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  

  

 

Miami-based Italian-Canadian racer Devlin DeFrancesco came away with a pair of top-five finishes in the first of two visits by the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship to Mid-Ohio.

The 21-year-old qualified fifth and finished fifth in both races this weekend - on both occasions spending 35 laps chasing the rear of rival Linus Lundqvist.

DeFrancesco made a strong start and challenged for the fourth spot at the end of the back straight in today’s race.

Thirty-five laps later, the Indy Pro 2000 championship runner-up had to fight hard to defend against championship rival Tony Sowery but held the position as the cars crossed the finish line.

 
With a long break ahead for the championship, DeFrancesco will now target success at St Louis’ World Wide Technology Raceway when the series returns to action on August  19-21.

DeFrancesco won on the 1.25-mile oval last year in only his second-ever race start on an oval.

The World Wide Technology Raceway event is the only oval race scheduled on the 2021 championship calendar.
 
DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO
"We had a good start and was able to get alongside (David) Malukas in Turn 2, but he was able to get ahead of me in Turn 4. After that, it was a bit of a struggle for the rest of the race. We need to find a bit more speed from my side and to work hard with my engineer Mark Bryant to see if we can do better around Mid-Ohio."
“We have a bit of a break now, but I’m really looking forward to the next race on the oval at World Wide Technology Raceway. I loved the track and took the win there last year in Indy Pro 2000 and can’t wait to try the Indy Lights car there.”

This weekend’s Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio was a challenging round for Turn 3 Motorsport. The team had moments of greatness but was unable to find the consistency needed to land on the podium amongst the competitive field of racers in the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.
 
Despite the rainy weather, the first test session of the day on Thursday saw Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers Josh Green and Dylan Christie take P1 and P4, respectively, while new teammate Christian Weir put in the 18th fastest time among the 28-car field, the largest amount of cars in the series since 2013.
 
USF2000 Qualifying 1 placed Green in 10th, Christie in 19th, and Weir in 23rd for Race 1 on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. Eager to make up positions on the opening lap, Green fought for his #33 JHG/Mark Green car to come out ahead of ninth place starter Spike Kohlbecker and overtake P9. As the cars went into Turn 1, Christie’s #34 DCR car came into contact with the #99 car of Myles Rowe, damaging his car and calling him into the pits for repairs. Weir was able to avoid the incident and slip his #32 R+L Carriers/Autobahn Country Club car into P16 before a yellow flag came out on Lap 1.
 
On the restart, Green passed the #24 car of Josh Pierson for eighth and continued to focus on moving forward while Weir found himself in a 3-way battle with Jackson Lee and Erik Evans for 17th/18th/19th. After some dicing back and forth, it was Weir who came out ahead, taking P17 in his first ever USF2000 race. Following his opening lap incident, Christie was able to make his way back up to P20 with Josh Green claiming P9 in Race 1.

Josh Green in his #33 JHG/Mark Green USF2000 car  / ?: Road to Indy

USF2000 Race 2 was another tightly packed start with every car fighting for position in the opening lap. With no cautions during the 20-lap race, the team decided to pit Christie for new tires in an effort to put in a fast qualification lap for Sunday’s Race 3 while Green and Weir stayed out to earn race points. Race 2 resulted in a 10th place finish for Green, 19th for Weir, and 25th for Christie.
 
In contrast to Race 2, Race 3 was peppered with yellow flags, beginning with another opening lap incident involving Christie; the 17-year-old rookie was turned sideways going into Turn 2, sliding him across the track and into the #99 car of Myles Rowe.
 
Green, who started 11th, lost a few positions in the opening laps but quickly regained them once the race restarted. The 18-year-old was making headway throughout the subsequent laps until contact with the #5 car of Spike Kohlbecker spun him around in Turn 9 with just two laps to go, resulting in a 21st place result in Race 3.
 
Despite the multiple cautions, 14-year-old Weir was able to stay out of trouble and bring the #32 car home in P20, finishing every lap of all three races as well as improving positions in each race on his debut USF2000 weekend.

Dylan Christie in his #34 DCR USF2000 car / ?: Road to Indy

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship // #32 Christian Weir // R+L Carriers/Autobahn Country Club
 
“This weekend was very beneficial for me,” said Christian Weir. “It was a great first run with the USF2000 series. I was able to get a lot of on track battles and experience different track conditions, and I finished every lap of all three races this weekend. I want to give Turn 3 Motorsport a big shout out for the months of preparation to get me here. I’m hoping for some more great racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park next month!”
 
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship // #33 Josh Green // JHG Investments/Mark Green
 
“It was a tough weekend for us all under the Turn 3 Motorsport tent,” said Josh Green. “We struggled under some tough conditions and never found our footing. I’m confident going forward we will continue to develop and show our hand at the upcoming races. We are all pushing extremely hard to keep advancing, and our efforts will come to light soon. I’m very proud of everyone’s hard work, and I’m very excited to see how the last few races of the season will pan out.”
 
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship // #34 Dylan Christie // DCR
 
“It was a really challenging weekend all together, but we have to keep our heads up and eyes forward,” said Dylan Christie. “It is all part of the learning process for both myself and the team. I am looking forward to getting some redemption at New Jersey Motorsports Park next month.”

James Roe in his #3 Topcon/Trintech Indy Pro 2000 car / ?: Road to Indy

Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying 1 started off very promising for James Roe; the Irishman put in a fast lap that initially placed his #3 Topcon/Trintech car on pole. With a couple of cars besting his initial lap time, he held onto the third fastest time up until the final few minutes of the session, ending up with a P10 starting position for Race 1.
 
In Race 1, Roe slotted into position on the opening lap before a yellow flag came out for a car that went off course. On the restart, Roe overtook the #5 car of Wyatt Brichacek going into Turn 2 for eighth place and set to work closing the gap to the next car. The 22-year-old rookie continued to show his speed by putting in faster lap times than the cars ahead of him, but the aero wash from the train of cars made it difficult to overtake. Roe ultimately finished Race 1 in P8, just .3009 seconds away from the car in front of him.
 
Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying 2 was another good showing of Roe’s speed in the #3 car; he was second fastest at the beginning of the session and worked to qualify at the top. After everyone put on fresh tires for the end of qualifying, Roe jumped up to P4 before being shifted down to a P10 starting position after a great effort.
 
Roe had a strong start in Race 2, pushing forward two positions on the opening lap and fighting to hold his gains. The following laps saw Roe shuffle spots throughout the green to checkers event, ultimately scoring him P11 for the final race of the weekend.
 
Indy Pro 2000 Championship // #3 James Roe // Topcon/Trintech
 
“We tried our best to make things happen, but there’s not many opportunities to pass at Mid-Ohio,” said James Roe. “Our pace was strong and we moved forward, however it’s the late part of qualifying that keeps getting us. Once we can figure it out, I know podiums are going to come. We are going into the summer break now, so we will put our heads together for the final push of the season.”
 
“It wasn’t the weekend we expected,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “Our pace just wasn’t there when it counted with the USF2000 cars. We need to go back and figure out why our pace wasn’t good enough to compete at the front. The break coming up in the schedule will help us analyze why, and we will bounce back stronger. On another note, Christian did a great job over his first weekend with USF2000. He gained the experience he needed and finished all three races, so I’m really happy about that.”
 
“On the Indy Pro 2000 side, I was very happy with our pace,” continued Dempsey. “We had a very good car capable of challenging for the podium. James showed speed but unfortunately just couldn’t put it together when it counted. He proved in Race 1 we had the pace to match the leaders, but it’s qualifying that counts at Mid-Ohio and that’s where we needed to perform better. We will regroup and move on to the next round with the focus to come back stronger.”
 
Up next for the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires is the oval at World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis August 19-21. The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship will resume its schedule after that, joining Indy Pro 2000 once again at New Jersey Motorsports Park August 27-29.

To stay up to date on Turn 3 Motorsport, follow the team on social media using the handle @turn3motorsport.
By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 What was that I said about expecting a mixture of something completely different and déjà vu all over again in last week’s “What to Watch for” in the IMSA WeatherTech 240 at The Glen? Indeed, three of the five classes of Friday evening’s race saw different winners from those who graced the top spot of the podium in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 27.
 
But there was also a palpable sense of déjà vu in that – as in the Six Hours – the Fickle Hand of Fate threw the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship field a curveball (or was that a knuckleball?). Rather than the full-course yellow that shuffled the deck in the Six Hours, a red flag necessitated by lightning in the immediate vicinity of Watkins Glen International brought the WeatherTech 240 to a standstill and led to a late-race free-for-all among the Daytona Prototype international (DPi), Le Mans Prototype 2 and 3 (LMP2 and LMP3), GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) competitors. 
 
Only A Matter of Time
 
It was only a matter of time before the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. and a Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 won their respective classes (DPi and GTD). Although both teams were still looking for their first wins of the 2021 campaign on Friday, the cars, teams and drivers were too good to be shut out of victory lane for long.
 
After all, the Whelen Engineering entry finished a total of 0.941 seconds away from winning both the Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S at Mid-Ohio and the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Detroit’s Belle Isle, while the Nos. 12 and 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexuses, with four GTD victories between them last year, appeared on their way to a win in the Sahlen’s Six Hours before that late full-course yellow.
 
Sure enough, the Whelen Engineering team made all the right moves on Friday, pitting Pipo Derani for fuel and tires early in the race. Although that dropped them down the DPi order, on the final round of stops the Whelen Caddy needed only fuel (no fresh tires), boosting Felipe Nasr into a lead he managed to hold over a charging Renger van der Zande, who restarted the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi in fifth spot.
 
Meanwhile, the Vasser Sullivan Lexus GT3s finished 1-2 in the WeatherTech 240, with Jack Hawksworth mounting a charge of his own, blowing past teammate Zach Veach and the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 on the final restart (ironically, following a caution for a chunk of bodywork torn loose from the No. 14 Lexus) to take the win.
 
Although they were the first wins of the 2021 wins for both teams, don’t be surprised if the No. 31 Cadillac or the No. 14 Lexus (or, for that matter, the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus) return to victory lane this season.
 
Glen Doubles
 
Corvette Racing and Riley Motorsports each scored a double at Watkins Glen, winning their respective classes (GTLM and LMP3) in both the Sahlen’s Six Hours and the WeatherTech 240. For added emphasis, both teams backed up their Six Hour wins with 1-2 finishes on Friday.
 
Antonio Garcia (No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R) outdueled teammate Tommy Milner (No. 4 Corvette) on the final restart to grab a lead he maintained to the checkered flag, giving Garcia and co-driver Jordan Taylor a clean sweep at The Glen, with two wins and two pole positions in as many weekends. Likewise, Riley Motorsports enjoyed a 1-2 finish with Felipe Fraga taking the win in the No. 74 Ligier JS P320 he shared with Gar Robinson over the No. 91 Riley Motorsports Ligier of Dylan Murry and Jim Cox. In contrast to Corvette Racing, the Riley Motorsports entries did not shine in qualifying (starting sixth and seventh in the Six Hours and fourth and fifth in the WeatherTech 240). However, the Riley entries had the pace when it counted most.
 
Turnabout Is Fair Play
 
Having been bested by the No. 11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07 for the LMP2 class win by little more than a second in the Sahlen’s Six Hours, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA returned the favor with interest on Friday. PR1’s Ben Keating and Mikkel Jensen led WIN’s Tristan Nunez and Steven Thomas home by more than 21 seconds.
 
The victory – the second in four LMP2 races this season – keeps Keating, Jensen and PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports atop the driver and team standings. Nunez, Thomas and WIN Autosport are second in a rivalry that shows every sign of going to the final round of the 2021 season, the Motul Petit Le Mans in November at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. 

For the first time in nearly two years, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca will host fans for exciting racing action this weekend.
 
The July 9-11 GEICO Motorcycle MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey will see the best motorcycle racers in the country navigate the challenging course, which is painted against a breathtaking backdrop.
 
As the world reopens, there’s no better place to see some first-class racing action, while getting some sun and fresh air.
 
“We’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of our valued fans to our beautiful raceway,” said John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “Our staff is extremely excited to be welcoming MotoAmerica and the people of Monterey County back to see some top-notch racing.”
 
The event weekend will include plenty of festivities for race fans of all ages. In addition to the five classes of racing – HONOS Superbikes, Supersport, Stock 100, Twins Cup and SuperbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup – there will also be Mission King of the Baggers, a kid’s zone featuring a carnival, three-day camping and bike shows.
 
Michael Hill – the fan voice of MotoAmerica – will be bringing plenty of entertainment to the fans at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Hill will be hosting the first ever Party at the Podium, starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday in the Paddock. The Party at the Podium will feature MotoAmerica riders for autographs, karaoke, and more.
 
General admission tickets start at just $20 for Friday, and $50 for Saturday and Sunday. A two-day pass is only $60 and a pass for all three days is just $70 – making this one of the best bargains in outdoor entertainment. There are also significant military discounts available for active-duty members and veterans. All children 12 and under get in free with a paying adult.
 
For fans who want a more exclusive experience, several upgraded ticket packages are also available. All ticket and event information can be found here.
 

 

(Courtesy of Weathertech Raceway)

By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
The past couple months have been historic for European auto parts online retailer FCP Euro.
 
The race team’s maiden outing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge saw Michael Hurczyn and Nate Vincent steer the No. 11 Mercedes-AMG GT4 to a 10th-place finish in the Grand Sport (GS) class at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 15. No sooner had the 2019 SRO America TCR champions celebrated their encouraging IMSA debut than FCP Euro joined Lime Rock Park in announcing an ambitious partnership that will see the Milford, Connecticut-based firm become the historic venue’s Official Auto Parts Supplier and support two new facilities on the track’s 400-acre campus.
 
Lime Rock hosts the next event on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge schedules, on July 16-17.
 
The Mid-Ohio 120 in May marked the latest step in FCP Euro’s progression up the motorsports ladder, one that began in the 2016 American Endurance Racing series and moved to SRO America. Although success was not immediate, that move ultimately saw FCP Euro capture the team and manufacturer titles, even as Hurczyn edged Vincent for the drivers’ crown.
 
Subsequently, the team set sights on the Michelin Pilot Challenge this season. In keeping with its measured approach, FCP Euro skipped the first two events at Daytona and Sebring to focus on the meat of the schedule beginning at Mid-Ohio.
 
“Back in September/October when we committed to the cars and the season, COVID cases were on the rise,” recalls Hurczyn, the team’s brand director who, like every member of the team, has a “day job” at FCP Euro. “So, by starting the season at Mid-Ohio in May, that gave us seven or eight months of preparation. We weren’t kidding ourselves that we could come into the first season and win the championship, so this is really just a learning year for us; collect the data, give the team time to gel, understand the car.”
 
If Mid-Ohio was any indication, the team is on schedule when it comes to learning the Mercedes-AMG GT4.
 
“From our perspective it was a win,” says Nathan Brown, FCP Euro event director. “We met all the goals we had established, which were to make sure that we used every possible minute of track time. We went through both practices and qualifying with nothing but a few minor technical issues.
 
“Then, to complete the race, clean, with no penalties and to make sure we brought the car home in one piece and drive it on the trailer ... that was really the goal. To achieve all that and to be as competitive as we were, everybody was pretty pumped with the weekend. Everybody’s still learning the car and the series, but we feel like we have a bright future ahead of us.”
 
One where the team expects to show steady improvement.
 
“We came into Mid-Ohio pretty conservative,” says Hurczyn, “just wanting to feel out where we’d fall as a new team in a new series with a new car. We had some hunches ... (and) we kind of expected to fall in where we did. The nice thing is, because we were pretty conservative, we know what steps to take to be a little faster, a little sharper. That’s one of our strengths as a company and it’s going to be one of our strengths as a team: combing through the data, going through the feedback from all the team members and sharpening the ax for future rounds.”
 
The results weren’t quite as promising in back-to-back weekends at Watkins Glen International. Vincent and Hurczyn finished 11th in GS in the four-hour race at The Glen on June 27 and followed it with a 17th in the two-hour race on July 2.
 
“We’re getting our feet wet in the series,” Vincent says. “Just as when we came into (SRO America), we were able to keep up with the pack and get some respectable finishes, but we weren’t hunting for the wins. Then we went back to the drawing board, figured out what we wanted to do and then won the championship in 2019. We’re going to take that same approach in Michelin Pilot. We want to make sure we have the bricks laid in the foundation so we can really build something very strong on top of it.” 
 
While they will continue managing expectations that eventually include running a second car, FCP Euro is surely sharpening that ax with an eye toward the Lime Rock Park 120 on July 17. If ever a team had a home race, this is it given that FCP Euro is headquartered little more than an hour south of the venerable circuit.
 
What’s more, FCP Euro’s new partnership with Lime Rock Park will see an expanded and repaved autocross and skid pad facility (called the FCP Euro Proving Grounds), with a new, 5,000-sqaure-foot FCP Euro hospitality event center overlooking the track’s Left-Hander and No-Name Straight set to open in 2022. 
 
Noting that FCP Euro and Lime Rock are “two strong brands that have deep roots in the state of Connecticut,” Scott Drozd, CEO of FCP Euro, says the partnership will “help facilitate the growth over the next decade while enhancing and further developing the automotive communities surrounding both organizations.”
 
It’s a theme Brown expands upon when discussing FCP Euro’s overarching goals of not only achieving success on the track but becoming a positive force in the IMSA paddock at all venues. 
 
“We’re going to show up at Lime Rock with bells on,” Brown says. “We’ll have the entire company there along with 500-plus guests and fans.
 
“At the end of the day, this is a marketing exercise in making people aware of who we are and what we do,” he continues. “And the team is really an extension of that. We’re a team that’s going to be a good participant and a good addition to the paddock in terms of our vibe and how we interact with our fellow competitors and the fans. FCP Euro is committed long term to motorsports and the program we’re building now.
 
“Yes, we won a championship before but we want to come into this humbly; but also, we are here to stay. We’re not just showing up to see how it works.”

Indian Motorcycle®, America’s First Motorcycle Company, today announced its continued support and sponsorship of the seventh annual Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) to Sturgis. The two have partnered with the initiative of “America Get Out & Ride” while using motorcycle therapy to support combat veterans’ transition to civilian life.

 

Many of the veterans joining the Veterans Charity Ride for the first time are amputees, paraplegics, or suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress and other issues veterans face after leaving the military. Each new veteran will pair with mentors who have already been through the Veterans Charity Ride program and receive one-on-one support to help their transition back to civilian life. The 2021 ride will include 16 total veterans – eight new, along with eight returning veterans who will serve as mentors.

 

“Veterans Charity Ride was designed to assist combat veterans who face challenges in their daily living and provide them with a support structure that will get them back outside and living life to the fullest,” said Dave Frey, Veterans Charity Ride Founder. “Many of our veterans used to ride motorcycles before their injuries and thought they never would ride again. Through support from companies like Indian Motorcycle and Champion Sidecar, we are able to get these vets back on bikes and enjoy the freedom of the open road.”

 

This year’s ride to Sturgis will start on July 28 in Moab, Utah where the group will take the trek through some of the nation’s most scenic backgrounds roads in the western United States. The group will stop and visit local communities along the route, such as Fort Collins, Colorado, where the group will be receiving an official proclamation and welcoming by the Mayor before arriving at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota on August 6. Participants will be riding an assortment of Indian Motorcycle models, outfitted with Rekluse® auto clutch systems and custom-built Champion Sidecars for amputee and paraplegic veterans.

 

The 14-day adventure allows participating veterans the opportunity to push towards conquering their post-war challenges while out on the open road. Throughout the trip, veterans will also conduct team-building exercises allowing riders to share their service experience during the emotional and mind-detoxing motorcycle ride. 

 

“We’re honored to support our U.S. veterans and contribute to such noble cause like the Veteran’s Charity Ride,” said Aaron Jax, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “Riding can be one of the most therapeutic experiences, as we have seen first-hand the dramatic evolution and incredible growth from vets that have completed the VCR program.”

 

The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis was created by veteran Army Paratrooper Dave Frey and leverages the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding to create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded and amputee combat veterans adjusting to post-war life.

 

To support the Veterans Charity Ride, donate, or to learn more visit IndianMotorcycle.com and VeteransCharityRide.org. Riders can also follow along on Indian Motorcycle’s social media channels: FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and Veterans Charity Ride’s social media channels: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
The GT classes take center stage for the first of two times in the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the Northeast Grand Prix at historic Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on July 16-17.
 
Seventeen cars are on the pre-event entry list – three in GT Le Mans (GTLM) and 14 in GT Daytona (GTD). Drivers, teams and manufacturers will be competing for points that count toward both the season-long championship and the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup.
 
Here’s what you need to know in advance of race week:
 
Fast Facts
Lime Rock Park – Lakeville, Connecticut
July 16-17, 2021
Entry List (Click Here)
 
Race Day/Time: Saturday, July 17 – 3:10 p.m. ET
TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 3:10 p.m. (available on IMSA.com/TVLive outside the U.S.)
NBCSN Coverage: 5:30 p.m. ET
IMSA.com/TVLive Live Qualifying Stream: Friday, July 16 – 5:10 p.m.
IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins Friday, July 2 at 6 p.m. (Sirius Channel 216, XM 202, Internet 992)
Circuit Type: 1.474-mile, seven-turn road course
Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Track Social Media: Twitter: @limerockpark; Instagram: @limerockpark; Facebook: @limerockpark
Event Hashtags: #IMSA, #NorthEastGP
 
WeatherTech Championship Track Records
Qualifying:
GTLM:  Laurens Vanthoor, Porsche 911 RSR, 49.133 seconds / 108.000 mph, July 2019
GTD:     Trent Hindman, Acura NSX GT3, 51.456 seconds / 103.124 mph, July 2019
 
Storylines
·        Welcome Back to Lime Rock: One of the oldest natural terrain road courses in the United States, Lime Rock Park was built in 1956. It has hosted IMSA events for most of the past two decades, but last year’s race was canceled due to the pandemic.
·        Season Championship Midpoint: The Northeast Grand Prix will be the fifth of 10 races counting toward season WeatherTech Championship honors for both the GTLM and GTD classes. Current leaders are Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in GTLM and Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 in GTD.
·        Sprint Cup Battle Continues: The Lime Rock race also will count toward the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup in the GTD class – the fourth of eight non-endurance races that decide this title. No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 drivers Roman De Angelis and Ross Gunn have a 27-point lead over Frankie Montecalvo (No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3) heading into race weekend.
·        New Points Structure for 2021: The WeatherTech Championship and Sprint Cup points structure has changed this season, with each race finishing position earning 10 times the points it received a year ago. Where a class winner took home 35 points in 2020, the reward is now 350 points. Second place in a race now earns 320 points, third place nets 300 and downward from there. In addition, points are now distributed in qualifying, with 35 going to the pole winner in GTLM, as well as to the fastest car in the second GTD qualifying session (see below). Points descend from second downward through the qualifying results.
·        Revised GTD Qualifying Format: Starting this season, the GT Daytona class conducts two qualifying sessions. The first is for the Motul Pole Award and starting grid position, with a Silver- or Bronze-rated driver in each car. Following a mandatory driver change, another 15-minute session will take place to decide qualifying points for the class. The GTLM class will have a single 15-minute qualifying session that determines both grid position and points.
 
Who’s Hot?
·        No. 3 Corvette: Garcia and Taylor swept two weekends of competition at Watkins Glen International, taking the GTLM pole position and class win for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 27 and the IMSA WeatherTech 240 on July 2. They’ve won three of the season’s four points-paying races, including the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
·        No. 96 Turner BMW: Auberlen and Foley have driven to victory in three of the last four GTD events. De Angelis and Gunn won the other race, and the No. 23 Aston Martin drivers are just 61 points behind the No. 96 in the GTD season standings.
 
Who’s Good Here?
·        Lally and Long: The veteran drivers each have four wins at Lime Rock. Andy Lally’s most recent win was in 2016, Patrick Long’s in 2012. They’ll square off in the GTD class for the July 17 race, with Lally in the No. 44 Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 and Long in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R.
·        Pfaff Motorsports: Zacharie Robichon is back to defend the 2019 GTD win he claimed with Pfaff Motorsports in a near photo finish with then-co-driver Dennis Olson. Robichon is paired with Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 9 “Plaid” Porsche 911 this year.
 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winners in 2021 Field (10)
·        Andy Lally (4): SRII – 2001; GT – 2006; GTC – 2010; GTD – 2016
·        Patrick Long (4): GT2 – 2006, 2009; GT – 2010, 2012
·        Bill Auberlen (1): GTU – 2000
·        Cooper MacNeil (1): GTC – 2012
·        Tommy Milner (1): GTLM – 2016
·        John Potter (1): GTD – 2016
·        Zacharie Robichon (1): GTD – 2019
·        Bryan Sellers (1): GTD – 2018
·        Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2018
·        Jordan Taylor (1): DP – 2013
 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Pole Winners in 2021 Field (7)
·        Patrick Long (3): GT2 – 2005; GT – 2010; GTD – 2018
·        Bill Auberlen (1): GT – 2012
·        Antonio Garcia (1): GTLM – 2018
·        Trent Hindman (1): GTD – 2019
·        Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2017
·        Jordan Taylor (1): GT – 2010
·        Laurens Vanthoor (1): GTLM – 2019
 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winning Teams in 2021 Field (5)
·        Corvette Racing (5): GTS – 2004; GT1 – 2005, 2007 2008; GTLM – 2016
·        Archangel (3): SRII – 2000, 2001-Race 1, 2001-Race 2
·        Magnus (1): GTD – 2016
·        Paul Miller Racing (1): GTD – 2018
·        Pfaff Motorsports (1): GTD – 2019
·        Turner Motorsport (1): GTD – 2015
 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winning Manufacturers in 2021 Field (7)
·        Porsche – 20
·        Chevrolet – 12
·        Audi – 6
·        BMW – 5
·        Acura – 2
·        Aston Martin – 1
·        Lamborghini – 1

Driving like a man on a mission, Chris Dyson motored to his third-consecutive Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli victory on Sunday in front of a sold-out Road America, taking a giant step forward in a bid for his elusive first Trans Am championship.

Driving the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang, Dyson took the lead on a lap 11 restart and led the rest of the way, padding his points lead in the race for the TA title. Entering the race with a 12 point advantage, the four-time 2021 winner now provisionally leads Tomy Drissi by 23 points, 177-154.

"What a day for us, putting the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang on podium at Road America for the second year in a row, it's a dream come true," said Dyson, whose team won the Chill Out Award for a double-podium finish. "I am just so delighted to see all these fans out here this early today. This place is packed, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy, and I was feeling every bit of it out on the track, I was feeding off it. 

"It was a handful today" Dyson continued. "The conditions were pretty slick out there. I was playing with all the tools and experience I had to get us up front. When I have Tomy Drissi, Boris Said, Cody Ware, Ernie Francis Jr. and Guy Smith out there behind me, that's a tall order to stay ahead of those boys. The car was fantastic, I felt like I dug really deep and was rewarded with a victory."

Boris Said took second, 8.290 seconds back, leading the opening two laps in the No. 2 Weaver Racing Technique/SRI Dodge Challenger.

"Pancho Weaver builds a great car," commented Said. "Unfortunately, the electrical box went. We were missing really bad and debated on pulling in and giving up. Then the issues went away, then it was intermittent for the rest of the race. I still drove the wheels off, it's still a great car. To have NASCAR here and all these fans, I've never seen a crowd like this here. This place is just awesome."

In position for a third-place finish, championship challenger Drissi went for broke in Turn 14 on the final lap in the No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro. He led eight laps in the early going, but lost several positions on the first restart. Bidding to take second on the last lap, Drissi went spinning when Said slammed the door, falling to an eighth-place finish. Last year, Drissi also spun on the final lap challenging for the lead.

CD Racing driver Guy Smith capitalized on Drissi’s misfortune by taking third in the No. 21 Thetford/CD Racing Ford Mustang.

"It's been an amazing weekend," said Smith. "I got a last minute call from Chris (Dyson) to do this race. I've been following his season this year with Trans Am and what an awesome series you've got here with a great bunch of guys. The cars are just amazing to drive. I've driven some fast cars in my career but these things are a lot of fun. It was a great race and I was really pleased for CD Racing. Hopefully they invite me back to race with them again, I just loved it."

Only hours after scoring a major victory over a hall of fame lineup in the Camping World SRX series at Lucas Oil Raceway, Ernie Francis Jr. saw his hopes for an eighth-consecutive Trans Am title suffer a blow on Sunday. 

Starting 24th in the 26-car field, Francis was 14th after one lap and was quickly up to eighth. However, he went to the pits on lap six with the No. 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang, losing four laps to repair a broken hime joint on the right-front control arm. Francis managed to come back out and set the fastest laps of the race but finished 13th in TA, four laps down. He remains third in the standings but is now 49 points in arrears.

Pro-Am Challenge driver Oscar Teran scored a career-best National Series finish of fourth in the No. 3 Ford Mustang, followed by Cody Ware in the No. 4 Ave Motorsports Nurtec ODT Corvette – becoming a third-generation driver in Trans Am competition. Simon Gregg was sixth in the No. 59 Peter Gregg Foundation Camaro.

Denny Lamer finished ninth in the No. 66 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Mustang to earn TA Masters honors. The Wisconsin native designed all of the buildings at Road America.

"I am not the fastest driver out there, but I tried to outlast some of them, and we did that today," said Lamers. "I would like to thank Greg Bosch for giving me a car that could finish, and to finish in the top 10, against all these guys, that's pretty big for us. I got to say though that all the people here at Road America do a great job. I hope the fans love this track as much as I do. I hope we are with the Cup guys every year, it's the best track on the planet."

The race was slowed by a pair of caution periods. Aaron Pierce and Anthony Magagnoli got together in Turn 1 on lap five, bringing out the yellow for six laps. On lap 12, Larry Bailey went off in the kink, bringing the caution out for four laps.

Erich Joiner took his fourth consecutive victory in XGT, leading all the way in the No. 10 Good Boy Bob Coffee Porsche 991 GTE.R – a car formerly raced by long-time American factory Porsche driver Patrick Long.

"The Trans Am guys were hooked up today," Joiner said. "To see all the fans in Turn 5 and all the Porsche people who came by to say hello, it was just a fantastic weekend overall. It was a fun race and my guys do a fantastic job putting me in a safe car every week."

Justin Oakes took his fourth triumph in his campaign for the SGT championship. Oakes started second in class but took the lead on the first lap in the No. 11 Droneworks Corvette.

"What a wonderful experience, I feel so fortunate to be here," said Oakes. "It is beautiful weather with all the fans back, and the fact that we can be close together on the podium again for the first time is pretty spectacular. It just feels like we are coming back. Road America is amazing, and the fans here are even better. My team built me an incredible machine, this car is composed, balanced and it's reliable. Just everything about it is fun to drive."

 Lee Saunders, the 2020 SGT champion, made his return to competition with a second-place finish, 17.746-seconds back in the No. 84 Landsearch LLC Dodge Viper. He was followed by the No. 6 Porsche of Carey Grant, who beat out his father Milton for the final podium position. Milton Grant was the SGT Masters winner in the No. 55 Sentry Self Storage Porsche. Three different manufacturers – Chevrolet, Dodge and Porsche – made up the SGT podium.

"It feels great to be on podium today," said Carey Grant. "I would like to thank God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me the ability to do this. We are racing with heavy hearts today. My crew chief lost his mother yesterday and my father's crew chief lost his cousin yesterday as well. I would like to dedicate this race to them."

After a week off, the Trans Am visits Brainerd International Raceway for Round 7 of the 2021 campaign on July 16-18, with a pair of Sunday races.

Race Results

How do you start your day?

Since the first season of Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder, we have had the opportunity to work with Waldorf Publishing to get to know some of their authors, many of whom have a passion not only for the written word, but for speed!     

My former co-host Mykkal Mulalley-Kapalo and myself have been grateful to the teams and racers that we have spoken with on the program, and during this unparalleled pandemic, we hope to provide you, our readers, listeners, and fans, a little snippet into some of the people who help make this the greatest sport in the world.

Today, we are pleased to highlight Jennifer Gagnon.

What was your first car? Hyundai Tiburon
What do you drive now? Land Rover Discovery
What is your dream car that you wish to own? McLaren
Do you see yourself ever buying a battery operated car? No
If you went on a road trip, what book would you bring? All of them! That’s the beauty of having ebooks! Haha
What do you think about Elon Musk and his advances in technology? I am not a supporter of this type of technology.  I feel as though there is no need for human alteration via AI.  I could go on and on about the reasons why, but I’ll leave it at this.  Once you allow AI into your body, how will you know if you are controlling you, or the system is controlling you?!??

Stay tuned for more insights into the amazing authors of Waldorf Publishing in the coming weeks.

Be sure to follow Jennifer Gagnon on social media:

 

NHRA continues its anniversary celebration with the announcement of the 2021 NHRA 70th Anniversary Sweepstakes. 
 
NHRA partners Camping World, Battery Tender, K&N Performance, Summit Racing Equipment and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company have stepped in to provide nearly $21,000 worth of prize winnings to lucky NHRA fans. 
 
One lucky NHRA fan will take home the grand prize of a 2021 Coleman 17B travel trailer courtesy of Camping World.
 
Five first-prize winners will each be awarded $1,000 Batterytender.com gift card. The gift card is only valid on batterytender.com and subject to the terms and conditions of Battery Tender.
 
Six second-prize winners will each be awarded a K&N Performance Cold Air Intake System.
 
One third-prize winner will be awarded a $1,000 SummitRacing.com gift card. The gift card is only valid at summitracing.com and is subject to the terms and conditions of Summit Racing.
 
One fourth-prize winner will be awarded one certificate that is good for one set of four passenger or light truck tires from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
 
To enter, fans may visit NHRA Sweepstakes or NHRA’s Facebook page to complete the online entry form. The sweepstakes will begin at noon on July 1, 2021, and end at 11:59 p.m. PT on December 17, 2021. No purchase necessary.

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)