Thursday, Dec 02
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  

  

 

41 organizations representing millions of people around the world sent a joint letter to Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton calling on him to use his invitation to speak with Saudi leaders at the Saudi Grand Prix to highlight human rights concerns. This race marks the first time Saudi Arabia has ever hosted a Formula 1 event. The organizations ask Hamilton to make demands in five specific issue areas: women’s rights, labor rights, prisoners of conscience, the war in Yemen, and democracy.

The letter thanks Hamilton for his recent call for scrutiny over Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses. Hamilton has been a vocal advocate for Black Lives Matter and has expressed concern for Bahraini torture victims when the sport traveled to Bahrain in the 2020 season. 

Danaka Katovich, a national organizer with CODEPINK said “Lewis Hamilton has a unique opportunity. Miles away from the race, the Saudi military is carrying out a suffocating blockade on Yemen that is starving a child every 75 seconds. This event is intended to be a distraction from the Saudi government’s war crimes, but if the star of the sport is calling direct attention to it, people won’t be able to look away.” 

“Yours, and other Formula 1 driver’s comfortable stay in Saudi Arabia will not be possible without the countless foreign laborers who are exploited in the Kingdom” the letter highlights  the concerns about labor rights in Saudi Arabia. “Under the current system, many migrant workers, including domestic workers who are primarily women, are trapped with abusive employers, and can face arrest, deportation and bans if they leave their employers without their consent.”

The organizations who have signed on are concerned about “sportwashing”. "Saudi Arabia's dictatorship is trying to hide its brutal crimes behind a wave of sports-washing," said Sunjeev Bery, Executive Director of Freedom Forward, an organization that campaigns for human rights and democracy. "Lewis Hamilton and other courageous advocates for freedom have an opportunity to cut through the dictator's propaganda and stand together with the brave Saudi and Yemeni voices who are demanding freedom and peace."

The letter also highlights the experiences of Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain AlHathloul, who was released from prison in February 2021 after being sentenced by a terrorism court for her activism. While detained she experienced torture and threats of violence. Her release comes with conditions as she remains on probation and is not allowed to leave Saudi Arabia for five years. “It is our sincere hope as a family that Mr. Hamilton considers the gravity of supporting a country like Saudi Arabia that imprisons and tortures its own citizens like my sister Loujain. Although she has been released from prison, she is far from free. Why is she forbidden from speaking out about her experiences in prison? We all know what they want to hide. It is through Mr. Hamilton's advocacy that we can apply pressure to demand the truth and continue to send a message to Saudi Arabia that they cannot sports-wash their continued human rights violations away,” said Lina AlHathloul.

Read the full letter here. 

Signatories: 

#FreeLoujain

Action Corps

ADDICTED To WAR

Alliance for Global Justice 

ALQST for Human Rights 

Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK

Arise: A Festival of Left Ideas 

Avaaz

Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy 

Campaign Against Arms Trade

Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia , CDHR

Chicago Area Peace Action 

Chicago Committee Against War & Racism

CIVICUS 

CODEPINK

DAWN

European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR)

FairSquare

Freedom First

Freedom Forward

Green Party Peace Action Committee

Gulf Centre for Human Rights

Hands Off Yemen

Indiana Center for Middle East Peace 

Interfaith Peace Network of WNY

International Service for Human Rights

Just Foreign Policy

Labour Outlook

London Students for Yemen

MENA Rights Group

On Earth Peace

Peaceworkers

Project Break the Cycle

RootsAction.org

Stop the War Coalition

Veterans For Peace

West Suburban Peace Coalition

Women's March Global

World BEYOND War

Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation

Yemeni Liberation Movement

A new Formula 4 championship for Central and Eastern Europe starts next season. In contrast to the established championships, the driver budgets are much lower, but the racing calendar is yet exciting, as series organizer Josef Krenek confirms

 

Mr Krenek, you are planning to launch a new Formula 4 racing series in 2022. What can we expect and what will it be called?

It will be an independent championship for Formula 4 cars, which is organized from the Czech Republic and supported by the popular ESET Cup, hence the name ACR Formula 4 powered by ESET. ACR stands for the Czech Automobile Club.

 

Is it a stand-alone championship or an "appendage" to an existing competition, such as the Drexler Formula Cup?

As already mentioned, it will be a stand-alone championship with brand new F4 cars. We have had a very long and successful collaboration with the Drexler Formula Cup. It is therefore also possible that we will compete in a common field with separate grids in the first season. Formula 4 vehicles are comparatively cheap, but they also must be paid for, new teams have to be formed, etc. We live in unpredictable COVID times, so many logistical matters, e.g., the delivery of the new cars in time, are always an issue. However, we think and plan long term. As soon as we have a grid of twelve or more cars, we will run our own races. With a little luck, this may already be the case at the season opener on the Hungaroring.

 

The top European F4 series are in Italy, Germany, Spain and Great Britain. Then there are France and Denmark. So, will your series cover Central and Eastern Europe?

The Czech Republic is a small country, with only two racetracks and a handful of racing drivers. The same applies to Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland or Austria. Therefore, we have been racing together for years on the same tracks and the same dates with uniform regulations that are anchored in the FIA CEZ (Central European Zone). We can thus be called a completely new series for Central and Eastern Europe, made up of several national championships.

 

You have also been managing the TCR Eastern Europe successfully. Will the new F4 championship start as part of the support races for these events?

Definitely! Five years ago, we understood that we needed a good value series to get a wide base. We have achieved that with the Twingo Cup, where grids of more than 30 vehicles are no exception. Next, we have the Renault Clio Cup Bohemia for more ambitious beginners, the TCR Eastern Europe, the ESET GT Cup with attractive GT and LMP racers, and now, to enable kart drivers to enter our racing platform, the ACR Formula 4.

 

In Formula 4, Tatuus or Mygale chassis and predominantly Abarth or Renault engines are being used. How will that be in your series?

We have opted for Tatuus chassis with Abarth engines, just like in Germany, Italy, or Spain. However, the previous T014 models can also be run, competing in a special category.

 

Will the vehicles be serviced and distributed centrally, or will there be different racing teams?

We are not planning a central operation, we’d rather see different racing teams, ideally from several different countries.

 

What about equality in the championship? Is there a central scrutineering?

Technical checks are a key factor and very important to us. Dataloggers have been compulsory in our GT3, GT4, and TCR series for years. We will do the same in ACR Formula 4. We have experienced technical and sporting commissioners who are an integral part of our series.

 

For which racing drivers is the series intended? How old do you have to be and what racing experience do you need?

All drivers with a racing license and at least 15 years of age can take part in the ACR Formula 4.

 

Is the season program already in place? If so, which circuits will you go to?

We are planning to host six events on six different circuits in six different countries. From our home base, the Slovakiaring, many interesting and safe racetracks are within a 500-kilometre radius.

 

Race calendar 2022 ACR F4

08-10 April - Hungaroring, Hungary

03.-05. June - Red Bull Ring, Austria

24.-26. June - Poznań Gate, Poland

22.-24. July - Autodrom Grobnik, Croatia

19.-21. August - Slovakiaring, Slovakia

09-11. September - Autodrom Brno, Czech Republic

 

For a racing season in the German or Italian Formula 4, a driver needs a budget of around EUR 250,000. Can you already say how much a season in ACR Formula 4 will cost?

We want to deliver a good value for money and are aware that raising budgets, particularly in these COVID hampered days, is hard. Thus, we have calculated the costs for an ACR Formula 4 season between EUR 50,000 and 100,000. We strive for good and affordable racing with great competition, fairness, and safety.

 

Interested drivers or teams should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This year, we celebrate 10 years since the launch of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship – the electric cars motorsport racing series that promotes clean mobility. Since its inauguration in 2014, the series has hosted seven seasons and has gained millions of viewers from all over the world.

The amalgamation of the climate crisis, eco-awareness, and the boom of electric cars are all vital in the positioning of Formula E as a pioneer in green mobility. But where does the sustainable motorsport stand compared to the original racing series that defined years of single-seat motorsports – Formula One?

Formula E’s sustainability manifesto

In September 2020, Formula E was certified as the first and only net zero carbon sport since its launch. But the journey to offsetting its carbon emissions is imbued with consistent efforts to implement and promote sustainability in every aspect of the race in line with the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative. The initiative has the Paris Agreement as a framework of stimulating organisations to adopt transformative changes that will help them reach carbon neutrality in the second half of the twenty-first century.

It all started with a clear vision for putting clean mobility at the forefront of the streets of some of the most iconic cities in the world. Formula E’s aim is to achieve “a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change,” while raising awareness for climate action. In the words of Formula E CEO Jamie Riegle, “We have a responsibility to minimise the environmental impact of our global sport and are pleased to support vital environmental projects in each of our race markets.”

But what is fuelling the electric cars race and the retrospective viewers’ interest? One thing is for sure: it’s definitely not fossil fuel. It’s no secret that the transport sector is one of the biggest sources of air pollution. In the UK alone, 122 million tonnes of CO2 were emitted in 2019 from domestic transport. According to a report commissioned by the European Environment Agency, about 412,000 premature deaths in Europe were caused by air pollution in 2016.

Driving electric cars technology forwards

Electric cars and renewable energy sources might well be the solution to offsetting our carbon emissions, and Formula E is already taking precedence in the Race for Clean Air. Formula E’s implementation of advanced technology and innovative designs is feeding into a strategy of continuous improvement, and it’s more than contagious. The green motorsport started with its Gen1 electric cars at the time of the first season, went through its Gen2 models and is introducing its Gen3 cars in 2022.

Meanwhile, the engineering firm GKN Automotive is working in partnership with the Jaguar Racing Formula E team to implement 800V technology in its eDrive systems. These cutting-edge developments are predicted to enter the roads in less than three years.

While commercial electric cars aren’t as advanced as those featured in Formula E yet, they’re key to offsetting our global carbon emissions and are soon to become a must. The UK government has announced a two-step phase-out of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 which are to be replaced by electric ones as part of UK’s Road to Zero strategy. Despite their current costly prices, more affordable models are to appear in dealerships. Alternatively, an array of used and new electric cars inspired by the latest technology.

Charting the growth of interest in Formula E

It seems that Formula E is driving not only sustainability forwards but also growth in terms of viewers. Season seven received a record total of 316 million views worldwide, which amounts to 32% year-on-year growth. In the UK alone, there was a 156% increase in domestic audience following the return of the London E-Prix after four years. Other countries that saw an audience boost include Germany (338%) and Brazil (286%).

But what is driving the growing interest in the electric cars race series?

Free-to-air TV rights

Ahead of the start of season seven, Formula E has secured media partnerships with over 40 broadcasters. In the UK, an extended partnership with the BBC offered free-to-air coverage for Britons. As a result, there has been a 26% increase during the time viewers are tuning in live globally, which is a 62% share of the total views.

Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle commented: “This was a record-breaking year for Formula E as we worked with our teams, media partners and sponsors to deliver a fan-first strategy emphasizing live race audience development and direct engagement on our digital platforms.”

The pandemic: a sword with two edges

Season six was short-lived for Formula E due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the show to cancel races and ban fans from attending. As a result, the all-electric racing series lost revenue from 161.5 million euros in January 2019 to 143 million euros in January 2020.

The Google search volumes for Formula E also reflected that. They declined from 60,500 in February 2020 to 18,100 in January 2021.

Nevertheless, the pandemic played a crucial role in highlighting climate change issues and sustainability initiatives. And with electric cars predicted to penetrate the market heavily in 2021 and onwards, Formula E reaped the benefits of the uplifted eco-awareness. Skyrocketing views of season 7 and a record high of 110,000 monthly searches in April 2021 defined the comeback of the clean mobility connoisseur racing series – or, shall we say, the beginning of a new era of climate action in the sports industry?

Is Formula E overtaking Formula One?

Given the ever-growing interest in electric cars, sustainability, and climate change, it’s inevitable that people would have their eyes set on green motorsports rather than fossil-fuelled ones such as Formula One.

Entertaining viewers since 1950, Formula One is one of the most renowned motorsports which enjoys over 300 million worldwide viewers every year. However, there’s been a slight decrease from 490.2 million viewers in 2018 to 471 viewers in 2019 and 433 million viewers in 2020. In 2015 Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin racing team, commented that Formula E will overtake Formula One in five years’ time. "I think four or five years from now you'll find Formula E overtaking Formula One in terms of number of people [watching] and more and more, as time goes on, clean energy businesses are going to power ahead of other businesses," said Branson.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note the key differences between the two championships. Formula E focuses on sustainability and energy management with the aim of promoting sustainable mobility, while Formula One is on a mission to showcase innovative car tech.

Although there is a slight decline in viewers of Formula One, so far, we haven’t seen any major trends in terms of Formula E overtaking F1, but that might change in the future.

 

Yes, the future holds a boom in electric vehicles, sustainability initiatives, and more renewable energy sources that will penetrate every sector. The sports industry is already making a leap in promoting a greener future and Formula E is the perfect example of that. Reaching the global net zero goal is all about rethinking how we can be more sustainable, and Formula E is leading the way!

 

Sources

https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/discover/sustainability/net-zero

https://f.fiaformulae.com/r/sustainability/un-climate-neutral-pledge.pdf

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/formula-e-carbon-neutral-footprint-net-zero-news-race-calendar-b508201.html

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-and-environment-statistics-autumn-2021/transport-and-environment-statistics-autumn-2021

https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/air-quality-in-europe-2019

https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2020/october/clean-air-day-uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-road-to-zero-strategy-to-lead-the-world-in-zero-emission-vehicle-technology

https://www.autosport.com/formula-e/news/formula-e-enjoys-record-breaking-tv-viewing-figures-for-2020-21-season/6680790/

https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2021/february/ways-to-watch-2020-21

https://racer.com/2021/10/04/formula-e-achieves-record-tv-growth-in-2020-21/

https://www.planetf1.com/uncategorized/formula-e-will-overtake-formula-1/

 

(Courtesy of Grange)

Perseverance paid off for Chris Dyson in 2021. After coming close for the last three years, Dyson brought home the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA championship following an outstanding season.

The Poughkeepsie, New York, driver won seven of the opening 10 races in the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang, clinching the title with one race remaining. While Dyson missed the season finale at Circuit of The Americas to concentrate on family matters, late substitute Matthew Brabham took a dramatic last-second triumph to give the team its eighth victory. (VIDEO: Chris Dyson 2021 Season Highlight)

“Winning the championship was massive for me, personally, on a few levels,” Dyson said. “Trans Am has been one of the lynchpins of America road racing for decades, and to be alongside some of the great champions – many of whom I saw racing as a kid – it’s hard to put in to words how meaningful it is, being considered a Trans Am champion.”

Dyson raced in Trans Am for the first time in 2017, finishing 12th in Reed Kryder’s Cadillac CTSV, filling in for David Pintaric in a race won by fellow New Yorker Andy Lally.

Dyson fanned the full schedule in 2018, winning at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta among five podium finishes in finishing third in the championship behind Ernie Francis Jr. and Lawrence Loshak. Coming from top-level LMP1 and LMP2 (675) Prototype sports cars in ALMS, SRP and Daytona Prototype in Grand-Am, Dyson enjoyed the transition to the Trans Am race cars.

“In all the forms of racing I’ve been able to compete in, I raced in cars at the top of the tree for their respective style of racing,” Dyson explained. “I think when it comes to GT-level racing, the Trans Am cars are hands-down the most monstrous cars you could possibly be racing. The actual driving is so rewarding in the Trans Am cars because there are no driver aids. The cars demand a lot of you as a driver, and reward precision and aggression. There’s a nuance between the two that’s endlessly fascinating and challenging.”

The 2019 campaign saw him win races at Indianapolis, Lime Rock and Daytona among seven podiums, capture his first career TA pole at Lime Rock, and place second in the final standings, only 15 points behind Ernie Francis Jr. The pandemic-jumbled 2020 season saw him take third behind Francis Jr. and Tomy Drissi, while winning at Road America and the season finale at Road Atlanta.

His 2021 season started off on an ominous note, when Dyson spun during qualifying, changed tires and had to start 12th at the back of the TA grid for the opening race at Sebring. Gunning for an eighth-consecutive Trans Am crown, Francis Jr, won the pole in track-record speed and led virtually all the way before being passed by Dyson, who won the race on the final lap.

After taking fifth at Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca, Dyson added victories at Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio and Road America, placed third at Brainerd, and ended his season by sweeping the Watkins Glen doubleheader and clinching the title with a victory at VIR.

“There were so many highlights and some very memorable races,” Dyson said when asked about his personal highlights of the championship campaign. “Obviously, winning the opening race at Sebring from the last starting position on the last lap against a guy like Ernie France Jr. – who’s one of the best-ever Trans Am racers – was really satisfying and a great way to start the season.

“Also, winning at home – we swept our home races. Winning at Lime Rock in the rain was very rewarding, and going up to Watkins Glen and taking both ends of a doubleheader. To win at the two tracks I’ve considered home my whole career was tremendous, and those results put us in a great position to close the championship at VIR.

“Winning this year was particularly special because we did it with a great partnership with Greg Pickett – who himself is a Trans Am legend – and to come in and showcase the ALTWELL CBD brand for most of our victories this year was particularly satisfying.”

Unfortunately, family matters took priority for the season finale in Austin, but CD Racing again was up to the challenge. Brabham filled in at the 11th hour and beat Francis Jr. on a last-lap sprint to the checkered flag after chasing the South Floridian for the entire race. He is the son of Geoff Brabham, who raced against Chris’ father Rob Dyson in the glory days of the IMSA Camel GTP. (VIDEO: Chris Dyson Honors Gala Championship Acceptance Speech)

“I think Matthew did a terrific job,” Dyson said. “What can you say? He came in on short notice, having never driven the car before he sat in it on Friday, and by the end of the weekend he was a race winner. It was unfortunate that I had to miss the event, but Matthew stepped up, performed beautifully and in a lot of ways was an extension of a relationship between the Dyson and Brabham families that goes back decades. I was really proud of Matthew, he’s unquestionably a star of the future and has a really bright career ahead of him. It was a tremendous result for the team, and it underlines how strong our package has become and how good the team is, that we can win without me driving.”

For 2022, expect to see Dyson back in action in Trans Am.

“Right now, our priority is to come back and defend our Trans Am championship, and hopefully build on what we’ve done so far,” he said. “I know the competition is not going to rest easy, and we’re already eagerly preparing for 2022.”

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is one of the longest-running championships in motorsport, and will celebrate its 55th season with a diverse 12-race 2022 schedule that will include multiple road courses, a roval and a street circuit.

Trans Am’s 2022 roster of races will be staged at legendary venues across the United States as part of SpeedTour, IndyCar Series and NASCAR events with the season kicking off at Sebring International Raceway February 24-27.

Special offer from ALTWELL CBD:
To celebrate the successful partnership between Chris Dyson and Greg Pickett, ALTWELL CBD has extended a special 30% discount off all orders. Visit Altwell.com and enter the code DYSON30.

For a quicker shopping experience click here: https://altwell.com/discount/DYSON30

This code is good for one time use only and does not expire.

By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 Perhaps the most difficult decision any successful athlete faces is when to call it quits, or at least enter the next phase of their career.
 
For every Tom Brady who taps into the Fountain of Youth, there’s a Johnny Unitas who hangs on that little bit too long only to become a shadow of his former self. Still others like Parnelli Jones or Nico Rosberg sense it’s best to bow out at or near the peak of their powers to focus on the next chapter of their autobiographies.
 
To that last list, add Patrick Long. Having accomplished everything he dreamed of during a career that saw him win most of the world’s classic sports car races, Porsche’s lone American “factory” driver revealed the 2021 Motul Petit Le Mans with Wright Motorsports would be his final start as a full-time race driver.
 
“I had a personal goal that I would finish my career with Porsche and evolve into something else,” says Long. “I’m trying to manifest that in what I want professionally and personally. We all have different paths. We all have different goals and we all have things that make us internally fulfilled. And racing is such a large part of that for me but it’s not my whole world. And I have to be honest with myself.” 
 
Anyone being honest with themselves would be hard-pressed to name an American driver who has achieved more success around the world across a greater variety of platforms than Patrick Long.
 
Consider that, in addition to 28 IMSA wins (including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Motul Petit Le Mans), Long’s lengthy list of triumphs includes the 12 Hours of Bathurst, the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring and the Bahrain FIA GT as well as the first victory for the Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid in the 1000K at Zhuhai. What’s more, his resume also includes a class win in the Baja 1000, an ARCA win at New Jersey Motorsports Park and a pair of NASCAR K&N Series victories at Portland and Miller Motorsports Park.
 
Selecting one or two from that list is akin to picking a favorite child, but Long opts for what might be called bookend wins in a career hearkening back to the era of the great “all ‘rounders.”
 
“Going to Le Mans in 2004 as a rookie and being in a big battle in GT was certainly a big memory,” he says. “Certainly, the final race of 2020 … to go into a finale at Sebring and into the dark, just a crazy restart and the final 30 minutes was an absolute sprint against guys much younger and every bit as hungry – that was a really fun one.
 
“And then opportunities to race and win in different disciplines; my heroes were always the guys who raced three different kinds of race cars in the same weekend, (so) I had an aspiration to learn and experience new crafts in stock cars, touring cars, off-road, etc.”
 
Above and beyond the victories were the relationships he established during his long associations with some of the best teams in racing, some better known than others. 
 
“There were a number of multiyear periods with teams that allowed me to be an embedded part of the organization and build relationships,” Long says. “Certainly, Flying Lizard was a group that I grew, personally, inside of.
 
“Three years driving with Penske and winning Petit Le Mans in the LMP2 car for Roger, that was really special. A couple of years with Alex Job in Daytona Prototypes, one of the rare periods of my career where week-in and week-out we were racing for overall wins. I did five or six 24 Hours of Le Mans with Proton, and those were fun.
 
“Then to end my career – my full-time sports car career, I should say – with Porsche was a big goal of mine. This team (Wright Motorsports) I’ve been with since 2016, for 95 percent of my racing, is not as big of a name. But it’s that perfect scenario of going racing with a team of your friends – people you truly believe in but also enjoy spending time with and also finding success with. Living inside the organizations is the best part.”
Long has not driven his last race, but he plans to branch out into other activities. Make that continue to branch out, given that he co-founded the Porsche Young Driver Academy eight years ago and also took the lead in establishing a charity karting event to benefit Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. He proudly notes the event is one of the leading contributors to the hospital and takes pains to add that Sebastien Bourdais has taken over a leadership role organizing the event following Long’s move back to his native Los Angeles. 
 
Then there’s Luftgekühlt, a series of “experiential car culture events” celebrating all things air-cooled, most especially air-cooled Porsches from the Pre-A 356 through the 993, which Long founded in 2014 together with Southern California creative director Howie Idelson.
 
“Creating something from scratch is always daunting,” says Long. “But from Day 1 we said the brand would make the decisions for itself based on demand, passion and people subscribing to what we’re doing. It’s opened the floodgates to a new type of car show which I describe as ‘a hipster coffee shop-meets-car gathering.’”
 
This new type of car show has grown to the point that a recent Los Angeles Luftgekühlt filled the Universal Studios back lot with Porsches. Nor is it restricted to the uniquely Southern California car culture, witness September’s successful Luftgekühlt in the Bottleworks District of Indianapolis
 
“It’s a great way to celebrate and introduce new people to the world of Porsche,” says Long. “And it’s a lot of fun to continue telling the story about a great company that’s given me everything.”
 
Not to mention a great way for one of America’s successful sports car racers to continue the journey into the next chapters of his life.

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer this holiday season, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has you covered.
 
Tickets for all premier events of the 2022 race season at the world-class track will go on sale Dec. 1 at WeatherTechRaceway.com.
 
The 2022 schedule begins with the Trans Am Speedfest (April 22-24), followed by the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, featuring the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship (April 29 – May 1).
 
Motorcycle action returns to the Peninsula with the GEICO Motorcycle MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest (July 8-10, TBC) that brings championship riders to the home track of MotoAmerica president and three-time world champion Wayne Rainey. Then days later, the AHRMA Classic Motofest of Monterey (July 15-17) revs in with vintage motorcycles and off-road competition. Tickets for the MotoAmerica event can only be purchased on the MotoAmerica website and will be available shortly.
 
The Monterey Pre-Reunion (Aug. 13-14) leads into the world-renowned Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (Aug. 17-20). The 2022 edition of the prestigious event will feature a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, will bring all the pomp and circumstance as the Sept. 9-11 Season Finale will crown the series champion. With its international driver lineup, WeatherTech Raceway is the place to be to see drivers from around the world compete for the championship. Concluding the 2022 season is the Velocity Invitational, Oct. 14-16 (TBC), which combines historic race cars with a relaxing lifestyle experience.

For those who don't want to miss a moment of the memorable action, this year’s Season Pass grants general admission with Paddock access and general parking for all eight events. With a value of more than $600, the 2022 Season Pass is available for only $450. Monterey County residents save even further with 2022 Season Passes offered for a preferred price of $350.
 
The Family Friendly Package includes four general admission passes with Paddock access to all eight Premier events, all for just $1,000. Monterey County residents can again save further with Family Passes priced at $800.

Campsites for all events will also be on sale Dec. 1. Only one campsite can be purchased for the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
 
For all numbered campsites, customers may call the ticket office at (831) 242-8200. To ensure a smooth and efficient registration process, please have ready the campground name you are interested in, the length of your motorhome (if applicable), or the site number you would like to request, and the event for which you are interested in purchasing the campsite.
 
Using the website is strongly recommended, as the phones may be busy while the tickets and accommodations specialists assist customers. If you do choose to call, please press 1 when prompted. The next available agent will return your call as soon as possible. Please be aware that due to the heavy volume of incoming calls on Dec. 1, the ticket office will be closed to walk-ins, and will reopen Dec. 2 during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
 
Don’t miss the 2022 season at WeatherTech Raceway! There will be unforgettable action at every turn, flanked by the breathtaking backdrop of Laguna Seca Recreation Area. For more information on the full schedule, please visit WeatherTechRaceway.com.
 

 

(Courtesy of WeatherTech Raceway)

Following a series of action-packed stops across the country, the first-ever Nitro Rallycross series champion will be crowned this weekend in Florida. Travis Pastrana (Annapolis, Md.) sits atop the standings after back-to-back wins at the last two races, and will go for victory at the fifth and final stop this weekend (Dec. 4-5) at The FIRM in Starke, Florida.

 

NASCAR star Chase Elliott (Dawsonville, Ga.) is set to make his Nitro RX debut against a stacked roster of world-class drivers at this weekend’s race as he pilots the ZipRecruiter-sponsored #GoNitro Supercar.

 

Pastrana’s Subaru teammate Scott Speed (Manteca, Calif.) currently sits just seven points out of the lead, followed by Timmy Hansen (Lidköping, Sweden), who will look to shake off his fifth-place finish at the last stop. Also competing is Tanner Foust (Denver, Colo.), the only driver with victories in X Games, Global Rallycross, WRX, ARX and the European Rallycross Championship; Steve Arpin (Fort Frances, Ont.), a rallycross veteran who has raced in GRC, X Games and ARX; Liam Doran (Dolton, Great Britain), a four-time X Games medalist, and more.

 

Nitro RX’s Florida finale will also see the return of Side-By-Side racing, as a field of elite drivers -   including Hailie Deegan (Temecula, Calif.), Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky (Karlstad, Sweden), Scottie Lawrence (Thornville, Ohio), Robbie Maddison (Kiama, NSW Australia), and more - competes in high-performance off-road UTV’s.

 

Tickets for Nitro RX can be purchased at NitroRallycross.com. The event will be broadcast live in the United States on Peacock.

 

THE FIRM SCHEDULE

 

Friday, Dec. 3

3:00 p.m. // Media Preview

 

Saturday, Dec. 4

11 a.m. // Doors Open

11 a.m. // Side-By-Side Heats 1

11:10 a.m. // Side-By-Side Heats 2

1:15 p.m/ // NRX Next Heats

1:30 p.m/ // Side-By-Side Last-Chance Qualifier (LCQ)

2:05 p.m. // Supercar Battle Brackets, Round 1

3:10 p.m. // NRX Next Semifinal

3:25 p.m. // Supercar Battle Brackets, Round 2

4:05 p.m. // Supercar Battle Brackets, Round 3

4:25 p.m. // Supercar Battle Brackets, Round 4

4:42 p.m. // NRX Next Last-Chance Qualifier

4:52 p.m. // Side-By-Side Final

5:15 p.m. // NRX Next Final

5:23 p.m. // NRX Next Podium Presentation + Supercar Autograph Session

 

Sunday, Dec. 5

11 a.m. // Doors Open

12:10 p.m/ // Side-By-Side Heats

1:20 p.m. // NRX Next Heats

1:40 p.m. // Side-By-Side Last-Chance Qualifier

2:07 p.m. // Supercar Heats

2:33 p.m. // NRX Next Semifinal

2:51 p.m. // Supercar Semifinal

3:13 p.m. / NRX Next Last-Chance Qualifier

3:39 p.m. // Side-By-Side Final

3:57 p.m. // Supercar Last-Chance Qualifier

4:08 p.m. // NRX Next Final

4:38 p.m. // Supercar Final

4:55 p.m. // Supercar + NRX Next + SxS Podium Presentations

 

2021 NITRO RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE

Sept. 24-25 // Utah Motorsports Campus // Salt Lake City, Utah

Oct. 2-3 // ERX Motor Park // Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nov. 13-14 // Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park // Phoenix, Arizona

Nov. 20-21 // Glen Helen Raceway // Southern California

Dec. 4-5 // The FIRM // North Florida

 

2021 NITRO RALLYCROSS SUPERCAR STANDINGS

Rank

Name

Nation

Team

Points

1

Travis Pastrana

USA

Subaru Motorsports USA

182

2

Scott Speed

USA

Subaru Motorsports USA

175

3

Timmy Hansen

SWE

Red Bull Hansen NRX Team

165

4

Kevin Hansen

SWE

Red Bull Hansen NRX Team

110

5

Steve Arpin

CAN

GRX Loenbro

102

6

Andreas Bakkerud

NOR

Subaru Motorsports USA

71

7

Fraser McConnell

JAM

Olsbergs MSE

71

8

Tanner Foust

USA

Dreyer Reinbold Racing

56

9

Robin Larsson

USA

XCITE Energy Racing

42

10

Kevin Eriksson

SWE

Olsbergs MSE

38

11

Kyle Busch

USA

 

35

12

Cabot Bigham

USA

Dreyer Reinbold Racing

30

13

Oliver Eriksson

SWE

Olsbergs MSE

26

14

Ronalds Baldins

LAT

Olsbergs MSE

20

15

Oliver Bennett

GBR

XCITE Energy Racing

1

16

Liam Doran

GBR

Monster Energy RX Cartel

1

 

 

How cool is this?

 

Check out this custom motorcycle built by Japanese bike builder and Brat Style founder, Go Takamine. Go customized a 2022 Indian Super Chief Limited for X-Men and Mad-Max: Fury Road star, Nicolas Hoult. In true Go style, he took a clean, minimalist approach to the build – adding vintage elements with the bike’s modern performance.  

 

For Hoult, Go’s vintage styling and thoughtful attention to detail created a piece of art that he’ll treasure and care for with the utmost respect. 

 

Go’s attention to detail is second to none and truly creative. The laundry list of modifications include a 1937 Ford truck fender that was transformed into the rear fender of Holt’s bike, and neat, unique details like custom brass gnarled footpegs with U.S. Buffalo Nickels installed at the end of each peg.

 

Modification List

  • Converted the rear suspension from a swing-arm/softail to a rigid, hardtail by installing cross members from the rear axle to the main frame. 
  • New Brat Style bars and brass risers
  • Relocated the digital speedometer to the lower left side of the bike just below the fuel tank. Did this by fabricating a special mounting system for the speedometer, rerouting the bike’s existing wiring to this new location.
  • Cut two inches out of the center of the tank to narrow it from its stock size. 
  • Installed a new leather spring loaded solo seat.
  • Utilized the spare tire fender (originally mounted to the back lift gate of the old truck) from a 1937 Ford Truck and converted it into the new rear fender for this Chief. Finished the rear fender with an original ornate fender end piece from a 1940s Indian Chief
  • Fabricated short, low-profile sissy bar for rear fender. 
  • Fabricated and installed a new set of custom cone-end exhaust pipes.  
  • Installed brass, gnarled foot pegs and shifter pegs, including actual U.S. Buffalo Nickels at the ends of the foot pegs. 
  • Installed new headlamp with integrated vintage Indian Motorcycle brass coin. 
  • Created upper fork leg covers to create a muscular old-school look for the front end. 
  • Installed sidemount (left side) Brat Style/Shi-Sa tail light and license plate holder
  • Repainted the bike gloss black, with silver scallops on tank and gold Indian script logo.

 

Go also converted the motorcycle to a hardtail, for a true vintage, minimalist look and feel. 

 

Talk about the ultimate Christmas gift for a motorcycle lover!?!

 

By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 Even as the team announced plans to continue competing in the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) class in 2022, Andretti Autosport is still pursuing a manufacturer to participate in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s planned LMDh category, team CEO and chairman Michael Andretti said Monday.
 
“We definitely want to do it,” Andretti said during an interview for Online Racing Industry Week presented by epartrade.com and racer.com. “Obviously, it wouldn’t be a (2023) program. It would be a '24 program. We’re very interested in it and hopefully we can put something together soon.”
 
In the meantime, Andretti Autosport announced Tuesday that Jarett Andretti and Josh Burdon will be the 2022 full-season drivers of the No. 36 Gallant-sponsored Ligier JS P320 in the LMP3 class. Gabby Chaves and Rasmus Lindh will join them for the season opener, the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
 
LMDh will replace Daytona Prototype international (DPi) as the series’ top division in 2023. Five manufacturers and four teams have committed so far to the hybrid-based class. The series’ specifications are in line with Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) specs, allowing competitors to race LMDh cars in other series and events in addition to the WeatherTech Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
“They did a great job working together with the FIA in Europe to come up with a package that you’ll be able to go and run Le Mans,” Michael Andretti said. “I think that was very important that we have equal rules for that.”
 
Andretti Autosport has programs in seven racing series, including its LMP3 program in the WeatherTech Championship. It has won the Indianapolis 500 five times and has four IndyCar Series championships.
 
Michael Andretti’s storied racing career includes four attempts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to IMSA, his team currently competes in IndyCar, Indy Lights, Formula E, Australian Supercars, Extreme E and Mexican Super Copa.
 
The structure of the LMDh program is attractive to his team’s future, Andretti said.
 
“I think they did a great job,” he said. “It’s very cost-effective for a manufacturer to come in now, where before it was a ‘he who has the most money is going to win’ type of thing. Now it’s going to be limited as to what they can spend and do. I think it’s going to make for a better series. There’s going to be a lot of interest.”
Jarett Andretti Anchors LMP3 Program
 
Andretti Autosport debuted the LMP3 program earlier this year in the IMSA Prototype Challenge, then moved to the WeatherTech Championship at mid-season. Jarett Andretti finished eighth in the final LMP3 standings.
 
The LMP3 program was a promise Michael Andretti made to his cousin John Andretti, who died of cancer in January 2020. Jarett Andretti, John’s son, is in charge of the operation.
 
“I’m there to support him,” Michael Andretti said. “I promised John I would support Jarett in whatever he was going to do. Also, it’s been good for us to learn for when we do get into the series in a bigger way. It’s been a good learning experience from that standpoint.
 
"Basically, it is Jarett’s program. He gets 100 percent credit for what’s being done there. We’re trying to support it as much as we can, but it’s his baby.”
 
Jarett Andretti’s best finish in 2021 was fourth place in the IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Watkins Glen International in July. Burdon joined the team for the season finale, the Motul Petit Le Mans, where they retired early and finished 10th in class.
 
“I’m looking forward to the experience,” Jarett Andretti said. “I think we have a great driver lineup and the team is ready. This is a historic competition and we are all excited to be a part of it.”
 
Chaves is the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge co-champion in the Touring Car (TCR) class. He has 10 career WeatherTech Championship starts, all in prototypes including in an LMP3 in this year’s Rolex 24. Lindh finished fifth in the LMP3 standings this season with a pair of second-place finishes driving for Performance Tech Motorsports.

Hoonigan and Ken Block are back with season 2 of Hoonicorn Vs. The World, their wildly popular YouTube series with more than 47-million views in its first season. There’s a dramatic twist in season two, however - with an entirely new “Block” behind the wheel. For the first time ever, Head Hoonigan in Charge, Ken Block is handing over the keys to his fire-breathing 1,400HP, methanol-fed twin-turbo, all-wheel-drive Ford Mustang Hoonicorn to another driver: his 14-year-old daughter, Lia Block. 

 

Episode 1 of the series’ second season launches today on the Hoonigan YouTube channel, featuring Lia and the Hoonicorn taking on a 4,000HP Pro Stock Corvette drag racer piloted by NHRA driver Alex Laughlin. Each week, Lia Block will take on a new challenger in a best of three no-prep drag race format, ranging from this full Pro Stock NHRA dragster, to one of the world’s fastest R35 GTRs, a Tesla Model S Plaid, and nearly everything in between. Taking lessons from season 1 of the show, the Hoonigans lined up some of the fastest and most interesting cars to race against the impossibly-fast Hoonicorn. 

 

“I’ve been around my dad’s racecars for as long as I can remember obviously, and I have always wanted to know what it’s like to drive one. I learned how to do donuts in his ’78 Ford Escort Mk2 in a parking lot last year, but the Hoonicorn is a pretty big step up from that!!” joked Lia Block. “Since then, I have been doing a ton of kart racing, raced my first rally race, podium'd in the Nitro Rallycross race in a Sierra Car, and training with awesome drivers like NHRA Top Fuel dragster driver Leah Pruett to help me get ready for the craziest car my dad has ever driven: the Hoonicorn. It was such a crazy experience. I absolutely love driving that car!!”

 

The Hoonicorn has also received a set of key updates, mainly based around safety: a reinforced roll cage with intrusion bars on the doors, a paddle shift system (allowing for the Lia to keep both hands on the wheel at all times), and a full halo seat to protect the driver in case of any impact. A set of American Racing VF503 wheels were installed (with new tire bead gripping tech), in addition to an all-new livery from Death Spray Custom - a tribute to the Hoonicorn’s original look from its launch in 2014.

 

“With the excitement from the fans on Hoonicorn Vs. The World season one, we knew it had to come back! I hadn’t planned to race the Hoonicorn again since my contract with Ford expired at the end of 2020, but at the same time Lia was taking a very serious interest in racing – so, the stars just aligned to make this opportunity happen. So, we got to keep a Block in the Hoonicorn, just a different Block!” said Ken Block. “Seeing Lia’s natural talent and progress behind the wheel has been a surreal experience for me. To say this is a proud-dad moment would be a major understatement! The Hoonicorn is one of the wildest and gnarliest cars I’ve ever driven, and I would never have put my young, teenage daughter behind the wheel if I didn’t have the confidence that she could handle it. And, she handled it like a champ! After watching her bruise some egos whilst shooting season 2 of Hoonicorn Vs. The World, I couldn’t be more stoked with her level of talent and car control – at a mere 14 years old!!”

 

Additionally, the 1,400 horsepower Ford Mustang RTR Hoonicorn V2 will be one of the fastest new high-end vehicles in Zynga’s popular mobile drag racing game, CSR Racing 2 (CSR2). Now everyone with a smartphone will be able to virtually hop into the Ford Mustang RTR Hoonicorn V2 and race against icons like the SSC Tuatara, Weaver Customs’ Twisted Mistress, and more. As a special highlight of the in-game event, players will be able to get racing tips by following Ken as he teaches Lia to drag race.

 

Season one saw the Hoonigan crew pitting the Hoonicorn against a wide variety of unique vehicles from a Trophy Truck, McLaren, and even Old Smokey (Diesel Truck). The project was conceptualized on what people were doing with the Hoonicorn in a video game, and bringing it to life to show people how fast the Hoonicorn was against the variety of selected vehicles. In season two, this quest continues as the internet’s most iconic car, piloted by the automotive world’s youngest female prodigy, takes on a new crop of the world’s most powerful challengers in a no-prep drag race format.

 

With over 47 million views and counting, Hoonicorn Vs. The World is an unprecedented YouTube series success. With new cars, new surprises, and even a new Block, Hoonigan is definitely kicking it up a notch for season two.

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