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
Serving as a prelude to the 56th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway, IMSA is pleased to support the Twenty-Four Premiere at ONE DAYTONA on Wednesday, Jan. 24 from 6-8 p.m. The race kickoff event will allow fans an opportunity to see the cars and meet the stars in advance of one of the most anticipated races in the Rolex 24’s storied history.
The Twenty-Four Premiere at ONE DAYTONA will offer a variety of activities for fans, including a fan forum with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship drivers Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and Christina Nielsen. Additionally, over 10 teams will also have cars on display for photo opportunities, Daytona International Speedway will give away race tickets and a DJ will be onsite spinning today’s hottest hits.
The event is also an opportunity for fans to explore the newly-opened ONE DAYTONA, the premier mixed-use destination, located directly across from the Speedway, ONE DAYTONA is set to become the area’s epicenter for entertainment. With inviting spaces, new-to-market retail and restaurants, two hotels, a movie theatre and two residential communities, it is the ideal gathering space for locals, visitors and race fans.
“An event of the magnitude like this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona is deserving of a true kickoff event, and the breathtaking new ONE DAYTONA facility serves as the ideal backdrop to do just that,” said IMSA Vice President, Marketing David Pettit. “What better way to showcase the cars and stars of IMSA than putting them, quite literally, in the heart of Daytona Beach.”
The number of stars and manufacturers participating in the 2018 Rolex 24 has garnered attention from around the world. With Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, the debut of Acura Team Penske with Indy 500 champions Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya, the debut of Mazda Team Joest and much more, this year’s race is set to be unlike any other. Returning teams also include defending class champions Wayne Taylor Racing with Konica Minolta, Corvette Racing and Scuderia Corsa Ferrari.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona broadcast begins live on FOX on Saturday, January 27th at 2 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased online at www.imsa.com/tickets.
ESPN has signed SportsCenter anchor Nicole Briscoe to a new contract and given her some extra duty: hosting ABC’s telecast of the Indianapolis 500.
Briscoe’s new multi-year deal will see her continuing as an anchor for SportsCenter, a position she’s been in since January of 2015. She recently moved from late night to daytime and weekend editions of ESPN’s signature news and information program. Prior to becoming a SportsCenter anchor, Briscoe was part of ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR as a host and reporter from when she joined the network in 2008.
And on May 27, she’ll return to motorsports, although a different form, from atop the iconic Pagoda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as ABC televises the Indianapolis 500 for the 54th consecutive year. As the telecast host, she’ll anchor the one-hour pre-race show and bring viewers back from breaks during the race itself.
“Nicole is a very talented and professional anchor and we’re very happy she’ll be staying with us for years to come,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President and Executive Editor, Studio Production. “She brings a unique personality and presence to SportsCenter and anything else she does for us.
“That will include the Indianapolis 500. She has a reverence for the event and its history and we look forward to having her as part of our coverage.”
In many ways, the new Indianapolis 500 assignment is a homecoming for Briscoe. She was first exposed to auto racing while covering the race as a sports reporter for WISH-TV in Indianapolis from 2004-2006, her first on-air sports position, and she also worked as a pit reporter for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network on the race broadcast.
After hosting a motorsports news program on the SPEED Channel for two years, she joined ESPN in 2008 as Nicole Manske, prior to her 2009 marriage to racing driver Ryan Briscoe, who at the time raced in the IndyCar Series and now competes in sports car racing.
“I feel like this homecoming is a long time coming,” she said. “The Speedway has played such an important role in my life, professionally and personally. I cannot wait to be back and part of the 500.”
For ESPN, Briscoe was host of the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program from 2011-2014, and a host and reporter for the news program NASCAR Now from 2008-2014, before ESPN’s coverage of live NASCAR races came to an end at the conclusion of the 2014 season. In addition to her primary SportsCenter role, she also has contributed to ESPN’s Major League Baseball and X Games coverage and has hosted some of the network’s other studio programs.
“The past 10 years at ESPN have been a professional dream come true,” she said. “I’ve always known how absurdly fortunate I am. NASCAR, SportsCenter and MLB in-between. That’s my job?
“The next couple of years will be fun, to be a part of the growing and changing sports world. I’m proud to call ESPN my home.”
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird secured third place during today’s Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix, with team-mate Alex Lynn once again securing a points finish. The result puts Bird just four points off the top spot in the drivers’ championship with the team second overall in the teams’ standings.
WATCH OUR RACE HIGHLIGHTS HERE.
Held at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, the day – which saw very changeable weather conditions throughout – saw both Bird and Lynn perform strongly in qualifying, finishing second and sixth respectively.
After maintaining their qualifying positions off the start line, Bird was challenging Sebastien Buemi for the lead in the opening laps, whilst Lynn was looking strong in sixth until he was hit from behind by Daniel Abt at Turn 1. The German driver was subsequently penalised, but Lynn – now right down the order in the 33 lap race – was able to produce a strong comeback drive to end the day ninth.
Meanwhile, Bird was unable to hold on to his P2 slot from a charging Felix Rosenqvist but came home to pick up the 11th podium finish of his Formula E career and remain a strong title contender heading into the next rounds in Chile.
Sam Bird said: “Not everything went the way we wanted it to this weekend, but third place is still a strong result for me and the team, with yet more championship points. It’s a good platform for us build on for the races ahead and we hope it continues.”
Alex Lynn said: “This weekend promised a lot but sadly we didn’t come away with all the points we deserved. We qualified well and were in the fight during the race but unfortunately it was ruined by another driver which put paid to what we should have scored.”
Team Principal Alex Tai commented: “Sam, Alex and the whole team performed fantastic today on a track that was always going to be tough on energy consumption. To have always finished in the points - together with a win and a podium - in the first three races, just shows what a great position we’re in heading into the next race in Santiago.”
DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: “It was great to see Sam on the podium today and another strong result for the team. The achievements confirm the efficiency and performance of our car, and is reward for all the hard work the team has done to prepare for this event.”
The all-electric Formula E championship is next in action on February 3 at the inaugural Santiago E-Prix. For more information on the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team, visit: http://map.ds-virginracing.com/
2017/2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship
Marrakesh E-Prix – Round 3:
1. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing (25pts)
2. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams (21pts, P)
3. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing (15pts)
4. Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing (13pts, FL)
5. Jean Eric Vergne, Techeetah (10pts)
6. Jose Maria Lopez, Dragon (8pts)
7. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing (6pts)
8. Tom Blomqvist, Andretti Formula E (4pts)
9. Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing (2pts)
10. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler (1pt)
1. Felix Rosenqvist, 54pts
2. Sam Bird, 50pts
3. Jean Eric Vergne, 43pts
4. Nelson Piquet Jr, 25pts
5. Eduardo Mortara, 24pts
13. Alex Lynn, 8pts
1. Mahindra Racing, 75pts
2. DS Virgin Racing, 58pts
3. Techeetah, 43pts
4. Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 40pts
5. Venturi Formula E, 30pts
While other series wait until later in the year to get things cranking, the 2018 Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour just couldn't wait and got going Saturday with the first of two Sebring International Raceway races this weekend at an event hosted by the SCCA's Central Florida Region.
B-Spec, B Street, American Sedan, Classic American Muscle, Prepared All-Wheel Drive, E Street Prepared, GT-1, Touring 1 .... Admittedly, participation options within the Sports Car Club of America® can be varied, confusing and daunting for newcomers. Be it road racing, autocross, RallyCross®, RoadRally or other SCCA® activity, the immense complexity of motorsports itself sometimes acts as a barrier to entry.
It’s safe to say that few people in America had heard of Keith Donegan before his stunning victory at last month’s Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout. The young Irishman had been working his way up through the ranks, seemingly poised for a move to the States or to Europe, when he made one of the most difficult decisions any young race car driver has had to make: he gave up racing to pursue college.
The BorgWarner Championship trophies are unique replicas of the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy awarded to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Baby Borg trophies are 14 inches high and weigh 5 pounds. The owner's trophy features a band of art deco race cars accented in gold to symbolize the importance of teamwork.
“Traveling to the north, even just to Detroit, is something I usually try to avoid in the winter, but I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be tonight,” said Andretti. “I’m so proud of our team for this accomplishment and want to thank Ruoff Home Mortgage and all of our partners for their support. I have no doubt that our six Andretti Autosport entries will be top contenders this May, and I’ll hopefully be back in Detroit in a year’s time to pick up another Baby Borg. Thank you to Borg Warner for this honor and to the Automotive News World Congress for hosting us this evening.”
Andretti Autosport’s Indy 500 stable of six will take to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 102nd Running of the 500-Mile Race, seeking to defend their reign with a third-consecutive victory.
Carlos Munoz (No. 29 Andretti Autosport Honda) and Stefan Wilson (No. 25 Driven 2 Save Lives Honda) will join the team’s full season drivers Marco Andretti (No. 98 Andretti-Herta Autosport Honda), Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda), Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda) and Zach Veach (No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda) for opening day May 14.
The Sports Car Club of America® offers an array of motorsport activities to satisfy the passions of nearly any automotive enthusiasts. Recently, the SCCA® Board of Directors approved rebranding efforts for a group of activities existing between autocross and road racing, activities that occur on closed courses but do not involve door-to-door competition.
Max Root, a 17-year-old driver from Rancho Santa Fe, California, is the 2018 recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Scholarship, which he will use toward a full-season ride in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season with Wright Motorsports.
The scholarship is provided by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), with support from Porsche, Yokohama, Sonic Tools, OMP and RACER Magazine is worth nearly $70,000. Last year’s inaugural recipient of Hurley Haywood Scholarship, Jake Eidson with Kelly Moss Road and Race, went on to win the Platinum Cup Championship in the 2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
“On behalf of IMSA, we offer hearty congratulations to Max Root as our 2018 IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship recipient, and also to Wright Motorsports for securing Max’s driving services this season,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “Max has some big shoes to fill in 2018, as Jake Eidson set the bar high last year with his championship-winning performance, but there is no question Max is another rising star in our sport. We are grateful to our entitlement and presenting partners – Porsche and Yokohama – as well as OMP, Sonic Tools and RACER Magazine for their continued support of this important and beneficial program for aspiring young racers.”
Racers between the ages of 16 and 25, with no previous full-time Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama experience, are eligible to earn the scholarship. Successful candidates must have a strong desire to compete in the series, outstanding previous race results and proven on-track potential in junior racing categories, and the ability to build a compelling business plan for securing the remaining funding needed to compete in a full season of the IMSA-sanctioned Single-Make Series.
Root rose through the ranks of motocross and UTV racing before shifting his focus to sports car racing. Last year, he participated in the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA, winning in his first series start at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willow, California and adding a second victory at Circuit of The Americas en route to second in the 2017 Diamond class championship.
He finished on the podium in all 16 races in the 2017 championship, and makes his Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama debut at Sebring International Raceway on March 14-17 as part of the prestigious Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring event, kicking off the eight-weekend, 16-round season that runs through Oct. 10-13 at Road Atlanta and the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend.
“It’s a huge blessing,” Root said. “It’s an honor, just for everything this scholarship stands for. Hurley is an amazing man. I’ve only known him for a little while, and it’s an amazing opportunity and I’m looking forward to everything it holds with IMSA, Wright Motorsports, Porsche, Yokohama and everyone involved.”
Root will receive from IMSA, with support from Porsche and Yokohama, these rewards with a combined value of approximately $70,000:
- Full-season Premium Entry into the 2018 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama
- $20,000 in parts credit from Porsche Motorsport North America
- One set of Yokohama tires for each 2018 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama event
- Tool credit from Sonic Tools
- Complete OMP driver suit and gloves
- Promotional consideration by RACER Magazine
The scholarship is named after legendary sports car driver Hurley Haywood, one of the most accomplished sports car endurance racers in history. He earned five overall victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, three victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and two wins at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida – all in Porsches – during his remarkable driving career, which spanned five decades.
Haywood also was a mainstay of the illustrious Brumos Porsche team as a driver and a leader for more than four decades. He currently serves as the chief driving instructor at the Porsche Sport Driving School at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I am a big believer in giving back to the sport that has treated me so well, and there is no better way than by supporting up and coming drivers,” said Haywood. “Between our annual Porsche Young Driver Academy and this valuable scholarship, we are all able help attract young talent into the sports car competition arena. It was gratifying to see what last year’s IMSA GT3 Cup by Yokohama scholarship winner was able to do with the opportunity. Jake made the most of it, winning the Porsche GT3 Challenge by Yokohama championship his first year in the series. We believe we have made another quality choice with Max Root, and look forward to seeing what he can do over the course of 2018.”
Root is the second recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, which was expanded in 2017 from a program IMSA, Porsche and Yokohama started in 2014. Previous IMSA Scholarship recipients were Eidson (2017), Victor Gomez IV (2016), Elliott Skeer (2015) and Michael Lewis (2014).
“At Porsche, young drivers are always a big topic of conversation,” said Dr. Daniel Armbruster, President and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America. “Our Porsche Junior program in Europe is one well-established component, as our Porsche Young Driver Academy has taken root here in North America over the past six years. We are constantly looking for new ways to support talented newcomers like Max Root, while expanding our Porsche ladder system for drivers. Working in partnership with IMSA, Yokohama and other generous sponsors, the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Scholarship is yet another way to attract and encourage new people into our sport.”
"Support of this scholarship is one of the cornerstones of Yokohama's deep commitment to motorsports and development of racing talent in North America, and we're honored to be associated with a legend like Hurley Haywood,” added Drew Dayton, motorsports manager for Yokohama Tire. “We are excited to help support Max in his first year of GT3 Cup Challenge racing, his diverse experience in racing motocross, off-road and sports cars along with his commitment to the sport make him an excellent choice for the scholarship."
The Batavia, Ohio-based Wright Motorsports team has maintained a long association with Porsche through a variety of racing series, and will field the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class for two-time and defending GTD champion Christina Nielsen and American Porsche factory driver Patrick Long – who won the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GT championship for the team – in addition to its longstanding IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama program.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Wright Motorsports Owner John Wright. “It’s always nice to have a driver that can run up front in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. It’s such a competitive field. Being involved with Hurley, too, he’s always been a hero and mentor of mine, and it’s an honor just being affiliated with the scholarship. It was a little difficult seeing it go to someone else last year, because I feel like I’m a part of the Brumos family, but everybody needs to have an opportunity to do this. I’m glad Max got it this year.”
For more information about the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #GT3USA @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.