We regret to report that Robbie Pierce, American pilot and Jimco Racing team boss, has passed away at the age of 63 due to an accident while diving.
We send condolences to the entire offroad community on another irreplaceable loss.
Robert (Robbie) Pierce (born April 29, 1959) is an American off-road racer, owner of Jimco Racing and former owner of MasterCraft Safety and Impact Products. Pierce currently competes in the SCORE International Desert Racing Series with Jimco Trophy trucks and previously competed in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS) with Pro2 Unlimited trucks.
Born and raised in the mountains east of San Diego in Southern California, Robbie Pierce was an avid hockey player from the age of 5. He was scouted by a professional hockey team in high school, but eventually left the team and moved to Glens Ferry, Idaho. It was here that Pierce’s interest in metalworking and machinery flourished, as he worked on heavy machinery used in farming and agriculture. Ultimately, the appeal of family and the warmer weather drew Pierce back to Southern California.
Pierce used the skills he learned in Idaho to start welding at his own small business. Much of his work was for the demanding aerospace industry, but by 1985 MasterCraft was also among his clients. MasterCraft founder Jack Miller turned to Pierce’s welding expertise to create the company’s tubular seat frames. In 1999, Pierce acquired MasterCraft from Jack Miller’s daughter, Peri, and dedicated full time to growing MasterCraft into a world-class safety company, adding racing seat belts, window nets, tool bags and a line of production vehicle seats stand.
A staunch patriot, Pierce’s US-made suspension seats and restraint systems have been used on US Army combat vehicles such as the MRAP and LSAC since 2004, saving 84% energy during live fire events with 50 “G” loads; Positive It’s the kind of impact that improvised explosive devices have on coalition vehicles.
In 2008, MasterCraft Safety acquired Ryan Safety and added racing apparel to its line of suspension seats, restraints, boundary harnesses and window nets. In 2010, the company expanded further and acquired Impact Products from Bill Simpson. The addition of Impact enables MasterCraft Safety to offer a full line of safety products including helmets, fire-resistant gloves and racing shoes. The move helps accelerate Pierce’s vision to offer a complete line of head-to-toe safety products from one manufacturer. Backed by Pierce’s business acumen, all of the Impact Racing brands leverage continued product development, enhanced technology and extensive marketing to drive sales and industry reach to record levels. In June 2017, Pierce sold Impact and MasterCraft to Italian security giant Sparco.