As the General Manager of Pfaff Motorsports, Steve Bortolotti is convinced there is value in a dealership becoming involved in racing because it creates brand awareness and a culture of unity among its employees.
Bortolotti has been GM since February 2015, a year after it brought its program, which has been in existence for more than 50 years, in-house. “From an automotive retail standpoint, we started seeing our clients and employees were getting engaged in what we were doing and we were actually seeing it as a bit of a recruiting tool,” said Bortolotti at Pfaff Motorsports’ headquarters in Concord, Ont. “From an automotive retail perspective, it started having value beyond just enjoying racing.”
Pfaff Motorsports will return to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, July 1-3, following a two-year hiatus caused by COVID. It will compete in the Chevrolet Grand Prix, the only Canadian stop in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with its No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R. This will be the first time local racing fans will be able to see the car, which has been competing in the U.S., since 2019. It won the inaugural IMSA GTD Pro Class in the 60 th running of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in January.
Bortolotti said the company was acknowledged at a Porsche dealer conference that took place shortly after the win in Daytona. “That means something,” said Bortolotti. “There has to be some value there, what that is I don’t know, but these sorts of things mean something.”
He said when Lithia and Driveway (LAD) purchased Pfaff Automotive Partners in August 2021, there was no stipulation it had to continue with the racing program. “They’re doing this because they see value in what we’re doing, they see the culture it’s built within Pfaff,” said Bortolotti. “It’s built a camaraderie. It’s built the ability for people to hang out outside of work. As far as I’m concerned, it’s very important for a business to have your employees meet with each other.
“I think that builds loyalty in a way. You’re passionate to work there because now you’ve become friends with who you work with. It’s built this happy place to work and I think people want to go to work to be happy.”