Thursday, Jun 30
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 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  

  

 
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Lamborghini will join the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class in 2024 with an LMDh prototype.
 
Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the automaker’s motorsports division, announced Tuesday that it will field cars in both the WeatherTech Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) beginning in 2024. The GTP class debuts in the WeatherTech Championship in 2023, replacing Daytona Prototype international (DPi) as the most technologically advanced class in the series.
 
The Lamborghini announcement marks a major advancement for the Italian sports car manufacturer, adding to its commitment to IMSA. Lamborghini began competing in the WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class in 2016. IMSA has also sanctioned and operated the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America single-make series since 2013.
 
“This step up into the highest echelon of sports car racing marks an important milestone for our company,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini chairman and CEO. “We will be measuring ourselves against the very best, on the most demanding proving grounds.”
 
The addition of Lamborghini brings the number of manufacturers committed to producing LMDh cars for the GTP class to five. Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche previously announced plans to join the class in 2023.
 
“IMSA has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Lamborghini dating back to the introduction of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America a decade ago and continuing into a successful GTD program,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “We are proud that Lamborghini is confirming plans to grow its IMSA footprint even further in 2024 into GTP and the top category of prototype sports car racing.”
 
LMDh is a hybrid-based platform shared between IMSA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). LMDh engines will generate more than 670 horsepower (500 kilowatts) from the combined output of an internal combustion engine developed individually by each participating manufacturer and a common hybrid powertrain.
 
The LMDh regulations were created jointly by IMSA, the ACO and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The new LMDh platform cars will be eligible to race in the WeatherTech Championship’s GTP class and the WEC’s Hypercar class.
 
Through a historic convergence agreement between IMSA, the ACO and FIA announced last summer, LMDh cars and cars built to Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) technical regulations will be able to compete head-to-head for overall victories in the IMSA GTP and WEC Hypercar class beginning next season. As a result, manufacturers will have the opportunity to compete in internationally renowned endurance races including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
“I am absolutely delighted that Lamborghini will be taking the next step in our motorsport journey, the step into LMDh and the top level of sports car racing,” said Giorgio Sanna, Lamborghini’s head of motorsport. “LMDh will play a special role in Lamborghini’s motorsports strategy, giving us the unique opportunity to expand our customer racing activities to new platforms and enforce our long-term partnership with customer teams and drivers.”
 
Winkelmann, the Lamborghini CEO, sees the company’s investment in LMDh having a larger effect than just on the racing program.
 
“On one hand, this will give our successful motorsports program even more visibility,” Winkelmann said. “But it will also allow us to test future technologies: Our LMDh prototypes will become our most sophisticated open laboratory on four wheels.”
 
Since 2016, Lamborghini has posted 15 victories in the WeatherTech Championship GTD class, including consecutive wins at the Rolex 24 in 2018, ‘19 and ’20.

The next Porsche Rennsport Reunion will be held at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California, from September 28 to October 1 in 2023. This will be the seventh running of the Rennsport Reunion and marks the fourth time that the iconic California race circuit is the stage for a celebration of the motorsports heart of Porsche. Further information on themes and ticket sales will be announced in due course.
 
During the four-day event, fans of all ages will not only get to experience exciting racing action with vintage and contemporary Porsche race cars on track, but also be able to see many rare Porsche vehicles, enjoy new vehicle reveals, Esports, fan zones, and take part in opportunities to meet and interact with drivers as they share their exciting racing experiences. Rennsport Reunion will also offer a host of other off-track activities.
 
“California and Porsche are a dream pairing, and the Monterey Peninsula is an ideal spot to bring the two together for an unforgettable weekend with so much happening both on and off the track” said Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America Inc. “Rennsport Reunion is for everyone – we’re creating an experience that’s special, whether you’re or a long-time enthusiast or are new to Porsche and are learning about our cars for the first time. Rennsport Seven is going to be bigger and more exciting than ever and yet at its core it’s the people that sets it apart – all are welcome, and I can’t wait to share our plans in the coming months.”

 

(Courtesy of WeatherTech Raceway)

Canadian NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Devlin DeFrancesco is teaming up with new sponsor Bitbuy for this year’s championship.  He also becomes the first INDYCAR racer to be paid in the cryptocurrency Ethereum. 
 
With more than 400,000 registered users and more than $5 billion traded, Bitbuy is Canada’s most secure and trusted trading platform for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other top cryptocurrencies.  
 
The 21-year-old Canadian racer made his INDYCAR debut for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport in February this year and is eagerly awaiting the chance to race on home soil in Canada when the famous Toronto street circuit event returns in July for the first time since 2019.
 
While almost every other professional athlete who chose to be paid in crypto elected to be paid in Bitcoin, crypto enthusiast DeFrancesco has chosen that his earnings from the Honda Indy Toronto to be paid in Ethereum. Bitbuy will handle the transaction for DeFrancesco who is also a user of the service. 
 
“I’m thrilled to have Bitbuy aboard for our INDYCAR campaign as the world of cryptocurrency is something that I am really excited about,” DeFrancesco said. 

“I believe in the long-term potential and power of Ethereum. I am hoping Bitbuy’s investment in our race program will pay off for them, and I'm hoping my new Ethereum will pay off for me.”  

 

DeFrancesco was born fast – arriving 16 weeks early at Toronto’s Sunnybrook hospital and spending the first three months of his life in an incubator. He has continued that need for speed ever since driving a go-kart for the first time at the age of six. After a successful career in karting and junior formulas in Europe, DeFrancesco returned to North America in 2020 to take his first step on the “Road to Indy.”
 
After competing in the Indy Pro 2000 championship (2000) and Indy Lights (2001) – he graduated to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES this season. Racing with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport – joining the team created by INDYCAR legend seven-time Toronto winner Michael Andretti and siblings George and Julia Steinbrenner – the next generation of sporting team owners from the New York Yankees Steinbrenner family.
 
“With more and more attention and money being put into cryptocurrency, we’re excited to have Bitbuy join us on the 29 car,” Steinbrenner Racing co-owner George Steinbrenner IV said. “There’s an exciting buzz in the market as people start to gravitate toward the blockchain and digital marketplace.”
 
“When we signed Kyle Lowry to be our Brand Ambassador, we knew we were partnering with a legend that achieved everything he set his mind to,” explains Bitbuy President, Dean Skurka. 

“We see that same spirit in Devlin but this time we are partnering with someone just getting started.  And when Devlin said he wanted to get paid in Ethereum, we knew we had the right guy.”

Nearly a decade after partnering on a technology and marketing partnership that was the first of its kind in the industry, Hoonigan and Mobil 1™ have reunited to help celebrate the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand’s 50th anniversary leading into 2024. The two brands will hit the track for the first time at this year’s 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb through a unique, collaborative entry imagined by the Hoonigan Racing Division, fielded by BBi Autosport, and protected by Mobil 1 technology.

 

Be it trackside or roadside, the partnership will bring lovers of the open road behind the scenes as the Hoonigan Racing Division captures the road less traveled en route to the 2024 anniversary date. Extending beyond content, fans will have access to limited-edition collaborative merchandise exclusively available through Hoonigan’s innovative e-commerce platform, along with opportunities for followers of the @thehoonigans and @mobil1racing channels to secure their spot as part of some once-in-a-lifetime experiences. All this access will come through a mission that will see Mobil 1 named as the official motor oil of both Hoonigan Racing Division and Hoonigan.

 

“Mobil 1 and Hoonigan will always have a special relationship,” said Brian Scotto, chief creative officer and co-founder of Hoonigan. “In 2011, before anyone knew what Hoonigan would go on to become, myself included, the Mobil 1 team gave us the pulpit to launch the brand to the masses at the SEMA show. Since then, Hoonigan has a taken on a life of its own, becoming not only the largest automotive audience for the under 40 crowd, but also becoming a term that identifies an entire genre in the space that caters to having fun in cars. We’ve continued to work adjacent with Mobil 1 on great projects like the Hot Wheels Legends Tour and even got the chance to be a part of Max Verstappen slaying tires in his Oracle Red Bull Racing Formula One car. It’s awesome to work with another brand that cares about cultivating car culture, so we are more than stoked to be working again officially with this program, and help, as we pass our 10th anniversary, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mobil 1 brand in 2024 with some new projects that build on our shared love of driving.”

 

The co-branded entry into this year’s historic centennial running of Pikes Peak Hill Climb will be no less momentous than when Louis Unser trusted Mobil™-branded products to help him conquer America’s Mountain in 1934. Building upon this heritage, a new vehicle, producing over 1,000 horsepower, fed by two turbochargers, and driven by an equally legendary driver of a new generation, Ken Block, will once again trust Mobil 1 technology to fight its way up to the 14,115-foot summit. With a nod to the past, and a wink towards the future, the vehicle will be named the Hoonipigasus. The name combining a spirit of motorsport legacy between two iconic marks: Porsche and the Mobil Pegasus.

 

“There’s a reason true innovation is often left to someone else, and in this case, we felt that someone else had to be us,” said Ryan Allen, automotive brands and partnerships manager for North America at ExxonMobil. “Our brand is turning 50 in a couple of years, and in that timeframe, it’s been the first to many feats - both on and off the track. But to truly celebrate how we got here, we wanted to do something that captured the spirit behind our love of driving, and our love of our fans who we see every week on the road while they’re grabbing a coffee, or hitting the race track. Usually those fans have a phone in their hands, and more often than not, they’re watching a Hoonigan video and hitting the skip ad button. By building on a movement towards content we helped kickoff with the Hoonigan team over a decade ago, we felt we could join our fans in their love of driving, rather than trying to sell them a bottle of Mobil 1 that they already trust more than any other motor oil brand.”

 

For more information on Hoonigan Racing Division, please visit HooniganRacing.com. For more information on Mobil 1, please grab a friend and hit the road.

 

Freeway Insurance, the largest auto insurance and personal lines distributor in the U.S., today announced the launch of a new public safety campaign on the dangers of street racing. In conjunction with NASCAR driver Daniel Suárez, the campaign kicked off with a video of Suárez warning against street racing.

 

As the first Mexican champion in NASCAR, Suárez recorded videos for the campaign appealing to drivers in both English and Spanish.

 

During the pandemic, reports of street racing surged across the country as fewer commuters were on highways and streets became less congested, making them more enticing - and dangerous - for street racing.

 

"A few minutes of fun can change your life forever," Suárez said. "The sad reality is that, most of the time, an innocent bystander pays the price."

 

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"I am very proud of Freeway Insurance and Daniel for launching this much needed campaign across the country," said Trackhouse Owner and Founder Justin Marks. "We all love racing. We live and breathe racing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But, there is a proper place for racing and it certainly isn't on the city streets. If you want to race, there are tracks in nearly every city in America where you can race safely."

 

Earlier this year, Freeway Insurance expanded its partnership with Suárez, serving as his primary sponsor for five events during the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series. Freeway Insurance also has a national advertising campaign featuring Suárez, including the only Spanish-language commercials featuring a NASCAR driver.

 

"NASCAR fans associate Suárez and the Freeway Insurance Chevrolet Camaro with speed, but we wanted to educate them that nothing is more important than safety when getting behind the wheel of a car," said Cesar Soriano, CEO of Confie. "Even if this campaign stops just one person from putting themselves and others in a dangerous street racing situation, it will have been a success."

 

To learn more about Freeway Insurance, visit freewayinsurance.com.

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – At the halfway point of the final Daytona Prototype international (DPi) season, Acura has begun to flex some muscle with back-to-back 1-2 finishes. Don’t let that fool you. Recent history and drivers involved remind us there’s a long way to go.
 
The Acura ARX-05 DPis fielded by Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian are coming off a pair of road courses – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – that favor their design. The No. 10 WTR Acura won both races to take the class lead in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The No. 60 MSR Acura finished second both times and sits second in the DPi standings.
 
“I feel like in the past few years the parity of the cars has really suited certain places more than others,” said Ricky Taylor, co-driver of the No. 10 with Filipe Albuquerque. “For the Acura, it’s Laguna, Mid-Ohio, Road America – those sorts of places where we really need to do our job and get the most points possible.”
 
“Once we go to Detroit, we expect it to swing back the other way.”
 
Therein lies the great equalizer. Bumpy tracks like the Raceway at Belle Isle street circuit favor the design of the Cadillacs. Detroit is up next on the calendar with the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on June 4.
 
“It’s actually simple,” Taylor explained. “The smoother the track and the higher the speed in the corners, the better it is (for the Acura). It comes down to just how low you can run the car. (With) the Cadillac, you can run it wherever you want (in ride height). The Acura, if it’s not just skimming the ground, it’s losing grip. When we go to a bumpy place like Detroit or Long Beach, which also have slow-speed corners, that’s where we suffer.”
 
History also shows that, even halfway through the schedule, teams seemingly downtrodden shouldn’t admit defeat. Last year, for instance, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R was 157 points out of the championship lead after five races. Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani rallied to win the title by 11 points.
 
In 2020, Taylor and then-teammate Helio Castroneves were in sixth place at the halfway mark, the equivalent of 100 points out of first. They bounced back to win by the equivalent of 10 points under the current scoring system.
 
 
A glance at the 2022 standings at the midpoint shows all six fulltime entries still in the hunt with only 132 points separating the top five cars. The outlier could be the No. 01 Cadillac Racing entry, whose incredible pace has been outshone only by its incredibly bad fortune, leaving it 208 points back.
 
Also worth noting is that Cadillac finished better than Acura last year at three remaining tracks (Detroit, Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta) on the schedule, with the jury out on the remaining two circuits. Acura outdid Cadillac at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in 2021, but Cadillac returned the favor a week later in the sprint race at Watkins Glen International. The WeatherTech Championship returns to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July for the first time since 2019, when Acura got the better finish of the two manufacturers. But a year earlier, Cadillac won the race.
 
Which leaves Oliver Jarvis of the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura to echo the sentiment of all DPi drivers.
 
“It’s important that we capitalize on the tracks that do suit our car, we make the most of it and come away with maximum points,” he said. “We’re getting to halfway of the season and points you score here could be crucial for the championship at the end.”
 
The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic airs live from Detroit at 3 p.m. ET Saturday, June 4 on USA Network, Peacock and IMSA Radio.
Formula E today launched ticket sales for the 2022 London E-Prix with a unique race car livery designed by an iconic east London street artist, and revealed London-raised DJ and producer Jax Jones will perform at the event. Grandstand seat tickets are available now starting at £49 from www.FIAFormulaE.com/London.
 
Mr Cenz, whose distinctive, surrealist, photorealism style of graffiti artwork has been making eye-catching statements in public spaces in east London since the 1990s, has applied his creative skills directly to a high-performance Formula E race car. The all-electric single-seater, which races on the streets of global cities in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, was unveiled today in Shoreditch, east London, with another of Mr Cenz’s major mural artworks as backdrop.
“Formula E is unique in that we take our race cars to the streets of world cities like New York, Berlin, Rome, Riyadh, Seoul and London,” said Formula E CEO, Jamie Reigle.
 
“Now we’ve taken the streets of east London to our race car. Inviting Mr Cenz to create a livery for a Formula E car reflects the importance of engaging with the culture and community of our host cities. Bringing local communities closer to our racing connects people to our mission of accelerating the switch to electric mobility and taking action to fight climate change,” said Jamie.
 
“Growing up in London, I was inspired by the graffiti artwork coming out of the New York hip-hop scene,” said Mr Cenz.  “Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on projects all over the world, but nothing comes close to creating art in east London. It will always be close to my heart, I’ve painted lots of murals in the area over the years, so working with Formula E to celebrate the return of the London E-Prix has been a huge passion project for me.
 
“Painting a Formula E race car was a new challenge but I’m delighted that we were able to give it that gritty east London vibe to kick off the London E-Prix in July.”
 
Jax Jones to perform at the 2022 London E-Prix:
 
London-raised international hitmaking DJ and producer, Jax Jones, will be performing for fans at both races of the London E-Prix.
 
“I grew up in London so it’s always a bit of a homecoming for me whenever I get to play here, let alone at a car race running through the middle of my city?! Gonna be crazy.”
About the 2022 London E-Prix:
 
The London E-Prix features a double-header of races on Saturday 30 July and Sunday 31 July at ExCeL London, with a return to full capacity grandstands in London for the first time since the 2016 race, held in Battersea Park.  
 
The race circuit is overlaid on the streets around, and even inside, the ExCeL London.
 
Twenty-two drivers from 11 teams including Porsche, Jaguar, Nissan and Mercedes, compete in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the first all-electric motorsport sanctioned as world class by motorsport’s governing body, the FIA. London will host Rounds 13 and 14 in Season 8 of the championship’s biggest-ever 16-race calendar.
 
The London E-Prix is an all-day family-friendly event including the Formula E fan festival at the Allianz E-Village plus a Gaming Arena featuring race car driving simulators.
 
The first London E-Prix was held in Battersea Park in 2015 and returned in 2016. London next hosted an E-Prix in 2021 at ExCeL London with limited capacity under Covid restrictions.

The 24-hour race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is one of the toughest endurance races, with over 200 teams taking part. The event attracts the crème de la crème of motorsport, and those who conquer the “Green Hell” can consider themselves among the best racing drivers in the world. In the 50th anniversary year, MANN-FILTER is once again taking on this great challenge and leaving nothing to chance in its bid to win the PRO/AM classification.

The legendary Nordschleife – a demanding 25.378 kilometers

Former Formula One driver Sir Jackie Stewart gave the track the nickname “Green Hell”, which is still used to this day – and it's certainly well deserved. The Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit on the Nürburgring combined are 25.378 kilometers long. A lap of the track takes a little over eight minutes. The racers have to give one hundred percent concentration if they want to master the 72 corners – Uphill, downhill, tight corners, long corners, fast stretches, and the famous Karussell. Then there are the freak weather conditions that you won't find at any other race track. Snow, rain, heat, hail – they've all happened here.

MANN-FILTER pins its hopes on a top-class driver quartet

To survive the legendary circuit, MANN-FILTER is leaving nothing to chance. The premium filter brand is also putting quality first when it comes to the team drivers, with Dominik Baumann (29, Germany), Patrick Assenheimer (30, Germany), Luca-Sandro Trefz (20, Germany), and Julien Apothéloz (21, Switzerland) sharing driving duties behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the iconic yellow and green MANN-FILTER livery.

Dominik Baumann is a Mercedes specialist. In recent years, the 29-year-old has competed in national and international racing series, finished runner-up in the ADAC GT Masters, and won countless podiums. “It will be my first race in the MANN-FILTER colors,” he says, clearly pleased about his new role. This will be his eighth start in the 24-hour classic.

His teammate is AMG performance driver Patrick Assenheimer. “I'm really looking forward to taking part in the 24-hour race for MANN-FILTER. It's one of the most amazing races in the world and an iconic track. The ultimate goal is to win the PRO-AM classification.” Assenheimer has already proven his credentials on the Nordschleife, and the Heilbronn native has been a fixture in the Nürburgring Endurance Series for several years.

Third in the lineup is talented young driver Luca Sandro Trefz. The 20-year-old has been part of the MANN-FILTER family for a long time. As a junior driver, he and his teammate Julien Apothéloz narrowly missed out on winning the ADAC GT4 Germany championship title in 2020 and only a year later was promoted to the ADAC GT Masters. “We've been working really hard in preparation for this race since last year,” he says confidently. “Obviously, I'm absolutely delighted that it's finally happening. I've driven this track in the MANN-FILTER colors before and I'm very proud to be representing the iconic yellow and green once again.”

Completing the quartet is Julien Apothéloz, who is determined to achieve a strong result. “I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the MANN-FILTER Mamba for the second 24-hour race of my career.”

One team, one goal: to handle the Nordschleife

MANN-FILTER and Landgraf Motorsport have become a well-established team since joining forces last year. The partnership in the ADAC GT Masters has been a success so far. For the 24-hour race, MANN-FILTER is once again relying on the expertise and experience of the successful racing team from Gensingen. Team principal Klaus Landgraf has a very personal connection to the racing classic: “The Nürburgring 24-hour race is one of the most famous races in the world. In the past I was able to get to know the “Green Hell” as a driver and experience its uniqueness firsthand.” As team principal, he uses his personal experience to support the team from the pits and the pit wall. “I'm very pleased that we are contesting this year's race with MANN-FILTER. Our car will certainly stand out in the field with its striking livery and is sure to be a fan favorite.”

24 hours of Mamba action

A lot of spectators are expected to attend on the 50th anniversary of the 24-hour race. MANN-FILTER will also be at the AMG Fan Base where there will be a Pit Stop Challenge, and will keep fans updated with exciting stories about events behind the scenes through its social media channels.

The 24-hour racing action will get underway at 4 pm on Saturday, May 28, 2022.

During Qualifying for the Season 2 opener in NEOM, Christine GZ suffered injuries from a serious crash on her debut for Veloce Racing.

Three months on from fracturing her foot and breaking several ligaments, the Italian opens up in an enlightening interview with Veloce. GZ details the aftermath of the dramatic incident and reveals how a neuro coach has helped her through the mental impact as she readies to make her racing comeback.

Looking back to the Desert X Prix in NEOM, how were you feeling at your first race with a new team?

Christine GZ, Veloce Racing: “When I started the day off, I think I was jumping around as usual. My only thought was I wanted to get in the car and do my best. I felt ready that weekend, everything was great!

“I wasn't really on the edge. I made a few small mistakes that set me back a little but the guys on the radio said we were fastest on track. Then I remember going down the dune and trying to keep inside as much as possible. There were already a lot of ruts and I don't really know what happened because at the end of the day, I feel like it wasn't really a mistake, it just happened.”

What thoughts were going through your head immediately after the accident?

GZ: “My hands were back on the steering wheel, my foot was down, I was rolling, and I was like come on! Just go back on four wheels and we're going to finish this. Then, suddenly, I was upside down and trying to get out. I realised I couldn't because my foot was stuck.

“The guys were super quick taking me out of the car and back to the paddock, but as soon as they tried to put me on the floor, my foot felt dead. I realised something had gone wrong.”

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When you knew you were injured and would need medical treatment, how did that affect you?

GZ: “It was all so serious. I was like I’m fine, it's just my foot. But they wouldn't let me do anything, so we were just waiting in the hospital. I kept telling them that I have a race in an hour, so I have to get out as soon as possible. But the doctors said no, it's not possible.

“The doctor said that the foot was fractured on the metatarsian and two ligaments were broken. He was telling me that normal people take about four months to recover. I was thinking normal people, what does that mean? I can do it in one month for sure. Then the physiotherapist said that maybe in two months it would be fixed."

How did this setback impact you and your mentality towards racing?

GZ: “Mentally it impacted me in various ways. I passed from everything is going to be alright, to when I had surgery and I couldn’t do anything. I was stuck and I thought okay, this might be an actual problem.

“You go on Instagram, and you see everyone training and racing and then, you’re just there stuck in your bed. You can’t even get glasses of water.”

How did you manage to keep positive during this recovery period?

GZ: 
“I don’t think I ever let the bad, the not getting there, take over me. I was always like I know that I’m going to get there, even though I’m not right now, I will.

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“When the race was moved, I had more time to recover but the objective was the same. I never told my physio that my race was postponed so that they’d still let me train so much. Every day except Sundays, because they don't let me in. I was doing between five and six hours of rehab.”

What treatment did you receive in your recovery, especially around your mental health?

GZ: “I started having dreams about the accident happening over and over again. I talk about these things with our mental coach, and he helps me to understand what's going on and how we can take all this to make it positive.

“My friends were impressed that I was actually talking about it. Normally I would be like oh everything is fine, which I think is what most athletes do. We hide the fact that we are not feeling good.”

So, as part of your rehabilitation, you’ve been receiving neuro training. What exactly does that entail?

GZ: “I have been working on that since last year and I think I feel that has been a great improvement for me. In neuro, he works with your fatigue, nerves, stress, reaction and all this together, he tries to bring it to another level.

“Normally during my daily life, because it's so busy with training and racing and so on, he’s never gone too hard on me. You can’t start your day and feel already dead before going to training. What we’ve done now that I'm at home is to train at our maximum level so that you see the consequences of how you can train at that high performance and experience how that affects the rest of the day.”

Breaking the stigmatism around mental health, would you recommend neuro training to other athletes?

GZ: “Every athlete should have a mental trainer. People get a little bit scared when you say psychologist, but all this time has given me a chance to think and see how to get better in a different way.

“We kind of drive away from this mental health story because we’re drivers and athletes, we are strong and put in 150% for everything we do. I think we have to see it in a different way.

“It’s crazy because I thought okay, this is my limit. Then when I do neuro and I think that I can’t go over this and can’t do more, I see that my limit is actually so much higher.”

It sounds like, despite the hardships you’ve been through, you’re going to come back stronger than ever before.

GZ: My head right now is 100%. I’m ready to get back in the car. Maybe in another situation I wouldn’t be like that. But with all this help, I’m on it! I’m ready to get back and smash it in Sardinia.

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Head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k1QN_gDB7M to watch the full interview.

To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com

"MAX: THE DUTCH MASTER – The unauthorised biography of Max Verstappen" by Andre Hoogeboom, is the first English-language biography of Formula 1's sensational new superstar, and is now available in the U.S.
 
Born into motorsport, Verstappen started karting at age 4 and in 2015 became the youngest driver ever to race in Formula 1, less than six months after his 17th birthday. 
 
Following his first Grand Prix victory in 2016, he quickly established himself as a future World Champion and by 2021 he'd accomplished his goal. Like a true Dutch Master, Verstappen has brought fresh artistry into F1 and made this most glamorous of sports even more exciting. 
 
This unauthorized biography, written by a leading Dutch F1 journalist, examines Verstappen’s remarkable rise to worldwide fame, covering every step of his career in detail as well as providing insights into his spirited character and supreme talent.
 
Key content:
 
• Early days: nurtured by racing driver father Jos, Verstappen had a long apprenticeship in karting, from a first title in Belgium in 2006 to the climax in 2013 as World KZ Champion in the top KZ1 category.
 
• Rapid single-seater gestation: only 12 months elapsed between his first single-seater experience, a Formula Renault evaluation at Pembrey in South Wales, Australia, and his F1 test-driving role with Scuderia Toro Rosso (Red Bull’s junior team) in 2014.
 
• The fairytale begins: after débuting in Australia, his full F1 season with Toro Rosso in 2015 brought 10 points-scoring finishes — and much acclaim.
 
• Transfer to Red Bull: Verstappen was elevated to the ‘senior’ team for the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix — and almost miraculously became F1’s youngest ever winner first time out.
 
• F1 consolidation: ever-growing maturity in each of the next three seasons brought seven more F1 victories, culminating in Honda-powered 2019 delivering third place in the championship standings.
 
• The championship beckons: following pandemic-afflicted 2020, Verstappen soon emerged as championship favorite in 2021, intent on toppling Lewis Hamilton from his throne.
 
• Expert assessments: insights from three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart and leading journalists Peter Windsor and Will Buxton.
 
About the Author:
André Hoogeboom is a Dutch journalist and writer specializing in Formula 1, and currently runs his own press and consultancy agency. His unauthorized biography of Max Verstappen was first published in The Netherlands in 2016 and has now been much expanded and adapted to bring it up to date and to suit English-speaking audiences. His other books about motorsport include a history of Zandvoort (his country’s premier race track), a reconstruction of the adventures of Dutch car manufacturer Spyker (including its short-lived F1 experience), and two novels, Deadly Ambition and Sabotage. He lives in Alkmaar, near Amsterdam, in The Netherlands.
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