For the first time in the history of Richard Childress Racing, namesake owner Richard Childress will not carry the title of company president.
RCR announced Wednesday that chief operating officer Torrey Galida has been promoted to company president. Childress, meanwhile, will retain his title as chief executive officer, as well as assume a new title of company chairman.
“Since coming on board with us in July 2011, Torrey Galida has been a great asset to RCR,” Childress said in a team media release. “He has helped guide us through many changes for the better and I feel he is the perfect person to continue doing that for our team.”
Childress, who turns 69 in September, insists he’s not retiring or stepping back in the leadership of his namesake company.
“This does not mean I am slowing down in any capacity at RCR,” Childress said. “This just means I am freeing myself up to be involved in other, more strategic aspects of the company to benefit our overall operation and performance.”
Galida came to RCR after stints as general manager for TRG Motorsports, president of Millsport Motorsports, chief marketing officer at Roush Fenway Racing and Ford Motor Company where he held a number of roles including vice president of marketing for Ford of Canada and global motorsports marketing manager for Ford Racing Technology.
“I have an immense amount of respect for Richard Childress and the incredible racing organization he has built,” said Galida, who assumes his new role immediately, according to team officials. “I am honored to have the opportunity to play a key role in the continued success of RCR.”
Galida will oversee day-to-day operations and also serve on the RCR board of directors.
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.
The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.
“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.
Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”
Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.
“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.
Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.