By IMSA Wire Service
The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) announced today that President Scott Atherton will retire at the end of this year, ending a professional motorsports career that spanned more than 34 years.
Atherton, who has held the title of IMSA president since November of 2013, will remain on the IMSA Board of Directors after his retirement.
Atherton started his professional motorsports career as a sponsor marketing executive in the CART (IndyCar) Series in 1985. He later served as president and general manager of Laguna Seca Raceway (now WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca), before joining Penske Motorsports as president of Nazareth Speedway and then California Speedway (now Auto Club Speedway). He was president and CEO of Panoz Motor Sports Group for thirteen years before co-leading the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) through the merger with the Grand American Road Racing Association (Grand-Am) under the IMSA banner, at which point he was named to his current role.
“Scott is a racer at heart, but also a businessman and his dedicated, thoughtful leadership has positioned IMSA for continued growth as we begin the next 50 years of our racing heritage,” said Jim France, IMSA Chairman. “We are very grateful for all that he has done for the sport and wish him the absolute best during his well-deserved retirement.”
“As anyone involved in professional motorsports knows, it’s not a job – it’s a lifestyle,” Atherton said. “For the past 34 years it has been an honor and a privilege to work with some of the most iconic venues and personalities in the industry. I am thankful for the countless men and women I have worked with who enabled me to have a career that has far exceeded my wildest dreams. But I especially want to thank my family who have supported me every step of the way. IMSA is stronger than ever and I am confident it will continue to grow and prosper.”
Ed Bennett will continue as chief executive officer of IMSA and expects to name Atherton’s successor shortly after conclusion of the season.
IMSA will cap its 50th anniversary season with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday, October 12. Champions in all four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes will be honored at the WeatherTech Night of Champions on Sunday, October 13 at the Chateau Élan Resort and Winery in Braselton, Georgia.