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Drake Looks Forward To Return To Greenville Pickens

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Published in Racing News
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 12:33

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East heads back to South Carolina this week for its second visit of the year to Greenville Pickens Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 6.

 

The Greenville 140 at the historic half-mile oval is one of two races remaining on the schedule as the 2014 season winds down.

 

Coming off back-to-back road course races, Nick Drake is anxious to get back on an oval and aims to finish off his rookie season with a strong performance.

 

“I’m looking forward to it,” Drake said of returning to Greenville Pickens Speedway. “Hopefully we can have a good outing.

 

“We need to redeem ourselves there from last time,” he said, referring to his 16th-place finish there in March. “I’ve learned a ton more over the year. We’ve been good on the other ovals lately. And we ran good on the two road courses, but we just didn’t have much luck.”

 

The 18-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina has garnered one pole, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 14 career series starts this year – driving the No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing.

 

“Coming into the season, I didn’t know what to expect,” Drake said. “We took on the whole stock car deal pretty quickly. The results haven’t really shown how good we’ve run this year.”

 

He attributed those subpar finishes to some bad luck in a few events.

 

“Everyone knows we’ve been running good all year,” he said. “That’s been a good thing. We’ve improved a ton since the first race at New Smyrna.”

 

Drake, who had a career-best second-place finish in the K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway in May, is second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings and ninth in the overall championship standings.

 

The 12 previous series visits to Greenville Pickens Speedway resulted in 11 different winners. Darrell Wallace Jr. was the only driver with multiple wins there.

 

BMR PR

What was initially known as Haas Formula is now Haas F1 Team.

Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and chairman of the newly renamed Haas F1 Team, opted for the name change to better correlate his team with motor racing’s most prestigious series – the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Haas F1 Team takes the place of the previous name, Haas Formula, which will remain the legal entity. Haas F1 Team will be the public and commercial name of the first American-led Formula One team since 1986. Its Website, www.HaasF1Team.com, launched today, as did its Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/HaasF1Team.

“Haas F1 Team automatically conveys our place among the pinnacle of motorsports,” said Haas, who founded Haas Automation in 1983 and has shaped it into the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. “When you hear ‘F1’ you know exactly what it is – a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice when the Haas F1 Team debuts in 2016 is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand.”

The FIA granted Haas a Formula One license in April. Well before then, ground was broken on an 11.600 square-meter (125,000 square-foot) facility adjacent to Haas’ NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in Kannapolis, North Carolina, that will house the Haas F1 Team. Construction is scheduled to be completed in November.

Haas’ motorsports holdings include the Haas F1 Team, Stewart-Haas Racing and Windshear.

Haas F1 Team PR

Rhodes Zeroes In On Championship

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Published in Racing News
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 09:00

Twenty-three drivers are currently entered for the Greenville 140 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Greenville (South Carolina) Pickens Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 6, but 17-year-old Ben Rhodes only needs to beat one.

The Louisville, Kentucky, native enters the 15th event of a 16-race season with a 65-point lead over Cameron Hayley in the championship points standings. If Rhodes finishes ahead of Hayley, a feat he's accomplished nine times in 14 attempts this year, he will secure his first series title and the second-consecutive championship for Turner Scott Motorsports.

The NASCAR Next driver hope to clinch his first title at the track where he earned his first series victory. Back in March, Rhodes led the final 26 laps en route to a victory in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150. The event was the first of a six-race stretch that saw Rhodes earn five wins and two poles. He was the runner-up finisher in the only race he didn't win during the stretch.

“Winning at Greenville Pickens is really cool,” said Rhodes after the spring race. “It’s a place known for saving tires and our strategy worked out.”

Through the first 14 events of the season, Rhodes has five wins, five poles, 10 top fives and 12 top 10s. He's led 757 of 1,822 laps (41.5%) of the total laps run this season.

NASCAR PR

The SCCA Mid-States Conference Majors Tour, and the entire 2014 U.S. Majors Tour schedule, wrapped on Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka with six group races and settled the remaining open championships.
 
Sunday’s schedule featured 21-lap races around the 2.2-mile HPT configuration to wrap the season. Championship battles were settled by scoring the best eight of 12 races within the Conference.
 
Highlights from Sunday include:
 
Group 1: Denny Stripling clinched the Mid-States Conference Spec Racer Ford championship with a pair of wins in his No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports Spec Racer Ford, walking away from the field to take care of business without any help.
 
There were a number of scenarios that would allow Stripling to vault Keith Verges’ No. 69 Apex Driving Academy SRF in the standings, but the simplist entering Sunday’s race was for Stripling to win. Starting from pole, he held the lead for the distance and won by a final margin of 12.740 seconds.
 
That final margin of victory is a bit misleading. Stripling was up four seconds when the field saw the white flag, with Chris Funk’s No. 54 KC Racing SRF battling hard with Verges for second and third place. Funk spun on the final lap, and Verges spun to avoid him, avoiding contact. Both continued quickly, and crossed the line together in order to complete the podium with Jimmy Cote’s No. 20 Micro-Comm Inc. SRF just behind.
 
Matt Reynolds swept the weekend in Spec Miata, running flag to flag for his win in the No. 73 Reynolds Bros. Racing/JPM/Vintage Connection Mazda Miata.
 
Group 2: In a mirror image of Saturday’s race, Michael Mallinen started in front of the field and pulled away in the No. 71 Swan Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda to lap the entire field and take the win.
 
Stuart Rettie’s No. 21 Hillenburg Motorsports Formula Mazda swept the weekend in Formula Mazda, moving around Darryl Wills late in the race. Wills’ second-place finish clinched the Mid-States Majors Tour class championship in the No. 1 Hillenburg Motorsports/Hoosier Tire/Hawk Performance Formula Mazda.
 
Group 3: Saturday winner Max Mallinen was an unexpected Formula F winner on Sunday after a last lap incident elevated his No. 1 Spectrum 014H/Honda from third to first.
 
The race was a three car battle between Mallinen, Bill Kephart, and Cliff Johnson, with all three taking their turn in the lead in a race that featured an official 10 lead changes.
 
By the final stages of the race, Mallinen had fallen back and Kephart’s No. 37 Vestial 10F/Honda led Johnson’s No. 4 Alpine Litho-Graphics/Farley Engines Piper DF-5/Honda at the white flag. Johnson, looking for an opportunity to move into the lead, tried to move around Kephart in turn three. The two got together, with Kephart going over the top of Johnson’s machine.
 
Mallinen suddenly found himself in the lead, and picked up the win. Because they had already put a lap on the rest of the field, Johnson limped around for second, with Kephart being towed in but still in third on the final standings.
 
In Formula 500, Herb Noble held on for the win in his No. 44 Mitchell Racing Services Scorpion 001/Rotax after a battle with Conference champion Timothy Friest. The battle between Noble and Friest’s No. 86 Hoosier/XTRacing/RodEndSupply KBS MkVII/Rotax became the battle for the lead with CJ McAbee’s No. 15 AJ’s Import Garage/Hoosier AJ’s 2012/Rotax pulled to pit lane on lap three.
 
Lisa Noble drove the No. 7 LittleFeat.Net Vortech FV to the Formula Vee win after starting from the rear of the field. Noble worked through traffic and took the class lead on lap five, then swapped the lead with Justin Willbanks’ No. 21 RS1 Motorsports Wormer EV-3 for the next two laps. Noble broke free of that battle and drove to the win.
 
Group 4: David Fershtand and Mark Kirby marched away from their closest competition on Sunday, taking wins in GT-1 and GT-2, respectively, and finishing first and second in the overall order.
 
Fershtand led flag to flag in the No. 05 Fershtand Race Prepared Chevrolet Corvette, setting a new track record with a 1:23.016 on lap three. Kirby matched the win in the No. 21 Dodge Viper, winning by six seconds over Mike McGinley’s No. 50 Hendrick Chevrolet/McGinley Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette.
 
Group 5: A weekend sweep by Preston Calvert in Touring 2 gave him the nation-wide point title in the No. 77 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Penske/Hawk Ford Mustang, but Steven Coleman’s third place finish in class gave him the points he needed in the No. 25 Race Away Cancer Ford Mustang to take the Mid-States class title. Coleman’s point total equaled second place Natha Waldbaum’s in the No. 51 Hutter Performance/Vettesport Chevrolet Corvette, but earned the title on tiebreakers.
 
Kim McDonald got a great start in the No. 29 Kim's Auto Repair Services/Herman Plumbing/BosselmanOil Pontiac Firebird, jumping into the early lead but falling behind Tim White’s No. 7 Woomah.com Ford Mustang and Dean Palmer’s No. 5 Palmer Racing Development/Ford Racing Parts/Hoosier/AJ's racing engines Ford Mustang on the opening lap. By lap five, McDonald had moved back to the lead, and held the position through the middle stages of the race. By lap 19, however, Trevor Janke’s  No. 14 Janke Auto/Blue Ox/Famous Racing Ent./Pender Body and Glass was closing to the back of McDonald. McDonald held on for the final two laps, with Janke second.
 
Cliff Ira got revenge from Saturday’s race, keeping his No. 36 Fira Motorsports Acura Integra in front of Bob Schader’s No. 12 MiataCage.com/Hoosier Tire Mazda MX-5 for the distance. Ira held off a charging Schader through the final corner, when Schader dove to the inside in his last effort to take the win. Schader spun, with just a hint of contact, but Ira stayed in front up the front straight to the checkered flag.
 
Anthony Simmers wrapped up the Super Touring Under Conference title in the No. 45 RebayReseller.com/Hoosier Tires/Vaslet Design Volkswagen GTI with a pair of wins in the weekend, and James Place swept the Touring 4 weekend with a win on Sunday in the No. 138 Place Rentals/Hawk/Acura/BFG/Summit Acura GRS.
 
Group 6: Nigel Saurino, running in F Production on Sunday, moved his No. 57 The Race Shop/Kelley Engines/Hoosier Tire MG Midget around Jesse Prather’s E Production No. 34 Jesse Prather Motorsports/MAZDASPEED/Carbotech/Hoosier Mazda MX-5 on lap five through lapped traffic, then kept his car in front for the overall and class win.
 
Saurino maintained a gap over class rivals Rick Harris, in the No. 8 Jesse Prather Motorsports/Hoosier/V8 Roadsters/Mazdaspeed Mazda Miata, and Eric Prill, in the No. 7 MaxtonsFight.org/JPM/Hoosier Tire Mazda Miata, to hold off any serious challenges. Harris and Prill completed the class podium.
 
Roy Lopshire drove his No. 98 TRD/Williams Racing Development/Hoosier Toyota Tercel around Kent Prather’s No. 26 PratherRacing/Mazdaspeed/MossMtrs/Torco/Carbotech/Hoosier Tires Mazda Miata on lap 15, then pulled away for the race win.
 
Ralf Lindow swept H Production with a win on Sunday in the No. 53 Volkswagen Golf, but the No. 09 R & R Racing/R. Smart Properties Fiat X 1/9 of Randy Smart walked away with the season long Mid-States Conference championship with his second place on Sunday.
 
That concludes both the Mid-States Conference and the entire U.S. Majors Tour for the 2014 season, as the SafeRacer Club Racing program turns its eyes to the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, October 7-12. Each of the National Championship Races will be broadcast live on SpeedCastTV.com.
 
More information from the Mid-States Conference Majors Tour finale, including race results, can be found at SCCA.com/HPTMajors.

John Force took home the Traxxas Nitro Shootout victory Sunday, concluding an action packed day of racing at the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race. 

Force, a 16-time Funny Car world champ, pocketed $100,000 and bragging rights when he beat teammate Robert Hight with a 4.061-second run at 317.19 mph in the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. He defeated fan vote/lottery winner Tim Wilkerson and two-time season winner Alexis DeJoria to reach the final. It was Force’s second Traxxas Shootout win and seventh career victory in an NHRA all-star race. Force will look to conclude the weekend tomorrow with his fifth Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory. 

“It was a win-win situation,” Force said of running against his teammate in the final. “We couldn’t lose. All of the sponsors were on all of the cars. We just couldn’t lose it.” 

Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang, was appearing in his first Traxxas Shootout final round. He is a three-time and defending Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner and will be going for a fourth tomorrow. 

In other racing on Sunday, Jason Line claimed the rain-delayed Brainerd victory and the No. 1 qualifying position in Pro Stock. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) joined Line as No. 1 qualifiers and will lead their categories into Monday’s 11 a.m. eliminations at the final NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event of the regular season. Following this event the top 10 fields in each class will be set for the six-race Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, which starts Sept. 12-14 at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, N.C. 

In the Brainerd final, Line raced to a 6.596 at 207.40 in the Summit Racing Chevy Camaro to defeat reigning world champ Jeg Coughlin in the JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Dart. It was Line’s third win in a row and the first time he has achieved that feat.  It was Line’s 35th career victory and the win propelled him into the top spot in Pro Stock points. Line’s 6.589 at 210.01 from Saturday qualifying was good enough to also secure the No. 1 starting position. He will face Rodger Brogdon in the opener as he goes for his first U.S. Nationals victory. 

“It was very Brainerd-ish,” Line said of the cloudy and rainy weather conditions that delayed racing for a bit on Sunday morning at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. “Our car ran very good. Our Camaro was very fast this weekend. It was a little bit weird to win Brainerd at Indy. But it’s the first thing I’ve ever done well at in Indy.” 

In Pro Stock qualifying, Vincent Nobile was second with a 6.601 at 208.49 in the Mountain View Tire Camaro. He will race Matt Hartford in the first round. Shane Gray’s Gray Manufacturing  Camaro qualified third with a 6.603 at 209.17 and will face Aussie rookie driver Shane Tucker. 

With their results in qualifying, V Gaines and Chris McGaha clinched their spots in the Countdown to the Championship. Greg Anderson and Jonathan Gray will face off tomorrow in the first round, a matchup that will be critical in deciding the final transfer spot for the Pro Stock top 10. 

In Top Fuel, Schumacher ran a 3.748 at a track record speed of 328.54 in his U.S. Army dragster during the Traxxas Nitro Shootout final, which was quick enough to earn the No. 1 qualifying position. It was the third top starting spot of the season for Schumacher and 75th of his career. He will go for a record-breaking 10th Indianapolis victory when he meets 2012 world champ and 2011 event winner Antron Brown in the first round. 

“You think you’re going to run an easier car when you’re No. 1,” said Schumacher of his matchup with his Don Schumacher Racing teammate. “Before he even ran, the bump was .84. You were running a bad to the bone car no matter what. As a teammate, I’m happier he got in and I have to race him than had he gotten bumped.” 

Steve Torrence qualified second with a 3.753 at 326.16 in the Capco Contractors dragster. He will race J.R. Todd in the first round. Brainerd winner Morgan Lucas was third in the Lucas Oil dragster with a 3.757 at 322.81, good enough for a matchup with No. 14 seed Khalid alBalooshi. 

With his qualifying result, Todd secured the final Top Fuel spot in the Countdown to the Championship. 

In Funny Car, Hagan sped to a track record time of 3.998 at 316.01 in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger during the fourth session to claim the No. 1 qualifying position. It is the first time a Funny Car has completed a run quicker than four seconds at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. It was the first No. 1 qualifier of the season for Hagan and 16th of his career. He will face Bob Bode to open eliminations. 

“It was just a phenomenal run,” said Hagan, who is looking for his first career Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory. “Especially after those guys (The Mopar Express Lane crew) having such a late last night when we banged the blower off of it and they had to pull another body out and another motor out.” 

Jack Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car world champ, had a much needed qualifying effort, securing the No. 2 position with a performance of 4.004 at 312.13 in his Valvoline Max Life Dodge Charger. Beckman trimmed six points off 10th place Tim Wilkerson’s lead, which is now 10 points (less than one round) for the final transfer spot for the Countdown to the Championship. He will pair against Blake Alexander in the first round. Wilkerson will race Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round. 

Courtney Force qualified third with a 4.005 at a track record speed of 322.73 in the Traxxas Ford Mustang. The run occurred during the first round of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout when she defeated Brainerd winner Ron Capps. 

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec posted a 6.829 at 196.56 on the Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to earn his sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 20th of his career. He faces Shawn Gann in the first round as he seeks his first Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory. 

“That’s definitely one I’d look to put a check next to,” said Krawiec. “We learned some stuff today. That was the key to moving onto Monday here. It’s not often you get five qualifying sessions, but when you do you need to take advantage of it.” 

Jerry Savoie was second on the Savoie’s Alligator Farm Suzuki with a 6.878 at 194.18. He will open eliminations with Chaz Kennedy. Reigning world champ Matt Smith qualified third on his Matt Smith Racing/Stockseth Racing Buell with a 6.888 at 193.54 and will face Adam Arana in the first round. 

Following qualifying, John Hall, Michael Ray and Smith claimed their spots in the Countdown to the Championship. Three spots remain in Pro Stock Motorcycle, with six riders still mathematically in contention. Steve Johnson holds down the 10th spot, and is followed by No. 2 qualifier Savoie in 11th, 63 points back.

Strong French showing on the ELMS grid for home race

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Published in Racing News
Monday, 01 September 2014 17:45

After a well-deserved pause the time has come for the next, and penultimate, round of the 2014 season which will feature 10 cars in the LMP2 class, 13 in LMGTE and 15 for GTC. The large number of national teams and drivers is no doubt be a major highlight for the French round of the ELMS, with more than 10 cars and around  30 drivers representing the Tricolore at the Varois track.

Following its win in Austria, the French Signatech Alpine team tops the overall standings as it goes into its home race.  Suffice to say that Paul-Loup Chatin, Nelson Panciatici and Oliver Webb, who will be driving the No.36 Alpine A450b-Nissan, are fired up and ready to give their fans something to cheer about at Paul Ricard.   However, JOTA Sport won at Imola and has set every pole position since the beginning of the season, and will be determined to take the fight to them with its No.38 Zytek Z11SN Nissan in the hands of Simon Dolan, Harry Tincknell and Filipe Albuquerque. Thiriet by TDS Racing Racing will also be planning to fully play a part in its home race with its new car, the No.46 Ligier JS P2 entry driven by Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey and Tristan Gommendy. 

Among the other Frenchmen in the race, it's a welcome return for Pierre Ragues who has been confirmed for the last two rounds of the season alongside Gary Hirsch and Christian Klien at NewBlood by Morand Racing (No.32 Morgan Judd).  Forced to miss the Austrian round, the Irish Murphy Prototypes team will be back in business at Paul Ricard with its No.48 ORECA 03R Nissan with a line up to be confirmed soon.  Franck Mailleux partners Swiss Michel Frey and Venezuelan Rodolfo Gonzalez at Race Performance (No.34 ORECA 03 Nissan) and the trio will also be making every effort to get good results for Mailleux's home race.  Meanwhile, Julien Schell will be heading the line- up for the No.29 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan with Nicky Leutwiler and Jonathan Coleman. 

Greaves Motorsport is entering its two Zytek Z11 SN Nissans, the No.28 for Luciano Bacheta and Mark Shulzhitskiy, and the No.41 for Matt McMurry.  The teammate for the youngest ever driver at the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the very experienced Johnny Mowlem, the 2013 ELMSLMGTE Driver Champion.  Finally the French Sébastien Loeb Racing team is due to make its return to the championship at the Varois track with the No.24 ORECA 03 Nissan.

Nine Ferrari 458 Italias, two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, a Porsche 911 RSR and an Aston Martin V8 Vantage make up the list of the 13 cars entered in LMGTE for the French round.  AF Corse field three F458s for Piergiuseppe Perazzini, Marco Cioci and Michael Lyons (No.54), Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Michele Rugolo (No.55) and a French trio for the No.70, François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Yannick Mallegol.  The two Kessel Racing Ferraris, No.80 and 81 will be driven respectively by Michael Broniszewski and Giacomo Piccini, and Thomas Kemenater and Matteo Cressoni. The line-up for the No.56 AT Racing entry will be Alexander Talkanitsa Sr and Pierre Kaffer, while the French SOFREV-ASP team has every intention of figuring strongly in its home race with the No.58 Ferrari of Fabien Barthez, Anthony Pons and Soheil Ayari.  The other two cars from the Prancing Horse marque are JMW Motorsport's No. 66 (Daniel McKenzie and George Richardson, with a third driver to be announced) and SMP Racing's No.72 which will feature its regular crew. 

Normandy's IMSA Performance Matmut team will enter its two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, the No.67 for Erik Maris, Jean-Marc Merlin and Eric Helary, while the No.76 will be in the hands of Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo and the only female driver on the grid, Christina Nielsen. Finally the British Gulf Racing UK team will run the only Aston Martin Vantage V8 on the grid for Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and Daniel Brown, while the team's new Porsche 911 RSR will be driven by Mike Wainwright, Adam Carroll and Ben Barker.

Sébastien Loeb Racing is due to make its return for the French round with the sole Audi R8 LMS on the grid.  The Porsche GT3 R of Prospeed Competition will be in the hands of Max van Splunteren, Gilles Vannelet and Mike Parisy, and the sole BMW Z4 GT3 of Team Russia by Barwell will be driven by Leo Machitski, Timur Sardarov and Jonny Cocker.  The Pro GT by Almeras team will see its French trio of Franck Perera, Lucas Lasserre and Eric Dermont at the wheel of the No.93 Porsche 997 GT3R, and the line-ups of ART Grand Prix's two McLaren MP4 12C GT3s remain unchanged with Kevin Korjus, Grégoire Demoustier and Yann Goudy in the No.98, and Ricardo Gonzalez, Karim Ajlani and Alex Brundle in the No.99. 

The nine remaining cars of the 38 entries on the grid are all Ferrari 458s.  Three are for SMP Racing with the No.73 currently leading the overall standings (Olivier Beretta, David Markozov, Anton Ladygin), the No.71 of Kirill Ladygin, Aleksey Basov and Luca Persiani and the No.57 of Boris Rotenberg, Mika Salo and Maurizio Mediani.  While the two AF Corse Ferraris, No.63 and 95, are back with the same drivers, Le Castellet will also see the return of the No.94 (present at Imola only) driven by Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Andrea Rizzoli. The No.60 Formula Racing F458 will be looking to make its mark again in the hands of Johnny Laursen, Mikkel Mac and Jan Magnussen, while the No.59 SOFREV ASP entry will again feature the French trio of Christophe Bourret, Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jean-Philippe Belloc.  The GTC class also welcomes a new team to the ELMS, the Italian Team Ombra which is entering the No.92 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 for Mario Cordoni and Marco Zanuttini.

The 4 Hours of Paul Ricard marks the beginning of the second part of 2014 European Le Mans Series season.  It's back to zero for everyone and there is all to play for in both the teams and drivers classifications.  The race promises to be exciting and fast-paced with many French teams and drivers fired up to perform well at their home race.

It's all happening on the 13th and 14th September at Circuit Paul Ricard. Pit action will start on Saturday at 10h30 for the first free practice session, with qualifying on Sunday from 09h30.  The start of the 4 Hours of Paul Ricard will be at 13h00 (local) and the chequered flag will be shown at 17h00. 

Access to grandstands is free, while access to the paddock and pitwalk is €10 for the weekend (free for children under 16, who must be accompanied). In addition, holders of a paddock access ticket will be able to join the Roof Top Party on Sunday from 12h30 to 20h00 on the rooftop terrace of the main building.

Boston Finishes Second on the Dirt at DuQuoin

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Published in Racing News
Monday, 01 September 2014 16:55

Justin Boston finished second in Monday's ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Boston started the No. 25 ZLOOP Computer and Electronics Recycling/JACO Environmental Toyota in the fifth position and ran among the leaders all afternoon before charging to the front over the final 50 miles.

Boston methodically worked his way through the top five and found himself chasing down leader Grant Enfinger as the race entered the final 30 miles. Lapped traffic was a challenge, allowing Enfinger to open up a five-second advantage before the third caution of the day came out for a crash in turn four. On the ensuing restart, Boston restarted from took advantage of the high groove to jump into the lead, but the race was immediately slowed by the fourth and final caution flag of the afternoon on lap 83. As the leader, Boston had lane choice for the restart; Boston chose the inside lane – a choice he wishes he had to make over.

“If I had to do it over again I would choose to go to the outside on that last restart,” Boston said. “I would have gotten a better jump off the outside and been able to pinch him into turn one and cause him to get out of the throttle. As it was, he did that to me. I got a really good restart on the bottom, but the outside lane wasn't as worn out and had a little more grip. I tried to stay inside of him into one but I had to get out of the throttle and from there on all we could do is try to play catch-up.”

Boston finished 0.97 seconds behind Enfinger, who scored his sixth ARCA win of the year.

“It was really close down into turn one on that restart,” he said. “We made some contact and bent up the right front fender. If we could have stayed side-by-side with him through one and two we might have had something for him through three and four. You're never totally happy with second but we had a really good day. We knew we were set up to be good in the second half of the race and we were. The Venturini Motorsports guys gave me a great car today and we had a lot of fun, we just came up a little short. But coming off a win last weekend and running so well here today gives us a lot of momentum heading into Salem, Kentucky and Kansas.”

Boston remains in the fifth position in the ARCA Racing Series championship standings with three races remaining on the schedule, September 13 at Salem Speedway, the ZLOOP 150 on September 19 at Kentucky Speedway, and the season finale on October 3 at Kansas Speedway.

Next up for Boston and the No. 25 ZLOOP/JACO Environmental Toyota is the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic at the high-banked half-mile Salem Speedway on Saturday September 13. Practice will start that afternoon at 12:30, with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4. The green flag on round 18 of the 2014 ARCA Racing Series season is scheduled for 7:15 that evening. ARCARacing.com will have live audio coverage as well as live timing and scoring throughout the day.

Justin Boston PR

Power Wins First Verizon IndyCar Series Championship

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Published in Racing News
Sunday, 31 August 2014 10:19

Will Power earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship with a ninth-place finish in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

 

Power, who entered the 18th race of the season with a 51-point lead over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, had been the championship runner-up in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It was the ninth consecutive year that the series champion was determined in the season finale.

 

"It's 15 years of hard work. I was crying as I crossed the (finish) line," said Power, who finished 62 points ahead of Castroneves. "It's surreal. It's just a fantastic way to finish the season."

 

Power provided Team Penske its 13th Indy car championship and the first since 2006 with Sam Hornish Jr.

 

"Tonight showed everyone the strength of our team," said team owner Roger Penske, who has won the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race 15 times.

 

Tony Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, won the 250-lap by 3.6750 seconds over Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and 2013 champion Scott Dixon.

 

Kanaan was the 11th different winner of the season, which tied the Indy car single-season record set in 2000 and matched in 2001. Ed Carpenter, who won at Auto Club Speedway in 2012 and was runner-up in 2013, placed third and Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth.

 

"It's been a long time coming," said Kanaan, who claimed his first victory since the 2013 Indianapolis 500. "We had a team meeting this afternoon and (team owner) Chip Ganassi said if you win you can brag about it for seven months."

 

Castroneves, who started from the pole and led 41 laps, was assessed a drive-through penalty for a pit lane entry violation on Lap 218 that put him a lap down. He finished 14th in the race and second in the championship for the fourth time in his career.

 

"It's another second, but well done to Will," said Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. "It stings a little bit, but it motivates me to come back stronger next year and win a championship."

 

IRL PR

Don Walsh raced to the qualifying lead Saturday during the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing is presented by JEGS. 

Walsh ran his late model Chevy Camaro to a top performance of 5.863 seconds at 252.61 mph to move around Friday top qualifier Troy Coughlin. If Walsh’s run holds during the final qualifying session on Sunday, it will be the fifth career No. 1 qualifying position for Walsh and first since 2012. 

Coughlin, the 2012 NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series world champ, is currently No. 2 with a 5.866 at 248.52 in a late model Corvette. Jeff Naiser also ran a 5.892 in his Naiser Racing ’69 Camaro to sit third in the qualifying order. 

Pro Mod qualifying will conclude Sunday morning and eliminations will begin later that afternoon.

McReynolds Extends Mark With Runner-Up Finish At Kern

Written by
Published in Racing News
Sunday, 31 August 2014 10:16

Brandon McReynolds extended his streak of top-five finishes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West on Saturday with a runner-up finish in the Bakersfield 150 presented by GPS at Kern County Raceway Park.

 

It marked the seventh consecutive top-five finish and third straight podium finish for the 23-year-old Mooresville, North Carolina driver – who pilots the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing.

 

“We continue to show our consistency as a team,” said McReynolds, a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars. “Obviously, we’re getting better. Everyone on our NAPA Toyota worked really hard today. The car was good. It just kind of depended on how our restarts would shake out. If you restarted on the bottom, just like last time here, you would lose a little track position, and if you restarted on the outside, you were able to gain a little.”

 

With back-to-back second-place finishes, McReynolds feels his first win is near.

 

“We’re one spot short right now, but I feel like we can get there with three races to go,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep plugging away.”

 

McReynolds started the race on the front row, after posting a second-fast lap of 18.325 seconds (98.457 mph) in qualifying earlier in the afternoon. He held second in the opening laps, but slipped back several spots following multiple restarts and was sixth just before the midway point of the race. McReynolds’ crew was able to make adjustments during the midway break, providing him with the opportunity to work his way back to the front as the race wound down.

 

The eighth and final caution of the event led to the race distance being extended for a green-white-checkered finish and set the stage for a dramatic finish. McReynolds charged his way to third on the restart, then gained second as Dylan Lupton inherited the win when race leader Greg Pursley was penalized for a restart violation.

 

“We were a little snug the first half,” McReynolds said. “A lot of that was just being behind people in traffic. The adjustments at halfway really helped and brought the car to life. I’m really happy with the progress that we’ve made since we were here last time.”

 

McReynolds – who finished fourth when the series visited the beautiful high-banked, half-mile Kern track in May – remains third in the championship standings – 26 points out of first and 11 behind second. He has two poles, nine top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in the first 11 races, as he competes in his first full season in the series.

 

BMR PR

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