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  

  

 
By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 Wayne Taylor Racing has been a fixture on the American racing scene since 2007, winning a pair of IMSA driver championships, the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype team championship and 2020 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class while contributing to eight manufacturer championships for General Motors’ Pontiac, Corvette and Cadillac brands.
 
In November, however, the organization concluded its historic relationship with GM when the No. Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi crossed the finish line at the Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. Now comes the next chapter in the WTR story: a partnership with Acura Motorsports and Honda Performance Development (HPD) that will see the team (together with Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian) succeed Team Penske in campaigning an Acura ARX-05 in the 2021 WeatherTech Championship.
 
Usually, simply coming to grips with an unfamiliar race car between seasons is challenge enough. But the pandemic-altered 2020 schedule has made it more difficult. With last season extending deep into November, there are but 11 weeks (including the holidays) between the checkered flag at Sebring and the green flag for the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Add to the mix the need to become familiar with the HPD/Acura culture and changing from Dallara to ORECA chassis while undergoing a wholesale shake-up in the driver lineup, and you get some sense of the mountains WTR is attempting to climb.
 
And yet there’s more.
 
“We received the (Penske ORECA) cars in late November,” Taylor says, “which were not complete and pretty well mileaged out. Acura Motorsports and HPD made the decision along with my group that we’d be better off ordering brand new cars, rather than building up these cars from last year, and go from there.”
 
The good news is that IMSA pushed back a couple weeks the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test to Jan. 22-24, the weekend immediately before the season-opening Rolex 24. While the revised date figures to reduce travel expenses for most competitors, it also affords Indianapolis-based WTR much-needed breathing room in preparing its new Acuras.
 
“IMSA have done a good job in moving the Roar to the week before the Rolex 24 because, from a cost standpoint, you don’t have to come all the way down here and then go back to Indianapolis and then come back again,” Taylor explains. “If the Roar had not been rescheduled, we would not have made it, simply because in between the time we got our new cars and now you’ve got Christmas and New Year when nobody wants to do any work.”
 
While the technical challenges of the changeover in such a compressed time frame may keep Taylor awake some nights, rest assured he has no worries about the “people” side of the new course his team is plotting. He is more than pleased with the synergy between WTR and its new partners, in terms of preparing for the season to come and the longer term.
 
“There’s some bumps in the road at the moment, but I’m quite sure between HPD and my technical director Brian Pillar, we will resolve this,” Taylor says. “David Salters (HPD president), Mark Crawford (HPD manager/principal engineer) and everybody from Acura Motorsports are extremely passionate about their racing, and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t speak to almost every one of them. I like the communication; I like the direction.”
 
That includes looking ahead to the LMDh, IMSA’s new Prototype class slated to debut in 2023.
 
“HPD and Acura Motorsports are clearly focused on LMDh,” Taylor says, “but, in the meantime, we have to finish the two years remaining on DPi.”
 
While the 2021 WTR driver lineup of Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor and, for the Rolex 24, Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi bears scant resemblance to those in WTR’s immediate past, there is considerably more continuity than meets the eye.
 
“We are flying a little blind at the moment,” Wayne Taylor concedes, “but the one thing I thought that would provide some continuity was to hire Ricky, who’s driven for us before and, obviously, is my son. Helio and Alexander have driven this car (for Team Penske) the last three years. And Filipe just won the World Endurance Championship. I rate him very highly as a driver, and also personally. He doesn’t have an ego.
 
“It’s not like we feel like we have to rush to the track so the drivers can do laps. They’re all professional; they all know what the car’s about. We just want to make sure when we get to the Roar, the cars will be presented in the way we’ve done in the past. We are short on time, but I am positive we’ll be together and ready for the Rolex.”
 
The 59th Rolex 24 At Daytona is set to see the green flag at 3:40 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 30. Live coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.

Jarett Andretti continues finalizing his plans to race full-time in the IMSA Prototype Challenge with his latest announced partner, Unite Health Share Ministries. The latest partner of Andretti and his program, UHSM will be an associate sponsor on the Andretti Autosport No.18 Ligier JS P320 driven by Andretti and co-driver Tristan Herbert. 

Unlike traditional health insurance, UHSM is a health sharing network of faith-based members.  Health sharing ministries are organizations made up of individuals and families who voluntarily share the cost of each other’s health care. Members of health sharing organizations share common beliefs and agree to help each other by sharing costs associated with eligible medical expenses.

CEO of UHSM, Christopher Jin, shared his excitement in partnering with Jarett Andretti and the new Andretti Autosport IMSA Prototype Challenge team. “We are ecstatic to combine our brand with Jarett Andretti and Andretti Autosport.  Our goal in partnering with Jarett includes bringing new awareness to the opportunity of health sharing. On meeting Jarett we instantly knew there was an alignment of personal values and faith.  We know that Jarett will represent our message well as he races coast to coast in 2021 and beyond!”

Andretti and his recently announced co-driver, Tristan Herbert, will compete in a full season of six scheduled races in 2021, the first race being this weekend.  The Roar Before the Rolex 24 takes place at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, January 23rd and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network Track Pass. 

“It’s awesome to see our program continue to come together with such high-quality partners,” said Andretti. “After learning about Unite Health Share Ministries and the healthcare option that they offer to millions of Americans, I knew we would make great partners.  I look forward to representing them this year and into the future.” 

Andretti is a graduate of North Carolina State University who now lives in Indianapolis and races full-time. He is the son of the late John Andretti, the grandson of the late Aldo Andretti and the great-nephew of Mario Andretti. 

He has carried on the family racing tradition and has championships in go-karts, the USAC Eastern Ignite Pavement Midget Series, the 410 Sprint Car division at the Lawrenceburg Speedway and is also an Indiana Sprint Car Series champion. In addition, Andretti is the 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of The Year and a former Rookie of The Year at the Oswego Speedway in the supermodified class. In 2018, Andretti competed part-time as a rookie in the Pirelli World Challenge TCR Class. Andretti and co-driver captured the 2020 Silver Class Pirelli GT4 Sprint X Championship in Indianapolis last October.
 
The 2021 IMSA Prototype Challenge is scheduled to kick off with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on January 23 at 12:45pm EST at Daytona International Speedway. 
 
For more information, visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com

Bunker Hill Dragstrip, the oldest continuously running dragway in the Hoosier State, has renewed its commitment to the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) through a new multi-year sanctioning agreement.

 

Located in Bunker Hill, Indiana, there is a rich history dating back to 1956. The facility features an 1/8-mile drag strip. In 2018, Bunker Hill was named the IHRA Division 5 (Thunder) Track of the Year.

 

Under the new ownership of Mark Cregier the track has plans for improvements to the facility over the course of the off-season. Improvements includes the timing system, track prep equipment, guardrails and safety equipment.

 

"The enthusiasm that Mark has shown in the last few months of the 2020 season has shown that he's putting his heart into this place,” said IHRA Division 1,3, and 5 Director Jon O’Neal. “From driving to Memphis for the IHRA Summit World Finals to learn about the Summit SuperSeries to installing new guardrail in the clutches of Indiana winter, Mark is not pulling any punches."

 

IHRA Summit SuperSeries track champions for Bunker Hill in 2020 included: Bill Casner (Top), Mike Pyle (Mod), Brad Fisher (Sportsman) and Chas Warpenburg (Junior).

 

For more information about Bunker Hill Dragstrip visit their Facebook page.

Jim Beaver eSports is proud to announce the second annual General Tire eShort Course World Cup presented by Fistful of Bourbon, streaming live this Thursday, January 21 at 9PM ET/6PM PT and airing on the CBS Sports Network on Sunday, February 14 at 1PM ET/10AM PT. Utilizing the world-class iRacing simulation, the eShort Course World Cup will pit nearly 30 world-class racers from both the real and virtual worlds against one another in a pair of events, first featuring Pro 2 short course trucks at Wild West Motorsports Park and Pro 4 trucks at Crandon International Raceway.
 
“After the success of last year’s event pulling in over 200,000 viewers online, we really wanted to go all out for year two and do something that has never been done before, and that’s television for virtual off-road,” explained Beaver. “With the help of General Tire, Fistful of Bourbon, and iRacing, we are going to be putting on one of the biggest short course races of the year, both virtual and in the real world, and I’m really excited to have CBS Sports as a partner.” 
 
The General Tire eShort Course World Cup presented by Fistful of Bourbon is one of just a handful of events to put top sim racers and real-world superstars on track together on a major stage. Featuring equal setups on all vehicles and a number of inversions throughout the night, all racers truly have an equal shot to win. Last year’s inaugural event saw professional sim racer Cam Pedersen sweep every race on the way to being declared the inaugural eShort Course World Cup champion.
 
The list of invited celebrity participants spans all forms of motorsports from NASCAR to drag racing, and includes a talented list of off-road superstars. Drivers expected to compete include the following:
 
  • Alan Ampudia, Baja 1000 winner and Trophy Truck driver
  • Rodrigo Ampudia, Baja 1000 and Pro 2 race winner
  • Ronnie Anderson, short course Pro Lite and Turbo UTV race winner
  • Ron Capps, NHRA Funny Car champion
  • Parker Kligerman, NASCAR Truck Series driver and eNASCAR team owner
  • Mikey Lawrence, Trophy Truck driver
  • Bucky Lasek, 20-time X Games medalist
  • Travis Pastrana, Nitro Circus founder and motorsports and action sports legend
  • Corry Weller, short course Turbo UTV champion
 
This year’s eShort Course World Cup will elevate off-road sim racing to the next level with its television debut on the CBS Sports Network. Fans will be able to watch the action through a robust show produced by iRacing’s own broadcast crew, which was responsible for the six highest-viewed sim racing broadcasts in US television history in the spring of 2020. The eShort Course broadcast crew of Evan Posocco on play-by-play, Beaver on color commentary, and Tiffany Stone in the pits will return.
 
The General Tire eShort Course World Cup presented by Fistful of Bourbon will stream live on Jim Beaver’s Facebook page starting at 9PM ET/6PM PT on Thursday, January 21. For more information on Jim Beaver eSports, follow the team on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram or visit www.jimbeaveresports.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.

 ST Racing took the GT4-class win during the highly competitive Creventic Series Hankook 24H of Dubai, taking place at the Dubai Autodrome this past weekend. Samantha TanChandler HullJon Miller, and Nick Wittmer co-drove the #438 BMW M4 GT4 to a win, claiming their first trophies of the season.

 

The Canadian outfit traveled to the United Arab Emirates to take part in their second Dubai 24H. The team could have claimed the win in 2020, but last year’s race was cut short due to a heavy rainstorm. This time around, the weather was ideal and the team came prepared to this event knowing they could repeat their feat very well.

 

On Thursday prior to the race, Nick Wittmer set an impressive time of 2:08.824 during qualifying, putting the #438 at the front of the GT4 field. As per the series rules, the car qualifies, not the driver. Therefore, 23 years-old Samantha Tan was set to start the 24-hour race on Friday afternoon. After a hectic first few laps where Tan lost valuable time fighting with cars around her, there was a Code 60 caused by a fellow competitor. The team decided to bring Tan down pit lane right away for fuel. Back on track, her focus was on taking the lead back again. Thanks to several stellar stints between her and Chandler Hull, they were able to regain the lead and keep it…until the very end!

 

“We won the Dubai 24H!!!” said with enthusiasm Samantha Tan, driver of the #438 car. “It honestly felt like a flawless race. We spent the majority of it first in class! My co-drivers all did an incredible job. I started the race, trying to be aggressive but also having to remind myself that it’s a long race ahead and keep the car clean. There was a Code 60 right at the start, so the team decided to bring me in to top up on fuel so I could run for almost 2 hours. I did back to back stints with Chandler until it got dark, while Nick and Jon drove through the night.”

 

She continued saying: “I had a stellar night stint, passing many cars and putting our BMW M4 back into 1st in class. It got close with 2nd place after the halfway mark in the race, but during the last 6 hours, we all put in our best effort and gave ourselves a 3-lap lead. The car was amazing the entire race; I can’t thank my team enough for their hard work on giving us the best car and for the perfectly executed pit stops. This is my first pro win, and I’m so happy to share it with my ST Racing family. This win is for all of us, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season!”

 

Nick Wittmer, who took the checkered flag, echoed Samantha’s thoughts on the flawless execution: “it was my first 24-hour race, and we won it! There were no issues at all; ST Racing did an amazing job preparing the car to run a full day.”

 

Jon Miller couldn’t help but reminisce on the Dubai 24H 2020: “Last year’s Dubai 24 was red-flagged for torrential rain after 7 hours, and after qualifying on pole and running up front, we came away disappointed with unfinished business. Showing up this year and replicating our pole position and strong pace, it’s incredibly satisfying for the whole team to finish the job and WIN the Dubai 24!”

 

For Jon, it was a team win: “the story of our race comes down to the crew executing fast pit stops for 24 hours and running a winning strategy with a BMW that was fast and easy to drive. Samantha and Chandler drove an awesome five stints, going back to back for the first 6 hours before Nick and I took over at night - and they handed us the car in P1. It takes everything and then some, with a little luck sprinkled in, to win a race like this. We’ll use it as motivation to keep pushing hard all season.”

 

“There’s no better way to start a new race season than winning, let alone winning a 24-hour race,” said Chandler Hull, more motivated than ever. “I am beyond grateful for the ST Racing group to have let me come along, and a huge thanks to the crew that worked their magic behind the scenes to give us a car that could fight for 24 hours. I’m looking forward to next weekend at Yas Marina for another 6 hours and can’t wait to keep this momentum up for the rest of the season.”

 

Kenneth Tan, Samantha Tan’s father, and Team Principal, only had good things to say about the event “I am so proud of our team! It was a team effort that won us the race. The drivers worked together to ensure efficient lap times and to take good care of the car: no curbs! The person responsible for data calculated and effectively carried out a dynamic pit stop strategy together with the drivers and our crew chief and head mechanic who, I think, ultimately won us the race. I am so proud of the team and so proud of Sam. She drove amazingly fast, especially during the night! This was by far the most exhilarating win yet for our young team, and the best part is that we had a lot of fun achieving it together. Go STR!”

 

The team’s next race will be as soon as this coming weekend at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. This will be a 6-hour race which is not part of the official calendar of the 24H Series. After Abu Dhabi, the team will have two months' break until the next race in Mugello (Italy), where they will be looking at keeping their momentum going.

 

 

 

 

2021 Calendar

 

ST Racing will take part in all 8 events of the 2021 24H Series season.

 

Hankook 24H Dubai: January 14-15-16 2021 - WIN

Extra - 6H Abu Dhabi, Jan 22-23

Hankook 12H Mugello: March 26-27 2021

Hankook 12H Spa-Francorchamps: April 23-24-25 2021

Hankook 12H Hockenheimring: May 22-23 2021

Hankook 24H Portimao: July 16-17-18 2021

Hankook 24H Barcelona: September 03-04-05 2021

Coppa Florio Hankook 12H Sicily: October 01-02-03 2021

Hankook 24H Sebring: November 12-13-14 2021

 

Qualifying results: https://bit.ly/3qt7jkl

Race results: https://bit.ly/2Lwo2oh

Thomas Nepveu and his team worked on their kart set-up throughout the three-day event of the first round of the ROK Cup USA - Florida Winter Tour, held on a tight course created in the large parking lot at Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, just south of Miami Beach. Over Friday's practice session (January 15th) aboard his Birel Art kart in the Shifter ROK class, the quickest machines in the event, Thomas Nepveu experienced some handling difficulties, especially coming out of the slow corners. The PSL Karting team tackled the issues and gradually corrected them between on-track practice sessions on Friday and at the end of the day, as well as on Saturday morning (January 16th) between qualifying races Q1 and Q2.

 

Q1 et Q2 on Saturday morning (January 16)

These adjustments transformed Thomas Nepveu's kart into a competitive machine, as demonstrated when he tuned in the quickest lap time in Q3 and finished 7th in Q4, thus earning himself the 7th spot on the starting grid for Sunday’s final race. That was well within reach of the leading group for the 20-lap final race (Check out page 2 for more details according to Thomas on how the weekend went).

 

“I'm really happy with the work the whole team did in this first race for me at this high level in the Shifter class. We worked hard and managed to qualify 7th, in good position for a top-5 finish in the final. I made an excellent start from 7th on the inside lane and moved up to 4th on the first lap by passing people on the inside. I lost a few places on the following laps then all the drivers stopped blocking the inside by lap 6 and we all settled down to the normal quicker racing lines. I then got bumped off the track and lost about 30 seconds. I pitted and went back out again only to be bumped a second time. We then decided to retire from the race, with a pretty banged up machine. I'm really happy with the work we did over the weekend to improve the kart in this first race for me in the Shifter class, the top American competition level. Even if it had not ended the way we wanted it to, we'll be ready for the next round in a few weeks,” said Thomas Nepveu.

 

Our result for the whole weekend is all the more deserving for everyone concerned, as this was Thomas Nepveu’s third event in his career at the wheel of a "Shifter" kart and it was at the top level in America. During almost all of his 300 or so career races, the young driver was at the wheel of more conventional direct drive karts, with a fixed final chain drive (no gearbox) and a single rear brake. These shifter karts add 8 extra horses (from 35 to 43), a six-speed gearbox, front brakes, and a manual clutch. These are all new variables that need to be optimized and used optimally by the driver. Thomas Nepveu obviously adapts quickly to such changes.  

 

Next Events

Thomas Nepveu and his team will be back in Florida for the third and fourth rounds of the SuperKarts! USA - Winter Series held at the AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex (Florida) on February 12th to 14th. On the following weekend, the second round of the ROK Cup USA - Florida Winter Tour will take place from February 18th to 21st at the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg (Florida).

The weekend events according to Thomas Nepveu (extraits)

 

Friday (January 15th): “I had to adapt quickly to the new type of kart on the very tight track, where I had to use the first of six gears in the gearbox in the three slowest corners, which is very rare for us. The first gear ratio must be just right for me to be at the minimum of the ideal power range (12,000 to 13,700 rpm) to optimize my corner exit. I use a “diamond” type of line in the turns, braking very hard on entry and then changing direction abruptly at the corner apex, where I am almost stopped, and then accelerate as hard as I can in an almost-straight line along the next straightaway. You have to be exactly at the right rpm (just above 12 000) when you accelerate on the exit. You must know the track to decide what ratio you need to install in the gearbox in time for qualifying the next day. It's extremely difficult to overtake on this 17-corner and 0.74 mile (1.2 km) track, and you must always stay on the clean side of the track as it is very dirty and slippery when we change lanes to overtake. In addition to opening the gearbox to change gears, we also suspension and chassis settings, and I expect better results for Saturday's qualifying races.”

 

Saturday (January 16th): “This was a good day for us as we started out with a better machine than yesterday after work the team put in last night. I managed to fight my way up from the mid-pack with better and better results in each of the four qualifying races, especially in the two afternoon qualifying sessions. The gearbox ratio we installed on Friday night and some minor carburettor adjustments worked great. Two good starts from the inside row in Q3 and Q4 allowed me to move up the grid. Q4 went really well as I started 9th in the inside lane and was able to move up to 6th before my increasingly worn tires slowed me and left me in 7th place at the end. I still managed to keep a group of three faster drivers behind me, keeping 7th place for the grid for tomorrow's 20-lap final race.”

 

Thomas Nepveu 2021 Karting Results

 

Date

Track

Location

Series

Event

Final 1

Final 2

Jan. 8 – 10

AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex

Homestead, FL

SKUSA

Winter Series Rounds 1&2

14TH

24TH

Jan. 16 – 17

Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

28TH

---

Feb. 9 - 14

AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex

Homestead, FL

SKUSA

Winter Series Rounds 3&4

 

 

Feb. 18 – 21

Tropicana Field

St. Petersburg, FL

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

 

---

Mar, 11 - 14

Ocala Gran Prix

Ocala, FL

USPKS

Ocala Gran Prix

 

---

Mar. 17 – 21

Ocala Gran Prix

Ocala, FL

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

 

---

Mar. 24 - 28

Nola Motorsport Park

New Orleans, LA

SKUSA

Winter Nationals

 

 

Apr. 29 – May 2

New Castle Motorsports Park

New Castle, IN

USPKS

The Hoosier State Grand Prix

 

---

May 22 - 23

Utah Motorsports Campus

Utah

SKUSA

Spring Nationals

 

 

Aug. 11 – 15

New Castle Motorsports Park

New Castle, IN

SKUSA

Summer Nationals

 

 

Oct. 16 - 17

GoPro Motorplex

Mooresville, NC

USPKS

The Carolina Grand Prix

 

---

Nov. 6 - 7

Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NE

ROK

ROK the Rio

 

---

Nov. 20 -21

Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NE

SKUSA

Super Nationals

 

 

 

Honda Performance Development (HPD) has joined with Honda Motor Company, Ltd., to offer a scholarship program to the Super Formula Championship for the winner of the 2021 Formula Regional Americas series.

The FIA*-supported Formula Regional Americas Championship provides talented young racers the opportunity to develop their skills in a state-of-the-art open-wheel chassis powered by the latest version of the iconic Honda Civic® Type-R® power plant.

The internationally respected Super Formula series is the top level of open-wheel racing in Japan featuring high downforce Dallara chassis powered by engines making in excess of 500hp. Successful graduates of Super Formula include Pierre Gasly and Honda-powered INDYCAR driver Alex Palou, who was a race winner, championship contender and series Rookie of the Year in 2019.

 “What an amazing scholarship” said Chip Ganassi Racing driver Palou, who moved to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES last year after a season in Super Formula in 2019.   “I’m sure it’s going to be the strongest and most successful scholarship, and it’s much needed for so many drivers nowadays. The racing level in the Super Formula series is really high and demanding for a driver. You can then use all that experience in INDYCAR. I’ve been lucky enough to get to experience the highest level of racing in Japan and now in the US, and I can’t thank enough Honda, Dale Coyne and Team Goh for the amazing opportunity of becoming an INDYCAR driver, now with Chip Ganassi at the highest level. I’m now facing the best moment of my career driving for the most successful team in the championship. I can’t wait to share track with the next Honda Scholarship Champion!” 

Supporting the next generation of racing talent is a fundamental value of HPD. As a committed partner to the F4 U.S. Championship, the FR Americas Championship and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, HPD and Honda Motor are proud to expand their support for the FR Americas champion to include the scholarship value of up to $600,000 for participation in the 2022 Super Formula series.   

“I am very pleased with this new program as it is a collaboration between HPD and Honda Motor for a true global driver development program,” said John Whiteman, HPD Commercial Motorsports Manager.  “This past year, Alex Palou demonstrated that Super Formula can fully prepare a driver for INDYCAR racing success.  Progressing from Formula Regional Americas to Super Formula can be a clear, fully Honda-powered path to INDYCAR.

 

 “The Formula Regionals America champion earns 18 FIA* Super License points, and the Super Formula champion earns 25,” Whiteman added.  “Winning both titles will prepare a driver to compete in INDYCAR and earn enough Super License points to exceed the 40 required for Formula One.”

 

Promoted by Parella Motorsports Holdings, LLC, FR Americas is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing and features the spec JS F3 chassis designed and sold by Ligier Automotive in North Carolina, which meets the most advanced global FIA safety specifications, including the first North American application of a race car Halo. The car, running on proven Hankook tires, is powered by a 303-horsepower Honda Performance Development version of the Honda Civic Type-R turbocharged K20C1 motor.

The FR Americas Championship aligns with the global FIA development ladder philosophy of using common components to provide a cost-efficient, reliable, and powerful racing structure as drivers ascend through the levels on their way to U.S. or global racing success.

“We are so excited that the 2021 FR Americas champion will receive such an unprecedented opportunity from Honda and HPD,” said PMH President and CEO Tony Parella. “We look forward to growing our partnership with HPD to continue to develop drivers at a grassroots level.”

The 18-race FR Americas calendar will feature iconic venues across the United States and Canada. The official 2021 FR Americas season commences at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta March 26-28.

More details on the program are available at hpd.honda.com.

Andretti Autosport welcomes a new face this season, announcing today that racing driver Tristan Herbert will co-drive the No. 18 Gallant Ligier JS P320 along with Jarett Andretti in the IMSA Prototype category. Herbert currently competes on and off the track while managing Audi Sport customer racing U.S. for the last seven years.  He continues supporting a customer base of over 100 Audi specific race cars which include efforts in club racing, IMSA and SRO’s GT3, GT4, TCR and GT2 platforms.
 
Jarett Andretti looks forward to sharing driving duties with Herbert, stating, “I think that Tristan is a great addition to our team, and I am excited to work with him this season.  He has an extensive background in sportscar racing and I know we will learn a lot from one another.”
 
Herbert shares Andretti’s excitement, stating, “When the opportunity presented itself to step beyond the pit wall and back into a car with Jarett Andretti, I made the decision to do so without hesitation.  I have known Jarett for a few years and it’s never surprised me with his racing pedigree and experience that he can jump into anything and immediately be quick out of the box.  I’m looking forward to working with Jarett and such a professional organization in the New Year.”
 
Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti added We’re looking forward to being back in the IMSA paddock with the LMP3 program and would like to welcome Tristan to the team alongside Jarett. Daytona is fast approaching and we can’t wait to get the season going strong.”
 
The 2021 IMSA Prototype Challenge is scheduled to kickoff with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on January 22-24 at Daytona International Speedway. 
For more information, visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com

The Eastern Regional 250SX Class kicked its season off with great racing on Saturday night at the opening round of Monster Energy Supercross at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire nabbed the holeshot but his time at the front lasted less than one minute as Yamaha’s Christian Craig got past and pulled away to a comfortable lead. Behind, Hampshire battled hard to stay up front, but Kawasaki's Austin Forkner got past just after the midway point, and Craig's teammate Colt Nichols made his way into a podium finish after rounding the first lap just inside the top five.

 

It was an emotional night for Craig as he started the 2021 season with his first victory in five years.

 

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results

1. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha

2. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki

3. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha

4. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki

5. RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna

6. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda

7. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS

8. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda

9. Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM

10. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda

 

 

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

1. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (26)

2. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (23)

3. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (21)

4. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (19)

5. RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (18)

6. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (17)

7. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (16)

8. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (15)

9. Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (14)

10. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (13)

Amid all the changes during these turbulent times, one startling sports aberration emerged – again – last Saturday night inside Houston's NRG Stadium. Justin Barcia, on a motorcycle model that didn't exist one year prior, on a team that's never fielded a rider, and in a state that hadn't hosted a Supercross season opener since 1988, won the first race of the season for the third straight year. More surprising to those outside the world of 70-foot triple jumps and steep-bermed bowl turns, these three wins mark Justin Barcia's only three Supercross wins in the past 85 race starts and eight seasons.

 

Barcia's win marked the first time since the series inception in 1974 that a motorcycle brand had debuted with a win. And the victory last Saturday night was no fluke, Barcia led every lap of both his heat race and the championship-points-paying Main Event. He led all 37 of the 37 Laps he rode. He flat dominated the stat sheets in Houston.

 

Motorsports fans can draw three conclusions: One, the racer can cope with opening round jitters better than his competitors; two, the racer accepts a higher risk threshold to gain an early season points advantage; or three, Justin Barcia is getting along with his new dirt bike and 2021 will be his best year to add a 450SX Class title to his 250SX Class championships.

 

The question for sports fans is this: will Justin Barcia repeat the pattern and fail to repeat his season win? Or has the 28-year-old racer, far from young on professional Supercross starting gates, been backed into a must-win season and will continue to pull out the stops for the next rounds?

 

Round two on Monster Energy Supercross's accelerated 2021 schedule, takes place tomorrow night, Tuesday, January 19, back at the same venue but on a modified Supercross track. Feld Entertainment, the series promoter, has managed to adapt to keep fans entertained and, more significantly, keep the racer, team, and support jobs open and the motorcycle industry healthy – no small feat in a series that has traditionally crisscrossed the map each year.

 

Tickets are available in a limited capacity, pod seating structure. The series is now carried live on Peacock, NBC's streaming service, as well as on NBCSN.

 

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