Saturday, Jul 02
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  

  

 

As WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca celebrates its 65th racing season, we take a look back at some of the legendary characters who helped mold the mystique of the now world-renowned race track.
 
In 1960, Laguna Seca had three years of racing under its belt and started to form into an elite racing venue. Its competitions often attracted not only the best drivers in the U.S., but around the world.
 
Beginning that October, the Pacific Grand Prix implemented an innovative way to race. The competition was divided into two 200-mile heats, with a 30-minute break in between. This time was used for repairs on the cars which struggled in the first heat, and to tune up the ones that finished.
 
Enter Sir Stirling Moss – a London native who was downshifting into the twilight of his International Motorsports Hall of Fame career in the early 1960s.
 
Moss won 212 races between 1948-1962, including 16 Formula One Grand Prix events. Two of those 212 wins came in the 1960 and 1961 Pacific Grand Prix, where he went back-to-back.
 
Moss would return to Laguna Seca often later in his life to take part in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
 
As Moss took the trophy home during the 1960 Pacific Grand Prix, the man who finished second to Moss in the overall results was taking his final competitive laps.


 
Carroll Shelby navigated the Laguna Seca course in car No. 98, a bright red Maserati Tipo 61, in the final race of his legendary career, which was cut short due to heart problems. Shelby finished fifth in the first heat and fourth in the second to place only behind Moss as the two icons went one-two in the final standings.

Shelby became notorious for popping nitroglycerin tablets to ease chest pains from a chronic heart condition. After finishing second to Moss, Shelby complained to the press that he would have won the damned thing had he not had to slow down to take his heart medications while driving.
 
Footage of that race can be seen here.
 
The most famous drive of the 1961 season didn’t happen on the Laguna Seca pavement – but rather at the Mark Thomas Inn hotel pool. Yes, you read that right.
 
Augie Pabst, fueled by adult beverages and a bet from Roger Penske and Walt Hansgen, drove his Hertz rental car into the hotel pool.
 
“I said, ‘Augie, you’ve had a really bad day. I bet you $100 that you won’t drive your rental car into the swimming pool,’” Penske later recalled.
 
“So, sure enough, Augie stripped down to his undershorts, got in his rental car and drove right down between the diving board and into the pool. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen!”
 
The car was totally submerged, and unfortunately for Hansgen, he had forgotten to take his camera out of the trunk first.
 
The following day the car was removed from the pool, and both Hertz and the Mark Thomas Inn – which is now the Hyatt Regency – received more publicity than they ever could’ve dreamed of as a result of the prank. When the group returned to the hotel the following year, the staff had placed a floating “no parking” sign in the pool.
 

 
The late 1960s saw high-powered muscle cars take over at Laguna Seca, as the Trans Am series roared into Monterey in 1969.
 
Mark Donohue became a fixture on the podium at Laguna Seca, as he captured the final USRRC race ever held in Monterey in 1968 behind the wheel of Roger Penske’s McLaren M6A. Donohue would go on to clinch the 1968 USRRC title, which was his second in a row.
 
The always popular Donohue also found great success in the Trans Am series. Behind the wheel of a Camaro Z28, he won the inaugural Over 2000cc race at Laguna Seca in 1969, which also clinched his second consecutive Trans Am series championship.
 
Check back next month for another installment of 65th Anniversary Laguna Legends. And make sure to buy your tickets to all eight 2022 premier events at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca by visiting www.WeatherTechRaceway.com or by calling the Tickets and Accommodations Specialists at 831.242.8200.

 

(Courtesy of WeatherTech Raceway)

Recently, former F1 and NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya gave his opinion on the young drivers this season, commenting to  VegasInsider  that if Mercedes do not challenge for the title, George Russell could finish ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Here's what Montoya had to say:

  • If Mercedes do not challenge for the title, Russell finishes ahead of Hamilton

"If Mercedes is not as strong as to win a championship, absolutely (Russell finishing ahead of Hamilton in the season)."

"If Mercedes has a shot at the championship, no. I think Lewis is still going to beat him just because he has a lot more experience."

"If the car is average, running fifth every week, I think George will still push like he wants to win where Lewis might be disappointed, and won't care enough."

"If they genuinely struggle this year, will he go - 'let's go another year, running in the midfield?"

"I don't see him walking him away from Mercedes to somewhere else because they struggle. I think he would probably just say, 'thank you very much, I'm done'."

"I think George is going to make Lewis' life very miserable but I think it's great. It is the next generation of top guys that is great to see."

  • The 'paying' drivers now have enough talent to be in Formula 1

"Mostly people in F1 are there because they have enough talent, and even with enough talent they need enough backing to make it."

"Even the guys with extra backing to make it, they've done a good job in the previous Formulas. They're not bad drivers."

"That's the problem. You look at people paying for seats and stuff and you go - 'they're terrible'. The guy terrible is finishing top 3 in F2. There's a lot more terrible behind him."

"The problem, in the environment of the sport, is when you have someone paying for a seat like that they feel - 'oh my god, he's just there because of the money'. Yeah part of it is the money but they still did a decent job. Mazepin did a decent job. Was he the fastest guy out there who would light the world on fire? Probably not. But he wasn't terrible. He made enough points to get a super license, so, whether you like it or not, he's there."

"That's a very hard argument because the paying drivers nowadays are pretty good. Are they super stellar and going to be world champions? Probably not. But can they make a career out of it? Probably yes."

"And the thing nowadays, the way the economy is, how unpredictable it is and everything, when somebody comes with the money, the team decision is a much easier one."

"Whether you like it or not, 80 percent of the performance in F1 is the car. You can put Lewis and Max as teammates, on a Haas, or Williams, last year and they are going to run at the back of the pack. They wouldn't do a better job or anything that much better than George Russell was doing with it."

"When you're a smaller team, you want to have the best driver possible in the team but a lot of them will look at it as a business. If you're Haas and your companies are the ones putting money in for the sport and then somebody comes and goes - 'here is a chunk of change that you don't have to get out of your bank' - it's hard to say 'ah no no no, I'll keep spending it'."

"If they're winning races they want to make sure to have the best possible driver but if they're missing on that front, then it's extra money for development. Once the car gets really good, they can go and hire somebody else."

  • Pierre Gasly is one to watch out for - he feels at home at AlphaTauri

“From the young guys as well, you got to look at the two guys, (Pierre) Gasly has been around in F1 for a while and it's interesting because I don't know how different the environment in Red Bull and AlphaTauri is really, but he really feels at home at AlphaTauri and he excels at it."

"He matured a lot through last year. He got to learn a lot." 

"The crazy thing with F1 is when you're really good, they give you a lot of breaks. And I think Red Bull changed their mentality lately and have been a little nicer to their guys because they used to give them a chance, and two races later someone and two races, somebody else."

"They were not really giving people enough of a chance to perform and I think that's changed a bit."

"They still need to perform."

Thanks again to VegasInsider for this insight. You can find the entire interview here.

Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas, and it has gained notoriety among the NASCAR community for its association with three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and his NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing.

 

The successful partnership has led Code 3 Associates to deepen its motorsports involvement by partnering with Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Its blue-and-white colors will adorn Leah Pruett’s 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals April 1-3 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

“We’re honored to have Code 3 Associates join TSR,” said Stewart, whose Tony Stewart Foundation is dedicated to the protection of various animal species. “Whenever there’s a disaster, everyone wants to help, and it’s nice to know there’s an organization out there that takes care of a sometimes overlooked but very important family member – your pet. Taking care of animals has always been important to me, and when we started our Foundation, we made animal welfare a priority. To be able to promote the work of Code 3 Associates so that it can do even more work for people and their pets is very satisfying.”

 

Formed in 1985, Colorado-based Code 3 Associates is a national response team that at the request of local government officials provides animal rescue and recovery during any kind of disaster. The organization has evolved from one unpaid volunteer to at least 75 professional responders around the country, which includes animal welfare, law enforcement, fire, EMS and veterinary specialists from the United States and Canada. While its focus is animals and their owners, Code 3 Associates trains its responders to the standards of human rescue, and Code 3 Associates also provides training to conduct thorough investigations into animal welfare, all of which is accredited by Colorado State University (CSU) and the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

 

“Code 3 Associates has championed animal welfare for more than 30 years, and for the last 10 years Tony Stewart and his race teams have been involved in our efforts,” said Nan Stuart, founder, Code 3 Associates. “Tony and Leah have been recognized for their leadership and performance on and off the track. This initiative with Tony Stewart Racing will continue to raise the profile of our collective mission, which is to provide animal rescue and recovery in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.”

 

Pruett is a nine-time event winner in Top Fuel who has made 18 final-round appearances, including at Las Vegas in October 2018. She made her Top Fuel debut in 2013 and has been a mainstay in NHRA’s premier division ever since. Pruett has also earned an impressive presence off the track, as Drag Illustrated named her the 2021 Social Media Influencer of the Year.

 

“I’m an NHRA lifer because I love this sport, but I also love its sense of community, and the NHRA paddock has always been a place where competitors pitch in to help whenever help is needed,” said Pruett, whose dog, an Australian Shepherd named Fendi, has been a part of her career since her rookie season in Top Fuel. “It’s impressive to see how Code 3 Associates steps up on a moment’s notice, and I’ve learned a lot about what they do ever since I met Tony. I’m definitely looking forward to promoting Code 3 and all that it does because it’s a cause our fans and our industry can rally around.”

 

Those wanting to learn more about Code 3 Associates and what they can do to support its mission can do so by visiting www.Code3Associates.org.

Poleman Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) held onto the lead, fending off Envision Racing's Robin Frijns in P2 as the pack moved around the 19-turn, 3.385km Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR street circuit in Rome.

 

Nudged from behind by ROKiT Venturi's Edoardo Mortara, Mahindra Racing's Oliver Rowland hit the barrier on Turn 7, causing cars to back up behind the British driver. Shortly after, Nissan e.dams' Max Guenther crashed into the barrier on Turn 11, bringing the Porsche Taycan Safety Car out while his stricken race car was recovered. 

 

With 35 minutes left on the clock, racing commenced with Vandoorne out in front leading Frijns and Mercedes-EQ Nyck de Vries.

 

Sandwiched between the Mercedes-EQ drivers, Robin Frijns was fighting for the lead, biding his time to make a move on Vandoorne. 

 

With 29 minutes remaining, DS TECHEETAH's Antonio Felix da Costa in fourth took ATTACK MODE to use the extra power to close in on the top three. 
Down into Turn 4, Frijns made his move on Vandoorne, pulling past the Mercedes driver on the inside of the turn to take the lead. The following lap, both Mercedes drivers took ATTACK MODE - allowing da Costa to move into second - to close in on race leader Frijns. 

 

With his ATTACK MODE used and Vandoorne still in the higher power mode, the Mercedes driver slipped into second behind Frijns. 

 

Despite contending for the lead early on, da Costa continued to slip down the order before a knock from Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis on Turn 4 set him further back behind the British driver and Jaguar TCS Racing's Mitch Evans. 

 

Back at the front, Vandoorne and Frijns continued to trade places with Frijns using his ATTACK MODE between Turn 3 and 4 to pass the Belgian driver and hold the Mercedes driver at bay in second. 

 

With 14 minutes left on the clock, Vandoorne blasted past Frijns on the uphill section between Turn 6 and 7 in a beautifully-executed move using ATTACK MODE, to take the lead. 

 

Despite starting in third, de Vries appeared to be struggling, slipping down the order. Back at the front, Jaguar's Mitch Evans had made his way up from ninth and - using extra power from ATTACK MODE - made a successful move on Vandoorne and Frijns to take the lead.

 

Evans - a one-time winner in Rome - was clear of the pack, out in front by a comfortable margin. After the Safety Car outing earlier in the race, the race was extended by 5m15s of TAG Heuer Added Time.

 

After slipping down, Vandoorne used his FANBOOST to climb back up the order, eventually settling behind Evans in second. Now into added time, Evans held firm at the front, followed by Vandoorne and DS TECHEETAH's Jean-Eric Vergne who'd made his way into third.

 

Close together Vergne led Frijns and Mortara in the battle for third. Around the Obelisk, Frijns passed Vergne to take third with less than two minutes of added time left.  

 

In a flat-out fight on the final lap, Evans held the lead on Frijns and Vandoorne in third. Round 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place tomorrow in Rome. 

 

MITCH EVANS, JAGUAR TCS RACING,  #9 said:
“It is my second win here, I’m feeling great. We have had a tough start to the season to be honest, there has been a lot of work gone in behind the scenes, and the car was absolutely perfect, I couldn’t have asked for anymore. The team has done a great job, I want to say a huge thanks to everyone, let’s hope for the same for the rest of the season.

 

“I love this city, I love the track, it really suits my driving style and when you have a car like I had today it makes life a lot easier. I couldn’t quite believe it, especially when I was getting the energy, but you have to take it when it comes. I have been on the receiving end of it a couple of times this year, so it was nice to get the pace back. Hopefully this sets the scene for the rest of the Championship.”

 

ROBIN FRIJNS, ENVISION RACING, #4 said:
"I think I felt strong from the beginning, I had great fun with Stoffel fighting basically the whole race. But then Mitch came and overtook us, so I didn't have much fun with him, but I am happy I finished P2. Mitch and Jag were too strong for us today. I think we have a good car but we just need to find that edge. I have been finishing in P2 the last four times or whatever! But its time for a victory hopefully tomorrow."

 

STOFFEL VANDOORNE, MERCEDES-EQ FORMULA E TEAM, #5 said:
"Yeah it was [a fight], it was a tough race out there - really difficult to manage the strategy - I think we lacked a bit of pace compared to Mitch, he came by, took off and we didn't see him at all! But I had great fun with Robin, a lot of strategy with the ATTACK Mode trying to overtake each other. It was definitely a big battle out there, got quite heated at some points. But I am happy to finish on the podium today, on a day when things are a bit more difficult. It's a good consolidation and a good result."

How much is it going to cost you to attend the remaining F1 races this season?

And by that, not just the grandstand tickets, but also hotel stay for two days and six ‘inexpensive’ meals.

The team at VegasInsider has done the research and here are the results:

  • The Brazilian GP is the most cost effective, costing an estimated £275.32 ($367.09) for the whole weekend

  • The Abu Dhabi GP is the most expensive, with an estimated cost of £2,753.20 ($3,670.93) for the race weekend

  • The Hungarian Grand Prix has the cheapest ticket among all circuits, worth £95.25 (£127)

  • Monaco, unsurprisingly, is the most expensive with the cheapest ticket being £525 ($700)

  • The most inexpensive place for hotels happens to be Sau Paulo for the Brazilian GP, where you have to shell out, on average, £116.14 ($154.85) for a two night stay

  • A two-night stay in Abu Dhabi, meanwhile will burn a £2,445.05 ($3,260.07) hole in your pocket

 

Note:

The research was done with prices in $. For easy access to prices in £, please check the table in this email:

Country City Circuit Cheapest GrandStand ticket ($) Cheapest GrandStand ticket (£) Hotel for 2 days (Average price in $) Hotel for 2 days (Average price in £) Hotel for 2 days (Median price in $) Hotel for 2 days (Median price in £) 6 inexpensive meals ($) 6 inexpensive meals (£) Total Estimate (Average in £) Total Estimate (Median in £)
Bahrain Sakhir Bahrain International Circuit $169.79 £127.34 $224.00 £168.00 $155.50 £116.63 $32.00 £24.00 £319.34 £267.97
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Jeddah Corniche Circuit $297.00 £222.75 $329.38 £247.04 $172.00 £129.00 $39.96 £29.97 £499.76 £381.72
Australia Melbourne Albert Park Circuit $176.15 £132.11 $1,637.55 £1,228.16 $236.00 £177.00 $87.78 £65.84 £1,426.11 £374.95
Italy Imola Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari $260.00 £195.00 $440.39 £330.29 $337.50 £253.13 $96.00 £72.00 £597.29 £520.13
United States Miami Miami International Autodrome $640.00 £480.00 $853.97 £640.48 $643.00 £482.25 $94.50 £70.88 £1,191.36 £1,033.13
Spain Barcelona Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya $241.75 £181.31 $494.38 £370.79 $421.00 £315.75 $78.87 £59.15 £611.25 £556.22
Monaco Monte Carlo Circuit de Monaco $700.00 £525.00 $1,817.60 £1,363.20 $1,863.50 £1,397.63 $332.77 £249.58 £2,137.78 £2,172.20
Azerbaijan Baku Baku City Circuit $135.07 £101.30 $354.21 £265.66 $235.00 £176.25 $28.32 £21.24 £388.20 £298.79
Canada Montreal Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve $204.00 £153.00 $1,257.49 £943.11 $1,376.00 £1,032.00 $85.62 £64.22 £1,160.33 £1,249.22
Great Britain Towcester Silverstone Circuit $390.00 £292.50 $734.25 £550.69 $148.50 £111.38 $108.42 £81.32 £924.50 £485.19
Austria Vienna Red Bull Ring $231.00 £173.25 $274.79 £206.09 $230.00 £172.50 $79.86 £59.90 £439.23 £405.65
France La Castellet Circuit Paul Ricard $260.00 £195.00 $366.82 £275.11 $220.00 £165.00 $84.00 £63.00 £533.11 £423.00
Hungary Mogyoród Hungaroring $127.00 £95.25 $1,266.24 £949.68 $553.00 £414.75 $43.98 £32.99 £1,077.91 £542.99
Belgium Spa Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps $180.00 £135.00 $2,479.09 £1,859.31 $1,881.00 £1,410.75 $93.18 £69.89 £2,064.20 £1,615.64
Netherlands Haarlem Zandvoort $320.00 £240.00 $556.50 £417.38 $487.00 £365.25 $99.82 £74.87 £732.24 £680.12
Italy Monza Autodromo Nazionale Monza $260.00 £195.00 $577.39 £433.04 $437.00 £327.75 $99.82 £74.87 £702.90 £597.62
Singapore Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit $330.60 £247.95 $364.05 £273.04 $279.50 £209.63 $66.00 £49.50 £570.49 £507.08
Japan Suzuka Suzuka International Racing Course $238.00 £178.50 $262.43 £196.82 $196.50 £147.38 $25.92 £19.44 £394.76 £345.32
United States Austin, Texas Circuit of The Americas $235.01 £176.26 $2,067.28 £1,550.46 $1,459.50 £1,094.63 $90.00 £67.50 £1,794.22 £1,338.38
Mexico Mexico City Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez $234.11 £175.58 $303.89 £227.92 $149.00 £111.75 $43.50 £32.63 £436.13 £319.96
Brazil Sao Paulo Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace $171.08 £128.31 $154.85 £116.14 $105.00 £78.75 $41.16 £30.87 £275.32 £237.93
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit $370.00 £277.50 $3,260.07 £2,445.05 $2,108.00 £1,581.00 $40.86 £30.65 £2,753.20 £1,889.15
          Monaco, GB and France = AirBnb prices            
          Every other circuit = Booking.com prices            

--

Courtesy of VegasInsider.

Young American racer Josh Pierson made history last week by becoming the youngest-ever winner in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Pierson teamed with ex-Formula 1 racer Paul di Resta and 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Oliver Jarvis to win the LMP2 class in the 1000 Miles of Sebring - the opening round of the FIA WEC sportscar series.

16-year-old Pierson is contesting both the FIA WEC with United Autosports and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports alongside. 

Last Friday and Saturday, Pierson raced the eight-hour WEC event and then backed that up by contesting the 12 Hours of Sebring with Jonathan Bomarito and Steven Thomas.

The victory at Sebring was the third in a row for Pierson in a United Autosport entry. He and di Resta also won the final two rounds of this year’s Asian Le Mans Series in Abu Dhabi in February.

Pierson will break more records in June when he becomes the youngest ever driver to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Victory at Sebring

 

Josh Pierson Q&A

Q: What is it like to be on track as a 16-year-old competing against massively experienced international racing drivers?

A: “My main goal as the silver-rated driver is to be faster than the other silver-rated drivers in the other cars.
“The great thing about sportscar racing is I get to team up with some massively experienced platinum-rated drivers who have been incredibly helpful for me.
“Racing with Paul di Resta at Abu Dhabi and Sebring, then having Oliver Jarvis join us at Sebring and then Alex Lynn with me for the rest of the season – that is a great opportunity for me.
“We’re all driving the same car and I get to analyze their data, and the guys have been very helpful in teaching me what I did wrong or what I can do better. 
“It gives me an excellent opportunity to challenge myself to be quicker, but my main task as part of this team is to be faster than the other silver-rated rivals – every car has to have one silver as part of their line-up."


Q: You have a very full race schedule this year all over the world, but what do you do when you are not at the track?

A: “I’m like any normal teenager. I’ll play video games on PC with my friends when I'm home. It's a great way to unwind and escape the pressures of being at the track.
“I love snowboarding in the winter and sometimes do that with my friends or family.
“I also love clay pigeon shooting with shotguns. That has been a hobby of mine for a long time too.
“Apart from that - it’s schoolwork, working out, and spending time on the simulator. All that certainly keeps me very busy.”
 
Q: How does it feel to have three LMP2 victories in a row for United Autosports

A:
 “I don't think we had particular expectations coming into the season. Before we got started, I was just interested to see how competitive we would be. I certainly wasn’t expecting to win three races in a row.
“We now have work to do to keep the consistency throughout the season."


Q: Most of your school buddies were probably hanging out or playing video games while you were winning your first FIA WEC race. Can they relate to what you do?

A: 
“I have some friends who are interested in motorsports; they were very happy for me, but most of my friends are not familiar with motorsports at all.
“So they don’t understand the scope of what I was able to accomplish. And so, to them, it doesn't mean a lot. I think it really depends on the person.” 


Q: Your family has obviously played a big role in your career ever since you first drove a kid kart at age two – what does this early success mean for them?

A:
 “It is gratifying for me because doing the best I can is really the only way to repay them for what they have done for me.
“I know they are very happy for me, and as a family, that all motivates us to keep going and strive to do the best we can.
“That drive to win is what keeps everyone coming back.” 
 
Q: Is being a professional racing driver all you ever wanted to be?

A: 
“When you’re young, you really don’t have a scope of what you’d like to be when you ‘grow up.’
“As long as I can remember since I was really little, I have always loved racing, and it was something that I always wanted to keep doing.
“I didn't know how to pursue it professionally because I was too young. I just kept karting, and trying different types of driving and eventually, I found the right path into motorsports through the Road to Indy program.
“Finding the right people in the sport is key. Although I have been fortunate with my connections, I am most grateful for Stephen Simpson, who identified my driving style as fitting with sportscar racing and advocated for me. I was lucky this led to United Autosports in the FIA WEC and PR1 in the IMSA series.”


Q: What were your earliest memories of watching motorsport?

A: 
“I have a few memories of watching the Indy 500 when I was growing up, and we were always watching some form of single-seater open-wheel racing at home.
“I watched a lot of Formula 1 races with my dad, and I really fell in love with the sport.
“I’ve always loved McLaren, and when I was really little, their 2008 car that Lewis (Hamilton) won his first championship in is probably my favorite F1 car of all time.
“As a driver myself, my earliest memory I can recall was when I was around seven years old doing karting in Arizona; that was my first national race.”
 
Q: How demanding was doing both the eight-hour FIA WEC race and the IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring?

A:
 “It was pretty demanding, but as a driver, I am used to that. This will be the most challenging race of the year – especially for me as I was running back and forth between the two paddocks.
“At Sebring, it's hot so I was constantly drained mentally and physically. 
“We now have the two toughest races of the year done. Physically driving the cars wasn’t too tough, but it was about dealing with the heat – it was just really hot in the cars. 
“We were dealing with that while trying to keep hydrated because we were just losing water so fast. Staying hydrated is really important on a weekend like this.”


Q: The specifications for the LMP2 cars in the FIA WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship are slightly different. How big a challenge was it to adapt?

A:
 “It wasn’t too difficult to adapt. The IMSA car has more downforce and more grip from the tire. I could roll through the high-speed corners quicker, and I could brake later with that extra downforce. 
“As long as I remembered that when going back to FIA WEC car, I was okay. Pretty much as soon as I drove out of the pit lane for either category, I was able to dial in pretty quickly between the two cars."


Q: What is the biggest difference between the FIA WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship?

A: 
“In the LMP2 class in the WEC, there are more cars, and the level of competition is subsequently a bit tougher.
“For the whole season, we have to run the Le Mans downforce package, which is significantly less than what we can use in IMSA.
“The standard Goodyear tire we use in the WEC is also a lot harder than the Michelin we race here in the US.
“We have less grip, but also the tire lasts a lot longer, and because of that, I was able to run a triple stint of a total of 56 laps in the WEC race at Sebring.
“The pit stops are also different. In IMSA, we can refuel and change tires at the same time, but in the WEC, we have to complete the refueling before we change tires."
 
Q: What tracks are you looking forward to racing on for the first time this year?

A: 
“Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium is a big one for me and the next WEC race on my schedule. I’ve done a lap of laps around there virtually, so I’m really looking forward to getting to drive that track for real. I’ve seen a lot of great races on TV there over the years and always loved it - I can’t wait.
“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is obviously huge. It is one of the biggest races in the world, and the track is just beautiful. It’s nearly 8.5 miles around and just an amazing venue with it being half regular track and half a street circuit that goes blasting through the French countryside.
“Monza in Italy is another incredible historic circuit that will be amazing to race on.
“Going there to race is our crucial priority, but we’re going to take the opportunity to take a look around while we have the chance.
“There are going to be a lot of races in future years where all we see is the airport, the hotel, and the racetrack, so this year we’ll try to see some of the sights as well.”


Q: How important is driving these tracks on your simulator as part of your preparation for the season ahead?

A:
 “I do a lot of work on the iRacing platform, but there’s no question, nothing compares to the actual track. I prefer reality to virtual practice, but that’s not practical.
“SIM work certainly is helpful, but there are a lot of things missing.
“But It does allow me to learn new tracks before I race on them in reality."

 

Q: What were your impressions of Sebring International Raceway.

A: 
“I’ve tested here a lot in the Road to Indy at Sebring and was here last year before the USF2000 race at St. Pete, so I was already very familiar with the place.
“It is unique because it is incredibly bumpy and a real test for the car. In races like this, we're really testing all the parts and working out how long they can last. We're constantly putting tension on everything with the vibration over the bumps. 
"It's a track that has a bit of everything. It's got some high-speed corners that challenge me to commit as a driver. It's got some passing opportunities – it’s a great place to race."

 

Q: What has been the most significant difference between sportscars and the USF2000 single-seater cars you raced last year?

A: 
"The traffic is handled much like we would handle overtaking a slower car in USF2000. We’re looking for opportunities to get around the traffic. It's a game of chess, but with added complexities. We're not spending the entire race following one car, trying to figure out how to overtake them; We’re spending the race following cars in our class.
“We are trying to figure out how to overtake them, but also how to use the traffic to our advantage. So it just adds another element to the chessboard.” 

New season, new opportunities: MANN-FILTER is focusing on continuity and extending its partnership with Landgraf Motorsport. Operating under the name MANN-FILTER Team Landgraf, the team plans to activate beast mode. With two professional racing drivers on board, the team is aiming high and hopes to take home the long-awaited championship trophy at the end of the season. 

 

Raffaele Marciello and Jonathan Aberdein are the new Mamba duo

 

In terms of driver lineup, the team is delighted to be working with Raffaele Marciello (27, Italy) again. The AMG works driver had an impressive season last year, particularly with his fast lap times in qualifying. He began the season by achieving his first pole position and later in the year celebrated three podium finishes and one race win.


Jonathan Aberdein (24, South Africa) will join him as a new teammate. The 24-year-old has gasoline running through his veins and attracted attention in 2017 by winning the Formula 4 UAE Championship in the United Arab Emirates. Two years later, the talented South African driver made his return to the DTM, finishing tenth in his first professional racing season.

 

Beast mode on! The MANN-FILTER Mamba gets a new look

 

The MANN-FILTER Mamba has already achieved cult status in the ADAC GT Masters. With its striking yellow and green livery, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo stands out in every race and is a popular photo subject among photographers and fans.

 

Dr. Uwe Hartmann, Director Brand Management MANN-FILTER, describes the Mamba's new design: The new 'skin' of our Mamba, with its more realistic features, once again underlines the car's sporty, determined character. The mere sight of the beast should strike fear into the hearts of its rivals.”

 

Seven race weekends, with two events abroad

 

As always, the ADAC GT Masters season opener will be held at the end of April at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, followed by the first race outside Germany at the Red Bull Ring in Austria just a month later. The league of super sports cars will visit Zandvoort in the Netherlands in June, while the prestigious Nürburgring will host the event marking the halfway point in the season.

 

The new highlight in this year's race calendar is the Family & Friends Festival at the DEKRA Lausitzring, where visitors can look forward to a host of exciting events and attractions along with classic racing. After a trip to the Sachsenring at the end of September, the new ADAC GT Masters Champions will be crowned at the season finale at the Hockenheimring in October.

 

MANN-FILTER has big plans

 

As the new season approaches, the sense of anticipation is huge. Team boss Klaus Landgraf on the renewed collaboration: “After a successful start in the international German GT Championship last year, I'm proud to continue our partnership and our shared success story. Landgraf Motosport, part of the Landgraf Group, has laid the foundations to give motorsport fans an amazing GT motorsport experience both on and off the race track.”

 

Landgraf continues: “Using Landgraf Group trucks to transport one of the most popular cars in the starting lineup of the ADAC GT Masters to the race track is only one aspect of our job, but it is a very important one for us as a logistics company. Together with MANN-FILTER, we at Landgraf Motorsport have had an extremely successful start in the 2021 ADAC GT Masters. I'm sure that our team and top-class driver lineup will bring us success again this year. We're all looking forward to the new season and to the next chapter for the MANN-FILTER Mamba, which has achieved cult status.”

 

“Top performance and a passion for motorsport are very important to us at MANN-FILTER,” adds Hartmann. “We'd like to thank Landgraf Motorsport for such a successful partnership, which we look forward to continuing over the coming season. Participation in the ADAC GT Masters is important for us as a brand, so we're approaching the new season in the most popular GT championship with ambitious goals – last year we were a contender for the title until right before the end. With Landgraf Motorsport, two fast drivers, and a new-look Mamba, nothing stands in the way of winning the title. The season gets underway in less than a month, and we're ready to activate MANN-FILTER Beast mode on!”

 

The new car design will be unveiled at 1 p.m. on March 27, 2022, on PS on Air, the Ravenol ADAC GT Masters talk show. Host Patrick Simon will introduce MANN-FILTER Team Landgraf and present the new design of the yellow and green fan favorite for the first time. The Ravenol ADAC GT Masters talk show can be viewed online at adac.de/motorsport, youtube.com/adac and the ADAC GT Masters Facebook channel. After the unveiling, the image of the new race car will be available for download from the press area of the MANN-FILTER website: www.mann-filter.com.

 

 

The ADAC GT Masters race calendar at a glance:

  • 04/22-04/24/2022 Oschersleben
  • 05/20-05/22/2022 Red Bull Ring (Austria)
  • 06/24-06/26/2022 Zandvoort (Netherlands)
  • 08/05-08/07/2022 Nürburgring
  • 08/19-08/21/2022 Family & Friends Festival Dekra Lausitzring
  • 09/23-09/25/2022 Sachsenring
  • 10/21-10/23/2022 Hockenheimring 

SDI Racing, LLC, promoters of the legendary Sacramento Mile flat track motorcycle races, today announced Mission Foods®, the world’s leading brand of tortillas and wraps, has been named the primary partner for the August 20 Progressive American Flat Track (AFT) event at the one-mile dirt oval at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds.

Now known as the Mission Foods Legendary Sacramento Mile powered by Law Tigers, the annual 140-mile-per-hour flat track motorcycle racing extravaganza brings the world’s best dirt track riders for California’s only stop on the Progressive American Flat Track (AFT) national campaign with racing stars such as defending four-time Cal Expo winner Jared Mees.

Law Tigers, a longtime Sacramento Mile sponsor, will serve as the presenting partner for the 2020 edition.

Joining Mees in the star-studded field this year in Sacramento will be two-time series champion Briar Bauman of Salinas, CA; his wife and five-time Cal Expo singles race winner Shayna Texter-BaumanBrandon RobinsonJarod Vanderkooi; former Singles champion Dallas Daniels; defending Mission Production Twins champion Cory TexterJ.D. Beach and Davis Fisher.

Mission Foods®, a subsidiary of Gruma Corporation, is a proud supporter of a variety of motorsports including the Progressive American Flat Track series’ Mission Production Twins class and premier division, the Mission SuperTwins class as well as the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, a four-lap competition which features riders who qualify for the front row of the Mission SuperTwins main event and a $5,000 cash prize.

“We are extremely pleased to have Mission Foods, the world’s leading brand in tortillas and wraps, as our primary partner for this year’s exciting Legendary Sacramento Mile,” said Steve DeLorenzi, CEO and president of SDI Racing and promoter of the Cal Expo AFT event.

“Juan Gonzalez and his company’s Mission Foods brand have been a huge supporter of motorcycle racing for many years, and we are privileged to bring them to Cal Expo for the annual Mission Legendary Sacramento Mile powered by Law Tigers. Our August 20 event will be another sensational night of handlebar-to-handlebar competition for the California motorcycle fans. Thanks so much to Mission Foods for their great support of our event.”

“We are thrilled to bring Mission Foods to SDI Racing and the legendary Sacramento Mile as a primary sponsor for the annual AFT stop in California,” said Juan Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of Mission Foods. “The annual AFT races at Cal Expo are known around the world and it is a great opportunity to connect racing fans with the high quality, authentic flavors and healthy options for the global Mission Foods brand. We are proud to bring attention to the great athletes of the AFT series in the Aug. 20 event.”

Mission Foods also serves as the official tortillas and chips of the Progressive American Flat Track series.

The nation’s top flat track motorcycle racers have come to the Capitol City dating back to 1959 at the historic one-mile dirt track at the California State Fairgrounds and the 2022 edition will be the 57th Progressive AFT appearance in Sacramento. Progressive AFT is known as the ‘Original Extreme Sport” with world-class athletes hitting speeds up to 140 miles per hour.

Tickets for the Mission Foods Legendary Sacramento Mile powered by Law Tigers can be purchased online at the links below: www.sdi-racing.com or https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/5465034/2022-sacramento-mile-august-202022-sacramento-sacramento-mile?cobrand=2022SacMile

The seats at Cal Expo will be available in the Turf Club (with food service), Box Seats, Grandstands and General Admission. Children tickets are also available at reduced prices.

F1 legend and two-time world champion talked to the team from VegasInsider, expressing that this was the season for Ferrari to win the World Championship again. Here's what Fittipaldi had to say:

  • This is the year for Ferrari to win the World Championship again

“In my opinion, this is the year for Ferrari to win the World Championship again.” 

“This is the year for sure. This is the year for Ferrari to win the Championship."

"I know Red Bull is there, Max (Verstappen) is there, Sergio Perez is there. But there’s a chance for Ferrari to win the Championship. I think it can happen this year. They look very strong, very strong. Both drivers. Both drivers are very, very strong.”

“Charles LeClerc and Carlos Sainz, they are on a very high level of driving. They are committed to trying to win the championship. They know it themselves. They have a chance to win the championship."

"When the driver starts to see and knows that he has the potential to win the World Championship, he’s going to grab it and drive 110% all the time.”

  • F1 is lucky to have the possibility of Ferrari winning the World Championship - F1 cannot continue without Ferrari

“I think that Formula 1 is so lucky to have that possibility. Because there are millions of Ferrari fans all over the world."

"And F1 cannot continue without Ferrari. Ferrari is a part of F1's history."

"All of Latin America loves Sergio Pérez, the Mexican driver, but they love Ferrari. It’s in their blood, Ferrari is in their blood. It will be crazy in Miami. It’s completely sold out.”

“That Grand Prix is going to reach many fans of motor racing. Also, young fans who know the Ferrari name are going to follow now.”

  • Ferrari's success this season is due to their focus on the new rules and the engineering - same with Red Bull and Adrian Newey

“I think they have been working on the new rules for the new car since last year."

"And with all the technology they have, with all the engineers, all the telemetry, with all the experience that Ferrari has, they’ve been focusing on this year’s car. They were struggling last year”

“Adrian Newey, who is an incredible aerodynamic engineer. He made a very good package for the Red Bull car. Red Bull is running strong.”

 

Thanks again to the people at VegasInsider  for sharing this info. You can find the entire interview here.

By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
 
Qualifying Results (prior to post-qualifying inspection)
 
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Sebastien Bourdais was a satisfied man after shattering the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship track record for the Long Beach street course by nearly two seconds.
 
Bourdais uncorked a lap of the 1.968-mile, 11-corner circuit timed at 1 minute, 9.472 seconds (101.980 mph) in the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R to lead Alex Lynn in a Chip Ganassi Racing 1-2. The sizzling effort eclipsed the prior Daytona Prototype International (DPi) benchmark of 1:11.332 established by Helio Castroneves in 2019 and earned Bourdais and Cadillac the Motul Pole Award for Saturday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the third of 10 rounds in the 2022 WeatherTech Championship.
 
It was the 43-year-old Frenchman’s fourth career IMSA pole, and his second consecutive, coming on the heels of his field-leading effort at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts.
 
Now the challenge he and teammate Renger van der Zande face is to turn that one-lap pace into their first victory of the season in the 100-minute Long Beach sprint contest after a pair of troubled endurance races to open the 2022 campaign.
 
“Thanks to the Ganassi boys, because that No. 01 Cadillac was quite awesome to drive,” Bourdais said. “It’s been a long time since I got to do a qualifying lap where everything felt under control, and I just had to be clean and get the potential from the car. That was a great feeling.
 
“We’re just looking for a different outcome,” he added. “So far this year, we’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot quite a bit with mechanical issues – nothing to do with Cadillac, just problems on our end. So, we really need to clean up our game and put a whole event together. I hope it’s going to happen tomorrow.”
 
Bourdais and Lynn remained in the pits for the first five minutes of the 15-minute DPi qualifying session. Pipo Derani set the early pace in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac with a 1:10.001 lap that already undercut Castroneves’ three-year-old track record.
 
Derani was confident enough in his time to park the AXR Cadillac with five minutes remaining. But he was relegated to fourth, his time eclipsed not only by Lynn (1:09.833 in the No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac) but by Tom Blomqvist in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-05 (1:09.939).
 
All six competitors in the DPi class lapped under the existing track record.
 
Bourdais said that the Michelin tires used by all WeatherTech Championship competitors gripped up well in Friday’s intense heat, which featured track temperatures exceeding 140 degrees.
 
But the Saturday forecast is much cooler, with ambient temperatures expected in the low 70s, a twenty-five degree drop.
 
“The super unusual high temperatures helped get the tires into an optimal window for the car and the grip was really amazing,” he said. “The tires are also really stable, and the consistency is really good.
 
“But what happens tomorrow, I don’t think anybody really knows. We may be in for a bit of a surprise, but I think it will just be easier on the rear tires. It’s all about managing traffic and making sure you don’t get caught out in the big groups of GT cars that are going to be around until the pack spreads out a bit.”
 
Saturday’s 100-minute race will be broadcast at 5:00 p.m. ET on USA, with streaming coverage also available on Peacock. 
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