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."
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.
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
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|
|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|
|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|
|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.
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.
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
Mission Foods® Named Primary Partner for Aug. 20 Legendary Sacramento Mile Progressive AFT Races At Cal Expo
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.
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.”