Monday, May 16
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 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  

  

 
Long after the champagne has dried following victory lane celebrations, overall winning drivers from the 2022 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts will receive an all-expenses-paid, ultra-luxury vacation on the brand-new Celebrity Beyond® Dec. 11-18, 2022.
 
Joining them will be former overall Sebring winner and two-time defending IMSA GTLM champion Jordan Taylor, driver of the No. 3 C8.R Corvette. Taylor won the 2021 Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans with Corvette Racing.
 
Fans can sail too by booking their trip through Cruise and Tour Supermarket by calling 800-232-7447 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
in addition to the prestige of owning the title of Sebring 12-Hours champion, drivers and fans alike will be treated to a luxurious Celebrity Cruises vacation in only the way Celebrity Cruises can. Sebring Raceway at Sea will be a seven-night Eastern Caribbean vacation on Celebrity Beyond, the third ship in Celebrity’s revolutionary Edge Series that will begin sailing in Europe in April before moving to Port Everglades in Florida.
 
A huge field of 53 cars is set to compete at Sebring, with the likely overall winner coming from one of seven cars entered in the DPi (Daytona Prototype international) class. 
 
This year’s battle for the overall race win will be as challenging as ever, with world-class drivers entered including 2021 Sebring winners Sebastien Bourdais, Loic Duval and Tristan Vautier. Bourdais has moved into the No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac, while Duval and Vautier return to the No. 5 JDC Miller Motorsports Mustang Sampling Cadillac and are joined by veteran Richard Westbrook. 
 
Other DPi drivers who will be battling for the overall win include Renger van der Zande, Ryan Hunter-Reay (and Bourdais) in the 01 Ganassi Cadillac; Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Neal Jani in the 02 Ganassi Cadillac; Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Will Stevens in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Acrua; Pipo Derani, Tristan Nunez and Mike Conway in the Action Express Racing No. 31 Whelen Cadillac; Mike Rockenfeller, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac; and Oliver Jarvis, Tom Blomqvist and Stoffel Vandoome in Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 60 Auto Nation Acura.
 
The exclusive seven-night Sebring Raceway at Sea package is available to all fans and will leave Ft. Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on Dec. 12. The luxurious Celebrity Beyond will make stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Puerto Plata. Sebring-themed cocktail parties, a sail-away party, specialty dining opportunities, movie nights, trivia contests, shore excursions, meet and greets with drivers and management including question and answer sessions, autograph sessions and private dining experiences will add to an already spectacular week.
 
The trip also will include amenities such as unlimited cocktails, beer, wine and other beverages, pre-paid gratuities, unlimited Wi-Fi and internet. Cruise and Tour Supermarket is the only agency able to offer this trip.
 
Driver participation is subject to change based on team testing and race schedules.
About Celebrity Cruises
 
Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of a fleet of 14 award-winning ships redefining luxury cruise travel with cool, contemporary design and accommodations; dining, spa and entertainment experiences for modern tastes; and culturally rich and diverse destination experiences, all complemented by warm, personalized service. Celebrity has pioneered many industry firsts at sea, including: the first use of solar panels on a cruise ship; the first to eliminate use of plastic water bottles; the first American female Captain of a cruise ship; the first-ever all-female bridge and officer team sailing; the first West African woman to work on the bridge of a cruise ship; and one of the first legal same-sex weddings performed at sea. Driven by wanderlust and a passion for opening the world, Celebrity journeys to all seven continents, visiting nearly 300 destinations in more than 70 countries. Celebrity is one of six cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL).
 

 Indian Motorcycle Racing dominated Bike Week in Daytona Beach and kicked off its 2022 race season in dramatic fashion. With factory teams competing in flat track and bagger racing, Indian Motorcycle captured two wins and four of six podium spots at the King of the Baggers opening double-header at Daytona International Speedway, along with a victory at the 2022 American Flat Track season opener at the Volusia Half Mile.

 

Intent on reclaiming the title of King of the Baggers for its Indian Challenger, Round 2 saw an all-Challenger podium sweep led by new factory rider, Jeremy McWilliams, with Tyler O’Hara and Bobby Fong taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. In Round 1, it was all about inaugural King of the Baggers Champion O’Hara who put the Indian Challenger on top of the box with a dramatic last-to-first victory. O’Hara finished 1st and 2nd in the opening rounds to take an early lead in the 2022 series points race. Meanwhile, the opening round of the 2022 American Flat Track season saw Indian Motorcycle Wrecking Crew rider Briar Bauman deliver a masterful performance on his Indian Motorcycle FTR750 to take the win at the Volusia Half-Mile.

 

“This weekend was a dramatic display of the incredible level of preparation, determination and skill that powers our teams and riders every time we line up on the grid,” said Gary Gray, Vice President Racing, Service & Technology for Indian Motorcycle. “Considering the stiff competition and unique challenges we’re facing in both flat track and bagger racing this season, we’re certainly happy to get off to such a positive start, but we know full well that this is merely the beginning. There’s a lot more racing ahead of us, and we expect every race weekend to be a dogfight to the finish.”

 

KING OF THE BAGGERS

Opening weekend of MotoAmerica’s King of the Baggers was nothing short of exhilarating.

In his third year piloting the Mission® Foods S&S® Indian Challenger, O’Hare overcame considerable obstacles in Round 1 to capture his third bagger racing victory. Thanks to a penalty imposed during post-qualifying inspections, O’Hara was forced to start the race at the back of the grid in 13th position. Seemingly unphased by the misfortune, O’Hara literally catapulted off the start, launching his way past more than half the field before entering turn one. From there, he smoothly made his way into third, where he ran for the majority of the race until perfectly timing an incredible move in the final lap, drafting out of the chicane to slingshot his Indian Challenger into first place and take the checkered flag.

 

“We took a lot of motivation from the disappointing outcome in 2021 and poured it into intensive off-season testing and preparation with the S&S team to ensure we came back strong in 2022, and this weekend was a testament to the dedication, expertise and commitment of our entire team,” said O’Hara. “We’re confident we have the best bike in the paddock, and we intend to prove that again in 2022. We’re off to a good start; but our competition is fierce, and our work has only just begun.” 

 

Powered by its Round 1 victory, Indian Motorcycle Racing took its success to an even higher level in Round 2 with an all-out Indian Challenger podium sweep. After just missing the podium in his Round 1 bagger racing debut, veteran road racer and newest Indian Motorcycle factory rider Jeremy McWilliams battled head-to-head with fellow Mission® Foods S&S® Indian Challenger teammate, O’Hara, ultimately edging him out by mere .025 seconds to capture his first King of the Baggers win and first career win at Daytona.

 

But O’Hara wasn’t the only threat in this race, while leading into the final lap, McWilliams went high, leaving the door open for Indian Motorcycle privateer Bobby Fong, piloting Steve Delorenzi’s S&S-built RSD Indian Challenger. Fong took full advantage and led most of the final lap, and it wasn’t until the final sprint when McWilliams, along with O’Hara, drafted Fong and made a last-minute pass. While both McWilliams and O’Hara were able to slingshot past Fong, it was McWilliams who was able hold off O’Hara and cross the finish line by slightly less than a bike length.

 

Sponsors for Indian Motorcycle Racing’s King of the Bagger efforts include Mission® FoodsS&S®, MedalliaDrag Specialties and Parts Unlimited.

 

AMERICAN FLAT TRACK

After weather postponed, and ultimately cancelled, round one of the 2022 American Flat Track season, riders took to the track and kicked off the season at the Volusia Half-Mile II. In spite of significant off-season rule changes that impose restrictions specifically on the Indian FTR750, flat track Wrecking Crew rider Briar Bauman put on a technical clinic to capture the win, making a bold statement regarding his intention to claim his second Grand National Championship in 2022. 

 

Having placed second in Semi 2 and earning a spot on the front row for the Main, Bauman jumped out to an early lead and never looked back – capturing his first win of the season and his 20th of his career. Bauman’s factory teammates, including reigning champion Jared Mees and the Wrecking Crew’s newest rider Shayna Texter-Bauman finished fifth and 13th respectively.

 

Sponsors for Indian Motorcycle Racing’s American Flat Track efforts include Progressive Insurance, S&S®, Indian Motorcycle Oil, Bell Helmets, Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited.

 

The 2022 King of the Baggers season continues April 22-24, in the Braselton, GA, at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. American Flat Track continues March 19 for the Texas Half-Mile at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX.

 

For more information on Indian Motorcycle Racing, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 Hyland, a leading content services provider for organizations across the globe, has signed a multi-year partnership with Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas ahead of the upcoming race season beginning March 18-20 in Bahrain.

 

The deal makes Hyland an Official Partner of Valtteri Bottas, and Bottas will feature Hyland logo placements on his racewear both on the side of his fire suit and side of his helmet. With 10 Grand Prix victories and 67 podiums to his name going into his 10th season of racing at the highest level, Bottas brings a storied history of success to the Hyland partnership.

 

“Partnering with a company like Hyland was a clear choice because we both share a belief in driving better performance, both on the track and off,” Bottas said. “Hyland is committed to helping its customers reach their goals and I am proud to represent Hyland as we achieve our goals through the season together.”

 

Bottas is Hyland’s latest addition to its expanding roster of professional sports partnerships, following a sponsorship agreement with Bottas’ new team Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN launching in the upcoming 2022 season and a partnership with PGA TOUR star Xander Schauffele, first announced in 2019 and extended in 2021. Golf and F1 are international sports that attract a global C-Suite audience, with Hyland’s growing presence in both providing a platform to engage these decision makers and put Hyland’s better business performance promise into action.

 

“We are thrilled to partner with and welcome to the Hyland family an athlete like Valtteri who competes at the highest level of motorsport,” said Ed McQuiston, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Hyland. “We share similar values with Valtteri and Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN: We'll work together as partners to drive innovative solutions for better business performance. We envision shared growth and success in the future – and accomplishing those feats as a team.” 

 

Hyland, now the official content services provider of Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, will have its logo present on Alfa Romeo’s C42 cars, on both sides of the “halo” – the protective piece of the vehicle near the driver’s head. Additionally, Hyland’s logo will be present on race transporters, driver fire suits, interview backdrops, garage wallboards and more.

 

Hyland’s sports sponsorship work first started with the Hyland and Schauffele partnership in July 2019, with Hyland’s logo on Schauffele’s golf bag, before extending the partnership in January 2021 for three additional years and Hyland’s logo moving to Schauffele’s sleeve. Schauffele is currently ranked No. 7 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and has four career wins, 10 second-place finishes and 33 top-10 finishes on TOUR. Last year, he won the Olympic Gold Medal in Tokyo in August and was part of the U.S. team that won the Ryder Cup in resounding fashion at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., in September.

 

“Xander has been a tremendous brand ambassador for Hyland, and the synergy between his ascent to become one of the world’s top golfers and Hyland’s rapid growth over the course of our partnership is clear,” said Drew Chapin, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Hyland. “We’re excited to add to our sponsorship roster and be a part of F1 with Valtteri Bottas and Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, and be part of the team’s passionate pursuit of success.”

The 2022 Progressive American Flat Track season will pick right back up following its highly entertaining opener with the Mission Texas Half-Mile presented by Roof Systems at the Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 19 in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

The stop in Dallas-Fort Worth carries increased significance on multiple fronts. For spectators, it presents the rare opportunity of witnessing two of the world’s most historic motorsports series at the same venue on a single weekend, as the NTT IndyCar Series will compete in the XPEL 375 the following day at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

And for the paddock, the event represents the home round for some of the sport’s most actively engaged partners, including Mission Foods, Roof Systems of Dallas, TX, and Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda.

 

The results of the season-opening Volusia Half-Mile certainly set an interesting stage heading into Round 2. Oftentimes, it’s only the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle Main Event victor who leaves a given round satisfied.

 

It's hard to imagine any of the opener’s top four – winner Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), second-placed Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R), third-placed JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), and fourth-placed rookie Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) – being anything less than genuinely enthused with how they kicked off their respective ‘22 campaigns.

 

That leaves some key players looking to strike back at Texas Motor Speedway, most notably reigning Mission SuperTwins champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), who finished fifth at Volusia Speedway Park. Mees is a proven master of the Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway, having won the series’ most recent two stops at the venue.

 

Other established powers looking for redemption are Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) and Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), who finished sixth and ninth, respectively, this past weekend. Both riders are more than capable of finishing Saturday’s race atop the podium, and they have a bit of extra motivation performing at their team’s home race.

 

Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines

 

Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07) served up the opener’s biggest surprise with an impressive victory in the Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event. Armstrong, who’s demonstrated plenty of ability on multiple occasions in the past, will have the opportunity to establish himself a legitimate contender with a similar effort in Fort Worth.

 

Dan Bromley (No. 62 Vinson Construction/Viper Air Yamaha MT-07) and Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) are already at that level and proved themselves to be frontrunners once again as the new season got underway. The two also showed the potential of the Mission Production Twins Challenge as they mixed it up with some big names in the premier-class Main as well.

 

And, as in the premier class, the Mission Foods/Roof Systems-backed pilots will be looking to their sponsors’ home round to get their title campaigns rolling. Ben Lowe (No. 25 Helipower Racing/Mission Foods Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) finished the opener in sixth and seventh, respectively, will be aiming for more this upcoming Saturday night.

 

It’s also worth remembering that the last time the series’ raced at Texas Motor Speedway, Texter made history alongside his sister, Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), when the two became the first siblings to win Progressive AFT Main Events on the same evening.

 

Among the other riders worth monitoring are Chad Cose (No. 49 DPC Racing/Voodoo Ranger Harley-Davidson XG750R), Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650), Ryan Varnes (No. 68 Schaeffer’s Motorsports/Rausch Fuel & Oil KTM 890 Duke) and Kolby Carlile (No. 36 KC36 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R).

 

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

 

Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), and Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) came into the season as popular picks to claim the 2022 Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER title, and they did nothing to dispel their early status as championship favorites with a 1-2-3 performance at the opener.

 

The three figure to spend a lot of time up front this season, and it will be up to the remainder of the field to prevent them from dominating the podium. As always, there’s no lack of talent with the capacity to do exactly that in the always loaded class.

 

Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450R), who finished just off the podium in Volusia, falls into that camp of riders looking to impress in front of his sponsors. Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) and Aiden RoosEvans (No. 26 Southern Illinois Motorsports Honda CRF450R) also got off to strong starts while leaving some room for improvement.

 

A couple of rookies made their spoiler potential obvious with eye-catching debuts. Chase Saathoff (No. 106 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) and Tyler Scott (No. 170 Briggsauto.com/Martin Trucking KTM 450 SX-F) showcased race-winning speed in their maiden professional rides and only expect to get stronger with additional experience and opportunity.

 

Along with the on-track action, there will be an abundance of additional attractions on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, including live music, vendors, and a Kids Zone.

 

Fans are also invited to attend the Al Lamb's Dallas Honda Pre-Party on Friday night where they can meet their favorite teams and riders at the dealership from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time.

 

Visit https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3691 to purchase your tickets for the Mission Texas Half-Mile presented by Roof Systems today. General Admission Grandstand tickets are $40 and kids 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Fans who would like to be centrally located nearest to the start/finish line can select seats in the Premium General Admission Grandstand for just $10 more. There’s also the option to host a group of up to 20 people in one of the private, climate-controlled Indoor Suites, which are available to rent for $1,500. Paddock Access Upgrades are also available for purchase, providing all-day access to the pits where fans can scope out the world’s fastest dirt track motorcycles and get up close and personal with the stars of the sport.

 

Gates will open for fans at 3:30 p.m. local time with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT ahead the evening’s Main Event program. You can catch the livestream of all the weekend’s racing activities free via Facebook up until Opening Ceremonies. Fans can then purchase access to watch Opening Ceremonies, Semis, Main Events, and podium celebrations via Facebook Paid Online Events for $3.99 if purchased 24 hours or more in advance, or $4.99 if purchased on the day of the event.

 

The Mission Texas Half-Mile will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, March 27, at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT., including exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.

 

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.

 

How to Watch:

 

FOX Sports and Facebook are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all 18 races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports. Viewers can watch livestream coverage of every round in the Facebook mobile app, Facebook desktop site or on the Facebook Watch mobile app. To watch the livestream on TV, fans can download the Facebook Watch TV app, or cast to a TV from the Facebook mobile app. Facebook Watch is available through Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Xbox One.

Link Engine Management – the New Zealand-based engine management specialist – has renewed its partnership with the 2022 Formula DRIFT series, continuing a relationship that began in 2018 and has been immensely beneficial for all parties.

As in previous years, Link Engine Management will again be the Official ECU partner for the series, with its technology helping many teams reach and maintain the 1000hp needed to be competitive in the FD PRO Championship. Link will also continue to be Title Sponsor of the Link ECU PROSPEC Championship. PROSPEC is the feeder series that helps new and developing drivers to refine their skills while building a successful team and car before hopefully advancing into the PRO ranks. 

Qualifying and competing alongside the PRO teams on four of the eight Formula DRIFT weekends, the PROSPEC series has initiated a number of steps to help equalize the field. The aim is to cap horsepower and help the teams control their costs in what can be a very expensive sport at the highest levels. Link has played a key role in the new PROSPEC regulations that require all the teams to run the same engine management systems. With years of experience building processors for drift applications, providing both the hardware, software and expertise. Link ECUs will allow the teams to optimize their set ups. 

“We’re excited to build on the relationship between Link Engine Management and the Formula Drift PROSPEC Series. For 2022, we’re rolling out the next phase in the development of the series in which Link will be the exclusive engine management provider for all vehicles competing in PROSPEC,” said Kevin Wells, Competition Director at Formula DRIFT. “Introducing a spec ECU and spec firmware package will help to bring the competition vehicles closer together while also allowing expanded data collection and integration in upcoming seasons. The  ability of the Link ECU to work with the diversity of engine packages used in the PROSPEC series, along with its tuning capabilities, and the company’s trackside support are a tremendous asset for the series.”

Link Engine Management products are generally considered the engine management of choice for the international drifting community, and have powered championship winning teams for many years. Its range of G4X standalone ECUs are used globally from grassroots to the premier Formula DRIFT PRO teams. Not only does it offer the teams full engine management and a powerful tuning solution, the G4X has multiple channels of datalogging to allow engineers to assess the performance and health of the engine.

Link also offers a number of plug-in ECUs for specific vehicle applications. In most circumstances, they replace the factory ECU using the stock location, appearance and wiring. With rapid installation, a Link ECU provides a powerful tuning solution for different applications. Additionally, standalone wire-in Link ECUs such as G4X give engine tuners even more flexibility to optimize modifications. Wiring looms, sensors, displays and more are also available to provide the ultimate tuning solution. Visit linkecu.com for more information. 

“The team at Link Engine Management is delighted to continue to support and sponsor the Formula DRIFT series,” said Jason Oefelein, Vice President North & South America. “Our range of G4X ECUs is the best on the market and the versatility supports all PRO and PROSPEC applications. We’re excited to offer trackside support again this year and look forward to helping teams leverage the capabilities of their Link ECUs.”

When last we saw the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli take to the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval a year ago this month, the Silver Hare Racing stable featured a pair of high-profile competitors behind the wheel of its TA2-class Chevrolet Camaros in Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton.

 

The young driver duo – Jones 24 and Burton 20 at the time – were Joe Gibbs Racing teammates in the NASCAR Xfinity Series who went out of their way that weekend to pull double duty with the chance to test and race on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn road course in competitive equipment, all with an eye on the Xfinity Series playoff race on the Roval in October.

 

Sandwiched between Friday testing and Sunday’s non-points Trans Am ProAm Challenge event at Charlotte was Saturday’s Xfinity Series race five hours south at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and the track time on the Roval for Jones and Burton proved to be a worthwhile investment. When they returned to Charlotte for the fall Xfinity Series race, Jones left with a solid top-five finish while Burton came home 15th.

 

For this weekend’s Charlotte SpeedTour event, Silver Hare Racing is all in at the Roval once again, this time behind a single-car entry for 15-year-old rising star Connor Zilisch as the Charlotte road course becomes part of the Trans Am season-long championship for the first time since 2000.

 

Zilisch, who opened the season three weekends ago at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway behind the wheel of the No. 5 Silver Hare Racing/KHI Management Chevrolet Camaro, will switch to the team’s No. 57 Camaro for Saturday’s 75-minute race while its regular driver, team owner Maurice Hull, is on the mend. Hull’s coolsuit system was damaged during the Sebring round and, by race’s end, left him with burns to his upper torso. Hull plans to return to the cockpit for next week’s race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.

 

A field of 33 TA2 entries will take the green flag for Saturday’s 12:40 p.m. EDT race, and a vast majority of those drivers will be racing around the tight, tricky Roval layout for the first time ever, including Zilisch. Last year’s multiclass ProAm Challenge drew just a small handful of TA2 teams as it was a first-time event that was not part of the championship. It’s a situation that bodes well for Zilisch, a 10th-grader from nearby Mooresville, North Carolina, who has proven to be an unusually quick study during his rise through the racing ranks. In his TA2 debut last fall at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, he became the youngest pole-winner in series history with a track-record lap of 1:48.905.

 

Last month’s 2022 season opener at Sebring was just the second TA2 outing for Zilisch, and it was a double-duty weekend, as well. Set to drive all but the Mid-Ohio round in “America’s Road Racing Series” for Silver Hare Racing this season, he’s augmenting his time in Trans Am with a full season of Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup, the signature spec series for Mazda Motorsports. He was the top winner of the series’ scholarship, earning $110,000 to take part in the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Cup where he will contend for the $80,000 rookie-of-the-year award and the $250,000 championship prize. Zilisch began the Sebring SpeedTour weekend racing Rounds 3 and 4 of the MX-5 Cup on the Streets of St. Petersburg as an undercard to the IndyCar Series season opener. After losing his brakes while running with the leaders on the final lap of Friday’s Round 3, Zilisch charged from 22nd to finish second in Saturday morning’s Round 4. He then made the two-hour trek to Sebring in time for late-Saturday qualifying, where a Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro was prepped and ready for him.

 

Silver Hare Racing leverages its Trans Am effort to promote its arrive-and-drive program, where aspiring racers and even tenured professionals hone their road-racing skills on some of the most revered tracks in North America. NASCAR Cup Series drivers Burton, Daniel Suárez, William Byron and Christopher Bell have all wheeled Silver Hare Racing-prepared cars to burnish their road-racing abilities. In addition to top-flight equipment, Silver Hare Racing provides professional driver coaching by general manager Michael Self, an ARCA and Xfinity Series veteran.

 

The team offers six, professionally built and maintained TA2 chassis from Howe Racing for both competition and private testing. Silver Hare Racing has a dedicated, fulltime crew and operates out of a state-of-the-art facility in High Point, North Carolina. At the track, two 53-foot Featherlite transporters serve as the team’s base, each outfitted with a lounge and smart TVs for data and video review, as well as for hospitality.

 

“With NASCAR having so many more road-course races, it’s our goal for Silver Hare Racing to be the preferred team for drivers to get that road-course experience,” said Laura Hull, team manager, Silver Hare Racing. “We want to be that important step in the ladder for the young, up-and-coming drivers like Connor, which we’re doing in collaboration with Kevin Harvick Incorporated.

 

“It started when they brought him to us for testing at VIR a year ago, and now we’re delighted to have him under contract. That’s how we’re trying to position this. We want people to know we have an arrive-and-drive program, where people who want to run this track or another, we provide the opportunity for them to do that and be successful.”

 

Connor Zilisch, Driver No. 57 Silver Hare Racing/KHI Management Chevrolet Camaro:

 

“It was a ton of fun going back and forth between the two races on Sebring weekend. I really enjoyed my time at both. I thought we did the best we could at Sebring. We had some bad luck with the car. That didn’t really help us, but I feel we’ve made some good strides at what we need to work on and I really feel that we have a good car going to the Roval. This weekend at the Roval, I’m going to be able to focus all my attention on this race, so we’ll be able to get it all sorted out in practice and, hopefully, we’ll have a good car by the end of the weekend.

 

“I’ve driven the Roval a lot on the sim, so I know what it looks like, but I’ll be going in pretty blind as far as driving it in-person. I’ve experienced a lot of new tracks, so I think I’ll be able to pick it up pretty quickly. It’s going to be a cool experience, my first time on that Roval – I’ve been to the Daytona Roval (in MX-5 Cup), obviously, but nothing exactly like Charlotte before. It’s definitely going to be interesting and I’m looking forward to it, especially since NASCAR goes there. It’s going to be cool to experience that.

 

“It’s a very difficult track. There are switchbacks, two chicanes – those are interesting considering how fast we’re going to be coming off the banking. There’s not a lot of time to breathe throughout the lap, but that makes for good racing and it makes for a fun track to drive as there are a lot of corners and a lot of time to be made up. I think it’ll suit my driving style. There are a lot of big braking zones. I’ve always been good at braking, whether it’s in a go-kart or the Miatas, and I think that’ll transfer into this pretty well, too. I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing what the track looks like.

 

“It can get tight, that’s for sure, especially turn one when you’re in-between two concrete walls. If something gets clogged up on the first lap, that would not be fun. So you’ve got to be able to qualify up front. There are a lot of corners, but passing might be a little bit difficult because there aren’t going to be long runs to go draft and get by someone. Qualifying will be very important.”

 

Maurice Hull, Owner, Silver Hare Racing:

 

“I’m still not completely recovered after what happened at Sebring. I probably could get all bandaged up and get in there and do it at Charlotte, but I think this weekend I’m going to concentrate on Connor. That’s where our heads are at. We’ll be back the following weekend at Road Atlanta.

 

“What happened at Sebring turned out to be the result of my car getting hit on the right side, right where the exhaust pipe comes out, during qualifying on Saturday. So in the second lap of the race on Sunday, the pitch of the engine changed and I was suddenly down on power, and that was because the exhaust pipe apparently separated and came to rest against a piece of lead weight on the frame rail under my seat. The exhaust was getting blocked and the heat was so bad it melted the lead weight. And that happens to also be why my coolsuit system failed. It apparently also melted and then started circulating hot liquid. So our issues were apparently not electrical at all, which we originally suspected, but the result of that impact during qualifying on Saturday.

 

“Connor was a delight to work with at Sebring. He’s very professional and he was quick as soon as he got in the car. We both had issues qualifying because we were in the second qualifying group, and we only got a couple of laps because there were wrecks, and then they red-flagged our session. It was difficult already because there was a lot of traffic, and it was difficult for everybody, not just us. In the race, Connor did a great job working his way all the way up to seventh before his car started having electrical gremlins and he was down on power from that point. It was unfortunate, but we showed speed and we showed the cars handle very well, good setups. If we hadn’t had those gremlins, we would have finished a whole lot better.

 

“For the last few years, every time we’ve ever had problems like that, we’ve done a good job of simplifying things to make sure it doesn’t happen again. These are finicky cars and we’ve done a lot of work since we got back from Sebring and we feel like we have this issue under control as we head to Charlotte.

 

“This weekend, we’re among a lot of people who have never raced on the Roval. It’s a challenging track in that there are a lot of walls and it’s kind of an unforgiving turn one – a 90-degree turn one after you come barreling down the straightaway. Last year’s race was the first Trans Am race on that exact track and there were very few cars because it was a ProAm race. This year, we’ll have 36 cars, most of which have never raced on this very track. That’s a lot for a track like that where there are not a lot of places to pass. It’s not such a wide track, and the TA2 cars are so evenly balanced. It’ll be intriguing to see how all of that plays out. We’ll concentrate on Connor with a full staff that will normally be running two cars. He’s a great driver. He’s got immense talent. Hopefully, he can adapt to this track and stay clean. If you can stay clean in this race, not take any unnecessary risks, you’re going to get rewarded on the Roval more than you would at a whole lot of other tracks.”

Coming off of the record-setting 2021 season that attracted more television viewers in the United States than ever before, and featured one of the closest driver championships ever, the Formula 1 World Championship kicks off its 2022 schedule this weekend with ESPN Networks once again set to bring action from the full 24-race season to American viewers.

Opening the season will be the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix from the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday, March 20. The race will air live on ESPN at 10:55 a.m. ET, following the 90-minute Grand Prix Sunday pre-race show that begins at 9:30 a.m.

Again this year, ESPN’s robust F1 race weekend coverage will include Friday’s two practice sessions, practice and qualifying on Saturday and Sunday’s race. The Checkered Flag post-race show on ESPN3 will follow race telecasts with additional post-race interviews and analysis.

For Americans, the new season also brings a new race on American soil – the May 8 Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix – giving U.S. fans two F1 races in the country in a season for the first time since 1984. The Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix returns to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 23.

All races will air live on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC, also streaming on the ESPN App, with practice and qualifying airing on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS or ESPNU. New this year is the addition of ESPN3 simulcasts as an added opportunity for fans to watch qualifying or practice sessions that air on ESPNEWS or ESPNU.

The race telecasts will again be presented commercial-free with sponsorship from Mothers Polish, which also is the presenting sponsor of practice and qualifying telecasts and race re-airs. CrowdStrike returns as telecast presenter of Grand Prix Sunday.

As it has since Formula 1 returned in 2018, ESPN is again teaming with Sky Sports and Formula 1 to bring Sky Sports’ award-winning presentation of Formula 1 racing to American viewers. As has been done in past seasons, ESPN3 will add bonus F1 programming from Sky Sports during the season.

In 2021, as Max Verstappen won the World Championship over Lewis Hamilton in a battle that went down to the last lap of the season finale, the F1 season averaged 934,000 viewers per race on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. It was the most-viewed season in the U.S. on record, shattering the previous season record average of 748,000 that was set in 1995. The 2021 season average was up 54 percent over the 2020 season average of 608,000 viewers and up 39 percent vs. the 2019 season average of 672,000 viewers.

ESPN Deportes remains the exclusive Spanish-language home for all F1 races in the U.S. Spanish-language coverage of races, qualifying and practice sessions will be made available to fans on the ESPN Deportes television network and ESPN3 all season.

F1 returned to its original U.S. television home in 2018 – the first race ever aired in the country was on ABC in 1962. F1 races also aired on ESPN from 1984-1997. ESPN’s coverage of F1 also includes a dedicated website that reports on the championship year-round.

 

Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on ESPN Networks (ET) 

Friday, March 18
Practice 1
7:55 a.m.
ESPN2
 
Practice 2
10:55 a.m.
ESPNEWS/ESPN3
Saturday, March 19
Practice 3
7:55 a.m.
ESPN2
 
Qualifying
10:55 a.m.
ESPNEWS/ESPN3
Sunday, March 20
Grand Prix Sunday (pre-race)
9:30 a.m.
ESPN
 
Race
10:55 a.m.
ESPN
 
Checkered Flag (post-race)
1 p.m.
ESPN3
 
Race (re-air)
9 p.m.
ESPN2
Monday, March 21
Race (re-air)
Midnight
ESPNEWS

ESPN Deportes (Spanish)

Friday, March 18
Practice 1
7:55 a.m.
ESPN Deportes
 
Practice 2
10:50 a.m.
ESPN Deportes
Saturday, March 19
Practice 3
7:55 a.m.
ESPN Deportes
 
Qualifying
10:55 a.m.
ESPN Deportes
Sunday, March 20
Race
10:30 a.m.
ESPN Deportes

All races, qualifying and practice sessions also will stream live on the ESPN App and will be available for on-demand viewing.

With a decade of Formula One seasons under his belt and a highly anticipated career underway in the IndyCar Series, world-renowned driver Romain Grosjean is the latest major talent to sign with the global creator company, Jellysmack. Under the partnership, Jellysmack will use its proprietary AI technology to optimize, distribute and promote Grosjean’s video content across YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. 

 

“I’m thrilled to partner with Jellysmack to bring my content to even more fans,” says Grosjean. “Not everyone has the ability to attend races in person and watching on TV just leaves them wanting more. Thanks to Jellysmack, fans will get a deeper look inside the world of racing and experience truly exhilarating content on whatever platform they enjoy most.”

 

The partnership, initiated by Jellysmack’s Head of Strategic Sports Partnerships, Pierre Moreau, is a part of Jellysmack’s recently launched ‘Marquee Program’ which enables high-profile public figures to transform their real-world celebrity status into robust digital content businesses. 

 

“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with Romain as a Marquee partner,” says Maxime Horbez, Vice President of Sports at Jellysmack. “He was already doing well on his channels, but as an extreme competitor, he wanted to unlock his full potential. The Jellysmack team is honored and eager to help him build content that drives the most value and grows his connection to millions of more fans around the world.”

 

Grosjean joins UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou as Jellysmack’s second Marquee Program partner. The company’s elite program can establish, expand, and monetize social channels for celebrity partners in record time with no out-of-pocket costs to the talent. The end result is a world-class social presence that increases global reach, generates substantial advertising revenue, and creates stronger engagement with fans across all social platforms.

 

“Romain Grosjean is a legend in the racing world. His relentless motivation, tenacious attitude, and undeniable talent translates into must-watch video content,” says Harry Levy, General Manager for EMEA at Jellysmack. “By putting Jellysmack’s unique technology and social expertise behind one of the best drivers in the world, our partnership will fuel his growth to become a frontrunner in the digital space, just as he’s done for himself on the racetrack.”

 

While Grosjean is most known for his impressive 180 Grand Prixes, ten podiums, and two career-best second-place finishes, many also recognize him as a valiant survivor. A horrific crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix left him trapped in his burning car for 30 seconds, nearly ending his life. Miraculously, Grosjean managed to free himself from the wreckage and survived—earning the nickname “The Phoenix.” While the crash left him with severe burns, his passion for the sport and determination to succeed wasn’t scarred. He ultimately left Formula One, but less than a year later, signed with Dale Coyne Racing in 2021 to continue his career racing in the NTT IndyCar Series. It was recently announced that he will be returning for the 2022 season with Andretti Autosport.

 

After an eventful season-opening race in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli three weekends ago at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, TeamSLR has its eyes set on Saturday’s TA2 class race on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. This weekend marks the first points-paying Trans Am event on the 2.25-mile, 17-turn circuit since 2000 after returning to the facility last March for the non-points ProAm Challenge race.

 

TeamSLR will feature two drivers in the second TA2 race of the season – season regular Connor Mosack and rookie William Sawalich.

 

Mosack will be behind the wheel of the No. 28 High Point University/Nic Tailor Custom Fit Underwear/Interstate Foam & Supply/Team SLR/M1 Racecars Ford Mustang. It will be a hometown race for the 22-year-old Charlotte native, who last year took on the Roval with TeamSLR and finished on the podium along with his race-winning teammate Sam Mayer.

 

Sawalich will pilot the No. 8 Starkey/Audibel/Team SLR/M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro. The 15-year-old from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, made his first TA2 start with the team at Sebring and quickly made his presence known, qualifying 16th and finishing ninth in the 48-car field. Sawalich’s racing background includes Legends cars and Super Late Models, making his foray into road-course racing at Sebring even more impressive.

 

Mosack and Sawalich will be coached by the father-and-son duo of Scott Lagasse and Scott Lagasse, Jr. They 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.  

 

It’s all a part of TeamSLR’s comprehensive driver development program, which includes car-building capabilities. TeamSLR is the exclusive representative of M1 Racecars, an official TA2 constructor. It builds rolling chassis and complete Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers for Trans Am competition.

 

Connor Mosack, Driver No. 28 High Point University/Nic Tailor Custom Fit Underwear/Interstate Foam & Supply/TeamSLR/M1 Racecars Ford Mustang:

 

“I feel like we do have an advantage going into this race, as we are one of the few teams that have real laps around there. It’s also a tough place to get around as a driver and I believe my experience there in the past will be very helpful, as well. Plus, it’s always great to be able to race in your hometown, from sleeping in your own bed to having lots of friends and family be able to come out.”

 

William Sawalich, Driver No. 8 Starkey/Audibel/TeamSLR/M1 Racecars/Fields Racing Chevrolet Camaro:

 

“I’m aiming to improve all aspects of my road racing. I have a great team behind me in order to help me hone my skills.”

 

Scott Lagasse, Jr., Owner of TeamSLR and Driver Coach:

 

“Last year was great to see Sam and Connor excel, finishing first and third, but what we learned is that you have to respect a banked racetrack like Charlotte Motor Speedway. I was very proud of the team and the performance last year. Hopefully, we can repeat this year.”

Brembo engineers offer a guide to braking for this weekend's Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, March 18-20.
 
The Formula 1 World Championship starts back up in Bahrain with brand new single-seaters, new tires and even custom braking systems. According to Brembo technicians, the Bahrain International Circuit is one of the most demanding for the brakes. On a difficulty index scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 4 - exactly the same as legendary tracks like Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, albeit with very different characteristics than these. 
 
The Bahrain GP will be a test bench for all these new products, partly because of an asphalt that is usually extremely abrasive, with the sand clearing off lap after lap and where the wind often plays a determining role. Plus, the race will start after sundown, so it will be held in artificial lighting. However, this year the presence of lenticular wheel covers, also brand new, will keep us from enjoying the view of the incandescent carbon discs during braking at the end of the straights.
 
Disc size and hole size change​​
​​The increase in wheel diameter from 13 inches to 18 inches provides more space in the wheel corner for the carbon discs, so their diameter increases from 278 mm (10.95 in.) to 328 mm (12.9 in.) for the front and from 266 mm (10.47 in.) to 280 mm (11.02 in.) for the rear. 
 
The thickness of the discs is now identical for both axles, 32 mm (1.26 in.), compared to last year when the rear discs did not exceed 28 mm (1.10 in.). However, the architecture of the discs has also changed because the new technical regulations impose a minimum diameter of 3 mm (0.12 in.) for the ventilation holes, whereas in the past Brembo pushed the envelope as far as 2.5 mm (0.10 in.).
 
No to thermal shocks for road cars too​
Although they don't reach the 1,200°C of Formula 1 cars, road car braking systems can also overheat. To avoid this, Brembo has researched the shape of the ventilation chamber for over a quarter of a century. The use of thermo fluid dynamic calculations allowed the best choice between traditional fins and pillar ventilation for each disc type. 
 
The latter, ideal when there is not a constant air flow within the disc, are arranged on three circumferences along the braking band with geometry designed to ensure the best performance for fluid dynamics. In these conditions, the pillars increase resistance to thermal cracking by up to 30 percent, ensuring longer disc life.
 
 
Four hard braking sections ​​​
On each lap the F1 drivers use the brakes 8 times for a total of 16 and a half seconds, although a large part of this time is spent on the 4 hardest braking sections which require the braking system to work for just under 2.9 seconds on average. On the other hand, on 3 turns, the braking time is less than a second and a half and the braking distance is 90 meters (295.3 feet). 
 
The twisty nature of Bahrain International Circuit is best represented by the fact that there is only one point where speeds reach well above 300 km/h (185 mph). Nevertheless, there are 6 braking sections with maximum deceleration of almost 4g, with a peak of 4.6g on the first turn. ​
 
Just 131 meters (429 feet) to drop 248 km/h (154 mph)​​​​
Of the 8 braking sections at the Bahrain GP, 3 are classified as very demanding on the brakes, 4 are of medium difficulty, and the remaining one is light. 
 
The most difficult for the braking system at the first turn because the cars are coming off a 1.1 km (0.69 mile) straight. The single-seaters hit the brakes at 328 km/h (203.8 mph) and drop to 80 km/h (49.7 mph) in just 131 meters (429.8 feet). To achieve this, the drivers brake for 2.95 seconds and experience a 4.6g deceleration. 
 
And in video games?​
​​Tackling turn 1 on the Bahrain International Circuit in the Formula 1 videogame only takes a few things: you have to start braking with the wheels straight at the end of the section where you can use the DRS, using the 100 meter sign as your point of reference. You should reduce the pressure on the pedal progressively and then move to the right, but without touching the curb in order to avoid being unbalanced, which would make you lose power.​ ​
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