Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

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  

  

 

Series rookie Hayden Duerson earned his first career pole in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda on Friday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Duerson, from Gulfport, Mississippi, turned a top lap of 1 minute, 14.484 seconds in the No. 39 Performance Tech Motorsports entry in his final trip around the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit, the only Canadian stop this season in the series. The pole matched the feat set by Duerson's father, Craig Duerson, who won the pole last month at Kansas Speedway. 

"It feels like a long time coming this season," Duerson said. "We've been so competitive so many times and have had such bad luck. From last race having the suspension go, to the race before that having caught fire. It's just great for the Performance Tech team. I've been wanting this all season. Hopefully we can turn it into a win tomorrow."  

Round 7 of the season, a 30-minute race, starts at 6:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Round 8, a 45-minute race, begins at 9:50 a.m. Sunday. 

Qualifications were interrupted early for off-course excursions by the No. 68 Quorum Racing entry of Montreal's Guy Laporte and the ONE Motorsports No. 12 of Tony Bullock. The recess of nearly 10 minutes chipped away at precious time in the 20-minute session, as only a handful of competitors had yet posted a lap. A scant five minutes were left for drivers to lay down their fastest time when the round resumed. 

North Vancouver resident Mikhail Goikhberg immediately set the mark after the red flag lifted in his the No. 10 JDC Motorsports Lites 1 Élan DP02 powered by a Mazda engine. Goikhberg stayed at the top of the charts until time ran out in the session, but a handful of contenders were still on track looking for the checkered flag, including Hayden Duerson. 

Fellow series rookie Matt McMurry also clipped Goikhberg at the end with a fast lap of 1:14.631 in his No. 20 JDC Motorsports entry, good for second on the grid. Goikhberg's fastest lap of 1:14.651 leaves him starting third. 

Brian Alder claimed the Lites 2 class pole in his No. 22 BAR 1 Motorsports entry, setting a qualifying lap record of 1:18.235 for the class. Jerome Mee will line up alongside Alder in the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing entry with a top lap of 1:18.732 during the session. Todd Slusher will start third in his first race in the class with a lap of 1:18.803 in his No. 62 ONE Motorsports entry. 

For live updates on all the action, follow @IMSALive on Twitter. 

Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, will start from the No.1 position for Saturday’s Round Seven race of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, part of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Koch wasted little time in setting a high bar to beat by turning his pole-winning time on only his second circuit of the 10-turn, 2.459-mile permanent road course. Driving the No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5, he stopped the clock at 1:34.850 (93.330 mph). The time will go down as a new qualifying lap record for the class at CTMP.
 
“I planned on trying to go out there to set my fastest lap on the first or second time around,” Koch said. “We set our pressures a little higher knowing it was going to be warm. Yesterday, the track really fell off after the Sports Car Challenge group got off the track. We had planned for the same thing to happen in this session.
 
“Since the beginning of the season, I’ve been working on trying to put down early fast laps during qualifying. We got it right and the ALARA guys made sure everything was rock solid.”
 
Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, completed the top three starting positions. Sparks also took an early flying lap. On his third time by the line, he recorded a time of 1:37.460 (92.734 mph) while driving the No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5. Sparks was able to get out of the pits ahead of Koch, which allowed him to hold the top position until being one-upped by Koch.
 
“This all started when I was able to set a good lap time during the last practice,” Sparks said. “I just put my head down and focused. The tires came in, and I was able to make a good early lap. After that, the tires began to fall off a bit and I just couldn’t match my early speed.
 
“We haven’t changed our approach to doing things. I showed up with a good setup idea from John Dean, and it just feels good. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get his car to come alive, but mine feels like I’m driving a limousine out there.”
 
Driving the No. 28 MedBuild/Henry Schein/ModSpace MX-5, Gallagher was able to stop the lap timer at 1:35.810 (92.395 mph). With track conditions that featured deteriorating grip, Gallagher was able to put in a flying lap mid-way through his run.
 
“I don’t know how much faster we can go without the draft,” Gallagher said. “I think Sparks did a great job by putting his car second.
 
“I think it’s going to take a lot of working together on the straights. But, I think our mid-corner speed is the best of the field. I would put it up against anyone else. We’ll be able to hang in the draft, but passing for the win is something different.”
 
Ara Malkhassian, of Houston, put his No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5 into the fourth-place grid position, with a fast lap of 1:35.847 (92.359 mph).
 
Sebastian Landy, of Great Falls, Virginia, finished the 30-mintue qualifying session in the fifth. He was able to pilot the No. 49 Excitations.com/Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5 to a fast lap of 1:35.875 (92.332 mph).
 
In the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge, Robby Foley, of Randolph, New Jersey, put in a pole-winning drive. His lap of 1:37.565 (90.733 mph) was not only good enough for the top position in class, but also eclipsed the previous qualifying-lap record.
 
“Turning early fast laps was part of the plan,” Foley said. “We didn’t know what the track was going to be like, especially with the tire rubber put down just before we went out. The pole lap was really early, about lap four, so that went to plan. I felt like the track got greasy as the session wore on.
 
“As far as the race goes, you have to set the car up for the long run. We proved the point in qualifying that you can set the car up to do a couple quick laps right out of the box, but by lap 10 you’re really fighting the car. We have to set the car up to come in during the middle, while making sure you do not push too hard early on.”
 
Completing the top three positions in class were Lucas Bize, of New York, with a time of 1:37.652 (90.652 mph), and Ben Albano, of Greenwich, Connecticut, with a best time of 1:37.658 (90.647 mph), at the controls of the No. 61 Project Yellow Light SBMX-5.
 
The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires is set to start Round Seven, on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. (EDT). That race will be followed by Round Eight, later in the day, at 4:20 p.m. (EDT).
 
 
As the European Le Mans Series approaches the mid point of the 2014 season, Gérard Neveu- LMEM CEO, sat down to answer a few questions from the international press.
 
We are now heading to Austria for the third of five races on the 2014 calendar.  What are your thoughts on this season compared to 2013?

This year is definitely a step in the right direction. Last season LMEM, on behalf of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, took over the organisation of the European Le Mans Series and set in place a series of changes that resulted in teams and drivers deciding that they wanted to race in the ELMS.  The increase in the size of the grids showed we were going in the right direction.  

Towards the end of the year we talked to the teams about the 2013 season, what worked and what didn't, and a number of changes were made before the start of the 2014 season, including longer races and more track time.  This has resulted in a further boost to the size of the grid, with over 40 full season entries.  

We have some of the best teams in Europe racing in the ELMS and the presentation of the paddock is very professional.    We still have some way to go but we are definitely on the right track to make the ELMS the best continental race series in the world. 

Are you pleased that the ELMS teams finished well at the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

The 24 Heures du Mans is the pinnacle of endurance racing and for ELMS teams to go up against the best in the world and win is a tremendous achievement and is something that will make other teams and drivers look at the ELMS in the future.  

You have to remember that the overall winners in the ELMS receive an automatic entry for the next 24 Hours of Le Mans and while it is not part of the ELMS calendar, Le Mans is something that every driver and team dream about winning.  

Our congratulations go to JOTA Sport for the LMP2 victory and also to TDS by Thiriet Racing and Signatech Alpine for making it a 1-2-3 finish for ELMS teams in LMP2, something we are very proud of. 

We are heading the Austria next.  There have been some changes to the facilities at the Red Bull Ring because of the visit by Formula One a few weeks ago.  What difference do you think this will make to the ELMS event?

The Red Bull Ring is an impressive facility set in a beautiful location in Austria.  The track remains as challenging as it was in 2013 and the new facilities will certainly add something to our event next weekend.  Many of our drivers choose to race in the European Le Mans Series because of the tracks we visit.  ELMS now boasts two current Formula One circuits on its calendar and all five tracks each present a unique challenge which will test both drivers and cars.  

After Austria the ELMS will race at Paul Ricard and then at Estoril. What are your thoughts on those events?

The teams all know the Circuit Paul Ricard after the official test in April.  The circuit is ideally suited to endurance racing and I am confident that the race in September will be as exciting as the race was in 2013.  

Last year Paul Ricard hosted the season finale, while this year we still have the event in Portugal a few weeks later.  

The 4 Hours of Estoril will provide the perfect backdrop for the end of season party, with the local promoter working hard to attract a good crowd with plenty of entertainment.  Estoril is a very special circuit and like the other four tracks on the calendar will have its own unique challenges to test the competitors to the maximum.  The second half of the 2014 season is certainly not going to be boring!

Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Alabama, finished at the top of the time charts of practice two in preparation for Round Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, part of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance. Joey Bickers, of Moorpark, California, and Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, completed the top three.
 
Driving his No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5, Sparks was able to clock a best time of 1:35.328 (92.862 mph) around the 10-turn, 2.459-mile permanent road course. That time was good enough to land him the top spot by a razor-thin margin of 0.052-second, and is quicker than the existing lap record. However, the current record will stand as the lap was not turned during a qualifying or race session.
 
“I was pretty shocked to have finished P1 with all these fast drivers out here,” Sparks said. “We’ve been working on setup, and the car is really dialed in. John Dean and the Sick Sideways guys really did a great job setting this car up and it’s really on rails. I’m just driving as hard as I can to help the team out in the best way I know how.
 
“I have a strong feeling that we’ll all do well in the qualifying session. We’re on older tires and this is typically what happens. During practice our team is usually a little slower, but once we get to qualifying our cars are set up well for the new tires.”
 
Bickers put down a fast lap early in the session. His fastest lap of 1:35.380 (92.812 mph) was notched after completing his fourth lap around the course in his No. 29 Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5. The lap landed Bickers in the second position once the checkered flag flew.
 
“It’s my first time here at the track,” Bickers said. “I really like all the fast corners. We’ve been making steady improvements to the car, both yesterday and today. I feel like we’re at a point where we can leave the car alone and contend for a top-three spot in qualifying. Hopefully, that will put us in a good position to stay in the top pack during the race.
 
“Before we go out to qualify we’re going to put some fresh tires on the car. There are a lot of corners where you have the car loaded up for a long time, and I think new rubber will help with that. We’ve been running on old tires, up until now. It’s been good to learn the track on those tires, but it’s time to put on the new rubber and see what happens.”
 
In the No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5, Koch stopped the clock with a fast lap of 1:35.396 (92.796 mph). That was good enough to place him in third. Koch said he will make some small adjustments to optimize his car during qualifying.
 
“We’re going to make some changes, for sure,” Koch said. “This is obviously going to be different than the qualifying session. We made some changes for the practice session, and it was a little off. It was drivable, but I would have liked it to have been better. We still left a couple tenths of-a-second out on track.
 
“I think we’re looking good for qualifying, it’s just going to come down to putting the laps together. I think the pole time will come later in the session, depending on how greasy and slick the track gets.”
 
John Dean, of Sebring, Florida, finished the second practice session of the weekend in fourth. At the controls of his No. 16 Projections Research/PPG MX-5, Dean’s fastest lap tripped the timers at 1:35.487 (92.708 mph).
 
Completing the top five was the third Sick Sideways Racing car driven by James Vance, of Stouffville, Ont., Canada. Behind the wheel of the No. 40 Exposystems Displays & Exhibits MX-5, Vance’s best time was a lap of 1:35.590 (92.608 mph).
 
In the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class, Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, California, led the way. Piloting his No. 99 Royal Rugby SBMX-5, Kemper’s fastest lap was registered at 1:36.670 (91.573 mph). Like the time in the Cup class, this is quicker than the current track record, but will not count as the time was set during a practice session.
 
Lucas Bize, of New York, New York, finished the 30-minute practice session in second with a fast lap of 1:36.935 (91.323 mph). Ben Albano, of Greenwich, Connecticut, slotted into third with his lap of 1:37.702 (90.606 mph), in his No. 61 Project Yellow Light SBMX-5.
 
The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires is slated to take to the track for qualifying later today at 1:55 p.m. (EDT). Round Seven is set to start on Saturday, at 8:00 a.m. (EDT), followed by Round Eight, later in the day, at 4:20 p.m. (EDT).
 

Ara Malkhassian, of Houston, set the fastest time during practice one preceding Round Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, part of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance. Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, and John Dean, of Sebring, Florida, completed the top three, respectively.

Malkhassian set his fastest lap of 1:35.575 (92.622 mph) at the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit as the checkered flag came out on the 30-minute session. Driving his No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5, Malkhassian credited his fast lap to the draft he got from Koch.
 
“It’s nice to be back at a big, high-speed track,” Malkhassian said. “I really like these type of tracks and have pretty good luck with them. The car, with the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 S tires, is really hooked up. It feels like we’re going faster than we’ve ever gone at this circuit. The setup is great and Kenton [Koch] has done a great job for our team.
 
“By getting a draft from Kenton [Koch], I was able to set the quickest time. He’s a little quicker than me, but was able to help me out a little. We’re not going to pretend that no one else is here. At this track you can’t get away from the competition, and it ends up being a drafting race the whole way through. We expect the usual suspects to be up front, but we’re looking forward to race day.”
 
Driving his No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5, Koch stopped the clock with a best lap of 1:35.626 (92.573 mph). That time was good enough to place him in the second position during the session. Koch said he is feeling confident with his car, but is not underestimating his competition as the event progresses.
 
“We’re looking good for the rest of the weekend, but I think John [Dean] is holding back,” Koch said. “I think he’s got more than what he’s showing us. We were running together out there and he was hanging in there, just chilling.
 
“I think we’re going to have a dogfight for the pole, tomorrow. With this session we were able to set a fast lap right out of the box. As we ran more, the grip started to go away. It certainly wasn’t getting better, the more we ran.”
 
Dean, at the controls of his No. 16 Projections Research/PPG MX-5, set a best time of 1:35.891 (92.317 mph). The time landed Dean in third during practice one. Dean said he is glad to be back at a track he likes.
 
“Coming off Houston, I’m really glad to be back at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park,” Dean said. “I like the high speed corners, since it rewards a driver for being both smooth and fast. The car feels good, but as we work through the weekend we will make small tweaks to the car to get as fast as possible.”
 
Sebastian Landy, of Great Falls, Virginia, finished the session fourth. In his No. 49 Excitations.com/Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5, Landy’s best time was a lap of 1:35.978 (92.233 mph).
 
In the No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5, Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Alabama, completed the top five with a lap of 1:36.055 (92.159 mph).
 
In the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge, Ben Albano, of Greenwich, Connecticut, captured the top spot. At the controls of the No. 61 Project Yellow Light SBMX-5, Albano recorded a best time of 1:37.378 (90.907 mph). That time is quicker than the current official lap record, however as the lap was set in practice it does not count as a new record.
 
“This track is awesome,” Albano said. “This is the first time I have been here, and once I got out there I felt at home. Going into this session, we were just trying to get ready for qualifying, since it will be very important.
 
“I like the flow of this track and the elevation changes. It allows the driver to set the corner up well. You really have to be brave here, and I like challenging courses like that.”
 
Newcomer Mac Korince, of Ridgeway, Ont., Canada, was the second quickest in class, with a time of 1:37.555 (90.742 mph). Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, California, finished third, with a time of 1:37.616 (90.686 mph), behind the wheel of the No. 99 Royal Rugby SBMX-5.
 
The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires is on track for their second practice session, preceding Round Seven, Friday at 9:00 a.m. (EDT). Qualifying for the doubleheader weekend is scheduled to follow later on Friday, at 1:55 p.m. (EDT). Round Seven is set to start on Saturday, at 8:00 a.m. (EDT), followed by Round Eight later in the day, at 4:20 p.m. (EDT).
 
 

On Thursday, July 10, E.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time of pre-season testing at Donington Park with a lap of 1:31.083s to finish two-tenths clear at the top of the timesheets for the second day in succession. The 25-year-old Swiss, who has now topped three of the four pre-season tests, beat the previous best time set by Audi Sport ABT driver Lucas di Grassi.

“Today has been a very good day,” said Buemi. “This morning we concentrated on race pace working on putting in lots of laps and finding the best balance with the temperatures of the tyres and battery. We continued to focus on race pace in the afternoon, as well as qualifying runs. Credit again has to go to the team for giving me such a good car and the confidence to push and we’ll now see how we can improve for the next one.”

With few reliability problems, all 10 teams racked up the mileage with a combined total of 840 laps for the day.

Di Grassi initially lowered the benchmark clocking a 1:31:282s in the morning session.

The Brazilian, who went quickest on day two, has looked strong throughout testing saying: “We are making good progress every test and every time I get in the car. We understand the car a little better but it’s difficult to do a lot of representative work in Donington compared to some of the circuits we will race on throughout the season. The most important thing is to learn about the battery, the motor and tyre pressures but not necessarily fine tuning set-up at this track.”

Ex-Formula 1 and GP2 driver Jerome d’Ambrosio ended the day third for China Racing while Scott Speed, testing for Andretti Autosport, was a place further back in fourth. Briton’s Sam Bird who headed-up testing duties for Virgin Racing in the afternoon session finished fifth with team-mate Jaime Alguersuari seven places back in 12th.

Audi Sport ABT driver Daniel Abt put in a strong performance in sixth position, ahead of Nicolas Prost in the e.dams-Renault. Despite a brief visit to the gravel trap in the morning, Jarno Trulli produced his quickest time of the test so far to finish ninth overall.

Nick Heidfeld taking over from his Venturi team-mate Stephane Sarrazin managed 78 laps on his way to eighth in the standings.

Andretti Autosport’s Franck Montagny started the day with blistering pace, clocking his fastest time of the test so far with a 1:32.958s. He eventually improved by a further four-tenths to complete the day just outside the top 10.

Argentina's Juan Manuel Lopez spent the day behind the wheel of the China Racing car and finished in a respectable 15th position.

 

FIA Formula E Championship – Day 4, Donington Park – Test results (Combined times):

 

1. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, 1:31.083s
2. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, 1:31.282s
3. Jerome d’Ambrosio, China Racing, 1:31.651s
4. Scott Speed, Andretti Autosport, 1:31.810s
5. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, 1:31.895s
6. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, 1:32.080s
7. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, 1:32.124s
8. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, 1:32.126s
9. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, 1:32.479s
10. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, 1:32.506s
11. Franck Montagny, Andretti Autosport, 1:32.512s
12. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, 1:32.583s
13. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, 1:33.019s
14. Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, 1:33.083s
15. Juan Manuel Lopez, China Racing, 1:33.425s
16. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, 1:33.544s
17. Mike Conway, Dragon Racing, 1:33.692s
18. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, 1:33.778s
19. Fabio Leimer, Amlin Aguri, 1:38.988s

 

The fifth and final test takes place on August 19 with free access to fans via the Donington Park website.

For more information on Formula E visit www.fiaformulae.com.

The 2014 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike season has been a barn burner and the series looks to continue that trend at this weekend's race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at the combined AMA Pro Road Racing/FIM Superbike World Championship event. The GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round, held on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile track, will feature a number of different riders and machines from around the globe, but the fierce middleweight battle might be the toughest fight on the card.

Each of the three AMA Pro Road Racing previous events this year has seen a different standout rider claim the spoils. At Daytona, Danny Eslick on the No. 69 Riders Discount Racing Triumph Daytona 675R earned pole and a DAYTONA 200 victory. At the Road America races, Jake Gagne, pilot of the No. 32 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6, took the double win by outrunning the pack. At the last race, Dane Westby earned his share of glory in a runaway victory and a come-from-behind triumph on his No. 00 Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.

Gagne leads the points heading into Laguna Seca. The Californian has been solid all season and the only blight on his record so far was getting caught up in a Saturday crash in Alabama. Gagne leads the points, 121 to 109, over Eslick. Gagne, known for his consistency, wasn't able to extend the lead he assumed at Road America and will no doubt be looking to build on his margin in California.

Gagne led much of Sunday's race in Alabama and, in a class with many contenders, has shown championship form in 2014. The former Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup champion looked great on the way to second place in points last year and has taken another step forward in his third season in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike.

Eslick, a two-time series champion, has also excelled in his return from AMA Pro SuperBike. The Oklahoman is known for his flashy style but is remarkably consistent in his results. Eslick rarely tosses away points in the races. After winning the championship on Buell and Suzuki machinery, the fan favorite could extend his reputation by taking a third title on his Triumph this year. The British bike could suit the twisty confines of Laguna Seca well. 

Fast teen Jake Lewis on the No. 85 MotoSport.com/Meen Yamaha YZF-R6 is third in points, just five behind Eslick. The Kentuckian has also revealed his speed this year and his first class win seems inevitable. Lewis has had plenty of highlights so far, and while he is yet to win, Lewis has forced others to outpace him to earn their victories. Lewis is aggressive and talented, and it's only a matter of time before he claims that maiden victory. 

Fourth place rider JD Beach aboard the No. 6 Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6 is also a frequent visitor to the podium. Along with teammate Garrett Gerloff, pilot of the No. 8 Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6, Beach has usually been one of the protagonists at the front for the factory Yamaha entry. However, the duo is still searching for the team's first victories of the season. Beach quickly transitioned to the factory squad this year and has two seconds and a third so far. 

Westby is fifth in points, rocketing back into the title hunt with an awesome Alabama weekend. Westby's double win brought him to within 22 points of the lead and with five races to go, he is still very much alive in his title quest. While those wins were impressive, it was the way in which they came that was shocking. Westby passed five of the toughest AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike riders in the second half of Sunday's race to take the checkered flag. "The Wolverine" had some bad luck the first two races of the year, but three podiums in a row show he and his squad are as fast as anyone in the class.

Kyle Wyman on the No. 33 Kyle Wyman Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 has been "Mr. Consistent" in 2014. The New Yorker has a great string of finishes that have elevated him up the charts.

Veteran Jake Zemke, riding the No. 98 GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Honda CBR600RR has done the same, scoring each time out as his squad develops the Honda.

Youngsters Benny Solis on the No. 35 Team H35 Yamaha YZF-R6 and Tomas Puerta on his No. 12 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6 are separated by just one point in ninth and 10th, respectively. Solis showed what he could do at Laguna Seca in 2008 during the Red Bull AMA Rookies Cup. Puerta has been the class' top rookie in 2014.

Just behind them is a group of veteran riders. Jason DiSalvo on the No. 40 Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time Triumph Racing Daytona 675, Blake Young riding the No. 79 GN Gonzalez Racing Yamaha YZF-R6, Bobby Fong aboard the No. 50 Latus Motors/Castrol/Triumph Racing Daytona 675, and No. 15 D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph Racing's Steve Rapp have all won in AMA Pro before, so the talent in the class extends well outside the top ten.

Fong's Alabama performances were noteworthy. The Californian came back from last on a restart to earn a podium on Saturday and crashed out of the race on the last lap while fighting for the podium in Sunday's contest.

With no AMA Pro SuperSport action at Laguna Seca, some of the top talent from that class will get a shot at AMA Pro Daytona SportBike. Kaleb De Keyrel on the No. 51 De Keyrel Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 is one of those racers, and is riding high after his double-podium in Alabama.

A total of 33 riders are entered for the race to be held on Sunday at 1:25 local time (4:25 p.m. ET).

Red Bull Global Rallycross has announced an adjustment to its 2014 event calendar, effective immediately. Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles, previously scheduled for September 19-20 on the Port of Los Angeles, will be extended to a three-day event, replacing the series’ round in Detroit scheduled for August 2-3.

Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles will now serve as a doubleheader event, ensuring the preservation of the series’ 10-race championship. The race weekend will now kick off on Friday, September 19, while dual finals will be run on Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21. Both events will be televised live on NBC.

In addition to the scheduled broadcasts, the series will run a 90-minute midseason recap broadcast on Sunday, August 3 at 4:30PM ET, which will include new and exclusive content to help showcase Red Bull Global Rallycross to its ever-growing fan base.

“Los Angeles has been the home of Red Bull Global Rallycross since the series was founded, and is home to some of our most passionate fans as well,” said Red Bull Global Rallycross CEO Colin Dyne. “By converting our round in Los Angeles into a three-day event and points-paying doubleheader, we offer additional value to our fans in one of our core markets, as well as creating additional championship intrigue for our fans watching at home on NBC. We remain committed to our fan base in Detroit, and we look forward to racing in the Motor City in 2015.”

The revised 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross schedule is as follows:

·         May 17-18: Top Gear Festival Barbados

·         June 7: X Games Austin

·         June 21-22: Volkswagen Rallycross DC

·         July 19-20: Volkswagen Rallycross NY

·         July 25-26: Red Bull Global Rallycross Charlotte

·         August 22-23: Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona

·         September 19-20: Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles I

·         September 21: Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles II

·         September 26-27: Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle

·         November 5: Red Bull Global Rallycross Las Vegas

 

This change undoubtedly reflects the continued economic issues facing the city of Detroit, and sends a bad message about the health of motor racing in Motown. One wonders if the IndyCar race at Belle Isle will be the next to go. We shall see.

As they say, two heads are better than one. That must be the reason why Scuderia Corsafounded in 2011 by Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo, is headed to two entirely different racetracks in two different countries this coming weekend.

Near Toronto, the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal will compete in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship round at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.  It will be both drivers' first visit to the circuit, noted for being one of the most challenging in North America with a collection of high-speed corners and large elevation changes.   

"Canadian Tire Motorsports Park is a fairly fast track having an average speed of over 115 mph," said team engineer Joe La Joie.  "Turns 1, 2, and 4 are all long sweepers between 100-to-130 mph and produce 2 lateral G's.  Therefore, the car has to be well balanced in high speed with enough support to handle these turns.  Considerations must be made with the gearing so that the downshifts and throttle applications do not unsettle the car here either. Turn 5 is the slowest turn on the track and leads to the longest straight. The lead in to turn 5 is challenging because of the decreasing radius of Turn 4, a heavy brake zone, and a tricky double apex.   The car must accelerate well out of turn 5 with good throttle application and proper gearing in order to drag down the back straight which leads to turns 8, 9 and 10."

Balzan and Westphal finished in fifth position at the previous round at Watkins Glen International, putting in a strong performance after the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia suffered contact in the early stages. That finish, along with their victory at the previous round at the Raceway at Belle Isle, has pushed them to sixth in the TUDOR Championship's GT-Daytona championship standings. 

While Balzan and Westphal compete at CTMP, the Scuderia Corsa drivers who compete in the North America Ferrari Challenge will be in action at another great North American circuit - Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.   

Driver Chris Ruud, who lives near the circuit in Milwaukee, currently leads the Coppa Shell championship ahead of teammate Jon Becker. The two drivers have taken nine out of a possible ten victories in the Coppa Shell class this season. They will be joined by John Horejsi, who competes in the Trofeo Pirelli class.  

 "We anticipate that we will have a big challenge on our hands at CTMP with the high level of competition in the GT-Daytona class as well as the big differences in speed with the Prototype cars", said Giacomo Mattioli, team owner of Scuderia Corsa.  "Alessandro and Jeff have been doing a fantastic job, as has the crew. In Ferrari Challenge, Chris and Jon have been very impressive and are first and second in the Coppa Shell championship. They are pushing each other very hard and have almost swept the season, while John has been making huge strides after being away from racing for several years. Hopefully after the end of the weekend, we are celebrating several wins for Scuderia Corsa!" 

Scuderia Corsa will remain busy after the weekend, as team Sporting Director Stefan Johansson will then take part in a Ferrari Driving Experience event at Mont Tremblant that is exclusively dedicated to clients of Ferrari Beverly Hills and Ferrari Silicon Valley.

The Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix will be shown live on Sunday, July 13 at 2:00 PM ETon FOX Sports 1.  

Christina Nielsen's 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama campaign is flying by, as she heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) for Rounds 9 and 10 of competition July 11-12 in Bowmanville, Ontario. Nielsen, 22, from Aarhus, Denmark, raced in May at CTMP - commonly known as Mosport - with the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin series, collecting a pair of top-10 finishes. Nielsen is in the midst of her first season of North American racing, and her return to CTMP this weekend will mark the first time this year she is coming to a track where she has previously raced. 

"I find Mosport challenging, and therefore consider it important that we were here earlier this year," Nielsen said.

 Nielsen most recently raced at Watkins Glen International, where she pulled double duty in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen endurance race. Nielsen found a distinct difference in the driving approach taken in a 45-minute timed GT3 Cup sprint race compared to an endurance race.

 "For the TUDOR endurance race, you have different priorities," she said. "We push every lap, but it is not a sprint race. It is important to have good pit stops, consistent lap times and to keep the car on track. In contrast, with the 45-minute GT3 Cup USA races, you push in a different way and take more chances, especially at the beginning of the race."

 Competition is extremely tight in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, and Nielsen knows anything could happen within the field of 29 racers at the 10-turn, 2.459-mile rollercoaster of a circuit at CTMP.

 "Track time in practice before qualifications and the races will be important, but then again the other drivers have also had track time over the last few weeks," Nielsen said. "You can never predict anything in racing, but as usual, we aim high."

 Driving for NGT Motorsport in the No. 25 Porsche 911 GT3 Platinum Cup car, Nielsen is sixth in championship standings with 69 points.

 Practice at CTMP starts at 10 a.m. (ET) and 3:25 p.m. Thursday, July 10, with qualifying at 10:35 a.m. Friday, July 11. Two 45-minute races are scheduled, for 5:40 p.m. Friday, and 10:10 a.m. on Saturday. Visit FansChoice.TV to watch the races streamed live and get live race details on Twitter@IMSALive.

 

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