TeamTGM announced Thursday that Joe Varde has joined the organization as Director of Competition for its 2017 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge campaign.
Well known for his long-running winning record with Porsche as well as his expertise in team management and strategy calls from the pit box, the racing veteran will look to accelerate the continued competitiveness of TeamTGM.
As the Director of Competition, Varde’s principle role will be to assist Crew Chief Brandon Perrott in addressing the needs of the team. Varde’s responsibilities will include overseeing the development of the TGM race cars at the race shop and assisting Perrott during race events.
TeamTGM will campaign a Porsche Cayman ClubSport GT4 in the GS class next year. With a pair of long distance endurance events integrated into the 2017 schedule, the category is well placed for growth as it evolves to adapt to the global ‘GT4’ specification.
“I had been chatting with Ted [Giovanis, TGM owner/driver] for a while, just talking cars and such,” said Varde. “When the opportunity arose for me to work with them, we started talking about it more seriously and I’m just really happy to join this team.
“TeamTGM runs a great operation and my role is to help out their Crew Chief Brandon. I’ll be helping him with the competitiveness of the car and taking a little bit off of his load.
“Development work and actually racing the cars are two different things so Brandon will be able to concentrate more on the racing side of things.”
Varde most recently served as Crew Chief at Rum Bum Racing where he led the team to over 20 race victories and two championship titles.
With a career spanning over 40 years, Varde is one of the most sought after leaders in the paddock.
The Continental Tire Challenge series produces some of the most competitive racing in the country and Varde is looking forward to once again returning to vie for the championship.
“All through my career, I’ve always worked with show room type based cars,” he said. “They were always a challenge because they were the closest thing to production cars and it just became a way of life for me. I just stayed with it.
“The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series produces some really great racing. It’s harder to drive one of these cars than the ‘big’ cars. It’s very challenging. That’s how we end up seeing so many great drivers in this series.
“The drivers have to make up for the shortcomings of a production based car which leads to some very talented and skilled racers.”
TeamTGM owner and driver Ted Giovanis is pleased to bring Varde onboard.
“I’ve known Joe for several years and have developed great respect for him and what he has accomplished throughout his career,” he said. “I’m really excited that he is joining TeamTGM and we’re looking forward to doing great things together.”
The season kicks off with the annual Roar Before the 24 test days at Daytona on Jan. 6-8.