Allison Melangton, leader of Indianapolis’ Super Bowl, joins Hulman Motorsports (IndyCar/IMS)

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Allison Melangton will join Hulman Motorsports as senior vice president of events, Hulman & Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles announced today.

Melangton, currently president of the Indiana Sports Corporation (ISC), will be responsible for overall production of major events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including those during the Month of May, the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, and Verizon IndyCar Series special events, such as the pre-season kickoff and post-season celebration parties.

“The Indiana Sports Corporation has been pivotal to the growth of Indianapolis, as well as the entire state, for decades and Allison’s contributions to that effort have been enormous,” said Miles. “Staging major events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is much more complex than may be apparent. Allison is the best event organizer in the country. We will be very fortunate to have her working with our leadership team to ensure that we meet our aggressive goals for further enhancing the prestige and growth of our events.”

“For more than 20 years, Indiana Sports Corp has been a huge part of my life – professionally and personally,” said Melangton. “At this point in my life, I have decided to make a professional change. My time at the Sports Corp and with the Super Bowl Host Committee has allowed me to work alongside the most talented people in our industry on many of the world’s largest sporting events. I’ll leave Indiana Sports Corp with friendships that will last a lifetime and memories I’ll always cherish. I love all that Indiana Sports Corp does in the community and globally to use sports as a vehicle to enhance quality of life and drive economic impact. At the same time, I’m excited for the opportunity to join Mark Miles and their talented team in executing events at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and for INDYCAR.”

As the president of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, Melangton led what is widely regarded as the most successfully organized Super Bowl in the NFL’s history and one that changed the way the NFL approaches fan involvement. It drew more than 1 million people to downtown Indianapolis, attracted more than 8,000 volunteers, and led to a $154 million investment in the city’s Near Eastside through the Legacy Project.

“Allison is the rare individual who combines keen creative vision and peerless operational expertise,” said Frank Supovitz, president of Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment, who worked closely with Melangton as the NFL’s lead executive for Super Bowl XLVI. “Her collaborative leadership style will rally the organization to achieve greater success in providing a world-class fan experience in both substance and service.”

In her two years as President of Indiana Sports Corp, Indiana Sports Corp has successfully hosted NCAA championship events in swimming and diving, lacrosse, basketball, and rowing, as well as Big Ten championship events in football and basketball. In this period, Indiana Sports Corp has also won the right to host several of the nation’s premier events in the 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships, 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving, and multiple Big Ten championships in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball through 2022.

Melangton was honored with a “Sagamore of the Wabash” by Indiana Governor and Hulman & Co. board member Mitch Daniels in 2012, and recognized as a “Living Legend” by the Indiana Historical Society in 2014. Sports Business Journal, the nation’s industry-leading publication, named Melangton as a recipient of its “Game Changer” Award in 2012.

Melangton serves on the board of directors for OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc., Visit Indy, Arts Council of Indianapolis, and Indy Chamber.

She will transition to Hulman Motorsports in October and become part of the company’s leadership team.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.