Gaunt Brothers Racing has hired Nick Ollila to be its technical director.
Ollila will oversee GBR’s engineering department. He joins the single-car operation after serving in the same role for Kelly Racing in the Australian Supercars Championship. Gaunt Brothers fields the No. 96 Toyota for Daniel Suarez.
“Nick brings considerable insight into what we’re doing with our current inventory of race cars and what we’ll be doing with our Next Gen car in 2022,” said team owner Marty Gaunt. “He has deep experience in all forms of motorsports, specifically in embracing technology and managing people.
“Nick also has a strong rapport with our partner Toyota, as many of the people he worked with when he was at Red Bull are the same people there today. He’ll be able to hit the ground running, which is good, because with two to three races a week, we’re all going to be running.”
Gaunt and Ollila have worked together before. Previously, both were with Kranefuss-Haas Racing in 1997, where Gaunt was the general manager and Ollila, the chief engineer. Then in 2007, the two met again at Red Bull Racing, where Ollila was the chief aerodynamicist. In that role, Ollila was a part of the group who scored the organization’s first win with Brian Vickers at Michigan two years later.
“It’s the people who make the cars go, and Nick has been making cars go since the early ‘70s,” continued Gaunt. “We’re lucky to have a lot of long-term employees who have been with us for 10 years, but scaling up from running a part-time schedule to a full schedule meant bringing in more people. Coming up with the recipe of having all the right people in all the right places isn’t easy, but Nick is a good chef.”
Ollila’s NASCAR background also includes being the drivetrain specialist at Rod Osterlund Racing in 1980. That season, the late Dale Earnhardt won his first Cup Series championship.
Other stops on his resume include being a mechanic at Team Penske (where he also spent time as an engine builder for the IndyCar program), DiGard Racing with Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip, as well as Roush Fenway and Richard Childress Racing.
Gaunt Brothers Racing is running its first full season in the NASCAR Cup Series this year.
“Motorsports is my passion, and I’m proud to have turned it into a career,” said Ollila. “I’ve spent time in a variety of racing series, but NASCAR is the one that intrigues me the most. The level of competition is unmatched, so success is very satisfying.
“I’ve known and worked with Marty Gaunt and many of the people at Gaunt Brothers Racing for years. They’ve got a great foundation, and they’re building for the future, and I’m very happy to be a part of shaping that future.”