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That was the start of a rough weekend for Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge driver Vance, who also competed in the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires event last weekend at the track commonly known as Mosport.
Vance was placed 12th on the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires grid after his third-place qualifying efforts were disqualified for drafting. But when the green flag dropped, his No. 40 Mazda did not go. A component failure led to Vance being stalled on the grid. All Vance could do was hope the rest of field went around him. That didn't happen - his car was struck from behind.The car was heavily damaged by the hit. Vance was unable to continue in the 45-minute sprint race. The contact and a team strategy decision also ended Vance's weekend in Mazda MX-5 Cup.
"MX-5 race was frustrating," Vance said. "After the race, the car was fixable. But as a team we decided it would be best to take my motor out of my car, as it was stronger than my teammate, who is going for a championship, and switch motors. Then he has a better shot at winning the next race."
In Round 7 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the Compass360 Racing team enjoyed its best qualifying effort this season, with Vance's teammate, Jon Miller, landing the No. 74 ExpoSystems Honda Civic Si in 11th on the Street Tuner starting grid. But Vance and Miller finished the race 13th after mechanical problems.
From the beginning of Vance's stint, the transmission in the No. 74 car was misbehaving.
"I had to nurse a transmission my whole stint, which meant I could not push as hard and run the pace that the car was being capable of," Vance said. "The other thing I had to be mindful of was everyone around me was driving as if it were a sprint race from the beginning of the stint. The second stint is always a bit more aggressive, but these guys were being a bit ridiculous, to be honest.
Vance has faced a string of bad luck at the track lately but has focused on the accomplishment of making it to the SportsCar Challenge level to propel him forward.
"The biggest thing for me to remember is this is my first year in this super-competitive series, and I am pretty proud of how we are doing," Vance said. "We seem to grow as a team and, no matter what, leave the track with our heads held high. This series is so tough, and the drivers are all of such a high caliber, so being able to hold my own against these more experienced guys in a front-wheel-drive car, which I only jumped into the third race of this year, is pretty cool."
Vance's next race weekend will be at the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Super Weekend at the Brickyard. Practice starts at 9 a.m. (ET) Thursday, July 24 with qualifying at 3 p.m. the same day. The race will take place at 2:35 p.m. Friday, July 25.
While the FIA GT3-spec cars have excelled on the flowing road courses, the point-and-shoot nature of the street courses have tended to favor the Cadillac CTS-V.Rs in GT. GTS has generally been more wide open with Chevrolet, Kia and Ford all having won in class on street courses this season.
With three wins from four street course races this year, Johnny O'Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R enters Toronto as the driver to beat. O'Connell won this race from pole last year and also has three pole positions this season; he looks to extend his 100-plus point lead in the championship. Teammate Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., finished second a year ago in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R and looks to break through for his first win of the year. Pilgrim has four runner-up finishes thus far in 2014.
Tim Pappas, of Boston, Mass., in the No. 54 Black River Caviar Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 moved into the GT-A points lead leaving Road America on the strength of his first win in Round 7. Pappas has been consistent throughout the season and looks for a bounce back weekend in Toronto after a pre-race last year took him out of the Toronto weekend before he had a chance to compete.
Leaving Detroit, Jack Baldwin, of Marietta, Ga., led Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, by one point in GTS. And now, leaving Road America, Wilkins' teammate Nic Jonsson, of Buford, Ga., leads the Canadian by just one point (747-746).
Friday, July 18, 4:35 P.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS)
Saturday, July 19, 11:25 A.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS Race 1)
Sunday, July 20, 12:15 P.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS Race 2)
50 minutes (GT/GT-A/GTS)
Saturday, July 19, 10:55 A.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS Race 1)
Saturday, July 20, 11:45 A.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS Race 2)
Jerome Mee scored a second-place finish in Round 7 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered By Mazda championship in the Lites 2 class July 12 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Alta Velocita Racing (AVR) driver/ team owner Mee's first laps on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile permanent road course took place July 9 during the promoter test. Mee quickly learned the ins and outs of the fast, fearsome circuit before the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Development Series began official practice July 10.
"The track is tricky because there are a lot of blind turns, and as you enter the turns, the track drops off," Mee said. "So you turn in, the car lifts, and you can't see where you're going. Then it settles, and you have to turn. It's a big boy track, that's for sure. But once I got it down, it was very fun."
Mee, driving the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing machine, fought for position in a hard, fair duel with L2 competitor Brian Alder of BAR1 Motorsports in the 30-minute sprint race Saturday.
"I knew immediately that I had pace on Brian, but I have to give him due credit," Mee said. "He did an absolutely masterful job of keeping the car in the right place, which made it difficult for me to pass.
Round 8 Sunday morning was not as smooth sailing for Mee, who completed just nine laps and encountered five spins in rainy conditions.
"On Sunday I used rain tires that I bought with the car more than two years ago, and we've run on them three or four times," Mee said. "I just had no grip, and we were using a pretty aggressive car setup on the front end, which was causing the rear end to be loose. I was nursing the car so much, and I couldn't get the car to stick."
Mee believes circumstances out of his control may have hindered his overall weekend fortune.
"Our pace was excellent, and our setup was good this weekend," Mee said. "I think we were just subject to racing circumstances in qualifying with a wreck that cut qualifying short. If I would have qualified P1 and had a cleaner lap, I think I would have kept Brian behind me in the race because I had pace on him. At the end of the day, that's racing. I just feel fortunate that I have someone out there I can compete with so tightly."
Mee will take a break before heading to Road America in Wisconsin for the next round of the series Aug. 9-10.
As the world's fastest riders descend into the second half of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the time is now for the series' title hopefuls to make their move as five rounds and 10 motos remain. This Saturday, the championship makes its annual visit to Minnesota and the beloved Spring Creek MX Park in Millville for the La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National on July 19. The return to the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and the Mississippi River Valley is a critical junction for two championship contenders as both Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha's Jeremy Martin and Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey are Minnesota natives with a long history at Spring Creek, each of whom will look to take advantage of his hometown experience.
Live broadcast coverage from Spring Creek begins Saturday, July 19, at 2 p.m. ET with the first motos of the 450 and 250 Classes on MAVTV.
Final moto coverage of both classes can be seen via tape delay on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) at 6 p.m. ET.
With three wins and a 250 Class-leading six moto wins to his credit this season, Jeremy Martin has put himself in position to earn a national title in just his second season of competition. The Millville-born rider currently enjoys a 27-point lead in the championship standings and now heads to the race he's looked forward to the most during the entire 2014 season. Jeremy and his 250 Class competing brother Alex are second-generation racers, following in the footsteps of their father, John, who was a champion off-road competitor. Since 1987, John and his wife, Greta, have owned and operated Spring Creek MX Park, leaving a world class facility to the disposal of their sons as they embarked to achieve their motocross dreams.
For Jeremy, Spring Creek was the site of his breakout ride as a rookie one year ago, when he nearly took the win in the opening moto. Following his tremendous success this season, there may not be a more anticipated return to his home track than this one, which has, in turn, also put the spotlight squarely on the 250 Class this weekend. Given his performance in Millville last season and his impressive management of the championship lead since the opening round, to say that Martin is a heavy favorite on Saturday afternoon would be an understatement. He is as expected to win as perhaps any rider in history given his knowledge of the track, which is only surpassed by that of his brother. Some have joked that Martin could ride Spring Creek with his eyes closed, and even with the addition of a brand new section this season, his newfound confidence and class-leading speed is expected to result in his most dominant performance of the season thus far, which would prove to be a major step towards securing a first 250 Class title. While one might think the pressure associated with his return could get to Martin, he's actually looking forward to the opportunity.
"I'm excited. I get to sleep in my own bed and see my mom and dad, which hasn't been since the end of supercross," said Martin. "I get to go out there and get back on the track, and show it who's boss again. It's been a while since I've burnt some laps around there, but we'll get that Star [Yamaha] bike wide open through the [sand] whoops and have some fun."
Two riders looking to spoil Martin's homecoming are Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett and Martin's Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha teammate Cooper Webb. Baggett made the most recent statement last weekend at Budds Creek, matching Martin's overall win total with his third victory of the season. He moved into second in the championship standings and although he recognizes the difficult task that lies ahead of him on Saturday, he remains optimistic that he can turn Spring Creek in his favor.
"When he [Jeremy Martin] can drive [to the track] in a golf cart and check it out, it's pretty close [to home]," said Baggett. "It's a little bit more fire underneath you to try to [beat him]. If it happens, it happens. But he's fast, bottom line. I'm sure he's going to be really fast at his home track. He ain't giving me nothing! You've got to fight for it. Which is good."
Webb has remained in the thick of the hunt since the beginning of the season and since breaking through for his first career win at Muddy Creek several weeks ago, he's also stepped up to become a more formidable challenger. Confidence is running high for the North Carolina native and he'll be just as motivated as Baggett to try and outrun his teammate on his home track.
On the heels of his second overall victory of the season last weekend, Minnesota native Dungey is also garnering considerable attention in the 450 Class as he returns to sight of some of his most successful outings. The KTM rider faces a 26-point deficit to his teammate Roczen atop the championship standings, but given the momentum of last weekend's win and his incredible record at Spring Creek, this is the opportunity to change the complexion of the title fight at a key point in the season.
Since 2008, dating back to when he was in the 250 Class, Dungey has won in five of his last six starts in Millville. He carried an undefeated record at the track in the 450 Class up until last season, which surely has left a chip on his shoulder and will only add to his motivation to return to prominence at his hometown race.
Moreover, Roczen's bid for the 250 Class title one year ago all but came to an end at Spring Creek when he crashed out of the first moto and lost control of the points lead in the process. The German has likely not forgotten that memory and will be in search of his own redemption in Millville. With an incredible streak of podium finishes in every moto to this point in 2014, Roczen has yet to falter against his more experienced rivals and so far appears to be in full control of his own destiny. Knowing his teammate will come out swinging on Saturday, don't be surprised if Roczen displays increased patience on the track.
Lurking behind this duo will be GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac, who in the first three starts of his 450 Class career has finished on the overall podium each time. Last season Tomac proved to be the benefactor of Roczen's misfortune at Spring Creek, sweeping the day's motos and seizing control of the championship en route to his first career 250 Class title. Tomac knows how to win at Millville and would gladly like to spoil the dominance his KTM counterparts have enjoyed in 2014.
Spring Creek MX Park has hosted a round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship since 1983 and has continued to provide one of the most picturesque and competitive tracks in the sport for over three decades. With its dramatic elevation changes, great soil and collection of the most notorious obstacles in all of off-road racing, like the infamous sand whoops and "Holy Schmidt" jump, Spring Creek provides a truly ideal setting to host an event of this magnitude. Factor in a brand new uphill and downhill section, which will no doubt result in some of the best racing of the 2014 season.
Last year at Spring Creek, Team Yoshimura Suzuki's James Stewart earned his lone win of the 2013 season, putting on a thrilling battle with Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard following misfortune by both Dungey and eventual champion Ryan Villopoto. In the 250 Class, Tomac was dominant and took over the championship lead following a tough day by Roczen in their season-long duel.
Action for the La Crescent Wine & Spirits Spring Creek National this Saturday, July 19, begins at 9:30 a.m. ET with timed practice. Opening ceremonies get underway at 1:25 p.m. ET, with the first gate drop scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET.
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes and his No. 4 Yamaha YZF-R1 power into the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio with four consecutive AMA Pro SuperBike victories on his side and a fourth-career premier class title in his sights. The 39-year-old AMA Pro Road Racing icon has completely righted the ship after a rocky start to his 2014 campaign. And with a 40-point advantage in his pocket, Hayes stands an outside chance of locking down the throne a round early with another stellar weekend.
The Mississippian has taken six previous Mid-Ohio SuperBike race wins - four of which came packaged as double victories. It would have been seven wins and three doubles had he not been assessed a five-second penalty for a start-line infraction last season. Hayes was credited with second place in his most recent outing at the circuit despite taking the checkered flag first by 4.878 seconds.
Should Hayes double again this weekend, his teammate, Cameron Beaubier on the No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 and Roger Hayden, pilot of the No. 95 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000, would need to score no worse than a 2-4 weekend combination or be eliminated from title contention.
Fourth-ranked David Anthony aboard the No. 25 ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 could stay in the hunt in the case of a Hayes double with a 2-3, but no other rider is close enough to weather that sort of display of dominance by the Yamaha superstar.
Hayes has been tested in terms of outright pace at times this season - by rookie teammate Beaubier in particular. But the hugely experienced veteran has made the most of his accumulated knowledge in the form of consistent excellence. After escaping to the win this past Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Hayes was asked why he's been so reliably strong in comparison to his challengers.
"Everybody wants to talk about how old I am," said Hayes. "Years of practice. I've seen some guys come through that are incredibly talented - with a talent level that's hard to touch that I don't have. But I've had to do my schoolwork and I've gone about learning the skills of my trade. The things that I do help me so that my bad days aren't so bad. On my bad days, I'm off a very small amount from my good days. That keeps me steady. I've worked hard at it. I spend a lot of time focused on me and my motorcycle and I go out there and do my work. I'm proud of what I've been able to accomplish."
While they could not slow the Hayes freight train, Beaubier and Hayden were both relieved to have registered strong outings in Monterey, Calif. after suffering through frustrating weekends prior to that at Barber Motorsports Park.
"I think I rode OK," Beaubier said of his pole position/second-place weekend performance. "Overall, I'm pretty happy to get out of here with second place, especially after the weekend I had at Barber, throwing a couple bikes down the road. It's good to get some confidence back heading to Mid-Ohio."
Hayden said the strong result in California bodes well for him and his team this weekend.
"I'm really happy with the podium and how my race went," said Hayden. "My speed was good, even though we struggled at the beginning of the weekend. Now we have some momentum going to Mid-Ohio, so I have to thank the Yoshimura Suzuki crew, they dug deep this weekend and got my bike working well."
While Beaubier and Hayden bounced back after rough weekends in Alabama, it was the opposite story for fifth-ranked Chris Clark on the No. 6 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000. Clark earned his first career AMA Pro Road Racing podium at Barber but could do no better than ninth in California.
"Honestly, we struggled a bit all weekend," Clark said. "I just didn't quite have it today but I just tried to put in a solid race and maximize what we did have. Now I'm looking forward to moving on to Mid-Ohio and going forward with our overall strategy, which should suit Mid-Ohio well. I'm looking forward to starting fresh and showing up optimistic next weekend, and hopefully getting a better result."
Clark's points advantage over his Yoshimura teammate, Martin Cardenas aboard the No. 36 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000, has been reduced to just eight. The Colombian got off to a strong start in Monterey, storming to the holeshot but was eventually relegated to fourth.
"We did have a little bit of a problem after a while," said Cardenas. "And I was losing a bit of time on every lap. Even so, I tried to do the best I could, but the other guys were just a little faster than I was and I ended up fourth. Now we'll go to Mid-Ohio, where I have had some good results, and see if we can step it up a bit."
Chris Fillmore and his No. 11 KTM/HMC Racing KTM RC8R equaled his season's best result with a fifth place run last weekend. He'll be looking to do even better at Mid-Ohio, where he and the orange bike made such an impressive debut back in 2011, scoring a seventh place result in their first outing.
Cory West on the No. 13 Team AMSOIL Hero EBR 1190RS, Bernat Martinez riding the No. 76 Proto-Tech Spain Yamaha YZF-R1and Trent Gibson aboard the No. 17 Seven Sports Kawasaki ZX-10 complete the championship top ten heading into Ohio. Meanwhile, local favorite Larry Pegram and the No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing EBR 1190RS along with former Mid-Ohio AMA Superstock race winner Chris Ulrich on the No. 18 GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Honda CBR1000RR will be back in action after pulling World Superbike duty at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Top 10 AMA Pro SuperBike results from
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
3. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
5. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
6. David Anthony (Suzuki)
7. Cory West (EBR)
8. Bernat Martinez (Yamaha)
9. Chris Clark (Suzuki)
10. Sebastiao Ferreira (Kawasaki)
AMA Pro SuperBike Points standings
1. Josh Hayes 175
2. Cameron Beaubier 135
3. Roger Hayden 134
4. David Anthony 131
5. Chris Clark 117
6. Martin Cardenas 108
7. Chris Fillmore 85
8. Cory West 79
9. Bernat Martinez 61
10. Trent Gibson 55
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.
Coming into round four of the AMA Pro Road Racing series, the RoadRace Factory team was optimistic about their chances to make a spectacular showing in front of the world audience. This round was to be shared with the World Superbike riders and everyone was anxious to see how the team would perform at the technical Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in front of the international audience. After a decent weekend at Barber, they were looking to keep on a positive trajectory that would boost them through the remaining three rounds of the season. Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan and sometimes, the early morning fog, doesn't always clear up.
The World Superbike weekend is an odd weekend for the AMA Teams. Not only are the teams relegated to limited track time the crews also have to hustle in order to put up the pits and tear them down each session. It's a lot of energy towards what amounts to very little track time. However, it is Laguna and it's the only west coast round, so everyone was excited and wanting to put on a great display for the World Superbike audience.
On Friday's practice session, Jake Gagne was at the top of the timing charts for most of the session. He was feeling good and the bike was performing well. Some new components (put on after Barber) had yet to be fully tested and the practice session proved a perfect testing environment. Tomas and his crew were feeling good about their chances as Tomas loves Laguna and has a history of going fast around the circuit and this was his first time around with a fully prepped DSB bike under him.
Going into the first qualifying session however, Tomas' crew had made some changes to the machine and for the first time this season Tomas was smiling saying that was feeling really good on the machine. His times had him well within reach of the top five as the top ten where only separated by a little over a second. Meanwhile, Jake's crew made only minor adjustments to his machine and once again, Jake was running at or near the top of the timing sheets. Still though, there was a lingering feeling that something just wasn't going right. As is normal, Jake was consistently improving his times, but other riders were doing the same at a quicker pace and when the session was over, Jake would be in a provisional fifth place while Tomas was back in ninth.
For the one and only on track session of the day on Saturday, the crews of both Jake and Tomas had made some changes that were confident would place their riders firmly at top the timing sheets. For Jake, the changes seemed to have worked. He was immediately quick and by the time the short session was over, Jake had moved his RoadRace Factory / Red Bull Yamaha R6 to P2 for the start of the race. On the other side of the pit, Tomas and his crew were scratching their heads as some form of mechanical gremlins had appeared. The guys spent most of the session in and out of the pits; this inconsistent pace is a determent to running consistently fast lap times. When the session was over, Tomas was back in P10. The team quickly rolled his machine into to the transporter and immediately began the hunt for the gremlins.
With limited time to ensure the changes were good, Sunday morning brought out a quick 20-minute warm-up session. Jake and his crew went about the business of eking out the last few ounces of speed from his bike, while Tomas and his crew set about to see if the changes were effective. Unfortunately, the issues that plagued him the day before, were still present and there was only a limited amount of time to resolve them before the race.
As the riders lined up for their one race of the weekend, it was a guessing game to see if all issues had been resolved. Tomas admitted later, that on the warm-up lap he could tell the issues were still there and he didn't feel he would have the pace. Jake was focused at grabbing the hole shot and staying up front. Flags were dropped and the riders took off over the rise for race action. Gagne was able to get a good start and was riding with the leaders for much of the opening laps. Tomas was circulating in the second pack of about 8 riders.
By mid-race, Jake was embroiled in a battle with Triumph rider Danny Eslick. The pair would battle it out all race long for the final podium position as fellow Yamaha riders Jake Lewis and JD Beach were pulling a gap on battling Eslick and Gagne. Meanwhile, Tomas was leading the chasing pack riders a few seconds off the pace. Tomas lead the pack and seemed to be holding his own, unable to pull a gap but no one was able to mount a challenge. Clearly he was riding around whatever issues he was having.
Coming down to the wire, the battle with Jake and Danny was heating up. With several passes by each rider lap after lap, it was clear it would come down to the final few corners. From the pits, you could see they were side by side coming down through the corkscrew and through Rainey curve. Out of Turn 11, Eslick got into the corner first and Jake had to adjust his line slightly and that allowed the Triumph rider a better drive off the corner and Danny would edge out Jake by only a few tenths of a second at the line.
"Definitely wasn't what had hoped for," stated Gagne. "Got off to a decent start but I was struggling a little bit with the bike. I was up there in third and doing ok. After a several laps I came up to some lappers in Rainey (Curve) and almost ran off the track. After that the top two guys had a good gap and then I got into a battle with Danny (Eslick) and we went back and fourth the last couple of laps. Ended up fourth which isn't what we wanted, but we have Mid-Ohio next weekend and we'll redeem ourselves."
The drama would completely unfold however for Tomas. As the pack he was leading for most of the race headed into the final corner, a slower rider caused the group to check up and a chain reaction of bumping and braking would ensue. Tomas would be the unfortunate victim of the last corner as he as hit and taken down into the gravel. He would remount and finish the race in 22nd place.
"What can I say? This is a weekend to forget," added Puerta. "I was feeling competitive on Friday and was hoping to do good here. But something happened with the bike and everyone is trying to figure it out. For me, I feel like I didn't even race here, this weekend didn't happen and I'm just looking forward to Mid-Ohio. I know my team will fix the problem and we'll be ready for Mid-Ohio for sure."
"Hey, sometimes this happens in racing," concluded team owner Danny Walker. "You can't win them all and once in a while, things just go sideways on you. This is Laguna and it's a hard weekend for everyone because you can't really get into any kind of rhythm and I know the guys busted their butts. Sometimes in racing things just happen, all you can do is find out why they did happen and ensure that they don't happen again. I'm confident that we'll be back running strong for Mid-Ohio and if I know the guys, they've already found the issues with Tomy's bike and they'll get it fixed. Onward to Mid-Ohio!"
Following its hugely successful debut at X Games Austin, the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS series returns to competition at the Honda Indy Toronto this weekend.
The TRAXXAS trucks will be making their way to the popular Toronto IndyCar circuit for the second consecutive year after debuting in great style in 2013. The trucks will race twice in Toronto – at 2:20 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday – just as they did last season when Justin Lofton and Sheldon Creed won races on the 1.755-mile (2.84 km) circuit.
The Honda Indy Toronto track is an 11-turn temporary street course located in downtown Toronto. It is constructed throughout and around picturesque Exhibition Place grounds and utilizes Lake Shore Boulevard as its backstretch.
Creed will return to defend his race win from 2013, along with multiple-time 2014 winners Apdaly Lopez and Robby Gordon among others.
The Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS series’ only practice session takes place Friday at 11:50 a.m., which will determine starting positions for Saturday’s race. Fastest lap times from Saturday’s race will determine the lineup for Sunday’s race.
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 three 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 in Las Vegas in conjunction with the SEMA Show in early November.
The Stadium Super Trucks that will race in Toronto will hit huge man-made ramps at more than 100 mph at multiple locations throughout the downtown street circuit hurling drivers nearly 20 feet in the air and 150 feet down course. The series features identically prepared trucks which are made to resemble their scaled-down Traxxas radio-control-car counterparts. Like their Traxxas namesake the trucks are designed to take flight. However, unlike RC trucks, they produce 600 horsepower generating speeds upwards of 130 miles per hour and race on DOT approved Toyo Tires.
Kelly Moss Motorsports extended its Platinum Cup Team and Driver Championship points lead after two second-place finishes in Rounds 7 and 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama on July 11-12 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The powerhouse team entered the Canadian weekend with a smaller lineup than usual, with only two drivers on the entry list. But that's all it took for Kelly Moss to increase its championship lead to six points over Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport.
"The plan all along was to come here and increase our lead and pick off any wins if possible," Kelly Moss Vice President Jeff Stone said. "So we're on target for exactly what we came here for."
Colin Thompson, Kelly Moss' young talent, continued his podium streak by picking up two second-place Platinum Cup finishes. Both were hard-earned after the team had problems in qualifying, causing Thompson to start seventh and sixth in the two races.
"We had a good car all week long but never a great car," Stone said. "We had an OK qualifying but not quite what we wanted. So we had to work really hard in the race. We did some things to the car and Colin worked on a few things, and we had two great races, scored some points and stretched out our championship lead. We had a chance to possibly make a pass for the win, but we decided that was not the right move because we're here for the championship."
Thompson increased his Driver Championship lead to 14 points, 152-138, over rival Angel Benitez Jr. with seven rounds remaining in the season.
"You can't complain about moving up five spots in any race, especially at a track like this one," Thompson said. "We didn't have the fastest car out there, but we just ran a smart race. At the end of the day, it's all about the championship and points, and second place is solid points."
Kelly Moss' second driver, William Peluchiwski, had a hectic weekend juggling work and racing. Qualifying was the first time he had seen the fast, fearsome circuit, but he was still able to finish eighth in Gold Class and fifth in the Gold Masters Championship in Round 9 and ninth in Gold and sixth in Gold Masters for Round 10.
"Bill was unfortunately tied up with business and wasn't able to show up for either the test day or practice day," Stone said. "He did an unbelievable job coming in here never having seen the track before and having done little preparation. To come in and have the car come home in one piece and have fun, we're just real proud of him for keeping it together and doing as well as he did."
Peluchiwski is tied for fourth in the Gold Masters standings.
Kelly Moss is heading back to its headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin to prepare for Rounds 6, 9 and 10 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at the team's home track, Road America. Round 6 is being made up after being rained out in May at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
This weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP), Bryan Sellers and Team Falken Tire took a major leap to be race-win contenders in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, as the Braselton, Georgia-resident and his longtime teammate Wolf Henzler (Germany) qualified third and finished eighth in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR.
"It is gratifying to begin to see some results for Team Falken Tire," stated Sellers. "We got a late start to the season with missing Daytona and all pre-season testing so we have had a lot of work to do as the season has progressed. We still have a lot of things we need to address to continue to improve but this time of year all teams are saying the same thing. We just need to make sure we continue to worry about our program and control the things we can control."
After creating a strong street course race tire and the prevailing rain tire in the North America sportscar racing paddock in recent years, the factory-owned team has been pursuing a comparable tire for natural terrain road course racing slicks. Sellers, the leading test driver for the program, and the Japanese-owned company had found the right combination at the end of 2013 winning the American Le Mans Series finale, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, in dry conditions. However, the new Porsche 911 RSR demanded a new construction and compound combination to maximize performance. Entering round six of the TUDOR Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, the effort found a strong combination with its new Azenis race tire.
"Our tire engineers at the track and at the Falken Tire factory in Japan have been working their hardest to give us a good product to race on," Sellers continued. "We have not made any steps backwards. We will continue to work and I have full faith that they will as well."
After good performances in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - where the team debuted the Porsche 911 RSR with a fifth-place finish - and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - where the No. 17 was in contention for a podium finish - the two-hour, 45-minute race at CTMP was the clearest sign of the gains made by the Team Falken Tire entry. Sellers' stint saw the Ohio-native hold-off attack after attack before the close competition saw several cars pass him late in the first hour. Sellers' relinquished the wheel of the blue and teal Falken Porsche to Henzler who continued the battle ultimately taking eighth.
It was the consistency of the tire over the stint that has the team excited about the future. With this tire, the feeling is that Sellers and Henzler will now be able to fine-tune the chassis to the Falken Azenis to narrow the gap even further to the competition. It will take only a few tenths of a second over the course of the roughly one-hour between pit stops - dictated by fuel usage - to make the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR a threat at every round on the calendar. Small steps and big effort are beginning to payoff.
"GTLM is an incredible class to be racing in at the moment," Sellers concluded. "It is very clear by watching the races that it is impossible to make a mistake and win a race. It's even very difficult to make a mistake and finish on the podium. There is always a battle on every lap and that is what keeps you sharp as a team and as a driver. I feel like as a program we are getting stronger every weekend and will hopefully be able to make a late season push for podium finishes."
There will be little rest for Sellers after this weekend. The Falken Tire factory driver travels to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next. The Brickyard Grand Prix will be held on the Indy road course, Friday, July 25. The track layout has been modified this year making it slightly different than the course that Sellers raced to a SportsCar Challenge race victory last year. It will be the first time that Falken Tire has competed on the track in any form.