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
Nielsen Returns To Familiar Canadian Ground for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Competition
Christina Nielsen's 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama campaign is flying by, as she heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) for Rounds 9 and 10 of competition July 11-12 in Bowmanville, Ontario. Nielsen, 22, from Aarhus, Denmark, raced in May at CTMP - commonly known as Mosport - with the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin series, collecting a pair of top-10 finishes. Nielsen is in the midst of her first season of North American racing, and her return to CTMP this weekend will mark the first time this year she is coming to a track where she has previously raced.
"I find Mosport challenging, and therefore consider it important that we were here earlier this year," Nielsen said.
Nielsen most recently raced at Watkins Glen International, where she pulled double duty in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen endurance race. Nielsen found a distinct difference in the driving approach taken in a 45-minute timed GT3 Cup sprint race compared to an endurance race.
"For the TUDOR endurance race, you have different priorities," she said. "We push every lap, but it is not a sprint race. It is important to have good pit stops, consistent lap times and to keep the car on track. In contrast, with the 45-minute GT3 Cup USA races, you push in a different way and take more chances, especially at the beginning of the race."
Competition is extremely tight in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, and Nielsen knows anything could happen within the field of 29 racers at the 10-turn, 2.459-mile rollercoaster of a circuit at CTMP.
"Track time in practice before qualifications and the races will be important, but then again the other drivers have also had track time over the last few weeks," Nielsen said. "You can never predict anything in racing, but as usual, we aim high."
Driving for NGT Motorsport in the No. 25 Porsche 911 GT3 Platinum Cup car, Nielsen is sixth in championship standings with 69 points.
Practice at CTMP starts at 10 a.m. (ET) and 3:25 p.m. Thursday, July 10, with qualifying at 10:35 a.m. Friday, July 11. Two 45-minute races are scheduled, for 5:40 p.m. Friday, and 10:10 a.m. on Saturday. Visit FansChoice.TV to watch the races streamed live and get live race details on Twitter@IMSALive.
Kelly Moss Motorsports will be back on track looking to increase its championship lead in Rounds 9 and 10 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama July 10-12 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Since the beginning of the season, Kelly Moss Vice President Jeff Stone has focused on a mission for his team - winning a championship.
"We feel we are on track for both team and drivers' championships," said Assistant Competition Director Alex Stone. "We still have to remain focused and continue to push with the momentum we gained at Watkins Glen."
Kelly Moss leads the Platinum Cup Team Championship with 118 points, just one ahead of rival Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport. The team will need two clean races from Thompson to keep control of the championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, or Mosport, as it is commonly known.
"We have to be consistent, we have to score points, and we have to be very clean on the racetrack so we can go into Road America with a better points lead," Stone said. "We bring the same game with us no matter who or how many cars we are bringing."
Thompson, from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, leads the Drivers Championship, 116-112, over rival Angel Benitez Jr. in the Platinum Cup class.
Joining Kelly Moss and Thompson at the 2.459-mile, 11-turn circuit will be William "Wild Bill" Peluchiwski in the Gold Masters Championship.
Peluchiwski is fourth in the Gold Masters Championship, only one point behind third-place Jeff Mosing.
"We have an incredible crew of motivated and dedicated people. We have also been working very hard with our engineer and our drivers to develop a consistently quick car. We have come a long way since our first test with the 991, and every outing we continue to make progress with the team, the drivers and the car."
Qualifying for the GT3 Cup Challenge USA will begin at 10:35 a.m. (ET) Friday, July 11, with Round 9 following at 5:40 p.m. that afternoon. The second 45-minute race will begin at 10:10 a.m. Saturday, July 12.
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered By Mazda field will start its engines July 12-13 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) for Rounds 7 and 8 in the series championship. The only Canadian race on the 2014 schedule for the International Motor Sports Association(IMSA) Development Series will mark Alta Velocita Racing (AVR) driver/team owner Jerome Mee's first time on the historic 10-turn, 2.459-mile permanent road course.
"This will be my first time here, but the track looks like it's similar to Watkins Glen as far as being smooth, fast and very high speed," Mee said. "I've looked at the track, have my drivers' notes, and it looks like a lot of fun."
Mee is fresh off his first 2014 Lites 2 victory June 28 at Watkins Glen. He is focused on continuing to make improvements in the No. 95 AVR machine at CTMP, commonly known as Mosport.
"I tend to take things one step at a time," Mee said. "It was great to win, but frankly it's a new track, new day, new conditions and new everything. We're going to take the same exact approach, and that is to go into practice and diagnose the track, look at data and get the car set up the right way."
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites field will hit the pavement Wednesday, July 9 for a Promoter Test Day, which will give Mee more time to learn the circuit.
"It's signifigant that we have extra time," Mee said. "We have three 40-minute sessions, which is more than double the amount of time we had before qualifying at Watkins Glen. There are challenges with not having a lot of time, but when you have a lot of time it makes your expectations higher, and you want to be quicker when it gets to qualifying time."
Qualifications for Rounds 7 and 8 begin at 3:40 p.m. (ET) Friday, July 11. The green flag will drop for Race One's 30-minute sprint at 6:45 p.m. Saturday, July 12. Race Two's 45-minute event starts at 9:50 a.m. Sunday, July 13.
Road racing fans are in for a treat this weekend as the country's top riders will share the stage with their World Championship counterparts at the GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round, a combined AMA Pro Road Racing/FIM Superbike World Championship event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The 2014 AMA Pro SuperBike championship outlook has snapped into focus as the title fight begins its run down the homestretch. Despite losing his crown in 2013 and getting off to another rocky start early in 2014, three-time series champion Josh Hayes on the No. 4 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 has silenced any premature whispers that his era was coming to a close. While his primary rivals all stumbled when confronted with three tricky races in succession, the 39-year-old's unique combination of speed and experience allowed him to secure a commanding advantage with just five races remaining this season.
Hayes has just about every statistic going in his favor ahead of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca weekend. Now boasting a remarkable 45 career victories and 31 poles, the Mississippian comes to California boasting three straight victories on the season and three in a row at the fabled circuit.
In fact, as a result of the compacted schedule featuring just one AMA Pro SuperBike race, there is only one rider in the field with even a remote chance of stealing Hayes' title lead this weekend. And no, it's not perennial contender Roger Hayden on the No. 95 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000nor rookie phenom Cameron Beaubier and his No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1. The solitary racer within 30 points of Hayes at the moment is the ultimate championship dark horse, privateer David Anthony, pilot of theNo. 25 ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The Australian has been the revelation of 2014. Having reorganized his team to allow him the freedom to focus on his riding as opposed to the business aspects of running a top-flight independent effort, Anthony has been quick enough to keep the leading factory riders on their toes and has the consistency to make up ground whenever they falter.
Anthony earned the first AMA Pro SuperBike podium of his career with a runner-up result in the wet at Road America and then backed that up with another second-place ride in the extreme heat of Barber Motorsports Park. As a result, he's currently second in the points, albeit 29 down on the resurgent Hayes. While Anthony has garnered some well-deserved accolades as of late, he can't ease up now because the aforementioned Hayden and Beaubier are just three and six points back, respectively.
Hayden didn't get the big results he expected in Alabama and will be looking to make amends this weekend. The Yoshimura Suzuki ace has flashed exceptional speed in Monterey each of the last two seasons, even if the results haven't exactly been there, and he could be in position to get his title push back on track this time around.
Beaubier, meanwhile, is looking to regain his confidence after a few difficult outings that have hindered his hopes for a championship run as a rookie. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider has accomplished what no one since Mat Mladin has in demonstrating superior outright pace to teammate Hayes on multiple occasions. While his dazzling talent remains unquestioned, Beaubier has suffered from a handful of falls that have damaged both his title positioning and his psyche.
However, assuming he rediscovers his early season form, Beaubier could very well prove to be the one to beat this weekend. He scored the best result of his rookie AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike season in 2011 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a runner-up result and followed that up with three straight victories at the venue. Back on his home turf, the 21-year-old Californian could prove difficult to overcome - even for his legendary teammate.
Chris Clark on the No. 6 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000 is only five points behind Beaubier and enjoying a breakthrough season of his own. Having finished no worse than sixth all year, Clark climbed on the podium for the first time in his AMA Pro Road Racing career in Birmingham with a third place result at Barber.
Clark actually leads his heralded teammate, Martin Cardenas on theNo. 36 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000 by 15 points. However, the Colombian is coming off his best result of 2014 with a runner-up finish last time out in the Alabama heat.
Chris Fillmore aboard the No. 11 KTM/HMC Racing KTM RC8R, meanwhile, is still seeking that elusive first AMA Pro SuperBike podium for both himself and KTM. His bike expired late in Saturday's race in Alabama while solidly holding down a podium position. That heartbreak was reminiscent of the one endured last season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when Fillmore powered onto the start/finish straight in third position only to run short of fuel before he arrived at the checkered flag.
Cory West, pilot of the No. 13 Team AMSOIL Hero EBR 1190RS, and Trent Gibson on this No. 17 Seven Sports Kawasaki ZX-10 round out the contenders ranked in the top ten who are readying to do battle in this weekend's AMA Pro SuperBike contest. Both men enjoyed season-best results in last year's finale at the circuit, with West taking fourth and Gibson coming home ninth.
The AMA Pro SuperBike stars will hit the track for the first time at 11:25 a.m. local time (2:25 p.m. ET) on Friday. The class' 23-lap race is slated for a 4:20 p.m. (7:20 p.m.) start time on Sunday.
The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires heads north for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance
Every so often, it is a good idea to remember that all auto racing evolved from original horsepower, when a jockey and his mount raced around a small track in search of fame and glory. Nowadays, the power of man and animal combined has been almost entirely replaced by the roar of man and machine. So much so that many of the once great horse racing facilities have fallen into disrepair as the number of spectators have plummeted.
On Tuesday, July 1, the long anticipated racing dates agreement between the Stronach Group and Churchill Downs Inc. was finalized with the owners of Gulfstream Park and The Stronach Group officially taking over Calder’s race dates. A minimum of 190 race days will be run at Gulfstream each year with 40 days to be run at Calder. However, those 40 days will also be operated by Gulfstream Park.
Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association President, Phil Combest, stated, “This is a new era for Florida racing. The horsemen are looking forward to a much brighter future here in South Florida. Churchill Downs has long made it clear that horse racing is only a means to an end for them. They’re a casino company now. On the other hand, The Stronach Group and Gulfstream Park have demonstrated time and time again that their focus is on horse racing. On raising purses. On improving their facilities. On making it a better experience for all concerned. The horsemen are excited to be their partners and look forward to the journey ahead.”
I bet that most of the people reading this don't even realize what a large percentage of horse training takes place in Florida. South Florida alone is the winter home for many of the major horses who are featured in the triple crown, as well as many other smaller races held throughout the year.
Kent Stirling, Executive Director of the FHBPA, added, “For the owners and trainers that race in Florida, the final settlement of the Calder/Gulfstream dates war is definitely the best thing that could have happened. South Florida racing, in general, has suffered greatly during the long war and now the horsemen can expect higher purses, less anxiety and year round, quality racing at Gulfstream.”
In September, the world's of auto racing and horse racing will combine, if only for one day, as the Sunshine Stakes at Sunshine Meadows features a celebrity race with IMSA driver Tristan Nunez and former host of "Pass Time" Brett Wagner zooming around the course in a celebrity harness race.
The Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village features a one mile racetrack, a five-eighths mile training track and a half mile Euro strip. The facility has 18 barns that can house more than 650 horses, numerous show and jump rings and turnout paddocks. The facility is the winter home to world-renowned Standardbred trainers Jonas Czernyson, Chuck Sylvester and FrankAntonacci. World class trotters Maven, Spider Blue Chip and D’Orsay trained all winter at Sunshine Meadows. Also stabled at Sunshine Meadows are many riding horse trainers for English, Western and Dressage, who have shown successfully world-wide.
Any vendors wanting to reserve rental space during the two days of Sunshine Stakes racing, businesses wishing to advertise in the race program, sponsor races or host sponsorships can contact the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village by calling 562-281-7659 or emailing email@example.com. Their website is www.sunshinemeadows441.com.
Race fans are invited to attend Round 3 of the European Le Mans Series championship at the Red Bull Ring free of charge
The third round of the European Le Mans Series, the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring, will burst into life in Styria on Saturday, 19th July, with the ELMS' prototypes and GTs on track at 10h30 for the first free practice session. The second session will be at 15h00, while on Sunday, 20th July ELMS qualifying will kick off with the LMGTE and GTC classes on track for 20 minutes at 9h30. The LMP2 prototypes will follow at 10h00, with the start of Round 3 of the 2014 ELMS being given at 14h00.
Spectators who make the trip will also have the chance to witness two Auto GP Championship races during the weekend. Qualifying is on Saturday between 14h00 and 14h30, race one is on Sunday at 8h30 followed by race two at 11h40.
Of course fans of endurance racing will also be able to count on access to the paddock and pit lane for the now famous autograph session between 12h15 and 12h45, so don't miss the slot. The drivers will all be there for you and happy to see you.
First known as Österreichring or the Spielberg Circuit, the Red Bull Ring was inaugurated back in 1969. It was the home of the Austrian Grand Prix from 1970 to 1987 and then, under the name of the A1 Ring, it again welcomed Formula 1 Grands Prix from 1996 until 2003.
Subsequently bought by Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, the circuit was rebuilt and renamed Red Bull Ring before re-opening its doors for racing on 15th May 2011. It has become the major place to be for motorsport in Austria and its neighboring countries.
2014 has seen the return of Formula 1 to the Austrian circuit which, in June, hosted the eighth Grand Prix of the F1 World Championship season under the wondrous gaze of thousands of spectators who'd come to learn about or to rediscover the area.
The Red Bull Ring is located near the small town of Spielberg, which has some 5,000 inhabitants, in the Styrian mountains between Zeltweg and Knittelfeld.
The 4.32 km track includes nine corners (2 left-hand and 7 right-hand) and the width of the circuit is between 12 to 13 metres. Located 660 metres above sea level, it offers competitors gradient changes of 9.3% downhill and 12% uphill – definitely enough to guarantee spectators an exciting and almost certainly hotly contested event.
Access to the circuit for the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring will be free for all, children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult.
Over the fourth of July weekend, Super Boat International crowned 7 winners in the fleet of 41 boats for the running of the 30th Annual Suncoast Superboat Grand Prix. All the class winners included Two Cruel (P4), Black Pearl (P3), The Hulk (Superstock), Sun Print (Superboat Vee), Team STIHL (Superboat), Team Instigator (Superboat Extreme) and Miss GEICO (Superboat Unlimited).
This year’s event was a milestone for the City of Sarasota and Super Boat International (SBI). In its 30thyear, Super Boat still wows the crowd with one of the biggest holiday parades in the State of Florida and the Sunday finale of the world’s fastest offshore race boats. Suncoast Children’s Charities continues to raise record amounts and SBI delivers one of the largest professional boat races in the United States.
President of SBI, John Carbonell, expands on the success of the event, “This was an all around group effort for another successful event. From the local group and volunteers, to our staff and the race teams that put on a great show, it was just a terrific weekend. Two of our larger teams, Team Envy and Spirit of Qatar, showed their commitment by bringing all their equipment and their largest boats to the event and they didn’t even race.” Their choice would have been to race; but for new equipment and long lead-times on parts, their teams and equipment were not quite ready to run safe and competitive races. Chris Cox, owner of Team Envy commented, “ I just wanted my team to have fun, even knowing we weren’t going to race. Also, we wanted to show our commitment to SBI and the wonderful Sarasota people for their efforts.” The Spirit of Qatar was committed to doing the same, knowing their engine package would not be ready for race day. It’s teams like those and the competing teams that showcase the true professionalism of Superboat racers.
Team Cleveland Construction experienced an unfortunate accident with a rollover in turn one early in the race. The quick response of the Super Boat rescue team assisted the racers on-scene and, fortunately, both driver and throttleman were uninjured.
Each class of racing saw some very competitive action on the course. The Superboat class with 7 entries is always a very close battle with Team Broadco and WHM Motorsports on the heels of Team STIHL all race long. The Superboat Stock class, another class with 7 entries that always keeps the fans on their feet, has seen The Hulk rise to the top with two wins after three races.
The next race on the Super Boat circuit is the 6th Annual Great Lakes Superboat Grand Prix, Aug 1st– 3rd. Join us in Michigan City, IN and, if you cannot make it, watch it live online at http://new.livestream.com/sbi/michigancity2014.
Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International, Inc. (CSBI:PK), will auction serial #1 of the Barrett-Jackson Edition Shelby GT at this years Barrett-Jackson Reno-Tahoe auction, taking place from July 31 Aug 2 in Reno, Nevada. The convertible muscle car, clad in black with red stripes, is slated to be sold before an international audience on Aug. 1 (Lot #725). This 2008 model year program was created by Shelby American, Barrett-Jackson and Ford Motor Company; production was limited to 100 badged and serial numbered cars.
This convertible was the first prototype for the Barrett-Jackson series Ford Shelby GT, said Joe Conway, CEO of Shelby American and co-CEO of Shelby International, Inc. This unique GT is a celebration of the collaborative endeavors between Shelby American, Barrett-Jackson and Ford Motor Company. Were especially excited about auctioning serial #1 at the very auction that inspired its creation.
The Barrett-Jackson edition Ford Shelby GT comes equipped with a small block 4.6 liter Ford Mustang GT engine that is enhanced to 319HP with 330 lb. per feet of torque. The car also includes an upgraded suspension, featuring special springs, dampers, sway bars and 3.55 to 1 gear ratio rear end. Additionally, this model features a Hurst shifter, hood scoop, hood pins, side scoops, special badging, a billet grill with Mustang pony, light bars on the convertibles and a Shaker 1000 stereo system.
The 100 Shelby GT Barrett-Jackson Mustangs were the only GTs offered in all black with red stripes in the 2008 model year, said Shelby American Executive Vice President of Operations Gary Davis. This particular car is the first of only 10 convertibles with a manual transmission. Its a rare, exceptional muscle car for the true collector and enthusiast.
The Barrett-Jackson edition Ford Shelby GT cars are the most exclusive limited production Shelby cars built to date. Available in both coupe and convertible body styles, the 2008 Barrett-Jackson Shelby GTs were sold through Arizona Region Ford dealers. The purchase price of each car included a $250 donation to the Carroll Shelby Childrens Foundation.
On Wednesday, July 9, E.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi topped the timesheets for a second time at Donington Park during the third day of official pre-season testing for the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship. In dry conditions, the 25-year-old Swiss racer posted a 1:31.910s early in the afternoon session using the full GP circuit.
“Today has been good and very productive but it’s not about trying to set the fastest time, it’s about getting a better understanding of the car and the different mapping settings,” said Buemi. “The car has been reliable all day and the team have done a good job. It’s great to be in a car that you can rely on and know you can push when you need to. We still have a few issues to work on but overall it was a productive session.”
His time narrowly beat out Lucas di Grassi’s best time from last week’s two-day test with the Abt driver ending the day third overall. Ex-Formula 1 driver Jerome d’Ambrosio finished second with the Belgian taking advantage of being able to test both China Racing cars.
By the halfway point it was Di Grassi who led the way before Buemi lowered the benchmark beating his previous best lap by over a second and ending the day the only driver to break into the 1:31s. Venturi’s Stephane Sarrazin, also using two cars due to an absent Nick Heidfeld, finished fourth ahead of Virgin Racing’s Jaime Alguersuari who only ran in the afternoon stint with team-mate Sam Bird finishing eighth from his morning run.
Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) and Mahindra’s Racing Bruno Senna finished sixth and seventh respectively with Audi Sport Abt’s Daniel Abt and Jarno Trulli (Trulli) rounding out the top 10.
Trulli’s team-mate Michela Cerruti also enjoyed positive running to finish 13th with the Italian saying: “It's been much better. I’ve done a few laps and can understand a lot more about the tyres and the brakes and how to warm them up. I'm happy with the work we did today. We didn't have any special problems, the next goal is to concentrate on performance.”
Testing, which remains free to members of the public, continues tomorrow where rain is expected all day. For more information on Formula E visit www.fiaformulae.com.
FIA Formula E Championship – Day 3, Donington Park – Test results (Combined times):
1. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, 1:31.910s
2. Jerome d’Ambrosio, China Racing, 1:32.035s
3. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, 1:32.260s
4. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, 1:32.462s
5. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, 1:32.495s
6. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, 1:32.671s
7. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, 1:32.809s
8. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, 1:32.858s
9. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, 1:32.875
10. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, 1:33.165s
11. Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, 1:33.844s
12. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, 1:34.249s
13. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, 1:34.538s
14. Scott Speed, Andretti Autosport, 1:34.871s
15. Mike Conway, Dragon Racing, 1:35.643s
16. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, 1:35.936s
17. Fabio Leimer, Amlin Aguri, 1:36.184s
18. Franck Montagny, Andretti Autosport, 1:39.568s