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  

  

 

NACON, the KT Racing studio and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA - the International Automobile Federation) are pleased to announce that the new Rally Star DLC for WRC 9, the official video game of the FIA World Rally Championship, is now available. The result of close collaboration with the FIA, this brand-new competitive mode is part of the very first worldwide program for finding future rally drivers.
 

Watch the FIA Rally Star in WRC 9 trailer: 
https://youtu.be/3y-R0oDTtws

 
Hailed by the media and gaming community as the most realistic rally simulation, WRC 9 has been winning over new players around the world since its release on PlayStation and Xbox consoles and on PC. This unique DLC brings the video game closer to reality by becoming the first step in the FIA Rally Star selection program, which has been set up to find future talent.
 
FIA Rally Star: the green flag in February!
 
From February to August 2021, 12 online trials will be held to select the most promising drivers in WRC 9. This first phase of the competition will be open to drivers from 17 to 26 years of age, and will be played exclusively with the new M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally3. The winners of each of the 12 trials will qualify for one of the six continental finals.
 
At the end of the finals, the 7 best drivers, including at least one woman, will be enrolled in an exclusive FIA training and practice program. For the best of them, the adventure will continue with 2 seasons in the FIA Junior WRC!
 
"The new level of realism in WRC 9 gives us the opportunity to propose this challenge to all of the sport's fans around the world" said Jérôme Roussel, FIA programme manager. "The next Sébastien Loeb, Ott Tänak or Sébastien Ogier may well already be practicing on their console or PC! We just need to find them!”
 
For more information, visit http://www.fiarallystar.com
 
The FIA Rally Star DLC is now available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®5 and PC on the Epic Games Store for €9.99.
 
* * *
With WRC 9, the passionate developers of the French studio KT Racing have pulled out all the stops to once again meet the high expectations of rally fans looking for tougher challenges and heightened realism. With an enhanced career mode and many technical improvements, players are thrust into the heart of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship season with many great highlights.
 

  • 3 new rallies: Japan, New Zealand, Kenya
  • Over 50 official teams and their livery from the WRC, WRC 2, WRC 3 and Junior WRC
  • Over 15 bonus cars that have left their mark on the history of the WRC
  • The brand-new Clubs Mode, to create customized championships

 

WRC 9 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®5 and PC via the Epic Games Store for $9.99.
NHRA and Atlanta Dragway have teamed up to announce the new dates for the 40th annual NHRA Southern Nationals. The fan-favorite event will be moved to April 30-May 2.
 
“We are looking forward to celebrating the 40th NHRA Southern Nationals,” said Kasey Coler, NHRA Vice President of Track Management & Operations. “We believe the new dates will allow for more of our loyal Atlanta-based fans to attend the event and will allow us to comply with state health guidelines.”
 
Atlanta Dragway has been a staple on the NHRA tour for the past 40 years. NHRA and race teams alike look forward to returning to the historic facility, after missing the event in 2020 due to the global pandemic.
 
The 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season kicks off at the famed Gainesville Raceway at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 11-14. For more information about the 22-race season, visit NHRA.com.
 
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

Ricky Carmichael is considered by many to be the best dirt bike racer to ever imprint tire tracks in dirt; his sport has designated him as its G.O.A.T. And after five Monster Energy Supercross titles and 48 wins, he retired from professional Supercross racing in 2007 and went on to ARCA and NASCAR racing while also amassing 5 X Games medals.

 

This past weekend, the 2021 Supercross series hosted Round seven inside Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Carmichael was there, but he called the race action and offering insights during the Saturday night broadcast; since 2019 he's been the on-camera expert for the Monster Energy Supercross series from inside the broadcast booth. 2021 will mark the first time the Supercross series has returned to the Orlando venue since the legendary 2007 Orlando race… Ricky Carmichael's Supercross swan song.

 

The battle that night in '07 brought out what Carmichael has said was the best Supercross riding he's ever done – the lack of ego in that statement rides in the fact that he didn't win. Having won two races and finishing second in the four other races he contested that year, Orlando would be his final laps; he had no designs on another title.

 

The event pitted him against his two main career rivals: James Stewart and Chad Reed. Reed jumped into the early lead with Carmichael soon right behind and Stewart two spots back. Within two laps of the twenty lap Main Event, the three top racers had gapped the field. Four laps later it was down to two as Stewart gained and lost tenths of seconds on the retiring, defending champion dead ahead.

 

Carmichael didn't need to win that night. He was competing only in select events for his final year of competition. He had nothing left to prove on a motorcycle. Equally, James Stewart had little to gain with a win over Carmichael. Three additional points over his title-rival Reed weren't worth the risks he was taking. But, like Supercross racers do every time the starting gate drops, the two threw down. It was a brilliant wrap to a legend's Supercross career.

 

And that legend is still a part of the sport, up in the booth where he's showing another talent. For race fans in Orlando, tickets are available in a restricted-attendance, pod-style seating arrangement. For all other sports fans, the race this weekend is broadcast live on both the Peacock app and NBCSN. The race starts at 7:00 p.m. ET and there will surely be a highlight reel of the Greatest Of All Time's last previous visit to this stadium.

 

 

450SX Class Championship Standings

1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (138)

2. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (122)

3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (114)

4. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (105)

5. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (96)

6. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (96)

7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (95)

8. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (94)

9. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (87)

10. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (82)

 

 

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

1. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (143)

2. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (137)

3. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (119)

4. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (102)

5. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (97)

6. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (88)

7. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (73)

8. Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (65)

9. Grant Harlan, Justin Tex., Honda (64)

10. Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., KTM (64)

 

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli opens its 54th season of racing next weekend, headlining the Sebring SpeedTour Feb. 19-21 at Sebring International Raceway, the same historic venue where it debuted in 1966.
 
This will be Trans Am’s 16th visit to the Sebring circuit, which was originally a training base for B-17 pilots during World War II. In 1950, several runways and adjoining roads were converted to a circuit to host international sports car racing. The track began hosting its trademark 12-hour race in 1952, and even hosted the first U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race in 1959.
 
The 17-turn, 3.74-mile airport-based circuit opens its season next weekend, when Trans Am highlights a weekend of SVRA vintage and historic competition.
 
The original Trans American Sedan Championship was a constructor-driven series showcasing Detroit’s popular “pony car” sedans including the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvair, Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda. Also eligible were foreign cars under two-liters, including the Alfa Romeo GTA, Ford Cortina Lotus, Mini Cooper, Saab and Opel Kadett.
 
Then two-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt led the opening lap of the 1966 four-hour Governor’s Cup in a Ford Mustang. Jochen Rindt – the future 1970 F1 World Champion – took over at hour three and led the rest of the way on the bumpy 5.2-mile circuit. Meanwhile, Bob Tullius gritted his teeth and won the over two-liter class in a Dodge Dart. Instructed to follow its two lead Barracudas, Tullius decided to make his bid as Foyt was pulling away in the lead.
 
“I was instructed by our Chrysler team manager to follow the two Barracudas, because they wanted those cars to win and I was going to be a nice guy,” Tullius said. “But they didn’t count on A.J. Foyt, who went into the lead in a Mustang. I ran around for awhile, and then decided to pick it up. I passed both of the Barracudas, and then caught Foyt and passed him for the lead. Eventually, his car bailed [following a long pit stop] and I wound up winning the [Over-two liter] race.”
 
The inaugural race was held the day before the annual 12-hour classic, attracting a 40-car field.
 
Trans Am returned in 1967 as the Four-Hour International, drawing a then record 61 entries. Jerry Titus won in a Ford Mustang, lapping the second-place Camaro Z-28 of Mark Donohue. Peter Gregg and Sam Posey took honors in the Under-two liter class, driving a Porsche.
 
For 1968, Trans Am ran concurrently with the 12-hours – similar to the race format at Daytona that year when TA was a class in the 24-hour race. Mark Donohue and Craig Fisher took Trans Am honors with a third-place overall finish, one position ahead of Roger Penske-entered Camaro teammates Joe Welch and Bob Johnson.
 
With the series moving to shorter races, the next Trans Am race at Sebring was not until 1999, with a stand-alone weekend serving as the finale. Paul Gentilozzi capped his championship season by winning in a Ford Mustang. Trans Am ran in support of the Twelve Hours of Sebring the following two years. Brian Simo won the 2000 season opener in a Qvale Mangusta, while Boris Said won the following year in a Ford Mustang.
 
Since 2013, Trans Am has been a major component of the SVRA Sebring Vintage Classic, held several weekends prior to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours. Doug Peterson won the 2013 and 2014 overall victories in a Corvette, while Cameron Lawrence began a three-year TA2® winning streak in a Camaro. The two drivers went on to win their respective titles in both seasons.
 
Other recent Sebring highlights include Amy Ruman winning the 2015 season opener to begin her successful bid to become Trans Am’s first female champion. In 2019, Rafa Matos won TA2 in a Camaro, beating out Marc Miller’s Dodge Challenger. That avenged Miller’s dramatic triumph in 2018, when he passed Matos for the lead with only two laps remaining.
 
Last year, South Floridian Ernie Francis Jr. began his successful run for a seventh-straight Trans Am title – making it four-in-a-row in the premier TA class. Mike Skeen (TA2®) and Lakeland driver Lee Saunders (SGT) also kicked off championship seasons with victories.
 
For the 2021 opener, testing begins on Friday for the 55-car entry, with practice and qualifying on Saturday. Sunday includes the 27-lap TA2 feature race at 11:15 a.m. ET, followed by the TA/XGT/SGT/GT event at 1:35 p.m. Please visit http://gotransam.com for additional details. 

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
Spirits remain high with the drivers and crew of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling/JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi, despite disappointing finishes in the last two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races.
 
That’s because the No. 5 Cadillac has shown a renewed competitiveness and is now set with a stable lineup of all French drivers for the 2021 season.
 
Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval are the full-season pilots of the No. 5, with Sebastien Bourdais going from a full-time driver last season to endurance-race addition this year as he returns to a full-season gig in the NTT IndyCar Series. The trio ran strong throughout the 2020 finale, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, but finished fifth after forced into a late pit stop to replace a damaged rear wing section.
 
Then in last month’s season opener, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the No. 5 was in the hunt again, leading 106 of the first 226 laps. Just under nine hours into the 24-hour marathon, however, Vautier was the innocent victim when two other cars made contact and one careened into him. Lengthy repairs in the garage ensued, relegating the No. 5 to a seventh-place finish in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class and 34th overall.
 
“We’ve been feeling good with the car since Sebring last November,” Vautier said. “It seems like we made a big step forward there and we were hoping it was not just luck and we could conserve it at Daytona.”
 
It appeared that way as well. Vautier and Duval drove the car to a third-place finish in the Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race a week before the Rolex 24. Along with Bourdais, they were running strong and biding their time in the Rolex 24, until a pair of cars collided on the frontstretch and the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche hit the No. 5 in the aftermath.
 
“It seemed like since the moment we unloaded (at Daytona), we were very competitive, during the qualifying race in both mixed and dry conditions and for the first part of the (Rolex 24) race,” Vautier recalled. “Yeah, it’s just unfortunate the way it happened. There was nothing we could do because it was actually not even the (No.) 16. He got hit in the back by another Porsche and sent into me spinning.”
 
Despite the depressing result, the JDC-Miller team is finding a silver lining. The newfound pace has John Church, JDC’s CEO and managing partner, excited. It wasn’t necessarily the case earlier last season, even when the No. 5 opened the year with a trio of third-place finishes. Those results, Church said, were accomplished more on “perseverance and strategy” than outright speed.
 
“We definitely didn’t ultimately have the fastest car or one of the faster cars,” Church admitted. “Now we’ve got, I think, one of the faster cars. We just need to convert it into results. I’d rather be where we’re at today than always hanging on, waiting for everybody else to have some bad luck or misfortune for us to have the results.”
 
After spending the first half of 2020 in JDC-Miller’s second DPi entry, the No. 85 Cadillac, Vautier joined Bourdais and Duval in the No. 5 for the latter half of the campaign. With the team running a single entry this year, all focus can be on optimizing the No. 5 Cadillac for each race. Competing against some of the WeatherTech Championship’s powerhouse teams in its premier category sometimes makes for JDC-Miller to an afterthought, but Vautier is fine with that.
 
“Yes, some people tend to overlook us because maybe you have teams with big names and also huge resources and huge support behind them that we don’t necessarily have,” he said. “We need to make each dollar go a longer way than many others, but the team is run really well.
 
“We showed that we can do it in Daytona. As I said, if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, it’s going to click.”
 
Church agreed, especially since the next race is a return to Sebring International Raceway for the 69th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
 
“I’m encouraged by our pace. Our pace was good, the team is working really well together right now,” Church said. “We just hit two kind of heartbreaking races in a row. We were in good position at Sebring when we got hit late in the race (in November), which did a fair bit more bodywork damage than it looked like. We’re putting ourselves in position to have good results, we just need to be there at the end.
 
“We just keep going with what we’ve been doing and eventually the luck is going to go our way. It’s going to come to us eventually.”
 
Action for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring begins Wednesday, March 17. The 12-hour race on the 17-turn, 3.74-mile road course starts at 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, March 20. Tickets are available at SebringRaceway.com.
By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service

 

The contraction of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) fields in recent seasons has been something of a boon for the GT Daytona (GTD) class, what with some of the world’s top GT drivers looking for work. Although a good number of former GTLM pilots secured a GTD ride for last month’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, they quickly learned it was but the first step in the next chapter of their careers. For although the cars may be outwardly similar, there’s more than meets the eye to transitioning from GTLM to GTD.
 
Perhaps the most obvious distinction between the two classes is that – in contrast to GTLM – Automatic Braking Systems (ABS) are permitted, indeed are virtually standard equipment on GTD cars. Although as NBC commentator Calvin Fish noted during the Rolex 24 telecast, as useful as ABS may be, it doesn’t overpower the laws of physics. Drivers can’t pound a 2,600-pound car into a 45-mph hairpin at 165 mph, slam on the brakes and expect the ABS to magically slow the car enough to negotiate the turn.
 
Thus, even after preseason testing, practice and qualifying for the race and several stints in the Rolex 24, the GTLM veterans turned GTD rookies were still coming to grips with ABS, so to speak.
 
“For sure, it’s different with ABS,” said Ryan Briscoe, who had six years of GTLM experience and 10 wins in Corvettes and Fords before making his GTD debut driving the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 in this year’s Rolex 24. “It’s definitely a learning experience. All during the race at Daytona I was finding different ways to get a little bit more speed out of it, just because of the ABS. So that was interesting.”
 
ABS was just the tip of the educational iceberg for Laurens Vanthoor, who made his GTD debut in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R at Daytona after driving the Porsche GT Team/CORE autosport GTLM entry from 2017-20, winning the class championship in 2019.
 
“I would say there are two categories of differences between GTLM and GTD,” Vanthoor said. “First is the car, in this case a GT3R (in GTD) and an RSR in GTLM. With the RSR, the engine is in the middle of the car, where in the GT3R the engine is in the traditional position. The GT3R is also a customer car, a couple of percentage points lower in performance. It has ABS, which seems a bit ‘unnatural’ for a race car, so you have to learn how to use it effectively.
 
“Also, the electronics in the GT3R car are more standard, where in the RSR we were able to adjust everything we wished for our comfort. Tires? In GTLM we had ‘confidential’ tires (specially tailored by Michelin for the performance characteristics of each GTLM marque), where in GTD the tires are standard.” 
 
Beyond the technical aspects of driving the GTD cars, Vanthoor says there’s a different atmosphere.
“The other difference, which I would almost say is bigger, is the environment in GTD. With CORE it was a full works team with, not really, but you could say an unlimited budget. Every wish that you have to make the car go quicker will be done. Plus, all the people that come with a factory team, all the meetings and responsibilities as well.
 
“Now it’s a customer car and smaller team; still a top-level team owned by Chris Pfaff. But it’s not like every wish you have on the planet can be done. The team is smaller, there are less meetings and less official things … so life is a bit more relaxed with this team. There’s pros and cons everywhere. Without lying, every driver wants to be with a factory team. But even though the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed now, we’re not here just to drive around. Everyone has the same motivation to win races and win the GTD championship.”

 

 
Vanthoor’s former GTLM teammate and 2019 co-champion, Earl Bamber, took the transition from GTLM to GTD a step further. Earl Bamber Motorsports (which he co-owns with brother Will) joined forces with Team Hardpoint to campaign the No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3R for the full GTD season.
 
“Driving for my own team with my brother on the timing stand, it’s a pretty special situation and it’s awesome to be able to share the experience with Will,” Bamber told SportsCar365.com.
 
As for the racing, the differences are many. Rather than competing against half a dozen or so cars in GTLM, the GTD newcomers found themselves racing in a class with 19 entries at Daytona. As is custom, GTD cars are piloted by drivers of differing skill levels. While every GTLM driver is a proven professional rated Platinum or Gold, GTD rules require each car’s lineup include at least one driver with less experience and rated Silver or Bronze.
 
“In GTLM, all the drivers are at a certain level, so you always know where your competition is and where you stand,” Briscoe said. “It doesn’t really matter who’s driving; everyone is within a tenth (of a second) or two of one another. Whereas in GTD, you have all these Silver and Bronze drivers in the mix, where some of them are quick but others are quite a bit off the pace, so it’s difficult to figure out who’s strong and who’s not. It depends on who’s driving. You might be passing a Mercedes-AMG, for example, and you think they’re not too competitive. Then the next stint they’re coming by you and they’re really strong, so it’s a real mixed bag.
 
“It’s also challenging from the standpoint that … everybody probably has their fastest driver in the car in the last four hours (of a race), so you know where you stand,” Briscoe added. “But in the beginning and middle stages, with drivers of different levels in all the cars, it’s like, ‘Where are we? Who’s strong?’ You have to pay close attention to their best time with their best driver.
 
“At Daytona, we were a couple of laps down and then we were a lap down. We felt if we could get back on the lead lap, we had the speed to compete for the win. But for someone who just tuned in on television with a couple of hours remaining, they might say ‘Oh, the (No.) 63 car is out to lunch. They’re not going to win.’ But that’s not the case for a lot of cars out there. I think that’s the case for a lot of cars in GTD, and it makes it interesting.”  
 
And, in some respects, more challenging than GTLM.
 
“There’s just a different style of racing with 20 cars,” said Bamber. “Normally we’re used to six, and with the way the strategy rolls out you can be much more aggressive with GTLM because you’re not as worried about your track position that much. Here, you can go from fourth to 20th. I think that’s a really different dynamic.”
 
Briscoe concurred.
 
“It’s a really hard class to win because the competition is so deep,” he said. “There are so many cars and drivers, and a lot of very good drivers; as good as anywhere. So it’s kind of a shame that GTD sometimes doesn’t get as much recognition as it should. Yes, they are the slowest cars on the track but it’s super competitive and great racing. In many ways, it’s the toughest class in IMSA to win.”
 
Vanthoor noted that, with IMSA phasing out GTLM in favor of the GTD PRO class for the 2022 season, what once seemed like a lateral or even backward step in his career may well provide a leg up on some of his former GTLM rivals in the future.
 
“Obviously, I was disappointed not to be in GTLM anymore,” Vanthoor said. “But it’s funny how things turned out to be in the end with the GTD PRO class coming next year. Being in GTD this year may turn out to be a bit of preparation for next year, so now I’m thankful for how it turned out.”

 Thomas Nepveu was back this past weekend on the 0.7 mile, 11-turn kart track at the AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex for the third and fourth rounds of the now legendary SKUSA Winter Series (Superkart! USA - X30 Senior class). Over Friday's practice and Saturday's races, Thomas Nepveu and his PSL Karting crew worked hard to recover the 0.2 sec. lap time deficit against the quickest machines. During the Saturday Final race, the young driver from Oka demonstrated his talent by moving up from 31st to 15th place at the finish. The innocent victim of two incidents in the Sunday Final crossed the finish line in 7th position.

 

As the lead driver at PSL Karting, Thomas Nepveu benefits from the full support of this leading team and its technical director Coy Arbour when racing his Birel ART machine in the X30 Senior category, the most competitive one in the SKUSA series. Races in this class are always close, with 35 riders registered for this weekend’s competition.

 

The Weekend Action According to Thomas Nepveu

 

Friday (February 12)"We needed more speed right from the start of practice on Friday morning. That meant that we had to go through the kart to ensure that every component was working as it should, that the settings were correct, and also had to replace any parts that were not up to spec, After an improvement of two tenths of a second compared to the quickest kart in the last session today, we still have to fine-tune the settings tomorrow (Saturday) in order to be well positioned for a podium finish in the finals tomorrow and Sunday," concluded a driver satisfied with his team's day's work.

 

Racing is a complex sport that depends on the perfect efficiency of the equipment and the participants. When things do not go as planned, such as today and during the first rounds of the series last January, the team has to refocus and recheck everything without ever giving up. This is what the team and Thomas Nepveu have done so far this weekend.

 

Saturday (February 13)"After a decent result in the warm-up session, I got stuck in traffic during qualifying and recorded a time 0.2 seconds slower than the pole sitter. In the Pre-Final race, I moved up from 11th at the start to 6th place, despite the fact that the kart was still somewhat slower than the leaders. Starting from 12th place on the grid for the 22-lap Final, I was pushed into an incident that occurred right in front of me on the first lap, The blow bent my bumper and affected the handling to a certain degree. I found myself in 31st position on lap 2 and pushed as hard as I could for the rest of the race. In fact, I clawed my way back to a 16th-place finish. The machine was not yet perfect, and we are still working on it to make the most of tomorrow’s qualifying session and races," explained Thomas Nepveu, a motivated driver for the second day of racing on Sunday.

 

Moving up from 31st to 15th position in a short race on a less-than-perfect machine illustrates certainly Thomas Nepveu's driving talent, but it also shows his determination and an ability to adapt his driving to the behaviour of the kart in order to still get the most out of it.

 

Sunday (February 14)"Qualifying was not perfect, but it was better than yesterday. I improved a little bit on the last lap and ended up 10th, as we are still two tenths of a second short. In the Pre-Final I moved up from 10th on the grid to 6th on the first lap. Another incident occurred in front of me and forced me to drive on the dirty and slippery side of the track, which dropped me back to 9th place for the end of the pre-final. I had a good start from 9th on the grid for the 22-lap Final, moving up to 5th place on the first lap. I did not last, as another incident in front of me dropped to an honest 7th place finish for the last race of the weekend," according to the driver who was somewhat dissatisfied with the result despite some excellent driving on his part.

 

Next Race: Round 2 of the ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour Kart #353 - Senior ROK class (February 18 to 21 - ROK)

 

"The ROK Cup USA series has changed venues fir this second round of the series, to abide more effectively to the local health directives. Accordingly, the event will take place at the Ocala Gran Prix track dedicated to Karting. The six very different corners make it more challenging than an urban track which is often bumpy and painful for the drivers’ neck and back. I already know this track and I believe that everything will be fine," added a Thomas Nepveu who is aiming at nothing less than podium results.

 

Thomas Nepveu will drive in the Senior ROK class rather than Shifter ROK for the PSL Karting team, replacing Ben Cooper who is not unavailable due to new health restrictions imposed by the authorities.

 

ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour - classe Senior ROK (February18 to 21 - ROK)

  • February 19: Practice  9:50 am – 11:30 am | Qualifying 2:22 pm – 4h18 pm
  • February 20: Warm-up  9:35 am |Qualifying 11:14 am – 2:14 pm | Pre-Final 4:38 pm
  • February21: Warm-up 8:40 am| Final 10:46 am
  • Live timing: ROK Cup USA app

 

Karting Championships

Participating in three championships over the summer adds up to 23 professional events over the season (13 in karts and 10 in USF2000 cars). Each weekend is composed of multiple practice/qualifying sessions, Pre-final and Final races depending on each series’ rules. The considerable amount of racing time, plus the hours spent on simulators, will certainly accelerate Thomas Nepveu’s learning process given the high level of competition in every series.

 

Driving Instructor

Thomas Nepveu's personality and technical knowledge also make him an ideal driving instructor, capable of transmitting his knowledge while making the student and the family comfortable during these important and often emotionally charged moments. Thomas Nepveu began working with novices in the spring of 2019, when he was only 14 years old, and continues to do so for the BCR (Ben Cooper Racing) race team. Last winter, with he even helped some PSL Karting drivers at a track in addition to taking care of his own machine (track walks, debrief meetings after each track session).

 

 

2021 Thomas Nepveu Karting Schedule

Date

Track

Location

Series

Event

Final 1

Final 2

Jan. 8 to 10

AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex

Homestead, FL

SKUSA

Winter Series Rounds 1&2

14

24

Jan. 16 to 17

Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

28

-

Feb. 9 to 14

AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex

Homestead, FL

SKUSA

Winter Series Rounds 3&4

15

7

Feb. 18 to 21

Ocala Gran Prix

Ocala, Fl.

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

 

 

Mar. 11 to 14

Ocala Gran Prix

Ocala, FL

USPKS

Ocala Gran Prix

 

 

Mar. 17 to 21

Ocala Gran Prix

Ocala, FL

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

 

 

Mar. 24 to 28

Nola Motorsport Park

New Orleans, LA

SKUSA

Winter Nationals

 

 

Apr. 29 to May i

New Castle Motorsports Park

New Castle, IN

USPKS

The Hoosier State Grand Prix

 

 

May 22 to 23

Utah Motorsports Campus

Utah

SKUSA

Spring Nationals

 

 

Aug. 11 to 15

New Castle Motorsports Park

New Castle, IN

SKUSA

Summer Nationals

 

 

Oct. 16 to 17

GoPro Motorplex

Mooresville, NC

USPKS

The Carolina Grand Prix

 

 

Nov. 6 to 7

Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NE

ROK

ROK the Rio

 

 

Nov. 20 to 21

Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NE

SKUSA

Super Nationals

 

 

 

 

 

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship

Thomas Nepveu's plans for the 2021 season call for him to participate for the first time in the eight (8) weekends of the USF2000 series (for a total of 18 races), the first of the four steps on the Road to Indy Program on the way to a career in IndyCar, the fastest and most prestigious single-seater series in North America.

The USF2000 professional-level series uses technically advanced cars that are all identical, and feature a reinforced carbon fibre central tub, adjustable front and rear spoilers, a sealed 175 hp engine and a six-speed gearbox with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, driver-adjustable front-rear braking distribution, and adjustable suspensions. The complexity of the car's settings and the analysis of driving and track performance data allow young drivers to learn how to refine their driving skills and gain a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of such sophisticated machines.

 Progressive American Flat Track is pleased to announce it has extended its multifaceted partnership with Royal Enfield North America ahead of the 2021 season.
 
Royal Enfield is fresh off a stunning inaugural Progressive AFT campaign in 2020, which culminated in Johnny Lewis’ dominating AFT Production Twins victory aboard the Royal Enfield Twins FT at the Progressive AFT Finale at DAYTONA I in October.
 
“The partnership between Progressive American Flat Track and Royal Enfield sums up everything that’s good about our sport these days,” said Michael Lock, CEO of Progressive AFT. ”This famous and historic brand is re-asserting itself for the modern era and we are delighted to assist in showcasing the brand values, the bikes and the people behind it’s recent success. Royal Enfield will be visible in the Fan Zone, helping to evaluate the track, pioneering a new approach to racing with BUILD TRAIN RACE and, importantly, racing in the fast-growing AFT Production Twins class. We are very grateful for their contribution as we grow the sport.”
 
The oldest global motorcycle brand in continuous production, Royal Enfield is eager to capitalize on its hugely successful Progressive AFT debut in 2021. It returns as an Official OEM Partner and will again bring its fleet of motorcycles to the AFT Fan Zone at select rounds, where fans will have access to official MotoAnatomy X Royal Enfield flat track apparel.
 
Progressive AFT will also again turn to its beautiful, customized FT 650 track evaluation bike to help assess circuit conditions throughout the season.
 
RENA is also poised to further grow its BUILD TRAIN RACE program, which highlights, celebrates, and encourages the involvement of women in flat track racing. In 2021, nine women will build and race their own custom INT 650 Twins at this season’s Chicago Half-Mile (5/29), Port Royal Half-Mile (7/24), New York Short Track (8/14), and Charlotte Half-Mile (10/8).
 
For more information on RENA's BUILD TRAIN RACE program, visit https://buildtrainrace.com/.
 
"We are excited to further our commitment to the American Flat Track community,” said Bree Poland, Lead - Marketing, Americas Region and Global Brand Manager – Continental GT Platform of Royal Enfield. “Last year was a good experience and we can't wait to get back out there to showcase the brand. We are incredibly honored that the BUILD TRAIN RACE program has been invited back, showing strong support for bringing more women into the world of motorsports.”
 
The 2021 Progressive AFT season kicks off with a Volusia Half-Mile doubleheader event at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021. Tickets for this season-opening extravaganza are on sale now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3321/#raceSchedule.
 
For more information on Progressive American Flat Track visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
 
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit the Official Progressive AFT Merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.

Debuting this week is a fresh edition of Neale Bayly Rides YouTube, now featuring a new crew behind the lens and in the editing room to enhance the production values of the fun and lively show. 

Bayly is a world-renowned motojournalist, adventurer and moto-philanthropist, who you might recognize from his forays in television, including Neale Bayly Rides: Peru, that aired on Speed TV and MAV TV, now available on YouTube here. He was also featured on the TV show Trippin' On Two Wheels

This latest episode of NBR is the culmination of efforts during the 12 previous shows, retaining the entertainingly wacky observations from Nate Hamlin, proprietor/mechanic from 2Topia Cycles, in his amusing "Get Off My Lawn" segment, as well as the creatively skewed news from Dave “Basil” Collier.

This week's interview is with Florian Neuhauser from RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Tour & Travel, one of the few motorcycle print magazines enduring in America, who shares insights about moto publishing and a heart-tugging story about how he endured the passing of his father in a motorcycle accident. We also get a look at NBR's latest test bike, Triumph's 1200 Scrambler. 

Vance & Hines, one of the nation's premier performance motorcycle accessory manufacturers, announced a full slate of contingency sponsorship payouts for the 2021 American Flat Track (AFT) racing season. The program includes payouts for the top five riders in each class for every event and a $5,000 bonus for each class champion. In total, the company is offering riders $73,650 in 2021.
 
"Our company was born on a racetrack, so we know how hard it can be to fund a racing program. We're happy to continue to partner with AFT to support all levels of riders in this great American racing series" said Mike Kennedy, President of Vance & Hines.
 
Vance & Hines is also Harley-Davidson’s partner for the design, manufacturing and selling of the XG750R motorcycle which competes in the AFT Production Twins class. Race teams purchase the bikes directly through the Vance & Hines Racing Development Center in Brownsburg, IN.
 
The company's 2021 AFT contingency sponsorship provides cash awards to the first through fifth finishers in AFT SuperTwins, AFT Production Twins and AFT Singles at each of the 17 races on the schedule. The payouts range from $500 for first place to $50 for fifth place, with $1150 available per class at each event. At the end of the season, Vance & Hines will offer a $5000 bonus to the number one finisher in each class.
 
To qualify for the contingency payments, riders must run an eligible Vance & Hines exhaust system, a Vance & Hines decal on their race bike and have a Vance & Hines patch on their racing leathers.
 
The 2021 Progressive AFT season kicks off with a Volusia Half-Mile doubleheader event at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021. Tickets for this season-opening extravaganza are on sale now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3321/#raceSchedule.
 
For more information on Progressive American Flat Track visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
 
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit the Official Progressive AFT Merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.