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
Before his first season as an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel driver, Richie Crampton put together a list of goals. Crampton was not afraid to aim high and at the forefront of those goals was winning the Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, which annually recognizes the season’s top rookie performer.
The big hopes have brought out the best in Crampton, as he has already posted two victories, including winning the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and qualified for the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship in his 10,000-horsepower GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster.
But Crampton, along with the rest of the rookie candidates who are eligible for the coveted award, is hoping to make a late push with only two events remaining in the 2014 season to raise his profile with the media voters who determine the winner. Next up is the penultimate race of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, the 14th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"From the beginning of the season, I really had my eyes set on trying to win the Road to the Future Award,” Crampton said. “I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but that was definitely the No. 1 priority. We wanted to finish well and contend for the championship, but as a rookie driver the rookie award was something I've been focused on trying to achieve. At the end of the year when the dust settles, I hope to be in the running for it."
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the popular event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Crampton, who is currently 10th in the Top Fuel points standings, would like to bolster his chances of earning the award by adding his name to the winner’s list at the NHRA Toyota Nationals, but he is also competing against a strong rookie class that includes the likes of Pro Stock talents Jonathan Gray, Jimmy Alund and Shane Tucker, as well as Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors Chaz Kennedy and Elvira Karlsson.
While all of the rookies have had shining moments this season, like Crampton, Gray has also made quite an impact in his first year. Gray, the brother of Pro Stock veteran and defending race winner Shane Gray, made his debut in Gainesville at the controls of his Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro and has steadily developed, posting runner-up finishes at both Bristol and Epping.
He held off multi-time world champion Greg Anderson to claim the final spot in the Countdown to the Championship and then started the NHRA playoffs by racing to his first career victory at the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals. Currently seventh in points, Gray also is eager for one more late push at the final two events of the season to leave a strong memory in the minds of the voters, more than 150 of the top motorsports journalists.
“We started out the year not really sure if we could even make the Countdown, and we went from making it to winning the first race,” Gray said. “Looking back, I think that going to the semis at Indy was a key moment. If we're going to have a shot at Rookie of the Year, we're going to have to have a good showing at these last two races. We know what we're up against but it's definitely doable. I've got the car to do it, and I've got the team to get it done. I've just got to make sure I get off the starting line first, and we'll see how it all shakes out at the end. I think it would just top it all off to go out big at the end of the season.”
Being a part of the championship pursuit with his brother Shane and teammate Dave Connolly has also made for an extremely enjoyable first season in the highly-competitive Pro Stock ranks.
"I've enjoyed learning to drive the racecar in all of the different scenarios that you're put in as you go from race to race,” Gray said. “These cars have their own little nuances and each racetrack is different, so the cars run different in different situations. That's all been part of the learning curve, and that's really what I've enjoyed most, learning how to drive one of these Pro Stock cars."
Crampton has been just as remarkable displaying his driving prowess in the loaded Top Fuel field. Taking over for Morgan Lucas in the driver’s seat of the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster in 2014, Crampton has adjusted seamlessly and handled the pressure of driving a 300-mph dragster with outstanding resolve.
He won at Englishtown in just his ninth Top Fuel race, also becoming the 100th different driver to win in Top Fuel, and followed that with a memorable victory in Indianapolis at the world’s most prestigious drag race. That memory will undoubtedly last a lifetime, but Crampton wants to finish strong in the Countdown after getting off to a slow start in the Countdown’s first four races.
“The key for me learning quickly has been Morgan Lucas and (crew chief) Aaron Brooks helping to get me comfortable in the car right away,” Crampton said. “I really want to try and do well in these last two races because you never know what next year is going to bring. Finishing out the year well and bringing some confidence into next season would be huge. (But) to stand back and look at what I've been given the opportunity to do this year, all of that has been remarkable for me."
Brown, the 2012 world champ, is a two-time winner at Las Vegas but the driver in command in Top Fuel is seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher. After winning three of the first four races of the Countdown, Schumacher, an eight-time winner at The Strip, holds a 134-point lead over Doug Kalitta. Steve Torrence sits in third, reigning world champion Shawn Langdon is fourth in points while other Countdown competitors include Spencer Massey, reigning Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award winner Brittany Force, Khalid alBalooshi and J.R. Todd.
Force locked up his 16th world championship when he defeated daughter Courtney Force in the final round at this event last season but he is chasing points leader Matt Hagan. Hagan, searching for his second world title, won in Reading to jump to first and holds a 36-point lead over John Force. Courtney Force is also a top contender for the championship, while other pre-race favorites in Funny Car include three-time season winner Alexis DeJoria, Tommy Johnson Jr., Robert Hight, Ron Capps, Tim Wilkerson, Del Worsham and three-time Las Vegas winner Cruz Pedregon.
In Pro Stock one of the most intense playoff battles is brewing between as many as five drivers. Jason Line leads the pack in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro and is followed by history-chaser Erica Enders-Stevens, a four-time winner this season who is trying to become the first female to win an NHRA world championship title in Pro Stock. Dave Connolly, Gray and Allen Johnson are all within striking range of a championship, while Jonathan Gray, Jeg Coughlin, V Gaines and Chris McGaha round out the Countdown field.
Smith was victorious in Pro Stock Motorcycle last season en route to his second championship ring. But the 2014 season has belonged to Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammates Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec. Both have won this event three times and Hines holds a 25-point advantage over Krawiec. Hector Arana Jr. is in third and other marquee challengers in the two-wheel category are Steve Johnson, Angie Smith, Scotty Pollacheck, John Hall, Hector Arana Sr. Michael Ray, Jerry Savoie and Angelle Sampey.
The event will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and one driver will be crowned world champion at the season finale in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, Oct. 31, with sessions at 1 and 4 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Nov. 1, at 1 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2.
Circuit Of The Americas Welcomes Infiniti Red Bull Racing ShowCar Runs in Downtown Austin During Formula 1 Week
Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is delighted that Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. will help kick off the U.S. Grand Prix weekend with the running of a Formula One car and the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype on the streets of Downtown Austin on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel will drive Vettel’s 2011 championship Formula One car and the 560-horsepower Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype up and down Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.
The event, which will start at 12 p.m. CDT on the corner of Congress Avenue and Seventh Street, will give fans a preview of the race scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at Circuit of The Americas, the home of Formula One in the United States.
Vettel and Ricciardo will take turns demonstrating the performance of the Formula One car and introduce Austin to the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype inspired by Infiniti’s partnership with Infiniti Red Bull Racing. There will also be a drivers’ parade, and a few lucky fans will be selected from the crowd to ride in the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype driven by Vettel and Ricciardo.
In just three years, the U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas has become a favorite among fans, teams and drivers because of the venue’s world-class facilities, its challenging and exciting 3.4-mile racetrack and the numerous entertainment options throughout the weekend. Tickets are still available for this year’s race, Grand Prix, including a single-day option on race day (Sunday 2nd November). To purchase tickets, visitwww.circuitoftheamericas.com/f1.
Also planned at COTA over the race weekend is a post-race concert by Kid Rock at the Austin 360 Amphitheater, recently named by USA Today as one of America’s 10 best concert venues, and the return of Fan Fest, the celebration of speed and music set over multiple city blocks in Downtown Austin.
“We are thrilled that Infiniti Motor Company, Ltd., is providing fans an opportunity to preview the power, speed and excitement of Formula One and the U.S. Grand Prix,” said Dominic Iacono, Circuit of The Americas’ chief marketing officer. “Seeing these amazing cars in action under the Texas Capitol is sure to draw in new fans while adding to the anticipation among long-time Formula One followers.”
The son of a legend and NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has enjoyed a resurgence in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year. In a visit to the remains of a North Carolina dirt track where his father and grandfather were stars, the normally guarded Earnhardt opens up like never before with ESPN’s Marty Smith on a variety of topics, including his career, maturity and family name.
“I look at myself back then and I’m like, ‘What were you thinking?’ And yeah, you know, it’s amazing we won what we did. And I had a lot of talent but I didn’t get it out of the car. I just rested on my legacy and last name,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. stated.
“My own mood’s based off of how I perform. My family’s important to me, but not as important as my performance, and if that’s wrong, it’s wrong but right now, my performance drives everything in my life – everything,” Earnhardt continued.
Tune in to the broadcast at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 19. on ESPN for more of the revealing interview.
The International Hot Rod Association's™ (IHRA) Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series formally wrapped up its season during a special awards celebration held earlier this week at Minglewood Hall in Memphis.
IHRA recognized all of the 2014 Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series champions and handed out a number of special awards following a successful season that spanned eight months and 12 venues across the United States and Canada.
"The 2014 Nitro Jam season provided plenty of drama, excitement and even a few record-breaking performances. It was a big year for the IHRA and IRG as we look to put this series back on the map," said IRG Sports + Entertainment CEO Jason Rittenberry. "Congratulations to all of the 2014 Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series champions and special award winners. It was a historical season on a number of levels and we look forward to an even bigger and brighter 2015."
Hosted by Rittenberry and six-time IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Clay Millican, the 2014 Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series Awards Celebration recognized world champions Jason Rupert (Nitro Funny Car), Cary Goforth (Pro Stock), Mike Scott (Nitro Harley), Ron Maroney (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen (Jet Dragster), in addition to recognizing special award winners for the 2014 season. Each champion received a special edition Ironman and greeted the crowd filled with Nitro Jam drivers and teams.
2014 IHRA Jet Dragster champion Elaine Larsen
Special award winners for the 2014 season include Jason Rupert (AMSOIL Top Performer), Cary Goforth (Driver of the Year), Jay Turner (Crew Chief of the Year) and Mark Sanders and Mike McIntire Jr. (Race of the Year).
Rupert, who won the Nitro Funny Car championship after a dominating season that included four wins, six number one qualifiers and a new IHRA ET record, took home the evening's biggest prize, the AMSOIL Top Performer Award for 2014. IHRA Driver of the Year was awarded to Goforth, who had three wins and won two championships this season with both the IHRA and the PDRA.
Additional special awards went to Turner, winner of Crew Chief of the Year after he helped put all three Jay Turner Racing bikes in the championship hunt with Mike Scott winning the title, and Sanders and McIntire, winners of the Race of the Year award. McIntire and Sanders met five times in competition this season, with their closest race of the year coming at the MOPAR Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex in June. Sanders defeated McIntire in that race with a 5.891 at 244.69 mph to McIntire's identical 5.891 at 237.21 mph.
IHRA's other major award, Sportsman of the Year awarded to the driver that contributed the most to the series both on and off the track, went to Dave Hough earlier in the weekend. Hough was instrumental in bringing the Nitro Altered class back to IHRA where they entertained fans for four incredible years with the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.
2014 IHRA Pro Stock champion and Driver of the Year Cary Goforth
The evening also included dinner, a special address by IHRA President Scott Gardner and a sneak peak at the first episode of the new Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series television show, airing on MAV TV on November 6.
Following a successful 2014 season, the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series will return to the track beginning with the Southwestern Nationals the weekend of February 6-7 in Tucson for the start of the 2015 season. Congratulations to all of the 2014 IHRA World Champions and special award winners.
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association has released its very robust national schedule for the 2015 season, with 18 race events, five more events than in 2014. SVRA’s schedule reflects significant growth in the Western U.S., with the addition of the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival at Sonoma Raceway, the Portland Vintage Racing Festival at Portland Int’l Raceway, and the Coronado Speed Festival on Coronado Island near San Diego. Two new significant SVRA events are also debuting on the 2015 schedule in the Southeast, the Southern Classic at Road Atlanta and Mardi Gras in October at NOLA Motorsports Park near New Orleans.
Along with Sonoma and Coronado, 2015's SVRA Invitational events will include the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the U.S. Vintage National Championship at Circuit of The Americas near Austin, Texas.
“This early release of our schedule is the result of some great collaboration with the tracks and other vintage racing organizations," stated Tony Parella, SVRA President and CEO. "They recognize that early date commitments make it easier, and more efficient, for us to work together with them to promote the event and its features. The early commitments put us in front of our entrants and fans in time be included in their early racing and vacation plans.”
2015's first event will be held Feb. 13-15, and is run with VARA at the Spring Mountain Raceway in Nevada. February's next two events are run at a pair of iconic tracks, Road Atlanta and Sebring Int’l Raceway, building the season's momentum. As part of a unique opportunity being offered by SVRA, any racer running both the Road Atlanta and Sebring events will have the opportunity to run a third non- invitational SVRA event for free. The base entry fee will be waved.
The SVRA 2015 Schedule:
- Feb. 13-15, Duel in the Desert with VARA at Spring Mountain Raceway, NV Feb. 20-22, The Southern Classic at Road Atlanta, GA
- Feb. 26-March 1, The Spring Vintage Classic at Sebring Int’l Raceway, FL
- Mar. 28-29, Willow Springs Historics with VARA at Willow Springs Raceway, CA
- Apr. 9-12, Miami Historics at Homestead-Miami Speedway, FL
- Apr. 25-26, British Extravaganza with VARA at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, CA May 14-17, SVRA Spring Vintage Festival at Road America, WI
- May 28-31, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival at Sonoma Raceway, CA.
- June 10-14, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at Indianapolis Motors Speedway, IN
- June 19-21, S. California Historic Sports Car Festival at Auto Club Speedway, CA
- June 25-28, Mid-Ohio Vintage Grand Prix, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH July 9-12, Portland Vintage Racing Festival at Portland Int’l Raceway, OR Aug. 13-16, Pocono Mountain Historic Getaway at Pocono Raceway, PA
- Sep. 10-13,* U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen Int’l, NY*(if repaving is approved, date will be July 23-26)
- Sep. 18-20, The Coronado Speed Festival at Coronado Island, CA
- Sep. 24-27, Heacock Classic Gold Cup at Virginia Int’l Raceway, VA
- Oct. 8-11, Mardi Gras in October at NOLA Motorsports Park, LA
- Nov. 4-8, U.S. Vintage National Championship at Circuit of The Americas, TX
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association is the premier vintage racing organization in the United States. Founded in 1981 by Ford Heacock III, the SVRA has 2,000 members. It currently sanctions 18 events at some of the finest racing venues in the United States, including: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen, Auto Club Speedway, Road Atlanta, Pocono Raceway, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Sonoma Raceway, Portland International Raceway and Virginia International Raceway. The rapidly growing organization also hosted the first U.S. Vintage Racing National Championships in 2013 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
To our fans,
As we prepare to celebrate the inaugural season of the TUDOR United Sports Championship tonight in New York City, we wanted to say thank you, on behalf of the entire IMSA team.
We learned a number of valuable lessons throughout our inaugural season, and did our best to work swiftly to address challenges as they arose. As we pay tribute to the accomplishments of 2014, rest assured that work already has begun in our Daytona Beach headquarters to make the 2015 TUDOR Championship and subsequent seasons even better.
We appreciate all of the feedback we've received throughout the season and hope you would agree that we have been listening and made changes to improve your experience and the quality of this sport that we all love.
In case you missed the recent announcement, beginning in 2015, popular sports car announcers Greg Creamer, John Hindhaugh and Jeremy Shaw will team up as voices of IMSA Radio, which will provide live audio coverage of all domestic IMSA series, including the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
Our back-to-back FOX network telecasts of the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas and Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda from Road Atlanta each drew an average of more than one million viewers throughout the two-hour broadcast. Both also had peak audiences of greater than two million viewers. These are some of the most impressive television numbers generated for sports car programming in a long time, and gives all of us involved in IMSA positive momentum as we look toward 2015.
In addition to the FOX broadcasts we were able to provide live streaming of the entire Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda and will continue to look into ways to provide live video content to our passionate fans while also actively reaching out to new fans.
Thanks to you, we also saw record at-track attendance throughout the season.
On the digital front, IMSA.com had more than 21 million page views, and 38 percent of site visitors were new. On YouTube, full-race replays were available and fans viewed over 200,000 hours of video. The TUDOR Championship Facebook page has recorded more than 38 million impressions and race weekend Twitter mentions increased by 225 percent over last year's performance by the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
Please know that everyone at IMSA appreciates your passion and loyalty to sports car racing. Because of you, we have much to be proud of and celebrate. We will not rest on our laurels and always will strive to deliver an even better experience for sports car racing fans.
Thank you again for a great 2014. We can't wait to launch the 2015 season in less than 90 days at Daytona International Speedway for the Roar Before the Rolex 24!
Chief Executive Officer
President and COO
Super Boat International (SBI) is proud to announce the addition of Marathon, Florida to their schedule on Fourth of July weekend, 2015. July 3rd – 5th, SBI and Conch Republic Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (CROPRA) will keep the tradition of racing on 4th of July and bring racing back to Marathon, Florida, where Superboats raced for years under and along the famous 7-Mile Bridge.
Marathon (Florida) has seen a revitalization of hotels, restaurants and 5 start resorts in recent years. The remodeled Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club (Hyatt Place), scheduled to open this December will be host hotel to the Super Boat Offshore Race. The new Hyatt Place, local hotels and city officials in the area are excited about Super Boat returning to the Florida Keys.
Mike Puto, Marathon City Manager, comments, “this is going have a big economic impact on the community and it’s going to be very exciting. I was involved in the first race here in the mid 80’s and to see it come back is a big thrill. This is going to be an even bigger weekend in July for our community and we all hope it is something that will last for years. The Spottswood’s and so many people have worked hard on Faro Blanco and other properties to rejuvenate Marathon and the surrounding area, it’s just fantastic.”
CROPRA president, Larry Bleil states, “It’s great to bring racing back to Marathon. Everyone involved is very excited. As you know, right now we are focused on Key West, which is going to be a spectacular event to watch. We look forward to seeing everyone here in November and in Marathon next 4th of July.”
There is something about keeping up with tradition and Super Boat International is steeped in tradition. SBI was in New York racing the day before the twin towers came down. The following year, the State of New Jersey asked SBI President, John Carbonell, to put on the race and continue racing as in previous years. For 10 more years, the tradition carried on and boats competed on the Hudson River. Similarly, for several decades, Super Boat racing on the 4th of July weekend off Lido Beach was the norm. Recently, after SBI was told a new organization that has never produced a race before was replacing them, Carbonell went to work to continue the spirit of racing on 4th of July weekend. “It’s our tradition to race and it’s what our race teams and fans want,” comments Carbonell. Boat racing on 4th of July is true Americana like baseball, apple pie and fireworks.
On Saturday, July 4th, off Sombrero Beach Road (MM 50) in Marathon, race fans will be witness to one of the largest and longest running fireworks displays in Florida and the Southeast. Randy Mearns, SBI Course Marshall, has produced the show for 35 years and comments, “it will likely be one the longest fireworks displays that people will experience.” The upbeat, extravagant show is well orchestrated, synced to music and the fireworks display will last for 45 minutes.
Race teams are looking forward to this year’s World Championships in November and the addition to next year’s schedule. “We are behind Super Boat 100 percent and we will be in Marathon to race next 4th of July,” comments Gary Goodell, partner Miss GEICO Racing. Another team who is excited and who has raced in Marathon is the 2014 National Super Boat Champion, JR Noble of Team STIHL. “We raced in Sarasota for years, we like racing there and it was a close drive for us. However, we are excited to race in Marathon. I’ve raced there before under the SBI name and we are really
looking forward to going back. We are fully supportive of Super Boat and they are the only organization we are going to run with next year.”
The Faro Blanco Resort Yacht Club and Marina along with the Lighthouse Grill will be opening this December and will be ready for race fans in early July. The Holiday Inn Express and many other properties have previously been remodeled and will be taking reservations for race teams and fans for the July offshore race.
Super Boat International is the only powerboat organization that produces Livestream shows for every event on their schedule. If you can’t make it to Marathon, you can watch the race live onhttp://new.livestream.com/sbi/.
Stadium Super Truck series founder Robby Gordon and South Australian Tourism Minister, Leon Bignell, announced today the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS 2015 season will start in Adelaide, Australia, in conjunction with the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
The Clipsal 500 Adelaide attracted more than 273,600 spectators over four days in 2014. The invitation from Australia’s premier motorsports event is a testament to the rapid growth and popularity of the TRAXXAS-sponsored Stadium Super Trucks (SST).
“The fast growth of the SST series has been incredible and for us to take our series outside North America for the first time is a huge accomplishment, so we were very selective with which event we chose,” Gordon said. “The Clipsal 500 is one of the biggest and best entertainment events in Australia, so for us it was a perfect fit. We know how much Australians enjoy sports, and particularly auto racing, and we know that our TRAXXAS SSTs will put on a great show. It will be nothing like anything race fans in Australia have ever seen before.”
The SSTs will be introduced to the Australian public on Feb. 26 with two practice sessions, followed by one race each day Feb. 27-March 1. Each race will feature a mix of some of Australia’s most popular and well-known drivers and an equal number of drivers from the SST series who compete regularly in the United States.
The 14-turn street circuit at Victoria Park will be a spectacular venue for the SSTs to fly over man-made ramps placed strategically throughout the circuit while reaching speeds of nearly 150 mph (240 kph) on the longest straights. The trucks will race the same course as the V8 Supercars.
“We expect Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks to attract new audiences to South Australia from around Australia and even overseas with its cult following,” Bignell said. “The Clipsal 500 will be the first event in Australia to feature Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks which is a terrific endorsement for the event and the State of South Australia.”
Clipsal 500 CEO Mark Warren said his team is always looking to introduce new categories to Australian motorsport fans: “We introduced utes to the motor racing scene back in 2001, which regularly rates as the second most popular category for Clipsal 500 fans in post-event polling. Stadium Super Trucks was a huge hit at X Games Austin and we expect they’ll be one of the most exciting categories to race around Adelaide’s iconic street circuit in 2015.”
Finishing only its second season of competition in the United States, the series has raced in major metropolitan cities, including: Los Angeles; Austin, Texas; Detroit; Toronto; San Diego; Las Vegas; St. Petersburg, Florida; Indianapolis; Phoenix; and others. The SST series will complete its second season on Nov. 1 and 5 in Las Vegas racing directly alongside the famed Las Vegas strip during the annual SEMA Show, the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.
The identically prepared, purpose-built race trucks provide an amazing platform for competition, with drivers from a variety of backgrounds battling side-by-side in a test of the best driver rather than engineering. Each highly specialized truck makes approximately 600 horsepower and races on DOT-approved all-terrain Toyo Tires. In addition to Gordon, among the drivers that have competed in the SST series include: IndyCar drivers E.J. Viso, Paul Tracy, Townsend Bell and Arie Luyendyk Jr.; NASCAR driver Justin Lofton; off-road stars B.J. Baldwin, Sheldon Creed, Scotty Steele and Keegan Kincaid; and sports car drivers Aaron Bambach and Burt Jenner.
More information on the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS can be found at www.stadiumsupertrucks.com.
More information about Clipsal 500 Adelaide: http://www.clipsal500.com.au/
"Back on August 29th when we officially announced GT Cup, our aim was to confirm between 10-15 entries by the end of 2014/early 2015 and I am pleased to say that we are ahead of schedule with seven entries already confirmed," said Scott Bove, President & CEO, WC Vision/Pirelli World Challenge. "I'm confident that we will achieve our goal for entries in the class."
The 4 Hours of Estoril on Sunday 19 October will be the stage for a dramatic encounter to decide who will be the 2014 European Le Mans Series champion, with no less than 10 drivers and 4 teams battling for the honours.
With a maximum of 26 points on offer (25 for the win and 1 point for pole position) and 23 points separating the protagonists, the teams will have their calculators at the ready on Sunday afternoon.
2013 Champions Signatech Alpine are the current championship leaders on 68 points, with a 10 point advantage over their nearest rival, JOTA Sport. To be guaranteed of lifting the 2014 ELMS title on Sunday, Nelson Panciatici, Oliver Webb and Paul-Loup Chatin need to finish first or second on Sunday afternoon.
If JOTA Sport drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Harry Tincknell and Simon Dolan take the win and Signatech Alpine finish third, the pole position point could be the deciding factor. If neither team takes the point for pole position then the two teams would be equal on 83 points, with JOTA being declared champions because they will have won twice in 2014 compared to one win for their rivals.
Newblood by Morand Racing, and drivers Christian Klien and Gary Hirsch, are currently on 50 points, 18 behind Signatech Alpine and 8 behind JOTA Sport. Pole position and victory would put Morand Racing on 76 points and to win the title Signatech Alpine would need to finish 6th overall or below. Even if JOTA finished 2nd, Morand Racing would take the title as they would have two wins to one.
Race Performance, and drivers Franck Mailleux and Michel Frey, are currently on 45 points, 23 behind Signatech Alpine, and have an outside chance at the title. A win and pole would give the Swiss team 71 points, meaning that Signatech Alpine need to finish 9th or below and JOTA need to finish 4th or below to give Race Performance the ELMS title. In this Scenario Newblood by Morand Racing wouldn't be able to score enough points, even by finishing second.
In essence all of the contenders need to be first to the chequered flag and then see where their rivals finish on the track. The fact that the permutations are so complicated proves what a great season 2014 has been for the LMP2 category in the European Le Mans Series.
The 4 Hours of Estoril will take place on Sunday 19 October in Portugal and is the final race of the 2014 European Le Mans Series. Track action begins on Saturday 18 October with two 90 minute Free Practice sessions. Qualifying will take place at 09:30 (local)/ 10:30 CET on Sunday morning, with the 4 hour race starting at 13:30 (local) / 14:30 CET.