Zak Brown confirmed as new Executive Director at McLaren

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Zak Brown will add another new title to his ever-expanding portfolio of motorsports projects, as he is set to take on a senior management role with McLaren Technology Group from 2017.

Brown has been confirmed as Executive Director, MTG, starting in a to-be-determined date next year. Figure it will be mid-January though at the earliest, because of his drawdown of one of his existing commitments and with Ron Dennis on gardening leave until the new year.

In a statement, McLaren confirmed Brown’s responsibilities:

In this senior role, Zak’s appointment will be a significant part of a restructuring programme that will align the Group’s commercial and strategic operations relating to achieving success in Formula 1.

Reporting directly to McLaren Technology Group’s Executive Committee, both Jonathan Neale (Chief Operating Officer) and Zak Brown (Executive Director) will jointly lead the businesses as part of the first step in the Group’s transition to a new and strengthened organisational structure. The process of identifying and recruiting a new Group Chief Executive Officer will continue.

“I’m immensely proud to be joining McLaren Technology Group. I have the utmost respect and admiration for what the business has achieved to date, and I look forward to contributing to the next important phase in its development,” Brown said in the release.

“Having worked closely with McLaren for many years, I’ve been struck by the talent and ambition of the entire workforce, and I very much look forward to complementing the business’s many existing strengths, and building on them to drive future success in everything we do.

“As founder of Just Marketing International (JMI) – now the world’s largest motorsport marketing agency – I’ve often worked closely with McLaren as I say, and I’ve developed some excellent relationships across the company. Together we’ve delivered some great sponsorship deals, including Johnnie Walker, GSK, Hilton, Lenovo, Chandon and NTT.

“Best of all, in my new role I’ll be able to combine my absolute passion with my unparalleled area of expertise – respectively motorsport and marketing – while ensuring that the two stay totally aligned.”

The aforementioned combination Brown mentions is linked in his other business roles. He also serves as chairman of Motorsport.com (the website which has acquired a number of extra platforms in recent months, most notably the Autosport & Haymarket Media Group’s motor racing portfolio, and over the weekend, Motors TV, among others), and team co-owner and chairman of United Autosports, now takes on this role with McLaren.

He is founder/CEO of Just Marketing International (JMI), but JMI’s parent company Chime Communications confirmed in September he’d step down from Group CEO there at year’s end.

This latest role for Brown comes in the wake of McLaren’s managerial shakeup, with last week’s announcement Dennis would step down from his senior roles and go on gardening leave.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.