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
Australian Top Fuel rookie Richie Crampton may not have any family ties to Brainerd International Raceway, but this weekend’s 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals feels very much like a hometown race.
Having the Lucas Oil name attached to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event makes the race a big deal for Crampton, who has already piloted his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster to one win in his first Top Fuel season. The incentive to do well is certainly there for Crampton for that reason, but also to enter the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship on a good note.
Currently sitting ninth in points, Crampton couldn’t come up with a better scenario to enter the upcoming Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and the Countdown than a victory this weekend in Brainerd.
“It's a hometown feel for everyone at Morgan Lucas Racing,” Crampton said. “Brainerd is a pretty special event for Lucas Oil and the Lucas family, and we always have a great time. It’s a big event to do well at and build some momentum for the Countdown. We just need to stay consistent and do well every run so we can gather all the information we can for Sunday. The way (crew chief) Aaron Brooks has the car running right now, it's fun to go to every race.”
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. The race also serves as the 17th of 24 races during the 2014 season and is the penultimate stop in the regular season.
Crampton, who picked up his first career victory earlier at Englishtown, is one of the frontrunners for the Auto Club Road to the Future Award that goes to NHRA’s Rookie of the Year, but at the moment he is more concerned with getting ready for his first championship chase.
That starts with doing well in Brainerd coming off the heels of his first NHRA Western Swing where Crampton earned round victories at each of the three races, including a semifinal appearance in Sonoma.
“Our GEICO team did a fantastic job on the Western Swing,” Crampton said. “The car strung together five good runs in a row in Seattle. I'd like to continue down that path of consistency and making run after run and having good information to fall back on for race day. Aaron and the GEICO team are doing the right things and things are looking like they are starting to fall into place for the last part of the season.”
That gives Crampton confidence that he can compete against anyone in the loaded Top Fuel field that is headed by points leader Doug Kalitta, who won the most recent event in Seattle.
Other marquee challengers include Massey, Tony Schumacher, who leads active Top Fuel drivers with three wins at Brainerd, Antron Brown, Brittany Force, J.R. Todd, Khalid alBalooshi, and category veteran Steve Torrence. Crampton has a 34-point lead over 10th-place Todd and holds a 162-point advantage over Bob Vandergriff, who is currently in 11th.
Crampton is also within striking distance of several drivers in front of him, but his focus remains on his own performance.
“We figure if we run well enough, the numbers will take care of themselves,” Crampton said. “We're just focused on stringing together a lot of consistent runs, like we did in Seattle, and trying to go rounds on race day. We can only control what we do with our race car, and not what's going on around us with the other cars in the top 10. If we can get our car running like we know it can, we'll make our way up a little higher in the top 10 for the beginning of the Countdown.”
As far as the pressure that comes along with a championship chase in Top Fuel, Crampton is ready for that. The rookie jitters are long gone and with a talented and experienced team surrounding him, Crampton is more than prepared for a successful stretch run in his debut season.
“The mindset of being a rookie going into races went away quite some time ago for me,” Crampton said. “I'm excited to get to each new race, do well, try to compete and go win rounds. I think I'm in a good place and am really excited to finish out the year well and finish in a good position in the top 10 in my rookie year.”
In Funny Car, Capps took home the victory in Brainerd a year ago, marking his fourth win at the track. But no one owns Brainerd like 16-time and reigning world champion John Force, who has 11 wins at the facility and won the most recent event in Seattle. Both will be challenged from an ultra-competitive Funny Car class that also features Tommy Johnson Jr., points leader Robert Hight, 1992 Brainerd winner Cruz Pedregon, Matt Hagan, Sonoma winner Courtney Force, Tim Wilkerson, Del Worsham and two-time season winner Alexis DeJoria.
Reigning Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin has four wins in Brainerd and has two wins this season. Native Minnesotan Greg Anderson recently moved into the top 10 and is seeking his fourth Brainerd victory. Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens, who has four wins this season, has one career victory at the track while other top contenders are Allen Johnson, Dave Connolly, Jason Line, Vincent Nobile, Shane Gray, Jonathan Gray, V Gaines and Chris McGaha.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
The event will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, Aug. 15, with sessions at 3 and 5:30 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Aug. 16, at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 17. To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call Brainerd International Raceway at (866) 444-4455 or visit www.brainerdraceway.com.
Following a strong run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the new LFR Chassis, Rob Fuller and team are excited to return to Thompson Speedway for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) race on August 13.
Todd Szegedy, 2003 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion, will once again drive for Rob Fuller Motorsports. Szegedy has 18 career wins and 10 pole positions in the NWMT including three career victories at Thompson Speedway.
“I like Thompson because of the higher speeds and it’s usually pretty good racing,” said Szegedy. “There’s a good outside and bottom groove and the groove changes while you’re racing so it adds some thinking and strategy. It’s a challenging track and requires good horsepower and good handling.”
“Track position, staying up front, and qualifying well will be the keys to winning,” continued Szegedy. “Also, having a good pit stop and staying out of trouble are important as well.”
The team will run the same LFR Chassis as the Loudon race in July, where the No. 15 ran in the Top-4 all day until encountering mechanical issues at the end of the race.
“The limited practice time with a new chassis will be a challenge for sure,” said team owner, Rob Fuller. “We will be running a basic set up for the race and will test the following day to finalize our LFR set up to bring back for the October race. After how we ran at Loudon, I honestly believe we will pull off a win the next few races.”
Thyroid cancer survivor and 15-40 Connection spokesperson Stephanie Corliss will join the team as an honorary crewmember. 15-40 Connection is a non-profit organization that has partnered with Rob Fuller Motorsports to raise awareness of cancer symptoms and the obstacles teens and young adults face to diagnose cancer at earlier stages. A photo of Stephanie will be featured on the decklid of the No. 15 during the Thompson Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 20) events.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, hit the home stretch last Saturday with the 10th round of the 2014 season from legendary Unadilla. The Red Bull Unadilla National is known for being one of the toughest tests on the schedule and after a pair of motos in both the 450 and 250 Classes, two previous winners at the track returned to the top of the podium - Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey and Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel. Dungey was challenged on his path to victory, while Pourcel was no doubt the class of the 250cc field.
Through partnerships with series sponsors, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will recognize the riders who achieve the series' specialty awards all summer long. Each week, MX Sports Pro Racing will recognize the riders who are able to lay claim to the Oakley Bomb Fastest Lap Program, the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award in each moto, and the Ricky Carmichael Hard Charger Award throughout the 2014 season.
The Oakley Bomb Fastest Lap Program is designed to present a unique challenge for the 2014 season, providing a different twist by recognizing the rider who sets the fastest lap of practice in both the 250 and 450 Classes. Each rider will receive special Oakley Bomb trophy, specially designed by the brand.As the season wears on, the total number of Oakley Bomb awards a rider receives will be tallied into a final season total. The competitor with the most awards at season's end will be presented with an Elite Oakley Time Bomb II Swiss Automatic Watch.
Trey Canard earned his second Oakley Bomb Award of the season at Unadilla with the fastest lap of the timed qualifying sessions. (Photo) Matt Rice
In the 450 Class, Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard earned his second Oakley Bomb Award of the season on a day in which he was able to break through for the first moto win of his career. Canard posted a time of 2:14.313 to put nearly a second between he and second place, GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac.
Pourcel's dominant afternoon began after he earned his eighth Oakley Bomb Award in 10 rounds. The Frenchman already locked in the Elite Oakley Time Bomb II Swiss Automatic Watch by setting the most fast laps this season, and that trend continued with a 2:14.349, edging out Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin by just a tenth of a second.
Christophe Pourcel earned his eighth Oakley Bomb of the season at Unadilla. (Photo) Matt Rice
Pourcel carried the momentum right into the motos, where he continued to prove he's also the most formidable starter in the 250 Class.
The Motosport.com Holeshot Award is brand new to Lucas Oil Pro Motocross this season and it awards $500 to the rider who gets the holeshot of each moto - in both the 450 Class and 250 Class - at every round of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. A total of $2,000 will be up for grabs at each event between the two classes, thanks to Motosport.com.
Christophe Pourcel (377) swept both MotoSport.com Holeshot Awards en route to his first
overall win of the season. (Photo) Simon Cudby / Racer X
Pourcel had swept the Motosport.com Holeshot Awards for the past two rounds leading into Unadilla and he was able to duplicate that effort for a third time, putting his Yamaha at the front of the field each time the gate dropped. He now has a six-moto holeshot streak and has collected $3,000 in prize money over that span. In total, Pourcel boasts a series-leading nine holeshots in 2014. At Unadilla, those stellar starts ultimately proved to be the defining factor in his winning effort, going 1-2 on the afternoon.
The 450 Class was also a showcase for Yamaha. Much like Pourcel, Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX's Justin Brayton has been impressive with his starting abilities of late and went on to sweep the Motosport.com Holeshot Awards for the second straight round at Unadilla, to give him four straight and $2,000 of bonus money. Brayton parlayed those starts into his best outing of the season, finishing fifth overall after 6-7 moto results. Brayton now has five holeshots since returning to action from an injury.
Toyota/JGRMX/Yamaha's Justin Brayton (10) and Phil Nicoletti (38) have been impressive
with their starting abilities this season. (Photo) Simon Cudby / Racer X
The RC Hard Charger Award is entering its sixth season in 2014. Named after Ricky Carmichael, the most winning motocross rider of all time, the award recognizes the one competitor at each of the 12 rounds of the championship who overtakes the highest number of his fellow racers in any of the four championship motos between the 250 and 450 Classes.The award is a testament to "The Greatest of All Time" or "The GOAT" and his never-give-up attitude over the span of a career that warranted 10 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross titles and 102 wins - two feats that will likely never be duplicated. All recipients of the RC Hard Charger Award are given a custom-designed trophy.
The truly challenging conditions at Unadilla ultimately means making passes is also a lot more challenging, so a good start is paramount. On Saturday, one rider in the 450 Class and another in the 250 Class proved they had the ability to fight their way forward. In the 450 Class privateer Cade Clason rode his Gurrnaid Energy/AG Motorsports Honda through the pack, battling his way from a 39th-place start to pass 17 riders and finish 22nd. In the 250 Class, recent amateur graduate Luke Renzland fought for a pair of finishes in the points in his pro debut for Cycle Trader/Rock River Yamaha. Renzland proved his resiliency in his very first pro moto, overcoming a 35th-place start to also pass 17 riders and finish 18th.
In his pro debut, Luke Renzland overcame a first turn crash to pass 17 riders en route to
his first RC Hard Charger Award. (Photo) Simon Cudby / Racer X
2014 Specialty Award Winners
Oakley Fastest Lap Program
Glen Helen - Ryan Dungey
Hangtown - Ken Roczen
Thunder Valley - Trey Canard
High Point - Ken Roczen
Muddy Creek - Eli Tomac
Red Bud - Ken Roczen
Budds Creek - James Stewart
Spring Creek - Ken Roczen
Washougal - Ryan Dungey
Unadilla - Trey Canard
Glen Helen - Christophe Pourcel
Hangtown - Christophe Pourcel
Thunder Valley - Christophe Pourcel
High Point - Jeremy Martin
Muddy Creek - Christophe Pourcel
Red Bud - Christophe Pourcel
Budds Creek - Christophe Pourcel
Spring Creek - Christophe Pourcel
Washougal - Marvin Musquin
Unadilla - Christophe Pourcel
Motosport.com Holeshot Award
Moto 1 - Josh Grant
Moto 2 - Ken Roczen
Moto 1 - Ryan Dungey
Moto 2 - Jake Weimer
Moto 1 - Josh Grant
Moto 2 - Trey Canard
Moto 1 - Chad Reed
Moto 2 - Chad Reed
Moto 1 - Eli Tomac
Moto 2 - Ryan Dungey
Moto 1 - Ryan Dungey
Moto 2 - Ken Roczen
Moto 1 - Justin Brayton
Moto 2 - Ryan Dungey
Moto 1 - Ryan Dungey
Moto 2 - Eli Tomac
Moto 1 - Justin Brayton
Moto 2 - Justin Brayton
Moto 1 - Justin Brayton
Moto 2 - Justin Brayton
Moto 1 - Jeremy Martin
Moto 2 - Jeremy Martin
Moto 1 - Zach Bell
Moto 2 - Jeremy Martin
Moto 1 - Jessy Nelson
Moto 2 - Zach Bell
Moto 1 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 2 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 1 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 2 - Justin Bogle
Moto 1 - Matt Biscegila
Moto 2 - Joey Savatgy
Moto 1 - Justin Bogle
Moto 2 - Jeremy Martin
Moto 1 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 2 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 1 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 2 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 1 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 2 - Christophe Pourcel
RC Hard Charger Award
Glen Helen - Josh Grant (+22)
Hangtown - Andrew Short (+24)
Thunder Valley - Fredrik Noren (+21)
High Point - Shane Sewell & Zack Williams (+14)
Muddy Creek - Josh Grant (+29)
Red Bud - Fredrick Noren & Joey Savatgy (+21)
Budds Creek - Dean Wilson (+21)
Spring Creek - Jason Anderson (+25)
Washougal - Tevin Tapia (+18)
Unadilla - Cade Clason & Luke Renzland (+17)
MX Sports Pro Racing
MX Sports Pro Racing manages and produces the world's most prestigious professional motocross series - the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The industry leader in off road power sport event production and management, its mission is to showcase the sport of professional motocross competition at events throughout the United States. Through its various racing properties, partnerships and affiliates, MX Sports Pro Racing organizes events for thousands of action sports athletes each year and attracts millions of motorsports spectators. Visitwww.mxsportsproracing.com.
Alli Sports is a media, event and branded content company that specializes in action, adventure, and adrenaline based sports. Alli Properties include the Dew Tour, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the Red Bull Signature Series and World of Adventure Sports presented by Go Pro. Alli Sports is a division of the NBC Sports Group. More information can be found at www.Allisports.com.
AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
Lucas Oil Products
Based in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products, Inc is the world leader of High Performance Lubricants and Problem Solving Additives and produces and markets 272 unique formulations in thirty four countries around the globe and is growing country by country, market by market every year. Through innovative product research and development, along with progressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top-selling additive line in the American truck-stop industry. Lucas Oil is involved in an array of motorsports sponsorships, including the "Official Motor Oil of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship." Visit: www.lucasoil.com.
MAVTV is a television network with its roots deep in the automotive world. With an unparalleled line-up of motorsports events and exclusive automotive reality shows, MAVTV is the answer for motor-heads from all walks of life. But MAVTV is much more than a motorsports destination, with original action/adventure programming, live MMA and an unbelievable library of blockbuster movies - MAVTV is a network the whole family can enjoy. A network by the people and for the people, made in America and American Real. Visit: www.mavtv.com.
(Lucas Oil Pro Motocross PR)
Feld Motor Sports® today unveiled the 2014 Monster Energy Cup track design that is inspired by five time Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael. The Monster Energy Cup will be held at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday, October 18, and will feature the world’s top riders.
The uniquely designed Monster Energy Cup hybrid track incorporates highly technical elements from both supercross and motocross through the use of over 10,000 cubic yards of dirt. The vision was to challenge the world’s best racers by amplifying traditional track features seen in supercross and motocross. Taking off from the longest start in supercross history, the riders will leave the gate on an inclined start before they split apart and race into the 180 degree bowl turns. This unique start will be 200 yards in length and will demand speeds that will exceed 70 miles per hour.
“This year’s track design is unlike anything I have ever seen in my career,” said Carmichael. “It’s definitely going to be exciting and challenging for everyone. We started with a great foundation and have an epic final product.”
“Just when you think the Monster Energy Cup track design couldn’t get any more interesting, [Ricky] Carmichael finds a way to make it even more challenging,” said Ryan Dungey. “The track requires the perfect blend of persistence and aggressiveness. Bike setup is also key on this track. And you can’t forget about the Joker Lane, which can be your worst enemy, especially if you forget to go through it.”
Racers will also be treated to a massive sand roller section, a technical rhythm lane and the devious joker lane, which will be longer than what the racers are used to. Additionally, the Monster Energy Cup track will feature the AMSOIL Arch, which is a large, 150’ sweeper turn so massive that it will extend into the grandstands.
“It will be cool to see these guys take the AMSOIL Arch and then come down into massive sand rollers,” added Carmichael. “These sections require a lot of technical maneuvering, so the racers definitely need to be prepared both mentally and physically.”
The Monster Energy Cup posts a $250,000 purse with the winner walking away with a $100,000 check, and any rider that wins all three Main Events will take home $1 million.
Tickets for the 2014 Monster Energy Cup can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office, UNLVtickets outlets, online at www.UNLVtickets.com,www.MonsterEnergyCup.com, or by phone at (702) 739-FANS. Tickets will be available at the Sam Boyd Stadium Box Office on the day of the event only.
Formula E has completed two full event simulations as the world’s first all-electric single-seater championship gears up for its first race in Beijing on September 13.
Both events took place at Leicestershire’s Donington Park, where a temporary pitlane and pitboxes were assembled to mimic those that will be in place at the street circuits the series will visit. Accreditation procedures, operational and IT infrastructures and even television broadcasts were also meticulously tested.
During the second simulation, for the first time the 10 teams ran all four of their cars as the two non-qualifying sessions, qualifying and an endurance test were completed to the schedule that will take place at the races.
This meant that all of the teams and drivers had the opportunity to simulate the unique car change pitstops – and at the second simulation – a full standing start.
While a number of issues were encountered, which was the reason for running the simulation, overall the events were considered to be a success.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “Putting on a major sporting event in the heart of cities around the world is a massive undertaking and requires careful preparation. We want the Formula E Beijing ePrix to a fantastic spectacle, which is why we’re leaving nothing to chance by rigorously testing all the systems beforehand. Overall we’re very pleased with how things went.”
Organisers have also revealed the raceday timetable for each Formula E event, which takes place all in one day. The 10 teams and 20 drivers will have two non-qualifying sessions in the morning – lasting 45 minutes and 30 minutes - followed by a qualifying session split into four groups of five cars with the order selected at random beforehand. The race itself will last approximately 60 minutes with the race distance (exact number of laps) determined on the day.
The final Formula E pre-season test takes place at Donington Park on August 19 with free admission to the public. Some 4000 fans have already pre-registered their interest for the last opportunity to see the cars and drivers before the season opener.
For more information on Formula E visit www.fiaformulae.com. To register for the final Formula E test click here: http://www.donington-park.co.uk/events/formula-e-testing/2014/08/19/fia-formula-e-official-test/
FIA Formula E Championship – Raceday timetable:
08:15 - 09:00 Non qualifying practice 1
10:30 – 11:00 Non qualifying practice 2
12:00 - 12:10 Qualifying group 1
12:15 – 12:25 Qualifying group 2
12:30 – 12:40 Qualifying group 3
12:45 – 12:55 Qualifying group 4
16:00 Race (laps depended on circuit)
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) returns to Circuit of The Americas (COTA) for the annual U.S. Vintage Racing National Championship, Oct. 10-12. Vintage cars from the early 20th century will hit the pavement for three days of exciting on-track racing, live music and fireworks. Tickets go on sale Friday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. CDT, with discounts available for students, military members and large groups.
3-Day Ticket Packages
The U.S. Vintage National Championship will feature approximately 600 vintage race cars from around the globe, some dating back to as early as 1931. Each of the 12 classes will race for the coveted Vintage Racing National Championship title on the full 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit, and 35 different class winners will be awarded. Qualifying sessions will take place on Friday (Oct. 10) and Saturday (Oct. 11), with racing set for both Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 12).
Fans will get to see over 30 historic Trans-Am cars competing at COTA for the first time, like the original Boss 302 Mustangs, Camaro Z-28s, Plymouth Barracudas, Dodge Challengers and AMC Javelins. American racing legends Dan Gurney, Sam Posey, Mark Donohue, Peter Revson, and Parnelli Jones, drove these during what was known as the “factory wars” in the late 1960s and early 70s.
“We offer some of the most unique, world-class motorsports events at Circuit of The Americas, and we want to make it easy and convenient for fans to attend,” said Circuit Chief Marketing Officer Dominic Iacono. “By offering discounts for students, military and large groups, we hope to give everyone a chance to experience our incredible venue.”
Tickets, premium packages, parking, and RV spots for the U.S. Vintage Racing National Championships will be available for purchase athttp://circuitoftheamericas.com/vintage, Friday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. Three-day passes are first come first served for general admission areas. For information about purchasing for large groups please contact our sales team at 512.301.6600. Tickets for the Lone Star Le Mans and the 2014 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX can also be purchased online at http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com.
Andrew Novich clinched his first career Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda victory in Round 10 at Road America in Sunday morning's in a 45-minute sprint.
Novich, driving the No. 61 Comprent Motor Sports car, started on pole in both Saturday and Sunday's races, but the California native fell back to finish seventh in Round 9. Novich's previous best finish was second in Round 6 in June at Watkins Glen International.
"Today went more according to plan," Novich said. "Starting on pole for the second time allowed us a chance to hit the restart button from yesterday. I got passed at the start by Hayden (Duerson) and Christian (Potolicchio), but Christian fell back as we settled into the race. Hayden and I dueled for about half an hour, and it was a tight battle. His car started to fall off later in the race just as my car was really coming into its own. I was able to pass him, which was great.
"I was having an issue with the brake pads falling away from the brake disc, which meant I had a long pedal when I went to the brakes. After Hayden crashed out, I was alone at the front for a while. There was a caution near the end of the race, which bunched everyone up, but I was lucky to get a great restart.
"We've been chasing a win all year, and we've been so close before. To finally get one is so exciting. I can't thank Comprent Motor Sports enough for giving me a fast car today that was capable of winning."
The race was McMurry's career best finish in the series and the 16-year-old's first podium. It was Potolicchio's first double podium this year.
LITES 1 MASTERS
"The car was tough to handle at the beginning of the race, but it really came to me as the race progressed," Falb said. "We ran a clean race, which was the biggest factor in taking home the win."
|Lites 2 podium finishers (from left): Todd Slusher, Brian Alder, Jerome Mee|
"Todd (Slusher) and I had a good battle on the first lap," Alder said. "We were side by side for half the lap and then he took the lead and held it until we had that first caution, which helped me catch up. On the restart I was able to get a good run. I followed an L1 car alongside the right and then coming into Turn 1 there was an incident and I ended up in front when we made it through the incident."
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites field will race in Rounds 11 and 12 at Virginia International Raceway, Aug. 22-24, sharing the asphalt with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's Prototype Challenge Class, before driving in the season finale at Road Atlanta, Oct. 1-3.
ANDREW NOVICH (No. 61 Comprent Motor Sports, winner):
CHRISTIAN POTOLICCHIO (No. 2 8Star Motorsports, third):
JOHN FALB (No. 77 ONE Motorsports, fourth; first, Masters):
JON BROWNSON (No. 34 Performance Tech Motorsports, sixth; second, Masters):
BRIAN ALDER (No. 22 BAR1 Motorsports, winner, Lites 2):
TODD SLUSHER (No. 62 ONE Motorsports, second, Lites 2):
JEROME MEE (No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing, third, Lites 2):
Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda
The two classes of competition in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series take drivers and teams down unique, exciting roads of prototype sports car racing. Nimble, high-tech, purpose-built Lites 1 machines pack in the power with a 230-horsepower, 2-liter Mazda engine designed to prepare aspiring professionals for prototype competition in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Equally capable and affordable Lites 2 machines offer world-class competition for semi-professional drivers. Both formulas take competition to the next level, producing thrilling, high-speed action at premier venues across North America.
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 Sports Car 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.
Spencer Pigot stayed clean from green to checkered to win Round 8 of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin on Sunday during the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières (GP3R).
"It was a great race," Pigot said. "We've been working hard all weekend, so I have to thank the Alegra guys for continuing to improve the car. Today was really good.
Pigot, from Orlando, Florida, beat championship leader Scott Hargrove to the finish by 8.499 seconds in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports Porsche for his second victory of the season. The smooth, composed drive despite close battles with Hargrove and fellow title contender Chris Green earlier in the race was a successful contrast from Round 7 on Saturday, in which Pigot was penalized for bumping Hargrove into a spin early in the race.
"I knew I had the pace," continued Pigot. "I just had to take advantage when I could but not take too many risks and end up in the wall, which is easy to do here. Just worked my way past Chris and Scott. It was good battling with them, as always. Really hard racing, but it was all clean today. Happy to get the win."
Round 7 winner Green, from Montreal, finished third Sunday in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He ended up .778 of a second behind Hargrove after stalking Hargrove's No. 69 OpenRoad Porsche for the second half of the 45-minute race.
"We tried something new today because we knew it was going to be a little bit cooler on the track," added Green. "It probably didn't play out to our advantage. The car started coming in a little bit at the end, but at that point, it was tough. After contact with Scott (Hargrove) in the opening laps, I had a puncture in the rad (radiator), so I was kind of maintaining the temperatures and I was up to 160 degrees. It was pretty hot. Came in (after the race), and the thing was spitting fluid out of the car. They drove really well today. Congrats to Alegra. They did fantastic. I'm proud of my whole team. The Pfaff Motorsports car will be back at Mosport to take the two wins back."
Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, extended his Platinum Cup (2014 car models) championship lead to 16 points, 152-136, over Green with just two rounds remaining Aug. 30-31 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Forty points will be on the line at the finale, as the winning driver in each round earns 20 points.
"Good for the championship," stated Hargrove. "I'm thrilled with that going into the last two races with a healthy lead. Definitely looking good there."
Etienne Borgeat, from Montreal, finished fourth Sunday on the street circuit at Trois-Rivières in the No. 2 entry fielded by Quebec-based GT Racing.
Carlos de Quesada, from Odessa, Florida, rounded out the top five in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports Porsche after snaking through the 11-turn, 1.53-mile (2.46 km) Circuit Trois-Rivières in lockstep with Borgeat and fellow Platinum Masters competitors Marco Cirone and Perry Bortolotti for position over the last 25 minutes of the race.
"My goal was to stay right behind Etienne (Borgeat)," de Quesada added. "I knew Etienne was running a good pace from the start, so I just stuck with him. I just kept on putting pressure toward the end. He was really starting to fall back. He was allowing Perry (Bortolotti) and Marco (Cirone) to catch back up with me. But I never really had a good window to make a good, clean pass, so just strategically I just decided to stay behind Etienne and defend my position for first in Masters." (Can you catch Cirone for the Platinum Masters title?): "I can. It's always a lot of luck with this. The two incidents I've had unfortunately have been with Marco and Perry, and it's unfortunate that the one I'm fighting for the championship with is Marco. I'm just hoping that something happens to them at Mosport, and I can take that lead. I'll just fight for first there and try to come out on top."
Hargrove started from pole and drove away from Green and Pigot early in the race, buidling a lead of 2.485 seconds after eight minutes. But Pigot's Porsche started to find its groove. Pigot dove under Green with a clean pass for second with 35 minutes remaining and zeroed in on Hargrove.
Seven minutes later, Pigot's Porsche nosed to within a few meters of Hargrove's car. Pigot then sliced under Hargrove, locking his wheels in a puff of white tire smoke into a corner, but hanging on for the pass for the lead. But one corner later, Pigot locked up again, letting Hargrove through for the lead.
But less than two minutes later, Pigot's speed was too much for Hargrove to parry one more time. Pigot used another low pass at the apex of a corner for the lead with 25 minutes remaining, and he cruised away over the remaining laps for an easy victory.
Hargrove continued his streak of finishing first or second at all eight rounds this season.
"This race was pretty wild," Hargrove said. "I got a great start, got away, and then started to lose the rear brakes a little bit. From then on, I was under pressure from both Spencer and Chris. Me and Spencer went back and forth a couple of times, and then he finally got me. And then Chris was pressuring me for the last 20 minutes of the race, and I was just able to hold on.
"Still a great result for the OpenRoad Porsche. Good for the championship. I'm thrilled with that going into the last two races with a healthy lead."
|Platinum Masters podium finishers (from left): Marco Cirone, Carlos de Quesada, Perry Bortolotti|
De Quesada earned his second Platinum Masters (age 45 and older) victory of the season - both this weekend - after a perhaps the best battle on the track for the entire 45-minute race.
He had one eye out his windshield while chasing Platinum Cup driver Borgeat and another on his rear-view mirror, keeping tabs of Platinum Masters rivals Cirone and Bortolotti.
All four drivers were within two seconds of each other - often closer - throughout the final 30 minutes. The only change in position came when Cirone, from Toronto, snuck past Mark Motors Racing teammate Bortolotti, from Kanata, Ontario, for second in Platinum Masters with 13 minutes remaining.
But de Quesada, Cirone and Bortolotti continued to probe for openings for a pass until the checkered flag, without a whisper of the melees that filled Round 7 Saturday.
"I think it was one of our best races because the four of us had so much respect for each other out there, and no one wanted to hit anybody else even though we had opportunities to try to make a desperate attempt at a pass," Cirone said. "But we all behaved."
2013 Gold Cup champion de Quesada cut reigning Platinum Masters champion Cirone's lead in the championship to eight points, 148-140, with two rounds remaining.
|Gold Cup podium finishers (from left): Tim Sanderson, Jerimy Daniel, Shaun McKaigue|
Quebec resident Jerimy Daniel overcame a disappointing result Saturday to deliver himself the best 21st birthday present possible - a Gold Cup victory in the No. 75 TRC Porsche.
Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, didn't finish Round 7 Saturday due to a punctured radiator in his car. But he led nearly the whole way Sunday for his fifth Gold Cup victory of the season.
Series rookie Daniel pulled to within two points of Gold Cup championship leader Tim Sanderson, 140-138, with just two rounds remaining in the tightest points race in the series. It was an ideal present for his 21st birthday Sunday.
"It was a crazy race," Daniel said. "It was really hot in the car, and I just tried to manage my race to stay in front and not do any mistakes like Tim did. He spun, so I just tried to stay in front and manage my race so I can keep my first place and give me this birthday present."
Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, finished second Sunday in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports after winning Round 7 Saturday. He spun early in the race while hustling to chase Daniel and ended up 21.303 seconds behind Daniel.
"We didn't quite have the start we had yesterday, so we were playing a little bit of catch-up. We were running strong with Jerimy, and I thought we were reeling him in a few times, getting a little bit closer. I know he was trying to conserve his brakes, I think.
"I just overcooked it in corner 2, and the car looped around on me a little quicker than I thought it would have, and I couldn't grab it back. So happy birthday to Jerimy today."
Shaun McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, finished third in Gold Cup in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche. It was his second Gold Cup podium of the weekend, as he finished second Saturday in Round 7.
Just 24 points separate Sanderson from fifth-place Ilker Starck in the tight championship chase in Gold Cup.
|Silver Cup podium finishers (from left): Keith Bass and Chuck Harris, with Porsche Cars Canada President and CEO Alexander Pollich|
Chuck Harris returned to his winning ways in Silver Cup (2005½-2009 car models) with his seventh victory in eight rounds in the No. 50 Alegra Motorsports Porsche.
Harris, from Tampa, Florida, was eliminated from Round 7 on Saturday after hitting the wall. But the skill of the Alegra Motorsports team helped Harris return to the top step of the podium.
"I have to thank the Alegra guys for working all night to get the car back on track," Harris said. "The car was perfect; it ran great. It was nice driving with a little cooler temperatures this morning, and I just tried to be a little more patient today. I had a good drive."
Keith Bass, from Tampa, Florida, finished second in the No. 49 Alegra Motorsports Porsche after earning his first victory of the season in Round 7 on Saturday.
Harris leads the Silver Cup championship standings by 12 points with two rounds remaining.
Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2014 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin - both 45-minute races - are scheduled for Aug. 30-31 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park at Bowmanville, Ontario. They are the final two races of the season.
After a successful inaugural season the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship announced today that it will return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next year for a May 1-3, 2015 race weekend.
“Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is one of the finest road tracks in the world,” says Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager. “A perfect venue for the return of the TUDOR Championship. Credit is truly due to the hard working volunteers who put on our events and the loyal fans who continue to support sports car racing in America.”
With a race at Road America last weekend and then just three weekends left in the TUDOR Championship season, the following are the points leaders in the four classes competing:
Prototype: 1) Action Express, 2) Wayne Taylor Racing, 3) VisitFlorida.com Racing
Prototype Challenge: 1) CORE Autosport, 2) 8StarMotorsports, 3) Starworks Motorsport
GT Le Mans: 1) Corvette Racing,2) SRT Motorsports, 3) BMW Team RLL
GT Daytona: 1) AIM Autosport, 2) Alex Job Racing, 3) Paul Miller Racing
One of the unique aspects of a TUDOR Championship race weekend is the unparalleled spectator access to the cars and drivers. Within the open paddock fans can watch crews prepare their cars, take photos and interact with drivers. In fact, all drivers participate in an organized autograph session at each event.
Additionally, prior to the race fans are invited to participate in a free fan walk on pit lane prior to the green flag. There they can get a close-up look at all the teams just moments before they go racing.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will announce its full 2015 race season schedule in the fall, with tickets going on sale in December.