TOPEKA, Kan. (Feb. 3, 2005) – SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. named Harry Turner senior director of technical services today. Turner, who recently retired from General Motors, will oversee all technical aspects of the company and its landmark SCCA SPEED World Challenge Championships beginning Feb. 16.
Turner joins the staff after more than 30 years with General Motors, serving most recently as executive engineering manager of road racing.
“The addition of Harry Turner to lead our technical staff elevates the level expertise and management to a point at which no other SCCA series has been,” SCCA Pro Racing President Steve Johnson said. “The addition of someone with such a rich and successful background in engineering, management and leadership will be vital as the series continues to grow and attract more professional teams and manufacturers. Harry comes from one of the most successful factory-backed road racing programs ever, and understands the challenges our World Challenge series faces as a result of its success.
“Just as with all other facets of our business, we owe it to all of our teams, whether they are manufacturer-supported or independent, both current and future, to protect their investments by having the highest level of expertise and service from a technical standpoint.”
“My 32-year career at General Motors gave me an opportunity to turn my passion for high-performance vehicles into my profession,” Turner said. “My father retired from GM after 30 years, so I have been a life-long member of the GM family. As a young man, I aspired to work on sports cars, and my years with GM Racing fulfilled that dream. Beyond learning about the nuts and bolts of racing, I also learned the principles of operating a successful business, from strategic planning to managing a budget and meeting business objectives.
“With the start of my second career with SCCA Pro Racing, I now have an opportunity to be involved with performance cars from many manufacturers. The sanctioning body’s role is to provide a venue where manufacturers want to race, to maintain a level playing field for competitors and to produce compelling entertainment for our fans. It’s an exciting challenge and an opportunity to make a great series even better.”
Turner graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Illinois and later added an MBA from Oakland University. His General Motors tenure includes time as the Chevrolet Sporty Car Segment Manager, where the 1993 Camaro and fifth-generation Corvette were born from the direction of his department’s planning and design. This position led to his assignment as strategic business planner to GM Racing in 1996, where he conceived and developed the C5-R racing program.
From 1997 through 2001, Turner served as executive manager for GM Racing's championship-winning NHRA drag racing and the off-road truck programs that produced victories in the Baja 1000 and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He returned to the road racing side of GM Racing in 2002, and ultimately led the charge in the formation of the CTS-V SCCA SPEED GT program.
Turner and wife Elizabeth have two adult children living in Michigan. He will work out of the main SCCA offices in Topeka, Kan.