Veteran motorsports broadcaster Gary Lee passes away

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Sad news as one of the voices of the popular “Thunder” short-track series, Gary Lee, passed away on Monday. He was 63. More here from the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin.

Here’s a quick video of the first “Thursday Night Thunder” show, from 1988, where Lee anchored alongside veteran open-wheel driver Steve Chassey.

Reactions have already started coming into the news. Here’s a quick roundup.

“Gary Lee was one of the most passionate supporters of all types of auto racing from grass roots competition to the international stage of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The enthusiasm and excitement his voice conveyed to the radio listener and television viewer added much to the drama and excitement of our sport. As a former member of the IMS Radio Network broadcast team, Gary helped deliver legendary moments of the Indianapolis 500 to millions of listeners around the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and legion of fans. He will be missed.” -J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president

 

 

Former 5-time ALMS and Le Mans-winning team owner Dave Maraj killed in accident

Photo courtesy Dave Maraj Facebook page
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Well-known sports car team owner and automobile dealership owner Dave Maraj was killed Saturday night in a boating accident in Florida, according to SportsCar365.com.

Maraj’s Champion Racing teams won five consecutive American Le Mans Series championships from 2004 through 2008, and also captured the overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005, the last American team to do so in the iconic sports car race.

IMSA President Scott Atherton released the following statement mourning Maraj’s passing:

Dave Maraj. Photo courtesy IMSA.

“All of us at IMSA are shocked and saddened by the news of Dave Maraj’s passing. As a team owner in the American Le Mans Series, Dave and his Champion Racing organization were the epitome of professionalism and excellence, as their five series championships and 24 Hours of Le Mans victory will attest.

“Dave was a tremendous competitor and a great friend to all in the paddock throughout his time in our sport. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave’s family and friends and to all of his associates at Champion Motors.”

Maraj was a very successful automobile dealership owner, most notably Champion Motors and Champion Porsche in Pompano Beach, Florida, the latter considered the No. 1 Porsche dealer in the U.S.

Details of how Maraj died have not been released.

Maraj sold his racing operation after the 2008 season and devoted himself to his Porsche and Audi auto dealerships, as well as competitive sailing.