While the drivers are typically the most visible, most celebrated members of any successful motor racing outfit, the dozens of people who work behind the scenes to turn their driving talent into victories are every bit as important – in some cases, perhaps even more so.
Meet Ben Johnson, who’s been the Team Manager for Corvette Racing since 2016, after serving more than a decade doing engineering for Pratt & Miller. He was profiled in a recent video by Mobil 1 The Grid (above), and although his name never appears next to a car number in any IMSA race reports, he’s an indispensable part of the Corvette Racing team.
“Ben is young, he’s bright, [and] he understands the business,” says Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan about his colleague. “Thus far, he has come through the wars. I know it’s a little daunting, as it would be for anybody… That’s the challenge, and that’s what makes victory so sweet. We’re lucky to have him, and I know he’s really happy and proud to be here.”
Johnson says that his job is largely ensuring that the team is working together toward common program goals, “marching together in the same direction,” year-to-year and race-to-race. “Really, it’s giving the tools and resources to everyone on the team to make sure that they can do their job as well as possible,” the Corvette Racing Team Manager says. In order to hammer out just what those objectives are, he has to work not only with his own team, but with the various racing sanctioning bodies that govern the rules and regulations of the sport.
Corvette Racing is now in its 20th year of competition, and in all the time it’s been around, the team has seen remarkable success, scoring twelve Team Championships and just as many Manufacturer Championships, along with 106 victories and eight class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although the team this year failed to produce a ninth Le Mans victory, it’s on-track to win yet another IMSA SportsCar Team Championship, despite not having any race wins to its name for the 2018 season.