Racing News (3139)
Racing News from around the World
Venturini Motorsports (VMS) announced today that Daniel Suarez will return to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards with an abbreviated four race schedule starting at Daytona International Speedway in the season opener Lucas Oil 200 on February 14th.
In addition to making his Daytona start, Suarez will drive the No. 15 ARRIS Toyota Camry at Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Kansas Speedway in 2015.
“I’m very excited to compete in four ARCA Racing Series events this season with Venturini Motorsports,” said Suarez. “I had a lot of fun and gained really good experience last season in Kentucky and I’m sure this opportunity will help me further develop as a driver for 2015 and beyond.”
Suarez, who made his ARCA debut last season at Kentucky Speedway, qualified third and led 39 out of the 100 laps before taking the checkered flag with a fifth place finish.
The 23-year old Monterrey, Mexico native is also set to compete full time this season with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series as well as a 13-race schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).
In 2013, Suarez was named one of the NASCAR drivers 25 and under to watch by FoxSports.com. Suarez joins Joey Logano (2008-09), Darrell Wallace Jr. (2013) and Cody Coughlin (2014-15) as JGR development drivers who’ve raced under the VMS banner in the ARCA Series.
The LFR Driver Development Group has announced the addition of Joey “Mooch” Mucciacciaro to the 2015 team. Mucciacciaro is a Wolocott, Conn. native and will drive the No. 45 Chevrolet for LFR starting with an entry at the 2015 World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
“Joey is a great Connecticut-based late model driver,” said Rob Fuller. “He was with us at the Snowball Derby and got to see first hand how our LFR team operates at the track. We’re very excited to have this Northeast driver join LFR.”
Mucciacciaro is an accomplished racer who started in Quarter Midgets at age five. He moved up to Legend Cars winning Rookie of the Year at his local track.
In Legend Cars, Mucciacciaro finished seventh in championship points in the Young Lions division of the Winter Heat Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in 2012. He moved up to the Semi-Pro Legends division and finished second in championship points in the Summer Shootout Series at CMS and was ranked in the Top-10 nationally.
In 2013, Mucciacciaro made his NASCAR Late Model debut at the World Series of Asphalt event. In just his second start, he visited victory lane at New Smyrna Speedway and went on to secure two Top-5’s and five Top-10 finishes during the Speedweek events.
“Rob asked us to come down to Florida and be guests of the team at the Snowball Derby,” said Mucciacciaro. “When I saw these guys in action, it was one of the most professional teams that I’ve ever seen in late model racing. When you have Tony Eury, Jr., Jeff Fultz and Rob Fuller together, you can conquer the world of short track racing!”
Following the World Series of Asphalt, Mucciacciaro will announce his schedule of races for 2015.
LFR Chassis PR
Dominique Van Wieringen will make her first start of the Late Model season with her NEMCO Motorsports team this weekend at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Ga. She will pilot the No. 5 DuroByte Chevrolet in the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS SpeedFest 200 on Sunday, January 25.
Van Wieringen joined the two-car team in October of 2014 and in December, she raced to a 14th-place finish in the Snowflake 100 Pro Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. This weekend, the 19-year old turns her focus to the Super Late Model race where she’ll have 200 laps to vie for the win among some of NASCAR and Late Model racing’s finest, including NEMCO Motorsports teammate John Hunter Nemechek. With the SpeedFest 200 being her second career Super Late Model attempt, Van Wieringen looks forward to proving herself.
“We’re definitely excited for this weekend and after a successful test, I’m feeling really solid in a Super (Late Model) car,” Van Wieringen said. “Tire management is going to be the key component and while it’s always a concern, you have so much more power under you in a Super. You really have to be aware of throttle control so that’s where our focus will be. I always race to win, but if we come out with a top five this weekend, we’ll consider that a success.”
Team owner and veteran NASCAR driver, Joe Nemechek, is in addition serving as coach and mentor to Van Wieringen and insists his young driver has the true potential to reach her ultimate goal of running in NASCAR’s top-tier series.
“Dominique has a unique talent and a very good understanding of the mechanics of the car, which I believe is why she has been able to have so much success to this point in her career,” Nemechek said. “We were looking to expand the NEMCO Motorsports Late Model program and with her commitment to education, work ethic and talent behind the wheel, we knew she’d be a great fit. We’re confident that we have the equipment and the people in place to take her to the next level.”
In addition to her plans to run a combination schedule of 20 Pro and Super Late Model events, with the future goal of running a few NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in the latter stages of 2015, Van Wieringen is working toward a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte with a minor in Motorsports Engineering. She is first scheduled to take to the track at Watermelon Capital Speedway for today’s practice sessions followed by practice and qualifying tomorrow. The SpeedFest 200 will take place following the 125-lap Pro Late Model event on Sunday and can be seen live via pay-per-view on Speed51.com.
A native of Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, Van Wieringen has achieved many successes in her 14-year career. Racing accomplishments include being the first female to lead a lap in the CRA/JEGS All-Stars Series and the first rookie to win a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Series points race. She was the first female to win an Outlaw Super Late Model Championship in the United States and she currently holds the record at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway for the most laps led (74) by a female. She was the 2008 WKA Regional Karting Series Junior Driver of the Year and 2007 ELKT Rotax Junior Series Karting Champion.
NEMCO Motorsports, which is operated by Joe Nemechek and his family, has been active in NASCAR for 25 years and boasts 25 NASCAR wins. Today, father Joe and son, John Hunter, represent the team on the track racing in all three of NASCAR’s national series and will share driving duties in the No. 8 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevy Silverado again this season. Van Wieringen and John Hunter Nemechek, who had five late model wins to his credit in 2014, will both continue to run select late model events out of the NEMCO stables.
NEMCO Motorsports PR
AutoZone to Serve as Presenting Sponsor for the Lucas Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series Season-Opening Event at DISWritten by Steven B. Wilson Friday, 23 January 2015 14:55
AutoZone, one of the nation’s leading retailers of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories, will serve as the presenting sponsor for the season-opening ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event on Saturday, Feb. 14, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 at Daytona International Speedway. The official race name will be the Lucas Oil 200 Presented By AutoZone.
“We’re excited to welcome AutoZone as the presenting sponsor for the upcoming season-opening ARCA Racing Series event,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “The ARCA Racing Series is a proving ground for the future stars of racing and we’re looking forward to having the Lucas Oil 200 Presented By AutoZone kick off a stock car racing doubleheader.”
The Lucas Oil 200 Presented By AutoZone, an 80-lap-200-mile event, will be the first of two races at the “World Center of Racing” on Saturday, Feb. 14. The Sprint Unlimited will cap off the night as the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series kick off the new season in an invitation-only non-points race.
“The 2015 ARCA Racing Series opening event at Daytona International Speedway is an exciting place for Lucas Oil to announce the continued and growing partnership with AutoZone,” said Samuel F. Dale, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Lucas Oil. “Effective March 2015, AutoZone will offer over 5,000 retail locations for consumers to purchase the complete line of Lucas Oil Slick Mist Car Care Products.”
“There is no better venue than the historic Daytona International Speedway for the ARCA Racing Series to kick off the 2015 season, and AutoZone is proud to be partnering with Lucas Oil on such a prestigious event,” said Mark Finestone, AutoZone Senior Vice President Merchandising, Store Development & Customer Satisfaction.
Madison Snow jumped straight from winning the 2013 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship to the GT Daytona podium in the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
That performance was a testament to Snow's prodigious talent at the young age of 18. But he also said skills learned in the 45-minute sprint races of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama series were essential as he contributed to his team's third-place finish in the longest and most prestigious race in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
"There were always tough battles with people in the GT3," Snow said. "That was good. The only difference was that in moving up there was a little more competition, especially if you're out there with pro guys instead of being with amateur guys in a series. The competition was a little bit higher, and you have to focus more on the cars around you because there are so many prototypes and GT Le Mans cars. But it's small steps.
"The Rolex has become such serious competition that I like to call it a sprint race now. The only thing you need to worry about is a little more patience in the Rolex. If you whack in your fender or bumper, in the GT3 you can continue for another four laps and still finish great. In the Rolex, you have to deal with the damage you do to the car for the next 18 hours. That's what the big difference is, the patience."
Snow, now 19, is one of six drivers with recent experience in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama - an International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Single-Make Series - competing Jan. 24-25 in the most prestigious sports car race in North America, the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Other drivers include Sean Johnston, Christina Nielsen, Ben Keating, Ed Brown and Bill Sweedler.
The 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona starts at 2:10 p.m. (ET) Saturday on the 3.56-mile circuit and finishes 24 hours later. Television coverage begins FOX at 2 p.m. ET and continues on FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports 1 and live streaming of the overnight hours on IMSA.com.
Snow, Nielsen, Keating and Sweedler are racing in the Rolex 24 in the GT Daytona class, the closest, production-based relative in the TUDOR Championship to the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series. Brown is racing in the Prototype class, with Johnston in the Prototype Challenge class.
The leap for Snow to GT Daytona was smooth because the 911 GT3 Cup car in which he won the 2013 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship is similar to the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America he will share this weekend at Daytona with Jan Heylen, Patrick Dempsey and Philipp Eng.
"The car is the biggest thing because it's virtually the same exact car as you drive in GT3," Snow said. "So being able to have the experience, so much time getting used to the car but also figuring out how to set the car up with the team, and you go to GTD, and it's the same thing again. There are a couple of differences, but that was an easy transition for me. That was one thing that made it smooth."
Johnston is racing a PC car - an open-cockpit prototype - for the first time in his inaugural endurance race start instead of a GT Daytona machine like Snow. But he raced in 2013 and 2014 in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, two of the most competitive one-make Porsche series in the world, after winning the 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship.
So he also knows the sensation of making a wrinkle-free transition in the Porsche racing family due to experience in Porsche's one-make series in the United States.
"What the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge did was really, really teach me about the Porsche GT3 Cup race car," Johnston said. "It's a great place to learn the car."
Tire management was a crucial lesson Johnston learned in the 45-minute sprint races of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. He thinks that skill will be critical as he competes in his first 24-hour race this weekend.
"Supercup races are 25 minutes," Johnston said. "I would say the GT3 Cup has prepared me for the Rolex 24 more than Supercup and Carrera Cup because 45 minutes is long enough to the point where you have to look after and conserve the tires. Forty-five minutes is almost close to a full fuel stint.
"In IMSA, we had to take care of the tires a lot more. In Supercup and Carrera Cup, you don't really worry about the tires at all. You just push as hard as you can. You run qualifying laps the whole time. In IMSA, I learned how to take care of the tires, and I know that's going to lend well to what's going to be my first professional endurance race here in the Rolex 24."
Nielsen's experience will be different than Snow's, as she is racing an Aston Martin V12 Vantage this weekend at Daytona after racing a full season in 2014 in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama. But the skills Danish driver Nielsen absorbed in her first North American season last year will be a big help, even in a different marque.
"The Cup car is a really difficult car to drive, so if you can drive that car consistently, you already have a strong starting point because consistency is one of the key elements in a successful 24-hour race," Nielsen said. "Also if you are a qualifier, you need to be able to do 'the explosive scene,' which is something that a lot of drivers learn from sprint racing."
Johnston isn't surprised recent Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama graduates are sprinkled throughout three of the four classes competing this weekend at Daytona.
"Really, I stand by this: I think the Porsche one-make championships are the best place for young racing drivers to learn and develop their skills because the 911 is such a great car to learn in," Johnston said. "Drivers time and time and time again have told me that if you can drive a 911 quickly, you can drive anything quickly."
The Rolex 24 At Daytona features a deep, competitive field of cars in the Prototype and Prototype Challenge classes Jan. 24-25 at Daytona International Speedway, making it very tough to pick a favorite in either class.
But one trend becomes quite clear looking at the driver lineups in both classes: The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda is becoming the best path to prototypes in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Nearly 10 drivers with recent experience in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Development Series will compete this weekend in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic at Daytona. The list includes Tristan Nunez, Matt McMurry and Ed Brown in the Prototype class, and Mikhail Goikhberg, Brian Alder, Jerome Mee, Andrew Novich and Remo Ruscitti in Prototype Challenge (PC).
"Lites is the logical step because it's open cockpit, it's a prototype, high downforce," said Novich, 2014 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series runner-up, who is driving in the PC class at Daytona with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. "It's the most relevant piece of machinery you can be driving to make the step to a PC car."
The 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona starts at 2:10 p.m. (ET) Saturday on the 3.56-mile circuit and finishes 24 hours later. Coverage begins on FOX network television at 2 p.m. ET and continues on FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports 1 and overnight live streaming on IMSA.com.
All Prototype Lites drivers compete in Élan DP02 chassis with Mazda engines and Cooper tires. Prototype Challenge drivers race Oreca FLM09 chassis powered by Chevrolet engines, with Continental tires.
They're different equipment packages, but two-time defending Lites 2 season champion Alder said the transition from one series with identical machinery to another is nearly seamless.
Alder is the owner and a driver for BAR1 Motorsports and is making his PC and TUDOR Championship debut this weekend at Daytona in one of his two PC entries in the race. 2014 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda race winner Ruscitti will be one of Alder's teammates in a sister car for BAR 1 this weekend.
"It's the next step in the ladder," Alder said. "It's a pretty progressive step. The Lites car really prepares you for the PC.
"The main difference is more power in the PC and better braking, and it's a heavier car. Experience in the Lites is linear, going to the PC. It's probably the best schooling you can have to get into a PC."
"The IMSA Lites car is a proper race car," said 2014 Prototype Lites champion Goikhberg, who is racing in the TUDOR Championship and Rolex 24 this season with JDC/Miller Motorsports. "I talk to a lot of people who have driven a long list of race cars, and everybody says it's a fun race car to drive, but it's also technical and teaches you the right things. That's an important factor."
All drivers making the jump from Prototype Lites from PC agree the Lites car is more physical to drive because it doesn't have power steering, unlike PC cars. So even though drivers will be in the cockpit for stints of 90 to 120 minutes over a 24-hour span this weekend in a PC car, they said the 30- and 45-minute sprint races of Prototype Lites have prepared their bodies and minds well for an endurance race.
"The great thing that Prototype Lites offers is two very different races during the race weekend," said 2012 Prototype Lites champion Nunez, who is entering his second season as a Mazda factory Prototype driver in the TUDOR Championship. "The 30-minute sprint race teaches the driver to push in a cut-throat racing situation and to maximize the skills of racecraft. The 45-minute race is still considered a sprint race, but you have to put in consideration that the tires used for the Lites car are very small in proportion to a normal-sized race tire, which means they will wear in loose grip at a faster rate. This teaches the driver to conserve the car and the tires so that it can go the distance and at pace.
"These two skills prepared me for the situations I encountered in my first Daytona 24 in the SKYACTIV Mazda Prototype. If your goal is to race the 24 Hours of Daytona in the top class, the best place to start would be Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda."
Said Novich: "In any race, you have to be there at the end to finish well. But one of the unique things about Lites is that because the races were doubleheaders each weekend, if you had an issue or wrecked in the first race, there was a good chance you could make it to the second race. You just had to think big picture, think long term, for those weekends. I think that's an essential thing to carry over to the TUDOR Championship.
"These (TUDOR Championship events) are long races. You have to think big picture. It's not just about you. You have teammates, and the races are so much longer. Not every opportunity to make a pass or to defend a position is necessary. There's a lot more at stake. You have to make those calls. Having those double-headers in Lites prepares you for that."
2014 Prototype Lites race winner McMurry started his racing career in open-wheel cars before moving exclusively to sports cars in 2014. In 2014, he competed in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and the European Le Mans Series. He also became the youngest starter, at age 16, in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans last June.
Prototype Lites was a key part of McMurry's education in 2014 en route to landing a dual program this season in a Honda/Ligier JS P2 Prototype with Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship and a full-season Prototype Lites ride with reigning Team Champions JDC Motorsport, which fielded Goikhberg's title-winning car in 2014.
"Lites teaches you about high downforce and how to trust downforce and allow your mind to go beyond what it thinks is possible," McMurry said. "Since many come through the formula ranks, the Lites also teach you to drive and manage the performance of heavier cars.
"Success in Lites requires that you drive flat-out cleanly, which is the same in a 24-hour race, especially Daytona. The winners will be flat-out and will have managed traffic, weather and tires better than everyone else."
The TRG-Aston Martin Racing LaSalle Solutions/Royal Purple/Orion Energy Systems/PassTime USA Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 has proven that the team’s four consecutive poles to close off the 2014 season were no fluke. The qualifying domination carried over into this year's season-opener with TRG-AMR driver James Davison capturing the pole position around the 3.81 historic roval setting a time of 1:47.2 on the charts.
“I was so pleased to be able to pull off the pole as we had a slow start this weekend and made the car better each session," stated Davison. "The car was awesome and we got really lucky as we headed into the bus stop on the final lap just behind the Audi and he towed me nicely in the draft across the start finish. I’m incredibly fortunate to be driving for a team of this caliber, along with a big thanks to Christina for being a great teammate for the season. We’re going for the championship this year without question and this is a great way to start off the season."
Daytona is the first and longest race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, seeing more than 50 cars across four separate classes battle for 24 grueling hours and the coveted Rolex Daytona watch at the end. The Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 that powered Davison to his impressive fifth pole has been relatively unchanged from the 2014 season with the IMSA Balance of Performance leaving the field incredibly even-matched.
Team principal Kevin Buckler - no stranger to setting records at Daytona - was very happy with the result.
“What an incredible car the guys put together and a terrific drive by James - five poles in a row! Hopefully the beginning of something really special this weekend," added Buckler. "I’m so proud of the entire team and all the drivers. We are on our game right now and it shows. A big thanks to all our partners and our friends at LaSalle Solutions, Royal Purple, Orion Energy Systems and PassTime USA. LaSalle joined us this weekend as our brand new strategic partner for Daytona! LaSalle joined us this weekend as our brand new strategic partner for Daytona; what a great start to the season! Christina and James are such a strong pairing and will be fighting for the championship straight out of the box. Our team is ready. Our incredible Aston Martin Racing cars are ready. We are ready. It’s time to make some more history!”
This twice-round-the-clock enduro is the official start to the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United Sportscar Championship season, the top-tier of North American sportscar racing and one which will see Davison and teammate Christina Nielsen contending for the season championship. Both Nielsen and Davison are no strangers to endurance racing, having both competed in the 2014 IMSA Patron North American Endurance Cup and a history in both sports, endurance, and formula car racing. At the Rolex, they will be joined in the No. 007 by Chris Nygaard and Brandon Davis.
The 2015 Le Mans endurance season will see the introduction of the new category of cars created by the ACO: the LM P3s (Le Mans prototype 3). Vincent Beaumesnil, the ACO Sport Manager, gives a progress report on the situation in LM P3, the first of which will soon have their first shakedown.
Vincent, can you remind us why the ACO created the LM P3 category? We've got a long-term vision concerning the LM P3 category. It's a crucial step to enable new entrants to access our endurance pyramid. It will help bring new teams and promising young drivers into endurance for whom it will be a crucial step in the context of our endurance driver ladder. In addition, the LM P3s will attract gentlemen drivers who want to race prototypes rather than GTs giving them a fore-taste of endurance that may lead to the Le Mans 24 Hours. Sir Chris Hoy (six Olympic medals in cycling) is a perfect example. This year he will be racing in the ELMS Championship with the aim of being on the grid at the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours. It's also very important to remember that despite its very low cost the LM P3 category has to comply with the same safety standards as the closed LM P1s and LM P2s, which represent a very big difference compared to what can be found in prototypes at the moment at this price level. We can offer everybody a real Le Mans-type prototype - a small closed LM P1! – for a budget that's much lower than the one required for an entry in a national GT championship. At the moment, after various simulations we've carried out, you can count on 400 to 450 000 euros for a full season in ELMS which is pretty reasonable (133 to 150 000 euros per driver).
Can you give us an update on the current state of the different projects? Three chassis constructors have confirmed that they are building cars. Ginetta was the first and the car exists. At the moment, we're in the homologation and crash test phase. Ginetta-Nissans will take part in the pre-season tests for the ELMS at Le Castellet (23-24 March, and they will race in the championship right from the start of the season. They have respected their schedule. LAS Motorsport has also launched the construction of an LM P3. It's an association of a design office specialised in the conception of racing cars, ADESS EG, Sébastien Loeb Racing's team, which needs no introduction, and SORA Racing, the Mayenne-based prototype manufacturer. The third constructor that's currently building an LM P3 chassis is the association between AVE Motorsports and Riley Technologies. The latter is a well-know American company which, among other projects, developed the Cadillacs entered at Le Mans, ran the works Vipers recently, and also builds Daytona prototypes: it's a front-line American firm that's bet on the LM P3s. And we're expecting some really good news in the near future with another prestigious constructor announcing the creation of his own car! Oreca looks after all the client service aspect linked to the engine. The development of the Nissan, a normally-aspirated V8 delivering 420 bhp, is being finished at Nismo in Japan. These are reliable cheap engines that will last 10 000 km between revisions – two seasons in the ELMS. X-Trac is providing gearboxes and Michelin is the sole tyre supplier to guarantee a level playing field and cap costs. Everything's under way so that the 2015 season kicks off without problems and some manufacturers have received several firm orders. LAS Motorsport and Riley Technologies, which threw their hats into the ring after Ginetta, are working flat out to supply their cars as quickly as possible. All three are serious high-quality manufacturers. We should have between six and nine LM P3s on the grid for the Silverstone 4 Hours, the first round of the ELMS on 11th April.
Are these cars eligible for several championships? Of course! But I'd like to point out that while all the teams entered in the ELMS have to do the pre-season tests at Paul Ricard, this isn't the case for the LM P3s. The reason is that the regulations fell two months behind schedule in 2014 so that we could carry out the right simulations for the engine. And we're still two months behind! Even so there will be some LM P3s at Paul Ricard. It's up to the constructors and the teams to finalise their agreements as we don't want to put them under any pressure for the March test sessions. I'd also like to confirm the fact that the LM P3s can take part in the Le Mans 24-Hours test day (31st May 2015) depending on the places available. The teams will have to be very careful about the entry procedures for this test day. It may lead to some logistics problems with two cars in the same pit due to a lack of room, but the LM P3s can take part. The ELMS Championship has been confirmed and the regulations have been published. We've brought in specific rules enabling teams to restrict the number of mechanics working on the cars with a minimum refuelling time. Thus, the same mechanics can change the tyres and carry out refuelling. We've limited the number of tyres. Everything's been done to cap costs. The car is also eligible for the 2015 Asian Le Mans Series whose calendar and sporting regulations will be announced at a later date. But I can confirm that at present we're in advanced negotiations concerning the entry of several LM P3 cars in Asia. And of course, we're also aiming at the United States. Our partner, IMSA, knows all about this car and we discuss the subject on a regular basis. National championships like the VdeV Endurance Series are keeping a close eye on what's happening as well, and we may see LM P3s racing in it this season. All this will help teams to write off the cost of their equipment and that's very important. Not only do we foresee this formula making strong progress over the next three years, but also what we're expecting for the first season exceeds our forecast!
What prizes will be awarded to the LM P3 entrants? The driver or drivers winning the Drivers' Championship in the ELMS will be given a test by Nissan in LM P2 with its Junior team. It's a strong signal as we know Nissan's dynamism in its driver programmes. And don't forget that the Japanese manufacturer is making its comeback to LM P1 this season. This gives the winners a real opportunity to be assessed by a works team, and obviously that can open other doors for the future. The team winning the LM P3 teams' classification in the ELMS will be given an invitation for the following year's Le Mans 24 Hours in LM P2 provided it's entered in one of our series. When you realise just how scarce the places are for this race it's an exceptional prize. Concerning the Asian Series it's a bit early to start talking about prizes, but we'll have a look at that as soon as the regulations are finalised, and they will be just as attractive. To conclude, I'd like to thank Nissan for making such a huge effort to back the LM P3 category by being the official engine supplier and by giving the winner a test. We can only be delighted that we have the support in LM P3 of a major manufacturer that has a worldwide impact.
LFR Chassis has announced a partnership with Race Works Chassis, owned by Ed Flemke Jr. and Reggie Ruggerio, to distribute and service modified chassis in the Northeast.
Flemke and Ruggerio are legendary drivers in the modified series, combining to race for over 50 years and winning 61 tour races and countless other track championships and wins between the two of them. They partnered and opened Race Works, Inc. in 1989 to build modified chassis for top-level racers.
“I hope this move shows the current LFR customers our commitment to customer service,” said Rob Fuller. “When I started this company I really held my cards close to my chest. After really looking into what Eddie and Reggie have done in the past, their quality of work is at the level that we expect for our customers and their reputation in this industry is impeccable. When I placed my cards out on the table to show them to Eddie he was immediately interested and that meant a lot to me and really shed a light on what we have accomplished in such a short period of time as a company.”
Flemke, a modified racing legend, has been impressed with LFR Chassis and is excited to join the team.
“I’ve kept an eye on Rob starting LFR Chassis and its progression and I think they’ve made all the right moves and are in a great position,” said Flemke. “We’ve been in business a long time and this is a great opportunity for us to take this more technologically advanced chassis and still bring our expertise, quality, energy and enthusiasm to it.”
LFR Chassis will be available at Race Works starting in March. Customers will have access to the LFR team data and open test dates.
“We will begin to get Reggie and Eddie a streamline of parts, chassis and clips for their inventory,” said Fuller. “My biggest fear as of late is the inability to service the customer. I know that I will need some assistance in handling the maintenance of over 30 modifieds this year and I believe this is a step in the right direction to solve this issue before it arises.”
“Combining the Fuller, Flemke and Ruggerio families there has to be over 100 years of modified history there!” said Fuller.
LFR Chassis was formed in early 2014 by Rob Fuller to take late model and modified chassis to the next level. The initial year of the company has been a banner year with five wins and multiple podium finishes across modified and late model divisions.
Race Works, Inc. is located at 55 Willow Brook Drive in Berlin, Connecticut and can be reached at (860) 829-1312.
LFR Chassis PR
Shane Lewis returns to race in the prestigious 53rd Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway for RG Racing in the Prototype class. He will be driving the No. 66 RG Racing Dinan BMW/Riley Daytona Prototype this weekend. Shane joins drivers David Cheng, Mark Kvamme, and team owner and driver Robert Gewirtz.
Shane Lewis is the Resident Professional Driver for the Palm Beach Driving Club, based at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida. This weekend's race will mark his 18th start at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the 40th 24-hour race of his career. In 2013, Shane claimed victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Dunlop 24H Dubai. To follow Shane on Twitter, click on "Go Shane Go" below. For more information on the Palm Beach Driving Club, visit www.RacePBDC.com.