Grand American expands Competition Department

Raffauf Named Deputy Director of Competition; Elson Joins As Technical Director DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2002) -- Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson announced the expansion of the sanctioning body's ...

Raffauf Named Deputy Director of Competition; Elson Joins As Technical Director

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2002) -- Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson announced the expansion of the sanctioning body's Competition Department, which oversees the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series. Former IMSA head Mark Raffauf was named Deputy Director of Competition, and the SCCA's Rob Elson accepted the department's new Technical Director position.

"Grand American has seen tremendous growth since its inception three years ago, and we have decided to increase support in our Competition Department in order to better serve our growing field of entrants," Edmondson said. "Mark has been an essential part of our organization from the start, and we are happy to announce his newly expanded position. His knowledge of sports car racing from his numerous years with the original IMSA have been an invaluable resource to us.

"We are also pleased to add Rob to our staff in the newly created Technical Director position. With the creation of our new Daytona Prototypes, our competition and technical staff will play a crucial role in the continued and future growth of Grand American and its series."

Raffauf's new position as Deputy Director of Competition expands his previous duties with the sanctioning body. Originally hired as a consultant during the 1999 creation of Grand American, Raffauf has served as Race Director on a part time basis for the past two years. In his new position he works in Grand American's Daytona Beach offices on a fulltime basis, assisting Director of Competition Dave Watson in the supervision of the Competition Department. Raffauf will be influential in event planning and rules management for both the Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup. He will also maintain his role as Race Director during event weekends.

Raffauf is no stranger to the sports car racing community, as he was a staple at the original IMSA during some of the most prosperous years for sports cars racing in the United States. During his 22 years with IMSA, he served in a variety of capacities, including Technical Director, Chief Steward, Vice President of Operations, Executive Vice President, Director of Competition and eventually President.

Raffauf, 42, relocated to Daytona Beach from St. Petersburg, Fla., and is engaged to Christine DeRobertis.

Elson joins Grand American in its newly created Technical Director position. He is responsible for the facilitation of the sanctioning body's rules on a day-to-day basis, including determination, dissemination and enforcement. Elson comes to Grand American from the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), where he worked in various technical roles over the last 12 years. Most recently he was the SCCA's Manager of Logistics and Technical Support. He also served as the Technical Manager for the Trans-Am Series and World Challenge Series.

Elson, 40, and his wife Christy are in the process of relocating to Daytona Beach from Denver, Colo. They are the parents of 19-year-old twin sons, Neil and Brandon.

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Series Automotive , Grand-Am