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.
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The major event schedule will begin in March for the first time since 2006. The Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours returns for the third consecutive season to kick-off the year on March 29-31. Previously hosted in October, the event will be the second of the GT3 endurance racing series’ five races on five different continents.
The month of May springs into racing action May 3-5 with addition of the Trans Am Speed Festival taking hold of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Contemporary car racing will take center stage by showcasing the motoring muscle of the popular Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, which is filled with Camaros, Challengers, Mustangs and more. The Trans Am Series was formed in 1966 as a manufacturers championship for modern sedans and returns to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca after a 15-year absence.
The Trans Am Series was held in Monterey in 1969-1972, 1978-1982, 2000-2001 and 2004. Event winners during that span include greats such as Mark Donohue, Parnelli Jones, Peter Gregg, John Morton, Elliott Forbes-Robinson and George Follmer. Complementing the weekend professional Trans Am race will be vintage and historic racers of Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA).
One week later, Ferrari Challenge North America’s Ferrari Racing Days and exclusive Corse Clienti Formula 1 cars descend on Monterey May 9-12. The single-marque series sparks the enthusiasm of Prancing Horse fans and owners alike. Competition among Ferrari 488s in 2018 ranged from professional drivers to notable amateurs such as Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender. The Corse Clienti Formula 1 program enables a small group of people to purchase F1 cars and use them to the fullest with tutelage from Scuderia Corsa drivers.
Motorcycle fans will be greeted to a full sensory experience July 12-14 when the MotoAmerica racing series blasts into town for three days of world-class motorcycle racing for the Monterey Motorcycle Festival featuring MotoAmerica. There will be racing legends, celebrities, vintage racing and heritage GP racing motorcycle exhibitions, classic motorcycle auction and engaging family events among the planned activities. Returning for its fifth consecutive year at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, MotoAmerica carries on the AMA Superbike tradition while fielding its full slate of five highly-competitive classes. MotoAmerica takes the sole spotlight, as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship series will not be racing in North America in 2019, but is anticipated to return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 2020.
The prestigious Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, a cornerstone of Monterey Classic Car Week, returns on its traditional date on the third week of August. The Monterey Pre-Reunion kicks things off with more than 300 historic race cars taking to the race track on August 10 and 11. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 15-18 will feature 550 cars selected for their history and race provenance. The 50th anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) will be celebrated as featured marque throughout the four-day event with legendary cars and drivers from the series’ illustrious past, present and future.
“Monterey Speed Week” with IMSA and INDYCAR
In September, “Monterey Speed Week” will bring America’s premier sports car racing series and America’s premier open-wheel racing series to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in back-to-back weekends with special events taking place in between. First up will be the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returning for its penultimate race of the season on September 13-15. The technologically-advanced prototype and GT cars will do battle with championships on the line in an always thrilling race. The new, seven-race WeatherTech Sprint Cup series will hold its deciding race of the 2019 season in Monterey.
Indy cars return to Monterey for the first time in 15 years with the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Monterey on September 20-22 for what will be the crown jewel event in the 2019 race schedule. The champion will be crowned during the season ending event that brings INDYCAR back to its spiritual road racing home. Memories such as Alex Zanardi passing Bryan Herta during the last lap on the Corkscrew in 1996, Mario Andretti’s emotional retirement in 1994 and Bobby Rahal’s remarkable four consecutive wins will be rekindled while five-time champion Scott Dixon and a grid full of talented drivers bring incredible racing to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Tickets for the INDYCAR Monterey Grand Prix are currently on sale at www.WeatherTechRaceway.com or by calling 831-242-8200. The on sale dates for all other events will be announced in the coming weeks.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 2019 Schedule
Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours March 29-31
Trans Am Speed Festival May 3-5
Ferrari Racing Days & Corse Clienti F1 May 9-12
Monterey Motorcycle Festival featuring MotoAmerica July 12-14
Monterey Pre-Reunion Races August 10-11
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 15-18
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship September 13-15
INDYCAR Grand Prix of Monterey September 20-22
The Trans Am Race Company has announced a 12-event 2019 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli schedule, with many of the same venues and dates returning from the 2018 championship season. The upcoming competition will feature two key additions: Trans Am’s return to Memorial Day Weekend at Lime Rock Park and its first appearance at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca since 2004.
“We were very pleased with our schedule in 2018,” said John Clagett President of the Trans Am Race Company. “Our goal has always been to assemble a schedule packed with world-class tracks. With that in mind, when the opportunity arose to add both Lime Rock Park and Laguna Seca, we had to take action; they’re both fantastic venues and welcome additions to our full championship.”
Trans Am’s return to Memorial Day Weekend at Lime Rock Park, May 24-27, marks the Series’ 30th appearance in Lakeville, Connecticut, and comes in the wake of a three-year absence, reuniting the historic pairing of track and series.
“Lime Rock is an iconic circuit with a passionate fanbase that Trans Am has called home throughout its existence,” said Clagett. “It’s a historic marriage between Series and venue that’s produced so many great races. Combined with the following weekend at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear we have an incredible two events back-to-back; one of the best pairings in motorsport.”
The return of the Trans Am Championship to Laguna Seca, May 3-5, marks the full Series’ first appearance in the West since a 2011 event at Miller Motorsports Park. Trans Am’s last appearance at the Monterey circuit came in 2004.
“The West Coast has played a huge role in Trans Am throughout its history,” said Clagett. “Championships have been made and lost on the West Coast, former champions have called it home; we want to continue that history and foster its growth. After careful consideration, we’ve made the decision to bring our full championship west and start a new chapter of Trans Am in the West; and Laguna Seca is the perfect place to begin this next chapter.”
“At the same time we understand the commitment it takes for our teams to make the haul west,” continued Clagett. “To assist in that effort we’ll be increasing prize money at Laguna Seca, and we’ll be granting free entry at our Daytona International Speedway finale for teams that run the full championship.”
The 2019 schedule features new weekends for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, now August 1-4, and Circuit of The Americas, moved forward to October 4-6.
Longtime Trans Am partners Ryan Companies and FirstEnergy will return in 2019 as well with the Ryan Companies Road America Classic and FirstEnergy Mid-Ohio 100.
Trans Am will also continue three initiatives from 2018: Northern and Southern Cups for drivers not mounting a full-season effort, a standard three-day event format, with the inclusion of test day, and the Trans Am West Coast Championship presented by Pirelli.
“We’re reaching the stage where consistency is key,” said Clagett. “We will continue to refine and improve our approach, but we’re pleased with the Series’ direction and our competitor feedback. The 2019 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli looks to continue the momentum and success we’ve collectively experienced this year.”
The Trans Am West Coast Championship presented by Pirelli will feature the additions of Thunderhill Raceway Park and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to its 2019 docket, expanding the regional championship to six races in total.
“We believe in the potential of Trans Am racing on the West Coast,” said Clagett. “Growing anything is a process; it takes time, but we’re seeing more interest every day. We now offer six races at some world-class facilities and have an enthusiastic and passionate competitor base. Our goal will always be a truly national presence, and a strong West Coast Championship is a key part of that effort.”
The 2018 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli will conclude this weekend on Saturday November 10th at Daytona International Speedway.
The 2019 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli
|March 1-3||Sebring International Raceway*||SVRA|
|March 29-31||Road Atlanta*||SVRA|
|May 3-5||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca||SVRA|
|May 24-27||Lime Rock Park^||SVRA|
|May 31 - June 2||Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear^ (TA2)||IndyCar|
|August 1-4||Indianapolis Motor Speedway*^||SVRA|
|August 8-10||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course^||NASCAR Xfinity|
|August 22-24||Road America^||NASCAR Xfinity|
|September 5-8||Watkins Glen International^||SVRA|
|September 20-22||VIRginia International Raceway*||SVRA|
|October 4-6||Circuit of The Americas*||SVRA|
|November 14-16||Daytona International Speedway*||HSR|
^ Northern Cup
The 2019 Trans Am West Coast Championship
|April 12-14||Thunderhill Raceway Park*||NASA.|
|April 26-28||Auto Club Speedway||SVRA|
|May 3-5||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.||SVRA|
|June 14-16||Sonoma Raceway*||NASA|
|July 26-28||Portland International Raceway||SVRA|
|October 4-6||Circuit of The Americas||SVRA|
The Florida Commission on the Status of Women (FCSW) announced Elaine Larsen as a recipient of the 2018 Spirit of the Community Award for someone that has improved the lives of Florida women and families, and who serves as a positive role model for women and girls in their communities.
Elaine Larsen is a professional Jet Car driver based in Palm Bay, Florida. She and her husband Chris operate Larsen Motor Sports, build their entire fleet of race cars from concept design to full fabrication, while training the next generation of high-performance vehicle specialists. Their affiliation with Florida Institute of Technology has opened the door for internships, which led the LMS team to research many different avenues from biofuels to human centered design, lighting that spark for the next generation.
Elaine taught pre-school kids before her racing career took off, and spent years working with children of all ages to promote STEAM (Science -Technology -Engineering -Arts -Math), both on local and regional levels throughout Florida and across the USA. She is an ambassador for STEM and a keynote speaker for WeVenture Women Entrepreneurs, Space Coast Women, Women in Aviation, All About You, and other women’s organizations and events.
The creation of the comic book BLAZE is a vehicle to educate through entertainment with emphasis on STEAM. Each book is themed with a specific lesson targeted at an issue that the team must work together to resolve. Because of the BLAZE program Blazing Trails, a 501 c3 organization, was formed as a charity to help the next generation achieve their dreams. Blazing Trails sponsors and assists children who have goals that they want to achieve, but are unable to, due to lack of money, time, and/or guidance. This is done with education through motorsports, entertainment, and STEAM programs. The next Blazing Trails event takes place January 25, 2019 at Palm Beach International Raceway for 1300 students in 6-12th grades.
Elaine Larsen continues to blaze her own trails as she allows for opportunities to ladies of all ages to promote STEAM(Science, Technology, Arts, and Mathematics). She will be presented with her Spirit of the Community Award on Friday, November 16, 2018 during the Commission’s 4th Quarterly meeting, Noon – 2:00 PM at the Tampa Bay History Center.
“The Florida Commission on the Status of Women is proud to focus on celebrating the contributions and success of women,” said Lady Dhyana Ziegler, DCJ, Ph.D., Commission Chair. “We are delighted to honor these outstanding individuals for their tremendous achievements and dedicated service to their communities.”
The goal of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women is to provide communication, promotion, and collaboration among the hundreds of organizations working in all 67 counties that are focused on the welfare of the women of Florida. The revitalization of the women’s movement to address the status of women, such as discrimination, poverty, pay equity, and other social and economic issues impacting the lives of women have moved to the forefront of conversations across the nation.
The Florida Commission on the Status of Women is a nonpartisan board, statutorily created in 1991, consisting of 22 appointed members. The Commission is administratively housed in the Office of the Attorney General, with a focus on raising awareness and celebrating the contributions and successes of all Floridians, along with providing a collaborative platform for those seeking information on issues that affect women, girls and their families in our state. The Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of Senate, and the Attorney General appoint four members and the Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Agriculture each appoint three members for a term of four years.
Officials from the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) announce the addition of a “Sportsman” class to the IHRA Summit SuperSeries program beginning in 2019.
The Sportsman class is open to door cars only (12.00 & slower in the ¼-mile and 7.50 & slower in the 1/8-mile). The use of trans brakes, two steps, and delay boxes are prohibited in the Sportsman class.
Sportsman racers who win Summit SuperSeries track championships or Summit Team Finals events will be invited to compete at the Summit SuperSeries World Finals October 17-19 at Memphis International Raceway for their chance to win the first ever Sportsman National Champions and a $5,000 payout.
“The Sportsman class was added after receiving a lot of feedback from our dedicated members about forming no electronics class,” IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco said. “We are excited to have these competitors running for a spot in the Summit SuperSeries World Finals in 2019 and making the 18th season of the Summit SuperSeries one for the record books by crowning our first Sportsman World Champion in October.”