TOPEKA, Kan. (Feb. 2, 2006) – SCCA Pro Racing Ltd., the wholly owned professional auto racing subsidiary of Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), Inc., announced today that Earl Knoper will be its next President.
Knoper, 64, joins the SCCA Pro Racing staff after a successful career in the tire business, most notably serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Toyo Tires. Before formally retiring and moving into a consulting role for Toyo in 2005, Knoper was instrumental in launching Toyo Tires’ passenger car and light truck program and making it one of the top selling ultra high performance, passenger and light truck brands in the United States.
Knoper also founded the company’s racing activities, and put Toyo Tires on the map for performance and sport compact car enthusiasts through its involvement with Hot Import Nights, projects like The Fast and the Furious and SCCA Pro Racing’s own SPEED World Challenge Championships.
“Earl Knoper’s track record speaks for itself, and his addition is a tremendous boost for SCCA Pro Racing,” Acting SCCA Pro Racing President Garret Mudd said. “His past associations have already greatly benefited the company and the SPEED World Challenge. He brings a tremendous knack for anticipating future success, which, along with his business professionalism, will be of great benefit for everyone involved in SCCA Pro Racing and its series.”
“I am really excited about this opportunity,” Knoper said. “I’ve been passionate about motorsports since I was young, and have been fortunate to focus some of my professional efforts on racing. I’m excited to now focus 100 percent of my energies on SCCA Pro Racing.
“Through my past experience, I’ve learned that SCCA Pro Racing already has the best sports car racing product and is the best-run racing organization. I plan to enhance what we’re already doing in order to grow our partnership potential and improve our racing product for our teams, sponsors, and most of all, fans.”
Knoper began his professional career in Michigan, managing six Goodyear Tire retail stores. After 13 years with Firestone, Knoper moved to California, beginning a 21-year tenure at Toyo Tires. As a result of Toyo’s marketing successes under his leadership, the company opened its first passenger and light truck tire manufacturing plant outside of Asia in 2005 in order to meet North American demand.
Knoper and his wife, Jan, will relocate from California to the Topeka, Kan. area. He will officially take over the post Feb. 6.
About SCCA Pro Racing
A wholly owned subsidiary of Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), Inc., SCCA Pro Racing is a leading sanctioning body for motorsports events in the United States. A member of the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States (ACCUS), SCCA Pro Racing owns, operates and sanctions the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Championships and the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook, as well as provides sanctioning and various operational services for other series, including Formula Drift, Formula Russell Championship Presented by Yokohama and Spec Miata Endurance Championship. For more information, please visit www.sccapro.com.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=516