IMSA confirmed Tuesday that Geoff Carter has joined the organization as new series manager, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. He will begin his new duties with the championship on Wednesday.
Carter is the third recent high-profile personnel signing in the last five months, as Simon Hodgson and Beaux Barfield joined IMSA’s competition department in September. Carter will report to Hodgson.
Carter comes to IMSA after serving the last three years as Pirelli World Challenge competition director. He’ll relocate to IMSA headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla., and will also serve as a member of IMSA’s newly formed Technical Committee.
The committee also will include IMSA Technical Director Scott Raymond, TUDOR Championship Senior Technical Manager Charlie Cook and Continental Tire Challenge Senior Technical Manager Jeff Mishtawy alongside select members of the IMSA senior management team.
The Technical Working Group involving IMSA technical staff and representatives of all official manufacturer partners also will continue to operate.
IMSA has also confirmed Scot Elkins, Managing Director, Technical Regulations and the former VP of competition, will step down on Jan. 24.
Alas, for Carter, the new role will encompass serving the competitor interest in the paddock and bringing those thoughts and insights gleaned back to the office.
“To me, it’s the culmination of 25 years of working my way up the food chain in the racing business,” Carter told Sportscar365. “It’s been an evolution from a front end mechanic to being a series manager of a top-notch professional sports car series like the TUDOR Championship.”
With the merger process now fully completed and the IMSA brass working diligently to continue the TUDOR Championship’s growth in its second season, Carter said the hardest part of the job is almost entirely out of the way.
“For me the dust has settled in the first year of competition,” he said. “Coming in now occurs as things have settled down, as the AoP is much closer now. It was a tremendous task to merge the two platforms in the Prototype class.
“What really excites me is to get back to the endurance part of my sports car love, to be a part of a series that I’ve enjoyed and loved. You watch these legendary races as a little kid, from the [Rolex] 24, to Sebring which I’ve won before, the Six Hours at the Glen. And now I’m part of it.”
Carter has some past IMSA series experience, albeit under the former IMSA era and the American Le Mans Series banner.
He served as team manager of Muscle Milk Pickett Racing with its Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 program. One year in particular, 2010, stands out when both LMP1 and LMP2 machinery was merged into a single Prototype class, and provided Carter a perspective on how to balance to entirely disparate P class cars – as IMSA has had to do with LMP2s and Daytona Prototypes throughout 2014 and into 2015.
“Having seen and been on the team side, that helps to give me a better understanding of what teams need to change something,” Carter explained.
“You learn what it takes in terms of cost, time, man hours, and the effects of what it will be. You figure out what the implementation is from a team side. Is it carbon work or more weight? Sudden nuances it takes. I have a pretty good understanding of that from my past.”
There were some competitor concerns in the paddock throughout the 2014 season, notably about higher than expected costs among other technical elements. Carter understands the work ahead from that standpoint.
“I’ll have to get immersed in that, and get face-to-face with competitors and stakeholders,” he said. “You have to understand their needs, bring that to the office and see what that will take to accomplish it.
“This is a very professional, competitive series but you need an understanding of what the competitors need, from both a series and a competitor side. Bridging that gap starts with getting out there, being visible and understanding that info.
“There will need to be some integration for me into the company, but the paddock as well. I look forward to charging headlong into that.”