Monday, Oct 25
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

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

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

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

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 
Top Fuel points leader and three-time defending world champ Steve Torrence powered to the track record on Saturday at Bristol Dragway, making the quickest run in Bristol history to qualify No. 1 at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
 
Alexis DeJoria (Funny Car) and Scotty Pollacheck (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the 18th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fifth race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. In all, five of the six possible track records were broken during qualifying on Saturday at Bristol, which is hosting its first NHRA playoff races in track history.
 
Torrence closed out qualifying with a stellar run of 3.667-seconds at 331.28 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster, giving him his fourth No. 1 qualifier this season and 31st in his career. It was the third time the track record was set in Thunder Valley already this weekend in Top Fuel, with Brittany Force doing it on Friday and Mike Salinas following with a 3.668 at 329.83 in the opening round of qualifying on Saturday. Torrence, though, topped everyone and will open eliminations against Cameron Ferre as he attempts to win a fourth straight world title. Torrence is also seeking his 50th career Top Fuel victory.
 
“That run was really big for us,” Torrence said. “We’ve been picking at that over the last few races. It’s something you just don’t get overnight and you really have to work at going mid-3.60s. The track here is great and it’s exceptional. On that run, the car was super quick early and it really pulled hard out the back. That was a confidence builder for tomorrow, so you've got to go out and be able to throw down. We’re in the thick of this championship and we’re going to have to give it our best shot every time.”
 
Salinas finished in the second spot, while Force improved to a 3.672 at 333.58, setting the track speed record as well on Saturday.
 
In Funny Car, DeJoria celebrated a big moment as she claimed her first No. 1 qualifier since 2016, going 3.907 at 326.79 in her 11,000-horsepower Bandero Premium Tequila ROKiT Toyota Camry. It was a big step forward for DeJoria, earning her fifth career No. 1 spot in the process. The standout run to close out qualifying also puts DeJoria in a good spot to try and claim her first win of the season, as the team looks to finish the 2021 campaign on a good note. She’ll open eliminations against Paul Lee on Sunday at a track that has always been special for her.
 
“This track has a lot of good memories for me,” DeJoria said. “It was the place of my first final round I went to with Del (Worsham) back in 2012, and to come back here with our team and get a No. 1 qualifier at this track is huge. This alone is so gratifying and means so much, and it kind of feels like a win. It’s just a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. We’ve got three races left and we haven’t won a race yet, so it’s crunch time and we’ve got to do it now.”
 
Ron Capps qualified second, going 3.945 at 325.61 and points leader Matt Hagan will start raceday from the third spot, going 3.958 and breaking the track speed record with a run of 330.31.
 
Pollacheck grabbed the No. 1 spot from his teammate in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Matt Smith, during the final pass of the day, earning his third No. 1 qualifier this season and fourth in his career on his Denso/Strutmaster/MSR Buell with a run of 6.859 at 197.80. He’s after his second win of the season and heads into raceday on a good note following his strong pass to close out qualifying.
 
“It’s so awesome to be here at Bristol and to be No. 1,” Pollacheck said. “To come here, someplace I’ve always seen on TV and I’ve always to come to because it looks so awesome, and end up with the No. 1 spot on the final qualifying run was pretty special. It was a good team effort and it was a good pass. It was a little surprising, but Matt told me afterward that if I rode it (well), it would go an .85.”
 
Smith, the defending world champ and current points leader, improved on his run from Friday, qualifying second with a 6.865 at 197.54 and Karen Stoffer jumped to third after going 6.867 at 189.26.
 
In the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Rickie Smith drove to the No. 1 position in his nitrous-powered Camaro, going 5.708 at 250.64 under the lights on Saturday to close out qualifying. Points leader Jose Gonzalez is second after his run of 5.733 at 250.32.
 
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)
Brittany Force made the quickest run in track history at Bristol Dragway on Friday, powering to the provisional No. 1 spot in Top Fuel at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
 
Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 18th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fifth race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
 
Force blistered the track record at Thunder Valley with an impressive run of 3.682-seconds at 328.94 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Flav-R-Pac dragster, sending her back to the No. 1 spot. If it holds, it would give the former world champ an incredible 12 No. 1 qualifiers this season and 10 in the last 11 races. She entered the weekend 52 points back of points leader Steve Torrence and Friday was the start of what Force hopes is a big weekend.
 
“Twelve No. 1 qualifiers is an accomplishment for our entire team,” said Force, who is after her 32nd career No. 1 qualifier. “That’s huge and it’s hard work from every one of our guys. It’s not easy to pull that off and we’ve done a good job at it, and now our focus is hopefully on two rounds on Saturday and then raceday. Our mindset is we’re excited. We’re in the hunt for this championship and we’re going to fight for it. This team is an incredible group and I’m lucky to have them.”
 
In Funny Car, Tim Wilkerson drove to the No. 1 spot in his 11,000-horsepower Levi, Ray & Shop Ford Shelby Mustang with a pass of 3.965-seconds at 295.27 mph. If it holds, it would give Wilkerson his first No. 1 qualifier since 2019 and 21st in his career as he tries to finish his 2021 season on a good note. Wilkerson has one victory during the Countdown to the Championship this year and is after a second with three Funny Car races remaining. Robert Hight is currently second after going 3.968 at 323.50, while his teammate, John Force, is right behind with an identical 3.968 at a slower 322.73. 
 
Picking up right where he left off in Dallas, Pro Stock Motorcycle went to the top on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR with a run of 6.900 at 197.51. This weekend marks the first official race for the class at Thunder Valley and Smith, the defending world champ and current points leader, made a strong first impression. If it holds, it would be the fourth No. 1 qualifier for Smith this season and 47th in his career.
 
After a slow start in the Countdown to the Championship, Smith is back to his usual impressive form, winning in Dallas and putting together a strong run in Bristol to open the weekend. It is the fourth of six playoff races in the class and Smith had an eight-point lead on Steve Johnson entering the weekend.
 
Chris Bostick is currently second after going 6.927 at 193.27, while Johnson is currently third with a solid pass of 6.942 at 193.60.
 
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson sat alone on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s pit wall Wednesday morning, preparing for his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES laps on the iconic oval.

He said he went through a mental checklist, reminding himself of the lowered expectations of a first-timer working to complete the required three-stage Rookie Orientation Program for the Indianapolis 500.

“Be smart and ease into things,” he told himself.

Then the helmet went on, Chip Ganassi Racing’s crew fired the Honda engine, and away Johnson and his patient plan went. A couple of laps following the standard installation lap, the winner of 83 Cup races and four Brickyard 400s had the gas pedal flat in Turns 2 and 4, and soon thereafter he was similarly at full speed in Turn 3.

So much for “easing” into his first laps.

“A lap in you forget about (the plan),” Johnson said later. “You’re in tune with the car, worrying about speed, just kind of into that racing/driver experience that you’re used to.”

Johnson and fellow 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Romain Grosjean both participated in the test Wednesday at IMS, which was interrupted and finally cut short by rain.

INDYCAR officials deemed both drivers passed their rookie tests even though both were a few laps short of completing the final phase when a downpour ended track activity around 4:15 p.m. (ET). Both will finish their remaining laps the next time they are on the IMS oval, which for Grosjean will be the IMS Open Test on April 20-21, 2022. Johnson still has not committed to running in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” next year but could join Grosjean at the Open Test if he commits to the “500.”

NASCAR legend Johnson competed at IMS 18 times between 2002 and 2019 in a stock car, so he had some idea of what to expect from his first experience on the IMS oval in an INDYCAR SERIES car. Still, there were differences, particularly as the car traveled 25 mph faster than Johnson ever has gone here, with another 20 mph to come if he returns next May for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

Johnson said the car felt significantly lighter than a Cup car – it is by about 1,700 pounds – and certainly is more nimble. Not having power steering was different, too.

Indy’s rookie program is a series of segments at controlled speeds to emphasize consistency. The first segment is 10 laps at speeds of 205 mph to 210 mph. The second segment is 15 laps between 210-215 mph, and the final segment is 15 laps at or faster than 215 mph. Johnson and Grosjean completed the first two phases and more than half of the third before rain arrived.

“The only thing that’s similar is the fear,” said Johnson, who drove the No. 48 Carvana Honda. “I don’t think it matters what car you’re in, (Turn 1 at IMS) looks like a tighter radius. It looks more challenging than anything else.

“Romain and I were talking about how they’re all supposed to be equal turns, but Turn 1 visually is different, and I think it is (different) the way the banking is.”

Grosjean was driving Andretti Autosport’s No. 28 DHL Honda for the first time after spending his first INDYCAR season with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, predominantly on the road courses except for one oval start in August at World Wide Technology Raceway. Despite living in his motorhome in the IMS infield most of the season, Grosjean had only seen a two-seater go around the oval track prior to Wednesday.

“The emotions of ovals, for me, is very new even though I made a (oval) race,” he said. “I just feel like it’s not something that is particularly comfortable. It’s not like road courses or a street course, where I know what to do and I know how to progress.

“Here, I have to learn everything.”

Johnson is 46, Grosjean 35, but neither minded the “rookie” tag they are still operating with. In recent weeks, Johnson joked about the controlled environment of the program – his team even posted a social media video spoof about it -- but he praised it Wednesday.

“I think it’s a nice way (to get familiar) without the pressure, without worrying about throwing a lap time up and just kind of work through it,” he said. “It’s way different, but I can I tell I’m not even at the limit of the car.”

Grosjean had Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti, a 16-time Indianapolis 500 starter, along with 2016 pole winner James Hinchcliffe on site. Andretti’s advice was similar to what he told NASCAR champion Kurt Busch in 2014 and two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso in 2017:

“Take your time, trust your butt and respect the place,” Andretti said. “If you lose respect for this place …”

“It’s funny,” Grosjean said. “I wasn’t that fast, but the lap was still 200 mph, which is fast, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels smooth, and it flows. You can imagine during the race how can I plan (a pass), how can I get the momentum going.

“Qualifying? Yes, for sure it must be … pretty something.”

Johnson had INDYCAR SERIES champions and Indy 500 winners Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan and Indianapolis 500 veteran Marcus Ericsson in his ear Wednesday.

“(They’re) not short on opinions and advice,” he said, laughing, “so we’ll take it. (I’m) thankful that they’re here and care.”

The official schedule for “500” action in May has not been finalized, but qualifications will be May 21-22 with the 200-lap race May 29

A new era is set to begin for the CARS Tour in 2022.

 

The Super Late Model division, which has been a part of the CARS Tour since its inception back in 2015, will be replaced by a Pro Late Model series that will run alongside Late Model Stocks for most of the season.

 

CARS Tour owner Jack McNelly sees the introduction of the Pro Late Model Tour as a logical step following recent developments with the Super Late Model division and is confident that the new venture will lead to continued growth for the series.   

 

“Our Super car count has been dwindling for several years now,” McNelly said. “It just got to the point where I felt like we needed to make a change so we could have a wider range of competitors that could be with us.”

 

While McNelly is disappointed to eliminate the Super Late Model Tour despite long-time loyalty from drivers like Matt Craig, Jeff Batten, Brandon Setzer and others, he hopes that many of the regulars will end up making the jump to the Pro Late Model Tour.

 

The primary difference between the Super Late Models and Pro Late Models is the crate engine utilized by the latter. Some Super Late Model team owners like Travis Kvapil already possess a crate engine that will allow them to make a seamless transition over to the new series.

 

McNelly said that the Pro Late Model Tour will follow similar rules to the CRA Series, Southern Super Series and those used by Montgomery Motor Speedway. A complete rules package will be announced to the teams on Nov. 15.

 

By not diverting from other established divisions in the region, McNelly said that Pro Late Model regulars will have more freedom to race wherever they want on an off weekend.

 

“Teams can load up on an off weekend and go to Pensacola, Montgomery or Nashville to race,” McNelly said. “Having the same rules may not be important for everybody but I’m sure we’re going to have a handful of drivers that run with us who want to run the All-American 400 and can do that without having to make any major changes.”

 

Along with being able to increase the number of doubleheader weekends with the two divisions, another factor that convinced McNelly to introduce a Pro Late Model series was his desire to create a developmental ladder inside the CARS Tour.

 

With more younger drivers entering the Late Model ranks over the past few years, McNelly believes the Pro Late Model Tour will give them an outlet to acquire valuable experience before they end up facing tougher competition at higher levels of auto racing.

 

“I think our car count will pick up,” McNelly said. “This will also be a natural steppingstone from Pro Late Models into a Late Model Stock, which is our premier division. The Supers weren’t going to move into Late Model Stocks but these young drivers can come in, run a year or two in Pro Late Models and then go into Late Model Stocks if that is what they want to do.”

 

McNelly said that he will always be grateful for the memories that were created during the six-year run of the Super Late Model Tour but he is excited to see the Pro Late Model Tour thrive alongside the Late Model Stock division for what he hopes will be for many years to come.

 

Schedules for both the Late Model Stock and Pro Late Model Tour will be announced during the season finale at South Boston Speedway on Oct. 16, with additional details coming later.

 

For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.

Erich Joiner followed up Saturday’s Motul Pole Award and new track record with a flag-to-flag Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship victory at Utah Motorsports Campus Sunday morning, taking a giant step toward securing two championship titles on both coasts. 

Joiner could not be beat in Sunday's all-green 100-mile shootout, claiming his first overall victory by 40.242-seconds in the XGT No. 10  Good Boy Bob Coffee Roaster Porsche 991 GT3 R. Joiner secured the National Trans Am XGT championship two rounds early, taking Virginia International Raceway off to focus on his XGT West Coast effort. Sunday's overall win also positioned Joiner to chase the XGT West Coast 2021 title. 

"It was a really fun race, this track is amazing," said Joiner. "It was great to come out here and race again with everyone on the West Coast. I have to say there's a great caliber of drivers out here. Almost everyone here could hold their own in the National Series. It was also the first race I've raced entirely under green flag. I got tired I think I needed a Good Boy Bob espresso shot because I was radioing the crew asking how many more laps! Everyone here did a great job and I look forward to racing at Circuit of The Americas."

Joiner checking out early left the TA2® class drivers battling in his rearview mirrors.

Carl Rydquist started on the TA2 pole in the No. 47  Racecars4Rent/GroupWholesale Ford Mustang. Contested at the start by Kent Stacy, Darrell Anderson and Tim Lynn, Rydquist lost the lead, entering Turn 1 on the outside of a three-wide battle. 

Stacy pulled ahead in the No. 26  RF Racing/S3/ TTA Chevrolet Camaro to lead the first four laps for the TA2 class before bending his front suspension in the Attitude Section of the 3.048-mile course. 

Braking for lapped traffic while trying to mend the gap, Rydquist passed Stacy to retake the lead, bringing a charging Ken Sutherland along with him. Nursing a wounded car, Stacy fell down the running order to eventually finish seventh overall, sixth in class. 

Rydquist eventually shook Sutherland to claim his fourth victory of the season by more than seven seconds. 

"The year has been amazing," said Rydquist. "Driving the TA2 car is just so fun. I am thankful for the opportunity with Tom Nelson and Nelson Motorsports Team. They have given me a great car from the first day. It felt weird coming in from the SGT car to the TA2 car, but they dialed it in for me. The race today was really awesome. (Kent) Stacy was up there with me and then Ken (Sutherland) came up and made it even more fun. We managed the car and I am really glad to be up here and to have finished the race.  I am looking forward to meeting the National teams at CoTA. I want to work with the other West Coast TA2 drivers to make sure when the National guys come, they have someone to race. "

The win was a title-clinching victory for Rydquist, marking his second consecutive West Coast championship . Last season in his rookie year, Rydquist claimed the SGT West Coast championship. 

"It feels surreal being named the TA2 West Coast champion in my first season," Rydquist continued. "I have a list of incremental goals that I wanted to achieve this year, and I think we are a year ahead of schedule."

Sutherland had the drive of the day in the No. 68 Cascade Sotheby's Chevrolet Camaro. Electing to change all four of his Pirelli tires ahead of the race, Sutherland forfeited his second-row start to take the green in 15th position. By Lap 2, Sutherland charged through the field, making up 11 positions. In two more laps, he was challenging Rydquist for first in class. His efforts for the lead faded in the final circuits, but in just his second race with the series, Sutherland took second place, third overall and the ChillOut Moment of the Race. 

"We had a great car," said Sutherland. "Those Pirellis were great the whole way. I didn't have quite enough for the champ (Rydquist), but this is just our second race and I am very proud of what we've accomplished."

Starting sixth in the No. 03  Burrtec Waste Ind/Amsoil Chevrolet Camaro, Nick Rosseno had spirited battles throughout the 33-lap race. On the start, Rosseno was nearly collected in a Lap 1 incident after Lynn spun in front of Rosseno contesting for the lead in Turn 1. Rosseno had to take evasive action, ditching the car in the grass to miss a pirouetting Lynn. The move lost Rosseno valuable track position and he spent the rest of the race playing catch up.

Rosseno's hardest battle was against Anderson's No. 45  Park Place Constructors Chevrolet Camaro. The pair diced around the race track for nine laps with Anderson holding off Rosseno's several attempts to advance. Rosseno eventually wore down Anderson to take the final TA2 podium position, finishing third in class and fourth overall. 

"I had a heck of a time today," admitted Rosseno. "We had some good hard battles today. It was a lot of fun racing against Darrell (Anderson) and that's what it's all about."

Anderson went on to finish fourth in class, fifth overall, with Brad McAllister in the No. 24 www.PortlandImplantDentisry.com Ford Mustang rounding out the top five in TA2 (sixth overall) one lap down. 

Cindi Lux used her decade of experience racing at Utah to finish first in the SGT class after losing her gearbox and the clutch with 10 laps to go. She finished the race using one gear, winning her third consecutive West Coast SGT race in the No. 5 Lux Performance/Black Rock Coffee Dodge Viper. 

"It's always good to back in Utah," Lux said. "It's a fun race track to get into a rhythm. I cruised home on those last 10 laps though, running with one gear the whole time. It was a nice day and I look forward to CoTA."

Though Lux won the class race, it was John Schweitzer who clinched the SGT championship today with a second-place finish. The rookie class driver got his racing experience road racing with SCCA. In his first professional season with Trans Am, Schweitzer has earned four podiums and a class victory in the No. 00  Superior Builders Inc Ford Fusion. 

"We went out and did exactly what we set out to do today," said Schweitzer. "My lap times got better as the race went, and we stayed on course to finish. I am very happy with our performance today. 

"What an incredible experience this season has been," continued Schweitzer. “When we set our sights on the SGT Championship we knew it was going to be a huge push up from club racing. We are a small team running out of the Pacific Northwest so meeting the challenges of stepping up to pro racing has been a bit stressful but also exciting. 

“One of the things I didn’t anticipate was the camaraderie amongst the competitors and teams, which has really amplified the experience in a positive way. I’d like to also express sincere appreciation to the Trans Am Staff and Officials. We made our share of mistakes in our rookie season and the support we received was exemplary. Our team is looking forward to the final round at CoTA and celebrating our success at the 2021 Honors Gala!”  

The West Coast Championship will join the National Series at Circuit of The Americas for the Heacock Classic. The ultimate Trans Am finale is set for November 5-7. The full Austin SpeedTour weekend will be live streamed on the Trans Am by Pirelli App.   Download the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App to Watch Live Events (gotransam.com)

Deac McCaskill was able to break through at his home track for his 8th career CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour victory at his home track of Wake County Speedway Sunday afternoon in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

McCaskill led the most laps of the 125 lap event in route to the victory. It was an emotional victory for McCaskill who called the win “probably the biggest win of my career” in Edelbrock Victory Lane.

 

Layne Riggs pieced together a much needed solid second place finish, holding off a hard charging Jonathan Shafer, who came from an early race pit stop to finish third.

 

Jared Fryar finished in the fourth position with rookie Kaden Honeycutt rounding out the top five finishers.

 

Championship points contenders Bobby McCarty and Kaden Honeycutt are unofficially in the same position they were in prior to Wake County. McCarty has a single point advantage heading into the season finale next weekend at South Boston Speedway. McCarty will look to finish ahead of the rookie to secure his record breaking third series championship, while Honeycutt will look to do the same to become the first rookie champion in the series.

 

For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212. 

 

Puryear Trucking 125

Wake County Speedway – Raleigh, NC

October 10, 2021

 

Late Model Stock Car Unofficial Finish

 

1.      #08 Deac McCaskill

2.      #99 Layne Riggs

3.      #91 Jonathan Shafer

4.      #14 Jared Fryar

5.      #4H Kaden Honeycutt

6.      #22 Bobby McCarty

7.      #2 Brandon Pierce

8.      #95 Sam Yarbrough

9.      #1 Andrew Grady

10.  #51 Ethan Johnson

11.  #81 Mini Tyrrell

12.  #50 Daniel Vuncannon

13.  #44 Justin Johnson

14.  #24 Mason Diaz

15.  #9 Connor Jones

16.  #4 Jonathan Findley

17.  #17 Joe Valento

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 VIRginia International Raceway provided the perfect backdrop for thrills, spills and twists of fate throughout all four IMSA series that competed over the weekend. There were plenty of highlights, heartaches and what-ifs to go around.
 
Here are three takeaways from the weekend:
 
Three’s Company: Drivers are fond of saying it only takes two cars to make a good race. The GT Le Mans (GTLM) class did that one better with three entries in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and what a show they put on in the Michelin GT Challenge At VIR.
 
It was an all-out brawl between the two Corvette Racing C8.Rs and the WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19. Kevin Estre, in the No. 79 Porsche for the finish, was determined to take the car to the overall win. First, he bumped his way past former Porsche teammate Nick Tandy in the No. 4 Corvette. Then it was Antonio Garcia’s turn in the No. 3 Corvette to feel some bumper love. It was thrilling to watch.
 
But what goes around, comes around. Eventually, Tandy pounded past Estre for the lead. Soon after, the No. 79 skidded off course and out of contention. Tandy called it “karma” for Estre’s aggressive tactics.
 
That’s not to say Tandy didn’t enjoy it. Getting a third straight win with co-driver Tommy Milner helps soothe ill feelings.
 
“It was fun out there,” Tandy said. “I always enjoy a good fight. When you race people like Kevin, Antonio, Tommy and Jordan (Taylor), there's always going to be a good fight. We enjoyed it, and we got the better of it.”
It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over: There’s a reason they race to the checkered flag. Evidence came in the GT Daytona (GTD) portion of the WeatherTech Championship race.
 
Bill Auberlen held a comfortable lead in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, nearly six seconds up on Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R with just 12 minutes left on the two-hour, 40-minute clock. But when Garcia tried to lap Auberlen in Turn 1, the No. 3 Corvette partially spun and bumped into Auberlen’s BMW, forcing it to spin as well and leaving the all-time winningest driver with a flat tire.
 
What could have been a pivotal win for Auberlen and Robby Foley that launched them back into the championship hunt disintegrated into a 12th-place finish that essentially eliminates them from the title conversation.
 
When asked after the race what he thought when he saw the wounded BMW as he rolled past and into the lead, Vanthoor just gave a silent, befuddled look.
 
“I was, ‘Really?!” he said. “I was as surprised as anybody else.”
 
By collecting their fourth win of the season (including three in the last four races), Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon take a 50-point lead over No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 drivers Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow to the season finale for all five WeatherTech Championship classes, the Motul Petit Le Mans next month. Ross Gunn, Roman De Angelis and the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 – 177 points from the lead – hold slim hopes for the GTD season championship as well after clinching the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup title Saturday.
Sunday No Fun Day for McAleer: Spare some positive vibes today for Stevan McAleer, who appeared poised to win twice on Sunday at VIR, only to have both victories taken away in the waning minutes of the races.
 
McAleer was leading on the final lap of the IMSA Prototype Challenge three-hour event in the No. 43 Robillard Racing Duqueine D08 when he went wide around Oak Tree Curve. It “left the light on” for Rasmus Lindh in the Motel 6-sponsored Ligier JS P320 from Performance Tech Motorsports. The two cars made side-to-side contact a few times down the back straight and into Turn 14, with McAleer eventually going into the grass and out of contention. Lindh went on to win; McAleer finished sixth.
 
With little time to regroup, McAleer found himself in the middle of the lead pack in the climactic race of the weekend, the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. On the final restart from a caution, McAleer was out front again – this time in the No. 23 Notlad Racing by RS1 Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
 
Jan Heylen hounded McAleer for several laps before eventually making a clean pass for the lead in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R. McAleer held fast to place second at the checkered flag, but the No. 23 Aston Martin failed a postrace fuel capacity audit, again denying him of a trophy for his efforts. But oh, what might have been.

 Indian Motorcycle Racing, presented by Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, earned its fifth consecutive American Flat Track (AFT) Manufacturer’s Championship, while its Wrecking Crew factory rider, Jared Mees, secured his seventh career Grand National Championship following the conclusion of the 2021 AFT season. In addition, Indian Motorcycle privateer Davis Fisher finished the 2021 season by reaching the top of the Charlotte Half-Mile podium – earning his first career AFT SuperTwins victory.

 

Entering the 2021 AFT SuperTwins finale, Mees lead fellow Indian Motorcycle Wrecking Crew rider, and two-time defending champion, Briar Bauman by a mere four points. Following a complete red flag restart in the Main, it was Bauman who established himself with the early lead, while Mees ran comfortably in second. Though after hitting a wet section on the track, Bauman’s bike clipped a hay bale and sent him over his bars. With nowhere to go, Indian Motorcycle privateer Sammy Halbert crashed into Bauman’s bike and went flying into the air. Halbert was taken to a nearby hospital via ambulance, while Bauman joined the restart on his back-up bike, but eventually decided he was physically unable to compete and pulled out of the race – ultimately crowning Mees as the 2021 SuperTwins champion.

 

“First and foremost, we wish Sammy and Briar a speedy recovery. It’s an unfortunate way to end the season, but we know these guys are warriors and will be back stronger than ever,” said Gary Gray, Vice President Racing, Service & Technology. “We also want send a huge congratulations to Davis Fisher and his team, as they put in incredible work and truly deserve this victory. We also cannot say enough about Jared Mees – a true competitor in every sense of the word. Congrats on number seven, Jared.”

 

The 2021 championship could perhaps be Mees’ finest performance, as he battled through adversity following mid-season knee surgery. Costing him critical points in the season standings, Mees continued to train hard and ended the season by winning five of the last seven races. With 60 career wins, seven championships, and multiple records, Mees is now just two championships from reach his career goal to meet Scottie Parker’s record of nine championships.

 

For more information on Indian Motorcycle Racing, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Extreme E, the sport for purpose electric off-road racing series, has today confirmed that its Season 1 finale, ‘the Jurassic X Prix’ will take place in Bovington, in the UK’s South Coast county of Dorset, on 18-19 December 2021.

Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: “I’m very excited by this race location – our first event on UK soil. This move is a poignant shift in our mission to race in remote, far-away places to highlight the effects of climate change, as more increasingly, the issues we talk about are literally happening in our backyards so it felt like the right time to bring the spotlight home, and help the army reduce its own carbon footprint.

“The world needs to move forward when it comes to the combustion engine and many other practices, and what better way to symbolise that than with a Jurassic themed X Prix. Unless we push forward with climate and sustainability action, certain species risk becoming extinct, and that is something we simply cannot ignore any longer.”

Bovington is a well-known British Army military base and sits just off the Jurassic Coastline. Extreme E is working closely with the British Ministry of Defence and Army which has recently revealed its climate change and sustainability strategy. The strategy combines the mitigation of environmental impact whilst maintaining military output. It aims to do this by reducing emissions and scaling up the transition to renewables, thus contributing to the UK’s aim to be net zero by 2050. Efforts have started already with the Army piloting electric armoured vehicles and carbon efficient accommodation.

Major General Simon Hutchings OBE said: “The British Army prides itself on its ability to conduct operations in all environments, adapting and developing its skills as required.  The opportunity to work alongside Extreme E who are world leaders in electrification of vehicles and sustainable energy production is very exciting.  It will enable us to share innovative ideas which will allow the Army to continue to gain technology advantage globally, whilst also contributing to our climate and sustainability targets.” 

The racing will be as exciting as ever with a course designed to include natural obstacles putting the all-electric ODYSSEY 21 through its paces to crown the eventual winning combination of car, team and driver. Each team fields both a male and female driver who will complete a lap each with a Driver Switch built into the format. With points up for grabs throughout the race weekend, some of the best drivers in the world plus the instant speed of all-electric mobility, the concluding X Prix is set to be a showstopper.

Jenson Button, JBXE Team Principal said: “It is brilliant news that Extreme E's Season finale will be held in the UK. I’ve been lucky enough to race on UK soil a number of times throughout my career and those memories will always be incredibly special to me.

“Heading off-road at Bovington will be a totally different experience but equally as special as I’ll be the one watching and supporting Kevin and Mikaela and the rest of the JBXE team as we push for a strong finish to the season. After back-to-back podiums, if we can carry that form into Sardinia and put ourselves in the mix for the final race then we could be in store for an amazing finish!”

Extreme E is a partner to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign as well as Count Us In, which challenges its fans to take steps which reduce their own carbon footprints. These collaborations are all focussed on tackling the global climate crisis and with road transport currently accounting for 75 per cent of the global emissions associated with transportation, accelerating the move to clean mobility by 2030, in line with government goals, is key to success. 

Nigel Topping, UK High Level Champion for Climate Action at COP26, who also leads Race to Zero, said: “Extreme E provides an incredible platform for accelerating  the clean mobility transition and driving awareness for the climate solutions we can, and must all adopt. 

“The Jurassic X Prix follows COP26 and provides further opportunity for the UK to keep crucial momentum, which is imperative if we are to succeed in our goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C. The shift to zero emission vehicles will hugely help reach that goal and Extreme E demonstrates the capabilities of electric vehicles, but also their associated technologies. It also uses the powerful platform of sport to engage its fanbase to take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint.”    

Extreme E will continue with its Legacy Programme format which aims to leave long-lasting positive impact in each country in which it races, with exact details to be revealed in the weeks leading up to the end of year event. Not only that, the thought leadership workshops are set to continue, and will be available to view online after the event.

Additional Quotes:

Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, the national governing body for motorsport, commented: “We are thrilled that Extreme E’s global voyage will be making its way to UK shores for the 2021 season finale - the Jurassic X Prix, to be staged against the backdrop of the spectacular Dorset coastline.

“This event comes at an important time for Motorsport UK, as we announce our own Sustainability Strategy and seek to address the many issues that have been looming large for a number of years and that recent challenges have brought into even sharper focus, environmental concerns and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion chief among them. Extreme E has been conceived to promote those issues and the very different world we face going forward. We look forward to seeing the first Extreme E champion crowned on UK soil in December.” 

Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E:

“I’m really looking forward to having our final round of Extreme E here in the UK, the race course will only be a three hour drive from my home in Kent so it’ll be nice to be able to race on home soil after what’s been a whirlwind of a year!

“With the United Autosports side of the business based in the UK, it’s also great to be able to have what will effectively be like a home race for the team too - hopefully Timmy and I can do the team proud. The weather in December could be very wet and who knows, maybe there’s a chance of some snow too.  It will certainly be very muddy and slippery but I grew up driving quad bikes and thrashing around in old vehicles at my family home, including learning to drive in muddy fields in the UK, so these sort of conditions will suit me well!" 

Jamie Chadwick, Veloce Racing:

It’s really exciting to see Extreme E coming to the UK for the final race of the year. The first season has been incredible in so many ways and to cap it off in Dorset is going to be really important for the British drivers and teams. 

“The first race in Saudi Arabia was so different to anything any of us had experienced before and then we followed it up with an equally spectacular setting in Senegal. 

“Obviously, I wasn’t in Greenland and I won’t be in Sardinia but they also look like venues that are pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible in this series, I’m sure the final round will be no different. 

“As a London-based team, Veloce Racing is going to be putting its all into Jurassic X Prix. A home race is special for any motorsport squad but as such a young team in such an innovative series, this one is going to be extra special.”

Oliver Bennett, XITE ENERGY RACING:
“I’m so excited to see an Extreme E race come to my home nation in the south of England near the Jurassic coast! 

“Being at the heart of innovation with racing and to see the pioneering forefront of EV sustainable racing in a UK audience location will be so XITE’ing. It’s going to be a tricky environment to drive in.”

To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com

 

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is set to return to the electric atmosphere of Mexico City on Saturday, February 12, 2022 with tickets now on sale starting from M$150 with reduced rates for under 16s. 


The Mexico City E-Prix will feature a revamped Allianz E-Village and give all Formula E fans access to the grandstand where they can enjoy the best possible view of historically one of the most dramatic weekends on the race calendar. All tickets include admission to the Allianz E-Village.


The return of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to Mexico’s vibrant capital city follows the temporary move of the Mexican E-Prix to the Autodromo Miguel E. Abed, in Puebla, when the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit was repurposed as a COVID-19 field hospital.


With Mexico City’s passionate motorsport fans returning to experience the live action in Season 8, they will enjoy access to a refreshed Allianz E-Village full of interactive activities for the whole family to enjoy including local musicians, artists and food and drink vendors.


Following the E-Prix, there will be a music festival in the heart of the Allianz E-Village with acts including Matisse, Humbe and Las Villa.


The Mexico E-Prix is set to be showcased around the world, building on record-breaking global television audiences in Season 7 with more fans tuning into live races than ever before. The Season 8 race will air live in Mexico across Azteca Deportes channels and Claro Sports.


Alberto Longo, Chief Championship Officer and Co-Founder, Formula E, said:
“Visiting Mexico is one of the highlights of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. We are thrilled to return to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit and welcome back thousands of fans to enjoy an incredible day of family-friendly, dramatic racing action. Formula E has visited Mexico six times, and each time we are greeted by our huge fanbase creating an electric atmosphere that is unique to Mexico. We cannot wait to experience that again in just a few months and urge fans to get their tickets now and make sure they don’t miss out.”


The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is the first global sport to be certified with a net zero carbon (NZC) footprint from inception, leading the way for international sport to inspire positive change around the world. 


In Mexico, Formula E has invested in a NZC project located at a Municipal Solid Waste landfill site. The purpose of the project is to contain the harmful landfill gases emitted at the site and use the captured methane to generate electricity. Locally, the project benefits extend further into the local community by creating various employment opportunities and reducing the fire and explosion risk at the site.


Earlier this year Formula E announced a three-year global partnership with UNICEF’s Safe and Healthy Environment Fund, created to deliver environmental programmes and policy actions for children and young people around the world. Further details on the dedicated projects in Mexico will be revealed ahead of the Mexico E-Prix.


More information and tickets are available from Ticketmaster and from www.fiaformulae.com/mexicocity 


Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will begin in January, 2022 for its biggest season to date with 16 races in 12 world locations. For more information on Formula E visit www.FIAFormulaE.com 
Plug in and follow the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube. @FIAFormulaE #ABBFormulaE 
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