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In this role, Cadringher expects to work closely with managing director of racing operations Mark Raffauf and the entire Grand-Am competition department, implementing many new engineering-based initiatives within the series.
Cadringher's emphasis will be on aerodynamics, engine and turbocharging technologies.
Both Grand-Am and NASCAR can also benefit from the deep respect Cadringher brings to this position, earned through his work with the global motorsports community.
"Grand-Am and NASCAR have developed a comprehensive and synergistic strategy that should add several new elements in the future," noted Ed Bennett, Grand-Am CEO, "and Gabriel is an important addition to support that future vision. This strategy, combined with Gabriel coming aboard, has the goal of making Grand-Am's door-to-door style of road racing even more safe and exciting."
Grand-Am's GT competition in its Rolex Series is becoming more complex for the 2012 season with the addition of Ferrari and Audi teams. The sanctioning body is continuing its discussions with DTM series leaders and manufacturer participants in Germany, with the intent of possibly launching that type of racing in North America in the 2013 racing season.
"Throughout his career, Cadringher has been been at the cutting edge of new technologies," noted Tom Bledsoe, Grand-Am president. "He has enormous credibility worldwide and will be an excellent ambassador as we continue to enhance our series on the world stage."
Cadhringher joined the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) in 1982 as part of the technical department and president of the Technical and Homologation Commission. He also served as technical delegate for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship for 10 years.
In 1993, he became president of the FIA Manufacturers' Commission, representing all of the vehicle manufacturers worldwide taking part in motorsport, and working on the FIA's World Council. This particular role included liaison with manufacturers looking to introduce new technologies into racing, a role that required high level negotiation skills.
"Grand-Am, with NASCAR is one of the great organizations in American motorsports," Cadringher said as he accepted his new position. "I'm happy to take my experience to Grand-Am, where I can learn and gain in my appreciation of the American way of motorsports."
Fluent in five languages and a native of Turin, Italy, Cadringher will be based in Daytona Beach, FL and work closely with the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, NC.
© 2011 Anne Proffit