February 2010 Luncheon

Text by Dr. Ray Mummery - Video by Pepe Delfino, pictures by Pepe Delfino & Marlen Bedoya
 



30 + 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 Simon Pagenaud.

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 difficult.

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 makers.

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 in 2009.

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 racing success.

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.
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The following pictures by Marlen Bedoya