Gene Haas didn’t have to go very far to find a very key individual for his Formula 1 team, which is set to hit the track in 2016.
All Haas had to do was walk down the hall from his office to find veteran NASCAR crew chief Matt Borland, who will be the vice president of special projects for Haas F1, according to a report from Motorsport.com.
“Formula 1 is certainly a lot more technical and I think Borland is looking for the challenge,” Haas said.
Borland, a 43-year-old native of suburban Detroit, got his start in the motorsports world by working in IndyCar in engineering roles and briefly serving as a race engineer for veteran driver Mark Blundell.
Borland moved on to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1999 to work for Team Penske in an engineering role and from there became Ryan Newman‘s first Cup Series crew chief.
Borland had a brief stop at Michael Waltrip Racing before moving over to Gene Haas’ upstart organization in 2007.
He and Newman were reunited in a driver/crew chief role in Newman’s final season at Stewart Haas Racing, which was highlighted by Newman’s win in the Brickyard 400 in July.
“He knows how to get things started, and he knows how to put people together,” Newman said of Borland. “He did the exact same thing last year with a team that took us to a Brickyard 400 trophy.
“He is the guy I would want if I was doing that to do that. He’s very hands-on and knows how to do everything. At the same time, it’s a huge task so I hope he has some good people around him.”