ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- SCCA Pro Racing has named Kevin Bayless, of Brownsburg, Ind., as Senior Technical Manager for the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series.
Bayless, 32, joins the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series with 17 years of motorsports experience, including five years as Senior Project Engineer for General Motors Motorsports, where he performed aerodynamics and chassis design for Chevrolet's Trans-Am program, and for the last two years he was a vehicle dynamics engineer with Walker Racing's CART Champ Car team. Bayless' background also includes chassis design with IMSA GTS and Pikes Peak hillclimb cars as well as aerodynamic development in the IMSA GTP, NHRA and NASCAR Winston Cup series.
"I'm pleased to be returning to the Trans-Am," said Bayless. "The series has a loyal following, a strong entrant base and great competition, and I look forward to using my experience and technical knowledge to further develop a stable and equitable rules package that will encourage additional manufacturer involvement."
Bayless has a thorough grounding in vehicle dynamics and mechanical theory, and his academic background includes a BSME from Purdue University with an emphasis in vehicle dynamics and aerodynamics. Bayless received additional professional training in tire characteristics and vehicle dynamics at the University Consortium for Continuing Education, computer simulation of vehicle dynamics at the University of Michigan and automobile vehicle dynamics at the Society of Automotive Engineers.
"Kevin will be a great asset to the Trans-Am Series and the SCCA Pro Racing technical team," said Scott Rittinger, BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series General Manager. "The technical arena is a critical aspect in the success of any racing series, and the addition of Kevin as Senior Technical Manager will help propel the Trans-Am to its next level of success and beyond. We will be working to create an exciting and entertaining racing environment where competitors, sponsors and manufacturers can excel."
Bayless' responsibilities will include developing and implementing rules as well as directing race-weekend activities to ensure technical compliance.
"The BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series has tremendous potential, and I am a firm believer in the future success of the series -- the addition of Kevin confirms our confidence in the leadership of the series and its direction," said Herb Johnson, BFGoodrich Tires Director of Motorsports. "We look forward to our commitment as the Trans-Am's title sponsor and tire supplier in 1999."
In a related move, Rob Elson, former Trans-Am Series technical manager, will assume the role of SCCA Pro Racing Logistics and Technical Support Manager. Elson's responsibilities will include resource coordination and planning to assist race operations as well as to provide ongoing technical support for SCCA Pro Racing's series.
"Our expanded team will permit Rob to focus on the important operational aspects of conducting SCCA Pro Racing's events," added Rittinger. "I expect these changes to result in numerous improvements for the Trans-Am and SCCA Pro Racing."
"There is a real need to establish a consistent SCCA Pro Racing presence on each race weekend," said Elson. "I'm looking forward to being able to concentrate on race-weekend logistics."
"The Pro Racing staff changes indicate a commitment to further strengthen the series and I believe we're back on the right course," said 1998 Trans-Am Champion Paul Gentilozzi. "Kevin has an outstanding automotive engineering background, a firm understanding of production-based sedan racing and has worked for both manufacturers and teams -- he's an excellent choice. Although I 've taken issue with the Trans-Am's technical department in the past, the new technical team gives me confidence in the direction and future of the series, and will figure prominently in my participation plans for the 1999 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series."