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
Conditions were perfect for the 6thAnnual Bright House Super Boat National Championships this past weekend. With the exciting 3-race format, lasting hours into the sunny afternoon, Superboat Class winner Team STIHL took home first place and the National Championship title. This race exhibited rollovers and spin-outs which ultimately left the crowds in awe as these powerful boats raced up and down Clearwater Beach.
With the growth of the Superboat class, President and founder of Super Boat International (SBI), John Carbonell, is encouraged by the direction it is headed. “We have been working hard to really grow this class to be our premier class. First, it is economical for the teams, very competitive among our professional drivers and it’s the staple twin-hull catamaran that fans are used to seeing. When you saw the action in this race nearly on every turn, its what the fans want to see. And now we have grown the number of boats in that class so that we can run a stand-alone race and make a show of it. Everyone seems to love it,” comments Carbonell.
Team STIHL owner, JR Noble, was pleased with his win. “We came and won the National title and we are extremely happy about that, but what was even more exciting is the competition and fun we had racing the other teams. It’s so exciting out there, you just can beat it anywhere.” Team Broadco was close all year with a victory in Michigan City and close second place finishes. This race they saw despair as they spun out on the last lap and saw the chance for a win slip through their hands. The team was fine, but their boat saw major damage that will have to be repaired before the Key West World Championships.
Miss GEICO Racing, the popular favorite among new and old fans alike, saw a rough start to the weekend but took first place in the Superboat Unlimited Class. After testing on Saturday, the team saw some mechanical issues that required a late night to repair the boat and get it ready for Sunday’s race. After a strong team effort, the familiar neon yellow catamaran was in the race putting on a show.
The Hulk in the Super Stock Class took a win and the National Title as well during the Championship weekend. This class with their twin outboard engines always makes the crowd on the beaches stand up and cheer. Another team that ran all season with SBI and saw some great action wins in the win column is Team Black Pearl. With 6 wins on the season, the unique paint scheme and familiar vee design stole the show in the Manufacturer P3 Class this season.Other class winners included; Hooters/Instigator (Superboat Extreme), Absolutley Not (Superboat Vee) and Two Cruel (P4).
The local Clearwater event producers, Frank Chivas and Brian Aungst, delivered another remarkable event that was supported by a great sponsor, Brighthouse and an entire team that helped put on the National Championship event. Chivas commented, “It was a really good event, lots of fans on the beaches, in hotels, on spectator boats and the team that is here working behind the scenes did a great job. I know I appreciate what they do and what it means to the city of Clearwater. Brian and I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s time and commitment.”
If you missed the action from the 6th Annual Super Boat National Championships this past weekend, you can watch it here on livestream athttp://new.livestream.com/sbi/clearwater2014.
The next race on the Super Boat circuit is the 34th Annual Key West World Championships, the week of November 2nd - 9th. Join us in Key West, Florida or watch it live online at http://new.livestream.com/sbi/keywest014.
Lucas Oil - Superboat Unlimited
Instigator – Superboat Extreme
Team STIHL – Superboat
Absolutely Not – Superboat Vee
The Hulk – Super Stock
Black Pearl – P3
Two Cruel – P4
Results of Top Three by Class (Clearwater Beach): (Complete List Click Here)
1. Miss Geico
2. Lucas Oil
1. Hooters / Instigator
2. Twisted Metal Motorsports
3. Racing For Cancer
1. Absolutely Not
2. Sun Print
1. The Hulk Redline Oil
2. SOS Venezula
3. Turtle Cove Marina
Manufacturer Production 3
1. Black Pearl
2. Team Kilt
3. 2nd Amendment
Manufacturer Production 4
1. Two Cruel
2. Jeffs Phantom
3. Rum Runners
Super Boat International (SBI) is the leading North American professional powerboat organization founded by John Carbonell. Teams from all around the world compete April through October in the National Series Points races and conclude in November for the famous Key West World Championships. SBI produces weeklong race events including entertainment, kilo races and distance records throughout the United States, South America and the Bahamas. Races include the World’s fastest Vee-bottom and Catamaran style powerboats, reaching speeds in excess of 200 mph.
Landy did not lead the most laps of the race in his No. 49 Excitations.com/Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5, but he led the most important one – the last lap. The race, which averaged 81.243 mph around the 12-turn, 2.54-mile circuit, was a wild one at the front.
Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup Moves to Kansas
Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS., will host Race No. 4 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s 10-race version of the playoffs, on Sunday, Oct. 5, and ESPN will have a live telecast of the 400-mile race. NASCAR Countdown airs at 1 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 2:16 p.m. All Chase races feature NASCAR NonStop, a split-screen commercial format, during the second half of the race telecast. The race will air in Spanish on ESPN Deportes on Oct. 6 at 5 a.m. Extended post-race will air on ESPN SportsCenter with analyst Ricky Craven in the studio and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards providing additional analysis from the track. ESPN2 also will air NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Kansas on Friday, Oct. 3, at 5:30 p.m. The track also will hold a 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Oct. 4, and the race will air live on ESPN at 3:30 p.m., with the green flag at 3:46 p.m. ESPN Deportes will air the race at 4 a.m. on Oct. 5. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Nationwide Series practice on Friday at 4 p.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider.
NHRA Countdown Continues at Reading
The Countdown to the Championship for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues Oct. 3-5 at one of the series’ traditional venues, Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. Qualifying and eliminations for the NHRA Nationals action will air on ESPN2 and ESPN3. All NHRA programming on ESPN networks is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider. The schedule:
Friday, Oct. 3
Sunday, Oct. 5
Lucas Oil Series (Dallas)
Motorsports on Other ESPN Platforms
ESPN.com — RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, Oct. 5, RacingLive! Kansas will coincide with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Kansas Speedway. Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/.
Returning for its 13th season in 2014, the Summit Racing Equipment SuperSeries presented by AMSOIL and the Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster SuperSeries presented by AMSOIL are once again taking the spotlight.
With one of the most lucrative prize packages in sportsman drag racing today and a racer base that has grown exponentially over the past decade, the 2014 SuperSeries programs will once again award championships in the Top, Mod and Junior Dragster categories in addition to handing out over $240,000 in cash and prizes to racers from all corners of the world at the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway the weekend of October 10-11.
And once again, taking center stage this year is the prize package awarded to the winners of the three classes. The Top ET and Junior Dragster champions will both take home brand new dragsters courtesy of TNT Supercars and JR Race Car, while the Mod ET champion will take home a brand new race trailer courtesy of Performax Trailers. Additional prizes will be awarded to all three champions in Memphis.
In 2014, the SuperSeries championship dragsters will feature an elaborate design provided by Imagine That Customs in conjunction with Summit Racing Equipment and a race-ready setup with parts donated by many of today's leading racecar parts manufacturers. The Top prize dragster will be built by TNT Supercars based out of Forney, Texas with a 572 big block Chevrolet engine provided by Trick Flow Specialties powering it down the track. The Junior Dragster will be built by JR Race Car based in Greeley, Colorado. The Mod ET champion will take home a brand new custom 26' trailer from Performax Trailers and a prize package totaling nearly $10,000.
The two turn-key dragsters and race trailer are just part of the amazing prize package that the winners of the Top, Mod and Junior Dragster classes will take home in 2014. Each prize package includes $10,000 for the championships in Top and Mod and $3,000 for winning the championship in Junior Dragster. The packages also include a number of additional prizes, including a week-long vacation package to Aruba, a championship-edition Ironman and champion's ring.
The Summit SuperSeries is the IHRA's most prestigious sportsman program designed to reward local bracket racers with an opportunity to compete on the biggest stage in racing. Providing the base for the program are the more than 100 IHRA member tracks in seven divisions. Drivers compete year-round at their local track for an opportunity to represent their home track at the Summit Team Finals. Once at the Team Finals level, drivers then compete against track champions from other IHRA facilities for the right to go to the World Finals and compete for the World Championship in their respective class.
The Summit SuperSeries championship race will take place at Memphis International Raceway during the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals the weekend of October 10-11. The race will be part of a massive race weekend that will include the Summit Tournament of Champions and the finale of the Nitro Jam professional series.
For more information on the Summit SuperSeries, visit www.ihra.com.
Performance Tech Motorsports had a spectacular qualifying effort followed by a Race 1 filled with mixed emotions at Road Atlanta in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda competition.
Joel Janco in the team's No. 25 car celebrated on the Lites 1 Masters podium with a third-place finish. He finished sixth overall from a ninth-place starting position, his best qualifying effort this year.
Janco gained two positions at the start by maneuvering around other competitors. He chased and passed McKay Snow with 10 minutes left in the 30-minute race to finish sixth overall. Janco accomplished this while fighting the car, which was shutting off through the race.
"It was really a great race," Janco said. "It's fun to be back on podium, and I'm happy that I'm with Performance Tech. They really do a great job."
Janco was pleased with his performance, but Team Principal Brent O'Neill sought a little more from his cars so his drivers could enjoy the view from the top step of the podium.
"Not the race we wanted overall," O'Neill said. "Joel has been fast here since Tuesday when we tested; he had a great race. We should have finished higher with him. He was fighting with the car; it kept shutting off on him. He had to reach down and just restart it as he went. But he overcame it, finished sixth, and that was a good finish for him."
Robert Alon in the No. 9 car did not fare as well as his teammate. Alon, who will finish his first season in Prototype Lites this weekend, had an inspiring run at the start of the race. He took the car from fourth to second with smooth passes that would convince any spectator he was no rookie.
As Alon reeled in leader Matt McMurry, his car suddenly became imbalanced. The right front wheel was no longer touching the ground, and he was forced to pit immediately, ending his race early.
"We had been fast all week," Alon said. "Performance Tech did a great job with the car. It felt great going around the track. The car was really in tune with how the track flows. Road Atlanta has a lot of sweeping corners, and I enjoy tracks like this more. We got up to second place, but then we had an issue with the back left pushrod, and that was that. We'll get at it again tomorrow."
O'Neill hoped to see his rookie Alon earn his first win.
"The situation with Robert, you know he was fast, but I don't have a crystal ball to predict a pushrod fail. It's unfortunate; it could have been driver error or possibly the car. He was doing really well, and I think he would have caught McMurry had that not happened."
Race 2 will take place at 9 a.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 3. It's the final race of the season.
Pro Stock's Dave Connolly surging in 200 MPH category heading to Maple Grove Raceway for NHRA Nationals
The goal for every team in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is to peak at the perfect time, which means during the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship for everyone chasing a world title.
After building up to it all season, nobody has done a better job of that in Pro Stock through the halfway point of the Countdown than Dave Connolly. The winner of back-to-back events to jump up to second in the points standings in his Charter Communications Chevy Camaro, Connolly will look to make it three straight wins at this weekend’s 30th annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
It’s also been a total team effort recently for Connolly and the Gray Motorsports team as well, as the three-car trio of Jonathan Gray, Shane Gray and Connolly has combined for all three Countdown wins in Pro Stock and a total of five final round appearances. That bodes well for Connolly heading into one of quickest and fastest strips on the NHRA circuit.
“I can’t say enough about the Gray Motorsports team and organization, from day one that it was assembled,” Connolly said. “It took us a little while to jell but things are cooking. Team chemistry is high and that’s huge, and we’re doing a good job on Sundays, which is really important. Mentally, yeah, I’m in the best state of mind that I have been in a while.”
Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. It is the fourth of six events in the Countdown playoffs.
Connolly’s back-to-back wins in Dallas and St. Louis sent him from sixth to second in points and he now trails series leader Jason Line, whom he beat in a massive final-round matchup in St. Louis, by just 26 points heading into the final three events of the Countdown. Connolly, who has 26 career wins, knows there is still plenty of work to be done but likes the direction he is headed while in search of his first world championship.
“It’s just going to be not getting ahead of yourself,” Connolly said. “Winning last week in St. Louis was a huge win for this team. I was about as excited for that win as I have been in a long time because I knew what was at stake. To keep the championship within reach, we had to stop Jason, so that win was big for us. At the end of the day, we’re still playing catch up but it kept our championship hopes alive. You just have to ride those highs. It’s a very humbling sport and it can turn on you at any time. We’re just living in the moment and enjoying the wins as they come.”
The wave of momentum couldn’t be higher for Connolly, who now has three victories in 2014, and the Gray Motorsports team. Shane Gray won the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, kicking off a string of four straight victories by the team. Shane Gray is now third in points and Jonathan Gray, who picked up his first career victory at the opening event in the Countdown, is fifth.
That support has made a big difference during a crucial time and Connolly couldn’t be more pleased with how things have come together.
“That’s impressive to me, four wins in a row by three different drivers,” Connolly said. “It tells you the depth of Gray Motorsports. I’m just having a blast racing with them this year. We did sacrifice every once in a while, just trying to learn some things. We’re kind of a young team still, and there’s a bunch of us that have been out here a while but we’re learning to race the racetrack. The whole team is going in the same direction.”
That will mean preparing for a quick and fast racetrack this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway. But that’s just fine for Connolly, who has two wins and four final round appearances at the facility.
Of course, dealing with a loaded Pro Stock field will provide plenty of challenges. Coughlin defeated teammate Allen Johnson to win at Maple Grove Raceway last year en route to his fifth world championship while other Countdown contenders include Line, Erica Enders-Stevens, V Gaines, Vincent Nobile and Chris McGaha.
“Yeah, I look forward to going to Reading,” Connolly said. “We’ve had a lot of success there and it’s just one of the tracks that you have that welcome home feeling I think being in the championship chase is bringing out the best in me, and it’s just rejuvenating and exciting. The worst thing a racer can do is go through the motions with the championship on the line. That's not happening here.”
In Top Fuel, Langdon won in Reading last year en route to his first career world championship title. Standing in his way of a repeat title is a host of star challengers including red-hot points leader Tony Schumacher, who won the first two races of the Countdown and also has four wins at Maple Grove Raceway, Doug Kalitta, who has advanced to nine finals in 2014, Antron Brown, who ended a brief slump with a win at the most recent event in St. Louis, Spencer Massey, Brittany Force, 2012 winner Khalid alBalooshi, rookie Richie Crampton, who won the U.S. Nationals, surging Steve Torrence and rising star J.R. Todd.
In Funny Car one year ago, Force won in Reading and set the stage for him to claim his 16th world championship title. Force, the current points leader, has raced to seven career victories at Maple Grove Raceway, most all-time for a driver in any professional class. Standing in his way of another championship are teammate Robert Hight and Courtney Force, who has two straight playoff victories to move to second, as well as Matt Hagan, Ron Capps, three-time season winner Alexis DeJoria, Cruz Pedregon, Tommy Johnson Jr., Tim Wilkerson and Del Worsham.
Smith was victorious at Reading in Pro Stock Motorcycle last season en route to his second championship. Smith is looking for his first win of 2014 while teammates Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec have been the class of the Pro Stock Motorcycle field during the regular season. Hines is the points leader in the two-wheel category, while Krawiec is second. Others nipping at Hines’ heels in hopes of a championship are Angie Smith, Hector Arana Jr., Hector Arana, Michael Ray, Scotty Pollacheck, John Hall and Steve Johnson. Reading's winningest PSM rider, Angelle Sampey, also will be making her return to the track where she's had so much success. She will be riding the Star Racing Buell for George Bryce.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
The event will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, Oct. 3, with sessions at 1:15 and 4:15 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Oct. 4, at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5.
Koch, driving his No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5, proved to be the class of the field after setting the fastest and second-quickest qualifying lap of the 30-minute session. Koch’s pole-winning time for Thursday’s race was 1:40.056 (91.387 mph) around the 12-turn, 2.54-mile racetrack.
Élan Technologies produces the DP02 chassis for the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, a key developmental step on the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) ladder to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
The car and its Mazda engine and Cooper Tires are the technical foundation of the official IMSA Development Series, providing a competitive platform for drivers to hone their skills and learn the techniques of handling a high-downforce prototype chassis. Élan has produced more than 50 chassis for the series, extending its lineage of speed, reliability and cost effectiveness.
Dan Skill, the general manager of Élan Technologies, discussed the company's history with the chassis, its design and development, influence on the company's other products and more in this interview.
This is a busy week for Élan, which is based near Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., site of the 17th annual Petit Le Mans TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event Oct. 1-4. The final two rounds of the 2014 Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series will take place Oct. 2-3 during the event.
Q: Talk about the progression of the DP02 project since Élan first started building the cars in 2005. What have been the most significant challenges and surprises in engineering and evolution?
Dan Skill: The first Prototype Lites racing season was in 2006. As adopted, the car has remained largely unchanged partly because it is a spec series and partly because the original design was executed so well. Yes, there have been mods along the way; carbon tunnels replaced flat fiberglass floors, wheel louvers were added, and other minor tweaks were made to the original design. Many of the mods came from customers' ideas. However, the essence of the original design is still very much intact, which we feel validates the original design. We believe this provides a superior racing experience for the money.
Q: Drivers talk about how much fun the DP02 is to drive, while teams talk about the ease of working on the car. Was that the original design goal, and how hard was it to achieve that? How much of that was reached through the original design and how much through continued refinement?
DS: The original design goal was a rich and safe driving experience for a wide range of drivers. As originally intended, the car has been a good development vehicle for drivers looking for that next stepping stone in sports car racing.
We always like hearing how much our customers enjoy the car. It reflects how well our design and manufacturing processes work.
The basis of good design, whether a race car or any product, is a thorough understanding of what the customer seeks to accomplish.
Once that vetting is complete, the design commences. Our design process is not unlike that followed by aerospace engineers when designing a new plane. Both are high-performance machines with advanced systems operating in harsh and high-stress environments with assemblies and sub-assemblies that must inter-relate flawlessly to satisfy the customer's needs and keep the pilot safe. The physics are much the same, including loads, strength-to-weight ratios, horsepower-to-weight ratios, lift, drag, airflow, lateral G-forces, angle of attack and more. It's very much like designing a small high-performance airplane, even to the point of relying on Daniel Bernoulli's principles regarding wings, airflow and low pressure zones affecting lift.
When it all comes together, when properly designed and built, you have a machine that performs at the highest levels. If our customers are enjoying the experience, then we did our job. And, from everything I hear, and you too, apparently, our customers love driving this car. That, and the fact that it's a very safe machine, is all that matters.
The challenge is to keep the experience relevant, fun and exciting. Over time, change is inevitable, and competition drives advancement and change. It's the same for racing. As racing changes, we must change, and our car must change. This is about the continued refinement you mentioned. No matter how good the original design, time marches on. We cannot remain static.
The DP02 IMSA Prototype Lites car has been running in the series for, I believe, nine years. We've seen many technological advancements, and we have advanced, as well. For example, we recently worked with our distributor, Carl Haas Auto, and IMSA to offer paddle shift as an option within the series. Most of the competitors in this IMSA Lites series have adopted the new system and are seeing good results.
Q: What has Élan learned from the DP02 that can apply to its other current chassis or future projects?
DS: Generally, our policy is to not discuss future projects. We listen to our customers and have integrated some of their ideas in our future thinking.
The DP02 is a hand-built race car and not mass-produced. We currently are completing chassis No. 52. One of the lessons we would take into any new project would be improved design technologies that are more common today. These do not affect the performance of the car but improve the "behind the scenes" issues faced by race teams and mechanics. We recognize body fitment can be more labor intensive than necessary. As with any hand-assembled product, especially one this complex, tolerance stack can be a challenge.
A solution we foresee is to refresh the look of the car to give it some updated lines while improving the user-friendliness for mechanics. Redesigning the body panels solves some issues for teams, updates the look for fans and young, aspiring drivers, and might make it a bit more slippery aerodynamically.
Q: What about the DP02 project challenged Élan the most, and what about the series makes it a good showcase for Élan's technology and products?
DS: Our biggest challenge came when Mazda became a series sponsor. The Mazda sponsorship is a good thing, but it happened very quickly and we found ourselves in a bit of a thrash to move from the Duratec 2.3L to the MZR 2.0L engine. We had to react quickly and were faced with the development of a new engine, specifying and ordering parts, taking delivery and then building roughly 30 engines. It was a challenge.
Again, in motorsports we adapt to changing conditions and can't afford to waste time. I think running a race team through the early years of our company - many of those employees are still with us - influences our culture to this day. We are solution finders who will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Regarding the series and why it is a good showcase for our products, the drivers who have won the IMSA Lites Championship and moved on to higher levels of racing can better tell you why this is a good showcase for our technology. Ask those champions who now drive PC or P2 cars about their experiences. To this day, they still enjoy getting in our cars.
Beyond the drivers, IMSA takes us to the best tracks in North America. On the right tracks where downforce in the corners can be a real advantage, we shine. The DP02 is capable of running lap times within mere seconds of cars that cost two to three times as much as ours. Drivers exiting their first DP02 drive are amazed at the amount of downforce this car generates, the cornering abilities, and their feel for every nuance of the road. Drivers at the highest levels tell me how much fun they have driving our cars. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, "This car is the best kept secret in motorsports."
Q: What's the future for this car? Any refinements or updates for this chassis in 2015 and beyond?
DS: We are always interested in improving our products. Products must evolve. According to our customers, Élan's DP02 is a very good car, "a real race car" to quote one new customer. So, mechanically it is a solid platform. However, every product has opportunities for improvement. As we discussed, we would like to improve the body fit and look of the car. However, this is a spec series, so IMSA must agree.
Q: What aspect or feature of this car has created the most pride for Élan?
DS: We have a lot to be proud of, but I think you might be surprised to learn what we're most proud of with the DP02. First and foremost, our DP02 cars have helped develop great drivers. Other cars we have built, and we have built hundreds, have won their classes at LeMans, the Indianapolis 500, and have won major races and championships at the best tracks, with the best drivers, around the world. Élan has supported several race series throughout its history, and being selected as the chassis supplier is reason to be proud. But in the end, we are most proud of our outstanding safety record. It eclipses all of our technology and accomplishments.
Sverre Isachsen scored Subaru Rally Team USA’s first-ever Red Bull Global Rallycross victory in front of a sellout crowd at DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie, WA, in Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle. Isachsen, a three-time European rallycross champion, earned the victory over new series points leader Joni Wiman, and Brian Deegan.
“It is really important for the team,” said Isachsen. “We never gave up on developing this car—it takes time. You do something wrong, but then you do something right, and then of course today we had a fast car. It’s huge for everybody, all the Subaru guys.”
A thrilling main event saw points leader Ken Block, starting from pole, clip a barrier upon entering the joker lane in the first corner, allowing Isachsen to get by while Block bounced into two-time series champion Tanner Foust. Wiman, who started from the outside front row and elected to save his joker, fought his way back into second place to take his third consecutive podium finish.
“We worked hard, and the second half of the season has been really good,” Wiman said. “It’s amazing to lead the championship. I’m so happy and it feels amazing, and I want to go!”
In GRC Lites, Mitchell DeJong clinched the 2014 championship by virtue of starting the event, mathematically eliminating all other drivers from contention. The 17-year-old celebrated in the best way possible by earning his sixth victory and third perfect weekend (he was fastest in qualifying and the winner of both of his heats) of the year. Austin Cindric and Alejandro Fernandez completed the podium.
Full results from Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle are as follows:
1. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
2. Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
3. Brian Deegan, #38 Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST
4. Nelson Piquet Jr., #75 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
5. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
6. Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo
7. Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
8. David Higgins, #715 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
9. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
10. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
11. Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
12. Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
13. Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
14. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
Unofficial points through nine of 10 rounds are as follows:
1. Joni Wiman, 332 points
2. Ken Block, 320
3. Nelson Piquet Jr., 304
4. Scott Speed, 303
5. Sverre Isachsen, 247
The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion will be crowned at Brands Hatch this October (11/12) where there will be three BTCC races, and you can save up to £13 on the gate price by purchasing tickets in advance.
With just one meeting remaining, 2009 titlist Colin Turkington (BMW) heads double champion Jason Plato (MG) and 2012 winner Gordon Shedden (Honda). The Ulsterman is favourite to take the crown but Plato and Shedden won't give up in their efforts to deny him and the races on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit are expected to be as fierce as ever!
With 31 cars and many potential race winners, the 2014 BTCC season has been one of the hardest-fought and this is your last chance to see this year's grid. You'll also see champions crowned in the supporting Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Renault UK Clio Cup, Ginetta Juniors, Ginetta GT Supercup and Formula Ford races.
To buy tickets for the BTCC season finale at Brands Hatch, call 0843 453 9000 or click here to buy now. Remember - kids under 13 go free.