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  

  

 

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)

Driver Standings:
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

Team standings:
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.

 
As usual, Sebring's 3.7-mile, 17-turn course elicits great performances from drivers. That was evident early in the Prototype 1 class where Darryl Shoff and Bryan Putt did battle in a pair of Elan DP02 racecars. Putt went to the lead early and held the top spot for the first eight laps. However, Shoff was never far behind and took the lead on lap nine. Slowly, Putt faded and Shoff stormed on for the win in his No. 94 RAACE/Comprent car.
 
"I was running really close to Putt lap after lap," Shoff said. "We would get next to each other, but I couldn't make a really good pass. I pushed him hard, he got on the throttle too hard and spun it, and that made the pass easy. It was a really fun race."
 
Not to be outdone, the Prototype 2 drivers also put on a great show. In that class it was Lucian Pancea, in a Stohr P2, who tore off to a great lead. For the first half of the race, Pancea looked unbeatable. But something happened along the way and Pancea ended up with some damage to his car, which provided a chance to Sherman Chao in his No. 3 Lee Racing/Hoosier/GDRE/Hawk Stohr WF-1 racecar. With only a couple laps to go, Chao caught and passed Pancea for the win.
 
"I think the race was Pancea's to win," Chao admitted afterwards. "He had the pace, he had a great start, and he had a big gap on me. I couldn't even see him. But bad luck struck him and rewarded me."
 
SCCA® open-wheel racers showed up at Sebring this weekend ready to do battle. In Formula Continental, Chuck Moran was showing good pace at the front of the field in his Van Diemen RF09 vehicle. But Robert Allaer, in his No. 52 Martini/Chandon/St. Charles German Wines/Polestar Van Diemen RF 02, closed in on Moran and moved to the lead on lap eight, a position he would not relinquish.
 
"It was a crazy start. I got pinched ... and think every Formula Continental in the field passed me," Allaer joked after the race. "Chuck Moran is a veteran racer. He's awesome, he goes really quick, and it was tough to get him. I got lucky. He got held up in traffic, and I got past him."
 
Later in the day, the open-wheel excitement continued in both the Formula F and Formula Vee races. Dario Cangialosi and Tyler O'Connor, in Mygale SJ11s, fought up front with David Livingston, in a Spectrum 14H, and Raymond Essma, in his No. 31 Mygale F1600, for much of the FF event. Livingston fell away in the last portion of the race, but Essma, Cangialosi and O'Connor drove on while swapping the top spot right to the checkered flag. It was Essma in the end who edged out O'Connor by about .2-second for the win.
 
In a similar effort, FV drivers Donnie Isley, in an Agitator 016, Mitchell Ferguson, piloting his No. 5 Vorscha GB4, and Charles Hearn, driving a Vortech FV, were neck-and-neck most of the race. Hearn faded and left it to Isley and Ferguson to sort things out for the win. The margin of victory at the checkered flag was only about .03 seconds, and it was Ferguson across the finish line first.
 
"It was a hard fight from beginning to end," Ferguson said. "Isley kept me honest through the end. We went side-by-side all the way through Turn 17 to the start/finish line. That's how competitive the Formula Vee class is."
 
Saturday came to a close with an amazing participant party held in the Sebring Legends building where the SCCA community -- volunteers, friends, drivers, crew and family members -- joined together for some good food, good conversation and good times. An added bonus was the fireworks display that was almost as loud as a thundering GT-1 car. But when dawn breaks Sunday, drivers will be back at it on the Sebring circuit. Racing begins at 8:30 a.m. local time from Sebring International Raceway with 14-lap or 35-minute events throughout the day. Follow all the action live at www.scca.com/live.
 
Below are provisional race results from Saturday's Hoosier SCCA Super Tour event from Sebring International Raceway with Class: Name, Hometown and Car.
-American Sedan®: Thomas Ellis; Pompano Beach, FL; Ford Mustang
-B-Spec: John Phillips III; Sealy, TX; Honda Fit
-E Production: Kip Van Steenburg; New Smyrna Beach, FL; Porsche 944S2
-F Production: Michael Kamalian; Marietta, GA; Mazda Miata
-H Production: Phillip Ellis; Jacksonville, FL; VW Golf
-Formula 500: Don Napier; Greenwood, IN; Scorpion F500
-Formula Atlantic®: Kaylen Frederick; Potomac, MD; Swift 016
-Formula Continental®: Robert Allaer; Lithia, FL; Van Diemen RF 02
-Formula Enterprise: James Libecco; Solon, OH; Formula Enterprises Mazda
-Formula F: Raymond Essma; Browns Summit, NC; Mygale F1600
-Formula Vee®: Mitchell Ferguson; Moore, SC; Vorscha GB4
-GT-1: Ernie Francis Jr., Dania, FL; Ford Mustang
-GT-2: Preston Calvert; Potomac, MD; Chevrolet Corvette
-GT-3: Jeff Dernehl; Woodstock, GA; Mazda RX7
-GT-Lite: Charles Leonard; Palmetto, FL; Nissan 200SX
-Prototype 1: Darryl Shoff; Reading, PA; Elan DP02
-Prototype 2: Sherman Chao; Palm Beach, FL; Stohr WF1
-Spec Miata: Michael Carter; Savannah, GA; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford 3: Clay Russell; Spartanburg, SC; Spec Racer Ford Gen3
-Super Touring® Lite: Justin Elder; Lakeville, MN; Mazda Miata
-Super Touring® Under: Kevin Koelemeyer; Ft. Myers, FL; Honda Civic
-Touring 1: Mark Boden; Winnetka, IL; BMW M3
-Touring 2: Mark Boden; Winnetka, IL; Porsche 997
-Touring 3: Topher Everett; Bogart, GA; Porsche Boxster
-Touring 4: Gresham Wagner; Williamsburg, VA; Mazda MX-5

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.

 
But thanks to support from Hoosier Racing Tire, the SCCA is producing the Hoosier Shop Manual series -- a set of videos taking a quick look at some of the ways Club members have fun with cars. Each short video provides a glimpse into a competition activity and a specific way to get involved. Videos will be rolled out early in 2018 and can be viewed at SCCA.com.
 
Mike Cobb, SCCA President and CEO, said the videos are being created to help automotive enthusiasts gain a better grasp of the SCCA member experience. The first set of videos focus on specific car classes across several Club. In the future, the Hoosier Shop Manual series also hopes to explore various volunteer specialties.
 
"We want SCCA Regions to use these Hoosier Shop Manual videos as a tool for explaining just what this Club is all about and what we offer to those who want to have fun with cars," Cobb said. "I'm sure many current Club members have experienced a time when they've tried to explain the SCCA lifestyle to someone outside the Club and it just becomes a little confusing. With these videos, regions now have an online destination where prospective members can learn more from those actually taking part in specific SCCA motorsport pursuits."
 
The first Hoosier Shop Manual video is now available for viewing here and focuses on Beth Aquilante and her SCCA road racing American Sedan Camaro. Check back to SCCA.com frequently as new videos are uploaded in the coming months.
 
 
 
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, 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: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil 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.
 

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.

 
Returning to the open-wheel ranks in 2017 at age 20, Donegan impressed Shootout organizers with a solid performance at the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy in England last October and earned his ticket. Here, Donegan talks about growing up in a racing family, how the “heartbreaking” decision benefits him now, and what it meant to beat some of the best young racers in the world and take the scholarship that earns him a seat in the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
 
Tell us about growing up outside Dublin. 
 
I grew up in Navan, Ireland, about an hour north of Dublin and definitely more of the countryside than the city. I was mad about all sports when I was younger but I had a bug for motorsports. My whole family was into racing: my dad and his brothers raced Formula Fords and Supercars years ago. I’ve been going to racetracks since I was about 3 years old with my dad (Brendan), mom (Evelyn) and sister (Eimear). 
 
What first got you interested in racing?
 
Racing was always kind of inevitable for me, even though dad tried to steer me away from it and my mum didn’t really want me involved. But there really wasn’t any stopping me! All I wanted to do was get to the racetrack with dad. I never missed a day. 
 
Take us through your racing career to date, including the decision to leave racing to concentrate on school.
 
I had quads when I was really young, then started racing karts when I was 9 years old. I did four years of karting, two in Ireland and two in the UK, then got a spin in a Ginetta so I did two years in the Ginetta Junior Championship. I finished second in the championship, so that was really the beginning of my career on a bigger scale, until it was time for me to head to college.
 
We had gotten together as a family and decided for me to focus on college. It was heartbreaking at the time, because I won four of the last six races in the Ginetta Junior Championship and I wanted to keep progressing, but it was time to focus on school. At the time I didn’t like it, but the older I get I realize it will benefit me in the long run. I will have something to fall back on (studying business at Trinity College in Dublin). That helps me in racing, in interacting with team members and engineers. For so many drivers, it’s all or nothing so your results can make or break your life. I’m glad I have something behind me.
 
I had an agreement with mum that if I got a certain grade, I could get a Formula Ford – and with that kind of motivation, I had my head in the books! My dad and I ran it ourselves (in the Britcover National Formula Ford 1600 Championship with Avon Tires) and we joined in the third round.
 
April of last year was the first time I’d sat in a car in almost four years. If I was ever going to make it as a racing driver, I felt that I needed to fully understand everything on the car and how it works, so dad and I did the engines. I ran the team with dad and our friend Pat Duffy helped. We had four podiums but it was a difficult year trying to learn the car while there were all these big teams who had been doing it for years. 
 
But the last few rounds, and then into the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy, we really understood how the car worked and what we needed to go fast. The competition was so fierce with the Mazda Road to Indy ticket on the line.
 
What did you know about the Mazda Road to Indy before the MRTI Shootout?
 
I had followed Oliver Askew’s progress last year even before I started racing again, and that influenced me going into Formula Fords. It’s really the only hope a young driver has to take their career to the next level. I knew there was a chance to get a ticket to the Shootout at the Festival and the Walter Hayes, and I knew that if I did win, I’d be in good shape coming off the back of a competitive year.
 
What stands out most to you about winning the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout?
 
If you want to win, you have to be meticulous and you have to think of everything. It’s not good enough just to be quick or to be able to talk to people: you have to have the full package. 
 
It was hard not to be a bit star struck, especially meeting the judges. I’d heard so much about them. I knew who Scott Goodyear was from IndyCar. You have to figure out how to make yourself known with everyone who’s in the room. There were 17 other drivers there, champions from all over the world, and if you don’t have the belief that you can beat them, you don’t have a chance.  I was most nervous getting into the final, because once I got in then I had to just focus on the one thing and I knew that what I was doing was good. 
 
The overall experience was… I can’t even put a word on it. It was so challenging but rewarding. 
 
What are your expectations for 2018 and what are you most looking forward to?
 
I have been on quite a few holidays in the States. I have family in Florida and Connecticut, and I really like the country and I’m really excited to live there. 
 
I’m looking at different teams right now. I need to find a team that is as motivated and as hard working as I am, who wants to win as much as I do, to have that kind of level of determination to succeed. Every driver is there to win, but if I can get a good team sorted and get the right people around me, I don’t think that’s unrealistic.
 
The Mazda Road to Indy is so rewarding if you can stay on top of your game. I’ve said this to a lot of people, that’s why it’s the best scholarship in the world. There’s a clear, defined path to the top level of motorsport. To not take it seriously and try to win would be mad so that’s what I’m aiming for. And to have the exposure to the IndyCar teams is nearly as valuable, to be recognized and kind of set apart from other series. 
 
I’m looking forward to the first round at St. Petersburg, and really getting into the championship – and to my first win, so hopefully that will come early on in the season.
 
What is your favorite racetrack?
 
I really like Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – I’ve never driven it myself but it’s the one I get the most enjoyment out of on the simulator. Other than that, I like Oulton Park, which really rewards consistency. I’m looking forward to racing on a street course so I’m sure my favorite track will be one I race on this year!
 
If I wasn’t driving a race car, I'd be ___________________________.
 
I’ve always wanted to run my own business. But the more I’ve gotten back into racing, the more I think I want to run a race team. My passion is preparing cars and getting the most out of the car and driver. There’s something about that challenge that is really exciting. 
 
Do you have a “hidden” talent? 
 
I can build engines, which not many people at 20 can do! I love how things work and you have to be so precise when you’re building an engine and I love that. The team that I run with, I want to be able to do some work in the shop during the week, helping to prepare my car.
 
What do you do to relax and get away from racing?
 
Racing IS my relaxation, if that makes sense. When I get to a racetrack I am so excited to be there, to get into the car. When you’re working on your own car, it’s all pressure and deadlines during the week, and when you get to the track, you remember why you do it. Whenever I am hard at it in the gym during the week, or on the simulator, that’s work. And when you get to the track, you know the hard work is done!
 
The trophy collection of Michael Andretti has a new addition as the Andretti Autosport namesake visited the annual Automotive News World Congress Awards Dinner in Detroit Wednesday to collect his fifth BorgWarner Championship trophy.  

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.
 
Andretti's newest miniature version of the 5’4 ¾” sterling-silver trophy was earned at the 101st Indy 500 as the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda took the checkered flag with Takuma Sato behind the wheel. Andretti’s newest Baby Borg joins iconic trophies from the team’s previous four victories produced by Dan Wheldon (2005), Dario Franchitti (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014) and Alexander Rossi (2016).    

“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.
Following Sam Bird’s victory during last month’s season opener, DS Virgin Racing are confident they can continue their winning ways during the next Formula E race, taking place in Marrakesh on January 13. 
 
Held at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, the team’s all-British driving pairing of Sam Bird and Alex Lynn will be aiming to add to their impressive 41-point haul from rounds one and two in Hong Kong at the end of last year.
 
Bird, who picked up his and the team’s sixth victory in Hong Kong, currently leads the drivers’ standings and will be hoping to build on that advantage, especially given he finished second at last year’s Marrakesh E-Prix. 
 
Meanwhile, team-mate Lynn, will be keen to go even better than his double points finish in Hong Kong, despite it being his first full season and maiden visit to the 2.97km, 12-turn temporary street circuit. Set in the city’s Agdal district, the track – named after the Crown Prince of Morocco – is located just a few minutes from the medina and world-famous souks, and will be the second time the all-electric series has raced there.
 
Bird said: “Hong Kong was a great weekend for me and the team. The hard work put in by everyone pre-season clearly paid off and we’re looking forward to continuing this for Marrakesh where we know we can finish at the top.”
 
Lynn said: “It was a solid opening two rounds for me, but we know there’s more to come. We have a competitive car and, combined with our recent simulator work, we’re in a good position heading into the Marrakesh weekend.”
 
Team Principal Alex Tai commented: “To be starting the New Year with Sam leading the championship and the team in second place puts us in a very strong position heading into Marrakesh. We showed last time out we have a quick car and two very capable drivers, and we’re now looking to build on that momentum.”
 
DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: “It’s great to be back on a track where we achieved a promising performance last year. The engineering team have worked very hard on the simulator to prepare for this event as this is crucial to delivering the best level of performance. There’s always room for improvement in Formula E and we want to be in the best possible shape.”
 
Round three of the 2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship takes place on January 13 in Marrakesh with FanBoost voting opening on January 8 at 17:00 (GMT). For more information on the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team, visit: http://map.ds-virginracing.com/  
 
2018 Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix - Timetable
 
Round 3: Saturday, January 13 (CET)
08:00-08:45 Free Practice 1
10:30-11:00 Free Practice 2
12:00-12:36 Qualifying
12:45-13:00 Superpole
16:00 Race (33 laps)
 
Official Formula E Rookie Test: Sunday, January 14
09:00 – 12:00 Session 1
14:00 – 17:00 Session 2

 

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.

 
This group of activities, which were once all bundled under the Time Trials banner, now each have a separate identity within the SCCA. The decision to rebrand, made after receiving input from the Divisional Time Trials Committee and members of the national staff, is meant to clarify SCCA programs and follows in the footsteps of similar efforts conducted earlier in 2017 rebranding Solo as SCCA Autocross and Club Racing to SCCA Road Racing.
 
Lee Hill, Chairman of the SCCA Board of Directors, said, "Those already involved in SCCA have an understanding of all the Club's motorsports activities. But we've heard for a long time that outsiders have trouble understanding all the different ways they can be involved and have fun with our Club because the nomenclature we use can be confusing. So, we embarked on a mission to clarify the names of several programs so others find our Club culture easier to understand and more inviting."
 
Moving forward, all on-track, competitive, timed events will be branded as Time Trials (TT). Non-competitive events will be branded as Track Events (TE), and Hillclimbs remain unchanged. This rebranding, however, does not impact how divisions or regions run programs.
 
An additional goal for rebranding is to make it easier for those unfamiliar with motorsports to better comprehend certain activities and feel more comfortable engaging in those activities through SCCA regional events. The new terminology is also designed to build a clear pathway from one SCCA activity to another.

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.