Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 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
Grand Bend Motorplex, one of Canada’s premier racing facilities, has reached a multi-year sanctioning agreement with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA).
Located on 407 acres in Huron County, Ontario, the Grand Bend Motorplex is a multi-purpose motorsports facility that consists of a 1/4-mile drag strip, a 1/4-mile high banked paved oval, a multi-circuit road course for cars, bikes and go-karts. The facility includes ample parking, unobstructed seating, a rough camping area, paved roads throughout the pit area, washrooms with showers, and a licensed track side food and beverage court.
The 20th annual Mopar Canadian Nationals highlights the list of special events. It is Eastern Canada’s largest drag racing event with over 350 participants. It features Top Fuel dragsters, Nostaglia Nitro Funny Cars, Nitro Harleys, Pro Mods, Outlaws, Jet Trucks, a Studebaker Wheelstander, CAN/AM Stock/Superstock and hundreds of Sportsman competitors.
(JON O’NEAL QUOTES)
Grand Bend has a tremendous record in the IHRA Summit SuperSeries program with three racers going on to capture championships at the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals in Memphis.
Steve Doornbosch won the IHRA Summit SuperSeries No Box championship in 2003, the first year it was contested, and Will Steckly was the 2007 No Box champion. Ten years later in 2017, Luke Schweimer won the IHRA Summit SuperSeries Junior Dragster World Championship.
For 2018, track champions were Ed Smith (Box), Will Steckly (No Box) and Arnold Fox (Junior Dragster). This year, the 2019 Street ET (Sportsman) champion will also qualify for the World Finals.
For more information about Grand Bend Motorplex, click here. For a list of IHRA member tracks, click here.
Following CrowdStrike’s major announcement of its enhanced sponsorship of SRO Motorsports America’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America series, the cybersecurity company and its CEO and co-founder, George Kurtz, will partner with DXDT Racing to campaign the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the 2019 season. Kurtz, the 2017 GTSA class champion of the series previously known as the Pirelli World Challenge, will step up from the GT4 class to race in the GT class, the top tier of this production-based sportscar championship, for the first time. He’ll again partner with the all-star driver Colin Braun for a series of seven races in North America.
Also new for the season will be the introduction of driver CJ Moses. He will race the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 prepared by Global Motorsports Group (GMG) at select races, continuing a valuable relationship with the successful team that Kurtz raced with for the past two seasons and which helped him clinch the 2017 GTSA championship. Moses has been an ever-present partner of the CrowdStrike Racing program for the past year, an esteemed speaker at the company’s cybersecurity summits, and a sportscar racer for 14 seasons and counting.
The announcement of CrowdStrike’s expanded team and driver lineup comes just after the cybersecurity company and SRO Motorsports Americas increased its series-level partnership, with the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection continuing its status as the Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider for the series for the second year running. CrowdStrike will again host its successful CXO Summits at key race events, bringing together luminaries in the cybersecurity industry to meet and discuss the most pressing issues faced by C-level executives.
Kurtz and Braun raced a CrowdStrike Racing Audi R8 in the GT4 class for a full season with GMG in 2018, where the duo earned four top-five finishes at premier racetracks across the United States and Canada. For the 2019 season, the pair will switch to the powerful DXDT Racing-prepared Mercedes-AMG GT3. Kurtz and Braun join DXDT’s David Askew and Ryan Dalziel, two experienced drivers who have already honed their racecraft with the Mercedes-AMG machine.
The move up to GT racing is a natural progression for the serial entrepreneur and business leader Kurtz. This year he’ll embark on his third full season with this series and his seventh consecutive year of sportscar competition, which includes two class victories at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance event, a GTSA class championship, and racing experience with McLaren, Aston Martin, Audi, and now, Mercedes — the marque that won the Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain GT Endurance Cup title last season.
“Racing is something I love, and by its very nature, it is a place where pushing yourself to the next level is part of the landscape,” said Kurtz. “Moving up to the GT class with Mercedes is a logical progression, and DXDT Racing is well-prepared to support our 2019 campaign. Having Colin as my co-driver, plus Ryan and David as our teammates, is really exciting. Our existing relationship with GMG and Audi will continue, of course, with CJ’s commitment to their very talented team. I look forward to expanding the CrowdStrike brand within these two teams and again at the series level. Many thanks to sponsors Amazon Web Services, Security Innovation Network, Accel and Ceramic Pro for their partnership.”
Braun, who was recently named the IMSA Prototype Driver of the Year in Sportscar365’s Double Stint podcast, will continue to dedicate part of his successful sportscar career to the CrowdStrike racing effort in addition to running a full season in IMSA’s DPi category. His skillful maneuvers on track while partnered with Kurtz last year attracted plenty of positive attention from fans and competitors alike.
“I am really looking forward to the season with George, CrowdStrike and DXDT Racing,” said Braun, “and I’m excited to be part of George’s continual move up the racing ladder. Getting to co-drive alongside him in all the races and continuing to help him grow will be a lot of fun. Last year, entertaining the CrowdStrike guests let me see the fascination of racing through their eyes, which was really special. I’m sure 2019 will be no different. Having Ryan as a teammate will be great. We’ve driven together in the past and have been friends for a long time. I got to see what the DXDT Racing operation was like being in the same paddock in 2018, and both George and I were impressed. They are a really professional operation that I can’t wait to be a part of — bring on COTA!”
The team preparing the Kurtz/Braun Mercedes-AMG GT3 machine is DXDT Racing, a rapidly-growing race group out of Utah. DXDT Racing made its endurance debut of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in last season’s California 8 Hours race, taking second place in the Pro-Am class, and also counts a Lamborghini Super Trofeo series championship among its successes.
David Askew, DXDT Racing team owner and driver, is eager to support Kurtz’ foray into GT-level racing in 2019.
“My first priority is to field the best possible car for George and Colin,” Askew said. “I always want them to feel that DXDT Racing put them in the best possible position to win. To that end, DXDT has its work cut out for us, but I know we are up to the challenge. I feel like this is the year for DXDT to showcase what it is capable of. We have great people, some who have been at DXDT for almost four years. It’s time to get it done!
“It has been my dream to become both a driver and a team owner,” Askew said. “I’ve had multi-car teams in the past but have not driven much due to the demands of managing the team. The past year was spent deepening the management bench so I can return to a full-time driver role. I really just want to be told what to do! My goal has also been to become a competent AM endurance driver, meaning I can hold my own for the team. I’m so excited to drive with Ryan and work with George Kurtz and Colin Braun. My hope, and my feeling, is the two teams will complement each other.”
Scottish driver Dalziel has established a track record of success for himself in North American sportscar racing, having won the 2018 Pro/Am Sprint X Championship while balancing multiple top-tier racing series commitments. There’s no doubt he’ll continue to impress with DXDT Racing.
“It was great to see CrowdStrike as a series sponsor and even better to now have them as part of our DXDT Racing family as well,” Dalziel said. “We successfully ran as a one-car team with a second-place finish in the California 8 Hours, so stepping up to a two-car team will be a great benefit, particularly with George and Colin. We should be able to develop our Mercedes-AMG GT3s even quicker on race weekends. As a team, it’s also a cool moment to see DXDT becoming one of the premier teams for 2019.”
CrowdStrike continues its involvement in GT4 with GMG, but with a new driver — and sponsor. Moses will compete in selected GT4 races in 2019. Moses brings both years of racing experience and a boost from Amazon Web Services (AWS), now the Official Cloud and Machine Learning Provider of the series and the title sponsor of the Pirelli GT4 Challenge at Long Beach, to the race paddock.
Since experiencing early success in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in 2005, Moses has never stopped racing. He earned the SCCA National Championship as crew chief of a Touring 2 team in both 2010 and 2011. In 2012 and 2013, Moses earned the series’ Divisional Championships and Driver of the Year Awards. In 2019, he’ll compete in four key Pirelli GT4 America events: St. Petersburg, Long Beach, VIRginia International Raceway and Watkins Glen International.
“I’m honored to be joining George Kurtz driving for CrowdStrike Racing with GMG,” said Moses. “We have an exciting season of CXO Summits planned for our esteemed guests and I look forward to continuing the team’s winning ways as I take the step up to the Pirelli GT4 America series.”
In addition to being a highly regarded speaker at CrowdStrike’s cybersecurity summits, Moses was a team guest in the GMG paddock throughout 2018 when the renowned team swept an incredible three series championships. This further increased Moses’ excitement to carry the CrowdStrike and AWS banner with driver and team owner James Sofronas this season:
“We’re glad to see CJ step into the driver’s seat with us this year,” said Sofronas. “He’s been a positive part of our race paddock for a while now and we’ve all learned that his passion for racing runs deep, so we’re confident he’ll be a real asset to the team. The whole crew welcomes him to the CrowdStrike/AWS/GMG Racing Audi R8 effort.”
CrowdStrike, the award-winning, Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity company is the Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider of the SRO America Championships. For the second year in a row, the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection is defending the series’ valuable financial, health and business data from hackers and identity theft. CrowdStrike will continue to host preeminent cybersecurity thought leaders at its CXO Summits, further establishing the fast-growing company as a security leader in the business of racing and beyond. This year, a partnership with the Security Innovation Network (SINET) will introduce more of the world’s foremost innovators in the cybersecurity space to these CXO Summits, advancing the collaborative influence that has become a hallmark of CrowdStrike’s events.
In addition to the brand’s red falcon being placed on every racecar and driver’s suit in the championship, CrowdStrike, along with AWS, will co-sponsor the new GT Paddock Club. This new hospitality and business networking venue in the paddock will foster networking and camaraderie for other series sponsors, invited guests, GT race drivers and team owners. Series partners Pirelli and Purple Monkey Garage will also support the GT Paddock Club for the duration of the race season.
Finally, the second race of the season will be branded as the Pirelli GT4 America St. Petersburg 2019 presented by CrowdStrike. The Florida race will feature both GT4 racing and IndyCar’s season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg.
The parallels between cybersecurity and racing continue to grow. Driven by high performance, relying on defensive and offensive strategies, and harnessing the power of data at high speeds — CrowdStrike has proven itself to be a champion, both on and off the track.
The first race of the GT season will be at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, from March 1 to 3. The full schedule can be found at world-challenge.com.
Eight manufacturers are confirmed for Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli. The global GT3 series begins the schedule of five races on five continents in Australia at this weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and heads to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the California 8 Hours on March 29-30.
The recent confirmations of Ferrari and Honda following Nissan’s confirmation earlier in the week bring this year’s total number of full-season manufacturers to a record-breaking eight. They are joined on the grid by Audi, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.
Ferrari is fielding two 488 GT3 entries and registered to score points towards this year’s Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ championships beginning at this weekend’s opening round at Bathurst. Honda, meanwhile, has chosen to skip Bathurst in favor of beginning its 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge campaign at the California 8 Hours on March 29-30 when its new NSX GT3 Evo is homologated to compete for the first time. The same model will then contest the Total 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium), Suzuka 10 Hours (Japan) and season-closing Kyalami 9 Hour (South Africa).
Manufacturers are permitted to nominate a maximum of four cars per Intercontinental GT Challenge round, although only the two best-placed entries will score points towards the overall Manufacturers’ Championship. Drivers competing in all nominated entries will score points towards their respective overall championship while amateur drivers are also eligible for Bronze Drivers’ Championship points, subject to registration.
“The addition of seventh and eighth full-season manufacturers, and especially those of Ferrari and Honda’s standing, underlines the growing significance of the Intercontinental GT Challenge on the world stage,” said Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO. “A global championship featuring five of GT3’s biggest endurance races deserves a stellar entry list, and that is exactly what Intercontinental GT Challenge has assembled ahead of its fourth season.
“I am delighted that Ferrari and Honda have committed to the 2019 championship and cannot wait to see how they compare against the likes of Audi, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan and Porsche. Not since the days of the FIA GT1 World Championship has GT racing enjoyed such a high-profile global platform.”
Audi begins the defense of its Bathurst 12 Hour victory and Intercontinental GT Challenge Manufacturers’ title at Mount Panorama in Australia this Sunday, February 3. The event will be broadcast live on Intercontinental GT Challenge’s web site (www.intercontinentalgtchallenge.com) and Facebook page.
Audi will return to the California 8 Hours on March 29-30 having won at both previous events in 2017 and 2018. South African driving ace Kelvin van der Linde was a winning co-driver on both occasions. Eight manufacturers will field GT3 entries with additional GT4 and TCR entries on the grid.
Tickets, camping and VIP hospitality for the Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours are available by visiting www.WeatherTechRaceway.com or calling 831-242-8200. Fans can save on all eight premier events on the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca schedule with a 2019 Season Pass.
On March 14, 2019 at legendary Daytona International Speedway (DIS), American Flat Track will host what will arguably be the most unique and anticipated professional flat track race in history – the third annual DAYTONA TT.
The hook is that the totally redesigned racetrack, constructed in the iconic Daytona International Speedway tri-oval, will utilize the legendary tri-oval start/finish asphalt straightaway as part of the actual racing surface, and form its high-speed front straight.
Not only will some of the world's fastest riders launch their AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines and AFT Singles racing machines out of the DIS eastern dirt corner and drift onto the asphalt, they’ll rip across the legendary start-finish stripe at over 100 mph, elbow-to-elbow and wheel-to-wheel – and mere feet from fans sitting along the Daytona International Speedway tri-oval.
In many ways, American Flat Track’s unique, dirt-and-asphalt DAYTONA TT season opener brings the sport of Grand National Championship motorcycle racing full-circle. Recall, of course, the legendary DAYTONA 200 beach-and-asphalt races of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, which featured motorcycles racing up the beach in a northern direction and then South again on the asphalt beach road, with untold thousands of fans watching it all unfold from the dunes and bleachers.
The DAYTONA 200 eventually moved to the freshly-built Daytona International Speedway facility in the early 1960s (quickly becoming the world’s biggest and most anticipated motorcycle race), but those decades of epic beach racing have lodged themselves in the collective memories of the motorsports community ever since. Full circle, indeed.
Since the reinvention of the series in 2017, American Flat Track has yet to present a multi-surface racetrack. The new, improved DAYTONA TT has been designed in collaboration and consultation with riders and race professionals to proactively address the design challenges inherit in the construction of an asphalt-to-dirt racing surface. Former professional flat track riders have been contracted to ride the surface and prove the design prior to the running of the race on March 14.
This year’s track layout also features enlarged and faster bookend corners, which offer faster straightaway speeds and more passing opportunities – the perfect thing for fans sitting along the front straight or in the enlarged-for-2019 trackside bleachers.
All of these changes combine to amplify the race’s Bigger, Better, Faster moniker to unheard-of levels.
With new teams and riders, new sponsors and manufacturers, some fresh thinking and a tsunami-like wave of excitement and expectation, the 2019 American Flat Track season is bound to be the most exciting ever.
And so it’s entirely fitting that this year’s unique DAYTONA TT, which features that unique mix of dirt and asphalt, and which pays homage to the visionary promoter who brought motorcycle racing to the sands and streets of Daytona Beach 82 years ago, leads things off in March.
The history-making 2019 DAYTONA TT. Bigger, Better and much Faster!
Fans looking for an in-depth view of the most-exciting DAYTONA TT track ever can visit the link below:
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/OiBGrzvqztw
American Flat Track will kick off its 2019 season with its bar-banging DAYTONA TT in appropriate fashion - during the wild Bike Week festivities in Daytona Beach. The 2019 DAYTONA TT happens Thursday, March 14 once again under the lights of the iconic Daytona International Speedway. Tickets start at just $35 and are available now at https://tickets.americanflattrack.com.
For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.
The new Bell helmet for Circuit Racing, the Pro Star ECE, achieves the FIM racing homologation for the sizes S, M and L. The homologation is valid only in the presence of all the available appendices (mouth, forehead, top and rear vents) and the spoiler.
This helmet comes with a standard ECE certification and moreover has successfully passed all tests of the FIM Helmet Standard FRHPhe-01, namely linear impact tests at high (8.2 m/s) and low (5.0 m/s) speed on ECE points, medium speed linear impact tests on 3 extra points randomly chosen on the helmet surface, oblique impact tests with 5 different orientations and penetration test at 2 random spots.
“We are very proud to be among the first manufacturers in the world to achieve the new FRHPe-01 certification and we look forward to continuing to see the top riders in motorcycle racing compete in our helmet. Safety is at the core of our what Bell Helmets is all about. Since Bell was founded in 1954, we have been committed to setting new standards in the head protection industry and ensuring that our helmets are the safest available for riders at all levels. For more than 60 years, we have put an emphasis on innovation and improved technologies to achieve that goal and it was through that innovation that we developed the Pro Star with our top of the line FLEX technology.” – said Chris Sackett, Vice President Bell Helmets.