Who's Who in the Paddock: Genoa Racing's Mark Scott ZIONSVILLE, Ind., May 10 - Fans have come to expect to see international road racers competing in American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron events like the one that will be held at ...
Who's Who in the Paddock: Genoa Racing's Mark Scott
ZIONSVILLE, Ind., May 10 - Fans have come to expect to see international road racers competing in American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron events like the one that will be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. on Saturday, May 22.
But the pits and paddock are filled with other equally fascinating people who have devoted their lives to auto racing too.
One of them is Mark Scott, the event team manager for Genoa Racing's bright red No. 36. The Zionsville, Ind.-based team is currently second in the latest LMPC team point standings available with drivers Tom Sutherland, J.R. Hildebrand and Andy Wallace.
Scott is the "Scott" in Riley & Scott, a race car constructor and team that he and Bob Riley founded in 1990. He was also a member of the McLaren Formula 1 team that won the World Driving Championship with James Hunt in 1976, and the lead mechanic for Niki Lauda's McLaren in F1 in 1982. He worked with the late Ayrton Senna, a three-time F1 champion and one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport; 1982 F1 champ Keke Rosberg, and John Watson, who is perhaps best known for coming from the farthest back on the grid to win a modern F1 race.
Scott is a native of England, where he was born in a room above his father's gas station in 1953. He came to America in 1984 to compete at the Indy 500 with drivers Howdy Holmes and Tom Sneva, who won at the Brickyard in 1983 and sat on the pole there three times, including 1984.
Scott worked as the chief mechanic for the BMW factory sports car team in 1985 and 1986, and in 1987 became the chief mechanic for the Buick IndyCar engine development team with drivers Jim Crawford and three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford.
When Scott and Bob Riley began Riley & Scott they initially became known for their very successful SCCA Trans-Am cars. They then expanded to endurance sports car racing with the famous Riley & Scott Mk III of IMSA World Sports Car fame.
Riley & Scott Mk IIIs won the Rolex 24 in 1996 (Doyle Racing) and 1997 and 1999 (Dyson Racing), as well as the 1996 12 Hours of Sebring. That Sebring-winning car was an Oldsmobile-powered Doyle Racing entry driven by Wayne Taylor, Jim Pace and Eric van de Poele. Riley & Scott cars also competed at Le Mans and in other events in Europe against the famous Ferrari 333 SP.
Later projects included the development of the Chevy Corvette C5-R for General Motors and the Cadillac Northstar LMP program.
The company was one of the original chassis manufacturers for the Indy Racing League too. Buddy Lazier, the winner of the 1996 Indy 500, earned the Indy Racing League driver championship in 2000 with two victories, one of which came at Phoenix in a Hemelgarn Racing Riley & Scott. Scott became an American citizen the same year.
Reynard Motorsport acquired Riley & Scott in 1999 but went bankrupt in 2001. At that point Bob Riley and his son Bill founded their own company, Riley Technologies, which is most famous for its Daytona Prototypes in the Grand-Am Rolex Series.
Today Scott owns his own company too, Prototype Development LLC in Indianapolis, which specializes in prototype manufacturing for the auto racing, marine and aircraft industries, including race car fabrication and restoration. Information on all sorts of interesting projects he is working on can be found on the company's Web site at pdllc.net. Some include the Brunton Super Stalker, a Lotus 7 replica kit, the restoration of a Jackie Stewart Indy car, 40-percent-scale carbon fiber NASCAR bodies for General Motors, and parts for some of Kenny Brown's latest Mustang designs.
Despite such a distinguished career in racing, ironically it was the sport of rowing that brought Scott to Genoa Racing.
"I met Thomas Knapp [Genoa Racing's team manager] when he was running Greg Ray at Indy; he and I are neighbors, and our daughters are best friends," Scott explained.
"My son and daughter and Thomas's daughter are members of the Indianapolis Rowing Center at Eagle Creek Park, and while we were with our daughters at a rowing event I found out he was going to be doing an American Le Mans Series program this year. It was a month before Sebring maybe.
"I knew Thomas had been doing Atlantics and Firestone Indy Lights and my company does a lot of work with formula cars, but sports cars are my passion," Scott said. "I told him I was interested in being a weekend warrior with his program, and that's how I got involved."
Now, on top of everything else he's done in the sport, Scott is once again in the middle of all the action at American Le Mans Series races.
"I help Thomas with the team operations at each event, help deal with any issues involving IMSA, and I help with race strategy," he said.
He's certain to be busy at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca May 22, when the American Le Mans Series stages its third-longest race of the year. It will be broadcast at 1:30 p.m. ET May 29 on CBS.
-source: genoa racing