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  

  

 
Progressive American Flat Track is proud to confirm that Yamaha Motor Corp. will return as an Official OEM Partner for the upcoming 2021 season.
 
Yamaha is well positioned to enjoy a powerful Progressive AFT campaign in ‘21 with potential race winners and title contenders up and down the card. Fans can certainly anticipate multiple visits to the podium by members of the "bLU cRU" from all three classes of Progressive AFT.
 
Yamaha is fully prepared to back up those big expectations in dollar bills, increasing its contingency offering to nearly a half-million dollars this season. With a combined $472,000 available across all three classes, Yamaha-mounted Progressive AFT athletes will be angling to capture a substantial bounty in their quest for checkered flags and championship rings this season.
 
Additionally, Yamaha will serve as the entitlement sponsor for its home race, the Yamaha Atlanta Super TT at Atlanta Motorsport Speedway, on May 1, 2021.
 
“We are very pleased to have Yamaha Motor partner again in 2021 with Progressive American Flat Track,” said Michael Lock, CEO of Progressive AFT. "Yamaha’s commitment to the sport, with nearly $500,000 available in contingency awards, and their factory support for competitors in all three Progressive AFT classes, reinforces their passion for flat track racing. Even since the days of Kenny Roberts, Yamaha has been synonymous with competing at the highest level in America’s Original Extreme Sport!”
 
“We’re excited to be back as an AFT sponsor partner and are very much looking forward to going racing in 2021,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha Motorsports Marketing Manager. “With championship-caliber riders throwing legs over both the YZ450F and MT-07 again this season, look for Yamaha-mounted racers to be in the mix for race wins at each round in the hopes of taking home the title at year-end."
 
The 2021 Progressive AFT season kicks off with a Volusia Half-Mile doubleheader event at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021. Tickets for this season-opening extravaganza are on sale now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3321/#raceSchedule.
 
For more information on Progressive American Flat Track visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
 
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit the Official Progressive AFT Merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.
The TireRack.com Road to Indy iRacing eSeries Presented by Cooper Tires will bring the challenges of virtual oval racing to competitors today in a double-header race at Iowa Speedway beginning at 6:45 pm EST. Dubbed The Fastest Short Track on the Planet, the 7/8-mile oval will host the third round of the five-event series.
 
Oval stops on the calendar were quite popular with both drivers and online spectators in the first of two Road to Indy iRacing eSeries last year. Several of the frontrunners from those events including Braden Eves, Max Kaeser, Josh Green and Danial Frost will be looking to continue or improve on their form in tonight’s outing.
 
Currently iRacing standouts Max Esterson and Eves top the championship standings. Esterson, an F1600 competitor with Team Pelfrey in 2020, is the only two-time race winner to date. He holds an 18-point advantage over Eves, who returns to the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with Exclusive Autosport this year. Josh Green, a sophomore driver in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship with Turn 3 Motorsport, rounds out the top three.
 
 
Representing the World Karting Association (WKA) this week will be Jarret Schwarz of Davenport, Iowa. Schwarz earned his invitation into the event by winning the third round of the WKA Maxx Racing eSports Series.
In addition to wins last week at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park by Esterson and Eves, who claimed the SimMetric Drivers Performance Labs Pole Award, other notables included the Sabelt Hard Charger Award by 2020 Lucas Oil Formula Car Series champion Ely Navarro and the Andersen RacePark Move of the Race by USF2000 driver Simon Sikes.
 
“The opening races of our eSeries have been exciting, with a little more chaos than I’d expected, but we enjoyed some truly spirited and entertaining battles at both Road America and Belle Isle,” said Rob Howden, Road to Indy Series Development Director who handles eSeries commentary duties alongside Scottish announcer Peter MacKay. “I love the diversity of the talent we’ve assembled this year, and our Road to Indy ‘Prospects’ have certainly acquitted themselves well.
 
“We’ve seen these talented prospects battling wheel-to-wheel with Indy Lights, Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 drivers in all four races so far, and now it’s time to flip the script again and head to the oval. This is part of the overall training for our Road to Indy drivers – running natural terrain road courses, temporary street circuits and banked ovals – and we’re offering that diversity in the eSeries as well. Iowa Speedway is going to be a challenge for sure, and I’m intrigued to see which drivers are up front this evening.”
 
Coverage from a virtual Iowa Speedway can be found on the Cooper Tire Facebook page, the Road to Indy TV website and App, ApexRacingTV’s YouTube and Facebook and the series’ respective websites. In addition, live coverage will be carried by REV TV Canada.
Beaverton Motor Cycle Racing will be the title sponsor for No. 67 Davis Fisher in the 2021 Progressive American Flat Track Mission® SuperTwins class.
 
Bob Lanphere Jr., president of the Lanphere Auto Group, made the announcement.
 
“This decision shows the commitment BMC Racing continues to have in many areas of motorcycle racing,” said Lanphere Jr. “We are proud to be associated with Davis and to provide title sponsorship as he competes in AFT’s premier class.”
 
Bob Lanphere’s Beaverton Motorcycles opened in 1964, and BMC Racing has supported Fisher’s racing for 14 years. The Lanphere Auto Group owns a number of car and motorcycle dealerships throughout the Pacific Northwest.
 
BriggsAuto.com backed Fisher’s AFT SuperTwins program in 2020.
 
“When I received a phone call from Briggs Auto saying they were going to sit out this year,” said Fisher, “I wasn’t sure if I would be able to put something together in time for the first round of the series, the March 12 Volusia Half-Mile at Volusia Speedway Park.
 
“I am grateful that BMC Racing has stepped up its support. Bob’s dad owned the shop before Bob Jr. took it over. He has been involved in racing for many years. At one point, he supported 2000 AMA Grand National Champion Joe Kopp, as well as my dad, Rex.”
 
Fisher, 23, will contest the 17-round Mission SuperTwins championship on Indian Motorcycle FTR750s, the same brand and model of motorcycle that has captured the AFT crown four consecutive seasons.
 
“I have two FTR750s that I will prep,” said Fisher, “and my dad will fly to the races to crew for me."
 
The 5-foot-6, 150-pound Fisher finished the 2020 AFT SuperTwins season eighth overall in the championship points standings, with seven top-10 placings. His best finishes were a pair of fifths at the Sept. 5 Springfield Mile I and at the Sept. 6 Springfield Mile II in Springfield, Ill.
 
Fisher also will receive support from Dan Wall of Dick Wall 60, Jerry Stinchfield of Roof Systems of Dallas, Jeff Celorie of Celorie Bros. Trucking, Steve Simon of Allied Motors and Arai Helmets.
 
The 2021 Progressive AFT season kicks off with a Volusia Half-Mile doubleheader event at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021. Tickets for this season-opening extravaganza are on sale now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3321/#raceSchedule.
 
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
 
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.

As NASCAR gets set to turn left and right this weekend on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli kicks off its season just two-and-a-half hours south at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, the track where Trans Am debuted 55 years ago.   

 

Billed as America’s Road-Racing Series, Trans Am proudly pits American muscle in the form of Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers wheeled by both experienced racers and next-generation talents on some of the most iconic tracks in North America, with venerable Sebring leading the way.

 

TeamSLR has been a staple of Trans Am since 2016, and the Florida-based team heads into the season opener at the 17-turn, 3.74-mile track with a two-car lineup that will compete for the TA2 championship. Drivers Connor Mosack and Scott Lagasse Jr., will race Camaros, with Mosack in the No. 28 and Lagasse in the No. 92. It will be the first time TeamSLR runs the full TA2 schedule, and Mosack and Lagasse Jr., are each eyeing the title.

 

“We have a really strong driver lineup this year with a mix of youth and experience,” said Scott Lagasse, Sr., president, TeamSLR. “We’re running the full TA2 schedule with two cars – one for Connor and one for Scotty – and it’ll be the first time we compete for the championship. Trans Am has proven to be a very competitive series and the more you run, the better you are. We’re going all in, not just in regard to running for the title, but also with our driver development program. You’ll see three TeamSLR cars at many Trans Am races this year with some really good, young prospects behind the wheel.”

 

Mosack is one of those young drivers. The 22-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, attends High Point (N.C.) University and raced late-model stock cars last year for JR Motorsports. He has already made a name for himself in NASCAR’s development divisions, but with road-course racing becoming more and more prominent in NASCAR’s national touring series, Mosack is committed to a full TA2 schedule with TeamSLR after running a handful of races with the organization in 2020.

 

Lagasse Jr., is TeamSLR’s veteran. The 40-year-old from St. Augustine, Florida, has made more than 115 starts across the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series. The two-time ARCA race winner has been competing in TA2 since 2016. Lagasse Jr., owns TeamSLR and is a 2004 graduate of Flagler College.

 

TeamSLR leverages its Trans Am involvement to highlight its driver development program as well as its car-building capabilities. TeamSLR is the exclusive representative of M1 Racecars, an official TA2 constructor. It builds rolling chassis and complete Camaros, Mustangs and Challengers for Trans Am competition.

 

“Everyone with TeamSLR and M1 Racecars has worked smart through the winter to build and deliver new cars for our M1 teammates, both in house and from around the country,” Lagasse, Sr., said. “We truly enjoy being able to help competitors make progress in their racing programs. We assist teams with quality cars, set up and tuning, as well as driver optimization. We take a methodical approach and focus on quality over quantity, using our expertise to deliver strong results.”

 

 

Connor Mosack, driver No. 28 Nic Tailor Custom Fit Underwear/Interstate Foam & Supply Chevrolet Camaro:

 

“During the offseason, I was preparing by staying in shape to make sure I could handle the longer, hotter races during the TA2 season. In addition, I spent a lot of time learning the tracks on the schedule that were new to me. This was primarily focused on Sebring since that’s where our season begins, but the focus will shift to other tracks throughout the year.

 

“Sebring is a challenging track and it has grown on me a lot. I like the character the place has with the various bumps and a lot of on-throttle time, and the high-speed corners give it a good rhythm. It helps to have a lot of laps there in order to learn where the bumps are and what you can get away with to find that last bit of speed. Having a car that turns well and is stable at high speeds is also key.

 

“The level of competition is very high in TA2, with many drivers having years of road-racing experience. The top-five guys, especially, are always going to be tough to beat, no matter what track we go to, so strong finishes definitely have to be earned.

 

“Trans Am racing has been helpful to me in a lot of ways, but most specifically in developing my skills as a road racer. Being mostly an oval guy, road racing does have quite a different approach. Learning this new skill set is key to being a versatile driver who can run up front no matter the car or track. Learning from both Scott Sr., and Scott Jr., has been huge for me. They both have a lifetime of experience that drastically helps my learning curve.”

 

Scott Lagasse, Jr., driver No. 92 Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App/M1 Racecars/Fields Racing Chevrolet Camaro:

 

“The offseason has been extremely short for TeamSLR and M1 Racecars as we ramp up to accommodate the demand for chassis as well as interest in our road-race driver performance program. Our group has been at this since November and I’m pretty excited to see the performance of SLR and M1 Racecars during this season and beyond.

 

“Our entire team is excited to get to Sebring and see the results from our hard work through the winter and our recent test there. We’re also looking forward to seeing the positive results show up for all of the M1 competitors we’ve built cars for.

 

“Trans Am is growing and it gets more competitive each year. This will be the first year we run the entire schedule and compete for a championship. Connor Mosack and I plan to run all the races and contend for the title. The level of competition in Trans Am increases each year and it’s one of the best in racing. There are a lot of great competitors and it takes a lot to win each race.

 

“The cars are some of the most fun racecars I’ve driven in my career. You can hustle these cars for the entire race, just like qualifying laps. It’s been a good training tool for me. I’ve seen improvements in my road-racing ability and it’s a great series.”

 

About TeamSLR:      

 

TeamSLR competes fulltime in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli in a multifaceted effort that includes dedicated entries in the TA2 division, customer programs, driver coaching and car construction. Its history dates back to 1985 and covers a wide spectrum of motorsports, including NASCAR, IMSA, SCCA, ARCA and ASA. TeamSLR is a family-owned organization run by Scott Lagasse Sr., and Scott Lagasse Jr., The father-and-son duo have combined to win more than 100 races and seven championships across a variety of series and styles of racecars, from paved ovals to road courses to dirt tracks. For more information, please visit www.TeamSLR.com.

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
For Owen McEachern, the primary focus of late – like many others his age – has been counting the days until he turns 7 on March 1. About the only thing to shift him from that obsession came when the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 won its class at last month’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.
 
That’s because the No. 18 entry was sporting a colorful and eye-catching livery inspired by a contest entry submission from the Canadian race fan. Owen’s drawing was selected over other entries from around the world to grace the car for the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener at Daytona International Speedway – and it came home first in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class.
 
The young artist wasn’t surprised with the outcome. When asked if he thought the car bearing his design was going to win the Rolex 24, Owen never hesitated in responding, “Yes,” adding, “I was really excited (when it won).”
Owen’s journey to Rolex 24 victory started in March 2020, when his father, Jason McEachern, spotted the contest on IMSA.com. Eager to provide his children with activities during lockdown in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the lifelong IMSA race fan printed the blank template. Owen’s masterpiece featured the three primary colors from the front to back of the car, transitioning from blue to yellow to red.
 
“I just started coloring,” he said and punctuated the work by adding a lightning bolt to the side of the car “because I liked it.”
His father submitted the entry with a photo of Owen, and it was essentially forgotten after that. The original intent of the contest was to select a winner whose livery would appear on the No. 18 in last year’s Motul Petit Le Mans. But like many things in 2020, the plan was sidetracked until team officials decided to revisit the idea for this year’s Rolex 24.
 
“It wasn’t until about a month before the Rolex that I got an email out of nowhere that said, ‘You won,’” Jason McEachern said. “I said, ‘Excuse me? We won what?’ I had to jog my memory a little bit. I’m still pinching myself.”
 
The McEacherns followed the race from their Toronto home as it unfolded and were elated when Paul-Loup Chatin took the checkered flag in the No. 18, besting the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA by 19.513 seconds in a spirited battle over 24 hours.
 
“They’re just really nice people and they deserve what happened to them,” Jason said of the Era team. “There’s good karma, good work and some good people there.
 
“What Era Motorsport did – I know they’re a newer team – just putting this on and doing what they did for my son, I think they’re champions. To watch the car in the race and to watch their strategy play out and watch them cross the finish line first, it was unbelievable. My wife has a video of us from when they won, and I might as well have put rocket fuel in my tank. I’m blown away.”
 
The Era Motorsport crew was just as blown away. Team owner Kyle Tilley was a co-driver along with Ryan Dalziel, Dwight Merriman and Chatin.
"To have pulled off the victory in one of the biggest sports car races in the world is unbelievable,” Tilley said. “To have done it sporting Owen's livery makes the story even more of a fairytale!”
 
It was the first Rolex 24 triumph for three of the drivers, the second for Dalziel. The 38-year-old Scotsman was the overall winner in a Daytona Prototype in 2010.
 
“From the moment I became part of Era, I could tell there was something really special, like a family atmosphere, and we for sure executed as a family,” Dalziel said. “This is my second Daytona win and each one has been very special, but more importantly they came at times in my career where I really needed them. Both personally and professionally, this win feels amazing and I’m super proud to have done it with my buddy Kyle Tilley steering the team and additionally special for 6-year-old Owen, who got to see his great livery winning the race.”
The McEacherns had been invited to attend the Rolex 24 to see Owen’s work in person but could not due to continuing travel restrictions. They hope to have a belated celebration with the team when the WeatherTech Championship visits Watkins Glen International in June for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Progressive American Flat Track Mission® SuperTwins competitor Bronson Bauman announced today the formation of his own Mission SuperTwins effort aboard an Indian FTR750 for the 2021 season.
 
After two successful seasons riding for Factory Indian Motorcycle, Bauman will field his own program with support from Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma. 
 
Bauman claimed his first career win at the Laconia Short Track in 2019 en route to finishing third in the point standings. In 2020, Bauman had another successful season with five top-five finishes and a fifth overall in the championship.
 
"I want to thank the Factory S&S Indian Motorcycle team for all the support the last two years," said Bauman. "I am saddened by our separation, but I am thankful to have a program in place that I can continue to race at the top level in 2021."
 
In addition to Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma, providing the motorcycle that Bauman will race, support will also come from Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas, DPC Racing, Rod Lake, Drew Masa and Glen's Auto Body.
 
"I plan to contest the entire series and chase down the championship on my own dime and time," said Bauman. "I want to thank all of the supporters who stepped up to keep me on the racetrack this year. Racing for a Factory for two seasons was a dream come true, but I still have goals to chase and will keep working hard to make it happen."
 
Bauman also credits Pro Plates and 19 Cycle Works for their continued support.
 
Bauman will debut his new race program at the 2021 season kick-off doubleheader weekend at the Volusia Half-Mile in Barberville, Florida.
 
Follow Bronson Bauman on social media:
Instagram: @BronsonBauman37
Facebook: Bronson Bauman Racing
 
The 2021 Progressive AFT season kicks off with a Volusia Half-Mile doubleheader event at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021. Tickets for this season-opening extravaganza are on sale now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3321/#raceSchedule.
 
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
 
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.
Progressive American Flat Track is pleased to confirm that The Cat® Rental Store will continue as the series’ Official Heavy Equipment Rental Store for a third consecutive season.
 
Few venues provide a better opportunity for The Cat Rental Store than those found on the Progressive AFT tour, where Caterpillar’s best-in-class earth-moving equipment plays an invaluable role in creating and maintaining the racetracks for the world’s preeminent two-wheeled dirt track racing series.
 
The 2021 season marks the highly anticipated return of the fabled Peoria TT, located just a few short miles from where Caterpillar was born nearly a century ago. That close relationship is more than merely proximal; the equipment and expert team of Caterpillar’s Edwards Demonstration & Learning Center has come to the rescue on more than one occasion in recent years to provide the superstars of Progressive AFT with a racey surface following heavy rain storms in the area.
 
“Progressive AFT looks forward to continuing to build this strong partnership with Caterpillar and The Cat Rental Store,” said Michael Lock, CEO of Progressive AFT. “Our fans recognize and trust this world-renowned brand and we are proud to use their equipment to provide a safe and entertaining racing experience for our teams and fans.”
 
Progressive American Flat Track will again call on the expansive network of The Cat Rental Store -- which maintains the largest construction equipment rental fleet in the world -- as it prepares tracks and holds races throughout the United States during the upcoming ‘21 season.
 
“We look forward to another season partnering with Progressive AFT,” said Steve Brown, Global Marketing & Operations Manager for The Cat Rental Store. “Some of our strongest brand ambassadors are our friends in dirt track racing. We look forward to another exciting racing season and extending the relationship beyond the track.”
 
For more information on The Cat Rental Store visit CatRentalStore.com
 
The 2021 Progressive AFT season kicks off with a Volusia Half-Mile doubleheader event at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021. Tickets for this season-opening extravaganza are on sale now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3321/#raceSchedule.
 
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
 
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.
By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service
 
IMSA’s recent decision to eliminate the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in favor of a new GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class for the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship came as no surprise.
 
With Corvette Racing planning to field a pair of works entries throughout a season that will see the C8.Rs vie with WeatherTech Racing’s privateer Porsche 911 RSR-19 for class honors (plus appearances by a pair of BMW M8 GTEs from BMW Team RLL in the endurance events, along with Risi Competizione’s singleton Ferrari 488 GTE), it’s fair to say GTLM circa 2021 is a shadow of its former self.
 
Two seasons ago, no fewer than eight works cars (from BMW, Corvette, Ford and Porsche) along with the Risi Ferrari, slugged it out in GTLM from the Rolex 24 At Daytona to the Motul Petit Le Mans. However, shifting corporate priorities – some as the result of the global pandemic – saw BMW dramatically reduce its GTLM involvement, Porsche reduce its footprint to customer support for the No. 79 WeatherTech Porsche effort and Risi cut back to selected events, even as Ford bowed out altogether.
 
In contrast, the visually similar GT Daytona (GTD) class has flourished with no fewer than nine manufacturers (Acura, Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lexus, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche) represented and double-digit entries expected for each and every event on the 2021 WeatherTech Championship calendar – including standalone GT events at Lime Rock Park and VIRginia International Raceway.
 
Some might see the elimination of the GTLM class as IMSA embracing a lower common denominator at the expense of state-of-the-art technology. In my opinion, the decision is better viewed through the lens of history; one acknowledging that adjusting regulations in step with changing economic conditions and an evolving automotive industry is engrained in IMSA’s DNA.
 
That flexibility harkens back to the principles on which John and Peggy Bishop founded the International Motor Sports Association in 1969 with support from NASCAR’s Bill France. The Bishops (like France) understood a sanctioning body’s first allegiance was to its competitors rather than to a calcified rule book, or to those charged with enforcing it.
 
Thus, in IMSA’s formative years, its scrutineers charted a “live and let live” course. Although they hardly followed a “run what ya brung” mantra, neither did they enforce the letter of the law to the point that competitors were sent packing for picayune infractions that produced no performance advantage. Instead, they duly noted when a car was not, strictly speaking, legal and said, in effect, “We’ll let it slide this time but next race it’ll be legal. Or else.”
 
Years later, after the top of the GT pyramid – the GT1 class – attracted just two entries from Corvette Racing in 2009, IMSA eliminated the class and focused on what had been known as GT2. The renamed GT class produced some of the fiercest competition in years with BMW, Ferrari, Porsche and Corvette supporting programs to one degree or another, and each marque scoring one or more victories the following season.
 
Similarly, when Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) and 2 (LMP2) fields were gutted by the exit of Acura, Audi and Porsche in the face of a global recession, IMSA added the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class to the mix. While some bemoaned the loss of innovation embodied by the Acura ARX-01B, Audi R10 and R15, and Porsche RS Spyder, nothing IMSA could have done would have brought those splendid machines back. Instead, the LMPC’s spec Chevrolet-powered ORECAs added much-needed numbers to the prototype field as well as an extra dimension to the competition, not to mention providing new and emerging race teams a pathway to IMSA’s premier series. 
 
Just last month, the prototype ranks at the Rolex 24 were bolstered by the addition of more than half a dozen Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) entries. It’s a move that, together with the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and LMP2 classes, saw 24 prototypes take the green flag. Not unlike the LMPCs of days gone by, LMP3s do more than just “add numbers” to the field. They create an extra level to the competition and enable some teams to compete in both the WeatherTech Championship and the IMSA Prototype Challenge, the development series that runs LMP3s exclusively. Talk about “competitor friendly.”
 
It’s not surprising then, that the announced consolidation of the GT classes for 2022 elicited an encouraging response from competitors. Most notably was the reaction from Corvette, the only GTLM marque not already involved in GTD. While stopping short of committing to GTD PRO, Mark Stielow, General Motors’ Director of Motorsports Competition Engineering, called IMSA’s decision “a positive move forward for the future of professional GT racing in North America.”
 
A bevy of details remain to be worked out for the new GTD PRO class. Will rules afford the cars extra performance to separate them from their GTD competition, or will any performance differential be left to the two (or more) bona-fide professionals at the wheel of the GTD PRO entries compared to GTD’s mix of professional and gentlemen drivers? Also, the GTLM cars need just a few tweaks to comply with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship GT Pro rules; not so for the GT3-spec GTD cars, which are ineligible for Le Mans or the WEC.
 
There’s time enough to sort those details in the 11 months before the green flag waves on the 2022 WeatherTech Championship season. Meanwhile, it’s safe to say John and Peggy Bishop and Bill France would wholeheartedly endorse IMSA’s new GTD PRO class. 

The Heart of Racing (THoR), an automotive racing programme that raises money for Starship Children’s Hospital, has just become sailing team Emirates Team New Zealand’s newest sponsor.

“We’re delighted to be supporting Emirates Team New Zealand in their defence of the America’s Cup,” said THoR team principal, Gabe Newell. “When we first got to know Emirates Team New Zealand, I was struck by the sophistication of their technology. Their research, design, and engineering would be perfectly at home in Silicon Valley or Formula 1.”

In addition to THoR’s sponsorship of Emirates Team New Zealand, they will match the $500,000 donation of Team Principal Matteo de Nora to the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association of New Zealand, the sail team’s charity of choice.

“The culture of the team really resonates with us,” said Teagan Klein, THoR’s programme manager. “Their focus on collaboration and innovation are the same core values that are essential to success in modern, technology-driven industries.”

“The sky-rocketing viewership of the America’s Cup shows how much Emirates Team New Zealand is changing the face of the series,” said Mr. Newell. “There is a growing potential for esports to broaden the base of high-tech sports like sailing. We hope to explore these opportunities with the team and, in turn, play a part in the coalition that will keep the team’s future within New Zealand.”

Working with the Starship Foundation, THoR will be bringing children who are patients of the hospital and their families out on the water to watch Emirates Team New Zealand practice and race.

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said, “As a team, and a country for that matter, we are incredibly lucky to have someone like Gabe involved with us. He is a technological visionary with unparalleled generosity illustrated by the work he does with The Heart of Racing, Starship, and now MND New Zealand.”

 

“We are a group of friends who were locked down in New Zealand at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alex Riberas, driver for THoR in New Zealand. “Supporting the Starship Foundation and sponsoring Emirates Team New Zealand are ways we can show our appreciation to New Zealand for the hospitality we have received during our stay.”

THoR was started in Seattle, Washington, USA. The race team competes in the United States in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to support Seattle Children’s Hospital. In 2020, they began racing in New Zealand in the North and South Island Endurance Series to support the Starship Foundation.

To donate to The Heart of Racing, please go to www.theheartofracing.com and select either the Starship Foundation or Seattle Children’s Hospital.

To donate to MND New Zealand, please go to www.mnd.org.nz.

Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) announced today that CG Detroit is the “Official Graphics Company" of SVRA. The company already has a longstanding partnership with Trans Am, so it is a logical step to expand that into SVRA, the other major PMH motorsports property.

 

"CG Detroit, by the nature of their service, will have tremendous visibility at all our SpeedTour races," said Tony Parella, owner and CEO of both Trans Am and SVRA.  "The haulers for both series are wrapped in beautiful CG Detroit-produced graphics. They know their business, and they know racing."

 

CG Detroit has pioneered creative and innovative marketing solutions in vehicle wraps, wall murals, dimensional signage, custom fabrication, and graphic design for over 30 years. They strive to continually deliver quality products and superior customer service, achieved by exceeding expectations and providing timely, accurate, and professional attention to each contact, building long-term client relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

 

Parella stresses that an important advantage for SVRA is CG Detroit’s authorized 3M distributors from around the country. Through that network the original graphics can be created in Detroit, but made available to customers at a location nearest them.

 

"Trans Am, SVRA, and the entire SpeedTour show are first-rate professional operations," said Jason Weiss, Senior Vice President at CG Detroit. "Everyone at CG Detroit is extremely proud to carry the colors of these two outstanding motorsports properties literally."

 

CG Detroit joins other top-brand companies on the growing list of PMH partners. Among them are Jaguar, Land Rover, Lucas Oil, NetJets, Sunoco, Avis, Mazda Motorsports, Big Machine Vodka, TireRack.com, RACELOGIC, Mission Foods, Hawk Performance, F.A.S.T., and Marathon Coach. SVRA's nationwide platform is at the heart of the organization's growth strategy. Agreements with powerful brands combine with the significant participation of legendary professional drivers and the paddock's high net worth demographic for more partnership attraction. This strategy provides three pillars for business expansion. Company officials report consistent annual triple-digit growth since 2012.