VIR: SAMAX Motorsport preview

The SAMAX Motorsport GT cars will be back in action this week, preparing for the April 23 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. Rob Bell of Northampton, England, will return to the No. 17 SAMAX Porsche 911...

The SAMAX Motorsport GT cars will be back in action this week, preparing for the April 23 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. Rob Bell of Northampton, England, will return to the No. 17 SAMAX Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. His co-driver will be announced later this week. Dave Lacey and Greg Wilkins, both of Toronto, will share driving duty in the No. 71 SAMAX/Doncaster Racing Porsche.

international expertise

Rob Bell found an interesting place to tune up for the U.S. race -- Istanbul, site of a Le Mans Series race on April 9. He hasn't yet raced on the 3.27-mile Virginia road course, but his worldwide experience will stand him in good stead.

"For the last three years I have been driving all over the world on tracks I had not seen before, so this is no different to any other race for me," he said. "I will make sure I get there early so I can walk the track and look at some of last year's data to try and get an idea which gear I should be in for each corner. The important thing is not to push too hard too soon because you can't learn anything if you're in the gravel or your car is being repaired."

objective: performance

The SAMAX/Doncaster group combines business and sport, using their race experience to enhance business results. Although they carry sponsor logos on the No. 71 Porsche, they believe the real value for corporate partners is beyond the track. They present performance seminars and invite executives to work with them during race weekends, demonstrating ways to improve corporate performance in areas such as safety, communication, planning, preparation, strategy, execution and cost management.

"We, like our sponsors, don't see significant value in terms of a logo flying by at 100 miles an hour and reaching a fairly narrow audience. The value for our sponsors comes from at-track activities and using the vehicle and the program as corporate assets," Dave Lacey noted. "Getting a management team out to the track and involved in a team-building session that revolves around strategy or quick decision-making and technology has real value."

SAMAX Motorsport owner Peter Baron adds his experience in international finance to the team program, proving performance doesn't have to be expensive.

"We want to be the team that sets the standard, that everybody compares themselves to -- a professional, business-savvy team operating in a healthy internal environment. We want everything to be and look professional," he said. "It doesn't mean spending lots of money; it means spending effectively."

-samax

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Peter Baron , Rob Bell , Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins