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
On Thursday, July 3, race fans and the world in general listened to the sounds of near silence as E.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time during today’s maiden official test for the new FIA Formula E Championship at Donington Park. The first of five public tests took place at the Leicestershire circuit in dry, bright conditions and saw all 10 teams and drivers use the full Donington Park GP circuit, modified to include an additional chicane at the exit to the Old Hairpin.
Being the first outing for many of the drivers, the day focused on getting to grips with the Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars with German driver Daniel Abt, driving for Audi Sport Abt, laying down the early benchmark for the morning session. The German, who ended the day eighth overall after missing the afternoon session due to other commitments, lapped in the low 1:37s, closely followed by Buemi and Andretti’s Franck Montagny.
“I’m more than happy to be honest," Sebastien Buemi said. "I didn’t have any problems with the car at all and that meant we were able to learn quite a lot about it. It’s always nice to be P1 so let’s hope it continues tomorrow.”
Times began to tumble in the afternoon session with Buemi once again on the pace, posting a 1:35.475s with under an hour to go and holding on to the top spot until the end of the day. Abt’s Lucas di Grassi finished over a half a second shy of the Swiss despite only running during the afternoon session with Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird a further three-tenths back in third. Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna ran well all day to finish fourth with Venturi’s new signing and ex-Le Mans driver Stephane Sarrazin rounding out the top-five during his first outing in a fully-electric single-seater.
Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault), son of four-time Formula One World Champion Alain, finished sixth to edge out Jarno Trulli with Virgin Racing’s Jaime Alguersuari and Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok completing the top-10.
The day also saw outings for several of the championship’s new signings including Amlin Aguri duo Katherine Legge and Antonio Felix da Costa, Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld, Trulli’s Michela Cerruti and Dragon Racing’s Mike Conway.
Former F1 racer Jerome d’Ambrosio and Spain’s Antonio Garcia tested for China Racing with Scott Speed making his test debut for Andretti – sharing the car with IndyCar legend and Formula E ambassador Gil de Ferran.
“Today’s first test has been a special occasion for everyone involved with the FIA Formula E Championship," added Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E. "This project has been a long time coming but to see all the cars and drivers taking part is a very proud moment and my thanks goes to all our investors, partners, teams and Formula E personnel for transforming the FIA’s dream into a reality.”
Day two of testing gets underway tomorrow at 9am with free access to fans, including a pitlane walk.
For more information visit www.fiaformulae.com
The lineup expanded today with the addition of two wild card entries for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round. AMA Pro Road Racing riders Americans Chris Ulrich and Larry Pegram have joined the starting grid to compete against the world’s best.
Pegram is coming off a good 2013 season, finishing sixth in the AMA Pro SuperBike standings with five top five finishes, including three podiums, while Ulrich finished 14th in AMA Pro SuperBike with a season-best finish of ninth at Daytona.
With half of the World Superbike season complete, the U.S. Round at Mazda Raceway is sure to see some hard fought race action as riders try to gain on the reigning World Champion and points leader, Tom Sykes. The British rider currently leads the Championship with 251 points, Sylvan Guintoli of France is second with 212 and his fellow countryman Loris Baz with 210. Englishman Jonathan Rea has 199 and Italian rider Marco Melandri has 179 to round out the top five.
New to World Superbike this season is the Team Hero EBR, the only all American team regularly competing in the series. Georgia natives Geoff May and Aaron Yates ride EBR 1190 RX motorcycles, which are manufactured by Erik Buell Racing in Wisconsin. It has been a learning experience for the team in its inaugural year, which has struggled to earn points thus far in the season.
Advance tickets for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round are still available for sale and range from $20 for a Friday general admission ticket to $70 for a three-day ticket. VIP hospitality packages, paddock passes and camping spaces are also available. For information, call 800-327-7322 or visitwww.MazdaRaceway.com.
Circuit of the Americas (COTA), host of the upcoming 2014 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, has announced that it will be the official training partner for driver Simona De Silvestro. After recently becoming the first female racing driver in history to test a Formula 1 car on Ferrari's legendary Fiorano Circuit in northern Italy, Simona will continue her training at COTA in early August.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Simona’s journey to becoming the first full-time female driver in Formula One racing,” said COTA President and CEO Jason Dial. “What better place for her to continue to advance her training than at Circuit of The Americas, the North American home for world-class motorsports. In addition to being her official training partner, COTA is dedicated to building awareness around STEM education and sustainable practices- two things which are very important to Simona as well.”
COTA and De Silvestro both embrace and strongly support sustainability, advancing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and careers, and clean air technology. While driving in the IndyCar Series, De Silvestro served as an advocate for the Clean Air Energy national campaign.
“My racing career has evolved in America, so I can’t think of a better track to train at than Circuit of The Americas,” De Silvestro said. “The track is truly a world class facility and one of the best on the entire calendar. I can't wait to drive there.”
James Vance finished 15th with teammate Jon Miller in Round 6 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on June 28 at Watkins Glen International. Although he was able to improve upon his starting position of 22nd, he wasn't able to find the momentum needed to compete at the front of the Street Tuner (ST) class in his No. 74 ExpoSystems Honda Civic Si fielded by Compass360 Racing.
"The race was very frustrating," Vance said. "I tried to be as consistent as possible and move forward during my stint."
Both teammates fought to gain position when they received a pass-around under caution, a call from officials that allows a car to advance to the tail end of the field on a restart if the class leader was behind it at the time of the caution. The team reacted quickly and gained position during the pass-around. Later in the race, Miller served a drive-through penalty for a pit speed violation, halting any further progress.
"Jon did a great job despite receiving a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits," Vance continued. "That was probably the most frustrating part of our day, as we nailed the strategy and the got the drive-through, but then we got that penalty, which ultimately took us out of a possible top-10 finish and concluded with us finishing P15. From the get-go we were struggling, as nailing the setup for my teammate and I seemed a lot harder at WGI than any other track this year."
Brushing off the difficulties of the weekend, Vance looks ahead to Round 8 at his home track, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, only 45 miles from his home in the Toronto suburb of Stouffville. Racing on a familiar track where he has proven speed will shrink his to-do list for the weekend.
"Home races are always awesome," Vance said. "Having friends and family come out to support me as we travel to all the different destinations throughout the year is never easy. Having more people there is definitely a positive going into CTMP. Also, I love the track, and I have always been quick, which is comforting. And it also means I do not have to learn the track, which takes a lot of uncertainty out of the weekend."
The event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - the only Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race of the year in Canada - also is big for Vance's sponsor ExpoSystems USA. The sponsor has created a state-of-the-art, unique pit setup for C360 Racing.
On-track action for Vance begins at 1:40 p.m. (ET) Thursday, July 10 with the first practice session of the weekend. Qualifying takes place at 2:40 p.m. Friday, July 11. The green flag drops at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, July 12 for Round 8 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The race will be broadcast at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 20 on FOX Sports 1.
As the opening race of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship season draws closer, more and more teams are starting to firm up their driver line-ups for the revolutionary new series.
On Wednesday, July 2, both Dragon Racing, the Los Angeles-based motorsports team, owned by media and publishing entrepreneur Jay Penske, and Amlin Aguri announced their pilots for the high tech electric wonder.
Dragon Racing introduced Mike Conway, an experienced street racer and multi-race winner in the IndyCar Series, and 2014 driver with TOYOTA for their LMP1 WEC program, as one of their drivers in the all-electric championship. Conway’s previous experience includes three seasons in GP2, and as a Formula 1 test driver for Honda Racing F1 Team.
“It is with great pleasure and excitement that I will be at the wheel of the Dragon Racing entry in the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship,” said Mike Conway. “I have been very interested in Formula E since it was announced and I am proud to be involved with both Jay and Dragon Racing, in what I believe is breaking new ground in motorsports. I am very confident we can achieve great results during this first season.”
Dragon Racing first began in 2006 under the original banner of Luczo Dragon Racing founded by both Penske and Steve Luczo, Chairman and CEO of Seagate Technologies. In May of 2007, Dragon Racing made their debut at the Indianapolis 500 finishing an impressive fifth with Ryan Briscoe. Two years later they completed their first full IndyCar season claiming Rookie of the Year with Raphael Matos. Last year Dragon Racing fielded two cars in the IndyCar Series, with drivers Sebastian Saavedra and four-time Series champion Sébastien Bourdais.
Jay Penske, Owner of Dragon Racing, said: “I have always been impressed by his talents, smarts, and performance in the IndyCar Series, and we feel that the combination of his experience, tenacity, and driving skills will be a force this year in the FIA Formula E Championship.”
Also announced today, Amlin Aguri introduced Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa, who will join the team for its inaugural FIA Formula E Championship season. Felix da Costa will participate in Thursday’s first public test for the squad before linking up on Friday with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Team where he will continue as the team’s reserve driver at the British Grand Prix this weekend.
“I am delighted to compete in the Formula E inaugural season and I am proud to have been chosen by Amlin Aguri," Antonio Felix da Costa added. "I am thrilled by what I believe is the championship of the future. With Formula E we see history being made and I’m excited to be right at the heart of this new project. I have no doubt we’ll see this championship drive real innovation and advances in technology. What’s special about our team is the expertise from Amlin. They have core skills in analysing complex data and we’ll be using these skills to produce strategies that will help drivers like me win these races. That’s really important for this new format where the circuits are on city streets and the technology means new team skills are needed. I am confident Amlin Aguri will be out there at the front right from the start.”
The 22-year-old is no stranger to the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car having driven for the outfit during a shakedown held in early June at the Donington Park Racing Circuit.
“It’s a pleasure for me to welcome Antonio into the new setup at Amlin Aguri," said Mark Preston, Team Principal. "Antonio has proven he’s prodigiously quick at all levels of motorsport, from testing in F1 to winning races in Formula 3. I’m confident the drivers we are assembling will make Team Amlin Aguri a serious podium threat and a force to be reckoned with.”
Felix da Costa's breakout season came in 2012 when he won the prestigious Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix from pole position. He also finished fourth overall in World Series by Renault after winning four races out of the six he entered in the nine round series.
He now becomes the second driver to join Amlin Aguri, following the arrival of Katherine Legge.
So far, the following drivers have been confirmed in the 2014-2015 FIA Formula E Championship:
Amlin Aguri Formula E Team: Antonio Felix da Costa // Katherine Legge
Andretti Autosport Formula E Team: Franck Montagny // TBC
Audi Sport Abt Formula E Team: Lucas di Grassi // Daniel Abt
China Racing Formula E Team: TBC // TBC
Dragon Racing Formula E Team: Mike Conway // TBC
e.dams-Renault Formula E Team: Sebastien Buemi // Nicolas Prost
Mahindra Racing Formula E Team: Bruno Senna // Karun Chandhok
Trulli Formula E Team: Jarno Trulli // Michela Cerruti
Venturi Formula E Team: Nick Heidfeld // Stephane Sarrazin
Virgin Racing Formula E Team: Sam Bird // Jaime Alguersuari
Expect more announcements in the coming days and weeks, as the teams prepare for the first event in the all-electric series which starts in Beijing on September 13 and races around the iconic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic stadium.
Christina Nielsen persevered through the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen June 29 to gain nine positions in the GT Daytona class and claim a sixth-place finish with co-driver Kuba Giermaziak. From the 15th starting position, Nielsen and co-driver Giermaziak capitalized on their fellow competitors' errors to climb through the field.
Nielsen, 22, from Aarhus, Denmark, is competing in the Patrón North American Endurance Cup, which rewards the top-performing teams and drivers in the four longest races within the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
"I thought we had a good race, and my co-driver Kuba gained us several places in an awesome first stint," Nielsen said. "We kept a good pace through the entire race. I think it's always an accomplishment when you finish an endurance race. Six hours is a long distance, and we completed that without really going off track or making any major driving mistakes. It was nice to feel that we could keep up with the faster guys, as they weren't able to pull away as much from us. We had a few issues at Watkins Glen that cost us time, and I think we've got our eyes on those to fix for next time," she said. "I think we're heading in the right direction, and if we keep working like this we're going to be really strong in Petit Le Mans."
Nielsen also raced in her full-season series - the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama - at Watkins Glen, finishing fifth in Round 7 and seventh in Round 8.
"I felt like my performance in Porsche GT3 Cup USA this weekend was OK, but overall I felt like we were missing something," she said. "It is a difficult track, especially when you're fighting against drivers who have raced here before. I believe I probably had a bit to gain from a driving perspective, and I think we had a bit more to get out of the car, too. It's difficult to hit the setup every time, and sometimes you don't get it right."
Nielsen is sixth in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship standings, with 65 points after seven rounds of racing. She will return to her Porsche 911 race car July 10-13 during the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Nielsen's next race appearance in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be Oct. 4 in the season finale at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
With five thrilling rounds of action completed, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, will reach the halfway point of the 2014 season on Saturday, July 5, with the 4th of July tradition that is the Red Bull RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan.
While the competition in the 450 Class has been exceptional throughout the first 10 motos of racing, the one constant throughout that span has been the Red Bull KTM duo of Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey. Last weekend at Muddy Creek Raceway in Tennessee, the teammates traded moto wins and tied for the overall, with Roczen coming away with his third win of the season thanks to his triumphant effort in Moto 2.
While the German rookie is the winningest rider in the 450 Class thus far (four moto wins and three overall victories), he has been kept honest by the consistency that has made Dungey one of the best outdoor riders of all time. If not for a few uncharacteristic mistakes by Dungey, he would be that much closer to potentially overtaking his teammate and pursuing a third title in five years. In response, Roczen has compiled an impeccable 1.7 finishing average compared to Dungey's equally impressive 2.4 average.
The key to Roczen's success thus far has been his ability to counter Dungey's challenges. Whether it be losing a position to Dungey in a moto and reclaiming it, or responding to one of Dungey's moto wins with one of his own, Roczen has continued to find a way stifle any possible momentum from his teammate. As a result, there is a highly competitive rivalry percolating under the KTM tent. And it's a rivalry that has proven to be productive on the racetrack, especially when you consider each rider's respective results, but tension could increase as the season nears its conclusion.
After arguably his most impressive performance since his championship-winning perfect season in 2008, many thought James Stewart's High Point victory would vault him into the thick of the hunt alongside the KTM pair. However, the Team Yoshimura Suzuki rider endured a tough day at Muddy Creek in which he found himself on the ground in each moto and had to fight relentlessly for an eighth-place result. Additionally, one round after he earned a season-best second place moto result, Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard wasn't a factor in the battle for the win at Muddy Creek, but still managed to secure fourth overall. With Stewart and Canard sitting in third and fourth in the championship, respectively, RedBud is the ideal opportunity for both riders to make a run over the second half of the season.
The newest addition to the 450 Class, Eli Tomac, made an immediate impact aboard his GEICO Honda at Muddy Creek. Despite having to forego the first month of action while he recovered from a broken collarbone, Tomac not only posted the fastest lap of practice but also earned a holeshot and was in the thick of the lead battle throughout the afternoon. With nothing to lose for the remainder of the season, Tomac will play an intriguing role in the outcome of the championship.
Also of note for the premier division is the recent announcement from Team Honda Muscle Milk that Swedish rider Fredrik Noren has been named as the fill-in rider for an injured Justin Barcia. Season-ending ankle surgery sidelined Barcia for the remainder of 2014, allowing for the opportunity of a lifetime for the privateer Noren. During the first month of competition Noren impressed the industry with his tenacity and consistency, which resulted in battles for top 10 results and currently has him occupying 13th in the championship standings as the series' top privateer. He'll pilot the Muscle Milk Honda alongside Canard for the entirety for the championship.
Once seemingly a runaway for Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin, the battle for the 250 Class title has reached its most competitive point of the 2014 season. Following a perfect 5-0 start to the season, Martin carried a 25-point lead heading into the second moto at Thunder Valley - exactly one full moto ahead of the entire field. Since then, Martin's finishing average has dropped to an even 6.0, capped off by his worst outing of the summer at Muddy Creek, where he finished seventh overall.
In the wake of Martin's drop off has been the rise of both his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha teammate Cooper Webb and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett. Baggett became the first rider other than Martin to win a moto and an overall at Thunder Valley, which carried into a 1-1 effort at High Point and a 1-3 performance last weekend in Tennessee to make him the hottest rider in the division. Baggett faced what appeared to be an insurmountable 59-point deficit up until his first moto win, losing points to Martin in every moto and even being relegated to a DNF in the final moto at Hangtown. However, once he tasted victory Baggett has refused to settle for anything less. Over the last five motos, Baggett has outscored Martin 120 to 78, and sits only 17 points back in the standings coming into RedBud, where he's won two of the last three seasons.
Webb has been the one consistent threat to Martin since the season began, but up until this past weekend at Muddy Creek, he had yet to finish ahead of his teammate in a single moto. In fact, Webb literally followed his teammate across the line just one spot back in seven of the eight motos leading up to Tennessee. That frustration no doubt motivated Webb and likely left a chip on his shoulder, but it was also the key to his proximity to Martin in the title hunt. At Tennessee, Webb came out on a mission and raised his performance to a new level that ultimately allowed him to finish ahead of Martin in each moto and was capped off by his first career moto win and overall win at his hometown race. With the halfway point looming, a mere eight points separate Webb from Martin.
The 250 Class has evolved into a three-rider showdown for the title and pits the talented future of the division against one of its most successful veterans.
RedBud has long been considered one of the premier stops of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Scheduling alongside the Independence Day holiday, combined with its one-of-a-kind fan base, has made it a true destination event for any motocross enthusiast. Moreover, the track continues to be a favorite among riders thanks to its great soil and diverse collection of obstacles. Many have said that RedBud can be considered the epitome of what American motocross is about, which makes it a fitting and critical juncture as the season reaches the midway point.
Last year at RedBud, eventual 450 Class Champion Ryan Villopoto was dominant en route to his first career premier division win at the track, sweeping the motos and adding to his points lead. In the 250 Class, Roczen and Tomac went bar-to-bar in each moto and put on a show for the fans. Both riders ultimately traded moto wins, with Roczen's second moto triumph giving him the edge for the overall and continuing the duo's memorable battle for the championship.
Action for the Red Bull RedBud National this Saturday, July 5, begins at 8:30 a.m. ET with timed practice. Opening ceremonies get underway at 12:25 p.m. ET, with the first gate drop scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. Live broadcast coverage from RedBud begins Saturday, July 5, at 1 p.m. ET with the first motos of the 450 and 250 Classes on MAVTV, followed by a broadcast of the final 450 Class moto on NBC at 3 p.m. ET. The NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will bookend an action-packed afternoon with live coverage of the final 250 Class moto at 4 p.m. ET. Additionally, all the action can be seen via live stream online at ProMotocross.com (first motos) and NBC Sports Live Extra (second motos).
The International Hot Rod Association's (IHRA) Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series returns to Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta this Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada.
On the schedule every year since 2003, this year's Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals marks the 12th consecutive year the IHRA has traveled to Castrol Raceway to celebrate one of Canada's biggest and most exciting drag racing events. The 2014 IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals will feature three full days of drag racing action in more than a dozen professional and sportsman categories with qualifying on Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5 and eliminations on Sunday, July 6, all at Castrol Raceway.
The professional classes will include more than 20 nitro-powered cars in Top Fuel Dragster, Nitro Funny Car and Nitro Harley, plus the return of Pro Modified, the Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car group, Alcohol Funny Car, the U.S. Fire Force jet-powered fire truck and the debut of the fastest women in drag racing - the Larsen Motorsports Jet Dragster racing team.
The IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals is the eighth of 12 races on the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series North American Tour.
WHAT: IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada
Top Fuel Dragster
AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car
Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car
Alcohol Funny Car
Top Alcohol Dragster
Jet Fire Truck
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: "The Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals at Castrol Raceway have earned the reputation as the must-see event on the IHRA calendar. With a lineup unique to this event made up of more than a different classes, there is something for everyone at Canada's biggest drag race," said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. "This year, we are thrilled to welcome back Pro Modified as a full field of ear-shattering, five-second Pro Mods join Top Fuel Dragsters, Nitro Funny Cars, Jets and more spread over three days. It is like the Woodstock of drag racing."
EVENT INFO: The 2014 IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals will feature the best racers from the world of drag racing in multiple professional and sportsman categories. Each day will feature sportsman racing throughout the day and professional racing in the evening. Nitro Jam professional racing will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
New in 2014, the IHRA will host an all-new Fan Fest pit area centered around the Larsen Motorsports compound. FanFest will feature driver autographs and interviews, an interactive display showcasing how to build, design and race a jet-powered racecar in the Jet Technology Center and the exciting Hollywood Cars of the Stars collection featuring some of the most famous cars ever driven in film and television including the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television series and more.
The FanFest pit area opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, July 4-6
WHERE: Castrol Raceway
TICKETS: Available at the gate day of show or in advance at www.nitrojam.com.
CONTACT: Call Castrol Raceway at (780) 461-5801 or visit them at www.castrolraceway.com.
Nitro Funny Car - Jason Rupert over Mark Sanders
Pro Stock - Cary Goforth over Todd Hoerner
Nitro Harley - Mike Scott over Jay Turner
Nitro Altered - Mike Hilsabeck over Jim Maroney
Jet Dragster - Marisha Falk over Elaine Larsen
San Antonio, Texas
Nitro Funny Car - Jason Rupert over John Smith
Pro Stock - John DeFlorian over Cary Goforth
Nitro Harley - Randal Andras over Jay Turner
Nitro Altered - Ron Hope over Mike Hilsabeck
Jet Dragster - Elaine Larsen over Dawn Perdue
Nitro Funny Car - Mike McIntire Jr. over Jason Rupert
Pro Stock - Cary Goforth over John DeFlorian
Nitro Harley - Mark Cox over Joey Sternotti
Nitro Altered - Don Blackshear over Brian Hope
Jet Dragster - Marisha Falk over Elaine Larsen
Palm Beach, Florida
Cancelled due to weather
Rockingham, North Carolina
Nitro Funny Car - Jason Rupert over Peter Gallen
Pro Stock - Brad Waddle over Kevin Bealko
Nitro Harley - Mike Scott over Randal Andras
Nitro Altered - Ron Maroney over Shane Harter
Jet Dragster - Marisha Falk over Dawn Perdue
Budds Creek, Maryland
Nitro Funny Car - John Hale over Peter Gallen
Pro Stock - John Konigshofer over Todd Hoerner
Nitro Harley - Mike Scott over Randal Andras
Nitro Altered - Don Blackshear over Ron Maroney
Jet Dragster - Elaine Larsen over Dawn Perdue
Grand Bend, Ontario
Nitro Funny Car - Jason Rupert over Mark Sanders
Nitro Harley - Nate Gagnon over Mike Pelrine
Nitro Altered - Ron Maroney over Troy Martin
Jet Dragster - Elaine Larsen over Dawn Perdue
PRO POINTS (Top 5)
Nitro Funny Car: 1. Jason Rupert, 2. Mark Sanders, 3. Mike McIntire, 4. Tim Boychuk, 5. Bruce Litton
Pro Stock: 1. Cary Goforth, 2. John DeFlorian, 3. Todd Hoerner, 4. John Konigshofer, 5. Kevin Bealko
Nitro Harley: 1. Mike Scott, 2. Jay Turner, 3. Randal Andras, 4. Mark Cox, 5. Alvin Kobernusz
Nitro Altered: 1. Ron Maroney, 2. Don Blackshear, 3. Mike Hilsabeck, 4. Ron Hope, 5. Shane Harter
Jet Dragster: 1. Elaine Larsen, 2. Dawn Perdue, 3. Marisha Falk, 4. Kat Moller
SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS (subject to change; all times local)
FRIDAY: Gates Open @ 9 a.m.; Sportsman Racing @ 5:30 p.m.; FanFest Opens @ 4 p.m.; Nitro Jam @ 7 p.m.
SATURDAY: Gates Open @ 9 a.m.; Sportsman Racing @ 9 a.m.; FanFest Opens @ 2 p.m.; Nitro Jam @ 6 p.m.
SUNDAY: Gates Open @ 9 a.m.; Sportsman Racing @ 9 a.m.; FanFest Opens @ 11 a.m.; Nitro Jam @ 11:30 a.m.
SERKET Racing had a rough weekend on the track but continued to focus on its mission in Rounds 7 and 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama last weekend at Watkins Glen International. The historic, 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course, located just off Seneca Lake, was the first track to host a post-World War II road race event in the U.S. Since then, The Glen has held steady in its commitment to our military, past and present.
Driver Mark Llano was joined by "Ghost Hunters International" celebrity Paul Bradford and members of theU.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team at the track's annual military appreciation day, which took place Sunday, June 29 at Veteran Corner in Turn 1. Llano, a former Marine, spent time at the event signing autographs, taking pictures and spreading the SERKET Racing mission of raising awareness and funds for our veterans.
"Everyone at Watkins Glen does a great job supporting our best and bravest," Llano said. "And for us to be a part of an event that symbolic is truly amazing. We had some tough races out there, but this weekend was about a lot more than just racing for me. It was an opportunity to make our veterans smile, say thank you to them and let them know that they are a part of our team, that we were representing them out on the track."
It was a good way to end a rough race weekend for the SERKET team. In Race 1, Llano had a strong start in the No. 24 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car but faced gearbox issues after only 10 laps, limiting him to just fight to finish.
"The car was running well at the start of the race," Llano said. "When I came into Turn 7, about 10 laps in, the car locked up. I realized there was a bigger problem. After that point I was just really a sitting duck, so the key was just to finish the race and get the points."
Race 2 of the weekend didn't come with a change of luck for Llano. It started just as the first race, with a clean start, and Llano was in a battle for position in the Gold Cup class. But just eight laps in to the race, he was eliminated from contention by unavoidable contact.
"I thought it was a good run," Llano said. "Melanie Snow was in front of me, and the No. 74 car (Bill Peluchiwski) was in front of her. I thought he went hot into the turn and all I saw was him start to spin. Melanie went right, I went left. He was still in his spin, and I had nowhere to go, so we went flying and ended our day. I couldn't help what happened. I just had to put it out of my mind and keep moving forward."
Llano officially recorded ninth- and 10th-place finishes in the Gold Cup Masters Championship for the weekend and sits in seventh place in the championship point standings.
SERKET Racing will be back on the track July 12-13 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for Rounds 9 and 10 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series. With the next race less than two weeks away, it will be a quick turnaround for SERKET Racing. Llano will use his backup car for the next two rounds of the series.
"In the Marines, we improvise," Llano said. "So that's what we're going to do - adapt and overcome. Thankfully we have the second car, and we will go back out there and race another day."
Jerome Mee stood proudly atop the Lites 2 podium in Round 6 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda championship Saturday, June 28 at Watkins Glen International. The first victory of the season tasted even sweeter for Alta Velocita Racing (AVR) driver/ team owner Mee after a disappointing crash in Round 5 on Friday eliminated him from that International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Development Series race.
"I am very excited," Mee said. "I have to thank my engineer Brad (Pierce) and my crew for their hard work. It took 8 ½ hours to get the car ready after Friday's hit. Saturday's race left me flat-out exhausted, but it was rewarding standing on the podium and knowing my team was a big part of that rebound."
Mee found himself tangled with Madison Snow on the opening lap of the 30-minute sprint race at the historic, 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course in the scenic Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
"I knew going into the first race that if there was a spin or something that happened in front of me, I would need to cut to the inside," Mee said. "I saw the Tequila Patron car get bumped and slide, and in that split-second I thought: 'I'll go inside. Never mind, I'll go outside.' That moment of hesitation killed me. I realized I wasn't going to make it. I tried to duck over, but I hit Snow's nose pretty hard."
The damage on the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing machine included destroyed front right suspension and left and right corner panels. Mee and his team worked tirelessly at the track until 12:30 a.m. Saturday putting the car back together -- making Saturday's victory that much more satisfying.
"I got on Brian (Alder's) rear right away, and I knew by the third lap that I had pace on him," Mee said. "I was quicker through almost every turn and could have jumped on him, but I wanted to wait. I drafted on him going into the Bus Stop and never saw him again. I had about a 14-second lead at one point, but on the double yellow Ludovico (Manfredi) caught up to me and passed me on the restart. I reeled him in with three laps to go and he spun in Turn 8. After that I backed down and cruised the rest of the way home."
That pursuit of Manfredi, combined with the hard work of his team Friday night and Saturday morning, showed the building strength of Alta Velocita Racing and Mee's continued improvement behind the wheel.
"This was the first time I was actually able to hunt someone down with better pace and pass them," Mee said. "It was far more fun, and I think it comes from feeling more confident in the car. Before it was more about survival, and I would pass someone as a result of their own mistakes. This weekend was actually racing, and it was fun!"
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda field will be back in action for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix Presented By Hawk Performance on July 10-13 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, the only Canadian round of the series.