February 2010 Luncheon
Text by Dr. Ray Mummery -
Video by Pepe Delfino, pictures by Pepe Delfino & Marlen Bedoya
+ SAMA members and guests attended our February luncheon at our usual
meeting place, The Rusty Pelican. The luncheon was sponsored by
Michelin, represented by John Love, Silvia Mammone and racing driver
President Paul Borden called the meeting to order at 12:30pm and conducted
a brief business meeting. Secretary Bill Adam, filling in for Juan
Robbin reported on the progress of our Green Vehicle Project.
Some discussion followed with regard to scope and location of the event
which will probably take place in the fall as spring scheduling is very
Ric Green introduced Jay Rand who is the Director of Public Relations
for Homestead Miami Speedway. Jay reiterated the track’s commitment to a
wide variety of motorsports events from IRL and NASCAR to local racing
and car club events. He reported that (I missed the name) has been named
President of the Speedway replacing Curtis and that our good
friend Al Garcia continues to be in charge of the day to day operation
of the track.
He confirmed the ongoing commitment to our annual Rides ‘n Smiles
program and encouraged us to consider the Speedway as the venue for our
upcoming Green event.
Alex Vitale reminded the members of the upcoming Fort Lauderdale Auto
Show and asked that we plan to attend the GM event on March 18 where
there will be arrive and drive opportunities.
Pepe Delfino discussed our website upgrades and commented on the new
SAMA Facebook site which he has established.
The program was presented by John Love who began with Michelin’s
commitment to motorsports as emphasized by the philosophy of “Learn and
Win”. he described the company’s participation in many levels of racing
with many teams and focused on the ALMS outstanding record in which
Michelin has won more than 100 races with 3 wins going to other tire
He then introduced Silvia Mammone, Michelin Director of North American
Motorsports. (I may have the wrong title here—didn’t get her card) She
explained how she was involved in the family bicycle business as a teen
and became a fan of Michelin bicycle tires.
This eventually led to work with Michelin and her present position.
Silvia then introduced Simon Paganaud, one of the young superstars of
road racing. His racing began, like so many current drivers, in go carts
where he won his first championship at 12. He progressed through the
usual classes and was hired by Gil De Ferran to drive his Acura LMP car
He is now partnered with David Brabham in the Highcroft Acura team.
Additionally, he is a factory team driver for Peugeot in their Le Man
prototype. He gave an interesting look at the behind scenes work of a
professional driver and the strong connection between tire testing and
John then described some details of Michelin’s Bibendum program, in
which Bill Adam participated last year, as well as the Active wheel and
the Electric Tire programs.
Following discussions of Old and New Business, President Paul Borden
adjourned the meeting.