Zak Brown

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Zak Brown
Zak Brown.jpg
Brown in 2010
Born (1971-11-07) November 7, 1971 (age 48)
Los Angeles, California U.S.[1]
Current teamUnited Autosports
Car number23
Previous series
2000, 201011
19992000, 2011
199396, 1998
British GT Championship
Blancpain Endurance Series
Le Mans Classic
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
FIA GT3 European Championship
Ferrari Challenge North America
Rolex Sports Car Series
American Le Mans Series

FIA GT Championship
German Formula Three
Indy Lights
British Formula 3
EFDA Nations Cup
Toyota Atlantics
Opel-Lotus Benelux Series
British Formula Vauxhall Lotus
Formula Ford 1600
Championship titles
1988–90International Kart Federation
Formula One Power List
NASCAR Power List
Formula One Power List
Sports Business Journal's 'Forty under 40'
Promo Magazine 'Marketer of the Year'
Jim Trueman Award
RFA Promising Young Star
AARWB Sports Car Driver
GCKS Rookie of the Year
OccupationChief Executive Officer of McLaren Racing

Zakary Challen Brown (born November 7, 1971)[2] is an American businessman and former professional racing driver, currently residing in England. He is Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Racing with overall responsibility for the business, including strategic direction, operational performance, marketing and commercial development.[3]

Born and raised in California,[4] Zak Brown raced professionally around the world for 10 years before developing his skills in motorsport's business and commercial worlds. In 1995, he founded Just Marketing International (JMI),[5] which grew to become the largest motorsport marketing agency in the world. In 2013 JMI was acquired by CSM,[6] a division of Chime Communications Limited,[7] and Brown became the company's Chief Executive Officer. He relinquished that post in the winter of 2016 to focus on his responsibilities with McLaren.[8]

Brown has been recognised by a range of industry bodies and publications, including the Paddock Magazine F1 Power List[9] and his induction into the Sports Business Journal "Forty Under 40" Hall of Fame, where he has been listed three times.[10][11] He was named Promo Marketer of the Year by PROMO Magazine,[12] and JMI has appeared five times in Inc. Magazine's "Inc 500" annual list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States.[13]

Brown co-founded and co-owns United Autosports, a professional team competing in international sportscar racing and various historic racing events around the world.[14] He is non-executive chairman of Motorsport Network, the global market-leading motorsport and automotive digital platform.[15]

Brown is an avid collector of historical documents and sporting memorabilia, as well as both road and racing cars.[16] He is married with two sons and lives in Surrey in the United Kingdom.

Racing career[edit]

Brown began his racing career in karting in 1986, winning 22 races in 5 seasons from 1986–1990. He moved to Europe where his first win was in Formula Ford 1600 at England's Donington Park. In the 1992 Opel-Lotus Benelux Series Brown secured top-ten finishes in each of the season’s races. The following year Brown finished 4th in the series.

Brown has competed on both sides of the Atlantic, contesting North America's Toyota Atlantic Series in addition to the Opel-Lotus Benelux Series and 1994 British Formula Three Championship. Brown made his Indy Lights debut at Laguna Seca Raceway in 1995[17][circular reference] and competed in a German Formula Three Championship race in 1996.

In 1997 Brown finished second in the GT2 category in the 24 Hours at Daytona with Roock Racing in a factory-supported Porsche 911 GT2.[18] He also finished second in the 1997 12 Hours of Sebring.[19]

2000 and beyond[edit]

Brown took a sabbatical from professional racing between 2001–2005 to concentrate on JMI. In 2006 he returned to the track with an entry in the Britcar 24 Hours race, winning his class as a member of the driver line-up for Moore International Motorsport.[20] In 2007 he contested the Ferrari Challenge Series as part of a six-car stable fielded by Ferrari of Washington. At his debut in Fontana he started in pole position and led every lap of the race to take victory.[21] The following year Brown returned to full-time competition, with his Ferrari Challenge Series campaign highlighted by a win at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.[22]

In 2009 Brown and Richard Dean co-founded United Autosports.[23] In 2010 the team scored a third-place finish in the GT3 category at the Total 24 Hours of Spa and recorded its maiden class victory in the 2011 British GT Championship at Snetterton.[24] In 2012, the team raced in both the Blancpain Endurance Series with a McLaren MP4-12C and the British GT Championship with an Audi R8 LMS. The team also competed in the Dubai 12 Hour race, the Bathurst 12 Hour,[25] Macau GT Cup and the Spa 24 Hours. Brown himself won the last round of the British GT Championship at Donington Park with Álvaro Parente as a wild card entry for the team in a McLaren MP4-12C GT3.[26]

In 2013 Brown competed in a full season of the British GT Championship with United Autosports in a McLaren MP4-12C GT3.[27] Brown still races regularly in Historic events, such as the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique.[28]

United Autosports[edit]

United Autosports, one of the largest motorsport teams in the UK and competing globally in different sports prototype and GT categories across the world,[29] is co-owned by McLaren CEO Zak Brown and racing driver Richard Dean.[30] Founded in 2009, the team has raced in a number of championships using a variety of different cars across several classes and categories, with drivers including Fernando Alonso, Juan Pablo Montoya, Lando Norris and Paul di Resta.[31] The team currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup. It has also recorded podium success in other events around the world, such as the Macau GT Cup, the Spa 24 Hours, the Abu Dhabi 12 Hours and the Bathurst 12 Hour race in Australia.[32]

United Autosports also operates an Historic Division, restoring, preparing and managing a range of historic sportscars and Formula 1 race cars, some from Zak Brown's own collection, as well as for customers.[33] These compete globally at such events as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,[34] the Silverstone Classic,[35] Monaco Historics, Le Mans Classic,[36] Spa Classic,[37] Nürburgring Old Timers, and Goodwood Festival of Speed.[38]

McLaren Technology Group & McLaren Racing[edit]

On November 21 2016, Brown was announced as Executive Director of McLaren Technology Group.[39] On April 10 2018, Brown became the Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Racing as part of an operational restructure of the McLaren Group.[40][41] As CEO, Brown has overall responsibility for the business, including strategic direction, operational performance, marketing and commercial development.[42]


  1. ^ Is this failed Formula One driver the next Bernie Ecclestone? The Guardian. January 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "Zakary Challen BROWN". Companies House. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  3. ^ "Zak Brown". McLaren Group. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Zak Brown CEO". McLaren Group. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "Just Marketing International". Indeed. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  6. ^ Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer (October 25, 2013). "London-Based Chime Communications Acquires Just Marketing Int'l For $76M". Sports Business daily. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  7. ^ Anthony Schoettle (October 25, 2013). "British firm to buy Just Marketing for $76 million". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  8. ^ Chris Medland (August 26, 2016). "Zak Brown quits role amid F1 links". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  9. ^ "100 Most Influential People in Formula 1". Paddock Magazine. May 31, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame". Sports Business Journal. March 21, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Business Journal's Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  12. ^ "Zak Brown". Motorsport Network. January 28, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  13. ^ Donald A. DePalma (August 30, 2010). "Inc. 5,000 List Includes Fast-Growing Language Service Providers". The Lingua House. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  14. ^ "Zak Brown". united Autosports. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  15. ^ " Appoints Zak Brown Non-Executive Chairman". Motorsport. January 28, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  16. ^ Callum Murray (July 7, 2017). "The Callum Murray Interview - Zak Brown". Sport Cal. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  17. ^ "1995 Indy Lights season". Wikipedia. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  18. ^ "Daytona 24 Hours 1997". Racing Sports Cars. February 2, 1997. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "Sebring 12 Hours 1997". Racing Sports Cars. March 15, 1997. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  20. ^ David Lord (September 10, 2006). "title". Dailysportscar. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  21. ^ Patrick C. Paternie (October 17, 2007). "2007 Ferrari Challenge: Fantastic finish leaves unfinished business". AutoWeek. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Mike Kraemer (November 3, 2008). "Ferrari Challenge Event Reports". HoJo Racing. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  23. ^ Automobile Club de l’Ouest (June 13, 2019). "24 Hours of Le Mans – United Autosports (LMP2)". Le Mans .org. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  24. ^ Mark Howson (May 15, 2011). "A Remarkable First Win For United Autosports". Dailysportscar. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  25. ^ Sam Tickell (February 26, 2012). "Rain Doesn't Dampen Three-Way Fight". Dailysportscar. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Mark Howson (September 30, 2012). "The Agony And The Ecstasy". Dailysportscar. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  27. ^ "Driver Biography: Zak Brown". British GT Championship. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  28. ^ Dan Knutson (October 11, 2017). "Zak Brown – The Power and the Passion". Autoaction. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  29. ^ "United Autosports". Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  30. ^ "United Autosports". United Autosports. September 14, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  31. ^ "United Autosports Driver, Past & Present". United Autosports. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  32. ^ "United Autosports History". United Autosports. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  33. ^ "United Autosports Historic Motorsport". United Autosports. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  34. ^ "962 Win for United Austosports at Monterey". .Historic Racing News. August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  35. ^ "United Autosports parades former British Grand Prix race winner in Silverstone classic". July 22, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  36. ^ "United Autosports enters ultra-successful Porsche for team's maiden Le Mans classic outing". Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  37. ^ "United Autosports successfully races magnificently restored machines of yesteryear". Endurance Classic. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  38. ^ "Schumacher Benetton on display at Goodwood Festival of Speed". June 24, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  39. ^ "McLaren confirms Zak Brown as new executive director". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  40. ^
  41. ^ "McLaren Group continues corporate simplification". April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  42. ^ "Zak Brown". McLaren Group. Retrieved August 23, 2019.

External links[edit]