MPG promotes and expands staff, officials for 2023 season

MPG promotes and expands staff, officials for 2023 season

MPG

MPG promotes and expands staff, officials for 2023 season

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Morgan Performance Group (MPG) has announced the expansion of its official staff and promotions within the sports car racing sanction body’s organization.

MPG, previously known as GT Celebration in its first three seasons, now enters the 2023 racing campaign with a seven-weekend (plus two testing rounds) schedule which gets underway next month at Apex Motor Club at Maricopa, AZ with the first tests on Feb. 6-7.

Rob Morgan, a longtime sports car and truck competitor prior to establishing his new racing series in 2020, earlier announced the expansion of the MPG divisions with the GT Celebration (GT3/GT4 with Yellow, Red and Blue classes), Prototype Celebration (LMP3 and LMPC cars in Prototype and Prototype Lites classes), Cup Celebration (Porsche GT3 Cup with Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze classes) and M2 Celebration (BMW M2 CS Cup).

Now, the MPG organization has made executive staff promotions with Nick Lester being named Executive Vice President and veteran racer Kelly Collins as Senior Vice President and Sporting Director.

Lester, an England native, came to Morgan Performance Group in 2021 after an engineering career which includes stints with Roush Racing in the United Kingdom, Honda Performance Development (HPD) in California, Cosworth in Indiana and, most recently, Porsche Motorsport North America where he served as Technical Director and Customer Support Manager. Nick has worked with Panoz, David Price Racing, DAMS, Team Green and Walker Racing in the CART series, GM/Cosworth Indy partnerships and numerous Porsche operations including a 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours class victory in the LMGTE Am class.

Collins, who resides in Lake Havasu, Ariz., brought a resume including 11 years as a factory driver for General Motors as well as with runs with Panoz, Pontiac, Porsche, Nissan, Honda, and BMW. Kelly captured the 2008 Grand Am GT championship as well as the 1999 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. He spent 15 years as a Skip Barber lead instructor and test driver for the race series. In the past 32 years, Collins has been a SAG stunt driver for commercials and movies including the “Ford vs. Ferrari” feature film.

In addition to the Lester and Collins promotions, MPG has made numerous hirings throughout the on and off-track staff including naming Casey Carden and Terry Earwood as race directors for the 2023
MPG sports car series.

“With our rebranding and expansion of the 2023 MPG series, we have made some significant moves in our staff with Nick and Kelly moving into more senior positions and roles within the company,” said Morgan. “We also have added staff for at-track assistance in the paddock and tech areas. The experience and knowledge which Nick and Kelly bring to the series is invaluable and their professional approach elevates the MPG sanctioning body to a higher level. And the same holds true with Casey and Terry. They are outstanding individuals with great motorsports backgrounds.”

Lester sees the 2023 campaign as a major step in assisting the MPG racers with additional track time and standalone events for the four series divisions.

“We have made the commitment for our racers and sponsors by moving to a complete three-day MPG race weekend,” said Lester. “We have ramped up our staff to assist the competitors and teams as well as working to make the racing competitive, fun and professional. We have experienced personnel who know how to operate a solid organization and we believe people will notice it immediately at our events. The expansion of the divisions and classes gives the competitors many avenues now to race throughout our series. We are eager to see everyone in the early tests and the season opener in April at Spring Mountain in Nevada.”

Collins said that the series will have an identical weekend format at each event in 2023 and racers will have a great opportunity to gain track time every race weekend.

“With MPG operating its own race weekends, the three-day event schedules will be identical for every weekend and that is a huge benefit for the drivers, crews and sponsors,” said Collins. “The teams and drivers know they will receive the same track time each weekend with practice, qualifying and two race events. We listen to our customers and work closely with the teams to establish a fun atmosphere as well as a competitive environment. We believe this year’s MPG tour will be exciting and professional for all involved.”

The nine-event (two tests and seven race events) 2023 MPG schedule, which includes doubleheader races per weekend, begins at Arizona’s Apex Motor Club on Feb. 6-7 (Test days) followed by Illinois’ Autobahn Country Club on April 1-2 (Test days); Nevada’s Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club on April 21-23; Georgia’s Road Atlanta on May 11-13; California’s Sonoma Raceway on June 16-18; Tennessee’s FlatRock Motor Club on July 7-9; VIRginia International Raceway on Aug. 4-6; Utah Motorsports Campus on Sept. 8-10 and New York’s Watkins Glen International on Oct. 27-29.

Registration for the upcoming tests and races is open now at www.mpg-racing.com. MPG will be releasing more detailed information in the coming weeks regarding rules and regulations for each series.

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