Zak Brown is a racer at heart. Born in Los Angeles in 1971, Brown has raced professionally for many years in open wheelers, coaches and GT cars. The American has all tried British Formula 3, Indy Lights and German Formula 3, but a big breakthrough to Formula 1 or IndyCar never came. During his racing career, his interest in the business world arose. In 1995 he founded Just Marketing International, which grew into the largest motorsport marketing agency in the world.
In 2009, Brown co-founded United Autosports with former racing driver Richard Dean. The racing team currently mainly competes in long-distance championships such as the WEC and the European Le Mans Series, but has also been part of the BTCC for a while. Through United Autosports, Brown also co-owns Walkinshaw Andretti United, along with Michael Andretti and Ryan Walkinshaw. This is an Australian racing team that competes in the Supercars Championship.
Since 2016, Brown has been part of the McLaren Technology Group, where he started as director. Just under two years later in 2018, Brown was named CEO of McLaren Racing. Brown was the first CEO since Ron Dennis, who left the position in 2014. Dennis held shares until 2017, but then sold them to McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive. 2018 was therefore the year of change at McLaren. Coupled with the major restructuring within the team, the racing teams changed from gray color to the historic papaya orange and after three years Honda was replaced by Renault as an engine supplier.
Everything changed at McLaren at that time, because after 2018 drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were also replaced by Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. Under Brown's leadership, McLaren Racing expanded its portfolio to IndyCar, Extreme E and from 2023 also Formula E. The latter is even looking at the option of entering the WEC in the hypercar class. This should then happen in 2024.
Brown has been living in Surrey in the UK for years now. He is married and has two sons. The American is a true collector of motorsport memorabilia and owns some very special cars, such as the McLaren MP4/6 with which Ayrton Senna won the Monaco GP in 1991, Dale Earnhardt's 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlos that he lent to Daniel Ricciardo in 2021 and a McLaren Speedtail. . Although he no longer races professionally himself, he enjoys driving a race car at historic events such as Goodwood and the historic Monaco Grand Prix.