France’s Tony Menard will succeed the retiring Chris Baker as Michelin’s North American director of motorsports. The transition will take place on January 1 ahead of IMSA’s Roar Before The 24 where the French tire manufacturer serves as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s official supplier.
“Chris has played a vital role in the growth and success of our motorsports program, both for BFGoodrich and Michelin in North America,” said Matthieu Bonardel, Michelin global motorsports director. “His passion and understanding for motorsport fueled growth in the organization and established credibility in the market. Chris’s leadership propelled the Group, which experienced tremendous success with race wins, and advanced the way the brands leveraged our motorsports participation to benefit the overall business.”
The engaging Baker started with Michelin in 1982, and will bid farewell to the company shortly before March’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“I am incredibly grateful to Michelin for the opportunities and support throughout my career, and to all the folks that I have worked with and continue to work with,” he said. “I want to thank all the teams, partners, officials and fans who have made our relationships so successful and are essential to the brands’ successes. I look forward to witnessing the continued success of our motorsports programs under Tony’s leadership, as well as the contributions of the Michelin Motorsport North America staff and volunteers, who are completely dedicated and invested in representing our brands in competition.”
A 30-year company man on the production tire side, Menard moved to Michelin’s North American hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, earlier in the year to start the learning process under Baker, which began in July.