Dr. Geoffrey Billows has confirmed that he will retire as Director of Medical Services with the NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of the season.
Billows, who has held the position since 1993 was diagnosed with parotid salivary cancer since November 2020.
Speaking about the news which was announced during the drivers meeting on Friday in Toronto, Billows who will remain involved in the series on a part time basis next season said:
It’s no secret that the last 20 months have been quite challenging for me. “After a lot of consideration and discussion with my wife, I have decided to retire at the end of this season. This is something I plan to battle and live for many years, and I thought, ‘I should enjoy whatever time I have left.’ But I’m staying on so I can help part time because I enjoy it so much.
“The opportunity to work with INDYCAR and IMS has been an opportunity of a lifetime. It’s been a career unlike none other. I think it’s quite rewarding. It not only gives me a chance to help take care of the drivers but to also have the chance to promote safety in the motorsports industry.”
Dr. Julia Vaizer will succeed Billows becoming the first female Director of Medical Services with the NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway having worked under Billows since 2020.
Vaizer who took over as Director of Medical Services earlier this season while Billows was on medical leave commented saying:
Dr. Billows has been a friend, a mentor, a teacher and like family to me. “There are a lot of emotions of excitement for him to take a new stage in his life and spend more time with his family. It’s wonderful that he’s going to stay on as an INDYCAR physician.
“It’s a huge honor to be chosen to carry on his legacy. It fills me with inspiration. I know I will work really hard to continue doing what he established as one of the most successful medical teams in the world of motorsports. I cannot wait for the next chapter and see how we can continue to improve the field of motorsports medicine for the next generation to come.”
President of the NTT IndyCar Series Jay Frye commented saying:
Dr. Billows has been an integral part of INDYCAR’s success both on and off the track. “His guidance and expertise have been tremendous assets to the series, the drivers and all our stakeholders. We are excited for him to spend more time with his family and grateful that we’ll still get to see him around the racetrack.
“Dr. Billows and Dr. Vaizer have been working very closely together over the last few years, so we know this will be a seamless transition. We look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Vaizer as she trailblazes into her new leadership position as INDYCAR’s first female medical director.
President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, J Douglas Boles commented saying:
There aren’t enough words to express our full sense of gratitude and respect for Dr. Billows and his service to our racing community. We’re so appreciative of his contributions and so glad we’ll still see him at the IU Health Infield Care Center during the Month of May and more. We also know Dr. Vaizer is extremely well prepared for this new role and congratulate her on this exciting opportunity.”
Dr.Billows concluded saying:
Dr. Vaizer is not only a very skilled and talented emergency medicine physician but a gifted educator. She’s the only physician on the face of this planet to who has completed a formal, post-graduate, university-based motorsports medicine fellowship. I have 100% confidence in turning the position of medical director over to her.”