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  

  

 
Corvette Racing’s 100th victory in IMSA competition has been coming for more than two years. The last one came in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in April 2018.
 
Tonight, the iconic American sports car team’s drought finally ended, appropriately enough, on the Fourth of July at Daytona International Speedway. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor will go down in the history books as the driver pairing to deliver the milestone victory – also the first for the revolutionary, midengined C8.R race car – in the No. 3 Velocity Yellow machine.
 
Fuel strategy was the name of the game in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class tonight at Daytona. And while every car in the class led at one point or another throughout the evening, it was the No. 3 team that hit the strategy just right.
 
Garcia won the high-speed game of musical chairs by 1.977 seconds ahead of defending WeatherTech Championship GTLM champion Earl Bamber in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR-19.
 
“The engineers spotted very early how close we’d have been with fuel and how early we should start working on that,” Garcia said. “Jordan did a great job and saved a lot there and I saved another one. We didn’t know about the 912. We didn’t know if they could make it or if we were fighting them and the 911.
 
“We were expecting the Porsche to follow the 4 car (Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin), but we realized it was a fight. As soon as I had an opportunity early in the stint when I knew my tires were good, I waited for Earl to make a little mistake, and because I was able to follow very close I took advantage of that position. After that I worked my way through traffic really, really well.”
 
It was Taylor’s first GTLM win after moving from his father’s Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi team to the Corvette factory program this season. The significance of the Independence Day victory wasn’t lost on him either.
 
“It’s obviously very special,” Taylor said. “I was Antonio’s third driver for so many years and we finished second at Sebring, and Petit and Le Mans, and had so many podiums. It’s great to finally get a win with Antonio. And to get a win on the Fourth of July in an American car and being an American driver is pretty sweet.”
 
Bamber and co-driver Laurens Vanthoor finished second, matching their result from January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. The same can be said for No. 911 Porsche co-drivers Nick Tandy and Frederic Makowiecki, who claimed their second straight third-place trophies in Daytona’s Victory Lane.
 
AIM Vasser Sullivan Dominates IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona with 1-2 Lexus Finish in GTD Class
Saturday evening belonged to AIM Vasser Sullivan in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class.
 
IMSA’s first race back after a five-month hiatus – the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona – saw the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz at the top of the leaderboard for nearly the entire duration of the two-hour, 40-minute race. In fact, they led 81 of 87 laps.
 
Telitz kicked off the superior day for the team by starting from the pole position. He initially qualified second behind the No. 76 Compass Racing McLaren 720S, but the McLaren faced a penalty when the car could not participate in the reconnaissance lap before the race, promoting the Lexus to P1 on the grid.
 
Telitz held steady in tricky, slippery conditions and as Hawksworth took over, the No. 14 Lexus held a double-digit lead at times, but that lead waned as the minutes went by.
 
Who did they face pressure from? Their teammates, Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo in the No. 12 Lexus, who crossed the line 6.915 seconds behind its sister car at the end of the race.
 
“Aaron was able to get a jump and got a nice gap on the field,” said Hawksworth. “It was great to see the No. 12 car up with us, but by the time I took over after the stop the track was very dry. Not a puddle on the racing line. Then all I had to do was maintain position and maintain the lead and bring it home. Fortunately the Lexus RC F was working really well. I’m absolutely delighted for myself and the team. Great job to everyone.”
 
For Townsend Bell, the victory capped off quite the adventurous day. Montecalvo qualified third as Bell actually started his day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to commentate the IndyCar Series race for NBC. After the race, he hopped on a private jet with team owners Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan to fly down to Daytona to compete. However, the flight experience cabin pressure issues and inclement weather forced them to land in Jacksonville. They completed the hour-and-a-half drive to the World Center of Racing just before the call was made to start engines.
 
“Frightened is probably accurate,” said Bell of his experience. “We had an issue in the sky, any time the pilot is pulling out the owners manual mid-flight is generally not a good sign. It was one of those things where we could tell even on take-off, your ears, the pressurization was kind of in and out. I could hear the pressurization pump in the back of the plane going. I went up to talk to the pilot and they said ‘We know we are working on it.’ We had to level off at like 12,000 feet while they worked on it. Then they said we’re not going to be able to do this, we have to go back to Indy. I said there is no way, after all the effort put into this, that I’m missing this race.”
 
It's a good thing he didn’t.
 
The 1-2 finish for Lexus is the best performance yet for the team which first joined the WeatherTech Championship GTD class in 2019. The manufacturer’s previous best finish came at the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park last year, when the No. 14 Lexus won the race and Bell and Montecalvo finished third in the No. 12 Lexus.
 
Finishing third was the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 of Mario Farnbacher and Matthew McMurry.
Next up for the WeatherTech Championship is the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring on Saturday, July 18.
 

 

The Mazda RT-24P Daytona Prototype international (DPi) program has not lost an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in July since 2018.
 
A little over a year ago, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito delivered the program’s first victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen with co-driver Oliver Pla in a 1-2 sweep for Mazda. The following weekend, Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, leading another 1-2 ahead of Bomarito and Tincknell.
 
In Saturday’s two-hour, 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona it was No. 55 Mazda co-drivers Bomarito and Tincknell doing the honors once again in yet another 1-2 sweep ahead of Nunez and Jarvis in the No. 77 entry. The No. 55 dominated most of the second half of the race, taking the lead for the final time at the end of the pit stop sequence with just over 30 minutes remaining.
 
Tincknell took the checkered flag 10.168 seconds ahead of Jarvis to win the first WeatherTech Championship race since January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. It was his third career win in the series and Bomarito’s ninth in IMSA competition.
 
“The build up to this event was obviously tricky with the quarantine period and all the regulations in place,” Tincknell said. “We knew with only 15 crew including drivers, we didn’t have enough for a pit-stop helper.
 
“We practiced it meticulously, and it worked absolutely fine. I had plenty of time to do my belts up after JB buckled me in. To be honest, it was like clockwork like most of the weekend. Literally a dream stop for everyone.”
 
The start of the race was delayed 40 minutes due to lightning just before the scheduled start. Early evening rains also left the track damp in many areas, but with no more rain expected, some teams elected to start on Michelin rain tires while others gambled on slicks.
 
That led to a flurry of activity and a variety of different leaders in the first half, including both Acura Team Penske machines and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. A different Cadillac – the No. 5 Mustang Sampling machine from JDC-Miller MotorSports shared by Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais – completed the podium in third.
 
The race was run without a full-course caution. It was the series’ 12th caution-free race since 2014.
 
Next up for the WeatherTech Championship is the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring on Saturday, July 18.

INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have announced the “Race for Equality & Change,” a major effort to support diversity and inclusivity across the INDYCAR industry. A key pillar of “Race for Equality & Change” will be a $1 million fund to fuel internal and external programs and initiatives that will create fundamental change.

“As our country has grappled with systemic issues related to race, equality and access to opportunity, we’ve been doing a lot of listening, learning and reflecting,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “‘Race for Equality & Change’ will create a more diverse and inclusive INDYCAR community that fundamentally transforms our sport.”

Key focuses of the “Race for Equality & Change” include:

  • Recruiting and developing a diverse workforce throughout all levels of INDYCAR and IMS
  • Diversifying the competitive driver field at the grassroots, Road to Indy and NTT INDYCAR SERIES levels
  • Supporting impactful grassroots youth motorsports programs, including enhancing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s longstanding partnership with Nexgeneracers, a 501c3 that introduces minority students to the world of motorsports
  • Diversifying employment, leadership and ownership within the SERIES and with INDYCAR promoters
  • Investment in minority communities to encourage greater engagement with INDYCAR and IMS
  • Establishing a procurement program to meaningfully increase the number of minority-owned businesses that contract with INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway each year

As part of today’s announcement, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway pylon will light up with a special “Race for Equality & Change” message during the NTT INDYCAR SERIES GMR Grand Prix.

Mother Nature was kind enough to stay away from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday afternoon long enough to allow the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to qualify for the evening’s IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona.
 
And despite looming storm clouds, Helio Castroneves’ smile was as bright as ever as he scored his fourth career Motul Pole Award in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi. His time of one minute, 34.390 seconds (135.777 mph) was a slim .032 margin quicker than second place Oliver Jarvis – Daytona’s lap record holder – in the No. 77 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi.
 
“I feel great,” said Castroneves, who will co-drive with Ricky Taylor. “It’s teamwork, not only Team Penske but Acura, a team pole. Even when we stay away, waiting for this pandemic for like four months, we were able to put it together. It’s great.
 
“(The competition) is so close, those numbers, it translates to how equal everyone is out there. It’s going to be very competitive. Remember, it’s a two-and-a-half-hour race. We’re going to have to save the tires in this heat and if the rain comes in, it’s another condition. It’ll be, for sure, interesting, but right now we’ll enjoy this moment which has been great.”
 
Could Saturday be the day that Corvette earns its 100th IMSA win? Oliver Gavin and Jordan Taylor sure put the team in a good spot. It will be a 1-2 start in the WeatherTech Championship GTLM class for Corvette Racing, with Oliver Gavin quickest in the No. 4 Corvette C8.R with a time of 1:42.251 (125.338 mph) and his teammate, Jordan Taylor, second in the No. 3 Corvette C8.R.
 
This is Gavin’s 24th career IMSA pole and the third consecutive WeatherTech Championship season Gavin has started from the top spot at least once.  
 
“I think it’s fantastic to be back here racing… but Corvette Racing has really embraced the time off,” said Gavin. “We’ve been working tirelessly with the car. Just working on the development and trying to make it a little more driver-friendly, and finding a little bit more pace. I think we’ve seen the results of all of that in this qualifying session. We just had our goal and our plan. That was to get plan, get 1-2 if possible. The plan is coming together and it’s great when it works out that way.”
 
Meanwhile, if there was anyone in the venue who looked nearly as happy as Castroneves, it was Corey Fergus. In qualifying for his first WeatherTech Championship start, Fergus made a quick first impression by topping the GTD charts in qualifying to earn the class’ Motul Pole Award.
 
In the No. 76 Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3 that he’ll share with Paul Holton, Fergus posted a time of 1:47.015 (119.758 mph) over the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Aaron Telitz, who was announced as the car’s second full-time driver just last week alongside Jack Hawksworth.
 
This was the first WeatherTech Championship pole position for McLaren.
 
It’s very special,” said Fergus, who previously competed in a McLaren GT4 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. “There are a lot of things happening today. It’s my first start in WeatherTech, and it’s Compass’ first pole in GTD and my first. It’s a lot of exciting things happening at the same time, so it means a lot to be a part of it. The whole family and Compass here are excited. McLaren, I’m sure, is excited as well. I’m just happy.”
It’s been a long time coming, but the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s return to racing finally kicked off on Friday evening with the first practice session for Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona.
 
After a steamy and stormy afternoon, the temperatures dipped and rains receded, allowing for a full, hour-long session Friday evening that ended with Juan Pablo Montoya atop the time chart.
 
In the No. 6 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi, Montoya took the lead late with a time of one minute, 35.960 over Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi. Harry Tincknell made it three different manufacturers in the top three with a third-place time of 1:36.013 in the No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi.
 
“It felt great,” said Montoya. “It’s very hot, it’s humid. We were lucky with all the rain through the day and thunder we were able to get the practice in the dry.
 
“IMSA did a really good job. I’m really happy to be back in this Acura. It’s such an amazing car. It’s funny, we were laughing with (co-driver) Dane (Cameron). I’ve done a lot of simulator racing and I got to the first braking zone and even on cold tires, I got on the brakes and I was looking at the seatbelts. I was like, ‘Oof! Oh, yeah, I need to hold my head back here.’”
 
By the end of the session, the top seven positions were separated by only .789 seconds.
 
In the GTLM class, the defending class champions and runners-up in January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, the No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19 posted the fastest lap. Laurens Vanthoor posted a time of 1:44.003 ahead of what will be the team’s final ride in the GTLM class at Daytona International Speedway.
 
In the GTD class, the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 fittingly topped the charts, with driver Toni Vilander at the wheel of the white, red and blue WeatherTech machine. Vilander, who will co-drive tomorrow with Cooper MacNeil, posted a time of 1:47.481.
 
The two-hour, 40-minute race at Daytona International Speedway will broadcast live this Saturday, July 4, on NBCSN, the NBC Sports App and TrackPass on NBC beginning at 6 p.m. ET. IMSA Radio also will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSARadio.com, in addition to Sirius channel 216, XM 210, Internet 970 for the race.
 
Bittersweet Return for Team BMW RLL
The motorsports community was rocked on Friday, June 19 after news that beloved racer Alex Zanardi had been seriously injured in a hand bike accident in Italy and as of Friday, remains in a medically induced coma.
 
The IndyCar and Paralympics champion made his IMSA debut at Daytona in last year’s Rolex 24, competing in the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE with Team BMW RLL – the same car that took the Rolex 24 victory one year after the No. 25 did the same.
 
While Daytona has brought smiles to their faces the last two trips, it’s a somber return this time around.
 
“First of all, our thoughts are of course with Alex Zanardi and his family as we get ready to restart our season at Daytona,” said John Edwards, who co-drove with Zanardi in 2019. “Alex is the most resilient human being I've ever met and his positivity after the adversity he's faced is inspiring to anyone he's around. 
 
“In terms of our season, it's been strange to lead the championship for half a year after only completing one race, but now we have to earn it again. Daytona in July will be a much different challenge than running in January, with different tire compounds required and a much higher demand on our physical fitness. Our focus now is on the championship so we will be aiming for consistent podiums every weekend as we restart our season.” 
 
More From Montoya
Fourth of July trips to Daytona International Speedway were at one point the norm for Acura Team Penske driver Juan Pablo Montoya. In fact, he did it for seven years straight – in NASCAR.
 
He’s back at it again this weekend in the No. 6 Acura DPi with Dane Cameron, rather than solo in a stock car. In his seven attempts throughout his NASCAR career, Montoya’s best finish was ninth twice (2009, 2011) and the defending co-champion in the WeatherTech Championship DPi class has few concerns, about this race at least.
 
“I’m not too worried about it honestly,” said Montoya earlier this week. “I’ve been doing three-, four-hour bike rides in this heat. I was karting today, and I got in the kart and it said it was 104 degrees and it was fine. The heat doesn’t seem to bother me too much. Living here in Miami, the last few days I’ve been riding road bikes in the morning and mountain bikes in the afternoon. It’s been fine.
 
“I think the harder thing might be the neck. Daytona’s not too bad, so I should be good. I think Sebring in two weeks, the neck is going to be a lot harder because even if you train it and work on it and everything, it’s very tough.”
 
What’s on Tap
Saturday begins with a one-hour, 15-minute practice session at 10:15 a.m. ahead of qualifying at 1:55 p.m. As usual, qualifying sessions will run for 15 minutes per class in the order of GTD, GTLM and DPi. Qualifying will conclude for the DPi class at 3 p.m.
 
Then, it’s time to race.
 
All 26 cars will be gridded at 5:30 and WeatherTech’s David MacNeil will give the command to start engines just past 6 p.m. And make sure to tune in on NBCSN, the NBC Sports App or TrackPass – you won’t want to miss a special gesture that’s set to take place before the green flag at 6:10 p.m.
 

Indian Motorcycle®, America’s First Motorcycle Company, today announced its continued support and sponsorship of the sixth annual Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) to Sturgis. This year, in addition to using the organization’s unique brand of motorcycle therapy to aid combat veterans dealing with PTSD, the veteran-operated, non-profit organization will implement a “service before self” initiative to show appreciation to first responders who have been working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Veteran’s Charity Ride uses “motorcycle therapy,” a proven remedy that provides therapeutic solutions to help fellow veterans move forward and adjust to civilian life. The 2020 ride will include 15 total veterans – nine new veterans, along with six returning veterans who will serve as mentors.

 

"During these extraordinary times, getting our veterans out of the house and supporting them with the liberating power of motorcycle therapy is more important than ever,” said Dave Frey, U.S. Army Veteran and Veterans Charity Ride Founder. “To be able to combine those efforts and honor our selfless and invaluable first responders during this unprecedented pandemic makes this journey even more gratifying. In light of COVID-19, we will be implementing necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy, as we come together to heal and support one another on our ride to the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”

 

This year’s ride to Sturgis will start on July 29, 2020 in Moab, Utah where the group will cruise through the mountainous roads of Utah, stop in the cities of Craig and Fort Collins, Colorado and ride through some of the nation’s most scenic backroads and highways before arriving at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota on August 7, 2020. The travelers will be riding a variety of Indian Motorcycle models, outfitted with ReKluse auto clutch systems and custom-built Champion Sidecars for amputee and paraplegic veterans. The journey provides an experience for veterans to bond by implementing team-building exercises that allow riders to share stories and memories of their service during a two-week, mind-cleansing motorcycle ride.

 

 

 For years, VCR has supported veterans by creating a healing atmosphere through motorcycle riding and camaraderie when stopping at several small towns to commemorate and honor our nation’s veteran heroes. This year, the event will have an added focus on lives outside of veterans, extended to first responders who have courageously held the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. By following strict safety and sanitary guidelines, VCR will extend an additional hand out to these frontline workers by providing personal protection equipment and hosting barbecues at select tour stops.

 

“Our nation’s veterans and healthcare workers are an inspiration, and we’re grateful to be a part of an experience that honors their selflessness and sacrifices for our country,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “We’re honored to continue supporting the Veterans Charity Ride and are humbled by their work and positive impact on our veterans.”

 

The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis was conceived and developed by veteran Army Paratrooper Dave Frey and Emmy Award-winning producer and director Robert Manciero, leveraging the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding to create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans.

 

To support the Veterans Charity Ride, donate, or to learn more visit IndianMotorcycle.com and VeteransCharityRide.org. Riders can also follow along on Indian Motorcycle’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and Veterans Charity Ride’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) announced today in company with Seattle-based Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts (SOVREN) they have affirmed a new date – Labor Day Weekend – for the Portland Vintage Racing Festival. The weekend will also include the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Series. Trans Am was originally scheduled to present their races at Portland International Raceway (PRI) July 24 – 26.

“Like everyone, we are navigating a challenging environment, so we adjust to deliver what is best for everyone involved.” said Tony Parella, SVRA President and CEO and majority owner of the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. “I think we have arrived at a great solution. Andy Collins and the team at SOVREN have been terrific partners in our Portland Vintage Racing Festivals, and I know they will deliver a successful event.”

“We are extremely excited about this new approach and greatly appreciate Tony’s confidence in us,” said SOVREN President Andy Collins. “I want the racing community to know this will be the only vintage races at PIR this year, so this is the big opportunity for racers in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, we get to run with Trans Am – so how cool is that?”

Because of their proximity to PIR, SOVREN will sanction the vintage races during the weekend. The original date was July 23-26. 

Due to COVID-19 regulations in the areas surrounding Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, OH, the promoters of the Lima Half-Mile have had to postpone its doubleheader race dates scheduled for Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1, 2020.
 
American Flat Track is working closely with the promoter, Allen County Fairgrounds and the local health officials to help secure a date that will accommodate its current schedule and provide the best experience for its fans, competitors and staff.
 
Fans who have requested Friday passes have not been charged and will not be charged by the promoter. The promoter of the event is offering fans who hold Saturday (June 27 or August 1) tickets the option to either request a refund or redeem their advance-purchased tickets for the rescheduled event. All ticket-holders will be contacted directly by the Lima Half-Mile promoter.
 
An announcement regarding the updated Lima Half-Mile race dates will be made in the coming weeks.
 
For more information, or to contact the promoter of the Lima Half-Mile, please visit www.limahalfmile.com.
 
We are just one day away from the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona and IMSA transporters, teams and drivers have begun to descend on Daytona Beach, Florida.
 
 
The two-hour, 40-minute race at Daytona International Speedway will be broadcast live this Saturday, July 4, on NBCSN, the NBC Sports App and TrackPass on NBC beginning at 6 p.m. ET. IMSA Radio also will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSARadio.com, in addition to Sirius channel 216, XM 210, Internet 970 for the race.
 
MacNeil: “Rings True” to Have WeatherTech as Race Sponsor
WeatherTech seems to be everywhere this weekend, from the entitlement of the WeatherTech Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup, to the race entitlement sponsor, and to the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.
 
However, based on the company’s brand and values, it’s a perfect fit according to Cooper MacNeil, co-driver of the No. 63 Ferrari and son of WeatherTech Founder and CEO David MacNeil.
 
“We're big on the American theme and manufacturing in America, supporting the American economy and the American worker with tooling, raw tools, raw materials, machinery equipment, you name it,” said MacNeil, who co-drives with Toni Vilander. “To have our name as a title sponsor during the race, the first race back since January, I'll be it on the 4th of July is great for us.
 
“I think that'll be great for us as a brand and it just rings true with the patriotic theme of the company. We have a beautiful new livery on our race car this weekend as well, which I'm pretty thrilled about. The car looks great and she looks even faster, so we're really looking forward to this weekend.”
 
Déjà Vu for Bomarito
He’s at the same race, on the same day and with the same manufacturer as 10 years before. It’s almost like nothing has changed for Jonathan Bomarito. Almost.
 
Instead of being behind the wheel of the No. 70 Mazda RX-8 in the GT class, Bomarito is now in the top DPi class steering the rocket ship No. 55 Mazda DPi. It’s the same car he and co-driver Harry Tincknell made history just one year ago at Watkins Glen International, scoring the manufacturer’s first ever WeatherTech Championship win.
 
Although Saturday’s race wasn’t planned at the start of 2020, Bomarito is happy to be back for another summer run at Daytona.
 
“It's going to be great to be back to the track and doing what we do,” said the longtime Mazda driver. “I’m very excited for that and very excited to be back at Daytona in the summer for the night race. It’s been a long time since that race has happened and it was a great one in the past. I'm excited to be back to do that. I think it's going to be a great show.
 
“The race is going to have a different dynamic. Every time we go to Daytona in the past quite a few years, it's for an extreme endurance race of 24 hours, and now we're going to our sprint race format. So, it'll have a different feel for sure.”
 
Who Was the Overall Leader at Two Hours, 40 Minutes in January?
The No. 77 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi of Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis. And this time, they won’t have to wait another 21 hours and 20 minutes to see the checkered flag.
 
While they went on to finish second, the program experienced a change during the racing hiatus, albeit planned. How do Nunez and Jarvis think their Rolex 24 finish will impact their title hopes? Well, it’s a bit different.
 
“After finishing the 24 this year second, it's the best start we've had in the whole Mazda program from the start of the year,” Nunez said. “It's really a shame that all this happened right after that because for me personally, that's my best finish ever at the 24 Hours at Daytona and having the championship in sight, just to be out of the car for the next three or four months.
 
“We know we have the pace now, we had the reliability to go out and win races and then now championship, hopefully fingers crossed.”
 
“We've shown we've got improved reliability, but for me, I don't look at the championship until after three, four races or under our belt,” Jarvis said. “Now it's about getting individual results. I honestly believe we have a good shot in the championship, but I'll start to look at that in, in two, three, four races time because you need to score points early on in the year that really sets you up.”
 
Still Seeking Corvette’s 100th IMSA Win, Strategy Remains the Same
While Corvette Racing won back-to-back GTLM championships in 2017 and 2018, the program’s last visit to victory lane in a WeatherTech Championship race was the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach at the hands of co-drivers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin in the No. 7 Corvette C7.R.
 
That was IMSA win No. 99 for the team. Will this be the weekend the team eclipses the century mark?
 
Antonio Garcia, co-pilot of the No. 3 Corvette C8.R this year with Jordan Taylor, says the team hasn’t lost sight of that milestone.
 
“I think you need to play every race as a single event and just try to achieve that,” said Garcia. “We had come close to many times with (former co-driver) Jan (Magnussen). It was a little bit frustrating to be second so many times and knowing we could have won many of the races. But I think the approach will be the same: go race-by-race, do our best and if someone else does it better, then we can’t do anything about it.”
 
And despite a seventh-place finish at the Rolex 24 this year, Milner reinforced that mindset.
 
“Just because we had a bad Daytona doesn’t mean we are out of it,” said Milner. “As always, the goal at every weekend especially early on is to finish as high as we possibly can. Winning obviously is No. 1, but getting points is big. That won’t change by any means. There is an expected learning process with the new Corvette. If there is something we can learn early on here that will help us down the road, then we will certainly explore that.” 
 

 

After a delay of nearly four months, the 2020 season of the FIA Formula One World Championship will launch this week with the first of two consecutive weekends of racing in Austria.

 

ESPN begins its third consecutive year of coverage with expanded offerings, a new availability for Spanish-speaking fans and a continuation of commercial-free race telecasts.

 

The Formula 1 Rolex Austrian Grand Prix from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. will air Sunday, July 5, at 9:05 a.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The Grand Prix Sunday pre-race show (formerly On the Grid, now expanded to one hour) will precede the race at 8 a.m. on ESPN. Live coverage of the weekend’s three practice sessions and qualifying also will air on ESPN or ESPN2.

 

On the heels of double-digit television viewership growth in the United States over the past two seasons, ESPN and Formula 1 forged a new agreement last fall that will keep the Championship on ESPN and ABC through 2022. F1 returned to the ESPN networks in 2018.

 

As an additional element of the new deal, ESPN Deportes is now the exclusive Spanish-language home for all Formula 1 races in the U.S. Spanish-language coverage of F1 races, qualifying and practice sessions will be made available to fans on the ESPN Deportes television network and other ESPN platforms all season.

 

Once again in 2020, the race telecasts will be presented commercial-free with sponsorship from Mothers Polish, which signed a new, three-year agreement with ESPN. The expanded new deal also includes presenting sponsorship of practice and qualifying telecasts.  

 

ESPN is again teaming with Sky Sports and Formula 1 to bring Sky Sports’ award-winning presentation of Formula 1 racing to American viewers. Sky’s Welcome to the Weekend program, which will air on ESPN2 for both Austria events leading into the weekend’s first practice session, returns this year with a race preview, driver interviews and commentary and analysis from the Sky team. The Austrian edition of the program airs on Friday, July 3, at 4:30 a.m. with replays available on the ESPN App.

 

After the Formula 1 Rolex Austrian Grand Prix, Formula 1 will return to the Red Bull Ring for the Formula 1 Pirelli Styrian Prix July 10-12.

 

Formula 1 returned to its original U.S. television home in 2018 – the first race ever aired in the country was on ABC in 1962. F1 races also aired on ESPN from 1984-1997.

 

ESPN’s coverage of Formula 1 also includes a dedicated website that reports on the championship year-round.

 

Formula 1 Rolex Austrian Grand Prix

 

Date

Program

Start Time

Network

Friday, July 3

Welcome to the Weekend

4:30 a.m.

ESPN2

 

Practice 1

4:55 a.m.

ESPN2

 

Practice 2

8:55 a.m.

ESPN2

Saturday, July 4

Practice 3

5:55 a.m.

ESPN2

 

Qualifying

8:55 a.m.

ESPN

Sunday, July 5

Grand Prix Sunday

8 a.m.

ESPN

 

Spanish language telecast

8:30 a.m.

ESPN Deportes

 

Race

9:05 a.m.

ESPN

 

 

Formula 1 Pirelli Styrian Grand Prix

 

Date

Program

Start Time

Network

Friday, July 10

Welcome to the Weekend

4:30 a.m.

ESPN2

 

Practice 1

4:55 a.m.

ESPN2

 

Practice 2

8:55 a.m.

ESPN2

Saturday, July 11

Practice 3

5:55 a.m.

ESPN2

 

Qualifying

8:55 a.m.

ESPN

Sunday, July 12

Grand Prix Sunday

8 a.m.

ESPN

 

Spanish language telecast

8:30 a.m.

ESPN Deportes

 

Race

9:05 a.m.

ESPN

 

(all times Eastern) (All telecasts also streaming live and available for replay on the ESPN App)

 

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