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
Formula E extends media partnership with BBC to show live coverage of ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Season 7
45 Human Rights and Foreign Policy Organizations Call on Formula 1 Star Lewis Hamilton to Speak Out Against the Saudi Government’s Human Rights Abuses
Today, 45 organizations representing millions of people around the world sent a joint letter to Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton calling on him to speak out against the Saudi government's human rights abuses and boycott the Formula 1 race scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia in the latter part of 2021. This race marks the first time Saudi Arabia has ever hosted a Formula 1 event. The letter, signed by groups ranging from foreign policy organizations to faith-based groups, outlines specific concerns with the human rights abuses carried out by the government of Saudi Arabia. The organizations write specifically about the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the treatment of women’s rights defenders like Loujain AlHathloul, and the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The letter thanks Hamilton for his dedication to human rights and issues of diversity in Formula 1. Hamilton was a vocal advocate for Black Lives Matter and expressed concern for Bahraini torture victims when the sport traveled to Bahrain in the 2020 season.
Danaka Katovich, the Yemen Campaign Coordinator for CODEPINK, said, “Hamilton has shown time and time again that he cares deeply for people around the world. I hope he is compelled to stand with Saudi human rights defenders like Loujain AlHathloul. The most decorated Formula 1 driver in the history of the sport demanding freedom for activists and justice for Yemen would certainly speak volumes to the world.”
“As organizations concerned deeply with the human rights abuses carried out by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we ask that you reconsider your participation in the upcoming race being hosted in Saudi Arabia in 2021.” The signers of the letter call on Hamilton to make a statement at the race itself if a boycott of the race is not a possibility.
Dr. Aisha Jumaan, the Yemeni-born founder and president of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, said, “The U.N. reported that 2.3 million Yemeni children under five years of age are experiencing famine. This is due to the Saudi war and blockade on Yemen.” Dr. Jumaan added to Hamilton, “I hope that you send their agonized parents a message of solidarity by boycotting the race.”
The letter also highlights the experiences of Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain AlHathloul, who was released from prison in February 2021 after being sentenced by a terrorism court for her activism. While detained she experienced torture and threats of violence. Her release comes with conditions as she remains on probation and is not allowed to leave Saudi Arabia for five years. “It is our sincere hope as a family that Mr. Hamilton considers the gravity of supporting a country like Saudi Arabia that imprisons and tortures its own citizens like my sister Loujain. Although she has been released from prison, she is far from free. Why is she forbidden from speaking out about her experiences in prison? We all know what they want to hide. It is through Mr. Hamilton's boycott that we can apply pressure to demand the truth and continue to send a message to Saudi Arabia that they cannot sports-wash their continued human rights violations away,” said Lina AlHathloul.
The organizations are concerned with “sportswashing,” where a country hosts sporting events to distract from its poor human rights record. Sunjeev Bery, executive director of Freedom Forward, stated, “Saudi Arabia’s dictatorship is using sports and entertainment events in a desperate attempt to hide its horrifying human rights record from the world. As a voice for freedom, Lewis Hamilton should take a stand in support of the peaceful reformers and activists who are languishing in Saudi Arabia’s prisons. Hamilton should boycott the race until Saudi Arabia’s monarchy embraces reform.”
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Full letter and signatories below:
Dear Lewis Hamilton,
Congratulations on another successful Formula 1 season. Not only have you won race after race, you’ve also led Formula 1 in issues of diversity and justice. We commend your dedication to raising awareness about issues that are important to you and we hope you will continue your advocacy into the 2021 F1 season. As organizations concerned deeply with the human rights abuses carried out by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we ask that you reconsider your participation in the upcoming race being hosted in Saudi Arabia in 2021. If this is not possible due to prior commitments, we ask that you make a statement at this race.
After receiving a letter from the son of a Bahraini torture victim, you had expressed you wanted to reach out to the leaders of Bahrain but were unable to when you contracted the coronavirus. We appreciate your dedication to human rights, and we think that the 2021 Formula 1 season presents an opportunity to stand in solidarity with human rights defenders from Saudi Arabia. For the first time in Formula 1’s history, Saudi Arabia will be hosting a race in 2021. We think that this race is a key place to make a statement regarding human rights. You stated in a previous interview that you did not know enough about the Saudi government’s human rights record, so to help provide context we have outlined the key issues surrounding the egregious human rights abuses of the Saudi Kingdom.
Detention of Women’s Rights Activists: Saudi leaders have imprisoned women’s rights activists for calling for the same reforms the kingdom and MBS so publicly tout as advancements in support of women’s rights. For example, Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain AlHathloul was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia from May 2018 until February 2021 in retribution for her campaigning (successfully) for women to secure the right to drive in the Kingdom. Following her arrest, Loujain endured waterboarding, electroshock, beatings, sexual assault, and more. In 2019, she was offered release in exchange for making a video claiming that she had not been tortured. She refused and remained in prison. Her case was moved to a terrorism court after nearly three years in pre-trial detention and Loujain was sentenced on 28 December 2020 to 5 years and 8 months in prison. Her release in early 2021 was conditional, as she is still on probation and a 5-year travel ban where she will be unable to leave Saudi Arabia. The United Nations and over 40 states at the UN Human Rights Council called for her release, as well as the release of other detained Saudi women’s rights defenders, many of whom are still in prison.
The war on Yemen: The leaders of Saudi Arabia are also waging a brutal war on Yemen that is starving almost twenty million people in the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet. In 2015, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia started bombing Yemen. Saudi Arabia then imposed a land, air, and sea blockade on the country, leaving Yemen to starve. A report released by Save the Children in 2018 estimated that about 85,o00 children died of starvation in Yemen. Because of the blockade and war, Yemen is dealing with one of the highest COVID death rates in the world. A recent UN report indicates that there are 13.5 million people facing high levels of food insecurity which will increase to 16.2 in the first half of 2021. The UN calls Yemen the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
The brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi: In October 2018, agents ordered by the Saudi government brutally murdered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was dismembered with a bone saw while he was still alive in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The murder of this dissident journalist sparked mass criticism of the Saudi government. Saudi leaders tried to cover up this murder and ultimately failed. An investigation by UN expert Agnes Callamard concluded that the murder was a “premeditated extrajudicial killing” that was "overseen, planned and endorsed by high-level state officials of Saudi Arabia.”
Mr. Hamilton, we believe there are many ways for you to make a statement at this race. Using your platform could be as simple as tweeting Loujain AlHathloul’s story and calling on the Saudi government to #FreeLoujain unconditionally by lifting her travel ban, letting her family travel, and dropping her charges. On top of that, Loujain’s family is calling for the people who tortured Loujain to be held accountable. Given that Loujain was punished for driving, you could put a sticker of Loujain on your car during the race. Another suggestion is for you to wear a shirt on the day of the race calling on the Saudi government to #FreeLoujain and stop their war on Yemen. The organizers of this letter would be happy to provide you with any materials needed or meet with you to discuss action ideas and our concerns further.
#FreeLoujain Campaign - Action Corps - Alliance for Global Justice - ALQST for Human Rights - Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain - Avaaz - Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America/Bautistas por la Paz - CAPA DePaul - Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia - Chicago Area Peace Action - Chicago Committee Against War and Racism - CIVICUS: Global Alliance for Citizen Participation - Clearinghouse on Women's Issues - CODEPINK - Equality Now - Fellowship of Reconciliation - Feminist Majority Foundation - Freedom Forward - Grassroots Global Justice Alliance - Green Party Peace Action - Indiana Center for Middle East Peace - International Service for Human Rights - Just Foreign Policy - London Students for Yemen - Martin Ennals Foundation - MENA Rights Group - Muslim Peace Fellowship - On Earth Peace - Peace Action - PEACEWORKERS - Project Blueprint - Rethinking Foreign Policy - RootsAction.org - Stop the War UK - Tunisian United Network - United for Peace and Justice - University Network for Human Rights - Veterans For Peace - WESPAC Foundation, Inc. - West Suburban Peace Coalition - Western New York Peace Center - Women's March Global - World BEYOND War - Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation - Yemeni Alliance Committee
- 1st - $4,000
- 2nd - $1,500
- 3rd - $1,025
- 4th - $350
- 5th - $200
The SpeedTour returned to Sebring International Raceway for a thrilling weekend of racing with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli and International GT at the Sebring SpeedTour. With sunny skies and picture-perfect weather, the SpeedTour welcomed hundreds of entries from across the three series, along with an event record-setting car show with 450 cars and a host of spectators around the 3.74-mile circuit.
SVRA’s competition was split into five separate races, with each group getting two features during the course of the weekend.
Groups 6 and 12A were paired together and took the track first. After winning nine races en route to the 2020 Group 6A championship, Scott Borchetta took home the overall win in both feature races, racking up his first victories of 2021 while driving his No. 98 1969 Chevrolet Corvette.
With production years ranging from 1957 to 1989, the Groups 1/2/3/4/5b races featured everything from Austin Healey Bugeye Sprites to a Royale RP4. Travis Engen, familiar to SVRA’s victory lane and the owner of many SVRA red hats, once again ruled the competition and drove to victory not once but twice in the Groups 1/2/3/4/5b features. Engen was defending his titles from 2020 where he also drove to victory in both of the group’s feature races driving his No. 1 1962 Lotus 23B.
Always a force to be reckoned with, Engen was also a front-runner in the Groups 5a/7/11 races. After leading the majority of the first feature, Engen was passed by Chris Ronson Jr. in the last corner of the last lap for Ronson to take the victory in his No. 54 2010 Oreca FLM-09 in one of the most exciting finishes of the weekend. However, when the group returned to the track on Sunday for their second feature race, the two swapped positions on the podium with Engen taking the top step in his famous No. 2 2005 Audi R8 LMP and Ronson Jr. finishing in the runner-up position.
Two-time Trans Am Champion Wally Dallenbach Jr. ruled the field in Group 10, taking the win in both feature races one and two. Driving the same 2000 Ford Mustang Cobra that John Cloud drove to victory at Sebring last spring, Dallenbach recorded his first wins of 2021 in SVRA competition.
In 2020, John Deford did not make it past the second step on the podium in the Groups 8 and 12B races. However, this year, driving his prized 1973 Porsche 914/6, he drove to victory not once, but twice, taking the top prize in both feature races for Groups 8 and 12B.
For a full list of SVRA’s podium finishers at the Sebring SpeedTour, visit SVRA.com.
SVRA will return to competition at Charlotte Motor Speedway, March 18-21. It will be the series’ inaugural trip to the “Roval,” which is a road course/oval circuit that made its debut for NASCAR competition in 2018. With the event taking place in the heart of “NASCAR Country,” SVRA is planning for a stock car-only feature race in addition to a Corvette featured marque.
The following weekend, SVRA will travel just three hours south to Road Atlanta for another SpeedTour event, March 25-28. SVRA will be joined once again by the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli and International GT, as well as FR Americas, F4 U.S. Championship and the Miata Heritage Cup. The Atlanta SpeedTour will be broadcast to SpeedTour Plus+ Pass subscribers on the SVRA App, which is available for download, here: https://nagrasports.app.link/YHkRxfOxq7.
There's always excitement surrounding the opening round of a race series, and that energy settles mostly on the pre-season title and race-win favorites. In the 2021 Western Regional 250SX Class season opener, which kicked off Saturday night at round eight of the Supercross series in Orlando, Fla., two of those racers happened to be brothers.
Jeremy Martin looked like the title favorite. With five previous wins over seven years he was looking to capture the title that eluded him, then move up to the bigger-displacement, premiere class in 2022. Jeremy admitted that he was past due to move up, and with a title he could likely transition into full-time 450SX class racing with a good contract. 'Title or bust' were Jeremy's own words in pre-season interviews of his must-win season.
Older brother Alex Martin has had more of a journeyman's career, but with 68 starts over 11 seasons he seemed primed for a great run in the Western Regional Championship that's packed with inexperienced rookies. He also looked forward to battling with his brother in the same division, something that hadn't happened for seven seasons.
When they lined up for the 250 SX Class Main Event on Saturday night at Camping World Stadium, it not only represented their years of dedication to honing their racing skills, but also the scramble each racer faced during the offseason after both rider's teams closed shop abruptly at the end of the summer without warning. They each landed with good support, both on Yamahas, though on different teams.
Jeremy Martin's race lasted only one corner. Exiting the first turn at the start of the race, with tension high, adrenaline spiking, and 22 racers trying to occupy the same space at the same time – at speed – Jeremy was landed on by another rider. He was knocked off his bike and driven into the dirt. He was up fast but just as quickly assessing a shoulder injury, looking ready to yank it back into position had he thought that could have kept his title hopes alive.
Just two corners after that, Alex Martin smashed to the ground in a 180 degree bowl turn. He looked shaken from the impact and his condition prompted a red-flag that temporarily halted the race in the interest of safety.
When the 250SX Class riders re-loaded the steel-grate starting gate for the re-start of the race, neither Martin brother was astride his race bike. The gate dropped, and this time only 20 riders funneled into the first turn.
Racing can be cruel and that is amplified by the extreme sport of Supercross. The Martin brothers fortunately have a two-week break before round two, in Daytona, to get evaluated and see if they can race, and if so, if they can find a way to make up a point deficit on their top competitors. It's been done before, and more than that, the wild opening lap proves that anything can happen in the unforgiving world of Supercross.
For the full race schedule, videos, photos, and ticket information for the restricted-attendance, pod-style seating at all events, please visit SupercrossLIVE.com.
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
2. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki
3. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha
4. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna
5. Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
6. Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki
7. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda
8. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS
9. Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha
10. Jace Owen, Mattoon, Ill., Yamaha
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (26)
2. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (23)
3. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (21)
4. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (19)
5. Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (18)
6. Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (17)
7. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (16)
8. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS (15)
9. Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha (14)
10. Jace Owen, Mattoon, Ill., Yamaha (13)
KW automotive, the suspension manufacturer, has been a development partner and supplier for selected limited edition models in the automotive industry for years. Croatian electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac Automobili also relies on the expertise of KW automotive. The Rimac C_Two is much more than a hypercar; it’s an electric GT hypercar that needs to be comfortable during long journeys and deliver high performance on various racetracks. The Rimac C_Two can accelerate from 0 to 300 km/h in just 11.6 seconds. The requirements placed on the suspension are accordingly high. After years of development work, the Rimac C_Two is in the final phase of fine-tuning the fully KW suspension. More at www.rimac-automobili.com and www.kwsuspensions.net
In collaboration with KW automotive, the handling and driving dynamics of the Rimac C_Two were fine-tuned using KW’s specialized equipment, on numerous demanding racetracks around the world, even before the electric sports car has done any driving. In reproducible conditions, KW tested its shocks with adaptive damper control for the Rimac C_Two on the 7-Poster Rig specialized in Vertical Dynamics for chassis dynamic data analytics in Fichtenberg, Germany. Development of such a complex and unique vehicle requires multiple tuning sessions and changes to reach the highest possible refinement in terms of vehicle comfort, performance but also noise and vibration cancelation. As Rimac Automobili get closer to series production, the refinement is getting more and more detailed and demanding.
KW automotive is a leader in its segment in the development and production of adaptive coilovers, software control systems, suspension control units and solenoid proportional damper valves. The suspension developed by KW for the Rimac C_Two is a fully controlled coilover suspension with adaptive valve control and a hydraulic lift system. The electric sports car has 1,914 hp, and within 11.6 seconds the hypercar accelerates to 300 km/h (0 - 100 km/h in under 2 sec). The top speed is 412 km/h. The battery technology used allows a range of up to 550 kilometers. In addition to the suspension, KW automotive also developed the chassis control and chassis control electronics for its customer Rimac Automobili. “The suspension system in the C_Two is the most innovative product that we have at KW automotive, and it’s necessary to deliver the broad range of abilities that Mate Rimac wants for the C_Two. We’re proud to say that this is the latest partnership between our two brands, and we’ve worked with Mate since the very beginning ten years ago when we provided the suspension for his all-electric BMW track car that inspired him to start building his own electric hypercars.”, says Klaus Wohlfarth, Founder and Managing Director of KW automotive.
The Rimac C_Two is placed with its wheels on four stamps during the tests. The 4-post sweep tests various parameters such as axle kinematics, spring rates, suspension travel, damper settings, damper setups and much more. Each individual pillar has a wheel load scale and is moved by hydraulics. This generates a pressure of up to 230 bar in the hoses of the vehicle dynamics 7-post rig. The motion of the four large wheel actuators causes the entire body of the Rimac C_Two to vibrate. In the process, the KW engineers, together with their colleagues from Rimac, analyze resonance frequencies, among other things, at which the amplitude of the forced body reaches maximum. In this stroke sinusoidal oscillation, the electric sports car runs through a frequency band from one Hertz to 20 Hertz at a constant speed in phase zero passage. In addition to measurements at constant speeds of 75 mm/s, 150 mm/s, 200 mm/s, or 250 mm/s (excitation speed of the posts in the phase zero passage), the 7-Post Driving Dynamics test rig is also used to map various racetracks. After the tuning and development tests on the vehicle dynamics bench, further driving tests on various racetracks will begin shortly before the 1914 hp Rimac C_Two production model is presented to the public in a few months.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and 15-time NASCAR Cup Series Most Popular Driver, joined the ownership group of the Music City Grand Prix today, becoming the most recent addition to an elite group of owners that includes GRAMMY Award-winning artist Justin Timberlake.
“I’ve been excited about the Music City Grand Prix since I first heard about it. It will be an incredible event combining great music and racing in one of my all-time favorite cities,” said Earnhardt Jr. “I’m excited to be part of the ownership group for this event and look forward to not only this year’s inaugural event, but to great racing in Nashville for years to come.”
“It’s hard to put into words how excited we are with the addition of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to our already incredible ownership team,” said Music City Grand Prix CEO Matt Crews. “Over the past two decades the Motorsports Industry has had no greater ambassador. His influence goes well beyond motorsports and his passion for music, food and Nashville make him a perfect addition to the team,” Crews added.
Other Owners Include:
Teddy Phillips – CEO Phillips and Jordan, Inc.
Stanton Barrett – Movie Director, Stunt Coordinator, Race Car Driver
Scott Borchetta – President & CEO of the Big Machine Label Group
JR Hand – President/CEO Hand Family Companies
Darby Campbell – Owner and President of Safe Harbor Development
Justin Marks – NASCAR team owner and driver Justin Marks
Gil West – Former Delta Airlines Chief Operating Officer
Kevin Clayton – President & CEO of Clayton Homes
Brad Lager – Chairman & CEO Herzog Contracting Corporation
Drew Kitchen – Attorney Maynard Cooper
Andy Moats – EVP/Music Sports & Entertainment at Pinnacle Financial Partners
Amish Purohit – Alpha Development
John Thompson – CEO MTA Distributors
Ace Harrington – COO MTA Distributors
The three-day international festival of speed and sound will be staged on a temporary 2.17-mile grand prix circuit in downtown Nashville and around the Nissan Stadium campus. The course will cross the Cumberland River via the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge, making the Music City Grand Prix one of the only events in motorsports to cross over a major body of water. In addition to a weekend of racing, attendees can look forward to the best Nashville has to offer, including live music performances by top artists, best-in-class chef-curated food experiences, and entertainment that centers on speed in a way only Music City can serve up.
For more information on the Music City Grand Prix visit www.musiccitygp.com or follow along on using @MusicCityGP on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you are interested in securing your seats now before the general public, the Music City Grand Prix is offering two distinctive membership initiatives filled with fantastic annual benefits. For details, please visit www.musiccitygp.com/membership.