Sunday, Jul 03
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – IMSA President John Doonan had an aha moment during, of all things, a video conference in the fall of 2020.
 
That’s when the first set of technical regulations for a proposed new top class in IMSA – one based on a hybrid platform and aligned with regulations in the FIA World Endurance Championship – was met with enthusiasm by manufacturers.
 
“The reaction when we first unveiled the concept more in detail in terms of regulations, the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) came on board," Doonan said. "We finally had manufacturers come back after that presentation and say, ‘This is looking good. This is where our board believes we can best demonstrate the story lines of our brand.’ That’s really what sticks in my mind as the turning point.”  
 
It’s been nine days since Lamborghini announced it would field an LMDh entry in 2024 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class, which will debut in January 2023 at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. That brought the number of manufacturers committed to the new class to five, following earlier announcements by Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche that they will field GTD entries starting in 2023.
 
The announcement also was the unofficial stamp of importance on the new format. This is a significant – and well-received – step forward in endurance sports car racing.
 
“We’re really proud of what’s come out of it thus far,” Doonan said. “It tells me that it’s only going to get better.”
 
The LMDh engine, based on a hybrid platform. will generate more than 670 horsepower (500 kilowatts) from the combined output of an internal combustion engine and a hybrid powertrain.
 
Through the historic convergence agreement created jointly by IMSA, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), LMDh cars and cars built to Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) technical regulations will be able to compete head-to-head for overall victories in the IMSA GTP and WEC Hypercar classes beginning next season. GTP will replace the current Daytona Prototype international (DPi) as the top-level prototype class in the WeatherTech Championship.
 
“Think about your favorite brand of sports car and the ultimate expression of that brand,” Doonan said. “That, to me, is what GTP is going to represent. When I say ‘ultimate expression,’ I mean the ultimate expression of the way the car looks and the way the car performs. When you add in the hybrid system, it will be the ultimate expression of looks, performance and sustainability of that brand.”
 
Fans will be impressed, Doonan said.
 
“The first words out of their mouths will be ‘Wow!’ – whether they’re a car enthusiast or not,” he said. “The cars will be beautiful. From a car enthusiast’s standpoint, they will have all the elements of performance and design. There will be a ‘Wow!’ for them from a standpoint of styling and performance and ultimately sustainability.”
 
The path to the debut of the new car and class is far from complete, Doonan noted. In fact, it’s just beginning. Some manufacturers have begun preliminary testing. Full-on testing and homologation will commence in the fall, and the timeline will be short.
 
“Going into the fall and winter, we’ll be holding sanctioned tests to get all of these works of art on track together to get a read on different performance levels,” Doonan said. “Independent testing will take place, but for me, it’s the time when we have all of the cars together that will be the next aha moment.
 
“That’s when we’ll have all of these historic examples of endurance sports car racing all together at one time. It will be in the confines of a somewhat private setting of a sanctioned test, but we’re finally going to have all of them together in one place.”

 Buoyed by a $20,000 grant from the 23XI Racing SPEED Institute, the STEAM Sports Foundation has raised the awareness bar for its “Women of Color” scholarship grants for the 2022-23 academic year. The foundation will award two deserving women with scholarships to support their educational pursuits.

 

The scholarships will be divided between a two-year technical student and a rising junior university student, with each student receiving $5,000 per year. The grant will target women of color seeking engineering or technician careers in the automotive or motorsports industry. In addition, an internship within the motorsports industry will be provided to both recipients during the 2023 season. The deadline to apply is June 15.

 

The SPEED Institute is 23XI Racing’s educational and professional development initiative, launched in 2021. The initiative expands on the team’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in sports, specifically in the motorsports industry. 23XI Racing, along with its partners under the SPEED Institute program, will provide educational opportunities as well as diversity recruiting and professional development in the motorsports field. Founded by NBA legend Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin in 2020, 23XI Racing is currently in its second season competing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

 

“Through the SPEED Institute we have been very intentional about providing opportunities for those seeking careers in motorsports, especially those who have been underrepresented in the industry,” said 23XI Racing President Steve Lauletta. “Through our growing efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion, we hope to find talent who can contribute in the areas of engineering and competition, and perhaps one day have a significant role with a team or within the industry.”

 

STEAM Sports Foundation awarded its first “Women of Color” grant last year to Kimberly Betty of Kettering University. Betty is a junior at Kettering, majoring in mechanical engineering. She will participate in an internship this summer in Charlotte under the auspices of NASCAR.

 

The foundation, started in 2016 by motorsports executive Bob Dickinson, hopes to raise $100,000 over the next year to provide additional opportunities to women representing marginalized demographics and seeking career opportunities within the automotive sector, particularly motorsports. 

 

“We know that the automotive and transportation industries are among the most vital to the world’s economy,” said Dickinson, “and we encourage applicants to not only pursue opportunities within that industry but also to consider careers that emphasize the future of automotive – electric and autonomous vehicles.”

 

“The grant from the 23XI SPEED Institute helps provide an opportunity for young women of color who have looked around growing up and not seen women who looked like them in these roles. They now can begin to realize that jobs in these industries are indeed realistic and attainable.”

 

For corporations, foundations, or individuals seeking more information about the STEAM Sports Foundation’s “Women of Color” scholarships and how to contribute CLICK HERE.

 

STEAM Sports Foundation is a registered charitable foundation of the American Online Giving Foundation via its Benevity portal and can be accessed via its website: http://causes.benevity.org.  Contributions via Pay Pal and ACH transfers are additional giving options.

 

CLICK HERE to apply.

 

For More Information Contact:

Bob Dickinson

STEAM Sports Foundation

770-815-0125

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Author/racer “BS” Levy, known for his highly acclaimed, yet slightly irreverent, cult-classic “The Last Open Road” series of motorsports novels, has signed an agreement with mainstream mega-distributor IPG to make hard copies and downloadable E-book copies of all his titles available through major book stores and web retailers worldwide.

 
Also available to download will be Levy’s uniquely original audio book version of “The Last Open Road.” Rewritten and produced in the style of a 1950s radio play, “The Last Open Road” audio book features professional voice actors, authentic sound effects, period early-1950s music and “Mystery Celebrity Guest Voices” from the automotive and motorsports world in many of the supporting roles, such as David Hobbs, Ray Evernham, Skip Barber, Tommy Kendall, Patrick Long, Brian Redman, and others.
 
The E-books and audio book will be available on June 1, 2022, through all major digital retailers, including Amazon, Audible, Apple, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Libro, Scribd, OverDrive, etc.
 
“This is a very exciting development, something we’ve been working towards since “The Last Open Road” was first published in 1994,” said Levy, a successful amateur and vintage race-car driver who is often described as “the world’s fastest novelist. “It provides readers easy access to all seven books in the series and the short-story anthology, and the audio book is the perfect traveling companion for those long cross-country drives and tows to race tracks or car show or just vacation.”
 
“This new distribution agreement will give us mainstream access, visibility and opportunity we’ve never had before,” Levy added.
 
“The Last Open Road” is a classic coming-of-age story following the adventures and misadventures of 19-year-old, blue-collar New Jersey gas-station mechanic Buddy Palumbo as he’s swept up in the glamorous, dangerous, upper-crust and occasionally decadent world of open-road sports-car racing during the Eisenhower 1950s.
 
With the 106th running of the Indy 500 on tap this weekend, readers can enjoy stories in the series linked to the race. "In the first book, my mechanic narrator and his rich but perpetually broke pal spend Memorial Day listening to the 1952 Indy 500 while they work on a busted MGTC to get ready for the next event,' said Levy, adding, "in the third novel, my race-mechanic narrator winds up as a pit-crew member for a thoroughly fictitious privateer team at the 1954 race." Other references may be found in the most recent book in the series.
 
Levy’s books have become genuine cult classics on the motorsports and collector-car scenes, and many racers, car collectors and enthusiasts proudly display “The Last Open Road” decals on their favorite machines. The book has also been used in several high school and college-level English classes and is on the recommended reading lists at many libraries, schools and book clubs.
 
Publisher’s Weekly summed up the book’s popularity, saying “Levy is a marvelous storyteller, as adept at explaining the intricacies of a Jaguar’s engine as he is at recounting the bewildering family dynamics at a Thanksgiving dinner.”
 
England’s Classic & Sports Car picked “The Last Open Road” as one of the top 20 motoring books of all times. It was the only novel on the list.
 
The action starts early in the morning Sunday with the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, followed by the IndyCar Indianapolis 500 and concludes with the longest NASCAR race: the Coca-Cola 600. 
 
Here is a breakdown of each race and betting picks from Expert Tipster Bryce Derouin to give you an added rooting interest - this three-way parlay pays odds of a staggering +1,102.5; which means a $10 stake would return a mouthwatering $11,015.00 profit!!!
 
Gentlemen... START YOUR ENGINES!
 
Coca-Cola 600 Betting Pick: Elliott +600
"I’m going to back Elliott for the second time this year. He cashed out as a winner for me at Dover, and I’m confident he can secure another victory at Charlotte. 
 
"Elliott has been downright dominant at Charlotte throughout his career. In his last four races he’s won, took second twice and recorded a fourth-place finish. 
 
"His average career finish of 11.9 is the best among active drivers with at least 10 starts and would be even better if not for a 38-place finish in 2017 that was the result of a crash. In his last nine starts, he’s finished in the top 10 seven times. 
 
"Given his track history, Elliott figures to be at the front of the pack for most of the race, and that’s good enough for me to back him this weekend. "
 
Indianapolis 500 Betting Pick: Dixon +650
"Dixon has been one of the most consistent finishers in this event, recording a top 10 in 11 of his 20 starts. 
 
"His lone Indy win came in 2008 when he started on the pole and he has shown the speed necessary to give him his second win at the iconic race." 
 
Monaco Grand Prix Betting Pick: Lewis Hamilton +2000 
"The major issue with Mercedes has been the porpoising of the car that has taken away its top-end speed. That shouldn’t be an issue at the winding Monaco. 
 
"Hamilton showed improved race pace last week, finishing fifth at the Spanish Grand Prix after an early collision put him in last. 
 
"With Mercedes’ deficiencies not as apparent at a track where driver skill is paramount, I like taking a shot on the seven-time champion this week."

Shell and INDYCAR are continuing their sustainability journey together by announcing a lineup of additional energy solutions for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) ahead of the prestigious Indianapolis 500. Together and separately, the organizations have designed a variety of sustainability initiatives that will help to reduce the carbon footprint within INDYCAR and power progress toward more sustainable motorsports in North America.

“The fuel and lubricant, and energy solutions developed through our strategic relationship with INDYCAR and Penske Corporation can ultimately help accelerate reduced carbon emissions from transport in many sectors of the economy,” said Carlos Maurer, executive vice president of Sectors and Decarbonization at Shell. “Shell’s motorsports technical alliances around the world provide a testing ground for fuel and lubricant technologies and products in demanding road conditions.”

Sustainable Motorsports

Shell 100% Renewable Race Fuel2

Building on the sponsorship contract renewal and extension announced on May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Shell will be the official fuel, motor oil and lubricant sponsor of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Beginning in 2023, Shell will produce a new race fuel for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. This new product consists of a blend of second-generation ethanol derived from sugarcane waste and other biofuels to create a fuel that is 100% comprised of feedstocks categorized as "renewable" under the applicable regulatory frameworks.

The fuel developed by Shell is set to make the NTT INDYCAR SERIES the first United States-based motorsports series to power racing with 100% renewable race fuel3 and enables at least 60% greenhouse gas emissions reduction compared to fossil-based gasoline4.

“This race fuel development for INDYCAR is a great example of how fuels technology is pivotal in helping decarbonize the sport,” said Dr. Selda Gunsel, president of Shell Global Solutions. “Today’s development takes us one step closer to that goal.”

The second-generation ethanol will be sourced from Raízen, a Brazilian Joint-Venture created in 2011 by Shell and Cosan. Raízen is one of the largest sugarcane ethanol producers in the world and owner of the first commercial second-generation ethanol plant.

“It is an honor for Raízen to contribute advanced ethanol to this renewable race fuel, and it’s an exciting introduction to one of the most iconic motorsport categories,” said Ricardo Mussa, Raízen CEO.

“Motorsports has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology, and today INDYCAR is furthering this tradition in a very important and transformational way,” said Mark Miles, president & CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp. “We are proud to become a leader in sustainability and decarbonization as we work towards becoming the first U.S. motorsport series to run on renewable fuel. With industry-leading organizations like Shell and Penske sharing the same ambition for a cleaner energy future, remarkable progress can be made.”

Note to editors:

  • Carbon Neutral Motor Oil

Pennzoil Synthetics 0W oils are trusted to power all engines running in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and are now Carbon Neutral[5]. As the Official Motor Oil and Lubricant Sponsor of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Pennzoil works hand-in-hand with the engine manufacturers to develop and test premium motor oil formulations. Pennzoil takes pride in the performance of the first synthetic motor oil made from natural gas helping to power and protect Chevrolet and Honda INDYCAR engines through demanding race conditions. Pennzoil high-quality motor oil provides complete engine protection to deliver a top level of performance trusted by major car manufacturers, racing teams and car enthusiasts.

  • EV Charging at IMS

A 150kW, high-power electric charger has been installed on the IMS grounds, in coordination with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Shell Recharge Solutions. All race tires being supplied for Indianapolis 500 practice, qualifications and Race Day will be delivered to the “Racing Capital of the World” from their Central Indiana warehouse using the Freightliner eCascadia from Penske Truck Leasing’s fleet of electric vehicles.

  • Travel Footprint Offsets

Through Shell’s Environmental Products Trading business, IMS will offset its entire operational carbon footprint during the Month of May through its contributions to GreenTrees, a vital effort that restores natural habitats in more than 1 million acres across seven states in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, and part of Shell’s portfolio of Nature Based Solutions projects. IMS has also teamed up with the climate technology company CHOOOSE on the implementation of a new customer program that allows fans to offset their travel footprint through a nominal contribution.

  • Shell Eco-Marathon Americas

In early April, the annual Shell Eco-Marathon Americas was hosted at IMS for the first time. The event had 50 teams competing in two classes to create some of the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicles. The event annually inspires future inventors in both the high school and collegiate levels to build and design vehicles that will expedite the energy transition and decarbonization efforts, a shared ambition of Shell and Penske.

  • Silver Certification by Council for Responsible Sport

Earlier in 2022, it was announced that the 2021 Indy 500 was certified at the Silver level by the Council for Responsible Sport after achieving 37 social and environmental standards of good practice. The venue implemented facility upgrades to increase both energy and water-use efficiency, calculated a robust greenhouse gas emissions inventory and enhanced its “Bike to the 500” program. IMS is working toward becoming the first sports facility in the world to become a Certified Responsible Sport venue.

  • Penske Truck Leasing and Shell Recharge Solutions North America

Away from the track, Penske Truck Leasing, and Shell Recharge Solutions North America recently announced a new joint initiative to support light-duty electric vehicle (EV) charging at Penske locations. The project will initially deploy Level 2 (L2) electric truck charging stations with plug-and-charge capabilities to support Penske’s growing battery-electric truck fleet in California. Additional sites will be rolled out to four U.S. states in 2022, with more locations expected to be added in 2023 and beyond.

To support Penske, Shell Recharge Solutions will deliver design, installation and charging network management support enabled through its SKY software platform. Shell Recharge Solutions will also provide maintenance support across Penske’s network of L2 electric truck charging stations.

Caymus Vineyards, a longtime supporter of the motorsports community, will now expand its involvement into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES by joining driver Felix Rosenqvist for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
 
In just his fourth year of INDYCAR Series competition, Rosenqvist has a win and two pole positions to his credit. Making his fourth Indianapolis 500 start this weekend, the Swedish driver will begin the historic race from the eighth position, in the middle of row three. Rosenqvist and his No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet made the Top 12 in qualifying and turned in a blistering speed of 232.182-mph in a field that featured the fastest pole speed in Indianapolis 500 history.
 
The Wagner family – who founded Caymus Vineyards – has clocked nearly a decade of sponsorship in the NASCAR Cup Series, where they currently partner with driver, Ty Dillon, and Petty GMS. They are excited to now have one of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wines, Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon, riding along with Felix Rosenqvist as he chases the Borg-Warner Trophy in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
 
“We’ve been a longtime supporter of auto racing, so the partnership with Felix Rosenqvist in the Indianapolis 500 is an opportunity for us to broaden our involvement and connect with the IndyCar fanbase on the world’s biggest stage,” said Karen Perry, Executive Vice President of Caymus Vineyards. “Race fans have been enthusiastic fans of our wines as well, and we are grateful for their support. Now we are thrilled to join them in the inspiring world of motorsports through our various partnerships across multiple disciplines of auto racing.”
 
“I am excited to have Caymus Vineyards joining me for this year’s Indianapolis 500,” said Rosenqvist. “It is an elite brand and the Wagner family's commitment to quality matches my passion for racing and my drive to achieve success. I appreciate their support and I look forward to opening up a bottle of Caymus Cabernet and toasting to the weekend ahead.”
 
The Wagners have a history in Napa Valley dating back to the 1850’s. Through the years, they have embraced a hands-on work ethic and are constantly trying out new ideas in pursuit of making exceptional wines. Whether it’s venturing to different regions to find diverse sources of top-quality grapes or experimenting with new farming techniques, the result is a pairing of tradition with innovation, a respect for the old with the promise of the new.
 
Chuck Wagner and his late parents, Lorna and Charlie, started Caymus Vineyards in 1972. They were a family of farmers who worked together for decades to create a signature style of Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, the family’s two Cabernets – Caymus Napa Valley and Caymus Special Selection – are among the region's most celebrated wines. Chuck now works alongside two of his children, Charlie and Jenny, and the family produces diverse wines from Napa Valley, other parts of California and beyond. Continually pursuing new ideas, they feel extremely fortunate to spend their days farming grapes and making wine. For more information, please visit wagnerfamilyofwine.com.
 
 
Twitter: @CaymusCab | @FRosenqvist
 
Instagram: @CaymusCab | @FRosenqvist
 
 NHRA has partnered with The Fan-Brand for an exciting collection of officially licensed lighted wall signs, billiard lights, and wall décor products bearing the NHRA’s marks and colors. The licensing partnership was secured by JRL Group, NHRA’s licensing agency.
 
“We are honored to be selected by the NHRA to serve as their licensing partner.” says Harrison Grimm, Founder and CEO of The Fan-Brand. “You would be hard-pressed to find a more devoted and passionate fanbase and we look forward to helping those fans share their love for sport of drag racing through our new product line.”
 
The Fan-Brand provides fans everywhere with unique and attractive ways to express themselves. Whether decorating their basement, garage, or office, The Fan-Brand’s high-quality licensed products are conversation starters and are perfect for fans looking to make a statement. 
 
The new NHRA collection can be purchased now at the the Fan-Brand website. From now through May 31st, fans can get 15% off by using the code NHRA2022.
 
The NHRA is the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body and has been the preeminent force in drag racing and hot rodding since its inception in 1951. Fielding race cars with 11,000 horsepower, NHRA nitro cars reach speeds of more than 330 mph in 3.6-seconds.
 
“Fan-Brand has done an excellent job creating several great designs and products that will give NHRA fans a chance to show their passion in new and exciting ways,” said Jeffrey Young, NHRA Vice President, Marketing and Communication. “Offering a unique product line is something we know is important to our fans and we’re thrilled to partner with them on this product line.”
 
The NHRA Licensing Program will continue to expand focusing on lifestyle products such as apparel and accessories, home décor, as well as items for the garage for the auto enthusiast such as automotive accessories, automotive tools, appearance and other automotive related products.
 

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

A tremendous evening of Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires competition in the traditional Carb Night Classic - “The Race Before the 500" at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park began with Michael d’Orlando, from Hartsdale, N.Y., claiming a narrow victory for Cape Motorsports in the all-green 75-lap Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship encounter. Less than an hour later, Englishman Louis Foster overcame polesitter Reece Gold, from Miami, Fla., to score a memorable Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires triumph for Exclusive Autosport.
 
The race wins were enough to catapult both drivers into the lead of their respective championships with eight of 18 races now in the books.
 
Bijoy Garg (DEForce Racing), from Atherton, Calif., finished second in the Cooper Tires Freedom 75 USF2000 event. Myles Rowe, from New York, N.Y. completed the podium for Pabst Racing.
 
Gold had to be content with second place in the Cooper Tires Freedom 90 Indy Pro 2000 race, with Josh Green, from Mount Kisco, N.Y., climbing from sixth on the grid to third for Turn 3 Motorsport.
 
D’Orlando Flag to Flag in USF2000
The Freedom 75 set the ball rolling this evening after a 90-minute delay due to passing showers earlier in the afternoon. After snagging his first Cooper Tires Pole Award of the season in qualifying yesterday, d’Orlando maintained his position at the start but was never able to eke out much of an advantage over Garg, who started second after posting the fastest times during a pair of test sessions on Friday.
 
 
D’Orlando, the defending race champion having scored his maiden USF2000 victory in the corresponding event in 2021, was determined to keep his streak alive. He was rarely more than a few tenths of a second clear of his pursuer throughout the demanding 75-lap race, but he never allowed himself to be flustered, even when lapping some slower cars midway through the race.
 
Garg piled on the pressure but d’Orlando was up to the task and duly took the checkered flag by just 0.2328 of a second.
 
Rowe slipped almost three seconds behind the two leaders in the early stages before closing in toward the finish and taking the flag just three-quarters of a second behind Garg.
 
Rowe’s teammate, Jace Denmark, from Scottsdale, Ariz., narrowly held off erstwhile points leader and near neighbor in Scottsdale, Ariz., Jagger Jones (Cape Motorsports), who found a way past Thomas Nepveu (DEForce Racing), from Oka, Que., Canada, on lap five.
 
Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport), from Pukekohe, New Zealand, claimed his second Tilton Hard Charger Award of the season after fighting his way past Spike Kohlbecker (Turn 3 Motorsport), from St. Louis, Mo., and then Simon Sikes (Legacy Autosport), from Athens, Ga., to finish seventh.
 
Provisional championship points after 8 of 18 races:
 
1. Michael d’Orlando, 177
2. Myles Rowe, 160
3. Jagger Jones, 158
4. Billy Frazer, 152
5. Jace Denmark, 145
6. Bijoy Garg, 125
7. Simon Sikes, 119
8. Thomas Nepveu, 115
9. Spike Kohlbecker, 104
10. Christian Weir, 99
 
Michael d’Orlando (#4 Focused Project Management/DB Collaborative-Cape Motorsports Tatuus USF-22): “What a fantastic race. I mean, obviously I have to give props here to Bijoy (Garg) and Myles (Rowe), they were on my butt the entire time, but I couldn’t have done it without the team and Rising Star Racing. They made this happen for me; I just happened to have the car that could go win it. The whole race was a bunch of strategy and tire management but I held it to the end and, honestly, I’m super thankful for everything the team and my sponsors have done for me this whole year, and to get my maiden win in 2022... and more to come! I’m super excited, let’s go to Road America.”
 
Foster Shines on Oval Debut
All eyes were on Gold at the start of the Indy Pro 2000 race. The Florida teenager had qualified on pole position for the second successive year at IRP for Juncos Hollinger Racing, and after losing out to eventual series champion Christian Rasmussen one year ago, he was determined to convert that into a victory this time around.
 
 
Gold and Pakistani teammate Enaam Ahmed, who qualified a career-best second in his first oval start, duly led from the green flag, but while Gold soon was able to edge away in the lead, Ahmed remained under constant attack from Foster. Green, too, was hanging with this pair in fourth place as they gradually edged clear of points leader Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), from Palo Alto, Calif.
 
The gap from first to second stretched to almost two seconds after 25 laps as Ahmed resolutely stood his ground. Twenty laps later, Foster’s perseverance paid off as he finally found a way past Ahmed, who in turn had closed the gap once more to Gold.
 
Foster immediately closed in on Gold, whom he passed seemingly with ease on lap 47 to move into the lead for the first time. Foster instantly pulled clear, extending his advantage by a half-second per lap before his march was halted after 54 laps by the only full-course caution of the evening after Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), from Homer Glen, Ill, had lightly brushed the wall in his Pabst Racing Tatuus IP-22.
 
Undeterred, Foster immediately began to edge away at the restart, controlling the pace magnificently to score his second successive race win since switching his sights from Europe to North America at the beginning of the 2022 season.
 
Green, who had nipped past Ahmed moments before the mid-race caution period, pressured Gold in the closing stages before finally settling for third place.
 
Ahmed slipped back in fourth but still managed to finish ahead of Siegel and Jordan Missig (Pabst Racing), from Channahon, Ill., who produced comfortably his best performance of the year for Pabst Racing to be the only other unlapped finisher in sixth.
 
Last year’s USF2000 champion, Kiko Porto, from Recife, Brazil, finished seventh for DEForce Racing ahead of impressive Mexican rookie Salvador De Alba (Jay Howard Driver development), who snared his fourth Tilton Hard Charger Award of the season after starting 12th.
 
Up next for both the Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 competitors is a trip to scenic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., for a pair of road course races for each series, to be held in conjunction with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, on the weekend of June 11/12.
 
Provisional championship points after 8 of 18 rounds:
 
1. Louis Foster, 184
2. Reece Gold, 170
3. Nolan Siegel, 167
4. Enaam Ahmed, 143
5. Josh Green, 139
6. Braden Eves, 135
7. Kiko Porto, 129
8. Colin Kaminsky, 118
9. Jack William Miller, 112
10. Salvador De Alba, 108
 
Louis Foster (#90 Copart.com/Novara Technologies-Exclusive Autosport Tatuus PM-22): “I don’t know what to say, to be honest. We came into the race just wanting to score points and do as well as I could. My first time ever on an oval, I just wanted in a way to get it over and done with and make sure I scored some points. I just controlled my tires and kept my pace good at the start of the race, and then kind of midway through, the two Juncos boys just fell off a cliff. Honestly, when I overtook them, not to sound cocky but I thought they had an issue. I just drove past them and I was really confused. At first I thought there was a Safety Car and I didn’t realize, but from there I just turned consistent laps, just focused on my race and kept pushing and pushing. Then towards the end I backed off a bit and just tried to control it and bring it home. Then I was told I was being caught quite quickly so I had to step it back up again. I was probably lapping a second a lap slower at the end, at least, and then I stepped up my pace to where I was before. I can’t thank the team enough, they’ve done an amazing job, and without them I would not be where I am today.”
The Amalgam Collection's latest Formula 1 creation is a 1:8 scale (24 inches long) McLaren MCL35M. Dressed in a famous and evocative livery, this model precisely captures the car that reached the podium at the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2021 in the hands of Lando Norris. The Gulf livery, one of the most recognizable and admired in the history of motor racing, celebrates the deep-rooted and successful racing partnership between McLaren Racing and Gulf Oil International. 
 
 
McLaren and Gulf
 
Gulf’s link with McLaren started in 1968 and continued until the end of the 1973 season, with Gulf and McLaren enjoying success in both Formula 1 and the Can-Am series, in which the partnership won over 40 races. In the mid-90s the collaboration was renewed with the iconic McLaren F1 GTR running in Gulf colours at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and in global GT racing. The collaboration was revived again in July 2020 when McLaren announced the brand’s return as an official partner. The iconic blue with an orange stripe was a tribute to Gulf’s enduring brand value, while reflecting a racing connection that began in the days of team founder Bruce McLaren. “The passion and enthusiasm for the Gulf livery on the MCL35M has been clear from the moment we announced our intent to develop a collection of models” says Sandy Copeman, one of the founding partners of Amalgam Collection. “Demand has been huge from McLaren and collectors alike.”
 
 
The 1:8 scale Gulf Livery Model
Amalgam’s model at 1:8 scale precisely captures every detail and aerodynamic aspect of the MCL35M and its iconic Gulf livery. Working from CAD data supplied directly by McLaren, Amalgam’s engineers developed a prototype, meticulously interpreting the data to ensure that the details were accurately brought to life in miniature. Master patterns were created for each piece of the complex assembly, using 3D printing followed by meticulous hand finishing. Moulds were then taken from each pattern and used to create a small batch of cast components, each one fettled and fitted to make a complete set, before painting finishing and assembly. The edition of MCL35M, strictly limited to 50 pieces of each driver livery, necessitated over 2500 hours of development and the resulting prototype only received the approval of the McLaren designers and engineers once they were fully satisfied with its accuracy of representation. Measuring over 71 centimetres (28 inches) long, each subsequent model took 250 hours to cast, fit, fettle, paint and assemble, as Amalgam’s team of artisans focused on ensuring that every minute detail was accurately captured.
 
 
McLaren’s 2021 Season
Norris’ podium was just one of the highlights for the McLaren during the 2021 Formula 1 season. The British driver also claimed third place in Imola and Austria, bringing his tally to five podiums for the team. “It has been fantastic to see McLaren back at the front, battling for podiums regularly during the last couple of seasons” continues Copeman. “Seeing them contest with Ferrari is a refreshing continuation many historic Formula 1 battles.” McLaren’s highlight of the season was undoubtably the Italian Grand Prix, where Daniel Ricciardo led Norris past the chequered flag for the team’s first win since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, and their first one-two finish since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix. 
 
 
The 1:8 Monza winning car
The model engineers at Amalgam have also developed a 1:8 scale edition of that Monza-winning car, and the sample model has recently been met with approval by the design and engineering teams at McLaren. Limited to just 50 pieces, Amalgam is now accepting deposits on these models, with a view to delivering the first batches in the summer.
 
 
The 1:18 Gulf Livery Edition
Completing the MCL35M Collection is a 1:18 scale version of the Monaco car, along with a 1:12 scale replica of the car’s nosecone as raced at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The 27cm (10 inches) long edition of 1:18 scale models is limited to just 500 pieces, and required over 800 hours of development time. Each model is delivered with a booklet designed by McLaren Racing’s design team. The booklet adds a powerful piece of visual design DNA and insight from the heart of the McLaren Racing design team. 
 
 
MCL35 Nosecone at 1:12
Each nosecone replica measures 16 centimetres (6 inches) wide, features a certificate of authenticity and is entirely removeable from its mounting frame, itself inspired by the real garage storage racks in the Formula 1 pit line. 
 
 
“Our full collection pays tribute to the success of McLaren during the 2021 season” says Copeman. “Having made such progress from their self-confessed poor performances a few years ago, we’re hoping McLaren continues this trajectory into the 2022 season.”
 
Amalgam’s McLaren MCL35M Collection can be found on www.amalgamcollection.com.
Weather played a heavy role in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s TA2 event at Lime Rock Park, resulting in varying tire strategies, advantages and disadvantages for competitors in the Memorial Day Classic. Ultimately, it was Thomas Merrill who came out ahead, running the entire 68 laps on the same set of rain tires and leaving the field in his mist.
 
2021 Lime Rock Park winner Mike Skeen in the No. 89 3Dimensional Services Group Mustang led the field to green after earning his second Motul Pole Award of the season, but it was Misha Goikhberg in the No. 20 BC Race Cars Mustang who jumped to the lead at the wave of the green flag. Skeen remained close behind Goikhberg, and on lap four, he was able to capitalize on a mistake by Goikhberg, taking the point position. His lead was short lived, however, as Thomas Merrill came from third to overtake both Goikhberg and Skeen in his No. 26 BridgeHaul/HP Tuners/Cope Race Cars Mustang.
 
It was at this point that the track, which was quite damp at the beginning of the race, began to dry, and competitors who had started on rain tires had make the decision to either dodge the dry spots or come to pit road for racing slicks. As many competitors with rain tires opted to come to pit road, Merrill held his position upon the advice of his Mike Cope Race Cars team. The decision to remain on rain tires paid off, as it began to sprinkle once again on lap 21, and the skies opened up just past the halfway point. Merrill carefully navigated the now soaking wet track on his rain tires, putting a safe distance between himself and the competitors behind him.
 
Merrill was trailed by Tyler Kicera in the No. 77 Liqui Moly/Turn 14 Distribution Camaro and Evan Slater in the No. 35 Cube 3 Architecture Mustang. On lap 36, the field saw its first full-course yellow, setting up a wet and wild restart on lap 42. A crash on lap 46 caused the second and final caution of the race, and led to another competitive restart in the rain. At that point, Slater began an awesome side-by-side battle with Cameron Lawrence in the No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Camaro, with Slater ultimately making the pass. With seven laps remaining, both Slater and Lawrence got past Kicera, earning the second and third positions, respectively. In the final laps, Merrill was checked out with an impressive lead, and he easily took the checkered flag, followed by Slater and Lawrence.  
 
“This win is a long time coming, and full credit goes to my team,” said Merrill in a wet Victory Lane. “I knew we had a good racecar, we were flying all weekend, and my team guided me through the whole race. They were looking at the forecast, they understood what was coming and made the call to stay on our rain tires and conserve them. It looked like the other guys were a little bit more conservative on their rain tires than we were early on, so I knew that if I could get in front and control the pace, I could save our tires as well. I said to my team, ‘Hey guys, just tell me what to do, tell me what lap times to run, and I’ll do it.’ I can’t say enough about this Mike Cope, BridgeHaul, HP Tuners team. It’s a pleasure to race for them, and we’re hoping for many more wins this season. We’re going to need to keep winning if we’re going to get back in this championship.”
 
Following the event, Slater was awarded the ChillOut Keep Cool Move of the Race for his pass on Tyler Kicera, and Connor Zilisch in the No. 5 Silver Hare Racing Camaro was awarded the Omologato custom-branded Trans Am watch, earning the Young Gun Fast Lap Award for being the Young Gun with the fastest lap of the race.
 
Doug Peterson in the No. 87 3Dimensional Services Group Mustang won the TA2 Masters award for the National Championship, while also receiving a special brick trophy from the series and his team commemorating his 100th start in Trans Am.
 
The broadcast of today’s race, presented by Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers, will air on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m. ET, with an encore presentation on Monday, June 6 at 1 a.m. ET.
 
TA2 returns to the track June 23-26 with the Mid-Ohio SpeedTour at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
 
Full provisional race results can be found here
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