and road racing); he'll be conducting his Barber Dodge duties under the auspices of his own firm, The Elkins Group.
Elkins, 33, has a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering technology from Indiana State University. In addition to a background of race engineering for IRL and Toyota Atlantic teams, Elkins was the Pi Research data acquisition engineer assigned to Barber Dodge between 1997 and 2000.
"A big part of what drew me to Barber Dodge and the Reynard is the challenge of engineering a single make, where there is a wide range of drivers with varying levels of experience," Elkins said from his office in Huntersville. "It's a wholly different -- and exciting -- opportunity for me. In Cup racing, the challenge is to be as clever as possible within the framework of the rules. Here, much of what I need to do is help make each driver as fast as he or she is capable of. That's not only fun, it's very rewarding, in a different way."
Said Steve Sewell, vice president of motorsport development for Barber Dodge, "Scot is a terrific addition to our engineering team. His experience in pre-race set-up will be invaluable to our newer drivers, plus he's got a lot of experience and background in damper [shock] build specs and testing. All I can say is, 'Barber Dodge drivers, take advantage of a terrific asset!' Of course, we'll also be using Scot on all car updating and other developmental special-projects from here on out."
Barber Dodge Director Rick Ratajczak adds that, "An often overlooked aspect to being a great race engineer is how well they interact and communicate with the drivers. Scot's an excellent communicator, and that's what makes him even more valuable to us.
Elkins lives in Huntersville and is married to wife Julie, with three children.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series, owned and operated by Skip Barber Racing, is the world's leading equal-car open wheel racing series, and is the official professional level open-wheel championship of Champ Car.