David Williams

Merkle Inc. CEO David Williams gets into the Porsche he'll be racing this weekend. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun / August 28, 2013)

Five years after starting Merkle Inc., David Williams bought his first Porsche at 30 and raced for years in local sports car club competitions. Little did he think he would ever become more serious about racing than that.

After spending a quarter-century building Columbia-based Merkle into the nation’s largest independent customer marketing company, Williams has returned to his racing career this year, driving Porsches on the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama series.

Currently second overall individually in points as a member of the TPC racing team that leads the circuit with five wins, Williams is looking forward to Saturday’s race as part of the Grand Prix of Baltimore. It will mark the first time that a IMSA GTC Cup Challenge event will be held on a street course in the United State.

It’s also the first time Williams will race on a street course.        

“To have that first street circuit to be in Baltimore is just fantastic,” Williams said Friday. “This is the first time I’ve ever been on a street course.”

Asked what it’s like to go more than double the speed limit on streets he often uses, Wiliams said, It’s interesting to see them at 130 miles an hour."