IMSA Spotlight: Beaux Barfield
IMSA Race Director
The off-season is a time where teams are expecting big rule changes and surprises. Any insight into what we can expect over the next couple months?
“I returned to IMSA in 2014 along with Simon Hodgson. He and I, along with Paul Walter, implemented some rules changes which represented a significant philosophical shift. And while we do tend to tweak and fine tune the rules every offseason, our primary goal is stability.
“With that in mind there aren’t any big changes for 2017 from a competition management perspective.”
You’re involved with the driver rating process. Can you tell us a little about the process and the various complexities?
“The FIA Driver Rating Committee has included me as a voting member since 2014. And recently, Paul Walter has been added to that committee.
“There is a process of all committee members evaluating and weighing in on every applicant. Although some ratings may be contentious, the overall intent and goals of the system continue to be achieved.
“Among those are allowing gentlemen drivers to compete and positioning them to significantly contribute to the team effort from the driver’s seat.”
We’ll see a completely revamped Prototype class for 2017. What can we expect to see from the DPi and P2 cars this season?
“While my day-to-day involvement is limited regarding the development of classes, I am confident based on the efforts put forth thus far that 2017 will be a spectacular year of prototype racing.
“The teams, drivers and manufacturers are world-class and IMSA’s efforts to ensure parity have been tireless.”
A few new manufacturers are coming into the GTD class this year and the competition looks to be stout. What are your expectations and/or predictions for the class in 2017?
“2016 was an amazing year of competition in GTD. With the introduction of new teams and manufacturers, that only stands to improve and intensify. IMSA’s technical staff deserves major kudos for the successes of BoP in the past and they set a great tone for future competition.”
We know you’re a racer but what most don’t know is you have a love for music. When did you start playing guitar and where did your passion for music come from? What genre music do you like to play?
“I played in a charity poker tournament about eight years ago and won a guitar as a prize. It hung on my wall for a few years before I randomly took it down one day and decided to try playing it. I’ve been playing for about six or seven years with no lessons.
“The challenges and satisfaction I get from learning music rival those from my racing days. It has developed for me as a great passion. I pick up what I can learn online and am mostly self-taught.
“Classic rock is my thing and I can listen to and play Pink Floyd on infinite repeat! Most of my friends know I would melt down if I were in the presence of (Pink Floyd guitarist) David Gilmour. Since I started playing, he is my absolute hero and idol!”