Mechanic, administrator, series leader
The Englishman gained renown as a mechanic for top F1, IndyCar and sports car teams like Penske, McLaren, Ferrari, Tyrrell, Cooper, and Ford’s Le Mans program. But it was as longtime CEO of The Firestone Indy Lights Series that he made his greatest impact on American motorsports, helping guide the careers of a generation of IndyCar stars. Born during WWII, he left school at 15 and soon wrenched for Jim Russell’s driving school. After working with the likes of Jackie Stewart and Chris Amon, he moved to America in the early ‘70s to join McLaren’s IndyCar program. There, he gained the nickname “Boost” for his uncanny ability to extract horsepower from turbo engines, including multiple Indy 500 pole winners and inductee Johnny Rutherford’s 1974 race-winner. In 1980, John Bishop hired him as IMSA’s Technical Director. In 1985, Bailey became co-owner and managing partner of the newly formed American Racing Series. Later renamed Indy Lights, he was made CEO in 1997 until his retirement in 2012. Today he remains Chief Appellate Officer for IMSA.