IMSA president Scott Atherton will conclude three decades of leadership atop North American sports car racing at the end of this year. His successor will be named soon after the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season is finished in Braselton, Georgia, on October 12.
Atherton’s full-time career in the sport spanned 34 years, and despite the upcoming retirement from IMSA, he will stay involved as a member of its board of directors for 2020 and beyond.
The transition comes eight years after Atherton, who ran the American Le Mans Series on behalf of its late founder Don Panoz, negotiated the sale of the series and its many properties to the France family, owners of NASCAR and the former Grand-Am Rolex Series, which merged with the ALMS to form the modern version of IMSA.
“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.”
IMSA chairman Jim France, who oversaw the merger with Atherton, saluted his meritorious career.
“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,” he said. “We are very grateful for all that he has done for the sport and wish him the absolute best during his well-deserved retirement.”