Sunday, Jul 03
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  

  

 

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. (Toyo Tires®) is inviting automotive photographers to submit their best “black and white” shot for the sixth annual Toyo Tires Shutter Space Automotive Photo Contest. This contest is a celebration in automotive photography that invites photographers of all skill levels with both amateur and professional participating to showcase their work. The event will be returning to Ancillary Studios in Costa Mesa, CA on Saturday, August 27, 2022.

The Grand Prize package includes a $3,000 gift card at the Adorama online store, an Adorama Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Lighting Kit, Pelican 1535 Air Carry-On Case with Trekpak Dividers, and an exclusive Toyo Tires branded camera strap. The winning entry will be featured at the Shutter Space Collaborative Car Meet & Automotive Photo Gallery and have their photography shared on Toyo Tires social channels.

In addition to the Grand Prize Winner, the 19 finalists will be featured at the event and receive a $200 gift card at the Adorama online store, a Pelican V100C Vault Equipment Case, and an exclusive Toyo Tires branded DSPTCH camera strap.

Photographers can submit photographs and find contest details at https://woobox.com/7mtbrj

Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: their originality; artistic composition and technical aspect; embodiment of the Toyo Tires’ brand and lifestyle; and the inclusion of this year’s theme, a “black and white” image with no color. Submissions are due no later than Wednesday, July 6, 2022 11:59:59 p.m. PT.

Learn more about Toyo Tires at www.toyotires.com.

After the first X Prix of Extreme E Season 2, the Championship now moves from the deserts of NEOM to the historic Capo Teulada area of Sardinia, with just one month to go until the on track action gets underway on the Italian island.

Extreme E returns to Sardinian soil for the Island X Prix, again co-organised by the Automobile Club Italia and, for the first time, there will be a double-header event, with two rounds in one week (6-7 and 9-10 July 2022). The series was created to raise awareness about the effects of climate change and sustainable solutions in the most remote corners of the planet, but Sardinia has shown that the problem does not only concern places located at the most extreme latitudes.

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “After an extended break, it is exciting to return to racing once again especially with our first ever double-header event. On track action at our first X Prix of Season 2 in NEOM was spectacular and we hope our two rounds in Sardinia will prove to be just as captivating as the drivers face a totally different kind of challenge.

“We are delighted to be returning to Sardinia, which held our maiden European event last year. It was a dramatic Island X Prix which only added to Sardinia’s rich rallying history and pedigree, while off course the region will highlight some of the issues facing Europe and the wider world. We will be revisiting our legacy programmes focused on restoration of some of the areas hit by wildfires as well as showcasing electric vehicles and clean energy solutions.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Automobile Club d’Italia, the Region of Sardinia, the Ministry of Defence and the Italian Army which has been supporting us every step of the way.”

 

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The event will be returning to the Season 1 location of the Army Training area at Capo Teulada in Sulcis-Iglesiente, an historic area situated in the south-west of the island.

The Teulada route is ideal, providing a challenging backdrop for the course which will measure around seven kilometres. Due to the hot summer conditions in July, the terrain will be much dryer than last year’s Island X Prix with the drivers having to navigate a harder, more compact surface riddled with rocks, bushes, and dry riverbeds cracked from the heat.

Extreme E has been working closely with Automobile Club d’Italia - the national sports federation co-organising and coordinating the event - the Region of Sardinia, and its Tourism Department plus the Ministry of Defense and the Italian Army to deliver what promises to be a week of double the racing and double the excitement.

Automobile Club d’Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani said: “Motor racing and competition are the combination that fuels new solutions for sustainable mobility towards zero emissions. Italy, thanks to Sardinia and the perfect scenery of its uncontaminated territory, is also a world protagonist for this great technological challenge, hosting no less than two stages of Extreme E, the toughest race for so-called zero-emission vehicles.

"ACI expresses satisfaction and pride for the confirmation of Italian motorsport's ability to constantly face and guide the evolution of competitions and this complex race reserved for off-road vehicles.”

The Sardinian Regional Councillor for Tourism, Gianni Chessa, added: “The Island X Prix of Extreme E is a unique event. It is a world-class event, which takes place in a military area and gives people the opportunity to experience a portion of the territory that was seen as inaccessible and which could instead host other sporting events. Through sport, we are giving visibility to Sardinia, in this case with the most prestigious competition held in Sulcis Iglesiente.

“After the first edition, last October, we are welcoming the Island X Prix again, with no less than two races, which will be held in July and will be the only ones in Europe in the renowned series reserved for electric SUVs.”

Away from the track, the pioneering series will continue with its initiatives to highlight climate change issues and support local communities.

 

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It is becoming increasingly noticeable that Sardinia and most other environments are increasingly susceptible to rising temperatures, heatwaves and wildfires.

Continuing to work alongside the MEDSEA Foundation (Mediterranean Sea and Coast Foundation) to support two significant projects, the Extreme E Legacy Programmes in Sardinia focus on both blue and green carbon stores.

For Round Two, the first project explores Green Carbon. The sport for purpose Championship will be returning to Sennariolo to visit the communities impacted by the devastating wildfires in 2021.

Last year, the fires blazed through 20,000 hectares of land, displaced over 1,000 people and killed around 30 million bees. Extreme E continues to help restore the historic olive groves lost to the wildfires in these areas and run a Fire Prevention Campaign within the local communities on forest fire prevention.

As for Round Three, the second project supports the conservation of Posidonia oceanica (seagrass), mitigating the detrimental effects of Blue Carbon in Mediterranean waters.

Seagrass is thought to be one of the most rapidly declining ecosystems in the world. Extreme E will continue their collaboration with the MEDSEA Foundation, helping to analyse and replant seagrass along the degraded Sardinian coastline.

Despite only occupying 0.2% of the ocean floor, seagrass stores 10% of the oceans carbon and can capture 30% more from the atmosphere than its tropical rainforest equivalent. Preserving seagrass ecosystems is a vital step in combating the climate crisis.

Last year Extreme E’s own scientists, in partnership with ENEL, worked with MEDSEA to reconnect and replenish the seagrass beds of Posidonia oceanica in the waters of the Marine Protected Areas around Sardinia. We continue to work with MEDSEA to continue this work for a second season.

Brigadier General Stefano Scanu, Commander of the Sardinia Army Military Command, said: "The Army has enthusiastically welcomed the choice made by the organisation and Alejandro Agag to hold the European round of the Extreme E series at the Capo Teulada Training Area again this year. The choice of Extreme E, whose main mission is to promote the conservation and protection of the environment, fits in well with the Army's focus on the issue of environmental protection, seen as an ethical and institutional duty that over the years has taken the form of numerous initiatives aimed at preserving the natural heritage included in our training and logistics areas.

“The beauty and unique characteristics of the territory in this area of Sardinia, which is considered of community interest, are clear proof of this. The Army is an institution at the service of citizens, which has always welcomed any activity that favours the development of local realities, especially those that, in compliance with safety and environmental protection regulations, generate important economic spin-offs in the surrounding territories.

“These activities are, moreover, provided for in the Regulations for Use signed with the President of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia in December 2020, which foresee the use of parts of the polygon for initiatives that can have important economic repercussions in the area.”

 

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The maiden Island X Prix last October proved to be a thriller. Season 1 Extreme E champions, Rosberg X Racing (RXR), executed a measured drive to claim the win after Chip Ganassi Racing and X44 were denied victory after suffering technical issues which ruled them out of contention.

After securing an opening round win in the Saudi Arabian desert, RXR will once again be the team to beat as the Championship gets set for a double Sardinian summer showdown.

To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com

Thrill One Sports & Entertainment and NBC Sports have renewed their media rights agreement for the 2022-23 Nitro Rallycross season with all races to be presented live exclusively on Peacock, both parties announced today.

 

All 10 2022-23 Nitro Rallycross events from around the world, featuring nearly 80 hours of coverage of heats, qualifiers and main event races, will be presented live on Peacock with encore presentations on CNBC and NBC Sports digital platforms. NBC will also air a season finale race encore during the season.

 

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Nitro Rallycross for a second consecutive season, and Peacock is the perfect place for NRX superfans to come for every minute of live racing,” said Mike Perman, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports. “The action-packed, innovative style of NRX racing is a seamless fit in NBC Sports’ extensive motorsports portfolio.”

 

“It is great to have Nitro Rallycross back on Peacock for another season,” said Joe Carr, CEO of Thrill One Sports & Entertainment. “Nitro RX will expand globally to 10 races this season and debut the FC1-X, our all-electric, 1000+ hp supercar. With market leaders like NASCAR and INDYCAR, NBC Sports is the perfect home for our disruptive new motorsport.”

 

Nitro Rallycross race action begins with the 2022-23 season opener from Lydden Hill in Canterbury, United Kingdom, on June 18-19 across Peacock, CNBC and NBC Sports digital platforms. Complete season-long programming details will be announced in the coming days.

 

Last season, Thrill One Sports & Entertainment and NBC Sports presented five races live on Peacock and encores on NBCSN in the first year of the media rights partnership.

 

Nitro Rallycross joins Peacock’s robust motorsports programming featuring NTT INDYCAR SERIES and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races, The Dale Jr. Download, and NASCAR America Motormouths. Peacock’s expansive live sports programming coverage also includes MLB Sunday Leadoff, Triple Crown horse racing, golf, the USFL, Premier League, Sunday Night Football, Notre Dame Football, and much more. Peacock also offers daily sports programming on the NBC Sports channel which streams Peacock Original Brother from Another and staples like The Dan Patrick ShowPro Football Talk Live, and The Rich Eisen Show.

By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – At first look, it steals your breath. Sleek yet aggressive, bold yet elegant. Undeniably a Cadillac, yet an altogether different kind of Cadillac.
 
Meet Cadillac’s Project GTP Hypercar, which previews the manufacturer’s third-generation prototype race car.
 
What went behind the design of the new car was complicated and layered, an in-depth project involving dozens of people from several areas, melding the success of the Cadillac DPi-V.R that’s been winning races and championships in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class since 2017 with the unlimited possibilities of the new car and the new-for-2023 Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class.
 
“It’s exciting to start a new chapter,” said Chris Mikalauskas, Cadillac’s lead exterior creative designer. “We’ve proven ourselves in IMSA and we want to continue to prove ourselves, but we really just want to prove ourselves now on an even higher level of vehicle.”
 
Mikalauskas and his design team brought the car from idea to reality in just 15 months. Thursday’s Project GTP Hypercar preview was the “wow” part. Now it’s time to see how the race car develops as the new car and class prepare to begin racing in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. On-track testing is set to begin later this summer.
 
“It’s a cool canvas to be able to show people the fact that we’re going to continue to make performance products in the future and this is a sample of what they might look like,” Mikalauskas said. “I just want people to realize that we’re not done making cars that are going to perform extremely well. It’s something we very much want to be a part of, and this design previews that.”
 
The trick for Mikalauskas and his team of engineers was to carry the success of Cadillac’s DPi V.R – which won two titles and four consecutive Rolex 24s in its six years in the WeatherTech Championship – to the new car.
 
“We know certain things work,” Mikalauskas said. “Whenever you radically change the proportions of a vehicle, not everything translates. While we have the experience and the winning pedigree, we definitely had to do some invention and discovery on this new program. 
 
“We’re super excited and super happy about where we ended up, but it wasn’t as easy as saying, ‘OK, take the DPi and stretch it this way and stretch it that way.’ It was a ground-up build.”
The new car will be powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 engine paired with the LMDh single-source hybrid powertrain. Cadillac intends to compete in both the WeatherTech Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including next year’s 24 Hour of Le Mans.
 
“Cadillac will be competing again on the world racing stage, and we are all thrilled to return to Le Mans after 22 years,” said Rory Harvey, Vice President Global Cadillac. “By competing in both the 2023 IMSA and WEC championships, Cadillac Racing has the opportunity to demonstrate its capability, craftsmanship and technology.”
 
The manufacturer has been demonstrating those attributes in North America since 2017, winning three WeatherTech Championship titles, four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup championships and the Rolex 24 At Daytona four times in a row. Last weekend’s victory at the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on Detroit’s Belle Isle by the No. 01 Cadillac driving duo of Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais was the manufacturer’s 29th in IMSA competition over the past five-and-a-half seasons.
 
Cadillac’s success with the DPi car played into the design of the new car.
 
“Knowing why it worked is really the important thing to take away,” Mikalauskas said. “In certain situations on the new car – again, with it being so different and having different tracks to run on – the objectives changed.”
 
So it was up to Mikalauskas and a team of engineers at Cadillac Racing, Cadillac Design and Dallara to create something artful yet functional, meeting the specifics of the LMDh platform while maintaining Cadillac design cues like the brand’s distinct vertical headlamps and taillights.
 
“We love it from a design side and an aesthetic side because the car is lower and wider and has great proportions,” Mikalauskas said. “But all of those proportions came from performance needs. While the car did change quite a bit, all of those changes were necessary to run the new power plant.”
 
Five manufacturers – Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche in 2023 and Lamborghini in 2024 – have announced plans to compete with LMDh cars in the GTP class, which replaces DPi as the top prototype class in the WeatherTech Championship in 2023. Those cars are also eligible to race in the WEC Hypercar class.

ickets are on sale now for ROWDY, the acclaimed documentary providing a special look at Kyle Busch’s unmatched talent and singular determination to win at everything while giving candid insights from family, friends and NASCAR personnel on his life and career. Busch confronts his physical limits when he sustains a potentially career-ending wreck in 2015, only to find a path to win the series championship that same season. His journey is ranked as one of the greatest sports comebacks of all time.

 

Tickets for ROWDY can be purchased at www.FathomEvents.com or participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters; for a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change). Please contact your local theater for individual safety precautions.

 

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Busch’s irreverent and polarizing personality, whether in or out of the driver’s seat, has earned him both diehard fans and vehement detractors, though his accomplishments are irrefutable.

 

“I never thought I would ever do a film about my career until after I retired,” Busch explains. “I know there are some pivotal moments in my life that are misunderstood by fans. This film sets the record straight about what went on in my mind and many people who were a part of those pivotal moments that changed me.”

 

“Fathom’s partnership with Utopia has delivered amazing and insightful content that has drawn in movie-goers across the country,” said Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events.  “This high-octane journey, riding shotgun with the controversial, yet infamous, Kyle Busch, is no different – we’re excited for it!”

 

ROWDY is produced by Chance Wright of Wright Productions along with Hans Schiff and John Stevens of Venture 10 Studio Group.

 

Following the running of the New York Racing Association's (NYRA) 154th Belmont Stakes, Animal Wellness Action executive director Marty Irby issued the following statement:

“We offer congratulations to Todd Pletcher, Jerry Crawford, and the entire Mo Donegal team,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action. "We appreciate NYRA's continued work to bring integrity back to the sport, look forward to the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in just a few short weeks, and hope to see clean drug tests reported back from all the horses that were tested in the 154th Belmont Stakes." 

Aware of the public outrage over the mounting number of racehorse deaths on American racetracks, leaders at Animal Wellness Action worked for the better part of six years to secure enactment of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). It was signed into law in December 2020 following a Congressional hearing in January 2020 where Irby testified, and the indictment of dozens of individuals involved in illegal doping scandals across the country.

The legislation, led by Reps. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Andy Barr, R-Ky., in the U.S. House, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as well as Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., was designed to execute and enforce a uniform national standard for drug testing. It created national regulations that will be overseen by a new national Authority and implemented at every Thoroughbred racetrack in the U.S effective July 1, 2022.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of The Animal Wellness Podcast with Irby and Monty Roberts, the "Man Who Listens to Horses," recorded Monday, and here to listen to last month's episode with Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron.  

Click here to read Irby's opinion piece published by NBC News the morning of the Kentucky Derby. 

***
Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

It was a day for first-time entrants in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Western Championship event at The Ridge Motorsports Park, with both winners victorious in their first Trans Am starts. TA2 driver Brody Goble had a dominant run, leading from flag to flag in his Trans Am race debut, while Xuanqian Wang overcame early mechanical issues to win the SGT class by attrition in the final laps.
 
When the green flag waved to kick off Round 4 of the Trans Am Series Western Championship event it was short lived, as SGT competitor Chris Evans had a heavy impact in Turn 6 in his No. 92 Chris Evans Inc. Ford Mustang, taking him out of the race on lap one and putting the event under caution. When racing resumed, Motul Pole Award winner Goble pulled out in front of the field, followed closely by two-time 2022 winner Jeff Holden in the No. 11 Dakota Lithium/RelaxandCBD.com Chevrolet Camaro and Ken Sutherland in the No. 68 Cascade Sotheby’s/Wyatt Fire Protection Camaro. SGT leader Greg Anthony in the No. 23 Prime Roofing BMW M3 settled into a solid fourth place, with Wang second in the SGT class in his No. 22 AURALIC North America McLaren 570S GT4.
 
A full-course yellow was displayed again four laps later when Howard Johnston in the No. 32 IWS Acquisition Group Mustang went off the track and into the tire wall, ending the day for the SGT competitor. When green-flag racing resumed, Goble had to once again hold off Holden and Sutherland, but was able to protect his lead. In the SGT class, Anthony held onto the lead, running fourth overall, while second-place Wang suffered mechanical issues and pulled to pit road, putting him one lap down.
 
On lap 19, second-place Holden spun in Turn 12 and stalled on track, bringing out the third and final caution of the day. Holden was able to finish the race, but was now one lap down and out of contention for the win. When the field went green again, Goble had to hold off Sutherland on the restart, but once he pulled away, he never looked back, opening up the lead and dominating until the checkered flag.
 
Just after the restart, five cars tangled in an incident in Turn 1, including TA2 competitors Matt Crandall in the No. 74 Avant Garde Collection Mustang, Mitch Marvosh in the No. 29 Wolf Entertainment Mustang, and Michael Fine in the No. 66 Architectural Glass Systems Inc. Camaro, but all drivers were able to right themselves and continue without a yellow. John Schweitzer in the No. 00 Superior Builders Ford Mustang had previously gone off the track and was slightly behind the leaders, putting him in the position to skillfully navigate around the incident and move into third in class. This move ultimately earned him the ChillOut Keep Cool Move of the Race and a third-place finish. Sutherland held onto the second position for the remainder of the race, an especially impressive feat after a crash in testing nearly destroyed his car.
 
Anthony seemed on pace to take the checkered flag for the SGT class, running third overall until lap 34 when he was slowed by a mechanical issue, allowing the lapped Wang to pass him and earn the victory in the class.
 
“Everything went the way it was supposed to go this weekend, I’m speechless to be here in first place,” said Goble from the top step of the podium. “The car was just perfect, and we had a lot of good luck. With a new car and a new driver, there was a little bit of a learning curve. I was really impressed by the speed we were able to maintain the entire race and seeing how the tires lasted for all 75 minutes. A few of those restarts, Jeff [Holden] and Ken [Sutherland] were all over me and certainly made me work for it. I was happy it went green until the end from halfway. We had a lot of caution laps early in the race, and those can be brutal on drivers because you’re sitting there behind the pace car and overheating yourself. This was my first time using the ChillOut systems cooling package, and it would be hard to go without one now after experiencing it. I’m so grateful to drive into Victory Lane in my first start. It took lots of family and friends to get to this point, and I just want to say thanks to Tim Brown for always believing in me. Brown Bros. Racing is two-for-two in Trans Am.”
 
“I’m just glad to be here after Friday,” said Sutherland of his second-place finish. “We lost brakes into Turn 1 during the test and took the whole front end off. Our team worked all night long and got the front end back on it. Our Cascade Sotheby’s Camaro was really good for the race and this is a great points day for us. We had a lot of problems at Thunderhill earlier this year with a DNF, so today was a good day for us. It’s a testament to our crew, who works so hard. Everybody on the team was doing something on the car, from wiping it down and cleaning it to putting the duct tape on it. We had contributions from a lot of people to make this happen.”
 
“If you want to finish first, you first have to finish,” said Wang of his comeback victory after early mechanical issues. “The computer was having some issues and it cut the power to the car and put me a lap down. At that point, all I was trying to do was finish. We would have done a lot better if we hadn’t had the mechanical issues, but this was a great opportunity for me to participate in Trans Am and race an hour-long race on a single set of tires. It offers you a great experience to go fast and battle the competition and tire management and the racetrack. I’m really grateful to get the win in my first time out. This was a great experience for me; Trans Am offers a great platform for drivers.”
 
The Trans Am Western Championship returns to the track July 15-17 at Portland International Raceway.
 
Full race results can be found here

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ hosted the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship Round 4: Type S The Gauntlet presented by AutoZone and Round 2 of the Formula DRIFT Link ECU PROSPEC Championship. It was only the second time the series had visited the purpose-built drift arena; the first of its kind in the US.

After the tornado-ravaged round in Orlando, FL, the teams were relieved to qualify under blue skies. And with New Jersey representing the half-way point of both Championships, it was important for drivers to score well if they wanted a chance of claiming their respective title. 

 

PROSPEC QUALIFYING

After qualifying third at the opening round in Orlando, Tommy Lemaire (Canada) was disappointed by his 17th place finish after experience technical problems with his Mspek TLO Nissan S14.5. However, the car was repaired and ready for action in Englishtown, enabling the Canadian to set a 93-point run and take the top spot. As a further boost, Lemaire would get a bye run through the Top 32 competition heats after Lukas Torno (Brazil) was unable to complete a run in his FC AutoLabs BMW M3. 

Second place in FCP Euro Qualifying went to double and defending PROSPEC Champion, Dmitriy Brutskiy. He also had a disappointing opening round, qualifying 11th and finishing 12th. However, in New Jersey Brutskiy delivered a 91-point qualifying run in his DriftHQ / Link ECU / ISC Suspension / Enkei Wheels BMW M3 with Royal Purple. This placed him second thanks to an additional two style points over Alex Jagger (USA), who also received a 91-point score in his Forsberg Racing Nissan 370Z. 

In the case of a tie, drivers are separated by their respective scores in first style, then angle and finally line. It was Brutskiy’s superior style score that gave him the lead over Jagger.

The top Rookie qualifier was Robert Thorne (USA) who scored 81 points, placing his ASMotorsport / Kats Coin BMW M3 in 5th place.

As always, all FD PROSPEC teams must use Link ECU engine management as well as GT Radial tires supplied and fitted by TireStacks.com. Teams are also eligible for contingency programs from series sponsors Throdle, FCP Euro and Royal Purple, provided they meet defined criteria.

 

PROSPEC COMPETITION

Continuing its new 2022 schedule, Round 2 of the Link ECU PROSPEC Championship was split across two days, with the Top 32 taking place on Friday evening and the Top 16 heats through to the Final completed on Saturday morning. But unlike the turbulent weather at Round 1, the track was drenched in sunshine, providing consistent runs across both days.

Familiarity with the Englishtown course thanks to regular competition was undoubtedly a factor in Brutskiy’s change of fortunes. He was able to precisely place his BMW, consistently hitting the Outside and Inside Zones. However, his weekend wasn’t without drama.

In his Top 16 heats, Brutskiy spun on his chase run, quickly followed by Evan Bogovich (USA) spinning his Feal Suspension Nissan S14 in the next zone. Initially it appeared Brutskiy had collided with Bogovich, triggering the spins but the drone replay showed the Nissan driver off the power in Outside Zone 2 (OZ2), giving Brutskiy nowhere to go.

Progressing to the Top 8, Cory Talaska (USA) in the Blank Canvas / SLR Speed E36 BMW M3 was simply unable to match Brutskiy’s lines. A pattern that was repeated in the Top 4 against Jagger. It was an intense battle, and Jagger fought hard to reach the heat, but he couldn’t run as deep into each zone as the defending champion.

In the Final, Brutskiy’s opponent was Link ECU PROSPEC Rookie Robert Thorne (USA) who was guaranteed a podium at only his second FD event. The driver of the ASMotorsport / Kats Coin BMW M3 has successfully translated his GT racing experience to drift and is in the process of establishing an impressive reputation.

In the Final, Brutskiy again attacked the course, placing his rear wheels at the extremities of the outside zones. But Thorne wasn’t a passive spectator; he crowded the double Champion through OZ2 and OZ3 to put himself in a strong position for the second run. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, Thorne was untidy in OZ1, needing to correct his line, which unsettled him into OZ2 and resulted in heavy contact with the wall at OZ2. Thorne completed his lead run but not without numerous corrections. And as Brutskiy adjusted his line and speed to compensate for Thorne’s wobbles, he’d done enough to take the win.

Having started the day 12th in the Link ECU PROSPEC Championship standings, Brutskiy left New Jersey fourth and with his third title now a more realistic prospect.

“The weekend went as planned!” Brutskiy told us after stepping off the podium. “I was very nervous before each battle and I had a shoulder injury from a dirt bike accident last week that limited my movement. I was just glad to be here – this is one of the best wins I’ve had. I’m looking forward to winning another Championship and it feels like a miracle to be back on the podium.” 

Thorne’s second place puts the Rookie top of the Championship table, while Lemaire converted his top qualification position into a third place finish after battling mechanical issues throughout the competition. He jumped from 17th overall to seventh.

Andy Hateley (USA) was the championship points leader after the opening round. However, his Hateley Motorsports BMW E46 suffered engine problems, which meant he was unable to initiate a drift in his Top 16 battle against Lemaire. Hateley finished 14th, dropping him to third in the table. 

 

PRO QUALIFYING

Once again, the K&N Qualifying session for the FD PRO Championship couldn’t have been closer. Seven drivers scored more than 90 points and 18 were within ten points of the leader, Chelsea DeNofa (USA). 

DeNofa scored 94 points in his Pennzoil / BC Racing Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-FD and was one of three drivers with the same overall score. He claimed the number one position from second place Michael Essa (USA) in the FCP Euro / Liqui Moly / GT Radial BMW M3 by a single style point.  

Similarly, Dylan Hughes (USA) scored 94 points in his DHR / Royal Purple / Falken Tire BMW. And while Essa had the same style score as Hughes, Essa got the nod thanks to two extra points for drift angle.

Defending Champion and 2022 FD PRO points leader, Fredric Aasbo (Norway), only scored 88 points in his Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra. It placed him in eighth position and gave him a challenging path to the Final, but nobody would be surprised to find him there on Saturday.

The top Rookie was Nick Noback (USA) who reminded everybody of his 2021 PROSPEC form with a spectacular 93-point run in his KoruWorks E46 BMW. It placed him fourth overall and in a very strong position for the competition heats.

Thirty-six drivers attempted to qualify for the Top 32 competition heats, which meant four would be eliminated in the Knockout Qualifying Format (KQF), which sees the bottom eight drivers run a second time. Unfortunately, KQF saw the demise of Josh Reynolds (USA) and Kyle Mohan (USA) with technical issues, while Jhonnattan Castro (Domincan Republic) and Josh Love (USA) failed to score sufficient points to continue.

 

PRO COMPETITION

At the halfway stage in the 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, the leading drivers knew they had to make an impact at Round 4: Type S The Gauntlet presented by AutoZone. Everybody was happy to escape the tumultuous weather in Orlando but the warm, dry conditions in New Jersey presented their own challenge. The constant radius turns of the figure-8 Englishtown course allows the drivers to position their cars intimately close to one another at very high speeds. It results in spectacular action but mistakes can have savage consequences, as Matt Field (USA) and Ryan Tuerck (USA) would painfully discover.

While the established drivers were trying to mount a championship challenge, several of the newer names snuck in the back door and grabbed the silverware from under their noses. The Final was fought between two drivers who’d never been in a FD PRO Final or even stood on the podium. Interestingly, both use BMW M3 race cars with Chevrolet LS V8 engines; a combination that is becoming increasing popular throughout the FD series.

The well-deserved winner was Travis Reeder (USA) who pushed the Travis Reeder Motorsports / GT Radial BMW M3 to its limits and beyond. Having qualified in 29th and experienced the uncertainty of KQF, he lined up against Rookie Nick Noback (USA) in the Top 32. It was a great pairing, with the judges unable to separate them after two runs, requesting they go One More Time (OMT). Repeating the process didn’t make much difference; neither driver was prepared to yield but Reeder took the decision thanks to a better lead run.

In the Top 16 it was rinse and repeat as the judges again requested OMT in his conflict with Kazuya Taguchi (Japan) in the ISR UpGarage / GT Radial Scion FRS. Both men hit their marks in the lead and shadowed their opponent on the chase but again, Reeder emerged victorious by the narrowest of margins.

In the Top 8, Reeder received a bye run after his scheduled opponent, Tuerck, was unable to start the heat. In the Top 16, the driver of the Rain-X / Nitto Tire Toyota GR Corolla had been slammed into the barriers by a hard-charging Branden Sorensen (USA). The teenager knew he needed to pressurize Tuerck and surged into OZ2. Unfortunately, Sorensen’s momentum into a deceleration area punted the GR Corolla hard enough to damage all four corners. Unable to repair his car in the allotted time, Tuerck was sidelined and Reeder faced top qualifier and drifting demigod, DeNofa in the Top 4.

As expected, DeNofa’s lead run was at hyper-speed. He hit his lines and ran deep through each zone. And while the crowd was mesmerized by the Mustang RTR driver, the replay showed Reeder mimicked every move. As the two drivers lined up for the second run, the pressure was on DeNofa to somehow exceed Reeder’s performance or pressurize him into a mistake. However, DeNofa ran shallow in OZ1 and OZ2 before making a significant correction in OZ3. And Reeder was the shock winner. Or the shocked winner, to be precise, because he didn’t seem to believe the result against a driver he admired so much.

Reeder’s opponent in the Final was Rome Charpentier (USA) who qualified his Garagistic / Federal Tires / imaginegarage E36 BMW in 14th place and appeared equally bemused by his progress. 

His weekend started with a Top 32 contest against Dean Kearney (Ireland) in the Hyper NFT / Daily Driven Exotics (DDE) Dodge Viper. Their first run was intense, the Viper colliding with Reeder’s BMW after they crossed the finish line. The damage required a wheel change and suspension check but with the repairs done and his focus undoubtedly distracted, Charpentier fought back and won on a split decision. 

He then defeated the on-form Hughes in the Top 16 by another tight decision before eliminating Justin Pawlak (USA) in the Top 8; Pawlak over-rotating his 2022 Falken Tire Ford Mustang in OZ3 while chasing Charpentier. 

Charpentier fiercest combatant was Matt Field (USA), who had been shunted into the OZ2 barriers by Mike Power (USA) during their Top 32 heat. The collision did considerable damage to the Drift Cave / Falken Tire C6 Corvette but the team had pieced together a competitive car by the Top 4. 

With their first two runs resulting in OMT, Charpentier eventually received the judge’s decision by a tiny margin as both men fought for dominance. 

By the Final, Reeder and Charpentier had defeated determined opponents and were guaranteed their first FD PRO podium, but who would occupy the top step?

On the first run, with Charpentier setting a blistering pace, Reeder was on the ragged edge as he grappled for proximity, tapping his rival at Inside Clip 1 and rubbing front tires yards from the finish line. The second contact sent Charpentier spinning across the grass; the incident seemingly locking the engine, requiring a tow to the pits.

With several teams jumping in to diagnose and resolve the malfunction, and a maximum of 10min plus a 5min Competition Time Out available, repair seemed impossible. And then the LS miraculously sparked into life and Charpentier returned to the starting line for his chase run. 

It’s worth remembering that with Reeder at fault, Charpentier would have been declared the winner if he’d been unable to repair the car. And that by returning to the line without knowing if the engine would run properly, Charpentier put everything on the line. 

Wanting to win decisively, Charpentier harassed Reeder around the entire course but couldn’t find the proximity he’d shown in previous heats. We’ll never know if it was the result of the engine problems but Reeder was awarded the win on a split decision and a new name was added to the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship history book.

After graduating from PROSPEC and developing both his program and driving style for the past four years, a delighted Reeder spoke to us after receiving his carbon fiber trophy. “This was, by far, the longest drift event I’ve ever been in. It feels like I’ve driven more runs than the last three rounds combined. We had a hard Top 32 with One More Time and a hard-fought Top 16 with One More Time. We got to the Top 4 against Chelsea and knew it was going to be hard – I’ve looked up to him for the longest time and wouldn’t be here without him – and to put him back in his trailer gives me ultimate bragging rights for life. He’s the best ever, and RTR even gave us nitrous to put him away because we’d run out!” an emotional Reeder told us.

“Going into the Final we thought we’d lost. I drove a little too hard and ran Rome off the track. It was a difference in speed but I tried to remain calm and focus on a good lead run. I honestly didn’t think I’d get the decision but I can’t say enough about my team and sponsors – they’ve always supported me and I’m so grateful for that.

“It’s four years since we’ve been on the podium in PROSPEC and we’ll try to do it again. I was crying like a little girl out there. To get a PRO trophy is absolutely unbelievable. It’s totally been worth the wait, the stress and the hard work.”

Reeder’s win elevated him one place to seventh in the Championship, while Charpentier catapulted himself to ninth from 16th. Finishing third, DeNofa has risen from seventh to fifth in the 2022 Championship, and fourth place Field has taken the FD PRO Championship points lead by a narrow four-point margin over defending Champion, Aasbo. 

Top Rookie was Daniel Stuke (USA) who qualified tenth in the Stuke Racing / MspeK Performance Nissan S14.9 and finished 11th. The result moved him to tenth in the overall standings.

After Round 4, Toyota leads the 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Auto Cup and Falken heads the Tire Cup.

For the final word, we again turn to Formula DRIFT President, Ryan Sage: “What an incredible outcome tonight with two independent drivers taking the top two places. We also saw Chelsea DeNofa climbing back up the table and Matt Field taking the PRO Championship lead, shaking everything up halfway through the season. Meanwhile, Dmitriy Brutskiy returned to winning ways in PROSPEC as he attempts to claim a record third Championship in a row. We can’t wait to see how these story lines develop at next month’s St Louis round!”

 

2022 FORMULA DRIFT CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

 

ROUND 4 FD PRO TOP 16 DRIVER POINTS

POSITION

DRIVER

POINTS

1

Travis Reeder

100

2

Rome Charpentier

91

3

Chelsea DeNofa

83

4

Matt Field

80

5

Ryan Tuerck

67

6

Justin Pawlak

67

7

Ken Gushi

67

8

Fredric Aasbo

67

9

Dylan Hughes

53

10

Aurimas Bakchis

52

11

Daniel Stuke

52

12

Branden Sorensen

52

13

Kazuya Taguchi

52

14

Wataru Masuyama

52

15

Chris Forsberg

52

16

Ryan Litteral

52

 

2022 FD PRO TOP 16 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

POSITION

DRIVER

POINTS

1

Matt Field

335

2

Fredric Aasbo

331

3

Chris Forsberg

301

4

Ryan Tuerck

289

5

Chelsea DeNofa

275

6

Dylan Hughes

255

7

Travis Reeder

255

8

Aurimas Bakchis

247

9

Rome Charpentier

228

10

Daniel Stuke 

206

11

Branden Sorensen

206

12

Justin Pawlak

189

13

Dan Burkett

189

14

Michael Essa

174

15

Wataru Masuyama

174

16

Taylor Hull

174

 

2022 AUTO CUP TOP FIVE STANDINGS

Toyota

620

Chevrolet

509

Ford

464

Nissan

423

BMW

174

 

2022 TIRE CUP STANDINGS

Falken Tire

662

Nitto Tire

653

GT Radial

588

Federal Tire

419

Nexen Tire

414

 

ROUND 2 FD PROSPEC TOP 16 DRIVER POINTS

POSITION

DRIVER

POINTS

1

Dmitriy Brutskiy

102

2

Robert Thorne

91

3

Tommy Lemaire

83

4

Alex Jagger

81

5

Ben Hobson

67

6

Austin Matta

67

7

Kasey Kohl

67

8

Cory Talaska

67

9

Brian Wadman

52

10

Derek Madison

52

11

Kelsey Rowlings

52

12

Rudy Hansen

52

13

Steve Misko

52

14

Andy Hateley

52

15

Evan Bogovich

52

16

Amanda Sorensen

52

 

FD PROSPEC TOP 16 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

POSITION

DRIVER

POINTS

1

Robert Thorne

171

2

Ben Hobson

158

3

Andy Hateley

155

4

Dmitriy Brutskiy

154

5

Alex Jagger

148

6

Evan Bogovich

132

7

Tommy Lemaire

119

8

Derek Madison

119

9

Kasey Kohl 

119

10

Brian Wadman

104

11

Steve Misko

104

12

Austin Matta

102

13

Nate Chen

102

14

Cory Talaska

102

15

Matthew Bystrak

102

16

Rich Whiteman

89

 

NEXT ROUND

World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, IL will host the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship Round 5: Crossroads on July 14-16 as well as the Round 3 of the Formula DRIFT Link ECU PROSPEC Championship. Please visit formulad.com for the competition schedule, ticket information, driver profiles, special content, and the event livestream

 

EDITOR’S NOTE

Please use this link for images from FD NJ: dropbox.com/sh/kn8qjqlogmnmuht/AAAuDs8jHVr6WbON5rnQnP2fa?dl=0

 

ABOUT FORMULA DRIFT

Formula DRIFT is recognized as the leading international drifting championship. Established on the streets of Japan, drifting has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport that challenges the driver's skill while demanding a great deal from their vehicle in terms of power and strength. Formula DRIFT provides a series for the best professional drifters from around the globe to compete for the coveted title of Formula DRIFT Champion. As the first official drifting series in North America, Formula DRIFT has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme, attracting drift fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life, and established itself as the global leader for the sport. For a competition schedule, ticket information, special content and livestream, please visit formulad.com

 

FOLLOW FORMULA DRIFT ONLINE 

formulad.com

instagram.com/formulad

facebook.com/formuladrift

twitter.com/FormulaDrift

youtube.com/Formuladrift

 

2022 FORMULA DRIFT OFFICIAL SPONSORS

Major Sponsor, Official Vehicle Lighting, Dash Cam & Jump Starter – TYPE S 

Major Sponsor, Official Energy Drink – Rockstar Energy Drink 

Major Sponsor, Official Military Branch – United States Air Force

Major Sponsor, Official Engine Oil – Royal Purple 

Major Sponsor, Official ECU, PROSPEC Title Sponsor – Link Engine Management

Major Sponsor, Official Blockchain Game – Torque Drift 

Major Sponsors – Falken Tires, GT Radial, Nitto Tire 

Official Sponsors – Ford Performance, BC Racing (Official Suspension), Toyota Racing, K&N (Official Air Filter & Air Intake, Official Sponsor of Qualifying)

PRO Championship Tire Supplier – Nexen Tire, Federal Tire 

Associated Sponsors – Enkei Wheels, NGK Spark Plugs, Pedal Commander, RAYS Wheels, Throdle

Official PROSPEC Tire – GT Radial 

Official PROSPEC Tire Service Partner – Tire Stacks

Official PROSPEC Sponsor – FCP Euro 

Official Education Partner ­– University of Northwestern Ohio

Official Community Outreach Program – Acceler8 

Official Apparel Supplier ­– Marwin Sports

Technical Partner – PCI Race Radios, Proform

 

Defending Championship Off-Road Pro 2 class champion and the #4 Lucas Oil/Vision Wheel/Cooper Tire team got back in action over the weekend, kicking off their title defense at Antigo Lions Roaring Raceway with three days of action. Kincaid and the Pro 2 field led off the weekend with the inaugural Duel of Champions on Friday, before taking on the first two rounds of the championship season on Saturday and Sunday.
 
With a similarly refreshed field to go up against, luck wasn’t quite on Kincaid’s side the same way it was when he regained the championship lead in last year’s finale from Crandon, or even in last year’s sweep of the Antigo races. Finishes of ninth and 12th across the two race days have the team looking ahead to the second event of the month, a return to Kincaid’s home track of Crandon International Raceway for the return of the Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run.
“It wasn’t the weekend we had planned on, but nonetheless, I’m grateful for the support of all of our fans and sponsors,” said Kincaid. “The results sheet from Antigo doesn’t reflect the kind of backing we have, or the finishes that we deserve. Fortunately, there’s a lot of racing left this season, and we’ll be sure to make the most of it from here on out. I’m excited to head back to Crandon and put us back on top of the box!”
 
The 29th Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run at Crandon International Raceway will run on the weekend of June 25-26. The action will feature Rounds 3 and 4 of COR’s 2022 Pro 2 championship, as well as the Community Cup race that pits Pro 2s and Pro 4s against one another for big money and bragging rights. Tickets are on sale now, and the action will be live streamed on FloSports and aired on TV later this year on the CBS Sports Network.
 
Keegan Kincaid is supported by Lucas Oil, Vision Wheel, Cooper Tire, Battle Approved Motors, Champion Power Equipment, Langlade Ford, Roush Performance Products, Fox Shocks, Impact, Ehren PSP, and VP Racing Fuels. For more information and to stay in the loop, follow Keegan on Facebook and Instagram.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers Christian Weir and Spike Kohlbecker showed strong race runs at this weekend’s Road America race event with both drivers racing their way into the top 10 and passing a combined 29 cars over the double-header event.
 
Rookie Christian Weir qualified 15th and 18th for Race 1 and Race 2 following a disappointing qualifying session that didn’t reflect the capability of the #32 car program. With the work cut out for him, Weir climbed his way up to a seventh place finish in Race 1 and an 11th place finish in Race 2, showing his racing capability and improving a total of 15 positions.

Christian Weir drives the #32 USF2000 at Road America

#32 Christian Weir // USF2000 Championship
ProFlo / Ferguson / eComfort.com

“This was a rough weekend but we still came out unscathed,” said Weir. “We were struggling on pace all weekend and didn’t know where to find it. Through our frustrations, we still ended up being competitive during the races. With not very many opportunities, we ended up lower than where we wanted, but there is always another time where we can show our true potential. I just want to thank the whole team for helping persevere through these hard times. These are the weekends that we can learn a lot from.”
 
Teammate Spike Kohlbecker also started deeper in the field for both races, but like Weir, knew he had the package to be racing at the front. Kohlbecker rose to the challenge, passing a total of seven cars in Race 1, finishing P9, and setting himself up for another solid run in the #33 car in Race 2. In Race 2, Kohlbecker had a great start and gained five positions up from P17 on the opening lap alone. Following an impressive drive in the 12-lap contest, Kohlbecker crossed the start/finish line in P10 to round out the weekend.

Spike Kohlbecker drives the #33 USF2000 at Road America

#33 Spike Kohlbecker // USF2000 Championship
Ignite Autosport / Margay Racing / TierPoint / PSL / RSolution / TrueTitle / Ruckus Racing / Messmer Cares / Alvear / Cfx 

“Road America was definitely a learning weekend for me,” said Kohlbecker. “As a team, we struggled, but we all kept our heads up and tried to learn as much as we could through the weekend. I’m looking forward to the next event at Mid-Ohio in a couple of weeks!”
 
“We headed in the weekend with high expectations after a very good test here last year, but unfortunately the weekend proved quite challenging to give the drivers the balance they needed,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “They both struggled in each qualifying session which left them on the back foot for the races, but I’m proud of the efforts they put in to drive the cars forward, and we gained a lot of positions in both races. We will regroup as a team and make sure we go to Mid-Ohio with a stronger program to allow the drivers to show their true potential.”
 
Next up for USF2000 is Rounds 11/12/13 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course June 30 - July 3.

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