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Ruthless Racing's Danny Eslick took command of the 2014 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series points chase by claiming his first class victory since his 2010 championship campaign today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. His win kicked off the race action of the highly-anticipated GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round with tomorrow's AMA Pro SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, and FIM Superbike World Championship races still to come.
The defending AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series champ, Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson's Steve Rapp, once again demonstrated his mastery of the XR1200, breaking free from the pack to storm to the checkered flag first. However, Rapp was judged to have jumped the start, and was assessed a ten-second penalty as a result. This year's DAYTONA 200 winner Eslick was aware Rapp had been penalized. After the race, Eslick said he knew he would win if he stayed within ten seconds of Rapp.
"I've been getting a lot of seconds and getting beat up in this deal. I think everybody expected me to just come in and win and it just shows that these guys have been busting their butts and riding these Harley's really hard. They're definitely not the easiest bikes to get around a racetrack. When you get up to the pace Steve and some of these other guys are going, it makes it pretty tough. It's a lot of fun. It's not the way I wanted to win it -- by penalty -- but a 'W' is a 'W', and we need the points. We'll definitely take the money and move on to Mid-Ohio."
The Californian Rapp's pace was so great that he still managed to claim second in the race, opening up a margin significantly greater than ten seconds over the entire field save Eslick.
Runner-up Rapp said, "I knew it would be a tougher race here. I just wanted to get a good start and try to build up a lead if I could and it looked like everything was going as planned... I didn't know the penalty was for me. I wasn't really aware of what was going on, I was riding as if there was nothing going on. The bike was good and the tires felt great. Everything felt pretty good overall."
KWR/Millennium Technologies' Kyle Wyman rebounded from his Barber Motorsports Park crash to round out today's podium. Wyman took third a short distance ahead of a tight four-way fight for the position.
"It felt all right," Wyman said. "It was a pretty lonely race, just watching my pitboard to watch the gap between myself and the guys behind me. I was able to start off with these and make that gap to fourth and then about lap 4 these guys dropped the hammer. I wasn't able to match their pace so I settled into a rhythm. I'm just really happy to be back on the podium. It's been a really up-and-down season: DQ, win, crash out, and now to get on the box, I'll take that."
Fourth-place went to Josh Chisum Racing/Bartel's Harley-Davidson's Tyler O'Hara, who got a measure of revenge on Rapp's Suburban H-D teammate, Ben Carlson. Californian O'Hara crossed the stripe 0.046 seconds ahead of Carlson after the Wisconsin native had edged him for third in the previous two contests.
Thunder Roads Magazine's Ryan Kerr and Folsom H-D's Gage McAllister took close sixth and seventh-place finishes, respectively, with Chili Pepper Racing's Hayden Schultz, Trev Deeley Motorcycles' Darren James, and O'Hara's teammate, Josh Chisum, completing the day's top ten.
With four races down and four to go, title leader Eslick (95) now boasts an eleven-point advantage over second-ranked O'Hara (84) with Carlson (76) third another eight points back.
AMA Pro SuperBike
Cameron Beaubier became the first repeat pole winner of the 2014 AMA Pro SuperBike season today at the GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round. And the 21-year-old Californian did so in most impressive fashion, posting the quickest lap recorded around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca by an AMA Pro SuperBike since the Ben Spies/Mat Mladin era. The rider was locked into a tight duel with his decorated teammate, Josh Hayes, deep into the Qualifying 3 shootout, but ultimately opened up a separation of more than four-tenths-of-a-second with his jaw-dropping 1:24.019 lap in the waning moments.
Beaubier said, "It felt good and I felt good all throughout the session. I strung together some low-25s on what I felt was a little harder of a tire, so I felt good and that got me ready to throw the soft on during the ten-minute dash. I strung together some '24s and I felt really good. I think I'm ready for the race tomorrow. We'll go slot in with these guys and I think it'll be a good race."
Despite Beaubier's qualifying prowess, Hayes remains a strong contender for Sunday's win, where he'll look to stretch both his season and circuit win streak to four. The Mississippian is firmly in control of the championship race and another strong outing tomorrow would put Hayes in excellent position to scoop up a fourth career AMA Pro SuperBike crown at year's end.
"It was a pretty good session and it was pretty fun," Hayes said. "I kept seeing Cam's time on the board, and then I'd look on my timer and see I did a little bit better, then I'd come around and see he did a little better again. And then I saw a '24.0 and went, 'Uh-oh, I don't have that in me with this many laps on the tires.' I guess that's second today. I knew coming in that Cam was capable of doing it. I did the best laps I could. Overall, I've felt pretty relaxed all weekend and I feel good about being able to put in 23 solid laps in the race."
The works Yamaha YZF-R1s will be joined on the outside of Row 1 by the Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas. The Colombian made slight inroads on Saturday but still faces a significant gap in outright pace to the leading Yamahas heading into the 23-lap race.
Cardenas said, "I think the bike feels a little bit better than yesterday. We couldn't achieve what we wanted to, which is get down to the '24s, but the bike is feeling good and I am feeling good on the bike. The only problem is that these two guys are too fast right now. We have to look at the splits and see where we are losing out and try to improve for the race tomorrow."
His teammate, Kentuckian Roger Hayden, ended Q3 in fourth and will headline a second row that also features the KTM/HMC Racing RC8R of Chris Fillmore and the Ducati 1198 of TPL Squadra Corse's Jake Holden.
Second-ranked ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony starts just seventh, and will be joined alongside by Team AMSOIL Hero EBR's Cory West and Proto-Tech Spain Yamaha's Bernat Martinez.
Seven different manufacturers were represented in the 12-rider Q3 session, as third Yosh runner Chris Clark, BMW S1000RR-mounted Marcel Irnie (Mobibuff/Inrne Racing), and Brazilian Sebastiao Ferreira on the Porter Racing Kawasaki ZX-10 complete Row 4.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Jason DiSalvo cemented his early-career reputation as a qualifying master and the veteran showed his skill once again he won pole of the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at Laguna Seca. The Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time pilot was on fine form at the 2-238-mile circuit and won his first pole since 2012. His best lap was 1:26.771 in what is shaping up to be another ultracompetitive race.
"It was a great session," said the New Yorker. "First off, it feels great to be at a press conference, I think it's my first one of the year. This track really suits our bike and I really enjoy coming here every time. The Monterey Peninsula is so beautiful and being out in California is always nice. There were no dramas. We made some minor adjustments from yesterday that were good and we made some small adjustments during the session that were good. Everything has been really positive this weekend and the guys are all working really good and the spirits are high. We're just happy to get the pole position for Triumph and we can't wait for the race."
Points leader Jake Gagne was second, less than two tenths behind DiSalvo. Despite arm-pump surgery after Barber, the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull pilot made a big jump on Saturday.
"We definitely struggled yesterday and weren't as quick as we wanted to be," said Gagne. "We changed some major stuff going into this morning. I felt a lot better; I felt like I was riding pretty well. We're ready for the race. There are a lot of fast guys and it's going to be super close. It's going to be a battle."
JD Beach was third on the first Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha entry, squeezing Yamalube/Westby Racing's Dane Westby off the front row. Friday's fast man, Jake Lewis of Motosport.com/Meen Yamaha, was fifth. He topped Riders Discount Racing Triumph's Danny Eslick and Garrett Gerloff on the second Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha machine. Veteran Jake Zemke was eighth for GEICO Motorcycle Racing, ahead of GN Gonzalez Racing pilot Blake Young. Top Rookie Tomas Puerta was tenth on his RoadRace Factory/Red Bull machine.
In an intense 15-minute qualifying session on Saturday, Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) traded barbs with the competition for pole position. Among those swapping the lead for the top spot was ESM’s Ryan Dalziel in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b. At the end of the session, Dalziel settled for the second starting spot at 1:09.456 (127.453 mph), less than three-tenths behind the pole-winning car.
“All in all, this is a good qualifying result for us," stated Dalziel. "We definitely were hungry for pole. In final practice, we had a really good balance in the car. I’m a little disappointed; we need to go look at the timing and see where the No. 42 car was better than us. I feel like our car is 99 percent there; even at 100 percent, I’m not sure we had enough for pole. The Honda chassis is always very good when it comes to tire life. With a two-hour, 45-minute race here, if we have a good strategy and good pit stops from the crew, hopefully we can get the Tequila Patrón cars up front. We definitely feel this is our weekend to turn the season around. The No. 2 car seems strong too. Hopefully we’ll get both cars up front and go for that podium.
The Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda prototypes qualified second and fourth for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, the seventh round of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP).
The No. 1 Tequila Patrón team earned its second front-row starting position this year. In May, the team started second at the Detroit street circuit on Belle Isle. Scott Sharp will start tomorrow’s race for the No. 1 team and Dalziel will drive the second stint.
Johannes van Overbeek, co-driver of the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD, lapped the 2.459-mile, 10-turn permanent road course in 1:10.136 (126.218 mph), less than a half-second behind the pole position. Ed Brown will start the race for the No. 2 team from the fourth position and van Overbeek will drive second.
“The ESM Tequila Patrón Honda HPD felt really good in our fourth-place qualifying effort today," added van Overbeek. "I tried to get the most out of it. We weren’t able to simulate a qualifying run and that would have helped me as a driver because it is a whole different world on new tires and light fuel than it is in practice."
The weekend started strong for the Florida-based team. During Friday’s opening session, the two-car, Tequila Patrón-sponsored team was second and third. Traffic proved to be a bit of a hindrance in the second practice session and the team dropped to sixth and seventh on the sheets. During the lone practice on Saturday morning, Dalziel topped the charts and van Overbeek showed a strong run in fourth position.
The two-hour, 45-minute TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance is the seventh race of 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Green flag is 2:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 13.
Television coverage of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix starts at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
Machavern became the first Amateur class driver to win overall honors this season in his No. 07 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 fielded by Mitchum Motorsports. He beat Victor Gonzalez's No. 99 entry fielded by Change Racing and representing Lamborghini Carolinas to the by 8.860 seconds.
Rounding out the podium was Gonzalez's Change Racing teammate, championship leader Kevin Conway, in third place in the No. 29 car also representing Lamborghini Carolinas.
Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe driver Thomas Pichler was running second in the No. 1 Lamborghini Dallas entry fielded by Jota Corse when he suffered a flat left rear tire with one minute remaining, dropping him to a heartbreaking eighth place.
"It was a huge strategy race, and we knew that going in," Machavern said. "Everything seemed to work really well, so we're going to keep the same game plan for tomorrow and hope to be right back here."
Round 8 of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America is scheduled for 10:55 a.m. (ET) Sunday on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit. The 50-minute race will be streamed live at http://squadracorse.lamborghini.com/en/live-usa.
First-time Super Trofeo drivers Aaron Povoledo and Corey Lewis controlled the first part of the race from the pole until a pit stop violation at the driver's change pushed them back, as they ended up finishing seventh in the No. 33 Musante Motorsport entry representing Lamborghini Boston.
Machavern took the lead during that ill-fated pit stop by Povoledo/Lewis, losing it only for a lap when he made his mandatory 90-second stop. He regained the lead once Gonzalez pitted and led for the final 20 minutes of the 55-minute race.
"The first stint I was just conserving tires and running a pace where the leader could see me in his mirrors but not hard enough to run the tires off," Machavern said. "Then after the pit stop I was given the green light to push a little bit, but I guess the leaders had a challenging pit stop, so I jumped out to a huge lead and was able to just cruise the rest of the race."
The No. 80 Lamborghini Palm Beach Gallardo driven by Lee Carpentier and fielded by Mitchum Motorsports finished second in the Amateur class, followed by David Welch in the No. 88 car representing Lamborgini Vancouver and fielded by GMG Racing. Carpentier and and Welch finished fourth and fifth overall, respectively, as Amateur class drivers took three of the top five spots in the race.
This is only the second race weekend in the series for Machavern and first as a solo driver. He co-drove with Carpentier on June 27-29 at Watkins Glen International, picking up a third-place Amateur finish.
The two rounds at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park continue a busy stretch of action worldwide for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo championship, which continues to reach new levels of success at every round in Europe, North America and Asia.
The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America and Europe competed during the final weekend of June at Watkins Glen International and Circuit Paul Ricard, respectively. The next round of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe is July 25-26 at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. The Asian Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo championship resumes Aug. 30-31 atFuji Speedway in Oyama, Japan.
The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo car is the ultimate single-make race car and the only four-wheel drive GT racer in the world. The 570-horsepower, V10 Gallardo LP 570-4 features impressive technology such as paddle shift E-gear transmission, Öhlins race shocks, Brembo brakes, a carbon fiber aerodynamic package that includes a rear wing with 10 adjustable positions, MTA data acquisition, air jacks, center wheel locks and more.
Lamborghini and Blancpain are providing world-class hospitality this weekend for clients and guests of Lamborghini dealers in Montreal and Toronto. Guests also can participate in the IMSA Hot Lap Experience, high-speed rides around the Canadian Tire Motorsport circuit in a Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4.
The Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 is on display at Lamborghini Village at the circuit throughout the weekend.
RACE RESULTS: http://lam.bo/z5nJp
RACE REPORT PDF: http://lam.bo/z5qKM
ROUND 7 POST-RACE QUOTES:
DILLON MACHAVERN (Winner, First Amateur, No. 07): "It was a huge strategy race, and we knew that going in. The first stint I was just conserving tires and running a pace where the leader could see me in his mirrors but not hard enough to run the tires off. Then after the pit stop I was given the green light to push a little bit, but I guess the leaders had a challenging pit stop, so I jumped out to a huge lead and was able to just cruise the rest of the race. Everything seemed to work really well, so we're going to keep the same game plan for tomorrow and hope to be right back here."
VICTOR GONZALEZ JR. (Second, No. 99 Lamborghini Carolinas): "It's great to be here in Canada and again driving in the Super Trofeo series. The race was good. I thought I could a little bit better. We lost the balance of the car a little bit, but it's the driver's fault. I have to do a better job of dialing the car. The guys did a great job at Change Racing, and thanks to Lamborghini Carolinas. Great to be here and with the series."
KEVIN CONWAY (Third, No. 29 Lamborghini Carolinas): "We had some engine problems in qualifying, so we had to start really deep in the field. We had a good start and got in position but lost ABS at about lap four or five. So we were battling lack of ABS, which is very challenging on a fast track here like Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. I want to thank Eddie Littlefield and Robbie Benton, everybody at Change Racing. They did a great job fixing the car from yesterday and getting it ready. Still some problems, but we learned a lot and know what changes we need to make for tomorrow and hopefully come back a couple of steps higher."
LEE CARPENTIER (Second Amateur, No. 80 Lamborghini Palm Beach): "It's a tough race here at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It's a grueling track. It's an aero track, which fits this car perfectly. The Mitchum Motorsports-West Palm Beach Lamborghini was phenomenal; we had a car under us the entire time. We ended up P4 overall, second in class chasing P3 overall, but just not enough time. But it was a phenomenal run; my teammate took the overall win. And we're looking forward to tomorrow."
DAVID WELCH (Third Amateur, No. 88 Lamborghini Vancouver): "We took our time in the start, saved tires and were really right where we wanted to be. And we did our pit stop, and unfortunately the guys mistimed it and got a drive-through (penalty). So instead of first we got third, but the GMG guys were great. First podium in only my second race, so it's good. The track had a lot of marbles, but this is an awesome place to drive. Lots of fun. All the guys were good out there and behaved. It was awesome."
Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America - 2014 Calendar
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Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.
Founded in 1963, Automobili Lamborghini is headquartered in Sant'Agata Bolognese, in Northeastern Italy. The Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, which has made its world debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, is the successor to the iconic Gallardo and redefines the luxury super sports car driving experience with its innovative technology and outstanding performance. The Aventador LP 700-4, in Coupé and Roadster offerings, represents the reference point in the world of V12-powered, luxury super sports cars. With 129 dealerships worldwide, in half a century Lamborghini has created an uninterrupted series of extraordinary, exclusive cars that include the 350 GT, Miura, Espada, Countach, Diablo, Murciélago and several limited series like the Reventón, Sesto Elemento and Aventador J. The Veneno Coupé, the Egoista and the Veneno Roadster have been created to celebrate the brand's 50th anniversary year in 2013.
For more photos and videos, please visit media.lamborghini.com and
For more information on Automobili Lamborghini, please visit www.lamborghini.com.
Blancpain - Over 275 Years of Tradition in Motion
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.
From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past nine years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 32 new calibers.
Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver's watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.
For more information about Blancpain, please visit www.blancpain.com.
Founded in 1872, Pirelli is the world's fifth-largest tire manufacturer based on revenues. With a presence in over 160 countries, the company now has 22 tire manufacturing facilities on four continents and employs some 38,000 people.
Having been involved in motor racing since 1907, Pirelli has been confirmed as single tire manufacturer for Formula 1™ for the 2014-2016 championship seasons and for the World Superbike Championship. This is an important challenge in terms of technological innovation and is a key means of promoting the Pirelli brand.
In 2014, Pirelli underlines its status as the global tyre manufacturer with the biggest commitment to motorsport. In total, the Italian firm supplies around 150 different championships across the world, excluding Formula 1, both on the road and on the track. One of the most important engagements is the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo, supplied exclusively by Pirelli, which highlights the strong technical collaboration that the two Italian icons have shared since 1963.
(Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. Squadra Corse)
Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, did the race-weekend double by winning Round Eight of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, part of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Sebastian Landy, of Great Falls, Virginia, finished second, just off the rear bumper of Koch. Ara Malkhassian, of Houston, finished third.
Canadian teenager Jesse Lazare parried intense pressure from championship leader Colin Thompson over the closing laps to earn his first career Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama victory Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Lazare, 17, from Montreal, outran Thompson to the line by .173 of a second in the No. 31 Door Doctor/Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to win Round 10 of the season. He became the second-youngest overall winner in the 10-year history of the Porsche single-make series and the youngest Canadian driver to stand atop the podium.
"It was a long race," Lazare said. "I took out the lead early, and my plan was to get a good gap and maintain it. No mistakes, keep looking forward, and that's it - keep pushing. I love this track, been here many times. It was basically the first car track I ever raced on. I know the tricks, I know the spots to pass, and I know the spots I can get passed, and I had a great time."
|Platinum Masters podium finishers (from left): Jay Patel, Kasey Kuhlman, David Calvert-Jones|
Thompson, from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, padded his points lead to 152-138 over Angel Benitez Jr. with his second runner-up finish of the weekend in the No. 14 Kelly Moss/Porsche of Bucks County entry.
Benitez, from Valencia, Venezuela, finished third in the No. 05 Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport Porsche.Michael Lewis, from Laguna Beach, California, placed fourth in the No. 98Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian entry. Christina Nielsen, from Aarhus, Denmark, rounded out the top five in the No. 25 NGT Motorsport 911 GT3 Cup car.
Lazare started from the pole and led every lap. He maintained a steady lead of about one second over Benitez during the first half of the 45-minute race.
|Gold Cup podium finishers (from left): Michael Levitas, Jeff Mosing, Patrick-Otto Madsen|
But Benitez started to pour on the pressure late in the race as he and Lazare started to navigate lapped traffic. Benitez pulled to within .504 of a second with 13 minutes remaining, and the reduced pace due to traffic helped Thompson and Urry pull to within one second of Lazare, forming a four-way pack for the lead with 10 minutes left.
Benitez drove up to Lazare's bumper with seven minutes remaining, trailing by just .154 of a second. But he went wide in Turn 1 with about four minutes left, opening the door to second place for Thompson.
Urry also fell out of contention for victory with less than two minutes remaining with spin into the wall with less than two minutes remaining.
|Gold Masters podium finishers (from left): Michael Levitas, Jeff Mosing, Mark Llano|
The duel for the top step of the podium heated from a simmer to a boil between Lazare and Thompson on the final lap. Thompson looked inside and outside in a few of the corners on the challenging track, but Lazare remained unflappable all the way to the checkered.
Kasey Kuhlman, from Cincinnati, was the top finisher in the Platinum Masters (age 45 and older) class for the eighth time this season in the No. 15 Wright MotorsportsPorsche. Jay Patel was second in Platinum Masters in the No. 00 Dempsey Racing Porsche owned by actor andTUDOR United SportsCar Championshipdriver Patrick Dempsey, while David Calvert-Jones rounded out the Platinum Masters podium in the No. 12 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian entry.
Jeff Mosing, from Austin, Texas, completed a sweep of the Gold Cup (2010-13 model cars) and Gold Masters divisions with his victory in the No. 01 Topp Racing entry after a spirited battle for the entire race with Michael Levitas, who ended up second in Gold Cup and Gold Masters in the No. 35 TPC Racing Porsche.
|Yokohama Hard Charger Award winner Mark Llano|
Patrick-Otto Madsen finished third in Gold Cup in the No. 99 ANSA Motorsports 911 GT3 Cup car. Mark Llano finished third in Gold Masters in the No. 24 NGT Motorsports entry, his second podium finish of the weekend and his career. Llano also won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for finishing 18th overall after starting 26th.
Rounds 6, 11 and 12 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama will take place Aug. 9-10 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Round 6 was rained out May 24 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
ROUND 10 POST-RACE QUOTES:
JESSE LAZARE (No. 31 Door Doctor/Moorespeed, winner): "It was a long race. I took out the lead early, and my plan was to get a good gap and maintain it. No mistakes, keep looking forward, and that's it - keep pushing. I love this track, been here many times. It was basically the first car track I ever raced on. I know the tricks, I know the spots to pass, and I know the spots I can get passed, and I had a great time."
COLIN THOMPSON (No. 14 Kelly Moss/Porsche of Bucks County, second): "It was an unusual start, but it benefitted us. The front row was kind of all over the place, I guess head-battling each other. Angel (Benitez) took off a little more, and that, of course, was our line. Once we crossed the start-finish line, we all scattered, and I was able to grab three spots right off the bat, which is really difficult to do here and at any track, really. From there we just holding off Sloan (Urry) and hunting down Angel. There was a long stalemate in the middle of the race. Toward the end, Angel made a pretty big mistake going into (Turn) 1. He missed the apex, and I was able to scootch inside of him. From there I was just hunting down (Jesse) Lazare. I actually had no idea it was the last lap until the last two corners of the last lap. But Lazare had a really fast car. He was on his game, and he deserved that win."
ANGEL BENITEZ JR. (No. 05 Formula Motosport/Avid Motorsport, third): "I think we had a good pace at the start. Pretty much our tire pressure went too high at the end and the car started sliding on me in the last four laps. It was hard to try and keep the guys behind me. But that's racing. Sometimes you bet on something and it works out and sometimes it doesn't. We were expecting to have a longer race and that's just what happened. So we're happy to have the third place and still working for the championship."
KASEY KUHLMAN (No. 15 Wright Motorsports, first, Platinum Masters): "The Masters win feels really good today, but even more the sixth place overall. I hung with the lead pack and was closing on them in the end. I had the fastest lap of the race. It was a new lap race record for me and I'm really happy about that. The car today was awesome and I can't thank Wright Motorsports and the crew enough. It was a great weekend and I'm looking forward to Road America."
JAY PATEL (No. 00 Dempsey Racing, second, Platinum Masters): "It was a good start to the race. The team told me to stay low going into the second turn, and I stayed low and I got out in front of a couple of cars. A few got by me in (Turn) 3, but the goal was to stay focused and reel them back in. As the race progressed, that's what I did and worked on my technique and cornering ability of the car into each turn. I stuck with it and ended up here!"
DAVID CALVERT-JONES (No. 12 Competition Motorsports, third, Platinum Masters): "It was a tough race. The car was great. The guys from Competition Motorsports gave me a really good car after I crashed it badly in practice. The start was really hectic. I avoided some big contact, which was good. Two laps in, I got hit when we had that Safety Car. So I had to restart and chase them down. Caught up to the next group, I was running the same lap times as the leaders, so I was running really well and felt really comfortable in the car. I went to lay a pass on a guy going into (Turn) 2 side-by-side, and he just came down into me and spun me around. So I had to start again and chase them all down. But again a big thank you to everyone at Competition Motorsports for a great car and to Wheels Up, a great sponsor. I'm looking forward to Road America."
JEFF MOSING (No. 01 Topp Racing, first, Gold Cup, Gold Masters): "This has been a picture-perfect weekend so far. I'm really thanking my lucky stars to this point. Again I got a clean start and put some cars between me and (Michael) Levitas. There are really fast guys in this class, and I really don't want to mix it up with them. They ended up having to scruff while I just put my head down and put down good laps; that's all I did. But hats off to Todd and Paul at Topp Motorsports for getting the car upright for me."
MICHAEL LEVITAS (No. 35 TPC Racing, second, Gold Cup, Gold Masters): "Wow, what a race. Team TPC just handed me such a great car. I had so much to deliver. All I know is Patrick (-Otto Madsen) was giving me a great race, and he has been giving me great races all season long. And all the teams here, it wouldn't be any good without the great competitors. And I tell you what all I had to do was eat up the leader's time, but the Platinum guys got in the middle, and my throttle hung up. I knew (Jeff Mosing) had an issue because I saw him bobble. We were just trying to buy out each other's time off, so it was a great race."
PATRICK-OTTO MADSEN (No. 99 ANSA Motorsports, third, Gold Cup): "This weekend was especially tough for me because both Michael Levitas and Jeff Mosing both had a little more pace than I did, so I was really struggling to keep up with them. Levitas got me good, a little bump and little love tap into the sweeper there, so he got past me. But thinking championship, bringing her home in a second and third place in the weekend is pretty good, and I'm pretty happy about that. Special thanks to ANSA Motorsports and Jose Collado, my crew chief, for preparing an excellent car for me."
MARK LLANO (No. 24 NGT Motorsport, third, Gold Masters, Yokohama Hard Charger Award winner): "I have to tell you, it was an awesome morning. The competition is just insane. The car setup was just perfect, and the Yokohama tires were just like glue on the track. The more I pushed, it seemed like the more the tires were gripping. I just have to thank NGT for getting everything together and all the fans. I saw a bunch of veterans outside of Turn 5. They had an American flag and would put it in the air every time we came by. That just gave me more motivation. I'm very thankful for the series and for all those involved."
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama
The IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama enters its 10th season in North America as the one of Porsche's largest single-make Cup Challenge series in the world. The series produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in one of the world's most successful and iconic race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Racing is divided into two classes - Platinum Cup, featuring the new 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based in on the current seventh generation of the street car, and Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous version (2010-2013) of the race car. The series is the perfect platform for aspiring drivers to ascend to the highest levels of GT competition, such as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The series races at classic American road courses, providing thrills for drivers and fans.
The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) is the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the road-racing series resulting from the merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. IMSA also sanctions the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Roadracing World Action Fund Supplies Soft-Barriers to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for World Championship Weekend
International and American riders competing in this weekend’s GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round of eni FIM World Superbike Championship, and AMA Pro Racing support classes will be further protected by Airfence deployed by the Roadracing World Action Fund (RWAF).
“We’re pleased to provide soft-barriers to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for this weekend’s World Championship event,” said John Ulrich, founder and president of the Roadracing World Action Fund. “a total of 96 sections of RWAF-owned soft-barriers, about 2,880 linear feet, were shipped to Monterey for installation in time for the green flag to wave.”
The Airfence technology is an invaluable safety feature for motorcycle racers. It serves to alleviate potential incidents and allows riders to go all out in their pursuit of victories and championships.
The Roadracing World Action Fund is a charitable organization whose mission is to help prevent race track injuries and has deployed these barriers, known as Airfence, at road and dirt track events nationwide. The inflated barriers are positioned in front of walls and other trackside obstacles to reduce the force of impact in the event of a rider crash.
Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca said, “We are very grateful to the Roadracing World Action Fund for working with us to enhance rider safety at this event.”
Though the sun never quite poked through and light showers fell intermittently through the afternoon, seven race groups ran 30-minute timed races on Saturday at GingerMan Raceway for round seven of the SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour.
Sloan Urry drove away from the field Friday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to earn his first victory of the season in Round 9 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. Urry, from Park City, Utah, beat championship leader Colin Thompson to the checkered flag by 12.966 seconds on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit. It was the largest margin of victory this season in the series, one of 19 global Porsche one-make championships.
I'm just so happy right now," Urry said. "It's amazing to be at the top of the podium. We've been working so hard to get here. It's where you always want to be. Last year I had a couple of wins, so I knew I had it in me. It was just a matter of time for me and JDX to start clicking, and we're here now."
"It was an unexpected race," added Nielsen. "We weren't quite there with the car. It didn't quite fit my driving style, but overall we kept pushing because you never know what happens in racing, and today was our luck. It's always important to keep trying no matter what. That's what we did today. I finally had some luck. Lime Rock was my first podium this year, and I feel like it was fully deserved. I had the speed there, and it was nothing to do with luck. It was just our commitment that really showed through. But this time, we had a bit of luck, but we also didn't make any mistakes that cost us anything, and that's why we are on the podium today. It's great to have a second podium this year, and we got some good points for the championship."
Michael Schein, from New York, placed a season-best fourth in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports entry. Kasey Kuhlman, from Cincinnati, rounded out the top five in the No. 15 Wright Motorsports entry and was the leading Platinum Masters (age 45 and older) finisher for the seventh time this season.
"I didn't have what I thought, personally, what it took to run with the very front of the pack, but I was pretty quick and I could kind of hang on to the tail end," stated Kuhlman. "That's what I tried to do, just hang on, put in some consistent laps and not make any mistakes. You could see that others had misfortune, and I picked up three spots, so it ended up being a good points day for me. Good result, and I'm happy."
Urry started fourth and passed pole sitter Jesse Lazare for the lead between Turns 8 and 9 with 33 minutes remaining in the 45-minute race. He then gradually pulled away and cruised to the finish in the No. 20 JDX Racing Porsche, earning his third career victory in the series.
"It's interesting to see the outcomes when I've been to a track before," Lazare commented. "I'm happy to prove to myself that I can compete with these guys on more of an equal playing field. I've been able to use my experience that I have on this track from the past and bring it to this race. It feels nice to be upfront, and I'm happy for my sponsors because they're based out of Canada, garaga Door Doctor."
Thompson, from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, increased his championship lead to 12 points over second-place Angel Benitez Jr. with his sixth podium finish of the season in the No. 14 Kelly Moss/Porsche of Bucks County entry. He took over second place with 12 minutes remaining when Benitez served a drive-through penalty for earlier contact that shoved Lazare into the tire barrier in Turn 3.
"You can't complain about moving up five spots in any race, especially at a track like this one," stated Thompson. "We didn't have the fastest car out there, but we just ran a smart race. Others made big mistakes that cost them, and we just capitalized on everything we could. At the end of the day, it's all about the championship and points, and second place is solid points."
Lazare, from Montreal, continued after the incident with Lazare and finished 25th in the No. 31 Door Doctor/Moorespeed Porsche. Benitez, from Valencia, Venezuela, ended up sixth in the No. 05 Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport car.
David Calvert-Jones was the second finisher in Platinum Masters in the No. 12 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian entry.
"We had a pretty good start," Calvert-Jones added. "I was following Kasey Kuhlman around and being pretty tight with him, and I had Santiago Creel behind me. He tried to put a few moves on me early down the back straight, but I was able to pull away from him. I made one little mistake on lap five and spun out, and Creel got past me. Luckily I was able to reel him back in but just didn't have enough to get anyone else. I was doing the same lap times as the guys up front but was just too far back. Other than that one mistake I feel like I drove pretty well and am happy with the race. Thanks to Competition Motorsports, all the team and crew for giving me a good car and our great sponsor Wheels Up."
"From where I was, it was a clean race," said Putman. "It doesn't always happen that way, but it was a really nice race. There was a lot of traffic, a lot of nose-to-tail racing for a long time. There were a lot of cars running together, so sneaking out a pass was difficult. You had to wait for the guy in front of you to make a mistake. It was just solid, solid, hard driving the entire time."
"It's been an absolutely amazing day," added Mosing. "We've done really well in this series with the Porsche and we're actually on pole for the Conti race tomorrow. I really love this track. It used to be one of my top three tracks, but I guess I wouldn't do it service if at this point I didn't call it my favorite track. The race was good. I avoided the first turn incident that I have typically seen in the past and I think my opponents had to deal with it momentarily and dice it up. That allowed me to just hot lap and bring it home."
"I had a tough, tough race today," Madsen commented. "First of all, my cool suit didn't work. At the beginning, (Michael) Levitas got a tow on me on the backstretch there, took me on the outside and put me to third place. Unfortunately for him he had a broken throttle cable and pulled in. That put me back to second place. I drove my heart out to catch (Jeff) Mosing, but between the Platinum cars trying to get by and everything else, I lost some pace. It was a tough race,so I am happy to bring it in second place."
He was followed by Kristin Treager in the No. 52 Wright Motorsports entry.
"I had a fantastic start," stated an elated Treager. "That seems to be my strong point. I am super-excited about a podium finish. This is my first time at this track, and I love it. The high speed seems to suit me well. I like these fast, high-speed tracks, and I am pretty dang happy!"
Oscar Arroyo was the second-finishing Gold Masters driver in the No. 89 JDX Racing Porsche.
"It was a very tough race," stated a tired Arroyo. "This track is so fast. At the beginning, there were many accidents, and you need to be very smart in order to not crash. The (Turns) 5A and the 5B in the first lap is very crazy because you need to take care about everything. The rest of the race was very competitive. It's very hard to pass other competitors, but the track is great. The speed is marvelous. The cars are great, and everything was nice today."
Mark Llano earned his first career Gold Masters podium finish in the No. 24 NGT Motorsport entry.
"Unbelievable race," added Llano. "It was hot and it was tight, but it was just incredible, an incredible race. I am very excited to be able to get my first podium, especially at such a tough track like this. I do want to thank NGT and the crew for being with me from day one. They gave me an incredible car today, especially when you consider this is my backup car. I couldn't do it without them and the incredible people around me."
Jay Patel won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award, finishing 14th after starting 21st in the No. 00 Dempsey Racing Porsche.
"At the start of the race, I was focused on the cars in front of me. In Turn 1, there were a couple of cars that went off, and I decided to go to the inside of a car that spun in front of me," stated Patel. "After that, I saw a couple of cars battling and I got into a good battle with Jeff Mosing for a good while. Eventually I got by him, and the race just sort of came to me toward the end. I just have to stay aware of things that are happening in front of me. My team helps me out, keeping me informed and out of trouble, and when you can do that you can get good results."
The second 45-minute race of the weekend - Round 10 of the season -- will start at 10:10 a.m. Saturday. The race will be streamed live at FansChoice.TV, and live updates will be provided @IMSALive on Twitter.
This weekend the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge visit the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario, Canada for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance.
Saturday, July 12
The weekend kicks off today with the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge two-hour, 30-minute race streaming live on IMSA.com at 1:15 p.m. ET.
Qualifying - TUDOR United SportsCar Championship qualifying will be streamed live on IMSA.com beginning at 5:20 p.m. ET.
Sunday, July 13
GT Daytona, GT Le Mans and Prototype classes of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be in action on Sunday in a two hour and 45-minute race on the 2.45-mile circuit. The field takes the green flag at 2:05 p.m. ET live on FOX Sports 1.
Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, led Saturday’s Round Seven SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires race from start to finish, as part of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, completed the podium, in that order.