Lakewood, Ohio's Connection To Formula One

Zak Brown CEO of McLaren International in the office, a Britsh F3 car, back in the 80s.

Lakewood’s connection to the amazing world of Formula One-- It's stronger than you would think.
Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren International,  co-owner of ARROW Indy Car, and co-owner of United Motorsports IMSA Sports Car teams, and owner of what is becoming the most impressive collection of cars, spent time for a couple summers here, and LOVED IT.
In the 70s-80s I ran a Motor racing organization/team called “Racing for America.” We raised money for young and fast American racing drivers. Also worked with "Racing for Britain" run by founder Steve Sydenham and the most successful "Racing for" program. And helped with other “Racing for” programs that popped up around the globe. 
Racing for America successfully sponsored and competed in Formula Ford(USA, UK, Europe), Formula 3(UK, Europe, Japan), F3000(UK, Europe, Japan) Formula Opel(UK, Europe), Indy Lights, Formula Pacific, Rallying, and other series. We would look for driver's that had promise, but not the proper funding and help. Zak Brown was one of our drivers in Formula 3, Formula Opel, and Formula Atlantic.
This weekend Formula One is in Miami for the first time, and it is becoming a huge event. Zak, being one of the few Americans in the sport is getting a ton of press, so I thought it would bring it even closer to Lakewoodites.
For those unfamiliar with Formula One, it is considered by all in motorsport to be the pinnacle of the sport. The smallest team spends over $500 million a year to race, the big teams nearly a billion! Price caps came in last year, but the money is still 10 times any other racing sport. McLaren was a top team with drivers like Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost but fell on hard times. Zak joined McLaren and has taken the team back to the fast end of the grid. The team continues to improve, and while it is a team sport, Zak has always been a great personality, positive, wise beyond his years, and a marketing genius.
If you get a chance, watch the Miami Formula One Race this weekend on Channel 5 WEWS 3:30pm Sunday.
Good luck Zak!


Jim O'Bryan

Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.

Volume 18, Issue 10, Posted 12:21 PM, 07.06.2022