IMSA Prototype Challenge Driver Fix Campaigning American-Made LMP3 Chassis

(Article reprinted with permission from IMSA.com)

 

 Paul Fix IMSA feature Paul Fix racing in the No. 44 Ave-Riley

Paul Fix in the No. 44 Ave-Riley

VIEW: PDF | Ave-Riley Action Photo | Fix Photo

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 11, 2017) – Veteran driver Paul Fix was looking for the next challenge in his racing career when Tony Ave reached out to him about a new opportunity in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) competition with a brand-new car.

 

Fix, who moved over from the top of the class in the Trans Am series (he’s ranked 15th in all-time wins for the series), had already been racing for Ave since 2013.

 

“Tony thought it would be an easy transition to have a driver who’s familiar with his leadership, and I get along great with the entire crew, team and engineering staff,” Fix said. “Plus, IMSA has a great, professional reputation and we get to race at some great venues across the country.”

 

Fix, who lives in Buffalo, N.Y., has a rich history in sports car racing. His wife Lauren, who’s been racing sports cars since the 80s, formed the Driving Ambitions Performance Driving School with Fix, which featured driver development and classroom instruction at Watkins Glen International.   

 

He was looking for the next challenge when Ave, the constructor of the Riley Trans Am chassis, approached him about racing in the LMP3 class in IMSA’s Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series. Fix went through testing in Europe in 2016, followed by American-based testing before the season started in early 2017.

“As a company, finding the right combination of speed and development skills is both difficult and imperative at the same time,” Ave said. “Paul fits that mold, and he was an obvious choice for us given his success in Trans Am cars as we ventured into Prototype racing. We look forward to more success as we get miles under our belts.” 

 

There are six authorized constructors in the world – the majority of which are in Europe – but the Ave-Riley chassis is the only American-built car, and the Ave-Riley AR-2 that Fix is driving is the first one to ever be built.

 

The car was designed by sports car legend Bill Riley, and is being manufactured under the leadership of Ave, who used to be a Riley Technologies test driver.

“The car has about half of the horsepower that I’m used to, but I love the sequential paddle shift – it’s a really nice change for me versus a regular stick,” Fix said. “It also has a lot of downforce so the corner speeds are higher and the braking distances are a lot shorter – those are some of the elements I’m still getting used to.”

Paul Fix

Besides his passion for racing, Fix is also an engineer and business owner. He owns two different companies: Classic Tube, which manufactures stainless steel tubing for automotive, industrial and aerospace markets, and Fix Motorsports, a business that restores concours show cars.

 

“We’ve sold some of the cars for world record prices at the time,” Fix said. “It’s fun because I love cars and automotive history and it just goes hand in hand with racing.

 

“Both of my companies get a lot of really neat projects to work on that really challenge me from an engineering standpoint. My work truly fulfills me.”

 

His wife, a well-known automotive journalist who also races vintage cars, is always there to support him during race weekends and even handles his public relations for him. The couple has two kids who both live in New York City – Shelby, named after the famous car builder Carroll Shelby, and Paul III.

 

Fix is currently ranked fourth in points in the Masters class, with two races in the Ave-Riley AR-2 under his belt.

 

“IMSA was the next great step in my career to keep racing and be challenged on the track with some amazing professional drivers,” Fix said. “I’m truly looking forward to the rest of the 2017 season.”

IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda

 

IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda, an International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Challenge Series, is in its 12th season in 2017. The series provides thrilling action and grooms drivers for future IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

 

Action will be divided into two classes in 2017, blending new and existing IMSA machinery. The LM P3 class will feature LM P3 chassis from as many as six different constructors powered by identical V8 engines. The MPC class will use the existing Élan DP02 chassis powered by Mazda engines that previously comprised the Lites 1 class of the series.

 

Nine of the 13 rounds on the 2017 schedule will take place during WeatherTech Championship weekends, putting drivers and teams into the brightest sports car racing spotlight in North America. Most event weekends will include a pair of 45-minute sprint races. For more information about Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #IMSAPC @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

About IMSA

 

The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 and owns a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA – a company within the NASCAR family – is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. For more information, visit www.IMSA.com, www.twitter.com/IMSA or www.facebook.com/IMSA.

(Article reprinted with permission from IMSA.com)

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