Thursday, Dec 01
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 

By Holly Cain

IMSA Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The photos on social media are intriguing, the construction videos a play-by-play appreciated throughout the racing community. Two of the sport’s iconic venues – Wisconsin’s Road America and California’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – are being repaved after providing decades of history-making racing.

 

And race fans can’t seem to get enough of the process.

 

“It was a lot of fun actually,’’ John Ewert, Road America’s director of communications, said of installing real-time cameras to show the work being done at the track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

 

“We realized a lot of people had interest in watching not only the live cams but the other stuff we did on Facebook Live. There were more than 40,000 minutes viewed of people watching the track be paved. We noticed the attention and interest, so we just kept (providing live feeds),” Ewert added with a laugh.

 

No need for purists to worry. The repaving is more akin to a fine facelift on these historic facilities. The character and historic quality remain intact. But the racing potential gets an injection of new excitement.

 

This is only the second full-course repave for the 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America since it opened in September 1955. The last came in 1995.

Similarly, it’s the first complete repave since 2007 for the 2.238-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which opened on California’s Monterey Peninsula in 1957. 

 

Not only is the WeatherTech Raceway surface getting some care, but the overall facility is receiving updates, too. The famous 50-year-old walkover bridge crossing the start-finish line was removed last week to “kick off” the project and will be replaced by a modern structure better facilitating the varied traffic the iconic venue sees.

 

“All these projects will benefit the racer and the fan,’’ track president and general manager John Narigi said. “We are very excited as it is a commitment to the future of WeatherTech Raceway and Laguna Seca.’’

 

The WeatherTech Raceway repaving project will start after the new year, with the goal of unveiling the new look in time for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend, the Motul Course De Monterey from May 12-14.

 

The work at Road America is already done – amazingly completed in a month’s time from removal of the old surface (requiring 800 dump truck loads totaling more than 8.5 tons of the old surface) on Oct. 3 to the ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 3 commemorating the project’s conclusion. 

 

The storied facility has already received a thumbs-up on the improvements from a veteran IMSA driver.

 

“Road America is one of the best tracks to race at, period,’’ Andy Lally said. “So, if there’s a little grip, a lot of grip, rain or dry, it’s set up and laid out as one of the best tracks on this planet to actually have a really good battle. I’ve driven there in prototypes, GT cars, NASCAR, touring cars, just about everything, and it’s never not an exciting race. So, looking forward to that.

 

“When you get four miles of new asphalt, it’s certainly going to be quick and there will absolutely be more track records there. And hearing from a couple people who have looked at the asphalt in Wisconsin, they’ve done a really nice job. … When the LMDh cars go there, I think we’re going to see some pretty amazing lap times.’’

 

Ewert said Road America listened to driver and fan feedback to keep the track’s same nuances.

 

“The most fascinating thing we had feedback-wise from competitors and fans was ‘don’t change it,’ so we made sure and put it back exactly the way they found it,’’ he said.

“It’s just kind of where they placed it in 1955 is where it’s been, and the feedback from the drivers from pretty much every series is they love the idea of the rolling hillsides, the elevation changes, the off-camber turns, how it emulates road racing from how it began. 

 

“We wanted to make sure everything sort of stays the same so people will still have that element of what they remember it being, and also anyone who is new will still have an exciting experience when they come and race it. … It’s a nice problem to have when everybody just loves the place.’’

 

The careful planning and intricate work involved was impressive. From drone camera shots to topographical surveys, to preserving the parabolic crown in the middle of the track, to finding just the right asphalt mix that provides improved drainage and stands up to the harsh Wisconsin winters.

 

“They did topographical surveys and laser surveys and they put in all these grade points to make sure the curbing location, camber angles and width – all that – was within a tenth of an inch (of the original surface),” Ewert said.

 

Meanwhile at WeatherTech Raceway, the track repaving is part of a $14.9 million project approved by the County of Monterey Board of Supervisors that oversees the facility owned by the county. It follows previous undertakings to enhance the overall fan experience.

 

“Our intent is to provide experiences that can be enjoyed by non-race fans as well,” track president Narigi said. “We began this year by dramatically upgrading the Champions Club and Legends Club with popular local caterers to provide a more refined dining experience. Expanding the Kids Zone with games, activities, a Ferris wheel and go-karts proved popular for families, and we will continue to refine and improve the guest experience for all ages in 2023 to heighten the experience.”

 

(Photos courtesy of Road America and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca)

The road to a second world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series included a little bit of everything for Top Fuel star Brittany Force. From a hot start to memorable victories, record-breaking runs at nearly every stop on the tour and a clutch performance in Las Vegas, Force was spectacular from start to finish during her memorable 2022 campaign.

 

Her championship resumé was finished off with a first-round victory at last weekend’s NHRA Finals in Pomona, a culmination of the most complete year in her career. The record-breaking standout won five races in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac dragster, enjoyed 10 No. 1 qualifiers and the fastest run in Top Fuel history, rising above a loaded Top Fuel field to taste championship glory once again.

 

“This season has been outstanding for us,” Force said. “Coming into the season, I said this was going to be one of the toughest seasons yet with the competition that’s out there. We did really well all season and carried that No. 1 pretty much all year, and then in the Countdown, we started to lose our footing. It was like this championship we were so close to, we were starting to lose it, but we recovered the last two races. I’m still in the excitement of it all. It’s a very surreal moment.”

 

Force picked up early-season victories at Las Vegas, Houston and Virginia, adding another two months later in Sonoma where she made the quickest run in track history and then set the track speed record on three consecutive runs to pick up one of her most memorable victories. Against one of the best Top Fuel fields in recent memory, a track record was a consistent theme for Force throughout 2022, as she decimated marks at nearly every event.

 

In all, Force set 16 track records this season, including making the fastest run in track history at 12 different facilities, including a monster run at the prestigious U.S. Nationals and the fastest run in Top Fuel history at the finale in Pomona. Force broke her own national speed record in St. Louis but then topped it in Pomona with an incredible pass of 338.94 mph to set a championship tone at the NHRA Finals, giving her the top 10 fastest runs in NHRA history.

 

The records were certainly a thrill, but to have it lead to a championship, the first for most of her team, including standout crew chief David Grubnic, was the ultimate reward.

 

“It was such a strong season from start to finish. The records we set, track records, wins, it was just incredible,” said Force, who now owns 25 track records, and both ends of the national record. “This was the first championship for them, and it was so cool to share it with them. It was such a surreal moment.”

Beyond the records, Force faced incredible competition, so much so that her championship dream nearly fell apart during the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Nine different drivers won in 2022 in Top Fuel, including first-timer Tripp Tatum in Gainesville, while Mike Salinas, who won four races this year, and Justin Ashley, a three-time race winner in 2022, both led the points at different points of the season.

 

Steve Torrence saw his reign of four straight titles come to an end, but the Texan won a pair of races, as well as the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout in Indy, while first-year team owner Antron Brown, who finished second in points, won three times late in the year, including at the U.S. Nationals. Perhaps nobody was hotter in the Countdown to the Championship than Force’s teammate, Austin Prock, as the young standout picked up wins in Reading and Pomona to catapult him all the way to third.

 

Leah Pruett and Tony Schumacher also registered wins during a thrilling year in Top Fuel, but the season ultimately belonged to Force, who also had to ward off challenges from the likes of Josh Hart, Clay Millican, Doug Kalitta and Shawn Langdon. Facing an 82-point deficit heading into Las Vegas after falling in the second round at the first four playoff races, Force and her team delivered big when it counted, winning Vegas and vaulting into the points lead.

 

She kept rolling in Pomona, qualifying No. 1 and winning in the first round, while all the other championship contenders fell by the wayside in the opening stanza. It was a wild string of events, but Force’s calm demeanor and clutch performance – including a holeshot win in the finals in Vegas – proved key in a championship journey she won’t soon forget.

 

“Vegas until Pomona was the longest time in my life. This weekend couldn’t have gotten here quick enough. When we got here and warmed up the car, it was just this calm feeling,” Force said after clinching.

 

“(But) first round is always the toughest. Once you get in the mix and get going, you’re ready and motivated, but something about first round is so tough. But we turned a win light on and then we watched it all go down. I can’t believe how it all unfolded, but it worked in our favor.”

 

The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season begins March 9-12 with the 54th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway. For more information about NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.

 

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

 Charge Cars will continue to take the US by storm when its ’67 goes on display to the public at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. Running from 18-27 November 2022, the show will give performance enthusiasts and classic car fans a chance to see the iconic lines of the ’67 by Charge Cars. 

The British car maker will showcase its stunning Satin Kaynite Blue model at the LA Auto Show after it received a very positive reception when it was revealed to the media last month. Located in the atrium of the West Hall at the LA Convention Center, the ’67 by Charge Cars will be one of the “must see” attractions at this year’s show.

Production of the ‘67 is limited to 499 vehicles, hand-built in London by the Charge Cars team who carefully assemble the lightweight carbon fiber body panels over the brand new steel body shell. The shell accommodates advanced electrification that provides 1120 lb-ft of torque and propels the ’67 from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The electronics allow advanced 4iWD torque vectoring technology as well as a number of important driver aids. There is also a fully-connected driver interface as part of the brand new interior design, which includes keyless access and a premium, immersive sound system.

The London-based team at Charge Cars consists of experienced automotive designers and engineers who bring experience across multiple sectors to develop and assemble the first cars using core components from technology partner Elements Auto, a division of Arrival. Members of the team will be available to discuss aspects of the ’67 by Charge Cars with show visitors.

“We are excited to continue our US tour with a display at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which begins later this week. It will give enthusiasts and potential customers an opportunity to see the ’67 by Charge Cars in the flesh and get a proper insight into the technology we’ve packaged in the iconic vehicle,” said Vadim Shagaleev, CEO of Charge Cars. 

 

SPECIFICATION AND FEATURES 

’67 BY CHARGE CARS 

Electric Motors: 

  • 4x PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors) 

Drive: 

  • 4iWD (4 independent Wheel Drive) 

Battery: 

  • 63 kWh 

Total Peak Power: 

  • 400 kW 

Total Motor Torque: 

  • 1520 Nm 

Range: 

  • 200 miles (322 km)* 

Acceleration: 

  • 3.9 seconds (0-60 mph) 

Charging: 

  • DC Peak Power: 50 kW 
  • DC Charging Speed: 1 hour (0-80%) 
  • AC Peak Power: 
  • 22 kW (Europe) 
  • 14 kW (US) 

 

Exterior: 

  • Wheels: 
  • 18x8" - Front 
  • 18x10" - Rear 
  • Tires: 
  • 235/40 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S - Front 
  • 285/40 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S - Rear 

 

Interior: 

  • Two-seat configuration 
  • Electrically adjustable and heated seats with lumbar support 
  • Rear luggage deck 
  • Wireless phone charging 

 

Comfort & Convenience: 

  • Bespoke LED headlights with daytime running lights and automatic activation 
  • Bespoke signature LED tail lights 
  • Electric windows 
  • Electrically adjustable heated and folding door mirrors 
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror 
  • Automatic climate control 
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls 
  • Electric power-assisted steering 
  • Tilt adjustable steering wheel 
  • Soft-close door latches 
  • Heated front and rear glass 

 

Safety: 

  • Anti-theft alarm system 
  • Anti-lock braking system 
  • Traction control 
  • Tire pressure monitoring system 

 

Drivetrain: 

  • Single-speed transmission 
  • McPherson strut front suspension 
  • Double-wishbone rear suspension 
  • Performance four-piston brake calipers front and rear 
  • Electronic parking brake 
  • Adjustable driving modes 
  • Regenerative braking 

 

Technology: 

  • Adaptive cruise control 
  • Traffic sign recognition 
  • Reversing camera 
  • Rain and lighting sensors 
  • Phone app integration 
  • Over-the-air updates 

 

In-car Experience: 

  • 12.3” driver display 
  • 12.8” central display 
  • Eight speakers plus subwoofer for an immersive sound experience 
  • Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • Navigation system 

* Vehicle range may vary depending on conditions, driving style, terrain, temperature, and more

 

Progressive American Flat Track is thrilled to confirm a season of record-breaking viewership numbers. The sport reached an all-time high of 3,377,919 total viewers throughout the remarkable 2022 campaign, with 2,861,000 P02+ viewers tuning in to the sport’s debut season on FOX Sports alone. 

  

The 2022 Progressive AFT season saw the series join forces with FOX Sports in a blockbuster new multi-year agreement, in addition to relaunching the popular FansChoice.tv livestreaming hub halfway through the year.   

 

“We are thrilled by the response to this year’s coverage on FOX Sports and appreciate their commitment to helping us grow the sport,” said Gene Crouch, COO of AMA Pro Racing. “On the heels of this successful debut season on FOX Sports, combined with the relaunch of FansChoice.tv and next season’s action-packed schedule, Progressive AFT is well positioned for another year of strong growth in 2023.” 

 

FOX Sports provided 150 hours of linear television coverage for the sport in 2022. FS1 showcased the sport to a hungry audience of fans, both old and new, in highly desirable time slots for each round's televised premiere and followed that up with 133 re-airs on FS1 and FS2. As a result, the 2.9MM P02+ viewers tuning in to AFT on FOX Sports delivered the highest linear television viewership for the series to date. 

 

Viewership totals for the 2022 Progressive AFT season: 

  • FOX Sports Viewers: 2,861,000 P02+ (an increase of 1MM viewers over last season)
  • Television Exposure: 150 hours on linear television (up from just 23 hours in 2021)
  • Total Viewership: 3,377,919 (all-time high) 

For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com. To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com

 

How to Watch 

 

FOX Sports and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports. FansChoice

There’s no magic fix when it comes to promoting a race event. You have to plan it all out well ahead of time and ensure that you don’t waste resources on needless experimentation. In this blog post, we’ll discuss 5 tried and tested strategies for promoting your next race event.

 

No race event is the same, which is the biggest problem most marketers face when promoting it. It’s true that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every race event, but there are some ways you can predict whether the proposed promotional strategies would work out in your favor or not. The target audience is one of them — you need to tailor your marketing efforts to the interests and preferences of your audience. 

 

For instance, if it’s a school or inter-college race event, the prime target audience is the friends and family members of the participants and the schools/colleges they study at. Once you’ve figured that out, follow these strategies to get as many people to your race event as possible.

 

Put up flyers in high-traffic areas

The first and most obvious thing to do is put up your race event flyers. But that depends on the type of event you’re promoting. If it’s a school competition, the flyers should be posted all around the school, especially in places where students get together to hang out. If it’s a city-wide event, the posters should be put in subways and preferably shown via digital signage.

 

Make sure you mention all the relevant details on your poster. These include the date, time, and venue of the event along with a brief outline of the teams that are participating. Creating a poster doesn’t have to be difficult. You can use an online graphic design tool like PosterMyWall to craft one in a few clicks.

 

Advertise the event on your blog

You’re probably a part of a school, company, or some institution if you’re tasked with promoting a race event. If so, you must have an up-and-running website blog. Most business owners underestimate the power of a blog, but the truth is if you keep your audience engaged by posting valuable content, they’re going to keep coming back for more.

 

So, if your website blog receives a substantial amount of traffic each month, consider posting an article about your race event. This will let your audience know about it. I also recommend mentioning the ticket registration link in the blog so that those who are convinced of attending it can buy their tickets there and then.

 

Create a specific landing page

When you say “click here to register online” in your blog, YouTube video, or Instagram post, you need a working URL (landing page) so that people can buy their tickets. Therefore, you must have a specific landing page because the first thing visitors will see after clicking your ad is your landing page.

 

Make sure your landing page is persuasive. You should list a brief breakdown of the event like the intervals, schedule, and the participating teams. A good idea is to insert a short 2-minute video of the past race event you hosted, highlighting the excitement in the atmosphere and the winner(s).

 

Advertise heavily on social media

Social media is the most sought-after marketing tool in today’s digital age, and you do wonders with it. As far as a race event is concerned, you should focus your marketing efforts on Facebook and Instagram since they’re the most highly used platforms today.

 

As far as Facebook is concerned, consider joining local community groups and pages relevant to the race event. For instance, if the event is specific to a particular neighborhood, join groups of that neighborhood (all its schools and colleges) and post about the upcoming race event.

 

On Instagram, you can post snippets of the ongoing preparations of the venue to create an exciting environment for everyone who wants to attend or is thinking of attending the event. Don’t forget to use popular hashtags so that people can easily find your Instagram posts.

 

Create stunning posts effortlessly by using customizable social media templates that you can edit in minutes.

 

Finish it up with email marketing

Last but not least, you can promote your race event with email marketing. But this requires having a subscriber list. If you’re representing a school or college, you’d probably have a big list of students’ and parents’ emails that you can use to relay information about the upcoming race event.

 

You could bring it up in the form of a newsletter or just a simple email intended to inform them. However, make sure your subject headline is captivating because most people don’t even open irrelevant emails if the subject line doesn’t convince them. Also, avoid writing blocks of text and instead embed the poster you created in the first step in your email.

 

A few parting words

Promoting a race even is easier said than done. And that’s mostly because you have a very niche audience to target, and most of them are either students or parents. Although the above-mentioned strategies work like a charm, make sure to mix them up a bit and tailor them to your specific situation. Start with the marketing as early on as possible because it’ll give you enough time to experiment with multiple strategies and see which ones work best for you.

Marotti Autosport is giving race fans an exclusive opportunity to own a share of their race entry for the 2023 Indy 500. Those interested in learning about how they can invest alongside corporate sponsors and be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity can visit spiritofspeedway.com. Inspired by the tradition of past car entries named after cities, the theme of Marotti Autosport’s Indy 500 program and car has been named the “Spirit of Speedway.”

“With our Spirit of Speedway program, we are the first to honor Speedway, Indiana, the hometown of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” said team owner Will Marotti, Marotti Autosport Team Owner. "With the goal to become the first fully fan-owned entry, what better way to rally support and excitement than to honor the wonderful town of Speedway.”

In 2016, Marotti partnered with Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports in the 100th running of the Indy 500. Marotti is the only active minister to have led an Indy 500 team. Marotti Autosport kicked off its first crowdfunding effort for a race-fan-owned Indy 500 entry in late 2021. Marotti has introduced grassroots efforts such as a featured banner on Main Street in Speedway and promotional support from local businesses and partners. The team is looking to capitalize on its success from the first round of funding.

For a suggested $10,000 investment, race fan investors receive a 1% ownership stake in the car and a commensurate 1% share of the prize money generated by the Spirit of Speedway entry in the 2023 Indy 500. “Our race fan investors will not only own a part of the car, but they will also have exclusive access to team announcements, driver autograph sessions, and team dinner leading up to the Indy 500. This ownership also provides first-class hospitality during the May and July Grand Prix weekends, and of course, the coveted Indy 500,” added Marotti.”

In addition to their second crowdfund, Marotti Autosport is seeking corporate sponsors for the Spirit of Speedway Indy 500 entry. “We are encouraged by the interest and conversations we’ve had thus far,” added Marotti. “We are committed to creating a motorsports program that will allow race fans to live a dream and deliver value and a platform for a corporate partner at the greatest spectacle in all of racing.” 

With this announcement, Marotti Autosport also re-launches their investor portal where race fans can learn more about the investment program and hear from team owner Will Marotti and other race fan investors involved this past season.

With the 2022 season in the books, the team is seeking a competitive IndyCar driver available in 2023 to pilot the car. “We are excited about the talent out there, and with the conclusion of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, some additional drivers are becoming available,” added Marotti. “We have a passion for Speedway, Indiana, and the most prestigious race in the world, and we are seeking to be a competitive entry for the biggest prize in motorsports—the Borg-Warner Trophy!” concluded Marotti.

In addition to the 2016 Indy 500, Marotti Autosport competed in the 500-mile race the following year, along with additional races in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The team has also run select races in the Road to Indy ladder series. Since its inception, Marotti Autosport has been competitive, finishing as high as 12th in the 2016 Indy 500. The team ran as high as 4th place in that same race nearing the end.

For more information about Marotti Autosport and its innovative "Spirit of Speedway" fan investment program, please visit spiritofspeedway.com. Their Vimeo web page at vimeo.com/marottiautosport features team owner Will Marotti video updates and testimonies from race fan owners.

In the over-scheduled, over-programmed race of daily life, cars are often viewed as machines used for commuting – the thing that gets us from one place to another. While automobiles keep nearly a quarter of a billion Americans on the road, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil and iconic motorsports brand Mobil 1™ and the automotive lifestyle brand Hagerty™ are committed to cultivating and celebrating a more meaningful car culture that brings joy to driving and builds a community of driving enthusiasts. To fuel that purpose, today, the two brands formalized their alliance in a multi-year collaboration to serve drivers everywhere.

 

“Hagerty has a purpose to save driving and car culture. Mobil 1 has a mission to spread the love of driving,” said Scott Howard, Director, North America Finished Lubricants at ExxonMobil. “Whether it’s modern European race cars, classic American builds, the Rocket League’s virtual Octane car, or innovative creations like the Hoonipigasus, we’ve seen that the joy of driving, not necessarily what you’re driving, is what unites enthusiasts together and builds communities. Together, Mobil 1 and Hagerty will better serve, grow, and inspire drivers everywhere.”

 

Combined, Mobil 1 and Hagerty have nearly 90 years of experience protecting automobiles, creating innovative technologies, building industry relationships, and growing communities of driving enthusiasts all over the world. Together, both brands will be able to serve their consumers better by bringing automotive culture to new heights – on and off the road – with a focus on compelling content, cultivating communities, and providing car care with purpose.

 

“We started as an insurance company to protect the vehicles we all love,” said Larry Webster, Senior Vice President of Media and Editorial, Hagerty. “But we’ve grown into an automotive lifestyle brand because the passion of driving enthusiasts is so much bigger than the car themselves. The builders, the stories, the gatherings and – yes – the cars, are why more than 750,000 drivers are part of Hagerty’s Driver’s Club. Empowering people who love cars of all types is what motivates Mobil 1 and Hagerty to serve driving communities together.”

 

At the SEMA Show, the premier annual automotive trade show in Las Vegas, Mobil 1 and Hagerty announced their collaboration and formalized how they plan to serve driving enthusiasts. 

 

Creating Compelling Content

Hagerty brings a deep knowledge of car culture and a proven ability to connect with enthusiasts through high-quality content such as its existing YouTube video series “Capturing Car Culture” and “Hagerty DIY.” Meanwhile, Mobil 1 will provide access to the greatest drivers, cars, and events in the industry as a fixture on the F1 circuit, NASCAR tracks, and extreme motorsport races like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Together, the industry leaders will collaborate on exclusive, behind-the-scenes content to further showcase the best cars, stories, products and, most importantly, the people behind them as a way to entertain and inform the enthusiast community through all channels including print, digital web, video, and social media.

 

Cultivating Communities

Hagerty takes car culture seriously by attending, sponsoring, and hosting more than 2,500 events every year and is committed to offering experiential on-ramps for car enthusiasts with its world-class vehicle storage and exclusive social club, Hagerty Garage + Social that provides car lovers with a home away from home. Mobil 1 understands the importance of celebrating driving and highlighting its love of the sport in new ways – such as through its esports and gaming collaborations with Rocket League and Gen.G. Together, the two brands will curate incredible experiences for current driving enthusiasts and cultivate new opportunities to usher in a new community of drivers wherever, and however, they drive. 

 

Car Care with Purpose

Mobil 1 protects engines on the road and track and Hagerty serves more than 750,000 Drivers Club members with roadside service among other benefits – highlighting both brands’ deep understanding of the need for regular car maintenance. Consumers can expect to see exclusive product offerings through the partnership. Caring for a car properly is critical, and together, Mobil 1 and Hagerty will continue to create efficiencies for drivers to increase safety, boost performance, and educate vehicle owners and the industry. Ultimately, the expertise, technology, and education from Mobil 1 and Hagerty will help drivers maintain their cars so they can get more out of the drive. 

Freeway Insurance, the largest auto insurance and personal lines distribution company in the U.S., announced the expansion of its relationship with Trackhouse Racing and NASCAR driver Daniel Suárez for a third straight season.

Freeway Insurance and Trackhouse Racing first partnered in 2021 when Freeway Insurance was a primary sponsor during the racing organization’s inaugural season. Freeway Insurance will sponsor seven events during the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series as part of the continued partnership, as well as serve as the primary sponsor on Suárez’s iconic No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro at the following regular season races: 

  • February 26, 2023:  Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA

  • March 12, 2023:  Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, AZ

  • March 26, 2023:  Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Austin, TX

  • June 4, 2023:  Worldwide Technology Raceway, St. Louis, MO

  • June 11, 2023:  Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, CA

  • August 20, 2023:  Watkins Glen, NY

  • September 3, 2023:  Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC

 

“The partnership between Trackhouse, Daniel Suárez and Freeway Insurance has been a perfect fit since the start, and it was a no-brainer to continue our relationship,” said Cesar Soriano, Chief Executive Officer of Freeway Insurance. “Being able to team up with Daniel - one of the best drivers on the circuit - and have him as an ambassador for Freeway Insurance is an incredible honor, and we look forward to cheering on him and his team with NASCAR fans everywhere.”

To celebrate the renewed partnership, Suárez will be meeting with fans and launching Freeway Insurance’s #99 Replica racecars to their fleet ahead of championship weekend on November 5. Fans are invited to come to the Freeway Insurance in Phoenix, Arizona, to meet Suárez, get his autograph, take selfies with the car and receive prizes and commemorative die-cast cars, while supplies last.  

“Freeway Insurance has been there for me just like it’s been there for thousands of customers who rely on the brand for affordable insurance solutions, and I’m excited to continue our relationship,” Suárez said. “I take great pride in having the Freeway Insurance name on our cars, and hope to make them and our NASCAR fans proud next year.”

Suárez will meet fans and unveil the fleet cars from 4-5pm PT on Saturday, Nov. 5th at Freeway Insurance at 6750 W Olive Ave in Phoenix. 

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

With the smoke still clearing from the Final Round of the 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, the series is announcing its 2023 schedule today at SEMA in Las Vegas. The venues for the eight-round PRO Championship remain unchanged, the PROSPEC Championship will again to be decided at Utah Motorsports Park and the PRO Championship will culminate at its traditional Irwindale Speedway venue.

2023 FORMULA DRIFT CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

VENUE

LOCATION

CHAMPIONSHIP

DATE

Streets of Long Beach

Long Beach, CA

PRO

April 7-8

Super Drift

Long Beach, CA

Invitational

April 14-15

Road Atlanta

Atlanta, GA

PRO/PROSPEC

May 11-13

Orlando Speed World

Orlando, FL

PRO

May 26-27

Englishtown Raceway Park

Englishtown, NJ

PRO/PROSPEC

June 22-24

World Wide Technology Raceway

St Louis, MO

PRO/PROSPEC

July 13-15

Evergreen Speedway

Seattle, WA

PRO

Aug 11-12

Utah Motorsports Park

Grantsville, UT

PRO/PROSPEC

Sept 14-16

Irwindale Speedway

Irwindale, CA

PRO

Oct 13-14

 

In addition to the schedule announcement, Formula DRIFT is celebrating its landmark 20th Anniversary in 2023 and will introduce a number of important updates to the series, which will have a significant impact on teams and fans alike. 

One of the first major changes is the removal of the 37 driver cap on both the PRO and PROSPEC Championships. This will allow more teams to enter the series but makes qualifying more crucial than ever as only 32 drivers are able to compete in the head-to-head competition.

The teams that do qualify will be excited to learn that the PRO Prize Purse has been increased, with the payout per round doubled over 2022. And the 2023 PRO Champion will receive a significant $50,000 reward for their achievement.

Fans of the sport will be able to follow their favorite teams and drivers thanks to the creation of the official Formula DRIFT Podcast. Hosted by Jacob Gettins, he'll talk to leading protagonists as the season unfolds.

In a move that signifies the maturity and longevity of the series, Formula DRIFT has announced the creation of the Formula DRIFT Hall of Fame. The first inductees will be honored at the 2023 opening round in Long Beach. And each inductee will be awarded a unique FDHOF ring, which will be custom-made for the recipient, encrusted with diamonds and gemstones to a value of $10,000.

Furthermore, a Formula DRIFT monument will be erected in downtown Long Beach to commemorate the sport, and the name of each Hall of Fame inductee will be etched into the monument to preserve their part in history.

With celebrations planned for individual events and some special announcements to be made before the start of the 2023 season, the Formula DRIFT 20th Anniversary promises to be truly unforgettable.

 

A year ago, they stuck a toe in the water — or, more precisely, a finger on the autonomous driving software — with a woman co-captain who was an engineering senior without, coincidentally, a driver’s license. Who needs one for a driverless vehicle, even an Indy car?
 
This time, the University of Pittsburgh representation combines engineering undergraduate and business graduate students… with women as co-captains from Pitt (again) and from MIT.
 
Not only are they a diverse autonomous auto-racing team, but this Pitt group has helped the Pitt, MIT, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Waterloo, Canada, amalgamation achieve higher speeds in their second go-round in this Indy Autonomous Challenge. The MIT-PIT-RW team enters its second full season with a race Nov. 11 at Texas Motor Speedway, where they’ll face teams filled with graduate and PhD students, teams coached by faculty members on-site.
 
While the 2021-22 team sustained a few bumps (including a wall) at the original race at the Indy 500 Brickyard last November and a January competition at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the 2022-23 team led by co-captain Rotimi Adetunji — a May electrical engineering graduate now working toward a master’s in biomedical engineering (with a robotics focus) at Cornell — and MIT’s Cindy Heredia already has set team records. After new tweaks to all cars and software courtesy of the organizers, they have surpassed speeds over 100 mph in practice runs., with a record of 126 Nov. 1. They have completed the bulk of their racing qualification requirements a week and a half before race day. They have put in the long-term toil: roughly six weeks of testing since September, including three weeks at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and another three at the Fort Worth, Texas, oval where NASCAR and Indy both compete.
 
“The car is running great!” Adetunji said. “With new hardware, there is always a bit of a rough patch at the beginning, but the team did a great job of adapting, and is consistently having productive and effective track days.
 
“We’ve had a handful of close calls, but that’s par for the course,” added Adetunji, who unlike last year’s team co-captain, Nayana Suvarna, does have a driver’s license. “The way our team has been able to learn from them and adjust quickly has shown how far the team has come. The team is comfortable with speeds over 100 mph, and that, coupled with more intelligent racing strategy and behavior implemented in the code, really puts us in a great spot…. We have been jokingly dubbed by the [Indy Autonomous Challenge] crew ‘the fastest team ready for track days.’ “
 
Adetunji has been at Texas Motor Speedway for nearly a fortnight, joined there by fellow Pitt teammate Will Muckelroy III, a junior in computer engineering, and Carnegie Mellon’s Andrew Saba, a Pitt alum (ENGR ’19). Other Pitt team members from the Swanson School of Engineering joining her during testing are: Brendan Duff, a senior in computer engineering, and Micah Nye, a junior in mechanical engineering. So 11 Pitt group members — including four undergraduates and as many graduate students — and roughly 30 of the 41 MIT-PIT-RW team members in all are expected to be on hand by race day.
 
The Pitt members primarily came through the pipeline of the Robotics and Automation Society club at Pitt. It isn’t all pushing the car to high speeds and nerding around robotics, computers and algorithms, though: These budding scientists also have published their findings. “We will continue to publish our work throughout the year,” Adetunji said.
 
Mobilitas and PNC returned as sponsors, and the MIT-PIT-RW team also enjoys support from Cadence, RRAI, IBM and RTI.
 
Four students from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business who are driving business operations: Erin Kust, Ammar Kinkhabwala, Miriam Dukaye and Aaditi Patil — all MBA and Master of Science candidates scheduled to graduate next spring — are proud of their team and accomplishments. Pitt Business has long emphasized the importance of learning by doing as students put into practice the theories discussed in class.
 
“Leading business operations, I’ve learned to manage a lot of functions at once,” said Kust, who is in the part-time MBA program while she works as a strategy consulting manager at Elevance. “This experience has been very beneficial to my development as a future leader. I’ve learned how to quickly synthesize the complex issues we experience across all business areas and work with my team to set realistic goals and actions to get us where we need to be.” [Read more about the Pitt Business teammates here.]
 
Adetunji believes the diversity and creativity of the Pitt group, as well as the four-university racing team overall, contributes invaluably — on the track, off the track, for this week, and beyond.
 
“We want to show people that anyone can do this and help to develop the vast amount of talent that is out there,” said Adetunji, who considers herself a “citizen of the world.” “Regardless of backgrounds.
 
“When you look at motorsports, computer science and robotics, there aren’t a lot of women. I think that our team has a lot of diversity that you don’t see in this field generally, and that lets us have the tools to succeed.”
 
One small example: Heredia, her co-captain from MIT, is an MBA student – not a computer scientist, roboticist, automotive type. Another: Most of the other teams are comprised of primarily graduate students in those latter fields, some whose universities are supported by or closely aligned with major automotive manufacturers or autonomous-driving research projects.
 
“They've demonstrated what they are capable of, and I've seen them interact with these other teams on the racetrack,” said Sam Dickerson, associate professor in computer engineering and the Pitt group’s mentor/shepherd/cheerleader, though he admires how this team has developed such a thorough management and leadership structure. “[The competitor teams] too have formed deep respect for them and view them as their peers.”  
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