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SAE International Motorsports Conference to Feature Peter Wright and Bob Varsha

CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 30, 2008 - Two well-known professionals in motorsports will highlight the lineup of speakers to address attendees of  the 2008 SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference, set Dec. 2-4 at The Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord Golf Resort & Spa in Concord, N.C.

  • Industry keynote speaker opening the conference will be Peter Wright, Technical Consultant of the FIA Institute, whose topic will be “Motorsports and the Environment: Challenge or Compromise?”
  • Banquet speaker will be award-winning motorsports broadcast journalist Bob Varsha.

Wright, named an SAE Fellow this year, has a long and distinguished career in the field of motorsports.

As the director of Research and Development at Team Lotus, Wright led development of many Lotus Formula One cars. He has been responsible for Active Suspension development in Lotus Engineering, and for the development of Active Suspension on the Lotus F1 car; he eventually became Managing Director of Lotus Engineering, responsible for a staff of more than 600. For Lotus, he has been the Director for Group Lotus and later returned to the track as Technical Director of Team Lotus from 1991 to 1994.

In 1995, Wright became a technical adviser for the FIA, a position he holds today. He currently works across a number of FIA-affiliated organizations.

On the communications side of the industry, Varsha, known as one of the most eloquent and intellectual commentators in auto racing, started his television career Turner Broadcasting where he handled a wide variety of duties including weekday sports anchor on CNN. In 1982 he joined the cast of television’s first weekly motorsports program, “MotorWeek Illustrated,” airing on WTBS.

Two years later he accepted a job with the show’s production company, World Sports Enterprises, and began to cover motorsports full-time.

Auto racing eventually led Varsha to ESPN, where he also had assignments with ABC Sports.

Varsha has co-anchored the Sunday night motorsports program “Speedvision News Raceweek,” and hosted Speedvision coverage of Formula One, The 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring. In 2001, he joined Speedvision when it relaunched as SPEED Channel. There he has continued his long association with Formula One and Le Mans and added new programs including the ground-breaking automotive history series “Behind the Headlights”. He is also the co-host of “Focus on Racing Radio,” and serves as the Formula One correspondent for the program “Powershift” on XM Satellite Radio.

For more information on the 2008 SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference, please visit http://www.sae.org/events/mec/ . Reporters and editors may request media credentials by emailing pr@sae.org .

SAE International is a global association of 115,000 engineers and related technical experts in the automotive, aerospace and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International’s core competencies are life-long learning and standards development. SAE International’s charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World in Motion and the Collegiate Design Series.

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