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Black 6050 8th January 2015 12:38

SRT Motorsports shut down?
 
SRT Motorsports shut down?

Interesting to see were this leads…..and what about Ralph Gilles who has headed the SRT effort from the start….will he be selling Fiats at a local Dodge dealership in the near future?

By Michael Volkmann
January 7, 2015

In October there were big changes at SRT Motorsports, as they won the TUSC championship (in their class) and then left the series. At the time it was believed that SRT Motorsports would continue its longstanding partnership with the North American Road Racing Championship, the de facto home for amateur and semiprofessional Viper racing.

The TUSC-championship Dodge Vipers are still owned by Chrysler and could come out to play for photo opportunities; and one independent team is racing Vipers this year, though SRT Motorsports is apparently not behind their effort.
Now, rumors claim that Mopar has taken over all racing activity, including the TransAm racing program, and that SRT Motorsports is effectively being shut down.

Steven Cole Smith of Motorsport.com claimed last week that Beth Paretta, the Marketing and Operations Director for SRT Motorsports, has parted ways with FCA, as of December 19th. A spokesman said that FCA does not comment on personnel matters of this type.

Motorsports.com has further reported that Ralph Gilles, Ms. Paretta’s SRT Motorsports boss, is no longer the President and CEO of SRT Motorsports.

Neither Mr. Gilles nor Ms. Paretta have responded to questions regarding their job status or future activities of SRT Motorsports by followers on Twitter. However, Beth Paretta’s Twitter profile no longer references Chrysler, FCA, or SRT, although her picture does show her wearing a Hellcat T-shirt.

Ms. Paretta’s LinkedIn account profile shows her experience as “Director, Marketing and Operations – Motorsports, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, May 2014 to December 2014.” Normally, if she still had this role, the date would say May 2014 to Present. Based on the Motorsport.com article and the LinkedIn profile, it appears Beth Paretta is indeed no longer part of SRT Motorsports, though she may be in a holding pattern at FCA.

Ralph Gilles’ Twitter profile states that he is “Senior Vice President, Product Design, Chrysler LLC”. It does not mention anything about his role as the head of SRT Motorsports, but may not have done so earlier, either.

Mr. Gilles’ bio on the FCA website states, “Gilles has also served as President and CEO – Motorsports; President and CEO – SRT Brand and President and CEO – Dodge Brand for FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC.” The Chrysler bio seems to confirm that Ralph Gilles is indeed no longer in charge of SRT Motorsports.

Gary Johnson, the SRT Motorsports Racing Manager, has had no activity on his normally active Twitter account since November, but his LinkedIn account still shows him as “SRT Motorsports Manager, November 2004 to Present,” unlike Ms. Paretta. Gary does appear to still be with FCA, but his role is unknown at the time of this writing, and even frequent Twitter posters may not keep their profiles up to date.

Questions remain — is SRT Motorsports still around, or has it been folded into Mopar? What is the status of former SRT Motorsports leaders? No official announcement has been made yet.


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