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About the Author


Photo by G.Q. Coleman

I grew up in a family that was passionate about auto racing.  When I was four years old, my dad would take my brother and I to Sports Car Club of America racing events.  We enjoyed every minute and his passion was immediately transferred to both of us. 

After earning a BS degree in mechanical engineering at NC State University, I found my dream job when I was hired to work for Electramotive Engineering Inc. in El Segundo, California in January of 1986.  Electramotive Engineering later became Nissan Performance Technology Inc. where I continued to work on Nissan GTP cars until the company dissolved in 1993.  This experience set my career path in race design and engineering. 

In 1993, I formed my own race engineering company, Willes Engineering Concepts.  Since then, I have designed over ten different racing vehicles, including three championship winning Mustangs; the 1996 Saleen World Challenge GT2 Mustang, the 2002 ACS Express Trans-Am Mustang, and the 2009 ACS Express World Challenge GT Mustang.  I also designed the Smart Racer, a spec car originally built for Costa Rica and later raced in the U.S., and Ivan Stewart's ProTruck, a spec Baja off-road racing truck. 


In 2009, I was awarded the SCCA World Challenge Zimmerman Cup for "Crew Chief of the Year".


My latest design, the RealTime Racing Acura TLX-GT four-wheel drive race car, is a three-time winner of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb Open Class, setting a new time record each year. 


For more information see: .

Chris Willes

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