People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Jim Helberg Joins Autobytel; Scott O'Toole Forms RPM Data Services

Jim Helberg
Jim Helberg

Automotive media and marketing veteran Jim Helberg was named Autobytel’s executive vice president, product, marketing and analytics. Helberg arrives at Autobytel with a 25-year record of strategic marketing, advertising and media accomplishments with some of the leading automotive ad agencies, working with many of the major OEMs, including Chrysler, Nissan, Honda and Toyota. In his new role, Helberg will oversee all of the Autobytel’s web products and consumer and trade marketing initiatives.

Scott O'Toole, a 28-year automotive aftermarket veteran, announced his departure from Motor State Distributing to form his own data solutions company, RPM Data Services. The company's focus is to work with racing, performance and accessory companies to get their data consolidated and standardized in an acceptable format (ACES and PIES) to meet the needs of all distribution-channel partners.

The following appointments were announced within Hastings Manufacturing Co.’s marketing, sales and administration areas. Richard Zwiernikowski, CFO, moved to vice president of finance and administration; Jeffrey Guenther was promoted to vice president of international sales; Thomas DeBlasis was promoted to vice president of domestic aftermarket sales; David Sepesi was promoted to vice president of OEM sales; and Edward Webb was promoted to director of distribution operations. Each of these individuals will report to Fred Cook, president and CEO.

Superchips launched a new performance racing division known as Superchips Racing. The launch of the new division is accompanied with the release of its first racing performance programmer, the Superchips Racing Ford Diesel Tuner, designed exclusively for racing environments.

K&N Filters has signed on to support the Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.) Teen Pro-Active Driving School presented by NHRA held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. The school, which is provided free of charge to all participating teens and parents, provides behind-the-wheel training for young drivers in an effort to reduce the number of injuries and deaths that result from teen driver accidents. The school is comprised of five different driving courses, including a wet skid pad, a slalom course, accident avoidance, panic stops and a course that discourages driving with distractions. Held June 12–13, and December 11–12, there are two sessions each day, and spots are still available for the December classes. For more information and to register, visit

Silver Anvil
The Car Care Council and Maximum Marketing Services Inc. received a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence.

The Car Care Council and Maximum Marketing Services Inc., received a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign. The Award of Excellence, which recognizes outstanding strategic public relations planning and implementation, was presented during the Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony held June 3 in New York City.

Bruno Massel and Matt Steele, the hosts of the television program "Truck U," plan to build a rock racer/rock climber from the ground up to compete in the 2011 Griffin King of the Hammers rock-crawling event. Massel and Steele intend the vehicle to be cross-functional and include new locking differentials, a suspension system, state-of-the-art safety equipment, a complete tube chassis, winches, a high-performance LS1 engine and new interior. Companies that take part in the building of the Rock Racer will get a decal or logo on the vehicle. This "Truck U" special will air on the SPEED network in July/August 2010.

HKS USA Inc. entered into an exclusive agreement with InterWorks Unlimited Inc. to co-develop a line of racing video game controllers. According to HKS USA, it is the first performance manufacturer to jointly develop a gaming controller that is designed to give enthusiasts a more accurate gaming experience. The HKS Racing Controller for PlayStation3 will feature special accelerator and brake buttons on the right side of the controller and an active circular steering controller on the left side. The controller’s red, white and black color scheme and graphic design is inspired by the legendary HKS CT230R race car. The HKS Racing Controller for PlayStation3 computer entertainment system will be shown by appointment only at the InterWorks booth at the upcoming Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 15–17, 2010.