Racing News
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

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

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

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

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 

Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced its support for the Women Riders World Relay, a world-wide motorcycle tour exclusively for women that strives to ignite a global sisterhood to inspire unity and passion across cultures worldwide. Motorcycle ownership among women has steadily increased in the United States. In 2009 only 10% of motorcycle owners were women, while a 2018 survey from the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) reports that number has climbed to 19% over the last 10 years.

 

The global relay enters the United States on September 25 through Calais, Maine. Guardians of the baton will ride a total of 18 legs spanning 18 days before passing the baton into Mexico out of Laredo, Texas on October 12. During the tour, the Women Riders World Relay will stop at historic motorcycle landmarks including the Wood Museum of Springfield History which is home to the birthplace of Indian Motorcycle and the Indian Motorcycle Collection in Springfield, Massachusetts; The AMA Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio; the Indian Motorcycle factory in Spirit Lake, Iowa; and a day of dirt riding with the Colorado GS Girls.

 

“No matter gender, race, or religion, riding around the world is an incredible feat, and we’re proud to be support these female riders who enjoy the escape, the freedom and the comradery you get when riding motorcycles,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle “When we first learned about the Women Riders World Relay, we wanted to help in any way possible, as our core values aligns with theirs. We are proud to welcome and support our women riders and hope to inspire courage, unity and pride for generations to come.”

 

Women Riders World Relay was founded by UK motorcycle enthusiast Hayley Bell to shine a light on a widely overlooked segment of riders. The global ride made its very first debut on February 26 and will conclude in the United Arab Emirates in February of 2020. Hayley, among other female riders, help pave the way for the growing landscape of women riders through inspiring events such as the Women Riders World Relay.

 

Ride leaders of the Women Riders World Relay will be riding Indian Motorcycle Chieftain and Roadmaster motorcycles, bikes that offer modern, streamlined designs, technology, multiple ride modes, and comfortable riding position appeal to female riders of all skill levels.

 

For a complete look at the global ride route visit Women Riders World Relay. To learn more or to follow along, follow Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Another hard-fought season of Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel competition will conclude this weekend, September 20-22, at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. The Cooper Tires Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products will comprise a pair of races for each step on the internationally acclaimed development ladder – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – all held in conjunction with the final round of the NTT IndyCar Series.

The world-renowned road course features a wide variety of turns within its 2.238-mile length, including the notorious “Corkscrew” turn which incorporates a sharp left-hand turn, followed immediately by a steep drop equivalent to approximately six stories in height and a sweeping, downhill right-hand corner that demands the best of both man and machine. Situated just a few miles from the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur and the Pebble Beach golf haven on California’s scenic Central Coast, WeatherTech Raceway provides some of the best spectator viewing.

Most of the Team and Driver Championships remain undecided prior to the final weekend of the season, but an impressive total valued at more than $2.2 million will be distributed on Monday during the traditional Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Championship Celebration at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in nearby Monterey, Calif.

Askew to Clinch Where his Journey Began
A pair of podium finishes in the two most recent Indy Lights races at Portland International Raceway meant that rising open-wheel star Oliver Askew, 22, from Jupiter, Fla., essentially needs only to take the green flag for Andretti Autosport in this weekend’s final two races to be assured of a scholarship which will guarantee him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series races in 2020, including the 104th Indianapolis 500.

The fact that Askew will formally clinch his third Road to Indy Scholarship at the Californian venue is entirely appropriate, since it was at the same legendary track that his auto racing career effectively began in 2016. After winning a coveted Mazda Road to Indy $200K USF2000 Scholarship Shootout, Askew went on to claim the following year’s USF2000 Championship. Now, just three years later – after recently gaining his first taste of an Indy car with Chip Ganassi Racing at Portland – he is on the verge of completing a meteoric rise from karting to the pinnacle of the sport.

“I am excited to be heading to Laguna Seca this weekend for the season finale,” said Askew. “It is pretty cool and unique to think that my Road to Indy career started and could hopefully end here. We are focused on capping off the season with a pair of race wins and we know we will bring home this championship.”

Askew’s principal rival, young Dutchman Rinus VeeKay, has mirrored Askew’s progress through the ranks. VeeKay, who recently celebrated his 19th birthday, finished second to fellow USF2000 rookie Askew in 2017, then earned his own scholarship by stylishly securing last year’s Indy Pro 2000 Championship. This year he and Juncos Racing seem set to play second fiddle but VeeKay has every intention of rounding out his equally impressive Road to Indy career with victory on the West Coast. He, too, seems set for a long career in IndyCar racing.

Askew’s Andretti Autosport teammates, Ryan Norman, from Aurora, Ohio, and Robert Megennis, from New York, N.Y., have both tasted the spoils of victory this year and will be seeking more hardware this weekend.

Meanwhile, one of the hottest properties in recent events has been Toby Sowery. The 23-year-old from Cambridge, England, began his first full season of racing in North America on a wing and a prayer, but six months after earning two trips to the podium on his very first visit to the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sowery recently secured a richly deserved maiden race win for the reconstituted HMD Motorsports/Team Pelfrey organization at Portland. Teammate and fellow rookie David Malukas, from Chicago, Ill., is the youngest driver in the field at age 17, but he, too, has made a strong impression with a pair of podium finishes.

Norman, Sowery and Megennis are entrenched in a three-way battle for third in the championship with 14 points separating the trio. Andretti Autosport has already secured its second consecutive Team Championship.

The Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products will begin with a 45-minute practice session at 9:30 a.m. PDT on Friday, September 20, followed by qualifying for Race One at 3:55 p.m. Qualifying for Race Two is set for 9:15 a.m. on Saturday. The green flag for Race One, to be held over 30 laps, will fly at 3:10 p.m. Saturday afternoon, with the 35-lap Race Two contest set for 9:10 a.m. on Sunday.  

In the U.S., both races will air live and on demand on NBC Sports Gold with practice and qualifying coverage carried via live streaming on the Road to Indy TV App, RoadToIndy.TV, indylights.com and indycar.com. Internationally, all practice, qualifying and race events will be live streamed on the Road to Indy TV App, RoadToIndy.TV and at indylights.com. Additional coverage can also be found on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts which airs live on network affiliates, Sirius 216, XM 209, indycar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile App powered by NTT Data.

Kirkwood Poised to Clinch Indy Pro 2000 Crown
Kyle Kirkwood, who coincidentally hails from the same town, Jupiter, Fla., as Oliver Askew, has put himself in position to go one better than his childhood friend and karting rival. Just one year after dominating the 2018 USF2000 Championship with a record-breaking 12 wins in only 14 races, Kirkwood, 20, is on the verge of adding the Indy Pro 2000 Championship crown following a stunning run of success with Italian-owned RP Motorsport USA which has brought victory in eight of the last nine races.

Kirkwood’s remarkable strike rate of .714 – 20 wins from 28 Road to Indy starts – has seen him turn a 45-point deficit over Juncos Racing’s young Swedish rookie Rasmus Lindh into a 20-point advantage heading into this weekend’s Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products. One more win on Saturday, plus one of the three bonus points on offer for pole position, fastest race lap and leading most laps, would require Kirkwood merely to take the green flag on Sunday to put the crown beyond his rival’s reach. Alternatively, even if Lindh were to sweep the double-header finale, a second and a third-place finish would be enough for Kirkwood to become the first driver since Matthew Brabham in 2012 and 2013 to clinch consecutive USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 championships.

The battle for third in the points table is equally finely poised, with Canadian Parker Thompson (Abel Motorsports), Singapore’s Danial Frost (Exclusive Autosport) and Sting Ray Robb (Juncos Racing), from Payette, Idaho, all blanketed by 20 points. Thompson and Frost already have a pair of race wins under their belts, while Robb is anxious to add his name to that roster after finishing on the podium no fewer than five times this year. Robb also snagged his first career pole last time out at Portland.

The largest field of the season, 15 cars, will ensure that the championship contenders will likely not have things all their own way.

Canadian teenager Antonio Serravalle showed impressive speed when his Pserra Racing team joined forces with RP Motorsport USA for the recent races at Portland International Raceway, while local driver Phillippe Denes, from Carmel, Calif., has joined the Exclusive Autosport team for this weekend alongside Frost and Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin.

Other potential contenders will include fellow Russian Artem Petrov (RP Motorsport USA), Louisville, Ky.’s Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports), Canadian Antoine Comeau (Turn 3 Motorsport), the DEForce Racing pair of Kory Enders, who earned a breakthrough first podium finish last month at St. Louis, and Mexico’s Moises de la Vara, plus Englishman Matt Round-Garrido (Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing).

In the Team Championship, Juncos Racing leads RP Motorsport USA by 51 points.

A single 30-minute practice session at 11:30 a.m. PDT on Friday will precede a pair of 20-minute qualifying periods at 5:15 p.m. on Friday and 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. The two 25-lap races will start at 4:10 p.m. on Saturday and 3:20 p.m. on Sunday, following the IndyCar season finale.

McElrea Holds the Upper Hand in USF2000
The stage is set for the closest Road to Indy title-chase of all, in USF2000, with California-born, Australian-raised New Zealander Hunter McElrea (Pabst Racing) having eked out a slender six-point edge over Braden Eves (Cape Motorsports), from New Albany, Ohio.

That there is even any doubt about who will win the coveted Road to Indy Scholarship, valued at over  $300,000 to ensure graduation to Indy Pro 2000 in 2020, speaks volumes for the tenacity of McElrea, who with five of the season’s 15 races in the books trailed his rival by a whopping 44 points.

Eves had picked up the gauntlet laid down by 2018 champion Kirkwood by winning the first four races on the bounce for Cape Motorsports, which, impressively, has claimed the last eight USF2000 drivers’ titles in a row. But fellow rookie McElrea finished on the podium in all four of those races. He then claimed an emotional breakthrough maiden victory at Pabst Racing’s home track, Road America, in June. More recently McElrea, 19, has claimed three consecutive wins of his own, at Mid-Ohio and Portland, to elevate himself to status of hunted, rather than hunter, heading into this weekend’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products.

But Eves, 20, bounced back from a sticky mid-season to claim a pair of runner-up finishes in Oregon to keep himself firmly in contention. It promises to be an intriguing battle between two very talented youngsters.

The Team Championship is equally finely poised with Pabst Racing, which is searching for a third straight championship – and an overdue first drivers’ title – currently just three points ahead of Cape Motorsports.

Darren Keane (Cape Motorsports), from Boca Raton, Fla., and Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing) from Homer Glen, Ill., are separated by just four points in their quest for third in the standings, while Danish rookie Christian Rasmussen has closed to within a dozen points after claiming two wins and five podium finishes in his last six starts for Jay Howard Driver Development.

Jak Crawford, from Houston, Texas, is one of no fewer than three 14-year-olds among the 18-car entry list alongside Cape Motorsports teammate Reece Gold, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and local driver Nolan Siegel, from Palo Alto, Calif., who will be making his home-track debut with Newman Wachs Racing.

Second-generation racer Eduardo Barrichello, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, showed good speed after joining DEForce Racing for the first time at Portland three weeks ago, while Mexican teammate Manuel Sulaiman is seeking to rekindle the form that brought him two podiums in the first three races of the season.

Ayrton Ori (Legacy Autosport), from Orlando, Fla., will once again join Portland podium finisher Zach Holden, from Greenfield, Ind., in the two-car Legacy Autosport team, while Wyatt Brichacek, from Johnstown, Colo., also seeks to gain experience ahead of a potential full-season program in 2020 by making his USF2000 debut with Jay Howard Driver Development.

The USF2000 schedule will mimic that of Indy Pro 2000 with 30 minutes of practice at 8:45 a.m. PDT on Friday followed by 20-minute qualifying sessions at 4:40 p.m. and 8:40 a.m. on Saturday. Their pair of 20-lap races are set to go green at 5:05 p.m. on Saturday and 10:25 a.m. on Sunday.

Both USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 will feature global live streaming of all sessions on the Road to Indy TV App, RoadToIndy.TV, usf2000.com, indypro2000.com and indycar.com.

The second year of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup for the GT Daytona (GTD) class will open with a new event as IMSA officials today announced that the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 18 has been added to the calendar for 2020, growing the sprint-race competition to eight rounds.
 
The expanded 2020 WeatherTech Sprint Cup season offers an opportunity for drivers, teams and manufacturers in the GTD class to compete in the important Southern California market alongside the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes. For the GTD class, the 100-minute race on the Long Beach street circuit only will count toward WeatherTech Sprint Cup points and not for the overall WeatherTech Championship.
 
Both 100-minute street races, the Long Beach round and the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park on May 30, will be WeatherTech Sprint Cup-only rounds for GTD in 2020. This year’s Detroit race also only awarded points toward the WeatherTech Sprint Cup.
 
This expansion now makes GTD cars eligible to compete for three different championships and a total of 12 events in 2020. The four-race IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup season encompasses the four iconic endurance events – the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the Motul Petit Le Mans.
 
The now eight-race WeatherTech Sprint Cup season – which is exclusive to the GTD class – features all races two-hours and 40-minutes in length or shorter in 2020. The overall WeatherTech Championship season includes 10 races for GTD – the four Michelin Endurance Cup races and six two-hour, 40-minute races.
 
“The GTD class is the largest of the four competing in our flagship series from both a team and driver perspective as well as in the number of manufacturers participating,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “Southern California is the epicenter of car culture in the United States – if not the world – making it a highly desirable market for the manufacturers.
 
“We believe that by including Long Beach on the WeatherTech Sprint Cup calendar for 2020, it offers a ‘best of all worlds’ scenario for the GTD class. It’s not a requirement for those competing for either the WeatherTech Championship or Michelin Endurance Cup, but competitors with GT3 race cars and a desire to participate at Long Beach now have the opportunity to do so.”
 
The 2020 event will mark the first appearance for GTD at Long Beach since 2017, when Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette co-drove to the class victory in the No. 50 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3.
 
Next year’s WeatherTech Sprint Cup season will open and close on the west coast, with the season finale set once again for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 13. Other WeatherTech Sprint Cup venues include Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 3, Detroit on May 30, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on July 5, Lime Rock Park on July 18, Road America on Aug. 2 and VIRginia International Raceway on Aug. 23.
 
 
Coke is it!
 
That familiar slogan adorned the sides of IMSA legend Bob Akin’s Porsche race cars from 1980 through 1987, along with unmistakable Coca-Cola red paint scheme and the white Coke “wave.” It’s one of the most iconic liveries in IMSA history – and it’s making a comeback.
 
The pair of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class-leading Porsche 911 RSRs race cars will wear the livery for Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 9-12. The 10-hour race serves as the season finale for both the WeatherTech Championship and the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup.
 
It also closes the curtain on the IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration in spectacular fashion.
 
“I can’t think of a better way for fans to celebrate the final race of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary season by seeing two of the most iconic brands in the world – Porsche and Coca-Cola – bring back an unforgettable livery,” said Jim France, NASCAR chairman and IMSA chairman, who attended Tuesday’s unveiling of the livery at Coca-Cola’s world headquarters in downtown Atlanta alongside IMSA CEO Ed Bennett and President Scott Atherton.
 
“Bob Akin was one of a kind, much like Porsche and Coca-Cola, and to see this livery at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for this year’s Motul Petit Le Mans will certainly be exciting for everyone.”
 
Atlanta was the common thread that brought the opportunity together and made it fit like a glove. In addition to being the home of Coca-Cola HQ, Atlanta also is home to Porsche Cars North America. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta is in Braselton, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb.
 
“As one last tribute to honor IMSA on their Golden Anniversary, we are bringing back yet another memorable livery – a local favorite: Coca-Cola,” said Pedro Mota, vice president of marketing for Porsche Cars North America. “As an added benefit, we get to fondly recall Bob Akin, the gentleman who first brought Coca-Cola and Porsche together with the customer 935 and 962 race cars he successfully campaigned.”
 
Both the No. 911 Porsche GT Team entry shared by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki and the No. 912 RSR co-driven by Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor and Mathieu Jaminet will carry the Coke livery, as will their firesuits.
 
The livery will match the one used by the Bob Akin Racing No. 5 Porsche 962 at the 1986 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which Akin co-drove to victory alongside Hans-Joachim Stuck and Jo Gartner. Akin’s cars carried Coca-Cola colors beginning with the 1980 Rolex 24 At Daytona and continued through the IMSA race at Road America in 1987.
 
“We are keen to add to the celebrations of IMSA’s 50th anniversary at the final round of the season in a very special way,” said Fritz Enzinger, Porsche’s vice president, motorsport. “I’m very curious to see how the fans will respond to our two Porsche 911 RSRs in Coca-Cola colors.”
 
Bamber and Vanthoor currently lead the WeatherTech Championship GTLM standings by 12 points, 304-292, over Tandy and Pilet. Roles are reversed in the Michelin Endurance Cup standings, where Tandy and Pilet have a six-point advantage, 31-25, over Bamber and Vanthoor, who are tied for second with No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT co-drivers Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe.
 
Recent historic liveries have served No. 911 co-drivers Tandy, Pilet and Makowiecki particularly well. They won last year’s Motul Petit Le Mans carrying the famed Mobil 1 livery that competed in the inaugural Motul Petit Le Mans in 1998.
 
Earlier this year, the same trio also took the victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in March. The livery for that race was the well-known red, white and blue colors used by Brumos Racing for decades of IMSA competition.
 
Yet another historic livery, the “Pink Pig” scheme, was carried to the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE Pro class victory by Vanthoor and co-drivers Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen.
 
“The special vehicle liveries of the past few months have yielded us numerous successes,” Enzinger said. “We won at Road Atlanta last year, we won Le Mans in 2018 and we won at Sebring this year. We would be happy for things to continue like this.”
 
Live television coverage of Motul Petit Le Mans begins Saturday, Oct. 12 at 12 p.m. ET on the NBC network, with continuing coverage on NBCSN, the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the race week on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with a live race broadcast also airing on SiriusXM Radio.
 
Tickets are available now at RoadAtlanta.com.
 
Winward Racing is now a winning team in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
 
The elusive victory had escaped the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT4 team for three years, first joining the series in 2017 and the following year, announcing a partnership with the German Mercedes-AMG squad of HTP Motorsport that stands to this day.
 
Russell Ward – who has been with the program since its inception alongside team owner and father Bryce – was part of the winning lineup on Saturday afternoon at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He stood with the team and cheered on as co-driver Dominik Baumann crossed the finish line first.
 
“It means an incredible amount to the team,” said Ward. “Everyone works so hard, and we bleed this together. To finally bring it home for the team feels incredible, especially after the season we’ve had. It’s just been a difficult season. We’ve had some crashes, some mechanical failures, just about everything in the book has been thrown at us.”
 
For the majority of the race, Winward’s toughest opponent appeared to be the No. 39 Carbahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 GT4 of Tyler McQuarrie and Jeff Westphal. McQuarrie qualified the car on pole and handed the car over to Westphal in that position.
 
Westphal brought the car into the pits before Baumann for his final stop. However, Baumann was able to make up enough ground on track before he entered the pits for a rear-tire change that allowed him to come out ahead in the end.
 
From there, he hunted down the handful of race cars looking to stretch their fuel tanks to the finish. He ultimately passed the No. 7 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Trent Hindman for the lead with eight minutes remaining in the two-hour race.
 
“We gained so much time on track, we were leading from after the pit stop,” said Baumann, who got the call to compete this weekend in his first Pilot Challenge race just a week ago. “The car was just great. I could defend the Audi at the end and pull a gap. It looked easy, but it wasn’t.
 
“We were setting up the car for race pace, not for one lap, and it helped us to have a good car in the race. Especially the last 15 to 20 minutes, we were strong. We made the right decisions, and it paid off in the end.”
 
McQuarrie and Westphal expanded their championship lead with a runner-up finish, nearly clinching the title with a 34-point lead, 262-228 over the No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren GT4 of Jesse Lazare and Corey Fergus with one race remaining.
 
Hindman and co-driver Alan Brynjolfsson held on for a third-place finish, moving up one spot to third in the championship standings with 218 points.
 
Morley, Ernstone Break Through for Inaugural TCR Win in Roadshagger Audi
One year ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Gavin Ernstone and Jon Morley contested their second career race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
 
Returning this weekend to Monterey, Calif., the No. 61 Roadshagger Audi RS3 LMS brought a string of four podium finishes in six races and a painstakingly near-win in its first full season. That victory finally came Saturday afternoon in an impressive 12th-to-first performance without a pit stop in the final 50 minutes of the two-hour race.
 
“The team did an incredible job, as they have the last five races, jumping us up during the pit stop,” said Morley, a San Francisco resident. “They got me out in third place, and then I managed to get to the lead pretty quick, pull out a bit of a gap, and then from there, it was just managing tires. We weren’t planning on running the whole way, but the way the race went, that’s what happened.”
 
The win ends a trying few weeks for Roadshagger, which was involved in a late-race incident from the lead at VIRginia International Raceway three weeks ago that wiped out a potential victory. The following Monday, Ernstone and Morley learned their partnering team, eEuroparts, was immediately withdrawing from the sport.
 
“As luck would have it, I own all the stuff that is in our team,” said Ernstone. “I own the car, the hauler, all the tools and everything else, and eEuroparts was running it for me. We just got a driver and a tractor unit straight over to Connecticut, got everything in there and brought it to (my shop in) Vegas.
 
“That car was finished three minutes into the beginning of the promoter test on Thursday. We thought we were going to be working on it and adjusting it through the promoter test, but it was perfect the whole test. That gave us the ability to work on strategy and everything else for this weekend. It’s been great. It couldn’t be better.”
 
With the victory, Ernstone and Morley moved into third place in the Pilot Challenge TCR standings, 14 points behind the leading No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR pair of Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins, 256-242.
 
Lewis and Wilkins finished second on Saturday by a narrow 0.276 seconds after starting from the pole position. They hold an 11-point margin over their next closest competitors in the title hunt, Tom O’Gorman and Shelby Blackstock of the No. 37 L.A. Honda World Racing Honda Civic TCR, who finished third Saturday.
 
The 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season concludes at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 9-11. The two-hour FOX Factory goes green on Friday, Oct. 11 at 1:25 p.m. ET and can be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.
 
The NBCSN broadcast of the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 will air on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. ET.
 
For news and updates heading into the season finale, please visit IMSA.com or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #IMPC.

 

NHRA officials announced the 2020 schedule for the SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown Drag Racing Series, which will compete at eight of the 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. 
 
This fan favorite category continues to grow in popularity as the SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown Drag Racing series showcases the best in American automotive muscle. Competitors line up against each other for a heads-up contest showcasing drag-racing ready, factory-built vehicles including Ford Mustang Cobra Jets, Dodge Challenger Drag Paks and Chevrolet COPO Camaros.
 
NHRA’s two nitro categories – Funny Car and Top Fuel – will participate at all 24 national events in the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The national event schedule for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will be released later this fall.
 
2020 SAMTECH.EDU NHRA FACTORY STOCK SHOWDOWN DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
 
March 12-15 - AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 24-26 - NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
May 15-17 - NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta
June 25-28 - Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
July 9-12 - Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago
Sept. 2-7 - NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
Oct. 2-4 - AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct. 29-Nov. 1 - Dodge NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas

The SCCA® U.S. Majors Tour® Northern Conference has concluded its 2019 calendar. More than 650 racers took part in the Conference’s 12-round season that visited five different venues. Drivers who triumphed have earned a 2019 Northern Conference championship.

The Formula Atlantic Northern Conference championship was decided by five scant points as Paul Ravaris, driving a Pro Formula Mazda, edged out the Swift 016 of Larry Howard, 66 points to 61 points. The Formula Mazda Northern Conference championship was close, too, as Owen McAllister managed to claim victory by only eight points over William Snyder thanks to two wins during the Hoosier Super Tour at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Formula Vee (FV) saw a heck of a championship fight in the Northern Conference as the top three finishers were only separated by seven points. Andrew Whitston and his Protoform P2 took the top spot with 138 points. Zachary Whitston, also driving a Protoform P2, and Stuart Delaney, in a Caracal C-SB, where right behind Andrew with 131 points each. However, Zachary claims the runner-up spot in FV based upon his three victories as compared to Delaney’s two second-place finishes on the season.

Combined, the Spec Miata (SM) and Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3) classes accounted for more than 180 competitors during the 2019 Northern Conference season. In SM it was Voytek Burdzy who bested 95 other racers to claim a championship. And in SRF3, S. Sandy Satullo III was cream of the crop amongst a field of 90 drivers.

It should be noted that Scott Rettich earned his fourth U.S. Majors Tour Conference championship by claiming victory in the Northern Conference’s Formula Enterprises 2 (FE2) class. Rettich earlier claimed Northeast Conference championships in FE2 and SRF3, and also claimed FE2’s top spot in the Southeast Conference.

The Northern Conference began its racing season in early May with Round 1 and Round 2 at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, Illinois, followed by a competition weekend at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. Then it was off to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour event. June saw a second Hoosier Super Tour weekend, this one being the WeatherTech Chicago Region® June Sprints® at Road America. July brought about another race weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, before the season came to a close in August with Round 11 and Round 12 at Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan.

Conference points are awarded to the top 20 finishers in each class. Winners earn 25 points, and 21 points go to second. Points are then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher. Only the best eight finishes at Northern Conference races count towards a driver’s point total.  Below are Northern Conference champions with Class: Name, Hometown, SCCA Region and Car.
-American Sedan®: Bryan Long; Peoria, IL; Chicago Region; Ford Mustang
-B-Spec: William Wilke; Chelsea, MI; Detroit Region; Ford Fiesta
-E Production: Tim Schreyer; Dubuque, IA; Great River Region; BMW 325is
-F Production: Michael Froh; Elkhart Lake, WI; Milwaukee Region; Mazda Miata
-H Production: Steve Sargis; Frankfort, IL; Blackhawk Valley Region; Triumph Spitfire
-Formula 500: Aaron Ellis; Farmington, MN; Land O'Lakes Region; Ellis AE13
-Formula 1000: Mike Holland; Tulsa, OK; Northeast Oklahoma Region; Van Devin FB
-Formula Atlantic®: Paul Ravaris; Aledo, TX; Texas Region; Pro Formula Mazda
-Formula Continental®: Michael Varacins; Burlington, WI; Chicago Region; Van Diemen RF2000
-Formula Enterprises: Matthew Cutter; Sterling, IL; Blackhawk Valley Region; SCCA FE Mazda
-Formula Enterprises 2: Scott Rettich; Columbus, OH; Ohio Valley Region; SCCA FE2 Mazda
-Formula F: Brandon Lavender; Indianapolis, IN; Ohio Valley Region; Van Diemen RF85
-Formula Mazda: Owen McAllister; Mooresville, NC; Texas Region; Formula Mazda
-Formula Vee®: Andrew Whitston; Neenah, WI; Milwaukee Region; Protoform P2
-GT-1: Dave Ruehlow; Hartland, WI; Milwaukee Region; Chevrolet Corvette
-GT-2: Timothy Gray; Minneapolis, MN; Land O'Lakes Region; Ford Cope Mustang
-GT-3: Rob Warkocki; Frankfort, IL; Chicago Region; Mazda RX-7
-GT-Lite: William Meyer; Russellville, MO; St Louis Region; Mazda Miata
-Prototype 1: Gary Peck; Rockford, IL; Blackhawk Valley Region; Stohr  WF1
-Prototype 2: Michael Reupert; Hubertus, WI; Milwaukee Region; Nostendo 1
-Spec Miata: Voytek Burdzy; Shiller Park, IL; Blackhawk Valley Region; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford 3: S. Sandy Satullo III; Hillsboro Beach, FL; NeOhio Region; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
-Super Touring® Lite: David Palfenier; Hinkley, IL; Chicago Region; Mazda Miata
-Super Touring® Under: Bruce Bannister; Novi, MI; Detroit Region; Mazda Miata
-Touring 1: Craig Capaldi; New Baltimore, MI; Detroit Region; Ford Boss 302 Mustang
-Touring 2: Joseph Boden; Winnetka, IL; Chicago Region; Porsche 997
-Touring 3: James Berlin; Savage, MN; Land O'Lakes Region; Nissan 350Z
-Touring 4: James Ebben; Appleton, WI; Milwaukee Region; Mazda MX-5

The U.S. Majors Tour is one pathway to the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® being held Oct. 8-13 at VIRginia International Raceway along the border of North Carolina and Virginia. U.S. Majors Tour drivers qualify for the Runoffs by participating in three U.S. Majors Tour weekends and starting at least three U.S. Majors Tour races in the same car class over the course of the season.

The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944 and currently celebrating its 75th Diamond Anniversary, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA’s activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Hagerty, the Official Insurance Partner of SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.

Photo: Andrew Whitston claimed the Northern Conf. Formula Vee title in his Protoform P2 car.

Photo Credit: Michael Berchak

The marine fog layer over WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca lifted just in time Sunday morning to reveal a thrilling final domestic round in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America.
 
The 10th race of the season contained all the elements that make the single-make series utilizing identical Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVOs a fan favorite: wheel-to-wheel racing, dazzling passes, critical pit stops, drivers charging toward the front; even a drag race to the finish line to decide a podium position.
 
Conor Daly, who finished off the race win Saturday in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach, started from pole on Sunday and quickly built a two-second lead while the action was furious behind him. Jake Eidson (No. 9 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver), Corey Lewis (No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte), Cedric Sbirrazzuoli (No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Dallas) and Andrea Amici (No. 1 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus) ran nose-to-tail in second through fifth place through most of the opening stint.
 
It wasn’t until Lap 10 when Lewis made an inside pass of Eidson in Turn 2 for second place. Later on the same lap, Amici snuck past Sbirrazzuoli for fourth. A lap later, contact between LB Cup points leader Mel Johnson (No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach) and Justin Price (No. 22 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta) ended the latter’s race with right-rear wheel damage.
 
On Lap 13, as the mandatory pit window for the 50-minute race was about to open, Randy Sellari (No. 3 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini North LA) spun at the top of the famous Corkscrew turn while leading in LB Cup.
 
When the pit window opened, Daly, Lewis and Sbirrazzuoli were among the first takers. Brandon Gdovic replaced Daly in the No. 46 while Richy Antinucci jumped into the No. 29 for Lewis. As the two raced for the same real estate at pit exit, they made light contact, with the No. 29 getting the temporary advantage. However, Antinucci was soon ordered to cede the position to Gdovic for an improper pit exit.
 
Adding insult to injury, the No. 29 was then assessed a drive-through penalty for not meeting the 84-second minimum pit stop time (from pit-lane entry to exit) by more than one second. The No. 46 was also penalized for not meeting the pit time requirement, but since its pit stop was less than a second off the minimum, it was assessed a post-race time penalty of 0.234 seconds (double the actual time by which it missed the minimum).
When the dust settled from the pit stop cycle and the penalties, Gdovic held a lead of nearly two seconds over Sandy Mitchell in the No. 1, with Paolo Ruberti third in the No. 27. Mitchell wasn’t done, however, and quickly closed to the rear bumper of Gdovic.
 
Mitchell made a couple unsuccessful late attempts to pass for the lead, but knowing his car would be assessed a five-second post-race penalty for an improper race start, opted to hold steady in second place at the checkered flag.
 
The win for the No. 46 completed a weekend sweep for Daly and Gdovic and was their third this season to go with the season opener at Barber Motorsports Park. It was also the third straight victory for Gdovic, who teamed with Shinya Michimi to win the second race of the VIRginia International Raceway weekend last month.
 
Meanwhile, Antinucci charged back from the drive-through penalty to make a late pass on Ruberti and claim third place overall and in the Pro class. Antinucci and Lewis lead Gdovic by six points (124-118) in the Pro standings.
 
For the second straight day, James Sofronas (No. 14 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach) and Steven Aghakhani (No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills) put on a dazzling duel for the Am class win in the closing lap. And for the second straight day, Sofronas held strong for the win, Aghakhani finished second and Cameron Cassels (No. 33 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus) was third. McKay Snow (No. 63 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte) finished fourth and leads Aghakhani by 13 points and Cassels by 15 in the Am standings.
 
Eidson started second and turned the No. 09 over to Damon Ockey, who comfortably drove to the win for the ProAm weekend sweep. In the process, the duo clinched the season championship. Ron Atapattu and Patrick Liddy drove the No. 24 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla to second place on Sunday. Dani Clos secured the last spot on the ProAm podium when he rolled the No. 69 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus out of the last turn and past teammate Dean Baker in the No. 53 on the final straight to the checkered flag.
 
Despite the early contact with the No. 22, Johnson and co-driver Thomas Lovelady finished off the LB Cup victory in the No. 08. Sellari recovered from his Corkscrew spin to finish second in the No. 3, with Matt Dicken (No. 36 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte) taking third. Johnson holds a 14-point lead (115-101) over Ashton Harrison and Stephanie Cemo, who finished fifth Sunday in the No. 43 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus.
 
The climactic round of Lamborghini Super Trofeo takes place Oct. 24-25 at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, where competitors from North America, Europe and Asia will compete. Live streaming of that event will be available on squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming.
Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand took out more than a year’s worth of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship frustration with a dominant GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory Sunday in the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren.
 
With Hand at the wheel, the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT crossed the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca finish line 20.039 seconds ahead of the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE to collect its first win since the Lime Rock Park race in July 2018.
 
“I’m not going to lie, that feels really great,” Mueller said. “It’s a sweet victory but it wasn’t an easy one.”
 
“We got in the car the first session here and it was pretty bad,” Hand added. “It was not good. And we fought our way from the worst car we ever had here to the best car we ever had here today in the race.”
 
Mueller started second in class alongside Motul Pole Award winner Jesse Krohn in the No. 24 BMW. They remained that way through the early laps on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn permanent road course, until the No. 24 stuttered briefly exiting the Andretti Hairpin in Turn 2. Mueller shot past into the lead and the No. 66 controlled the rest of the two-hour, 40-minute event.
 
“I knew my car was great, I could follow so closely behind (Krohn),” Mueller said. “I don’t really know what happened but he lost momentum and I took advantage (and) got by. That was tough because you don’t expect it. That was quite a close moment.
 
“From that moment, I think that was the milestone for the victory.”
 
Hand jumped into the No. 66 Ford GT following Mueller’s opening stint and stayed in the car to the finish. Opting for a two-stop strategy, Hand had only to outlast the three-stop effort of the Nos. 3 and 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.Rs to earn his 19th career IMSA win and the 24th for Mueller.
 
The victory was especially rewarding for Hand, a native of Sacramento, California. It was his first race win at the track where he’s raced for more than two decades.
 
“I’ve been trying to win at this racetrack, my home racetrack, since like 1998,” Hand said. “That puts in perspective how this feels to me. I’ve got a lot of seconds here, I’ve been on the pole here in all different categories. I told my wife two weeks ago that 2019’s been kind of a tough year for me and I said, ‘I’m going to turn this one around, we’re going to win this one.’ That’s what we did today.
 
“This one feels really good. It’s not Daytona, it’s not Le Mans or whatever, but I’ll tell you what, this track stands out on the calendar for everybody. It especially stands out for a California guy like me.”
 
The entire race ran under green-flag conditions, with the GTLM leaders completing 114 laps. Mueller and Hand combined to lead 72 laps. Krohn ran the longest opening stint in the No. 24 BMW to lead 19 laps, with the off-strategy Corvettes leading the other 23 circuits around the iconic circuit.
 
Krohn and co-driver John Edwards brought home the No. 24 BMW in second place for the second time this season, but have yet to collect a win themselves.
 
Taking advantage of fresher Michelin tires with its three-stop efforts, the Corvettes chased down the No. 25 BMW in late stages to put three different manufacturers on the GTLM podium. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Antonio Garcia (No. 3 Corvette) and Tommy Milner (No, 4 Corvette) maneuvered past Connor De Phillippi (No. 25 BMW) on the same lap. Garcia held onto third place at the finish, giving the No. 3 its fourth second-place finish and sixth podium of the season.
 
“We got the most of our three-stop strategy,” said Jan Magnussen, co-driver of the No. 3 Corvette. “In practice, we learned that the (tire) degradation for us was quite high. It was a bit better in the race than I had feared; maybe we could have gotten away with two stops. But we stuck to our plan and ran our race.
“We got a podium out of it, which was a lot better than qualifying. I’m as happy as I can be for a third-place finish.”
 
The WeatherTech Championship points-leading Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSRs suffered a rare off day, finishing a lap behind the GTLM leaders. It’s the first time this season that neither Porsche finished on the podium. The No. 912, with co-drivers Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor, placed seventh. The No. 911 Porsche, with co-drivers Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, wound up eighth.
 
The result allowed the No. 912 drivers to extend their lead by a point in the driver and team championships. Bamber and Vanthoor have scored 304 points to 292 for Pilet and Tandy. Garcia and No. 3 Corvette co-driver Jan Magnussen closed within three points of second place, with 289.
 
With the race win, Mueller moved into seventh in driver points with 283, leapfrogging teammates Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe (281 points), who finished sixth in the No. 67 Ford GT.
The 2019 GTLM season concludes Oct. 9-12 with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. The race will begin on NBC starting at 12 noon on Saturday, Oct. 12 for the first three hours with the remainder of the 10-hour race on NBCSN, the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. The entire race can be heard on IMSA Radio.
 
Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Completes Dominant Weekend with Win at WeatherTech Raceway
In what can easily be called a trying season for Paul Miller Racing, the team found sweet relief Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with its first win of the season.
 
The No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 entered the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season as defending champion, but only recorded one podium in the first four races. An incident in practice at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park forced the team to withdraw from the event, ultimately ending hopes of back-to-back titles.
 
The luck turned around, however, with a finish of second at Road America in August and finally returning to the top step of the podium Sunday at the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren with Bryan Sellers and Corey Lewis, who stepped in for Ryan Hardwick the remainder of the season following his incident in Canada.
 
“In a lot of ways, we’ve had a lot of up and downs this year,” said Sellers. “Everyone says it’s been a tough year. This is our third podium of the season, so in a lot of ways it’s been pretty good. We’ve been first, second and third. The issue is a lot of the other races weren’t great. We’ve shown a lot of speed and a lot of consistency at the races. To finally be able to convert one and put a complete race together is obviously extremely satisfying.”
 
While happy with the victory, it wasn’t completely unexpected. The No. 48 Lamborghini led both practice sessions on Friday during the first official day of on-track activities. The next day, Lewis earned his first career pole position in IMSA to start from the top spot.
 
Between their two stints Sunday, Lewis and Sellers led flag-to-flag in the two-hour, 40-minute race.
 
“We had a dominant car all weekend long,” said Lewis. “And we both like the same setup on the car, so it made (engineer) Lar (Giersing)’s job that much easier and our job inside the car even better. Overall, I’m over the moon for the first win of the year. It means the world. We’ve got one more race here at Petit Le Mans, so we’d love to continue the stride from here.”
 
Stalking the No. 48 in second place for the majority of the race was the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Cooper MacNeil and Toni Vilander. MacNeil qualified third on the charts, but jumped into second early in his stint. The team held the position for the rest of the race.
 
Finishing third was another Lamborghini, the No. 44 for Magnus Racing driven by John Potter and Andy Lally. The move onto the podium came in the final half hour of the race, taking advantage of then-third place, Scott Hargrove in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, being run off track by a lapped car. Lally snuck his Lamborghini past as Hargrove recovered for the team’s second top-three finish of the season.
 
GTD championship leaders, Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher, still maintain a strong lead in the championship despite an eighth-place finish Sunday. The No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 duo hold a 32-point lead over Pfaff Motorsports’ other co-driver, Zacharie Robichon, who clinched the first WeatherTech Sprint Cup championship with a fourth-place finish alongside Hargrove.
 
Robichon Wins Inaugural WeatherTech Sprint Cup Championship
With a fourth-place finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Zacharie Robichon has been crowned the inaugural champion of the WeatherTech Sprint Cup.
 
The championship consisted of the seven WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) races this year that were two hours, 40 minutes or shorter, with the last being Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren.
 
Robichon, who drives full-time in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, entered the race at WeatherTech Raceway with a narrow one-point margin over No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 co-drivers Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher. In the end, Robichon’s lead expanded to six, 203-197, following the No. 86’s eighth-place finish.
 
“We almost got that podium, but at the same time we did what we needed to do to secure the championship,” said Robichon. “It’s not the way you want to do it. It looks like the Acura guys had a hard day, but we’ll take it. I’m very happy with what the Pfaff team has done this year.” 
 
While Pfaff Motorsports did not compete in the second round of the Sprint Cup – the Detroit Grand Prix – the Canadian was picked as a substitute driver at that event for Park Place Motorsports’ No. 73 Porsche, allowing him to remain eligible for the championship. Back-to-back wins at Lime Rock Park and Road America vaulted him up the standings into contention for the title.
 
“I mean, this year I’ve had the opportunity to share the car with a lot of quick guys and we’ve been able to learn from them,” Robichon explained. “Scott (Hargrove), Dennis (Olsen), Matt (Campbell), Lars (Kern, endurance driver), Pat Long as well. They have a lot more experience and I think that is what helped me get to this position. The beauty about endurance racing is you have your teammate and you work together.”
 
It was announced on Friday that the 2020 WeatherTech Sprint Cup will see the addition of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in April, the first time GTD will return to the street circuit since 2017.  
 
“I think for me, it’s really cool,” said Robichon. “It’s one of the ones I remember watching as a kid, but obviously it’s like Laguna Seca here. It’s one of those tracks that’s very iconic, like all the California tracks. I saw the announcement the other day and the first thing I did was text our team manager, ‘Did you see this?’ Obviously no plans for next year, but I’m excited if we get to race there.” 
 

Today, Budweiser announced the release of its limited edition, vintage-style Budweiser Racing Team apparel line inspired by the apparel P.L. Newman wore at his historic win at Watkins Glen as part of the Grand Prix Festival and Vintage Grand Prix 40 years ago.

The new line featuring shirts, jackets and caps, makes Bud Racing Team’s all-American spirit accessible to a new generation of fans by telling its rich motorsport history. The apparel references both the original Budweiser Racing Team spirit and today’s fashion and street culture and is available for purchase online at shopbudweiser.com and through Budweiser’s Instagram page (@budweiserusa).  

In honor or Newman’s legacy of altruism, proceeds of the apparel will go to the International Motor Racing Research Center, an organization that preserves American motor racing history for future generations.

Earlier this month, Budweiser brought P.L. Newman’s 1979 Datsun racecar back to Watkins Glen, 40 years after his historic win there as part of the Grand Prix Festival and Vintage Grand Prix.  Budweiser gave the fans the opportunity to experience the spirit and glory of 1979 by running Newman’s car in a parade lap of the world-famous track, participating in the Grand Prix Festival and recreating the legendary parties at the Seneca Lodge. You can find a video recapping the weekend’s festivities here

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