Les Unger has been a great supporter and friend of motorsports since 1985 when he was named the national motorsports manager at Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc. His very large umbrella covered the Toyota Atlantic Championship, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long beach including the annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Unger oversaw literally dozens of event sponsorships in virtually every form of motorsports in the U.S. It was under his watch that Toyota entered the world of NASCAR with rousing success. Unger’s factory-backed programs have won 27 championships in IMSA sports cars, MTEG Off-Road Stadium Racing, and SCORE Desert racing competition. Individual victories include the Daytona 24 Hours, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 and the overall Pikes Peak International Hill Climb title on five occasions. The Toyota Atlantic Championship has helped develop some of open-wheel racing’s best including Jimmy Vasser, Michael Andretti, Sam Hornish Jr., Alex Barron, Patrick Carpentier, 1997 Formula 1 and 1995 Indy 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve, as well as Indy legends Bobby Rahal and Danny Sullivan. One would be hard pressed to find a manufacturer with a more committed and varied involvement in U.S. racing that Toyota has been on Les Unger’s watch.
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