Five reasons why Pfaff sees value in going racing

Sure, motorsport is expensive, but Pfaff says the returns it sees are multidimensional.

By Stephanie Wallcraft Wheels.ca

Jul 6, 2022 4 min. read

Article was updated a year ago

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Sure, motorsport is expensive, but Pfaff says the returns it sees are multidimensional

What’s in it for a car dealer to get involved in racing?

There are few organizations better qualified to answer that question than Pfaff Motorsports.

Since bringing its racing operations in-house in 2014, the team has won seven championships including an overall class victory last year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the top sports car racing series on the continent. It’s also won at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, and just last weekend the team won again, this time in a triumphant return to Canada at IMSA’s first race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in three years.

That’s not bad at all for a bunch of Canucks based out of Vaughan, Ont., just north of Toronto.

The race team keeps racking up wins, but still the question gets asked: why would a dealership group invest in all of this? A team can win every race it can find, but does that necessarily mean the dealers behind the arrangement will sell any more cars? After all, as the old adage goes, the best way to end up with a small fortune in racing is to start with a big one.

Laurance Yap, creative director for Pfaff Automotive Partners and all-around racing advocate, says he’s identified no fewer than five ways that Pfaff’s involvement in motorsport has helped it in its day-to-day operations.

Employee engagement

It’s one of the most important factors, Yap says. Pfaff Automotive Partners was purchased by U.S. automotive retailer Lithia & Driveway in 2021, but the Pfaff dealers still operate under the same banner with locations across Southern Ontario. Plus, some of the group’s employees are still working from home, meaning teams who work together don’t always see one another as often as they used to.

Operating a premier racing team gives everyone at Pfaff something united to rally behind. Last weekend, some 300 of the group’s employees were on hand at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to watch as the team scored its first win on Canadian soil.

Pfaff vaughan


For Pfaff dealers, the team also acts as a recruitment tool. The technicians who work on the team’s cars during race weekends also have day jobs in Pfaff dealerships. Having a shot at the high-stakes, fast-paced environment of a race team is just the ticket for attracting driven technicians into Pfaff’s service departments, Yap says. The fact that they bring lessons home and apply them to their daily work is a bonus. And potential employees are attracted into other segments of the business as well.

“When I was at the point in my career where I was looking at [dealership roles] and I had a couple of options, [I noticed] these guys are deep into racing, and I like that,” Yap says. “It's almost a cultural kind of thing. You can just tell that it's probably pretty competitive, the pace is probably pretty high, there's room to grow, that kind of thing.”


There’s a beneficial marketing aspect to Pfaff’s motorsport involvement as well, Yap says. The Plaid Porsche has earned a strong fan following across North America, and the livery has become an entity of its own with fans being able to purchase die-cast models and merchandise either trackside or online through a partnership with local racing memorabilia shop Toronto Motorsports. As a result of this and other initiatives, Yap says consumers associate the Pfaff name directly the Porsche brand in Canada.

Brand value

Speaking of Porsche, it’s a manufacturer that takes pride in racing, and a dealership’s investment in the sport doesn’t go unnoticed: Yap says Pfaff’s racing programs have deepened its relationship with Porsche and other brands.

pfaff porsche

“We're racing a Porsche, but we also support customers with McLaren race cars and BMW race cars,” Yap says. “The fact that you are making an investment in going racing is a signal to these brands that you are committed to them at the highest level.”

Better business

Finally, operating the team creates opportunities for Pfaff to deepen its relationships with its business partners. For example, Motul sponsors the race team, and the dealership group pours Motul oils in its service departments. C17 Media supports the team, and it’s also called upon to produce the wraps for the race car and trailer and supply print services across the Pfaff group. And thanks to Hagerty’s partnership with the team, Pfaff customers are easily connected with Hagerty’s car insurance, a service that can be hard to find for the higher-value vehicles sold at Pfaff dealerships.

As it turns out, that old saying about winning on Sunday and selling on Monday still holds true. These days, it just takes a different shape.




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