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
Registration for the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the first west coast visit for the event in 46 years, opens this Wednesday, July 23, at 10 a.m. (EDT, 7 a.m. PDT).
The heart of historic downtown Monterey will be transformed into an outdoor motorsports museum when historic race cars line Alvarado Street between 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday, August 8 when Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca kicks of the 2014 Monterey Classic Car Week activities.
The race car show lines the street allowing visitors the chance to freely walk among the race cars, take pictures beside them and ask questions of their owners. This event marks the start of an exhilarating week on the central coast and allows visitors to gain an up-close look at the weekend’s biggest automotive stars. In addition to its motorsports attractions, the race car show will also feature raffle prizes, music and driver interviews.
With the support of the Old Monterey Business Association, the show features a select group of classic race cars that will participate in the week’s cornerstone event, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Under police escort, this band of historic race cars will travel from the race track, down Highway 68 and finish their journey in beautiful Old Monterey where they will be on display for the downtown community.
This year’s race car show will feature a diverse lineup of race cars, such as a 1956 Lotus Eleven, 1965 Alfa Romeo GTA, 1968 Bizzarrini Strada and a 1963 Corvette Stingray.
For race participants it is an opportunity to showcase their cars to the community in a festive environment filled with families. Cibo Ristorante Italiano (www.cibo.com) located at 301 Alvarado is a generous supporter of the event. Cibo is hosting a driver reception that will be open to the public at 5 p.m. with complimentary appetizers until 7 p.m. and live jazz music beginning at 5:30.
Part competition and part pageantry, racing history comes to life as cars from nearly every era grace Mazda Raceway August 14-17 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The cars, which are selected for their historical significance, authenticity and period-correctness, are divided into 15 classes, based on type of car, displacement and era of origin. In commemoration of its centennial, Maserati is this year’s featured marque and will be represented by a number of rarely-seen models competing on the track.
For more information on the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion or to purchase tickets call 800-327-7322 or visit www.MazdaRaceway.com.
In July of 2013, Bryan Sellers was able to make a childhood dream a reality. He won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) taking top-honors in the track's Sports Car Challenge race. However, the Braselton, Georgia-resident, who grew up just hours away in Centerville, Ohio, is eager to place his name on trophy for the top sportscar race at world famous facility, the Brickyard Grand Prix. Sellers and teammate Wolf Henzler (Germany) will challenge for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's GT Le Mans class victory in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR on Friday evening, July 25.
"I am beyond excited to race at Indy in the Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR," stated Sellers. "Getting to race and win here last year with Fall-Line Motorsports in the support race was an amazing experience. However, as a racecar driver, you always want to be on the biggest stage and in the most intense environment. This week I have the chance to do that in the most competitive GT class in the world on the most famous racetrack in motorsports in the best Porsche 911 ever created in the top event. It is a huge honor to just be here in this position. I am eager to get on track and put on the best show we can for the fans."
Sellers chased his dreams of an Indianapolis 500 victory from his first kart race at the age 11. He won multiple open-wheel championships and tested ChampCar open wheel machines. Sellers moved to sportscar racing in 2005 and became a Team Falken Tire factory driver in 2009. His win last year in the Brickyard Grand Prix's support event fueled the fire to return and fight for top-honors on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. With the world's most competitive GT racing class now eligible to compete at Indianapolis, by virtue of the formation of IMSA's TUDOR Championship, Sellers now has the opportunity.
"I think every win stands out because victories can be so few and far between," Sellers continued. "However, there are always some that stand out more than others and Indy will always be one of those for me. Standing on the high-rise podium and looking down has been one of the greatest moments of my professional career. It's a feeling that you want to re-create weekend after weekend. I am so honored to be able to have that on my resume, as it is something that can never be taken away. The flavor of the bricks is something I think I will always be able taste."
The Indianapolis road course underwent major modifications in the last year removing some of Sellers' "inside knowledge". However, expectations of success for the two-hour, 45-minute "sprint" race were increased when the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche, the only customer team-owned Porsche 911 RSR competing in the TUDOR watch-backed series, qualified third and raced near the front for much of the most recent round of the season. Falken Tire brought a new Azenis racing slick to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) for that race and the gains proved to be a significant breakthrough. The new tire provided the longtime driving duo predictable and consistent handling over the course of a race stint increasing their competitiveness against the field of factory teams.
"I think it is simple to keep the momentum really," added Sellers. "The execution needs to be a little better. We had the speed in Mosport [Canadian Tire Motorsport Park] but I had a slight bobble that put us a little behind in my stint and with the lack of yellows we couldn't recover. The GTLM class is just too close to have even the smallest hiccup. Indy will be different. We will execute at a high level, and if we have the speed, we will get a result."
The week between the Canadian round and the Indianapolis stop has had special significance to Sellers. The Ohio-native and his wife Jamie announced they are expecting their first child in November.
"Everybody in motorsports are more than friends, they are family," concluded Sellers. "I was excited to be able to share that Jamie was pregnant. I am so excited to take on this next portion our lives. One thing I know for sure is there will be no shortage of people I can turn to for help!"
The Brickyard Grand Prix can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time, July 25. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the race live on its network of stations. Friday's race will also have live timing and scoring available at IMSA.com. Streaming of the qualifying show is available on the IMSA web site beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 24.
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is back with a bang at Snetterton this August (2/3) as the drivers and teams return from their summer break. You can save up to £13 on the gate price by purchasing tickets in advance by clicking here.
After two high scoring meetings at Oulton Park and Croft, eBay Motors' Colin Turkington has taken the title lead, but is coming under attack from Honda's Gordon Shedden and Pirtek's Andrew Jordan, the reigning champion.
With no fewer than seven former champions on the 31-car grid, at least half of the drivers are capable of winning one of the three races at Snetterton, where the long straights and testing corners make for great racing. There's a packed support bill too - and you won't miss a moment of the action from the venue's panoramic spectator banks and giant TV screens!
To buy tickets for the BTCC at Snetterton, call 0843 453 9000 or click here!
On Monday, July 21, the circuit layout and location for the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix, host for round four of the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship, was finally revealed. Taking place on January 10, 2015, the 2.44km anti-clockwise track lies in the popular and modern Puerto Madero district to the east of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.The ePrix has been warmly welcomed by Mayor Mauricio Macri, along with the City Government, local authorities and the ASN.
“For Buenos Aires to be selected to host a Formula E race alongside worldwide cities such as Beijing, London and Miami demonstrates the commitment of the city to embracing new technologies, clean mobility and respect for the environment," added Macri. "The electric vehicle will play a significant role in reducing future pollution in cities across the globe, making them better places to live, and Buenos Aires is pleased to be at the forefront of this and to be supporting a pioneering initiative such as Formula E.”
The course was designed by Santiago Garcia Remohi and features 12 turns including a mix of high-speed corners, chicanes and hairpins. The race is one of two in South America along with Punta del Este in Uruguay (Round three) on December 13 2014.
“Looking at the track, you have to say it’s got a good combination of corners,"Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna said. "There’s a chicane, some high-speed turns with a change of direction and slow-speed as well. It’s impossible to tell from the map about undulation, but I think that it could make for an interesting race and it will be fun to drive."
The Buenos Aires ePrix becomes the fifth track to be revealed by Formula E organisers, with the roads surrounding Beijing’s Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium forming the season opener, followed by a race though the centre of Putrajaya in Malaysia for round two. Punta del Este’s picturesque coastline provides the venue for round three with round seven taking place in Long Beach, Southern California, using a modified version of the city’s historic street circuit. The remaining tracks will be released approximately six months prior to the race.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E said: “We’re very excited about racing in Argentina and want to thank the City Government, Mayor Mauricio Macri, the ASN and all the local authorities for their continued support, investment and backing. We believe this race is going to provide a fantastic spectacle for the people of Buenos Aires and for Formula E fans around the world.”
Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the interest in electric vehicles and promoting sustainability. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits – with races also in China, Malaysia, Uruguay, USA, Monaco, Germany and the UK – it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). Its 10 teams and 20 drivers feature some of the leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters including Sir Richard Branson.
Formula E currently has two signed South American drivers in Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt) and Bruno Senna (Mahindra Racing), whilst Juan Manuel Lopez recently become the first Argentinean to test the Formula E car at Donington Park, UK.
Full details on tickets for the event will be revealed closer to the time. For more information on Formula E, including viewing an interactive circuit map of the Buenos Aires ePrix, visit www.fiaformulae.com.
Tanner Foust snapped a 12-race winless streak in Red Bull Global Rallycross competition with a thrilling victory in Volkswagen Rallycross NY, held on Sunday at Nassau Coliseum in New York. Foust, driving the #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo, beat SH Racing Rallycross driver Nelson Piquet Jr. and Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block to the line in a mad dash to the finish.
“It’s been a tough year—the guys with the most finely tuned road racing skills have really dominated this year, and this was a course that road racing skill really played in,” said Foust. “Luckily, I was able to use a little bit of rallycross skill, focusing on starting, because the track was really hard to pass on in order to get the job done.”
After incidents eliminated Patrik Sandell and Sverre Isachsen and led to red flag periods, Foust took advantage of a two-car front row in the final to get a clean start and push out to the lead. Second place was hotly contested throughout the event, with Ken Block, Piquet Jr., and Scott Speed all holding the runner-up spot during the six-lap main event.
Speed crossed the line second, but was disqualified from the event for making unapproved adjustments to his vehicle during the first red flag under Article 7.7 of the series’ supplemental regulations. As a result, Speed was dropped to ninth position, elevating Piquet Jr. to second place and the points lead.
“Obviously, we want to take the points lead on the track, but regulations are regulations,” said Piquet. “Points-wise, it’s great, and it’s great for the team. I work great with my team, I love them, and we’re bonding all the time. We want to win a race, but we think about the championship and scoring as many points as we need to.”
In GRC Lites, Kevin Eriksson earned his first career victory just four days after his 18th birthday, winning over Olsbergs MSE teammate Mitchell DeJong and Pedro Piquet. Piquet, the 15-year-old brother of Nelson Piquet Jr., and fourth place finisher Oliver Eriksson were each making their GRC Lites race debuts in New York.
The Buckeye SuperBike weekend doubled up the action on Sunday after inclement weather spoiled the fun at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course the day before. All seven AMA Pro Road Racing contests were successfully run on a Sunday that saw Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammates Cameron Beaubier and Josh Hayes share top honors in the premier AMA Pro SuperBike class.
AMA Pro SuperBike Race 1
Hayes took the holeshot from pole (the grid was based on points) but Beaubier drove past his teammate on the back straight on lap 6 of 16. Once in control, Beaubier withstood the intense pressure and last-lap assault the three-time champion subjected him to in a concerted attempt to steal away the victory.
The Mississippian blanketed his 21-year-old rival throughout the second half of their intra-team duel, yet the resurgent Beaubier proved unflappable. Hayes made a bid on the final lap, striking momentarily only to have the rookie immediately snatch back the position and ultimately hold on for a thrilling 0.293-second victory at the checkered flag.
"It feels great to be able to beat Josh after a really good battle," said Beaubier. "I know he probably has the championship in the back of his head, but I was pushing hard. ... I had the intention to push the last three laps but I made a few mistakes and ran wide here and there. I knew I wasn't going to break him, obviously, so I was just trying to ride protectively. I was braking a little harder going into the corners, (trying to) not use the whole track, and go up the inside of a lot of corners. He did sneak up on me and caught me by surprise. I saw him run a little wide so I stayed out a little wide and cut pretty hard on the inside. It was a good clean race and it was hard."
Hayes was happy with his safe second-place finish.
"It was a good race. I wanted to win it if the opportunity presented itself but I can't be silly either," said Hayes. "I don't like thinking about championships, but you know ... I was trying to be careful, but if he gave me a chance, take it. I took one shot at him on the last lap and I think if it had been anybody else, it would have been a little bit closer of a pass. I wanted to make sure I got all the way through to make sure we got through the corner clean and I overshot it enough that he was able to zip past through."
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing teammates Roger Hayden and Martin Cardenas were interested spectators early in the contest, clinging on to the battle for the lead in the race's opening stages before gradually losing touch. Colombian Cardenas was the first to lose the chase, fading back around lap 8, while Kentuckian Hayden dropped out of contention a couple laps later.
"I hung on for a while but I started to make some mistakes," Hayden admitted. "I was having trouble getting my bike into the corner and was missing my apex in a couple spots. A little over half way they started pulling away and I didn't want to crash and lose my data for the next race so I kind of put it on cruise control so we could make the bike a little better for the second race. That race was really our first real practice being here on the new bike."
The two held their positions, however, with Hayden rounding out the podium in third.
KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore took a lonely fifth, while third Yoshimura pilot Chris Clark chased down ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony for sixth, with Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram just behind in eight.
GEICO Motorcycle Honda's Chris Ulrich and Babuska Racing's Frankie Babuska completed the opening race's top ten.
AMA Pro SuperBike Race 2
After being edged by his young teammate earlier in the day, Hayes got his revenge in what proved to be an ever tighter rematch.
Again starting from pole (this time due to posting the fastest lap in Race 1), Hayes ran in front with Beaubier close in formation as they quickly broke free from the pack. The lighter Beaubier finally made his move on lap 13 of 16, again powering past at the end of the back straight, in an attempt to duplicate his earlier victory.
However, this time around Hayes made that aggressive last-lap pass that he overshot in the first race stick. Seemingly in strong shape to maintain first from there to the flag, Hayes got off line through the Carousel. That miscue allowed Beaubier to get the drive and rip up alongside him as they sprinted to the stripe.
Too close to call without a review, the photo finish ultimately showed that Hayes held on by mere inches to claim the win.
The narrow triumph was Hayes' eleventh AMA Pro Road Racing victory at Mid-Ohio, making him the winningest rider in the event's long history, one up on the legendary Mat Mladin.
"I was thinking about passing him earlier in the race and just kind of mix up my rhythm instead of waiting for some kind of desperate move on the last lap," said Hayes after Race 2. "While I was thinking about these things, we came up and I saw the white flag. I was completely taken by surprise with the white flag. I hadn't been watching the lap board and had no idea it was last lap of the race. We were going through Turn 1 and I got a good run and I thought, 'What am I going to do?' I knew what he was expecting. I still felt very confident in there so when I was close enough to have a go, I did and got it stopped. From that point forward, it was probably the ugliest half lap of riding I've ever done in my life.
"I was pretty sloppy in the Carousel but I thought I had it because there are really no passing opportunities. I was just trying to get back to the inside and I ended up losing the front and really botching the last two corners. I never upshifted, I just held second and hit the rev limiter at the line. When I glanced over to my left I actually thought Cameron had got me, but it was so hard to tell right at the line. I was pretty relieved to get to the podium and find out I had won the race. I wanted to win it really bad and I had a lot of fun racing with Cam."
Beaubier said he enjoyed the race as well.
"Josh made a hard, clean pass on me," said Beaubier. "After that I was just looking for any way I could to get around him. He was braking pretty deep trying to not give it away. I tried to set him up coming off the last corner and I didn't know who won.
"Regardless who won today, it was a great race. It's kind of crazy not knowing who won until we came into pit lane."
Hayden finished third for a second time on the day. He actually made inroads on the leaders for a couple laps after losing touch early, but a compound mistake dropped him well and truly out of contention on lap 7. The Kentuckian carried on to claim a lonely third, further enabled by Cardenas' early-race crash in the braking zone at the end of the back straight.
"It was a decent weekend," Hayden said. "Third place is not bad when you're battling for the win but when you're however many seconds back it's not very satisfying. I don't know... I'm having trouble keeping up off the corners and on the straights. I'm just riding so far above what I can do every lap and I just start making mistakes. We have some tests lined up and we need to make things a little better and hopefully at New Jersey make a race out of it."
Fillmore took advantage of the Colombian's mistake as well, coming home in fourth while Clark edged TOBC's Racing Suzuki's Taylor Knapp for fifth.
Anthony got off to a poor start and slashed his way up to seventh, while Ulrich and Team AMSOIL Hero EBR's Cory West took eighth and ninth, respectively. Babuska again rounded out the top ten.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 1
Motosport.com/Meen Yamaha's Jake Lewis won the first AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike contest of the day, making a last-lap pass of Jake Gagne to win his second race in a row. Lewis shadowed RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Gagne until the white flag then made his move at the end of Mid-Ohio's long straight. Gagne fought back, but Lewis was able to hold his line and held the lead until the flag.
"It's huge to get two wins in a row," said Lewis. "I was planning my strategy for the end of the race. I made a pretty good pass on the brakes and blocked from there. There are only a couple of other spots to pass from there."
After the race, the two Jakes were tied for the series points lead.
Riders Discount Racing Triumph's Danny Eslick won the battle for third. The Oklahoman had a good battle with Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff and Dane Westby. Westby rose up from seventh to take third on the Yamalube/Westby Racing machine by the middle stages of the race, but Eslick rallied to take the position back.
Garrett Gerloff also passed Westby to earn fourth.
Gerloff's teammate JD Beach was sixth, having led the first lap before dropping down the order.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 2
Jason DiSalvo won the second AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at Mid-Ohio. DiSalvo topped Jake Gagne for the prize in the red-flagged race, showing great form as he earned the win by being the strongest at the end of the race.
"The team has their heart and soul in this," said New York-born DiSalvo. "They are trying to make the best bike they can. It was great to see all the Northeasterners up here cheering me on."
Gagne now leads the points, earning two second place results on the day. The Californian is seven points ahead of Jake Lewis, who took fourth in race two after winning the opener.
Gerloff was third after trying to hang with the leaders and aggressively moving by Lewis in a bid to hang onto the lead duo. Ultimately, he took the checkered flag almost four and a half seconds back.
Bobby Fong earned an excellent fifth place on his Latus Motors/Castrol/Triumph Racing entry, holding off another former class race winner Blake Young on the GN Gonzalez machine.
AMA Pro SuperSport Race 1
Houston Superbikes' Dustin Dominguez won the first AMA Pro SuperSport race at Mid-Ohio. Dominguez ran away from early leader Hayden Gillim of TOBC Racing to take a 3.260-second victory.
"We're not really worried about points. We're here to win races and if we do, we'll win the championship," said Dominguez, who took second place in the points after the win. "That's our plan. The race went pretty perfect for me."
Gillim wasn't able to win, but assumed the points lead with his strong second place.
Corey Alexander crashed out of third place midway through the 11-lapper on his HVMC Celtic Racing entry. Alexander, who went down in the Keyhole turn, was tied for the lead in the points before the race.
The battle for third saw Alexander's teammate Wyatt Farris return to the podium. The Californian edged Excel Racing's Connor Blevins by less than a tenth of a second. Texan J.C. Camacho (House of Paint Designs) took a fine fifth.
AMA Pro SuperSport Race 2
Dominguez won the second AMA Pro SuperSport race at Mid-Ohio, too. The Oklahoman topped Gillim again, this time by 3.510 seconds after 11 laps. With the win, Dominguez closed to within two points of championship leader Gillim.
"I give Hayden high marks," said Dominguez. "He pushed me really hard. I'd give him an 'A' for effort. ... I liked doing the two races in one day. It's a lot of riding and I love it."
Gillim took the lead for good with Alexander's issues in race one. Alexander's bike was pushed off the grid just before the start of race two as well.
"It's the first time I have been in the lead in the championship," Gillim said. "This time I am going to New Jersey with the lead."
Blevins earned his first AMA Pro SuperSport podium on Sunday. The 19-year old beat top series pilots Kaleb De Keyrel, Wyatt Farris and Jason Aguilar of Tuned Industries for the final spot on the podium.
Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels Harley-Davidson's Tyler O'Hara snapped his midseason dry spell and returned to the top of the podium following a hard-fought AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series contest.
"It feels really good," O'Hara said. "We've been off the box the last three races in a row. This weekend was a turning point for me. Every weekend from here on out we're battling for every point. We have three races left and I expect nothing less than to just battle every weekend."
Five riders were in contention throughout in the seesawing contest that saw Ruthless Racing's Danny Eslick go from first to fifth and back to second, and Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson's Steve Rapp work from fifth to first, only to end up fifth again in the end.
Rapp's teammate, Ben Carlson, finished behind O'Hara and Eslick in third after leading on the final lap in search of his first-ever AMA Pro Road Racing win.
KWR/Millennium Technologies' Kyle Wyman was in the mix as well, ultimately taking the flag in fourth position.
O'Hara's win tightens up the points with the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series next headed to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a doubleheader alongside the MotoGP World Championship on August 8-10. Eslick still leads with 120 points, but O'Hara has drawn closer in second at 114.
Following the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series' Indy doubleheader, the AMA Pro Road Racing season will come to its conclusion and the 2014 champions will be decided at the Kawasaki Devil's Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., Sept. 13-14.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv is the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site also provides coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
About AMA Pro Road Racing:
AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
(AMA Pro Racing PR)
Ferrari teams took all the podium places in the LMGTE and GTC classes at the Red Bull Ring for the third round of the European Le Mans Series in Austria but it wasn't the easy ride that the result sheet suggests.
In LMGTE it was the no55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 of Duncan Cameron, Michele Rugolo and Matt Griffin that saw the chequered flag first, finishing well ahead of the no81 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Thomas Kemenater and Matteo Cressoni and the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Rob Bell, Daniel McKenzie and George Richardson.
However the race was not made easy for the Ferrari teams, with the Gulf Racing Aston Martin Vantage of Dan Brown storming through at the start of the race to build up a good lead in the first two hours. The pace of the Aston Martin was one of the talking points of the weekend and it was only in the second half of the 4-hour race that the Ferrari teams took control.
At the start it was the no72 SMP Racing Ferrari of Sergey Zlobin that headed the LMGTE grid after Andrea Bertolini secured pole earlier in the day. The run into the first corner shuffled the pack but the Russian crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in the lead of the class. However on lap 3 the Ferrari dropped back to 4th place with Dan Brown in the no85 Gulf Racing Aston Martin Vantage moving into the lead ahead of Daniel McKenzie in the no66 JMW Ferrari.
A safety car period to recover the Team Russia by Barwell BMW Z4 of Leo Machitski bunched the grid back up but on the restart Brown set about building his lead, which had grown to 10 seconds by lap 20. The British driver stayed at the wheel of the Aston Martin for the first two hours of the race, handing the car over to Roald Goethe with a 30 second lead. However, a long pitstop dropped the German back to third before he briefly hit the front again before the more experienced drivers gained ground and overtook the Aston Martin.
With 90 minutes of the race remaining Thomas Kemenater took the lead in the Kessel Racing Ferrari but was being caught by Matt Griffin, who had taken over from Michele Rugolo in the AF Corse Ferrari. Ten minutes later the Irish driver was in a position to challenge the Italian into the first corner. Griffin went around the outside and had to run wide to avoid contact as a backmarker was also in the same vicinity as the two battling Ferraris. The two cars went up the hill to Turn 2 side by side but Griffin had the better line and took the lead of the LMGTE class.
With an hour of the race remaining Kemenater and Griffin both pitted within a lap of each other to hand over the cars to Matteo Cressoni and Michele Rugolo respectively. The no81 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Matteo Cressoni had the better stop and regained the lead but Cressoni was soon under pressure from the AF Corse Ferrari. With 30 minutes to go Rugolo dived down the inside of Cressoni into Turn 1 and took the lead, which he held until the chequered flag with a margin of nearly 30 seconds.
The no 66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Rob Bell was catching Cressoni's Ferrari but the gap was too big for the Briton to close before the end of the race. The no56 AT Racing and no54 AF Corse Ferraris were 4th and 5th respectively with the pole position holding no72 SMP Racing 458 of Viktor Shaitar in 6th ahead of the no85 Gulf Racing Aston Martin of Stuart Hall.
After the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring the nr55 AF Corse Ferrari is leading the championship by 3-points from the no72 SMP Racing Ferrari, with Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin heading the Drivers points table by a similar margin.
While SMP Racing couldn't capitilise on their LMGTE pole, the team could celebrate at 1-2 finish in the GTC class with the no71 Ferrari of Kirill Ladygin, Aleksey Basov and Luca Persiani taking their first win of the season ahead of the no73 Ferrari of Anton Ladygin, David Markozov and Olivier Beretta. However after recording their third second place finish in three races, the crew of the no73 SMP Racing Ferrari leave the Red Bull Ring as championship leaders, 12.5 points in front of Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac after the no60 Formula Racing Ferrari was the final car to be classified in 30th overall and 11th in class after starting on pole position.
The GTC class race was dominated by the Ferrari teams despite the strong showing in qualifying by the ART Grand Prix McLarens. After the early safety car period when the Team Russia BMW stopped on track, the no 60 Formula Racing Ferrari held the lead but then dropped back down the order. The class lead was taken up by the no95 AF Corse Ferrari of Cedric Sbirrazzuoli but on lap 11 the no71 SMP 458 of Kirill Ladygin caught and passed Sbirrazzuoli, opening up a comfortable gap as the first set of pitstops approached.
Over the next couple of hours these two cars battled for the lead, with the SMP Ferrari holding the upper hand. In the second half of the race the no73 SMP Ferrari of Olivier Beretta started to catch the no 95 Ferrari and the former Grand Prix driver was soon in second place but 33 seconds behind his flying teammate at the head of the field.
The race then ran its course until the chequered flag with the gap at the end of the 4 hour race standing at one lap. The nr95 AF Corse Ferrari of Sbirrazzuoli and Adrien de Leener was third, 30 seconds behind the no73 F458. The no99 ART Grand Prix McLaren was the first non Ferrari in 4th, with the no98 McLaren in 5th.
Race results to be found HERE
The next round of the European Le Mans Series will take place at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France on the 13/14 September. This will be the penultimate race of the 2014 season with the grand finale at the Portuguese circuit of Estoril in October.
For more information, results and classifications after Round 3 in Austria visit www.europeanlemansseries.com
The European Le Mans Series LMP teams put on a very exciting and powerful display of racing for spectators either in situ in Austria or in front of their TV or computer screens.
Signatech Alpine won the third round at Red Bull Ring ahead of JOTA Sport and Race Performance.
First race hour
Although a few clouds appeared during the opening laps of the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring, it was under blazingly hot conditions that the start of the race was given at 14h00 sharp. Filipe Albuquerque (JOTA Sport) got away very well at the head of the field, while Nelson Panciatici at the wheel of the Signatech Alpine Signatech A450b gained a place by the end of the first lap to put himself behind the No.34 Race Performance ORECA 03 of Franck Mailleux. Pierre Ragues took the start at the wheel of the NewBlood by Morand Racing Morgan Judd (No.43). Pegasus Racing's Julien Schell started things off for his team, while the two Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN Nissans came into the pits for an early pit stop under the Safety Car which was caused by the No.78 BMW Z4 GTC stopping on track.
Air temperature 31oC, track temperature 40°C
The No.28 Greaves Zytek easily made its way back through the field thanks to the performance of team newcomer, Luciano Bacheta. Mark Patterson climbed up the time sheets at the wheel of the No.41 but got held up in traffic among the 13 LMGTE and 12 GTC cars on track. By the end of the first hour the two Zyteks had both rejoined the LMP2 pack.
While JOTA Sport and Race Performance had a clear path at the head of the race, the battle for third place was in full swing between three Frenchmen, Nelson Panciatici, Pierre Thiriet and Pierre Ragues (Signatech Alpine, Thiriet by TDS Racing, NewBlood by Morand Racing). As they lapped the LMGTE and GTC cars there was barely a whisker between them. The Alpine A450b led the rush to the pits for the first round of stops shortly before the end of the first hour, followed by the No.29 Pegasus, No.38 JOTA Sport and No.46 Thiriet by TDS. The last to come in of this group was NewBlood by Morand Racing which ran out of fuel as it came onto pit lane which meant the Swiss team's mechanics had to push the car to its pit.
Second race hour
The beginning of the race's second hour was notable for the Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier JS P2 going off track, with Ludovic Badey narrowly avoiding hitting the barriers. The car returned to its pit garage where the mechanics worked on the suspension and front brake disc problem. The JS P2 lost precious minutes but got back out on track, still in the hands of Ludovic Badey. However, the return to the race was short-lived for the Montpellier-based team as the Ligier JS P2 was forced to retire with a broken stub axle.
Meanwhile, at the head of the race, the Race Performance ORECA 03 had taken the lead with Michel Frey ahead of Simon Dolan in the No.38 JOTA Sport Zytek and the No.36 Alpine A450b in the hands of Paul-Loup Chatin. After 1h20 of the race, Simon Dolan tried - and succeeded - to regain the lead. Paul-Loup Chatin was also on a charge and managed to take second place in the standings, leaving third place to the No.34 ORECA. But the battle didn't stop there as, on the 66th lap, Signatech took the lead as the No.38 Zytek returned to the race after making a pit stop. At the close of the second hour the Alpine A450b was ahead of its rival, JOTA Sport, 1.46 seconds. Third position was back in the hands of the No.28 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan driven by Mark Shulzhitskiy, while NewBlood by Morand Racing held fourth position (Gary Hirsch). Franck Mailleux was back behind the wheel of the No.34 Race Performance (5th) and ahead of the other Greaves Zytek entry, the No.41 of Matt McMurry.
Third race hour
The high temperatures at the Red Bull Ring as the race moved into its third hour ensured that conditions were as demanding for the drivers as much as for their cars, but the race found its rhythm. However, there was bad news for the No.43 Morgan of NewBlood by Morand Racing who picked up a 15 second stop and go penalty for speeding in the pit lane. The Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan was at the back of the pack after having lost 15 laps for a technical issue at the start of the race; Nicki Leutwiler has been trying to make his way back up the time sheets.
Paul-Loup Chatin continued at the head of the field in the Signatech Alpine, but by only 3.5 seconds ahead of Simon Dolan; the lap times were very tight and promised a great battle right to the end of the race. The No.28 Greaves Zytek was ensconced in third place, 46 seconds behind the leader, and Race Performance's No.34 held fourth until the next round of pit stops for fuel and driver changes.
On the 95th lap the Signatech Alpine pitted, Paul-Loup Chatin stayed at the wheel and re-entered the race in third place. Simon Dolan regained the lead, followed by Franck Mailleux driving the Race Performance ORECA. NewBlood by Morand Racing's woes continued, Gary Hirsch having twice cut the white line at the entry to the pits and being rewarded with a two minute penalty. On the 98th lap Briton Harry Tincknell took over from Simon Dolan in the No.38 JOTA Sport, which allowed the Alpine A450b to regain the lead.
As the race clocked up its 100th lap, Gary Hirsch took his second penalty before handing the wheel to Christian Klien who came out into sixth place in the standings, albeit now three laps behind the leader. The Austrian was fired up to claw back as much time as possible and set his fastest lap of the race (1:25.068) on lap 107.
As the end of the third hour approached, Harry Tincknell driving the No.38 Zytek gave the Signatech Alpine as hard a time as possible, with the gap being between 0.167 and 0.510 seconds (lap 114) the fight for first place was on again between the Briton and Paul-Loup Chatin. Race Performance remained in third place, still trailed closely by the No.28 Zytek of Greaves Motorsport. During the 119th and 120th laps, the passing and re-passing between Tincknell and Chatin enthralled everyone on and around the track, with little to choose between them. What a race!
Last race hour
The fourth and final hour of the race began with the No.38 Zytek of Harry Tincknell ahead of the No.36 Alpine of Paul-Loup Chatin. Over a few laps the Briton opened up a gap of more than four seconds. Franck Mailleux lay in wait in third place, 34 seconds behind the leader, and set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:24.969 (126th lap). Mark Shulzhitskiy was fourth at the wheel of the No.28 Greaves Motorsport Zytek and Christian Klien was figuring in the standings too, now up to 5th in LMP2 ahead of Tom Kimber-Smith's Greaves entry. Jonathan Coleman, driving the No.29 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan was 6th but the French team had difficulties making up the delays they experienced at the start of the race. Forty minutes from the end of the race Simon Dolan took over the wheel of the No. 38 JOTA once again at the same time as Oliver Webb in the No.36 Alpine. The drivers continued to fight the fight begun by their respective teammates and, on the 132nd lap, Webb took the lead in a fantastic overtaking move and quickly created a gap of more than three seconds. Michel Frey took the wheel of the No.34 ORECA again and maintained its position in third place, ahead of the No.28 and Christian Klien's No.43 which was still in 5th place. The No.43 Morgan Judd was given another penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct by the Swiss driver earlier in the race.
Signatech Alpine (Alpine A450b n°36 - Paul-Loup Chatin, Oliver Webb, Nelson Panciatici) won the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring with a 12 second gap to n°38 Zytek Z11SN Nissan of JOTA Sport (Harry Tincknell, Simon Dolan, Filipe Albuquerque) and n°34 Race Performance ORECA 03 Nissan (Michel Frey, Franck Mailleux). Luciano Bacheta and Mark Shulzhitskiy took 4th position with n°28 Zytek Greaves Motorsport. NewBlood by Morand Racing (n°43 Morgan Judd - Christian Klien, Gary Hirsch, Pierre Ragues) finished 5th ahead of n°41 Greaves Motorsport Z11SN Nissan (Tom Kimber-Smith, Matt McMurry, Mark Patterson). N°29 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan (Julien Schell, Nicki Leutwiller, Jonathan Coleman) is 7th LMP2.
Find all Race results HERE
The next European Le Mans Series will be at the South of France Paul Ricard circuit on September 14th.
Sheldon Creed completed a weekend sweep in the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS race at Toronto Sunday by edging Robby Gordon for the second day in a row winning both weekend races.
Unlike Saturday’s slippery track, warm and dry conditions produced a thrilling battle between Creed and Gordon. The two drivers battled relentlessly for virtually the entire 10-lap race, with nearly every fan in attendance at the 11-turn street circuit in Toronto standing to watch the spectacle, with thousands crowding the fence line with camera phones in hand.
Scotty Steele again finished third completing an identical podium lineup for both Toronto races.
“It’s obviously pretty cool to win two times in a row here at Toronto,” Creed, 16, said. “Today was a much better race given that it was dry. We could go hard and Robby and I had a great battle. We both got sideways in turn 3 there at the end and I was able to put some distance between us, but about three turns later he was back on my bumper.”
Canadian Native, Paul Tracy finished fourth in his TRAXXAS-sponsored truck, Mexico’s Apdaly Lopez finished fifth in the RPM Off-Road/VisitMexico.com truck, Aaron Bambach in the 3dimensional.com truck finished sixth, with Nick Vanis in the Outlaw LED by Robby Gordon No. 10 and Bill Hynes in the Freaks for LIVE truck rounding out the field.
“I leaned on him a little bit there and he gave it back to me,” Gordon said. “Sheldon did a great job as did Scotty and both of these guys are going places with their careers. People will hear a lot about them for years to come. I could get to Sheldon’s bumper, but I had to check up going over the jumps to make sure that I didn’t land on him.”
NBCSN will broadcast the race at 10 p.m. PDT on July 31 (1 a.m. EDT Aug. 1). Following its trip to Toronto, the series will shift to the west coast for its final four races of the 2014 season at the Sand Sport Super Show in Orange County, Calif. Sept. 19-20; the Coronado Speed Festival Sept. 21 and Las Vegas in conjunction with the SEMA Show in early November.