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  

  

 
Sunday’s four-hour Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore features a plethora of accomplished competitors as revealed on the entry list announced today, with previous championship winners in all classes.
 
The LMP3 class, which will have 10 entries at the Encore battling for the overall victory, includes the reigning IMSA Prototype Challenge championship team, Forty7 Motorsports, fielding the No. 47 Norma M30.
 
The No. 47 entry’s driving trio includes IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship star Tristan Nunez, who drove the No. 77 Mazda DPi to a victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2019, along with 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge (IPC) Bronze Cup co-champions Joel Janco and Jonatan Jorge. Nunez also won the IPC championship back in 2012.
 
The GT3 class will see the reunion of 2018 WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) co-champions Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3. It will be the first race for Sellers and Snow together since the 2018 season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in which they wrapped up their championship season with a third-place result.
 
The GT4 class includes the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) championship-winning CarBahn with Peregrine Racing team fielding the No. 93 Audi R8 for co-drivers Sameer Gandhi, Mark Siegel and Tom Dyer.
 
A revised weekend schedule has slightly moved up the start of the four-hour race, which now begins at 12:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 10. The race will be streamed live on IMSA.tv with commentary provided by IMSA Radio.
 
The full entry list is available here.
 
Other notable entries are as follows:
  • A month after closing out the 2019 WeatherTech Championship season with a stirring, last-lap victory in the GTD class at Motul Petit Le Mans, Turner Motorsport and driver Robby Foley will be back in action at the Encore. This time, Foley is sharing the No. 96 BMW M4 GT4 with co-driver Vin Barletta.
 
  • ANSA Motorsports, which scored the overall victory in the inaugural Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore in 2018, is returning in the LMP3 class with the No. 2 Ligier JS P3 to be shared by 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge MPC class champion Jon Brownson, Tim George and Neil Alberico, who finished third in the 2019 IPC LMP3 season standings and won the season-opening race at Daytona.
 
  • The same lineup that finished second overall in last year’s Encore is returning intact for 2019. James McGuire, Matt Bell and Kay van Berlo will once again share the No. 26 K2R Motorsports Ligier JS P3.
 
  • No. 54 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R owner/driver Tim Pappas is returning to competition for the first time since he was injured in a crash at February’s Bathurst 1000 in Australia. Pappas will co-drive with past Michelin Pilot Challenge champion, Spencer Pumpelly, and another veteran of Michelin Pilot Challenge competition, Marc Miller.
 
  • Speaking of successful Michelin Pilot Challenge racers, the GT4 class also includes the No. 35 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG of Jim Cox and Dylan Murry. Cox and Murry teamed with WeatherTech Championship veteran Jeroen Bleekemolen to win a thrilling, four-hour race at Watkins Glen International this past June.
 
  • The No. 35 is one of two entries from the Riley team competing at the Encore. The other is the No. 74 Mercedes-AMG GT3, which will be shared by Gar Robinson and Lawson Aschenbach. Robinson and Aschenbach are joining the Riley team for the full 2020 WeatherTech Championship season after competing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup rounds in 2019 with Lone Star Racing.
 
  • There are a few more champions in this year’s Encore field. One is Cameron Cassels, who won the 2019 Jim Trueman Award and the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup in the LMP2 class. He will be co-driving the No. 75 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P3 with Max Hanratty in the LMP3 class on Sunday. Another is 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo AM World Champion Ryan Hardwick, who is joining the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R driver lineup alongside Jan Heylen and Max Root. Hardwick was sidelined for the second half of the WeatherTech Championship season with a knee injury suffered in an on-track incident at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July.

The 2019 battle for Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour Points Championships across 28 different classes has been decided. After 22 Hoosier Super Tour races at 11 different tracks this year, plus the 56th SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), top series performers have now been identified.

Only the top six regular season finishes counted toward a driver’s 2019 points total. Points were also awarded for a seventh and final race, the Runoffs. For each race, points were awarded to the top 20 finishers in each class. Winners earned 25 points, and 21 points went to second. Points were then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher.

The Runoffs had a big impact on several championships this year. In Formula Enterprises (FE), Mark Snyder finished the regular season with a four-point lead on James Libecco, both driving Mazda powered racecars. However, Libecco’s win at the National Championship was enough to lift him past Mark to claim the FE Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship by only three points. Formula Enterprises 2 (FE2), also powered by Mazda engines, had an equally tight scenario with a tie for the lead between Liam Snyder and Scott Rettich going into the Runoffs. Liam’s second-place finish at VIR, as compared to Rettich’s third place, was enough to give him a three-point advantage overall and the FE2 Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship.

The Touring 4 (T4) Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship was also impacted by the Runoffs. Going into the final event, Raymond Blethen and his Mazda RX-8 had a six-point lead on Steve Strickland, who races a Mazda MX-5, and seven points on Nick Leverone in a Subaru BRZ. But it was Leverone who emerged victorious at VIR and ultimately earned the T4 Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship by only four points over Blethen.

The Runoffs at VIR also influenced the H Production (HP) Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship. At the end of the regular season it was Michael Cummings, driving an Austin-Healey Sprite, who was ahead of Christopher Riley Salyer’s Honda Civic Si by only one point, and the Austin-Healey Sprite of Eric Vickerman was only four points back in third. However, Salyer’s fourth-place finish at the National Championship boosted him to the HP Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship by only five points over Vickerman, with Cummings dropping back to third overall.

Tray Ayres, a newcomer to Prototype 2 (P2), and class stalwart Tim Day Jr., driving a Stohr WF1, chased the P2 Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship down to the wire. Ayres and his Van Diemen RF00 where tied in points with Day going into the National Championship. At VIR, Day could only muster a sixth-place finish while Ayres brought home the win and the P2 Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship.

With nearly 220 entrants, Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3) was one of the largest classes competing in the Hoosier Super Tour this year. Mike Miserendino had the SRF3 championship lead going into the Runoffs, but he did not compete at the National Championship this year. That left the battle up to Denny Stripling, Brian Schofield and Robeson Clay Russell who were separated by only a handful of points. When the dust had settled at VIR, Russell claimed the Runoffs victory. However, Stripling finished second -- which gave him enough points to claim the SRF3 Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship. Russell was the runner-up overall, followed by Schofield who finished third at the National Championship and third in points.

Largest class honors in 2019 go to Spec Miata (SM) with more than 220 entries participating in the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour. Jim Drago came away with the SM Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship by nine points over Preston Pardus, who managed a second-place finish at the Runoffs. Other close class finishes this season include F Production (FP) where Ken Kannard claimed the Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship by only three points over Runoffs winner Eric Prill and nine points over Runoffs runner-up Charlie Campbell, all three driving Mazda Miatas. Three points was also the margin of victory in GT-2 as Barry Boes claimed the class Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship in his Ford Mustang, just edging out the Chevrolet Z06 Camaro of Don McMillon.

Seven points was the difference in Formula Vee as Dennis Andrade and his Vortech FV claimed the Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship over the Mysterian M3 of Hunter Phelps-Barron. VIR Runoffs winner Andrew Whitston, driving a Protoform P2, was only three points further back in the FV championship and claimed third overall.

Rounding out tight 2019 championship finishes are Formula 1000 and Touring 1 (T1) where eight points made all the difference in each class. It was Michael Crowe, driving a Citation, who earned the Formula 1000 Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship over the RFR F1000 of John Homan; and Bill Baten earned the T1 Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship in his Chevrolet Camaro by besting the BMW E46 M3 of Hugh Stewart.

The 2019 Hoosier Super Tour season again opened in January with Round 1 and Round 2 at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. The second event then took place in February at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. In March, the Hoosier Super Tour made its first-ever visit to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Georgia, followed by a second event in March at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit just west of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Round 9 and Round 10 were conducted at VIRginia International Raceway before action moved west to California’s Buttonwillow Raceway Park. The series remained on the West Coast to open May at Portland International Raceway in Oregon before heading back east for Round 15 and Round 16 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Up next was SCCA’s annual visit to Road America for the WeatherTech Chicago Region® June Sprints®, followed by the season’s penultimate weekend at Watkins Glen International in New York. The regular season then closed in July with a first-ever stop at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca near beautiful Monterey, California.

The FIA Motorsport Games is a multi-disciplinary event hosted by the FIA and SRO Motorsport Group. It is held across six different motorsport disciplines from GT to Formula 4, Touring Cars, Karting, Drifting as well as Digital motorsport. Each team competes under their nation's flag and each competition awards gold, silver and bronze medals to the top three finisher of each category.

The Talkanitsa family, already racing for Belarussia in 2018 (the first FIA Nation's Cup in Bahrein) was proud to be part of the game once again in 2019. At the wheel of #51 Ferrari 488 GT3, Alexander Talkanitsa Father and Son were amongst the 21 GT Cup teams who had to struggle with the desastrous weather conditions this weekend on the Italian Vallelunga circuit.

The #51 AF Corse prepared Ferrai 488 GT3 managed to get through all the sessions without getting trapped in the numerous accidents and spin and without any major error all along the 3-day event.

"The Race 1 on Saturday was quite good. Of course we gambled a little like much of the other teams, but in the end we did the correct tire choice. I was driving on slicks while many other were on wets, and the track was not too wet, so I was able to overtake some cars. My father managed to keep a very good pace as well, so we finished 5th out of the 21 entries, which was good." said Alexander Talkanitsa Junior at the end of the weekend."

The weather conditions were just beyond expectation for the second race of the GT Cup on Sunday morning. In fact, the start was given behind Safety Car and Green was only declared after 10 minutes into the race. A strong accident of Malaysian Porsche and the torrential rain finally Red Flagged the race and it only restarted about one hour later for the last 20 minutes.

Alexander Talkanitsa Junior: "The weather was just awfull in Race 2, and it was red flagged for almost one hour. Unfortunately I had a Drive Through because I did not see the Safety Car lights, this put us far down in the general classification, so we ended P14.

We started the Main Race P7 and the weather for this last race was very tricky; it was complicated to choose the right tire before the start. It looked like we should go for wet tires but in the end my father decided to come back for slicks before the start. He was doing fine, but after a few minutes it started to rain again and the last three laps of his stint were just swimming, sliding, aquaplanning... he definitely had to come back to change to wet. When I took over, I did two or three laps until the Safety Car came out, until the end."

Talkanitsa Father and Son at the wheel of Belarussian #51 Ferrari 488 finished that last race 13th overall, which in the end is a good result, as the key words of the event were : MAKE NO MISTAKE and STAY ON TRACK.

"It really was a gamble for every one and if you did not choose the right tire at the beginning... there was no way you could do well. The FIA Motorsport Games is a great meeting, even if we did not have much luck with the weather this time. They did a wonderful job in preparing everything, the opening ceremony was fantastic. The three race meeting is also a great idea." Alex added.

 

This November, Lucas Oil Racing TV (LORTV) features two action-packed race series, starting with night two of the American Sprint Car SeriesNationals With Lone Star Region race. Yearly LORTV subscribers can enjoy a LIVE broadcast of the adrenaline-pumping action taking place at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1st

Mid-month brings LORTV viewers more wheel-to-wheel drama as the Spears Modified Series heads north for The Bullring at Las Vegas round on November 23rd.  

In addition to these LIVE broadcasts, motorsport fans can choose from more than 4,500 shows across 90 different categories, all available 24/7 on-demand on the Lucas Oil Racing TV platform. 

Both returning and new subscribers can log directly onto LucasOilRacing.TV and watch the action from the convenience of their browser. Additionally, Lucas Oil Racing TV is available on all the most popular streaming devices like ROKU, Apple iOS, Android devices, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Google Play, Xbox One, and more. A full list of supported devices can found HERE. 

 

By RJ Valentine

 

Research indicates that one driver is dying every single month on tracks with outdated barriers.   Since January of 2018, 23 racers lost their lives after impacting with concrete, tire packs, guardrails, fences or berms, and those are just the incidents we know of.

 

Many different factors cause accidents on race tracks, such as car-to-car contact, mechanical failure, loss of control or driver error. Beyond wall-related deaths, there have been countless other racing tragedies as well. Nevertheless, no matter what incited the incident, the root cause of 23 racing deaths in the last 21 months involved an unyielding surface.  

 

Barrier-Related Deaths

 

Most of the drivers we lost were competing in sanctioned events. Many were pro racers, others might be semi-pro depending on how much time they spend on track, and some were participating in regional club series or vintage events. Then there were those whose luck ran out during a test drive, exhibition run, or coaching lesson. Whether drag racing K-rails are viewed as inevitable or not, there were also four sanctioned events that resulted in death.

 

Following is an alphabetical list of drivers who were lost to barrier-related incidents since January 2018. My sincere apologies if anyone was missed or for any mistakes or misspellings.  

 

Randy Alexander – May 2018; Ricardo Barahona – April 2018; Mike Corning – May 2019; Melissa Cothran – August 2018; Charlie Dean – October 2018; Bill Egleston – January 2018; Brody Ford – March 2019; Jeff Green – June 2018; Silas Hiscock Sr. – April 2019; Greg Hodnett – September 2018; Anthoine Hubert – September 2019; Jason Johnson – June 2018; Donnie Large – August 2018; Peter London – April 2019; Daley Mathison – June 2019; Kat Moller – November 2018; Ken Rambo – March 2018; Doug Rose – August 2018; Adam Schatz – July 2018; Thomas Thrash – June 2019; Jim Victor – July 2018; J.J. Wilson – February 2018; Billy Young – July 2018

 

Though pros only represent a fraction of 1% of all racers, they account for at least 17% of this group. While less experienced drivers make up the majority of the population, amateur racing isn’t as high profile, thus doesn’t receive as much attention as it should in the grand motorsports safety scheme. Be that as it may, these fatalities don’t appear to be heavily weighted toward any particular type of racing or level of experience but, they did have one tragic common thread.

 

Preventable Inherent Dangers

 

The fact that racing is intrinsically dangerous is a given. But it’s unconscionable to continue accepting fatalities and debilitating injuries as par for the course when many could be prevented if the bulk of America’s race track walls weren’t made of concrete, steel or tires.

 

Has it ever occurred to anyone that no official track rating system or governing organization for track safety exists? For those drivers who do care about their safety—and there are many—why isn’t there a way to assess potential risks before deciding whether to race on a particular track?

 

I’ve lost many a night’s sleep, as well as several close racing buddies, over this nightmare that never seems to end. However, I was gratified to hear about a recent motorsports safety forum of medical leaders who discussed procedures and techniques that could help smaller racing series, tracks or events who lack resources. At least then they’ll be able to better treat injuries sustained after impacts with hard walls.

 

I keep hoping sanctioning bodies, series, circuits, or maybe even the drivers themselves, will take charge of this fixable issue. Though a handful of major sanctions like NASCAR, the FIA, IndyCar, and the Sprint Car Council have taken responsibility for safety mandates, there are still countless other sanctioning bodies and associated series who haven’t. I’m still counting the years that go by as we wait for track safety to trickle down…and counting the number of drivers lost each month.

 

Money is not the object

 

The industry’s overwhelming concern is invariably for the financial well-being of struggling venues. Okay, then let’s figure out how to subsidize track improvements. We’ve already invested in equipment and vehicle safety upgrades, so the next logical step is to invest in the facilities themselves.

 

Perhaps a “driver safety fund” could be established and administered either by a free-standing entity or through individual sanctions. There are at least 2000 professional racers in the primary series, but the bigger numbers are in amateur racing. The combined membership of just three of the sanctioning organizations—Porsche Club of America, BMW Car Club of America and Sports Car Club of America—tops a quarter of a million. If even 1% contributed $50 each, $125,000 would be pledged for safety improvements. There are myriad ways funds could be raised to support enhanced safety measures. While creating and managing these programs would take a lot of work, the benefits would be easily measured by the number of lives saved.

 

Roadblocks and Research

 

In 2018, I formed Racing Safety United (RSU), of a volunteer-based alliance of 34 representatives from across all areas in motorsports whose mission statement reads “Improve driver protection to reduce injuries, concussions and fatalities at all levels of racing.” This new group has been working hard to further racing safety, but has already hit some of the same roadblocks that have historically held back change. For example, in an effort to acknowledge America’s safest race tracks, RSU developed a new track safety award program. Ironically, some track owners expressed concern over being recognized for making safety improvements for fear it might raise flags with insurance providers. So much for the positive approach.

 

RSU will soon be releasing the results of an extensive driver safety survey. Though not completely finalized, the preliminary feedback is quite telling. When asked whether drivers considered some race tracks more dangerous than others and why, the answers from both pros and amateurs alike pointed to the same circuits, as well as to the exact same hot spots on those courses. To verify these responses, we researched the history of fatalities and serious accidents at these tracks and at which turns or sections of the track they occurred. Low and behold, the surveyed drivers were right.

 

On the other hand, though surveyed fingers pointed at specific tracks and was supported by validating data, the true scope of the track safety issue isn’t fully represented. There are multitudes of lesser-known venues that are equally, if not more dangerous than tracks mentioned in the survey. Yet, due to much lower event and participant volumes, they are less likely to be identified. Regardless, almost every driver knows which tracks are riskier than others.

 

Not to give away too many survey details before it’s released, but most respondents indicated that barrier improvements were a high priority, and many would consider contributing to an official motorsports safety fund to help tracks make these improvements.

 

Advocating for Safer Racing

 

I’ve been in love with this sport for over 40 years, but I’ve had enough of its deep-seated denial and penchant for secrecy. From the beginning, motorsport professionals have been reluctant to speak out about safety concerns. I’m well aware that this article may ruffle a few feathers and solidify my reputation as an agitator when, in actuality, I’m simply advocating for the protection of life and limb where ever possible.

 

How can we stop the killing without killing the excitement? What can we do to eliminate disabling injuries without crippling the motorsports industry? Who will take a stand against unnecessary harm? Continuing to ignore the problem isn’t going to make it go away. Regardless of “assumed risk,” it doesn’t make sense to take lives for granted, even your own. There may be backlash for speaking my mind, but at least I’m attempting to address a preventable hazard that’s been the cause of severe injuries and lost lives for over half a century. If I’m going about it wrong then, by all means, tell me, and let’s work together to find a better way.

 

###

 

About Richard “RJ” Valentine

Richard J. Valentine combined his passion for business and auto racing to achieve remarkable success in both fields. As a driver, he’s been a major player in competitive racing for four decades with over 400 pro starts, culminating with a win at the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Valentine continues to be a force on the track and, when he realized there was a dire need for a better barricade system, he took it upon himself to invent one. In 2000, Valentine founded Impact Safety Systems (ISS) Barriers for the express purpose of setting new standards in driver protection. A native of Boston, Valentine now lives in Hingham, Massachusetts.

 

The opening race of the Formelaustria eF1 Championship Season 2 at the Hockenheimring was action-packed and high class. In the end, Dominik Hofmann was able to repeat his success from last season, making the best possible start into his championship defence mission. “It was a cool first race. The key was that I did not lose any time at my pitstop, while Tim (Palm) was stuck behind a McLaren for some time after his tire change,” the Austrian analysed.

 

Challengers moving in

In qualifying, Hofmann had to bow to his fiercest rival Tim Palm’s pace finishing runner-up. „It was pretty close this time round. But unfortunately, I lost a lot of time following my tire stop and Dominik could capitalize on that. Finishing on P2 is a good start into the new season regardless and we have to build up on that”, Palm said, whose Williams Jim teammate Roy Arnouts completed the podium. The Dutchman showed a long battle with Palm but eventually crossed the line in third. “I tried at the start to sneak past Dominik and Tim, but it didn’t work out. The fight with Tim was good fun, but he was stronger today, so I settled for P3 and good points.”

 

Great Newcomers, great skill

Bringing his McLaren home in P7, Germany’s Oliver Konert was the best rookie driver, as he had already indicated in qualifying with P4. “In general, the level on the grid is even higher than in our maiden season and the opener was characterized by close, but fair wheel-to-wheel battles throughout the entire race in the whole pack,” series promoter Harry Miltner of HM Sports said. Race 2 will take place on November 24, 2019 6 pm CET at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. It will again be broadcast live Motorvision.tv and the Formelaustria YouTube Channel.

 

Top series as F1 Esports feeder

The eF1 Championship by Formelaustria is the first professional online Formula One league in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and their neighbouring countries. Following several highly challenging Try-outs 20 drivers booked the coveted slots on the final grid: ten Germans, two Austrians, two Italians, a Croat, a Turk, a Dutchman, an Englishman, a Portuguese and a Thai make up the grid - the latter three all live in Germany and are thus eligible. The eF1 Champion gets a chance to enter the draft of the official F1 Esports Series. Thanks to the high level of the eF1 Championship actually four drivers made it to the final round of the F1 Esports Series Draft last year.

 

Formelaustria.at is a product by HM Sports, an international sports consulting agency in Vienna which has been active in Formula One working with various top teams, circuits and sponsors for 16 years.

 

 

Result Round 1 Hockenheim, 25/10/2019

 

1.       

Dominik Hofmann

Austria

Mercedes

2.       

Tim Palm

Germany

Red Bull

3.       

Roy Arnouts

Netherlands

Red Bull

4.       

Sven Knöller

Germany

Williams

5.       

Philip Wauters

Germany

Toro Rosso

6.       

Daniel Alves

Portugal

Williams

7.       

Oliver Konert

Germany

McLaren

8.       

Liam Parnell

England

McLaren

9.       

Cihan Aldemir

Turkey

Mercedes

10.   

Jonathan Klose

Germany

Renault

11.   

Gianluca Battaglia

Italy

Renault

12.   

Niklas Clasani

Germany

Racing Point

13.   

Fabian Fieber

Thailand

Ferrari

14.   

Stefan Geyer

Austria

Racing Point

15.   

Patrick Hadler

Germany

Ferrari

16.   

Daniel Rocker

Croatia

Haas

17.   

Sebastian Hermann

Germany

Toro Rosso

18.   

Matthias Gigl*

Austria

Alfa Romeo

19.   

Denis Graf

Germany

Haas

20.   

Rico di Muro

Italy

Alfa Romeo

 

*Gigl is a substitute for Kevin Purkart (side-lined with illness)

The SCCA® Road Racing Super Sweep is the most challenging award a Club racer can achieve. To earn the award in 2019 a driver had to, in a single class, win a U.S. Majors Tour® Conference Championship, a Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour Points Championship, and the National Championship Runoffs race at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR). A handful of drivers were in the hunt to claim a Super Sweep title this year, but only three left the Runoffs at VIR having earned the coveted award -- the first Super Sweep for each racer.

Cooper MacNeil, from Hinsdale, Illinois, earned the Super Sweep in Touring 2 (T2) after a dominate win in his No. 3 WeatherTech Porsche 911 at the 56th annual Runoffs. MacNeil began his journey to a Super Sweep by claiming the Southeast Conference’s T2 championship by only nine points over the Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06 of John Logiudice. In the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour Points Championship, MacNeil walked away with the T2 title on the strength of six wins obtained through weekend sweeps at Sebring International Raceway, VIR and Circuit of the Americas, along with the Runoffs victory.

John Phillips, of Sealy, Texas, earned his first Super Sweep title in a B-Spec car new to him. Only a month before the National Championship, Phillips purchased his competition vehicle, the No. 43 Hoosier/PRP/HPD//KTuner/G-Loc Honda Fit, from friend and fellow competitor David Daughtery. During the 15-lap Runoffs race on VIR’s 3.27-mile circuit, Phillips and Daughtery worked together to pull away from the rest of the 25-car field. With only a couple laps remaining, Daughtery fell off the pace and Phillips stormed on to his first National Championship in 29 attempts.

Prior to the Runoffs, Phillips drove to a B-Spec championship in the Southern Conference, claiming eight wins in eight races. He also claimed the B-Spec Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship based on a total of seven wins coming at Sebring International Raceway, Circuit of the Americas and Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, along with his Runoffs victory.

Things looked dodgy momentarily at the Runoffs for Super Touring® Lite (STL) driver Danny Steyn, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after he slid his No. 9 Nelson/OPM/G-Loc Brakes Mazda MX-5 into the dirt with only a handful of laps remaining in the race. However, Steyn held the lead and brought home both the National Championship and Super Sweep title. His hard work earlier in the year produced an STL championship in the Southeast Conference after claiming five combined wins on the season at Sebring International Raceway, VIR and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta -- which were Hoosier Super Tour weekends contained within the Southeast Conference schedule. Steyn then earned the Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship in STL by tacking on a win at Circuit of the Americas and, of course, the Runoffs victory.

Congratulations to each of these drivers on the incredible season, masterful performance and tremendous accomplishment.

The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 115 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA’s activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Hagerty, the Official Insurance Partner of SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.

Photo: 2019 Super Sweep winners Danny Steyn (left), John Phillips (center) and Cooper MacNeil (right).

Photos Credit: Jay Bonvouloir

 Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, raised the bar for American motorcycles today with the announcement of its most powerful engine to date, the PowerPlus. The all-new 108 cubic inch, liquid-cooled, V-twin engine delivers a class-leading 122 horsepower and 128 ft-lbs. of torque and establishes a dramatically new standard for V-twin performance.

 

The PowerPlus will serve as the heart of the new Indian Challenger, an all-new, fixed-fairing bagger that utilizes Indian Motorcycle’s state-of-the-art technology to become the highest-performing American V-twin ever developed. The new engine’s name is a nod to Indian Motorcycle’s iconic history, paying homage to the Indian PowerPlus motorcycle produced from 1916 to 1924.

 

“We challenge our engineers with the notion that anything less than best-in-class design and performance will simply not get it done, and it’s clear with this new engine that they have delivered on that high standard,” said Steve Menneto, Indian Motorcycle President. “Countless hours were spent in design, development and testing to ensure this is the best liquid-cooled V-twin ever developed, and I could not be prouder of our team and this incredible motor.”  

 

The PowerPlus adopts several design and performance features from the liquid-cooled 1,133 cc Indian Scout engine, including an overhead camshaft design utilizing four valves per cylinder. But comparisons end there. The PowerPlus was developed with a big-piston, big-torque mindset with an end game of maximum power delivery across the entire curve.

 

The all-new powertrain features a six-speed transmission with true overdrive, assist clutch to reduce clutch effort, and three ride modes that allow riders to tailor throttle mapping to their riding preferences. Advanced technology also includes hydraulic valve lash adjusters and hydraulic camshaft chain tensioners for ease of maintenance and reliability. 

 

The PowerPlus was tested, refined and proven by one of the industry’s most rigorous development and testing programs, accumulating nearly one million miles of simulated testing, including state-of-the-art dyno testing, and more than 250,000 on-road miles.  

 

“You simply cannot deliver the ultimate bagger without an engine that stands head and shoulders above anything else in its class, and that was the motivation behind the PowerPlus,” said John Callahan, Indian Motorcycle Vice President, Engineering. “We developed the most sophisticated V-twin powerplant in the industry, and then we spent month after month, hour upon hour, putting it through the most intense paces to ensure it could take whatever we threw at it. The end result is something truly special.” 

 

Indian Motorcycle PowerPlus Engine Specifications:

·         Engine Displacement: 108 cubic inches (1,769 cc)

·         Power: 122 hp at 5,500 RPM

·         Torque: 128 ft-lbs at 3,800 RPM

·         Maximum Engine Speed: 6,500 RPM

·         Architecture: 60-degree V-twin, liquid-cooled powerplant

·         Crankcase: Unit design featuring a high capacity semi-dry sump oil system

·         Timing System: Overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder

·         Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection. 52mm dual bore throttle bodies

·         Compression Ratio: 11:1

·         Transmission: Six-speed with true overdrive, constant mesh

·         Clutch: Assist clutch  

 

The PowerPlus will be built in Osceola, Wisconsin with final motorcycle assembly taking place in Indian Motorcycle’s production facility in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Riders can learn more at IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter andInstagram.

 

The time has arrived for returning ticket holders to secure their same great seats as last year for the 2020 Honda Indy Toronto. The exclusive window is now open for those customers who purchased 2-Day Grandstand seats for the 2019 event to renew or upgrade their locations now through Friday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET.
 
The 34th edition of this annual summer festival returns to Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto on July 10-12, 2020. General public sales will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. ET.
 
The NTT IndyCar Series is the racing headliner on Sunday, July 12; however, the weekend will be filled with numerous activities for families and festival-goers to experience across the grounds. Children 12 and under receive free general admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult. For the first time, renewal customers also get the first opportunity to purchase enrollments into the Honda Indy Toronto Rookie Racers Club which immerses the youngest attendees (ages 5 to 12) into motorsports with fun experiences and a gift package stocked full of items. See hondaindy.com for the complete listing of benefits.
 
“Honda Indy Toronto is absolutely a must see and do event and a major festival on Toronto’s summer calendar,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of the Honda Indy Toronto. “We have Thunder Alley packed with displays, food and fun for all ages, and Honda World is always an event favourite. Plus, during the renewal period, our most loyal customers get the added benefit right now of a complimentary Champions Club membership offering unique experiences to get even closer to the racing action.”
 
Champions Club members receive unprecedented access. The benefits include a complimentary NTT IndyCar Series Paddock Pass providing entrance into “the locker room of motorsports”, the pre-race grid walk, a credential with lanyard, signing the start finish line, an opportunity to win a two-seater Indy car ride on the track, and other exclusive at-event experiences to be announced. Just added for 2020, these members can also upgrade to a Pit Pass for $99 (regular price is $125) until Nov. 15th. A limited number of Champions Club memberships will be sold after the renewal period for $75.
 
Pricing starts at $85 for Bronze-level 2-Day Grandstand seating. Silver and Gold levels are available for $130 and $185, respectively. Renewals are available online or by phone at 1-888-476-6251. For full ticket pricing and 2020 event information and news, visit hondaindy.com or follow Honda Indy Toronto on social media using #indyTO.
The plan for Jack Beckman is to have a chance to race for a NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship at the final race of the season. But for that to happen, the former Funny Car world champion knows he must perform at the penultimate race of the 2019 season, the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil, which takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 
Beckman heads to the race second in points, 70 behind leader Robert Hight going into the final two events of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. The veteran standout has had his share of big moments in this year’s playoffs, advancing to a pair of finals in his 11,000-horsepower Infinite Hero Founder Dodge SRT Hellcat, but rising to the occasion in Vegas will be imperative if Beckman has any hopes of chasing down Hight to end the year.
 
“Our goal is to win a championship,” Beckman said. “I think it will be a big mistake for any team to look past Vegas and look toward Pomona just because Pomona is going to offer points-and-a-half. If you stumble first round in Vegas, you’re not going to get those rounds. We can’t look past the next run right now. You can’t afford to give away any points.”
 
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), J.R. Todd (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including live final eliminations coverage starting at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 3. It is the fifth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship, and the 23rd of 24 events in a 2019 NHRA season that’s come around at the perfect time for the 2012 Funny Car world champ.
 
Two of his six final rounds have come in the playoffs, including a victory at the opening race of the Countdown to the Championship, allowing him to move into the championship conversation. But Beckman suffered a red light in the final round at Charlotte and has just one round win at the other two playoff races, meaning the goal is consistency in Las Vegas. It can be a tense time with a world title on the line, but Beckman will look to remain focused down the stretch.
 
“In a perfect world, you treat Q1 the same as the final round at Pomona,” said Beckman, who has 29 career wins. “In reality, driving the car is no easier or more difficult whether it’s qualifying or a final round, it’s just the pressure we put on ourselves. I stumbled in the final round at Charlotte and you can’t do that. If we’re going to win this championship, the car has to be to right and the driver has to be right. I just have to do go up there and do my job. I can thrive under pressure, I just didn’t have my head where it needed to be in the final round, and it’s time to get it back.”
 
It’s far from a two-car race for the title as well, raising the stakes in Vegas even more. Beckman leads John Force by just four points, while Dallas winner Matt Hagan and Bob Tasca are also lurking. But Beckman is confident at this point in the season, praising a team, led by crew chiefs John Medlen and Dean Antonelli, that has made the most of its opportunities. The team didn’t test during the preseason and has limited those sessions, but they’re currently performing as well as they have all year heading to Las Vegas.
 
“It forced us to be more efficient with our testing and incorporate more of it during the regular season,” Beckman said. “But that’s over. Now every single run counts. You want to do everything you can to come out on top. The faster the horse you ride, the better a jockey you become. From a driver’s standpoint, your confidence is always going to be best when you’re driving a fast car. Being confident helps me perform better and having a fast car never hurts your confidence.”
 
Torrence clinched his first Top Fuel world title a year ago in Vegas en route to the victory, but it will be a different story in that regard this year. Torrence is currently locked in a tight points battle with the likes of Doug Kalitta, 2017 world champ Brittany Force and his father, Billy.
 
Butner is the reigning event winner in Pro Stock and he’ll need a win to stay in the title hunt. The former world champ is 74 points behind leader Erica Enders, who jumped into the lead with her St. Louis win. But the likes of Matt Hartford, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Jason Line remain close.
 
Arana Jr. will look for a second straight win in Vegas to help finish his Pro Stock Motorcycle season on a strong note. Andrew Hines is after another world title after an impressive season, but Karen Stoffer, Jerry Savoie and Eddie Krawiec will look to make things interesting in Vegas.
 
The Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil also features thrilling competition in the season-finale of the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, as well as the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, showcasing the future stars of the sport. Stevie “Fast” Jackson has clinched his first world championship in the NHRA Pro Mod class, while Sidnei Frigo is the defending winner in the category.
 
After nitro qualifying, watch spectacular jet cars, including Segal Motorsports’ Shelly Segal running “FireStarter,” Tim Smith running “American Freedom Fighter,” Tony Franco driving the Lucas Oil Terminal Velocity and Lucas Oil Racing TV Missile driven by Tom Bogner. Known for exciting pre-run flame shows and after burner pops, jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines.
 
Along with the exciting on-track action, the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil will honor first responders with NHRA’s “Salute to First Responders” celebration.    
 
NHRA fans can take part in the Mello Yello Walking Tour to see the cars and teams hard at work in the pits. Fans can also attend Pro Stock School and Nitro School to learn how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds. The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will also host a Mello Yello autograph session and allow fans to meet their favorite drivers as well as the Sealmaster Track Walk hosted by NHRA announcer Joe Castello. Another can’t-miss experience is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes. NHRA fans are invited to congratulate the winners of the event as they celebrate their victories.          
 
As always, fans can 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 gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, 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 will feature two rounds at 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 12:45 and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3.
 
To purchase general admission or reserved seats, call 800-644-4444. Tickets also are available online at www.lvms.com/tickets/nhra/. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.  
Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.