GM restructures its motorsports operations with two new hires

General Motors confirmed on Thursday a restructuring of the administration of its motorsports programs, including a new director of its NASCAR efforts.

GM restructures its motorsports operations with two new hires
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Auto Parts
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet
2020 IMSA Chevrolet Corvette
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally pit stop
#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

The internal changes in GM’s racing operations were triggered by the move of Mark Kent, previously GM’s director of motorsports competition, into the role of role of Director, GM Defense Facility Operations.

According to a statement provided to Motorsport.com, Kent’s experience in motorsports competition will “support the rapid growth of GM Defense. He will be responsible for operationalizing the new GM Defense facility in North Carolina.”

Beginning in 2021, GM’s Concord, N.C., campus will be the full-rate production facility of the GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), which is based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. GM plans to employ approximately 20 salaried technicians to build up to 14 vehicles per month at the facility, a GM spokesman said.

As the ISV stationary build will require most of the existing 75,000-square foot building, GM is currently assessing the Concord site to determine how to expand the facility to house the planned Charlotte Technical Center.  

Kent’s departure opened the door to the addition of two motorsports veterans to oversee GM racing operations.

Mark Stielow has been appointed to the newly created position of Director, Motorsports Competition Engineering. He will oversee all engineering and technical direction for GM’s NHRA, IndyCar, IMSA and Motorsports Operations and will have a direct link to GM’s vehicle integration organization.

In addition, Dr. Eric Warren will join GM from Richard Childress Racing to become Director of NASCAR Programs. Dr. Warren will be based out of GM’s new technical center in Concord, N.C.

Dr. Warren will be responsible for competition duties for the NASCAR Programs, as well as expanding the involvement of GM’s product development resources in the technical strategy for the Chevrolet race teams.

Warren took over as RCR’s competition director in 2012 and helped the organization create an entire command center within its Welcome, N.C., campus utilizing predictive analytics and AI in RCR’s NASCAR competition.

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