IMSA Prototype Challenge Driver Fix Campaigning American-Made LMP3 Chassis
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Veteran driver Paul Fix was looking for the next challenge in his racing career when Tony Ave reached out to him about a new opportunity in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) competition with a brand-new car.

Fix, who moved over from the top of the class in the Trans Am series (he's ranked 15th in all-time wins for the series), had already been racing for Ave since 2013.

"Tony thought it would be an easy transition to have a driver who's familiar with his leadership, and I get along great with the entire crew, team and engineering staff," Fix said. "Plus, IMSA has a great, professional reputation and we get to race at some great venues across the country."

Fix, who lives in Buffalo, N.Y., has a rich history in sports car racing. His wife Lauren, who's been racing sports cars since the 80s, formed the Driving Ambitions Performance Driving School with Fix, which featured driver development and classroom instruction at Watkins Glen International.   

He was looking for the next challenge when Ave, the constructor of the Riley Trans Am chassis, approached him about racing in the LMP3 class in IMSA's Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series. Fix went through testing in Europe in 2016, followed by American-based testing before the season started in early 2017.

"As a company, finding the right combination of speed and development skills is both difficult and imperative at the same time," Ave said. "Paul fits that mold, and he was an obvious choice for us given his success in Trans Am cars as we ventured into Prototype racing. We look forward to more success as we get miles under our belts." 

There are six authorized constructors in the world - the majority of which are in Europe - but the Ave-Riley chassis is the only American-built car, and the Ave-Riley AR-2 that Fix is driving is the first one to ever be built.

The car was designed by sports car legend Bill Riley, and is being manufactured under the leadership of Ave, who used to be a Riley Technologies test driver.

"The car has about half of the horsepower that I'm used to, but I love the sequential paddle shift - it's a really nice change for me versus a regular stick," Fix said. "It also has a lot of downforce so the corner speeds are higher and the braking distances are a lot shorter - those are some of the elements I'm still getting used to." 

Besides his passion for racing, Fix is also an engineer and business owner. He owns two different companies: Classic Tube, which manufactures stainless steel tubing for automotive, industrial and aerospace markets, and Fix Motorsports, a business that restores concours show cars.

"We've sold some of the cars for world record prices at the time," Fix said. "It's fun because I love cars and automotive history and it just goes hand in hand with racing.

"Both of my companies get a lot of really neat projects to work on that really challenge me from an engineering standpoint. My work truly fulfills me."

His wife, a well-known automotive journalist who also races vintage cars, is always there to support him during race weekends and even handles his public relations for him. The couple has two kids who both live in New York City - Shelby, named after the famous car builder Carroll Shelby, and Paul III.

Fix is currently ranked fourth in points in the Masters class, with two races in the Ave-Riley AR-2 under his belt.

"IMSA was the next great step in my career to keep racing and be challenged on the track with some amazing professional drivers," Fix said. "I'm truly looking forward to the rest of the 2017 season."