Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 

After back-to-back races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Brainerd International Raceway earlier this month,  the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli drivers spent a weekend off before returning to race action for the double-header Trans Am weekend at Road America. (2019 Highlights)

Racing as part of the NASCAR Xfinity event, Trans Am will showcase two 25-lap (100-mile) contests on Saturday. The first will feature the Trans Am, Xtreme GT, SuperGT and GT classes, followed by the Muscle Car Challenge featuring the TA2® powered by AEM class. (Watch Live)

With a stable Trans Am rules package that delivers close racing, powerful machines that skip the driver aids and put the racing in the drivers hands, and a schedule that includes some of the most iconic race tracks on the continent, the TA2® powered by AEM class has become a popular choice for up-and-coming NASCAR talent. 

In effort to accelerate his racing career, reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Sam Mayer debuted in Trans Am last season under the TeamSLR banner in select races. In the very competitive TA2® field, Mayer held his own against seasoned veterans and multi-class champions.

Fielding the No. 96 M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro, Mayer rejoins the TeamSLR crew running beside teammate Scott Lagasse Jr. TeamSLR, in partnership with Fields Racing, provides a competitive opportunity for drivers like Mayer to hone their road racing skills in top equipment combined with  proven road racing driving techniques in preparation to compete with the best in NASCAR.  With years of experience in NASCAR and Trans Am, Lagasse Jr. serves as the perfect mentor for the 17-year-old Mayer. 

“I am lucky to have the opportunity to race with Scott Lagasse and TeamSLR,” said Mayer. “Scott has taught me a lot about braking and the minute things that add up to make a better lap. The TA2® cars are a similar drive on road courses to the ARCA cars, and getting this extra seat time with a driver like Scott is invaluable.”

As a Wisconsin native, Mayer considers Road America his home track, even though he’s never competed on the legendary circuit. Pressed up against the fence line watching his dad, Scott Mayer, wheel laps around the legendary circuit, Mayer has several fond memories there, including his dad’s Grand-Am Rolex Series win in 2013. 

“The first time I ever watched my dad live was at Road America and he won (Grand-Am 2013),” Mayer recalled. “Road America is my dad’s favorite track. He told me to not underestimate The Kink.”

Another force driving young talent to TA2® is Mike Cope Race Cars. This season Mike Cope Race Cars partnered with championship-winning NASCAR team Joe Gibbs Racing. The Florida-based team will once again field a stable of cars filled with up-and-coming NASCAR stars including Ty Gibbs, Riley Herbst and Harrison Burton. 

Combining the prowess of a purpose-built racing platform, relevant manufacturer power plants and a rules package that focuses on excellent cost containment, the TA2® class represents an outstanding value platform in racing. With engines capable of lasting an entire season and cost control measures that allow drivers to fully focus on racing, not the financing of it, while showcasing their talents and skill.

“We firmly believe that the TA2® powered by AEM class is not only a tremendous value for the competitors, but it is also an outstanding platform from the competition side,” said Trans Am President John Clagett. “We’ve attracted a lot of different kinds of racers to this class, and it is a testament to the structure of the class that some of the next guard of NASCAR racers are coming here as part of their development.”

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli field will participate in a test day on Thursday. Friday kicks off with a pair practice sessions in the morning, followed by split back-to-back qualifying sessions in the afternoon. 
 
The weekend ends with the TA/XGT/SGT/GT 100-mile feature starting at 8:00 a.m. Central, followed by TA2® powered by AEM Muscle Car Challenge starting at 2:15 p.m. Central. 

An exclusive opportunity for fans with the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App will be available for the Road America weekend. Fans with the app will be able to choose from five different on-board cameras to watch the race from a driver’s perspective. (Download here)

For live timing and scoring, event photos and post-race recap videos visit GoTransAm.com. For live race updates follow @GoTransAm on Twitter.

NASCAR Driver

Trans Am Class Year

Ty Dillon

2014

Justin Haley

2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

Scott Heckert

2015, 2018

Joey McColm

2015

Matt Tifft

2017, 2018

Sheldon Creed

2017

Josh Bilicki

2017

Chase Briscoe

2018

Tyler Reddick

2018

Christopher Bell

2018, 2019

Ty Majeski

2018

Lawless Alan

2018, 2019

Brandon Jones

2018

Sam Mayer

2019, 2020

Derek Kraus

2019 West

Ty Gibbs

2019, 2020

Riley Herbst

2019, 2020

Harrison Burton 2020

By Jim McIlvaine

The fourth stop in OPTIMA's 2020 Search for the Ultimate Street Car series, presented by Advance Auto Parts, took competitors to Atlanta Motorsports Park, just outside Dawsonville, Georgia. Often confused with nearby Road Atlanta and Atlanta Motorspeedway, this club track is nestled on a mountaintop just outside Bill Elliott's boyhood home of Dawsonville, Georgia. The track was designed by famed Formula One track architect, Hermann Tilke, who also designed Circuit of the Americas in Texas.

The road course circuit in Dawsonville features 16 turns and 98 feet of elevation changes, with cars almost constantly either heading uphill or downhill at nearly every point on the track. In addition to hosting the Falken Tire Road Course time trail, a portion of the 2-mile track was also coned off for use on the QA1 Autocross, while the keyhole skidpad was utilized for the PowerStop Speed Stop Challenge. The Lucas Oil Road Rally took competitors past the legendary Dawsonville Pool Room to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

The Dawsonville event marked the first of the year East of the Rocky Mountains, essentially serving as the season-opener for many competitors on that side of the country. With three West coast events already having been run, the bar has been set in many classes, where a competitor's best three finishes count toward their season-long point totals.

After a lackluster performance at Pike's Peak, Jonathan Blevins wasn't taking any chances and came all the way from Oklahoma in search of a better third score in the GT Class. His '08 Shelby GT500 Mustang found it, with a season-best 471-point finish. That extended his point lead over Dennis Healy's '15 Ford Mustang from 25 points to 70 points.

Chris Smith's '70 Camaro is based out of Ohio, but as he saw CB Ramey's C4 Corvette building a formidable points lead in the Classic Car Liquidators GTV Class, he decided to do something about it and made the trip out to Pike's Peak. Ramey covered Smith by 20 points out there, but Smith followed that up with a 476-point class win at AMP. That brought him into sixth place in the standings after having run just two events and if he can post a 472-point performance at his next event, he'll pass Ramey for the lead...if Ramey doesn't bump up his total.

Austin Barnes' incredible 15-event GTS Class win streak came to an end at Atlanta Motorsports Park, as braking issues prevented him from making a clean lap on the Falken Tire Road Course time trial. That opened the door for Ryan Mathews' '02 Corvette to take home the class win, but Barnes' '09 Corvette still has a stranglehold on points in the class.

John Laughlin's 2019 Tesla Model 3 is the defending GTE Class champion for electic vehicles and he made his season debut in commanding fashion, grabbing a class-record 475 points that seems unlikely to be challenged for the rest of the season.

Eric Fleming has long been one of the top drivers in the series and he proved it again at AMP, taking home the Outlaw Class win in his '06 Corvette. However, a trip to Las Vegas later this year isn't in the cards for Fleming, so the SEMA invitation was accepted by the Outlaw runner-up, Adam Ulrich and his '01 Corvette.

Jake Rozelle's '03 Corvette captured the first three wins of the season in the Holley EFI GTL Class, but it was parked back in California when Robert DeuPree's '13 Lamborghini Gallardo took home the win in Georgia. DeuPree reeled in Rozelle's point lead somewhat in Georgia, but he'll still need at least two more strong finishes to pass him in the points.


The largest field of the season turned out for the GTC Class, but defending class champion, Brian Johns reaffirmed his position as top dog. There was hope that Doug Wind's 700-horsepower Dodge Neon might make an appearance and challenge Johns for a class win, but the SRT4 never materialized, so we'll have to see if it makes an appearance later this season and challenge Johns for the class championship.

It's a quick turnaround for the series, as it visits Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for a mid-week showdown on August 13 & 14th. Learn more about the series and how you can get involved with your street car at www.DriveOPTIMA.com


GT Class (post-1989, 3,200+ pounds, 2wd sedans, 4-seater coupes, trucks, etc...)
1. Jonathan Blevins, 2008 Shelby GT500
2. Kong Chang, 2017 Shelby GT350
3. Luke Vigneault, 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T

Classic Car Liquidators GTV Class (pre-1990, 3200+ pounds)
1. Chris Smith, 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
2. Cody Puckett, 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
3. Bret Voelkel, 1967 Chevrolet Camaro


GTS Class (post-1989, 3200+ pounds, two-seaters & awd vehicles)
1. Ryan Mathews, 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
2. Mike Gallagher, 2016 Ford Focus RS
3. Nate Mckeever, 2003 Chevrolet Corvette

GTE Class (Electric vehicles)
1. John Laughlin, 2019 Tesla Model 3

Holley EFI GTL Class (non-compacts under 3200 pounds)
1. Robert DeuPree, 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo
2. Paul Curley, 2003 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6
3. Garry Walsh, 2004 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6

GTC Class (two-wheel drive compacts, 107-inch wheelbase or less)
1. Brian Johns, 1993 Mazda RX-7
2. Darren Garvin, 1973 Datsun 240Z
3. Dayton de la Houssaye, 2016 Mazda MX-5

Outlaw Class (relaxed aero rules, pro drivers allowed)
1. Eric Fleming, 2006 Chevrolet Corvette
2. Adam Ulrich, 2001 Chevrolet Corvette
3. Corrin Tyson, 2009 Honda Civic

Spirit of the Event Award:
Charles Davis, 1973 Chevrolet Camaro

2020 OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car Schedule
Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 14-15
Willow Springs International Raceway May 29-30
Pike's Peak International Raceway July 11-12
Atlanta Motorsports Park July 25-26
Road America August 13-14
NOLA Motorsports Park September 19-20
NCM Motorsports Park October 10-11
OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational November 7-8

Can anyone beat Christian Rasmussen? The 20-year-old Dane swept all three races that comprised the USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders over the past two days at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Jay Howard Driver Development. Added to his pair of wins at Road America earlier this month, Rasmussen now has won the opening five races of the season – a feat previously unmatched since the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship was reintroduced following a four-year hiatus in 2010.

Another piece of history was made this morning as, for the first time, a pair of 15-year-olds, Reece Gold (Cape Motorsports), from Miami, Fla., and Nolan Siegel (Jay Howard Driver Development), from Palo Alto, Calif., shared the podium in the opening race of the day. Gold also finished third in this afternoon’s second race behind teammate Michael d’Orlando, from Hartsdale, N.Y.

A busy day of action for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship teams and drivers began at 8:00 a.m. with a qualifying session to set the starting grid for the first of two 20-lap races. Once again Rasmussen was in control, snagging his third Cooper Tires Pole Award of the season. Gold and Siegel started second and third.

Rasmussen was untroubled throughout the first race, leading from start to finish and barely blinking an eye even when a hard-earned advantage of 2.5 seconds was nullified after 12 laps by a full-course caution due to a single-car incident at Turn Nine.

Gold was similarly untroubled in second, taking full advantage of the fact that Siegel was far more concerned about defending his third position than challenging for second.

Rookie Christian Brooks (Exclusive Autosport), from Santa Clarita, Calif., kept the pressure on Siegel during the early stages until he, too, began to focus his attentions on keeping determined Englishman Matt Round-Garrido (Pabst Racing) at bay. At half distance, Brooks’ increasingly defensive tactics eventually caught the eye of the race stewards, who, during the caution period, instructed Brooks to cede the position.

Rasmussen again pulled away after the restart, finally taking the checkered flags 2.2147 seconds ahead of Gold. He in turn finished well clear of Siegel, who barely kept Round-Garrido in his mirrors. Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), from Guilderland, N.Y., also was in close contention.

Another intense battle immediately behind saw Kyle Dupell, from Portland, Ore., edge out Cape Motorsports teammate Josh Green, from Mount Kisco, N.Y. for seventh. Both were chased by Australian Cameron Shields (Legacy Autosport), d’Orlando, who claimed the Tilton Hard Charger Award after starting a lowly 16th, and yesterday’s second-place finisher Eduardo Barrichello, who struggled to an 11th-place finish for Pabst Racing.

After an early stoppage to retrieve two cars that had encountered problems before the start of Race 3, Rasmussen maintained his unbeaten streak with another flag-to-flag win this afternoon to continue his perfect season and earn car owner Jay Howard his fifth straight PFC Award.

Behind, all eyes were centered on the scrap for second between teammates Gold and d’Orlando, who muscled past soon after the restart and narrowly held onto his position throughout the 20-lap race. They were separated by less than a half-second at the finish line.

Brooks displayed his increasing confidence by holding onto the two Cape cars and once again finishing as the top rookie in fourth.

A little farther back in fifth, Jack William Miller, 17, from Carmel, Ind., finally translated his occasional strong pace into by far his best finish, fifth, for the Miller Vinatieri Motorsports team. Miller drove beautifully to fend off the attentions of Barrichello and Green, who worked his way purposefully from 11th on the grid.

Dupell finished eighth ahead of Sundaramoorthy, Bijoy Garg (Jay Howard Driver Development), from Atherton, Calif., and Brazilian Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), who claimed the Tilton Hard Charger Award after starting 18th.

The USF2000 contingent will return to Mid-Ohio for another three races to be held in conjunction with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on the weekend of August 8/9.

The wide-open nature of this year’s Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires was exemplified perfectly today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Juncos Racing teammates Artem Petrov, from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Sting Ray Robb, from Payette, Idaho, scored one win apiece from a pair of thrilling 25-lap contests which provided some spectacular wheel-to-wheel action at the midweek Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders.

Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco claimed a slender points lead following a pair of podium finishes for Andretti Steinbrenner Racing, while rising New Zealand star Hunter McElrea finally put a difficult start to his season behind him with a fine second-place finish in the final race for Pabst Racing.

Ohioan Braden Eves continued his good work from yesterday by claiming another Cooper Tires Pole Award for the Exclusive Autosport team during an extremely competitive qualifying session this morning. Eves edged out Robb by just 0.0208 of a second. Pre-event points leader Danial Frost (Turn 3 Motorsport), from Singapore, also was within the same tenth of a second as the top seven were blanketed by less than a half-second.

Eves duly held the lead from the start but was unable to put any space between himself and a snarling pack of Tatuus PM-18s battling away in his wake.

Petrov lost no time in working his way forward from his fourth-place starting position. A race winner earlier this month for the first time at Road America, Petrov swept past Frost for third place on Lap Three under braking for Turn Four, and two laps later rounded up teammate Robb for second.

A couple of laps later Petrov made his move on Eves, sweeping through into the lead into Turn Four, and soon began to cement his authority.

A brief full-course caution after nine laps, following a spin by Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing) in Turn Four, saw Petrov in the lead, followed by Eves, Canadian Parker Thompson (DEForce Racing), who had moved swiftly from sixth on the grid, then Frost and DeFrancesco, who was also on the move after qualifying eighth.

Petrov benefited from a huge battle in his wake, moving clear and going on to an emphatic victory by over eight seconds.

Some rain sprinkles added even more spice to the closing stages as the on-track action intensified. Eight cars were packed together in the battle for second, with positions changing on a regular basis. On lap 20, Eves’ defense finally came undone when he was forced into a spin at Turn Two. He resumed to finish a disappointed ninth.

DeFrancesco took advantage of the melee to leapfrog both Thompson and Frost, thereafter holding onto second until the end. DeFrancesco duly claimed the Tilton Hard Charger Award.

Behind, after slipping from second to sixth in the early stages, Robb mounted a spectacular comeback, finally usurping Frost from third with just three laps remaining. A mistake on the final lap saw Frost slip all the way to eighth behind Thompson, DEForce Racing teammate Manuel Sulaiman, McElrea and Moises de la Vara (DEForce Racing).

After being involved in early incidents, Jacob Loomis (BNRacing with Team Benik), from Corinth, Texas, Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), from Homer Glen, Ill., and Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), from Sugar Land, Texas, all took advantage of the opportunity to make pit stops and take a fresh set of Cooper tires. Their aim? – to wrestle the fastest lap of the race and the coveted Cooper Tires Pole Award for the third and final race of the week.

It was Loomis who came out on top, snagging his first Indy Pro 2000 pole by a narrow margin over Kaminsky and Enders. Among those who didn’t have the luxury of fresh tires, Frost, Robb, Petrov and McElrea were blanketed by just 0.0105 of a second. They would line up from fourth to seventh on the grid.

The track was entirely dry again for the final race and, unsurprisingly, the action was intense during the early stages. Eves once again was unfortunate, falling victim to contact at Turn Two on the opening lap which necessitated a pit stop for repairs.

Kaminsky and Frost both muscled their way past Loomis on the opening lap. A couple of laps later, after somehow managing to race side-by-side all the way from Turn Four to Turn Nine, the pair clashed wheels as they headed up Thunder Valley. Kaminsky headed forlornly to the pits, his race done, although Frost was able to continue, albeit at the back of the pack.

Incredibly, another of the title protagonists, Petrov, also suffered damage during the early laps. He, too, was out of contention for the win, although Frost did gain the small consolation of a championship point for the fastest lap.

All of a sudden Robb found himself in the lead, and he was soon able to establish a small but comfortable margin over Loomis. McElrea, though, was on the move, having started seventh. He found a way past Loomis for second after 12 laps and gradually began to whittle away at Robb’s two-second advantage.

The two leaders ran nose-to-tail for the final couple of laps, but a joyful Robb kept his wits about him and finally, in his 49th Indy Pro 2000 start, was rewarded with a long overdue maiden victory. Robb’s fine effort ensured a second PFC Award in one day for team owner Ricardo Juncos.

McElrea was content with second, while Loomis narrowly held onto third, only to subsequently lose the position due to a technical infraction.

DeFrancesco therefore was gifted third, which was enough to catapult him into a one-point advantage over Robb heading into another double-header at Mid-Ohio next week, August 8-9, in support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Thompson finished tucked underneath DeFrancesco’s rear wing in fourth, chased by teammates Enders and Sulaiman, with Canadian Antoine Comeau securing the Tilton Hard Charger Award in seventh after starting 15th.

Gerry Kraut and Scott Andrews picked up their second consecutive IMSA Prototype Challenge win on Saturday, but not without some drama, confusion, momentary deflation and eventual elation.
 
Andrews was behind the wheel of the No. 9 JDC MotorSports Norma M30 for the final stint at Road America, nursing his fuel to the finish 1.837 seconds ahead of the No. 74 Forty7 Motorsports Norma driven by Wyatt Schwab and Jon Brownson.
 
The drama and confusion erupted when the field was shown the white flag instead of the checkered as Andrews crossed the finish line. Based on IMSA’s lap-time average predictor, the race leader was expected to cross the line before the one-hour, 45-minute time limit ran out, necessitating one more lap. But since Andrews’ pace had slowed dramatically in fuel-saving mode, he crossed start-finish a few seconds after time had expired.
 
The extra lap that wound up not counting saw a five-car thrash around the 4.048-mile road course for what they thought would be the win. Dakota Dickerson maneuvered from fifth place to first in the No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier JS P3, but he was returned to fifth in the official result.
 
The victory for Kraut and Andrews comes two weeks after they won at Sebring International Raceway, though neither was sure initially if they had won Saturday.
 
“I was on the timing stand and the clock had run out,” said Kraut, who drove the opening stint but was among the first to pit 45 minutes into the race. “(Andrews) was coming out of (Turn) 14, we assumed they were going to throw the checker and they threw the white. We went like, ‘What?!’ Obviously, they did the right thing to reverse that.”
 
Andrews said he would’ve been delighted with third place, where he was when the extra lap was completed. Then he received the good news over the team radio on the cool-down lap.
 
“They said, ‘Hang tight, we may have won this thing,’” Andrews said. “So, I was super happy and celebrating the whole time. It was good.
 
“We came into the race probably knowing we didn’t have the pace, so we had to do a risky and aggressive strategy on fuel if we had any chance to win. As far as strategy and teamwork and just the driving for both of us, I think we did a really awesome job collectively.
 
“I’m stoked. Two in a row is awesome. It’s not something we expected but we’re very grateful we have the opportunity to do it.”
 
An additional post-race reshuffling occurred in technical inspection where a fuel capacity infraction was revealed on the No. 74 of Schwab and Brownson. The car was moved to the bottom of the finishing order as a result.
 
The penalty moved Dan Goldburg and Blake Mount into second in the No. 6 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier. David Grant and Keith Grant, who started on pole in the No. 40 Forty7 Motorsports Norma, wound up third overall but claimed victory in the Bronze Cup class.
 
“It was great,” Keith Grant said. “David put down some good qualifying laps and was able to start from the pole for us. He led the whole first stint and did a good job of getting us a gap. We had a good pit stop this time; we had troubles last time at Sebring. I just had to put my head down.”
 
IMSA Prototype Challenge returns to action Sunday, Aug. 23 at VIRginia International Raceway. The race streams live at 9:35 a.m. ET on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
Even the drenching wrath of Mother Nature couldn’t prevent the hottest team in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) competition from continuing its winning ways.
 
In Sunday’s headlining event at the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America that finished in a drenching downpour, Corvette Racing collected a 1-2 finish. Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia drove to victory in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner bringing the sister No. 4 Corvette home in second place.
 
 It marked the third straight Corvette win in 2020 competition and second straight 1-2 finish, though the positions were reversed two weeks ago at Sebring International Raceway.
 
Taylor and Garcia started strong and finished smart, earning the 102nd Corvette win in IMSA history. Taylor got the jump at the green flag on GTLM polesitter Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19 to grab the lead and hold it for the first 30 minutes on the high-speed road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
 
Vanthoor passed Taylor for the lead on Lap 15 and it looked like the Porsche’s day. That changed as quickly as the Wisconsin weather, however. Rain began falling around the 4.048-mile circuit with 55 minutes remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute race. Soon after, GTLM competitors Earl Bamber in the No. 912 Porsche and Connor De Phillippi in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE were among cars spinning off course to bring out a full-course caution.
 
Heavy rain, hail and lightning then arrived, forcing all cars to pit lane under red-flag conditions. Following a 21-minute hold, the race resumed under a full-course caution to allow a cycle of pit stops. When the green flag waved with 7:35 on the clock, John Edwards led GTLM in the No. 24 BMW, with Garcia in the No. 3 and Nick Tandy in the No. 911 Porsche on his heels.
 
Amid the skirmish in the wet with limited visibility on the white-flag lap, both Edwards and Tandy went off course and Garcia snuck through to take the checkered flag. It marked IMSA win No. 18 for the Spaniard.
“It was a very, very intense (last) three laps,” admitted Garcia, who notched his first Road America triumph. “I knew from Sebring practice that the C8.R was really, really good in the wet, even if today was more than wet. I had Tandy all over me; we had many, many times where we were alongside and kind of sailing together instead of racing together.
 
“I knew the Carousel and the Kink was really bad, like going into a swimming pool. I took the line I took on the previous lap and it seemed to work while defending from Tandy. … At some point while I was full off to the left, I saw the 24 (Edwards) spinning by himself very, very slowly.
 
“I was probably one of the few cars that made it through and luckily enough Tommy did the same, so another 1-2 for Corvette Racing, which is amazing. My first victory at Road America, finally!”
 
Taylor picked up his 22nd career win and added a first by winning on the same day in a different car as his brother Ricky, who took the overall and Daytona Prototype international (DPi) win with Helio Castroneves in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05.
 
“It was a wild day, very unexpected,” Jordan Taylor said. “The race started out strong. We took a different strategy with the three stops at the beginning and thankfully that turned out to work well in timing with the rain, and track-position-wise.
 
“Antonio never gave up. It was a tough fight in the tough conditions, but he survived when he needed to survive and he pressured the 24 when he needed to.”
 
GTLM is in action again Saturday, August 22 in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR. The race streams live at 1:35 p.m. ET on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and IMSA.tv.
No. 12 AVS Vasser Sullivan Lexus Slips and Slides to GTD Win at Road America
 
You know it’s a strange day when the winning car in a race limps home with damage sustained after the checkered flag.
 
That’s the kind of race it was for the GT Daytona class (GTD) in the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America on Sunday. Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell delivered AIM Vasser Sullivan its third win in as many IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races, coming after teammates Aaron Telitz and Jack Hawksworth captured the previous two events.
 
Telitz started on the GTD pole in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, with Montecalvo alongside in the No. 12 Lexus. Bell was able to overtake Hawksworth following the first round of pit stops and the No. 12 remained out front until the skies opened up with less than an hour remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute race on the popular 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
 
Heavy rain, hail and lightning forced a 21-minute red flag. When green-flag racing resumed with the rain still coming down, Bell and Hawksworth were still running 1-2. That’s when the real fun began.
 
Mario Farnbacher made his way from fifth to second on the final restart in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3. A lap later, Farnbacher completed a brilliant outside pass on Bell in Turn 12 to take the lead. It was short-lived, however, with the No. 86 going off track on the white-flag lap, opening the path for Bell to retake the lead and hold on for the win.
 
It was the fourth IMSA win for Bell and maiden victory for Montecalvo. Farnbacher and Matt McMurry finished second in the No. 86, with Telitz and Hawksworth rounding out the podium in the No. 14.
 
“Farnbacher, he was going big around the outside and got by us kind of easily,” Bell said of the penultimate lap. “We kind of hung in there and I was coming out of the Carousel looking up the road (on the last lap), and there he was sliding out in the grass near the wall. I hit that standing water and thought I was going to lose it.
 
“I just put my foot down and just started grabbing gears. The Lexus just barely hooked up and I got by him. That’s all it took and then the yellow came out.”
 
Farnbacher said he battled brake issues in the No. 86 Acura, which didn’t help his effort in the wet.
 
“I just tried to survive,” he said. “We came in early for rain tires and I think that was the key point, so thanks to Mike (Shank, team co-owner and strategist) and the guys for putting me into the right strategy. That was the reason we finished on the podium. We should have won it, but that’s racing sometimes.”
 
Bell’s excitement wasn’t complete once the checkered flag waved. As he nursed around the circuit on the cooldown lap, the No. 12 skittered off track and bounced off a concrete barrier.
 
“If that had happened a lap earlier, we would have lost the race under caution at 20 mph,” Bell said. “That’s how bad the conditions were. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I’m not sure I could do much else. I was just driving in a straight line as slow as I could go, and it just floated off the track.”
 
Montecalvo didn’t care how the car looked after the race. He was just happy to get his first win.
 
“Thanks to Townsend and the crew today to get this win for the 12 car,” he said. “We feel great for the guys. So, for everything to work out for us this race, it feels amazing. Everyone made a phenomenal call in the pits, throwing on the wets at the perfect time, it really worked out for us. It was a great race for us.”
 
GTD races again on Saturday, August 22 in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR. The race streams live at 1:35 p.m. ET on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and IMSA.tv.
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
Helio Castroneves had no idea where he was going, but he knew he was fast.
 
Castroneves passed Renger van der Zande in the pouring rain with 5 minutes, 15 seconds left Sunday to win the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class of the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America.
 
Castroneves trailed van der Zande when the race in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, restarted with under eight minutes left following a 21-minute red flag and 22-minute full-course caution, as leader Oliver Jarvis went to the pits for rain tires. Covered by plumes of water from van der Zande’s car and slower traffic in front, Castroneves chased down the leader and eventually passed him when his car bobbled on the exit of Turn 14.
 
“I couldn’t see a thing,” Castroneves said. “I noticed a little gap, and every time you have a little gap when there’s a few laps to go, you go for it.”
 
The victory with teammate Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPi was the team’s first this season in its first race after Acura announced that it would part ways with Penske’s WeatherTech Championship effort at the end of the 2020 season. Acura Team Penske first competed in the DPi class in 2018 and won the driver, team and manufacturer championships in 2019.
 
The team had been off to a rough start to the 2020 season, not finishing better than fourth in the first three races. Taylor and Castroneves hadn’t won since 2018.
 
“We don’t even know where we are in points because it’s pointless to look at them when we finish last every weekend,” Taylor said. “There’s always some bad luck or something going on, but this win definitely gives us some momentum. We’ll keep fighting.”
 
Castroneves said the team isn’t focused on the decision, but instead intent on turning the season around.
 
“Everybody knows the program is going to be forced to an end,” Castroneves said. “We don’t think about that. We want to finish on a high note. That’s our goal.”
 
Van der Zande, who teamed with Ryan Briscoe in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, held on to finish second. The No. 31 Action Express Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R shared by Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani finished third.
 
Taylor, who started from pole alongside the Acura Team Penske No. 6 entry driven by Dane Cameron, led from the drop of the green until the first round of pit stops. He reassumed the lead shortly after Cameron tangled with Harry Tincknell’s No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi 35 minutes into the 2-hour, 40-minute race.
 
After the No. 7 Penske car changed drivers, Castroneves held spirited battles for the lead with Jarvis, van der Zande and Tincknell before Jarvis assumed the lead shortly before rain began to fall, bringing out the red flag.  
 
Once the race restarted and Jarvis pitted for rain tires, Castroneves set his sights on van der Zande.
 
“Our goal is just to go quick,” Castroneves said. “We created some momentum, and we want to keep it going. Every time we’re on the racetrack, that’s what we want to do. Hopefully, this helps.”
 
The WeatherTech Championship resumes Aug. 21-23 with the Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes. The DPi and LMP2 classes return to competition in a six-hour race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Sept. 6.
Turnabout Is Fair Play as DragonSpeed USA Wins LMP2 Race
 
Sometimes, it’s all about timing and great decisions.
 
Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman, who were at one point more than 45 seconds behind the leaders in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class during Sunday’s main event of the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America, caught a break when Simon Trummer went off course under yellow with 46 minutes remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute race.
 
Hanley, piloting the No. 81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA LMP2 07, made a timely change from slick tires to wets and pulled off a surprising victory with help from Hedman’s opening effort.
 
“I can’t speak much about the rain,” said Hedman, who started the car second in class and 10th overall before rain changed the race. “I just thought the team made a crucial call and got Ben in early and got the wets on. That’s what won us the race today.”
 
The No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA led almost the entire first two hours of the race after Patrick Kelly’s sizzling opening effort and Trummer’s strong second half. But with 46 minutes remaining and the field struggling to get around the wet track under caution, Trummer found himself in a tangle, went off course and picked up an advertising sign on the car’s nose.
 
The No. 52 eventually finished fourth in class, while Hanley brought the No. 81 car home with the LMP2 lead. Cameron Cassels and James French finished second in class in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA, while Dwight Merriman and Kyle Tilley finished third in the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA.
 
The unusual circumstances of Sunday’s race extended the strange back-and-forth between the Nos. 52 and 81 teams to a second successive race. The No. 81 entry shared by Hedman and Gustavo Menezes was stripped of its victory July 18 at Sebring International Raceway because of disqualification over minimum driving time, giving the win to the No. 52 entry shared by Kelly and Spencer Pigot. 
 
“We should have won the race in Sebring, but we didn’t,” Hedman said. “The 52 car probably should have won this race, but they didn’t. We’re happy. We’ll take it. This was a team victory for us today.”
Fans of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship can watch the Season Six Finale across more channels than ever before, with new broadcast partners coming on board to show live coverage of the six-race title decider at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.
 
New deals with SuperSport and TV One Indonesia will see Formula E’s broadcast network reach over 60 broadcast partners, covering 32 languages and distributed in over 150 territories.
 
Along with the increased distribution, the eagerly anticipated return of the global electric street racing series will continue to be covered live across Formula E’s major broadcasters including FOX Broadcast and FOX Sports 1 in the USA, Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 across Europe, C8 and Canal+ Sport in France, Italia 1 and Canale 20 in Italy, as well as a comprehensive one-hour highlights package after each race on KBS in South Korea.
 
With the event in Berlin taking place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, Formula E will enable fans to watch the coverage of all six qualifying sessions live on its official digital channels (exc. Asia and USA). Formula E’s official digital channels will also carry live race coverage in select territories providing truly global coverage across the nine-day, six-race showdown.
 
The races in Berlin will also be available to watch online on Eurosport Player and Eurosport.de in Germany.
 
To view the full list of broadcasters for the first of three double-headers in Berlin on August 5 & 6, visit the where to watch section of the Formula E website.
 
Follow the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTok and YouTube@FIAFormulaE #ABBFormulaE
Professional off-road racer and radio host Jim Beaver will get back behind the wheel of his #915 General Tire Polaris RZR Turbo UTV for this month’s at Vegas to Reno, and he’ll have a couple of big names sharing the driver’s seat with him. Steve Arpin, one of the key figures in North American rallycross, and Marty Fiolka, a 2014 inductee of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, will join Beaver in the quest to finish America’s longest point-to-point off-road race.
 
“Over the years, and since focusing on our Turbo UTV program, we’ve been fortunate enough to assemble some pretty exciting driver lineups for the biggest events in off-road racing,” said Jim Beaver. “I’m excited to carry on the spirit of putting some of the top names in the sport behind the wheel with me by welcoming Steve Arpin and Marty Fiolka to the team for Vegas to Reno. Both of their resumes speak for themselves, from Steve’s efforts in growing the sport of rallycross to Marty’s ORMHOF-level contributions to off-road racing. I’m excited to have them both part of my team in what will be an exciting event!”
 
Arpin is one of the most important figures in North American rallycross, serving as both driver and general manager of Loenbro Motorsports. Since switching from stock car racing, where he drove for Dale Earnhardt Jr., to rallycross in 2013, the Ontario-born racer has scored multiple race wins and provided racing opportunities for numerous top-tier drivers. Arpin’s ability to take the checkered flag is far from limited to any one discipline, though, as he’s also taken home championships in everything from dirt modifieds to snowmobiles.
 
"I am so pumped to have this opportunity to drive a purpose built Polaris RZR!" said Arpin. "In any situation I’d be excited but given the curveballs 2020 has thrown our sport and the world for that matter, this just seems to have that extra flare to it right now! When I was young, my first professional racing program was a part of the Polaris Factory Team racing snowmobiles, coming back together with them on this program is pretty dang cool! Now the studying begins to make sure I can properly contribute my part in a successful run!"
 
Fiolka’s is one of off-road racing’s most legendary promoters, from his efforts in organizing the Crandon International Raceway off-road races and NORRA Mexican 1000 to producing multiple books and documentaries about the sport. The co-owner of BFG Team Rennsport, he is still an active racer who has piloted a variety of desert and short-course cars for decades. A frequent contributor to RACER Magazine and RACER.com, Fiolka will bring RACER’s media team with him to document the efforts that race teams go through to finish the grueling, 500-mile trek through the desert.
 
“Jim and I have talked about this opportunity for a long time, and I am both excited and honored to be joining his team with Steve Arpin,” Fiolka explained. “I have raced in almost every desert class, but this will be the first time driving a high-performance Polaris RZR. The last time I drove at Vegas to Reno was in a production-based Stock Full Ford truck, so this will be a different and decidedly faster challenge.”
 
With finishes in both of his race outings so far in 2020, including a lead lap finish in this year’s Mint 400, Beaver comes into Vegas to Reno with momentum on his side. The team has conducted extensive testing and tuning on the car over the year, continuing to refine the vehicle in preparation for a return to racing. Making her co-driving debut in the car alongside Beaver will be UTV Production regular Mia Chapman, the first female four-wheel athlete on the Red Bull roster in the United States. Chapman, who has seven career racing championships and nearly 100 podiums to her name, made the switch to desert racing full-time this year, and will use her time in the second seat as the first step towards an eventual move into the premier class of UTV racing.
 
Since the Mint 400, Beaver’s General Tire Down and Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR has established itself on Sundays on SiriusXM Channel 211, and graced the Pro 2 truck of Keegan Kincaid as he started his 2019 title defense with a win at ERX Motor Park last month. In addition, Jim Beaver eSports has continued to expand its reach in sim racing, with Beaver himself appearing on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series broadcast from Indianapolis for an interview earlier in the season.
 
Stay tuned for new episodes of the General Tire Down & Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR, Project Action, and more, as well as full coverage of Vegas to Reno and all of the latest action motorsports events on DownAndDirtyShow.com.
 
Jim Beaver Motorsports is supported by General Tire, Vision Wheel, Polaris RZR, Rigid Industries, GSP XTV Axles, DirtFish, Gibson Exhaust, Optimas Starters, Impact Safety, Acronis, Hyperco, HCR Racing, Pro Armor, Assault, Rugged Radios, and Action Sports Canopies. For more information on Jim Beaver and the General Tire Down & Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR, visit www.downanddirtyshow.com, follow @JimBeaver15 on social media, and follow @DownAndDirtyShow on Instagram.
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
It took four months longer than planned due to the global pandemic, but the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series is finally ready to wave the green flag on its season. And the field of drivers and teams that will take to Road America this weekend is ripe with talent and promise.
 
Twelve cars are entered, with four entries in each of the three classes – Pro, ProAm and LB Cup. The schedule calls for a pair of races to be contested on the historic road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, at 5:15 p.m. ET Friday and 10:15 a.m. Saturday. Both races will stream live on IMSA.tv.
 
Among the returning stars to the series in 2020 are three reigning Lamborghini Super Trofeo champions and two runners-up, not to mention a pair of past champions in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
 
Corey Lewis shared last year’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America drivers’ championship in the Pro class and returns this season in ProAm behind the wheel of the No. 29 Change Racing, (Lamborghini Charlotte) Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO. Lewis – who opened 2020 with a Rolex 24 At Daytona victory in the GTD class – will carry in the momentum of winning a race this past weekend at Road America in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
 
Jacob Eidson returns to defend his title in the ProAm class when he won 11 of 12 races, this year teaming with 17-year-old sensation Steven Aghakhani in the No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills entry.
 
“Our most straightforward goal at Road America is to keep the car clean all weekend, bring it home with a podium finish and just have fun,” Aghakhani said. “That’s the biggest thing. We have waited a long time for this season to start, and I think Super Trofeo is getting back to racing later than any major series in the U.S. The wait has been so long, but we have to remember to enjoy it now that it is finally here.”
 
McKay Snow edged Aghakhani by a single point in the 2019 Am standings. Snow is back in ProAm, driving the No. 63 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte machine. Snow’s older brother Madison will compete in the Pro class and team with Bryan Sellers in the No. 16 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Lamborghini. Sellers and Madison Snow shared the 2018 WeatherTech Championship crown in GT Daytona competition, and were Lewis’ 2020 Rolex 24-winning co-drivers.
 
Then there’s Stevan McAleer, the reigning IMSA Prototype Challenge runner-up, who’ll pair with British standout Stuart Middleton in the No. 1 Prestige Performance WTR, Lamborghini Paramus in the Pro class. The “WTR” stands for Wayne Taylor Racing, which has totaled seven Lamborghini Super Trofeo championships.
 
Ashton Harrison impressed many with her runner-up finish last year in the LB Cup standings. She moves into ProAm this season, where she will team with Andrea Amici in the No. 25 Prestige Performance WTR, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán.
 
“Andrea and I are looking forward to starting the season off at Road America and being back with Wayne Taylor Racing for another season,” Harrison said.
 
“I’m also excited to be starting off at a challenging track like Road America where both Andrea and I had great success last year. Our goal is to win ProAm races as often as possible and take the ProAm championship. My personal goal Is to become one of the first female Lamborghini champions in the United States."
 
The Road America calls for practice sessions at 4:55 p.m. ET Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday, ahead of a pair of qualifying sessions at 1:35 and 1:55 p.m. Saturday. The Road America round is the first of five doubleheader weekends on the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America schedule. Other weekends are set for VIRginia International Raceway (August 21-23), Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (Sept. 4-6), WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Oct. 30-Nov. 1) and Sebring International Raceway (Nov. 11-13).
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