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.
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Hayes, Beaubier swap thrilling SuperBike victories at Mid-Ohio
SuperBike fans in attendance at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and watching the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend live on FansChoice.tv were treated to a pair classic AMA Pro SuperBike showdowns on Sunday. With Saturday a wash due to uncooperative weather and the complete race program reconfigured to be contested the following day, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammates Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubier squared off twice in the span of just hours on Sunday.
39-year-old three-time champion Hayes and 21-year-old class rookie Beaubier took both battles down to the wire. In each outing, Beaubier leveraged his compact size and light weight to assume the lead with a draft pass down the back straight and held the lead entering that decisive final circulation. And both times Hayes attempted an infrequently executed inside maneuver in the double-apex Turn 10-11 section.
In the morning contest, Beaubier immediately countered Hayes' attack and slashed right back to the inside to reclaim the position ahead of Hayes, who couldn't hold his line tight enough to solidify the spot. The reigning AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike king held on from there to win by 0.293 seconds.
"I wanted to win it if the opportunity presented itself but I can't be silly either," said Hayes. "I don't like thinking about championships, but you know... I was trying to be careful, but if he gave me a chance take it. I did on the last lap - took one shot at him on the last lap and I think if it had been anybody else, it would have been a little bit closer of a pass. I wanted to make sure I got all the way through to make sure we got through the corner clean. And I overshot it enough that he could zip past through."
The triumph was the third of Beaubier's young AMA Pro SuperBike career.
"It feels great to be able to beat Josh after a really good battle," said Beaubier. "I know he has the championship probably in the back of his head, but I was pushing hard. I was honestly a little nervous going into this race just because of the lack of track time.
"I had the intention to push the last three laps but I made a few mistakes and ran wide here and there. I knew I wasn't going to break him, obviously, so I was just kind of trying to ride protective - brake a little harder going into the corners, try and not use the whole track, and go up the inside of a lot of corners. I knew he was a little stronger than me in on the brakes in the hard-braking zones so I was trying to do my best right there.
"He did sneak up on me and caught me by surprise. I saw him run a little wide so I stayed out a little wide and cut pretty hard on the inside. It was a good clean race and it was fun."
The second time around, Hayes pressed the issue and came in a little harder in the same 10-11 section. Beaubier was forced into second place but he didn't give up despite a lack of prime passing opportunities from there to the checkered flag. Hayes worked hard to block Beaubier's attempts to come back by but he made a significant mistake in the Carousel just prior to the final short chute to the stripe while riding in that defensive manner. That prevented the Mississippian from getting an ideal launch to the flag, while the Californian - who drifted out wide to best power out of the corner - nailed his exit. The No. 2 YZF-R1 pulled right alongside the No. 4 YZF-R1 as the two took the flag.
The race was nearly too close to call. Initially, the transponder data indicated that Beaubier had won by 0.001 seconds but the photo finish proved that Hayes the victor by that same scant margin. The photo of the finish showed a barely visible gap between the two riders' front tires.
"I was pretty sloppy in the Carousel but I thought I had it because there are really no passing opportunities," Hayes said. "I was just trying to get back to the inside and I ended up losing the front and really botching the last two corners. I never upshifted, I just held second and hit the rev limiter at the line. When I glanced over I actually thought Cameron had got me, but it was too hard to tell right at the line. I was pretty relieved to get to the podium and find out I had won the race. I wanted to win it really bad and I had a lot of fun racing with Cam."
The win was the 47th of Hayes' SuperBike career and his eleventh regardless of class at Mid-Ohio, making him the all-time winningest rider in AMA Pro action at the venue.
While Beaubier came up just inches short of claiming the double, he did well to demonstrate he's back to full strength after suffering from a bout of lost confidence due to some mid-season crashes.
"Josh made a hard, clean pass on me," Beaubier said. "After that I was just looking for any way I could to get around him. He was braking pretty deep trying to not give it away. I tried to set him up coming off the last corner and I didn't know who won. Regardless who won today, it was a great race. It's kind of crazy not knowing who won until we came into pitlane."
Hayes came into Mid-Ohio with a 40-point advantage and his 2-1 means that advantage remains unchanged as a result of second-ranked Beaubier's 1-2. With just the New Jersey Motorsports Park doubleheader remaining, all Hayes needs to do is pick up a minimum of 20 points (which could come in a variety of fashions, from a single third to a pair of finishes just outside the top ten) and he'll join Mat Mladin as the only riders to ever win at least four AMA Pro SuperBike titles.
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Roger Hayden picked up a pair of podium finishes at Mid-Ohio but found it difficult to smile too much afterward. The Kentuckian had pushed Hayes for wins at the track in recent seasons and was not pleased to have finished more than ten seconds off the win in the first race, and more than 20 in the second.
"I hung on for a while but I started to make some mistakes," Hayden said after the first race. "I was having trouble getting my bike into the corner and was missing my apex in a couple spots. A little over half way they started pulling away and I didn't want to crash and lose my data for the next race so I kind of put it on cruise control so we could make the bike a little better for the second race. That race was really our first real practice being here on the new bike."
After the completion of the second race, Hayden wasn't as content with just a podium spot.
"Third place is not bad when you're battling for the win but when you're however many seconds back it's not very satisfying. I don't know..." Hayden said. "I'm having trouble keeping up off the corners and on the straights. I'm just riding so far above what I can do every lap and I just start making mistakes. We have some tests lined up and we need to make things a little better and hopefully at New Jersey make a race out of it. It's kind of embarrassing to finish that far back in two races in one day."
KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore was the next most successful racer on the weekend with a pair of lonely rides - one to fifth and the next to fourth. Hayden's works Suzuki teammate, Martin Cardenas, had the speed to claim to fourths at worst, however, he nearly crashed multiple times en route to fourth in the opening race and then did crash out in the second.
"The first race was not what I wanted," Cardenas said. "We were hoping to get on the podium. I was going good, but then I had a few moments with the bike and almost highsided three times in a lap and a half, I so slowed down and I ended up fourth. In Race 2, we made some changes, and the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working good for the first few laps. Then, when I was on the brakes, I hit a small bump and lost the front end and that was the end of my race. I'm pretty disappointed with that, but now we'll get ready for New Jersey and try to do better."
Cardenas' continued struggles see him facing rather long odds to even break into the championship top five at the NJMP finale. It's looking more and more likely that fourth and fifth will fall to ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony and Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Chris Clark, although in which order is still very much in doubt.
Clark made up some ground on Anthony in Ohio, taking sixth and fifth place finishes after being relegated to ninth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Anthony, meanwhile, struggled with his electronics as a result of the limited track time. In the end, he simply turned them off and did the best he could, claiming two sevenths.
Anthony is still fourth in points, although Clark is now just eleven back in fifth.
"In the first race, I focused on putting in solid laps and was able to get up to sixth," Clark said. "I had a little better start in the second race and we had a pretty good pace. I was happy to bounce back from Laguna and finish in the top five. Now I'm looking forward to New Jersey and finishing in the top five for the year."
Home track favorite Larry Pegram and TOBC Racing's Taylor Knapp scrapped with Clark and Anthony in Ohio. Pegram was regularly able to make up ground in the twisty sections of the layout aboard his Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing EBR 1190RS but struggled to match the outright speed of the big fours on the critical long straight.
He ended up eighth in the first race and then suffered a mechanical issue in the second while caged up in a similar predicament. Knapp stepped forward and pushed Clark in the second contest, ultimately taking the flag in sixth.
"I couldn't get past Chris Clark or Dave Anthony," Pegram said. "I kind of caught them but couldn't pass them. In the second race I got a much better start but got stuck behind Clark again. His bike just has much better top speed than ours, and really, the only place to pass is at the end of the back straight. I actually passed Chris three times and he just came by me down the back straightaway. Then with a couple laps to go we just had a little problem with the thing so that was it."
GEICO Motorcycle Racing Honda's Chris Ulrich (8-9) and Babuska Racing's Frankie Babuska (10-10) both took a pair of top 10s at Mid-Ohio, while Team AMSOIL Hero EBR's Cory West broke in as well in the afternoon race, finishing ninth.
Following the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series' Indianapolis doubleheader Aug. 9-10, the AMA Pro Road Racing season will come to its conclusion and the 2014 champions will be decided at the Kawasaki Devil's Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey on September 13-14.
FansChoice.tv is the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site also provides coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
Washougal Set to Honor America's Service Men and Women on Saturday as Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Returns West
The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, is preparing to descend into its final month of competition this weekend as the world's fastest riders make their anticipated return out west and the annual visit to the scenic Pacific Northwest. The Motosport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson CAT, will serve as the ninth round of the season this Saturday, July 26, and in an effort to add to the excitement of the series' anticipated return to Washougal MX Park, the Huffman family has introduced a "Celebrate Our Heroes" theme to the festivities, honoring all of our country's service men and women.
Live broadcast coverage from Washougal begins Saturday, July 26, at 4 p.m. ET with the first motos of the 450 and 250 Classes on MAVTV, followed by final moto coverage of both classes on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) at 6 p.m. ET.
Additionally, all the action can be seen as it happens online via live stream atProMotocross.com (first motos) and NBC Sports Live Extra (second motos).
Washougal will honor our military on Saturday with a "Celebrate Our Heroes" theme.
In the spirit of the afternoon, fans, riders and teams are all expected to be adorned in their patriotic best, whether it's camouflage or the iconic combination of red, white and blue. This atmosphere will only add to the excitement out on the track as the championship battles in both the 450 Class and 250 Class prepare to hit the home stretch. While both Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin both hold comfortable leads over their championship rivals in each respective title fight, with four rounds and eight motos still remaining, anything can still happen and neither championship is even close to being decided.
Last weekend at Spring Creek, Roczen knew he would have to fend off a significant challenge from his teammate Ryan Dungey who was returning to his home track with considerable momentum after a big win at Budds Creek the week prior. In the end Roczen weathered the storm and lost just two points to Dungey in the championship, but his unblemished record of finishing on the podium in every moto came to an end in his 16th attempt. Despite the addition of a season-worst result of fourth to Roczen's totals this summer, he still maintains an incredible 1.75 average and carries a 24-point advantage into Washougal.
Considering Roczen's worst outing of the season thus far swung just two points into Dungey's favor, the former two-time series champ still has a tremendous amount of work to do if he's to close in the deficit to his teammate. As a three time 450 Class winner at Washougal and winner in five of his last six attempts at the facility, Saturday could be another opportunity for Dungey to gain that ground he desperately needs.
The title fight between KTM teammates Roczen (right) and Dungey (left) is slowly getting more intense.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
While the focus on the title fight still remains, the emergence of a rising star not only stole the spotlight at Spring Creek, but will also me a major storyline coming into Washougal. GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac officially introduced himself as a future championship contender in the 450 Class after a convincing 1-1 outing in which he caught and passed Roczen, and also held off a hard-charging Dungey. Since making his debut following an injury four rounds ago, Tomac has been a staple up front and many felt it was only a matter of time before the world would witness the kind of performance he had at Spring Creek. Even more impressive is Tomac's ninth-place standing in the championship despite missing eight motos this season. He's finished on the overall podium in each of his starts thus far and will ultimately play a role in Roczen and Dungey's continued battle for the championship. Tomac has cemented himself in the role of spoiler and following his first win, he'll only become more of a factor as the season winds down.
Tomac has emerged as spoiler to Roczen and Dungey.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Over in the 250 Class, Martin took care of a home track advantage last weekend at Spring Creek and made another huge step towards securing his first career title. His first career moto win and overall victory at his parents' track was memorable in its own right for the sophomore rider, but adding to his points lead in the championship battle capped off a near-perfect day for Martin. With a class-leading four overall wins and seven moto wins to his credit, Martin brings a 43-point lead over his teammate Cooper Webb into Washougal, nearly one entire round of competition.
Despite having never been in such a high-pressure position before in his young career, Martin has handled the weight of leading the championship and carrying the red number plate like a veteran. Having a training partner like Dungey can go a long way in handling the load, but Martin has gotten the job done when it matters most, on the track. While he's experienced some ups and downs along the way, his finishing average of 2.8 is as consistent as you'd expect from a title contender and his ability to come back from a midseason slump proves he's more than ready to be in the position he's in.
Martin has shown no issues in settling for second when a fellow competitor is riding exceptionally well and with a near two-moto advantage in the standings, don't be surprised to see his patience increase even more from here on out.
Martin has a stranglehold on the 250 Class following his win last weekend.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
With Martin's comfortable lead, the pressure now rests squarely on Webb and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett to step up and make the championship interesting. Both riders have amassed similar stats this season and have proven on multiple occasions that they have the speed to climb through the field and make a charge to the front no matter where they start. However, their shared inconsistencies out of the gate have ultimately hindered their chances at even better results and more points. Whenever Webb and Baggett have started up front they've stayed there, but when forced to do battle against the incredibly deep field of talent in the 250 Class, the opportunity to encounter misfortune and adversity increases dramatically. As a result, both riders possess a mixed bag of results that have now forced them into somewhat of a "win at all costs" scenario for the remainder of the season. With Baggett serving as a former winner at Washougal, you can expect he'll be looking to bounce back from a DNF suffered in the final moto last weekend, when he crashed out of the race while leading.
The pressure is on Webb (37) and Baggett (4) to try and track down Martin.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Washougal MX Park has hosted a round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship since 1980 and features arguably the most picturesque setting of any track in the sport. Nestled within thousands of fir trees and a stone throw from the Washougal River, Washougal is a favorite for enthusiasts because of its incredible location and is a destination event for any motocross fan. Its truly unique track layout winds in and out of the trees that line the circuit, and also sends riders up and down what it affectionately known as "Horsepower Hill." The track surface is a mix of loam and hard pack, which results in a truly challenging task for riders to maintain control while also finding much needed speed.
Last year at Washougal, Ryan Villopoto won for the very first time at his home race in five attempts, outlasting Dungey in a thrilling battle for the win that ended up in a tie for the overall but weighed in Villopoto's favor by virtue of his second moto victory. In the 250 Class, Tomac was dominant en route to a 1-1 effort and his first career win at the track.
Action for the Motosport.com Washougal National on Saturday, July 19, begins at 11:30 a.m. ET with timed practice. Opening ceremonies get underway at 3:25 p.m. ET, with the first gate drop scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET.
Previous Round Results
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National
Spring Creek MX Park - Millville, Minnesota
July 19, 2014
Round 8 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
450 Class Championship Standings
250 Class (Moto Finish)
250 Class Championship Standings
MX Sports Pro Racing
MX Sports Pro Racing manages and produces the world's most prestigious professional motocross series - the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The industry leader in off road power sport event production and management, its mission is to showcase the sport of professional motocross competition at events throughout the United States. Through its various racing properties, partnerships and affiliates, MX Sports Pro Racing organizes events for thousands of action sports athletes each year and attracts millions of motorsports spectators. Visitwww.mxsportsproracing.com.
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AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
Lucas Oil Products
Based in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products, Inc is the world leader of High Performance Lubricants and Problem Solving Additives and produces and markets 272 unique formulations in thirty four countries around the globe and is growing country by country, market by market every year. Through innovative product research and development, along with progressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top-selling additive line in the American truck-stop industry. Lucas Oil is involved in an array of motorsports sponsorships, including the "Official Motor Oil of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship." Visit: www.lucasoil.com.
MAVTV is a television network with its roots deep in the automotive world. With an unparalleled line-up of motorsports events and exclusive automotive reality shows, MAVTV is the answer for motor-heads from all walks of life. But MAVTV is much more than a motorsports destination, with original action/adventure programming, live MMA and an unbelievable library of blockbuster movies - MAVTV is a network the whole family can enjoy. A network by the people and for the people, made in America and American Real. Visit: www.mavtv.com.
(Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship PR)
ESM Patrón ready to kiss the bricks at Indy
he Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) makes its Indianapolis debut this week as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship heads to the hallowed ground of Midwest motorsports – Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). More than 100 years of motorsports history echoes through the track at 16th and Georgetown, and ESM looks to make its mark during Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix.
Scott Sharp, ESM owner/driver, has 14 Indianapolis 500 starts on his résumé including a pole position in 2001 and five top-10 finishes. In his last four appearances (2005-2007, 2009), Sharp ran a Honda-powered machine. The 2007 season was the first time Sharp drove a Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda race car.
“There is no track that has the heritage and atmosphere as Indianapolis! I’ve been fortunate to have great memories from the many Mays that I have spent at the track," stated Sharp.
Sharp now leads the Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) team into another chapter of IMS history. This weekend marks the first time Sharp, Ed Brown, Ryan Dalziel and Johannes van Overbeek will race as a team at IMS.
Sharp and Dalziel, co-drivers of the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD, have turned plenty of laps at IMS. Sharp made his IMS debut in 1994 and competed in the 2002-2003 International Race of Champions (IROC) events. At the 2003 IROC race, Sharp qualified on the outside pole. Dalziel has two previous starts at the Indianapolis Grand Prix under the GRAND AM Rolex Sports Car Series banner. In 2013, Dalziel and Starworks DP co-driver Alex Popow won the Indianapolis Grand Prix on the former 2.534-mile circuit.
Shortly after Dalziel’s win, the IMS road course was reconfigured to a 2.439-mile, 14-turn circuit. The only race on the road course in the new configuration this year was the IndyCar road race in May. ESM’s Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup driver Simon Pagenaud was the race winner.
“We need both cars to have a solid, trouble free weekend," commented Dalziel. "If we do that I think we can see both Tequila Patrón cars on the podium.”
The only other speedway/road course circuit on the TUDOR Championship calendar was the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. This marks the second time this season for ESM to compete on the combined speedway/road course circuit.
Brown and van Overbeek, co-drivers of the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD, finished eighth at the season-opening race at Daytona. The combination of confidence from that race along with the mid-June test at IMS, should bode well for the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race winners.
“We tested the new Indy road course circuit earlier this year, and it’s impressive," added Brown. "This is Indianapolis – the true American racing venue, and definitely one on the ‘must win’ list for any driver. Few tracks in the world have the history and mystique Indianapolis does, and we’re ready to set our place in IMS history."
Following the last two rounds of competition and seeking a balance of power within the premier racing class, officials from the TUDOR Championship’s sanctioning body – International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) – announced last week that ESM’s Honda HPDs will receive a 0.3mm larger air restrictor. The change results in a greater airflow to the HPD engine for more horsepower.
The two-hour, 45-minute TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Brickyard Grand Prix on July 24-25 is the eighth race of 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Qualifying for prototype cars takes place at 5:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 24. Green flag is 5:45 p.m. ET on Friday, July 25.
Television coverage of the Brickyard Grand Prix starts at 5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
Scuderia Corsa Presses on to Indianapolis
It's safe to say the previous pair of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship races have been difficult for the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia and drivers Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal. However, both of them are entering this weekend's Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway upbeat and aiming for a second win of the year.
Balzan finished fourth in the Rolex Series race at IMS in the GT class driving the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia. After narrowly missing the podium then, he is hoping for a clean race and a chance to compete for the podium this time.
"To race at such a famous circuit in a Ferrari is an honor," said Balzan. "We have had some bad luck recently, and everyone at Scuderia Corsa is motivated to get another really good result not only for our team, but for Ferrari. Right now we have a car that maybe isn't the fastest in a straight line, but has good balance and that will be important this weekend. And as we saw in Detroit, we can count on a good strategy from the team!"
Westphal will be competing at the world-famous Brickyard for the first time this weekend, and is excited to race at the historic venue for the first time.
"The last couple of races have been difficult, but everyone at Scuderia Corsa is very motivated," said Westphal. "Considering our position in the championship, our goal is to be aggressive and win races and to also help secure the manufacturer championship for Ferrari. I think we have a car that will be good on long runs and will be good in the infield, and the team will do everything it can to maximize the performance."
While Scuderia Corsa competed at IMS last season, this year will present a new challenge as the road course layout has changed substantially creating a world of unknowns for the drivers and the engineers. The TUDOR Championship will be also sharing the weekend with the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, putting the track time for the TUDOR Championship at a premium.
Keeping the challenges of the schedule and the new layout in mind, Scuderia Corsa engineer Joe La Joie will be tasked with getting the most out of the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia.
"In previous years, the Indianapolis road course presented a couple challenges - long straights, a big brake zone, and the rather abrupt transition onto the short shoot between the oval turns one and two," said La Joie. "This has changed this year since we will run the new IndyCar circuit. It appears that we could have two significant brake zones and it is unclear as to how severe the transitions will be, if at all. The track has also been resurfaced. One of the challenges of running Indy is the logistics - NASCAR and IMSA run the oval and the road course on the same day which does not leave us much track time."
The Brickyard Grand Prix will be shown live on Friday, July 25th 5:30 ET on FOX Sports 1. Qualifying will be streamed live on Thursday, July 24th beginning at 4:00 PM ET on IMSA.com.
On Tuesday, July 22, Dragon Racing, the Los Angeles based professional motorsports team owned by media and publishing entrepreneur Jay Penske, announced the signing of Jérôme d'Ambrosio to compete in the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship.
“It is with great excitement that I will be at the wheel of the Dragon Racing entry in this historic first season of the FIA Formula E Championship,” said d'Ambrosio. “I have watched the Dragon Racing organisation closely over the last few months and feel that together we can achieve great results during this first season.”
The 28-year-old Belgian began go-karting aged eight before quickly rising through the single-seater ranks on his way to his Formula One debut with the Virgin F1 Team (now Marussia). In doing so he became only the third Belgian in the history of the sport to complete a full season in F1, after well-known racing drivers Jacky Ickx and Thierry Boutsen. Following this, d'Ambrosio moved to the Lotus F1 Team as a reserve driver for 2012-2013, taking part in the 2012 Italian Grand Prix. More recently, he signed with Bentley for their return to endurance racing and is now looking forward to beginning the Formula E season with Dragon Racing.
Jay Penske, owner of Dragon Racing, said: “I am so pleased to have Jérôme pilot one of our two Dragon Racing entries. After watching Jérôme’s performances in F1, as well as the most recent Formula E test, I feel that the combination of Jérôme and our other drivers should prove to be a formidable force.”
Dragon Racing, which is currently preparing for the first race of the inaugural Formula E series in Beijing, China, on September 13 2014, first began in 2006 under the original banner of Luczo Dragon Racing founded by Penske and Steve Luczo, Chairman and CEO of Seagate Technologies. In May of 2007, Dragon Racing made their debut at the Indianapolis 500 finishing an impressive fifth with Ryan Briscoe. Two years later they completed their first full IndyCar season claiming Rookie of the Year with Raphael Matos. In 2013 Dragon Racing fielded two cars in the IndyCar Series, with drivers Sebastian Saavedra and four-time Champ Car champion Sébastien Bourdais.
The signing of d'Ambrosio leaves just three driver places remaining for the 2014/2015 Formula E season with China Racing yet to reveal their line-up, along with the second seat at Andretti Autosport.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, added: “Jérôme is a talented driver and we’re delighted to welcome yet another top name to the inaugural Formula E grid and excited to see who will fill the last three places.”
For more information on Formula E, including a full driver list, visit www.fiaformulae.com.
SCCA Runoffs Registration Opens Wednesday
Registration for the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the first west coast visit for the event in 46 years, opens this Wednesday, July 23, at 10 a.m. (EDT, 7 a.m. PDT).
Classic Car Week Takes Hold of the Monterey Peninsula
The heart of historic downtown Monterey will be transformed into an outdoor motorsports museum when historic race cars line Alvarado Street between 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday, August 8 when Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca kicks of the 2014 Monterey Classic Car Week activities.
The race car show lines the street allowing visitors the chance to freely walk among the race cars, take pictures beside them and ask questions of their owners. This event marks the start of an exhilarating week on the central coast and allows visitors to gain an up-close look at the weekend’s biggest automotive stars. In addition to its motorsports attractions, the race car show will also feature raffle prizes, music and driver interviews.
With the support of the Old Monterey Business Association, the show features a select group of classic race cars that will participate in the week’s cornerstone event, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Under police escort, this band of historic race cars will travel from the race track, down Highway 68 and finish their journey in beautiful Old Monterey where they will be on display for the downtown community.
This year’s race car show will feature a diverse lineup of race cars, such as a 1956 Lotus Eleven, 1965 Alfa Romeo GTA, 1968 Bizzarrini Strada and a 1963 Corvette Stingray.
For race participants it is an opportunity to showcase their cars to the community in a festive environment filled with families. Cibo Ristorante Italiano (www.cibo.com) located at 301 Alvarado is a generous supporter of the event. Cibo is hosting a driver reception that will be open to the public at 5 p.m. with complimentary appetizers until 7 p.m. and live jazz music beginning at 5:30.
Part competition and part pageantry, racing history comes to life as cars from nearly every era grace Mazda Raceway August 14-17 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The cars, which are selected for their historical significance, authenticity and period-correctness, are divided into 15 classes, based on type of car, displacement and era of origin. In commemoration of its centennial, Maserati is this year’s featured marque and will be represented by a number of rarely-seen models competing on the track.
For more information on the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion or to purchase tickets call 800-327-7322 or visit www.MazdaRaceway.com.
In July of 2013, Bryan Sellers was able to make a childhood dream a reality. He won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) taking top-honors in the track's Sports Car Challenge race. However, the Braselton, Georgia-resident, who grew up just hours away in Centerville, Ohio, is eager to place his name on trophy for the top sportscar race at world famous facility, the Brickyard Grand Prix. Sellers and teammate Wolf Henzler (Germany) will challenge for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's GT Le Mans class victory in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR on Friday evening, July 25.
"I am beyond excited to race at Indy in the Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR," stated Sellers. "Getting to race and win here last year with Fall-Line Motorsports in the support race was an amazing experience. However, as a racecar driver, you always want to be on the biggest stage and in the most intense environment. This week I have the chance to do that in the most competitive GT class in the world on the most famous racetrack in motorsports in the best Porsche 911 ever created in the top event. It is a huge honor to just be here in this position. I am eager to get on track and put on the best show we can for the fans."
Sellers chased his dreams of an Indianapolis 500 victory from his first kart race at the age 11. He won multiple open-wheel championships and tested ChampCar open wheel machines. Sellers moved to sportscar racing in 2005 and became a Team Falken Tire factory driver in 2009. His win last year in the Brickyard Grand Prix's support event fueled the fire to return and fight for top-honors on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. With the world's most competitive GT racing class now eligible to compete at Indianapolis, by virtue of the formation of IMSA's TUDOR Championship, Sellers now has the opportunity.
"I think every win stands out because victories can be so few and far between," Sellers continued. "However, there are always some that stand out more than others and Indy will always be one of those for me. Standing on the high-rise podium and looking down has been one of the greatest moments of my professional career. It's a feeling that you want to re-create weekend after weekend. I am so honored to be able to have that on my resume, as it is something that can never be taken away. The flavor of the bricks is something I think I will always be able taste."
The Indianapolis road course underwent major modifications in the last year removing some of Sellers' "inside knowledge". However, expectations of success for the two-hour, 45-minute "sprint" race were increased when the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche, the only customer team-owned Porsche 911 RSR competing in the TUDOR watch-backed series, qualified third and raced near the front for much of the most recent round of the season. Falken Tire brought a new Azenis racing slick to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) for that race and the gains proved to be a significant breakthrough. The new tire provided the longtime driving duo predictable and consistent handling over the course of a race stint increasing their competitiveness against the field of factory teams.
"I think it is simple to keep the momentum really," added Sellers. "The execution needs to be a little better. We had the speed in Mosport [Canadian Tire Motorsport Park] but I had a slight bobble that put us a little behind in my stint and with the lack of yellows we couldn't recover. The GTLM class is just too close to have even the smallest hiccup. Indy will be different. We will execute at a high level, and if we have the speed, we will get a result."
The week between the Canadian round and the Indianapolis stop has had special significance to Sellers. The Ohio-native and his wife Jamie announced they are expecting their first child in November.
"Everybody in motorsports are more than friends, they are family," concluded Sellers. "I was excited to be able to share that Jamie was pregnant. I am so excited to take on this next portion our lives. One thing I know for sure is there will be no shortage of people I can turn to for help!"
The Brickyard Grand Prix can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time, July 25. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the race live on its network of stations. Friday's race will also have live timing and scoring available at IMSA.com. Streaming of the qualifying show is available on the IMSA web site beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 24.
The BTCC roars back into action at Snetterton this August
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is back with a bang at Snetterton this August (2/3) as the drivers and teams return from their summer break. You can save up to £13 on the gate price by purchasing tickets in advance by clicking here.
After two high scoring meetings at Oulton Park and Croft, eBay Motors' Colin Turkington has taken the title lead, but is coming under attack from Honda's Gordon Shedden and Pirtek's Andrew Jordan, the reigning champion.
With no fewer than seven former champions on the 31-car grid, at least half of the drivers are capable of winning one of the three races at Snetterton, where the long straights and testing corners make for great racing. There's a packed support bill too - and you won't miss a moment of the action from the venue's panoramic spectator banks and giant TV screens!
To buy tickets for the BTCC at Snetterton, call 0843 453 9000 or click here!
Formula E unveils track for Buenos Aires ePrix
On Monday, July 21, the circuit layout and location for the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix, host for round four of the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship, was finally revealed. Taking place on January 10, 2015, the 2.44km anti-clockwise track lies in the popular and modern Puerto Madero district to the east of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.The ePrix has been warmly welcomed by Mayor Mauricio Macri, along with the City Government, local authorities and the ASN.
“For Buenos Aires to be selected to host a Formula E race alongside worldwide cities such as Beijing, London and Miami demonstrates the commitment of the city to embracing new technologies, clean mobility and respect for the environment," added Macri. "The electric vehicle will play a significant role in reducing future pollution in cities across the globe, making them better places to live, and Buenos Aires is pleased to be at the forefront of this and to be supporting a pioneering initiative such as Formula E.”
The course was designed by Santiago Garcia Remohi and features 12 turns including a mix of high-speed corners, chicanes and hairpins. The race is one of two in South America along with Punta del Este in Uruguay (Round three) on December 13 2014.
“Looking at the track, you have to say it’s got a good combination of corners,"Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna said. "There’s a chicane, some high-speed turns with a change of direction and slow-speed as well. It’s impossible to tell from the map about undulation, but I think that it could make for an interesting race and it will be fun to drive."
The Buenos Aires ePrix becomes the fifth track to be revealed by Formula E organisers, with the roads surrounding Beijing’s Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium forming the season opener, followed by a race though the centre of Putrajaya in Malaysia for round two. Punta del Este’s picturesque coastline provides the venue for round three with round seven taking place in Long Beach, Southern California, using a modified version of the city’s historic street circuit. The remaining tracks will be released approximately six months prior to the race.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E said: “We’re very excited about racing in Argentina and want to thank the City Government, Mayor Mauricio Macri, the ASN and all the local authorities for their continued support, investment and backing. We believe this race is going to provide a fantastic spectacle for the people of Buenos Aires and for Formula E fans around the world.”
Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the interest in electric vehicles and promoting sustainability. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits – with races also in China, Malaysia, Uruguay, USA, Monaco, Germany and the UK – it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). Its 10 teams and 20 drivers feature some of the leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters including Sir Richard Branson.
Formula E currently has two signed South American drivers in Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt) and Bruno Senna (Mahindra Racing), whilst Juan Manuel Lopez recently become the first Argentinean to test the Formula E car at Donington Park, UK.
Full details on tickets for the event will be revealed closer to the time. For more information on Formula E, including viewing an interactive circuit map of the Buenos Aires ePrix, visit www.fiaformulae.com.