Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.
Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network.
Contact Adam: Email
If you've been listening to the radio chatter lately, you may have picked up on some interesting information provided by our very own Danny Walker. Last week on Barry Boone's "Talking Motorcycle with Barry Boone" internet radio show, Danny let slip something we've been working on for quite a while but have been keeping under wraps until all the pieces were in place.
Well, the last few pieces fell into place last week and we are very excited to announce that The RoadRace Factory will be invading the MCE Insurance - British Superbike Series. That's right!! We're going to be bringing the party to the British Superbike Series and provide our riders with a little international exposure. It's going to take a lot to make our venture overseas a success and we're thrilled that our sponsors support this effort to bring attention to the talent of American riders in the AMA.
Following the final round of AMA Pro Road Racing competition at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Sept 12th-14th, the team will be packing up their kit and heading over to England. There, they will be utilizing temporary quarters to set-up their race efforts. The team will compete in the final two rounds of the series, Round 11 from Silverstone and Round 12 from Brands Hatch.
Danny Walker stated, "This is going to be an incredible undertaking for us but its something that we've actually wanted to do since season one. Our mission at The RoadRace Factory has always been to develop riders that can compete with the best in the world regardless of the series. We're going over there to show what our riders are capable of and what our program can produce. We're also going to explore more opportunities to grow our program and investigate the viability of possibly competing in a full season overseas. The bottom line is that we seek to promote American riders and provide them with a path toward an international series. It's been our vision all along and we're excited that it has finally been given the green light."
Jake Gagne added, "I'm excited for the whole experience. New tracks, new series, new class, I just can't wait to get racing over there. It's awesome to see all the hard work the team and especially Danny Walker has put into this effort and we'll work hard to make America proud."
Tomas Puerta says, "First I want to thank the whole RoadRace Factory / Red Bull Team for all the hard work during these three years in AMA and help me reach my best results in my career and my first professional championship.
Be sure to follow us for all the BSB action:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/roadracefactory
Twitter - @roadracefactory
Instagram - @roadracefactory
YouTube - www.youtube.com/roadracefactory
(RoadRace Factory PR)
In total, 78 cars are entered among the six categories of competition. That includes season-tying or new highs in GT/GT-A (23 total), GTS (28) and TC (9).
Cadillac continues to lead both the driver's and manufacturer's championships leaving the streets of Toronto, but they will likely have a fight on their hands this weekend back on the road course at Mid-Ohio. Neither Johnny O'Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R nor Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., in the sister No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R has a road course win this year. Still, O'Connell has managed three podiums (two at Barber, one at Road America) and Pilgrim one (Road America Round 8) on the tracks that generally don't suit the Cadillac as well as the point-and-shoot street courses.
On the strength of consistency, DragonSpeed's Henrik Hedman, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in the No. 10 DragonSpeed Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 has moved into the GT-A classification points lead thanks to five podium finishes in class. The Swede looks to check his first win off this weekend at Mid-Ohio.
GTS should see its biggest field of the season with 28 cars at Mid-Ohio. There were 28 entered at Barber, but only 26 ultimately started the pair of races.
Last time out at Road America, Michael DiMeo, of Toronto, had his two worst finishes of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car season – second in both races. The driver of Compass360 Racing's No. 71 Grand Alarms Honda Civic Si still holds a sizeable lead in the driver's championship over teammate and C360 team principal Karl Thomson, of Toronto. Thomson drives the team's sister No. 72 Children's Tumor Foundation/HPD/Racing4Research.org Honda Civic Si.
After splitting wins at the pair of Road America, Jason Wolfe now leads Shea Holbrook by just nine points in the Touring Car A category with six races remaining. It's the closest points battle within the TC categories.
Brian Price, of Middletown, Va., in the No. 51 Unlimited Racing/RP Performance Honda Fit dominated the early portion of the 2014 Touring Car B-Spec season, but a pre-race accident that took him out of the two Road America races has left him vulnerable in the championship chase. Price still leads the standings by 55 points heading into Mid-Ohio. Price won the opening three races, but the competition has closed up as the class has seen five different winners in the last five TCB races.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Friday, August 1, 11:00 A.M. EDT (TC/TCA/TCB)
Saturday, August 2, 8:00 A.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS)
Friday, August 1, 5:10 P.M. EDT (TC/TCA/TCB Race 1)
Saturday, August 2, 11:55 A.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS Race 1)
Saturday, August 2, 4:35 P.M. EDT (TC/TCA/TCB Race 2)
Sunday, August 3, 1:40 P.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS Race 2)
50 minutes (GT/GT-A/GTS), 40 minutes (TC/TCA/TCB)
Friday, August 1, 5:05 P.M. EDT (TC/TCA/TCB Race 1)
Saturday, August 2, 11:45 A.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS Race 1)
Saturday, August 2, 4:15 P.M. EDT (TC/TCA/TCB Race 2)
Sunday, August 3, 1:15 P.M. EDT (GT/GT-A/GTS Race 2)
Rare Ferrari Supercar Collection To Be Displayed at The Quail Motorsports Gathering on August 15, 2014
Noted Los Angeles Ferrari collector David Lee will be displaying five cars from his unique Ferrari supercar collection at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering 2014, held at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California on Friday, August 15,2014 from
10:00am – 4:00pm.
This will mark the first time David Lee’s remarkable collection will be displayed to the public as a group and likely the first time many Ferrari enthusiasts will set their eyes on the outrageous 288 GTO Evoluzione, a 2,072 lbs. Kevlar bodied beast, powered by a 650HP, V8 twin–turbo engine. This particular “Evo” was owned by the legendary Belgian racer and Ecurie Francorpchamps team owner, Jacques Swaters, for over 20 years. Alongside the ferocious Evo will be the legendary street legal version 288 GTO, as well as an F40, an F50 with only 560 miles and the stunning Enzo.
While many Ferrari collectors focus on vintage models, David Lee’s collection is known for its variety and its rarity; from a 275 GTB 6 cam (only six produced) and a Daytona Spyder to both 288 GTO’s and an Enzo. When asked what led him to such an eclectic collection of Ferraris, Lee said, “I’ve always loved fast cars with beautiful lines and no marque has ever captured that in one package better than Ferrari. Each one of my Ferraris was groundbreaking in its day and pushed the envelope of performance and design. My goal is to drive a Ferrari seven days a week, the FF as my daily driver and any one of my classics on weekends. I also co–host Morning Octane, a monthly gathering of sports cars at the Rose Bowl, which gives me a chance to share my cars with fellow enthusiasts.”
The Lee Ferrari collection includes: 275 GTB (6 cam), 330 GTS, 365 GTB, 288 GTO, 288 GTO Evoluzione, F40, F50, Enzo, and FF.
On Monday, November 17, the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Awards Ceremony will return to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles’ posh Westside. The NHRA also announced that the entire NHRA Mello Yello Awards Ceremony will be broadcast on the Web at NHRA.com and via NHRA’s YouTube channel on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. (ET) / 3 p.m. (PT). It marks the sixth year that the full event will be available to fans via the Internet.
Perfectly situated on the fashionable Westside, adjacent to Beverly Hills, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza sits on seven acres with 726 spacious guestrooms and a world-class spa and fitness center, making the property a luxury resort hotel situated in the heart of the city.
The invitation-only black-tie event, where NHRA will crown its Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world champions in all four categories, will feature a pre-event cocktail reception at 5 p.m., followed by a formal sit-down banquet, and will end with the official Patrón XO Cafe ‘Late Night’ After Party.
ESPN2 lead anchor Dave Rieff will host the awards ceremony for the third year.
The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza features three restaurants and bars and the Equinox Fitness Club + Spa offering exclusive fitness equipment, elite personal coaches and cutting edge group fitness classes. The Spa features 20 treatment rooms, three outdoor cabanas, a manicure/pedicure suite, and a full menu of massage and facial treatments and products. The outdoor pool and whirlpool includes six furnished poolside cabanas.
The property also will play host to the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Awards Ceremony, scheduled earlier in the day in the Westside Hall where the 2014 NHRA Lucas Oil world champions will be honored.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Dungey Posts Most Dominant Effort of 2014 at Washougal, Gains Considerable Ground in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Fight
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, returned to the west coast on Saturday afternoon with its annual visit to the Pacific Northwest and Washougal MX Park for the Motosport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson CAT. For the second time in the last three rounds, Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey topped the 450 Class, posting his first 1-1 sweep of the season for his third overall victory of 2014 and gaining significant ground in the championship standings. In the 250 Class, Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin duplicated the efforts of his premier class teammate, earning the first 1-1 sweep of his career en route to his first win of the season.
Washougal's trophies are always in the spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Toyota/Yamaha/N-FAB/JGRMX's Justin Brayton was first out of the turn in the opening 450 Class moto, securing the Motosport.com Holeshot Award just ahead of Dungey. The KTM rider wasted little time in making his move on Brayton and took over control of the lead on the opening lap while his closest rivals, Red Bull KTM teammate Ken Roczen and GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac, battled from behind. With a clear track ahead of him, Dungey was able to consistently pull away but the battled behind him proved to be the highlight of the moto.
Roczen was able to pass Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard for second on Lap 4 and looked to settle into the position, but Tomac was on a charge through the field following an 11th-place start. The Honda rookie and winner at the previous round methodically moved his way forward and had Roczen in his sights after taking over third on Lap 5. In the ensuing laps Tomac steadily closed the gap on his fellow rookie and after about five laps of pursuit, made the move for the runner-up spot on Lap 10.
Out front, Dungey took the moto win by nearly 14 seconds with Tomac second and Roczen third. Canard followed in fourth while Monster Energy Kawasaki's Brett Metcalfe rounded out the top five.
Dungey's best outing of 2014 came at the right time, gaining 10 points in the championship.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Brayton once again put himself at the forefront of the field at the start of Moto 2, sweeping the afternoon's Motosport.com Holeshot Awards. Metcalfe and BTO Sports KTM's Andrew Short rounded out the top three off the start, with Dungey in fourth. Tomac slotted in a few spots behind Dungey in about seventh, while Roczen was forced to battle his way from a start outside the top 10.
As he did in the first moto, Dungey seized the opportunity on the opening lap and jumped from fourth to first in one corner, immediately pulling away. Tomac wasted little time following Dungey through, moving into the top three, picking off multiple riders to secure second by Lap 2. While the lead duo checked out, Roczen was doing his part by fighting his way into a podium position. While he had to do battle with Metcalfe over the course of several laps for third, Roczen eventually made the pass stick and asserted himself in the final podium spot.
The top three stayed the same through to the finish, with Dungey crossing the line over eight seconds ahead of Tomac. Roczen was a distant third.
"Today was just about coming in and not worrying about the championship. There's a lot of racing left [this season]," said Dungey, who won for the fourth time in five tries in the 450 Class at Washougal. "We just tried to put out our best effort and we did that. We got great starts and Eli [Tomac] kept us honest in that second moto, but I just really tried to put the hammer down and extend the gap. Fortunately we did that. I love it here [at Washougal] and this just feels awesome."
Dungey's win was a landmark one, marking the 30th of his 450 Class career and his 37th combined victory (including the 250 Class) in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Tomac followed in second (2-2) with Roczen completing the podium in third (3-3). Metcalfe posted a season-best finish in fourth (5-4), while Short rounded out the top five (6-5).
"You always want to be up front, but it was another weekend of work for us," said Roczen. "It'll be good to have an off weekend and recharge the batteries. Ryan [Dungey] rode really well today and congrats to him. I'll take some time to regroup and get some rest in. I really want to keep that red plate [as the points leader]. All that matters is who's on top in the end, and we aren't there just yet."
With 10 points in Dungey's favor on Saturday, Roczen's lead in the 450 Class standings now sits at 14 points. Canard sits third, 77 points behind.
Tomac and Roczen went bar-to-bar in the first moto.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
In the 250 Class, Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel led the field into the first turn in Moto 1, claiming the Motosport.com Holeshot Award ahead of Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin. The French rider fended off the current championship points leader for a brief period, but Martin soon made his way around and set a solid pace. Behind them, Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin took advantage of a third-place start to challenge the two Yamaha's ahead of him. He passed his fellow Frenchman Pourcel on Lap 1 and went to work on Martin for three laps before ultimately moving into first. Once out front, Musquin pulled away and was never threatened.
While Musquin established his dominance, the battle behind him turned into a captivating five-rider battle between Pourcel and Martin, in addition to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett, Rockstar Energy Racing's Jason Anderson and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Cooper Webb. A mistake forced Martin to drop from second to fifth, putting the battle for second between Pourcel and Baggett. Eventually Baggett made the pass on Pourcel, but gave the position back just one lap later.
Anderson began to put pressure on Baggett for third but suffered a big crash and dropped deep into the field. That allowed Webb to assume the position after passing his teammate and soon all four riders were separated by just over a second. As he looked to close in again on Pourcel, Baggett went down and fell to fifth, while the Star Yamaha teammates of Webb and Martin swapped third on multiple occasions.
In the end, Musquin cruised to his first moto win of the season by over eight seconds ahead of Pourcel while a late pass by Webb with two laps to go awarded him third over Martin. Baggett soldiered home to finish fifth.
Musquin's win ends a 16-race drought for the Frenchman.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Pourcel raced to his fourth straight Motosport.com Holeshot Award in the final moto, with GEICO Honda's Justin Bogle on his rear fender. Bogle took advantage of the strong start to pass Pourcel on the opening lap and assume control of the moto. Behind them, Musquin and Baggett also were looking to make the most of their strong starts, while Martin and Webb jockeyed for position deeper in the field.
While Bogle maintained a strong pace out front, Musquin made the move on Pourcel for second and set his sights on the lead. Pourcel continued to lose positions and eventually dropped out of contention up front. Bogle was impressive in his defense of the position and was able to keep Musquin at bay for the majority of the moto. However, on Lap 9 the Frenchman made his move and easily pulled away once out front. Bogle then fell into the clutches of Baggett, who rebounded from his misfortune in the opening moto to put himself in podium contention. Baggett methodically wore Bogle down and the Honda rider soon tipped over to put Baggett into second. Bogle quickly recovered to hold on to third, but then had to fight off Martin for the position in the final stages of the moto.
Musquin maintained his lead on Baggett through to the finish, while Bogle was able to hold on for third. The victory was Musquin's first since the fourth round of the 2013 season and comes off his best finish of the season a week ago. He now has four career wins in the 250 Class.
"I'm so glad, that was a perfect day. I was fastest qualifying and got both moto wins," said Musquin. "It was my first time in American going 1-1 [in motos]. My teammate Ryan [Dungey] went 1-1 and I wanted to join him. I found an outside line that helped me make passes all day and I'm really happy to know I got some good starts and was able to make the passes I needed to get into the lead."
Baggett's runner-up effort in the final moto helped him finish second overall (5-2), while Martin (4-4) edged out his teammate Webb (3-5) for third, needing a tiebreaker to finish on the podium. Bogle completed the top five (7-3).
Martin was steady all afternoon and retained his comfortable points lead.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
"I'm pumped," exclaimed Martin. "Last year I went 29-12 at Washougal and this year I went 4-4, so I'm super, super happy. I was able to get some good starts, find some good lines and get into a rhythm."
Martin retained control of his lead in the 250 Class standings, with a 43-point lead over Webb. Baggett sits third, 54 points back.
The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will take a week off before returning to action on Saturday, August 9, with the 10th round of the season from Unadilla in New Berlin, N.Y. Action for the Red Bull Unadilla National begins at 1 p.m. ET.
Baggett made his return to the forefront of the field.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Motosport.com Washougal National
Washougal MX Park - Washougal, Washington
July 26, 2014
Round 9 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
450 Class Championship Standings
250 Class (Moto Finish)
250 Class Championship Standings
MX Sports Pro Racing
MX Sports Pro Racing manages and produces the world's most prestigious professional motocross series - the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The industry leader in off road power sport event production and management, its mission is to showcase the sport of professional motocross competition at events throughout the United States. Through its various racing properties, partnerships and affiliates, MX Sports Pro Racing organizes events for thousands of action sports athletes each year and attracts millions of motorsports spectators. Visitwww.mxsportsproracing.com.
Alli Sports is a media, event and branded content company that specializes in action, adventure, and adrenaline based sports. Alli Properties include the Dew Tour, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the Red Bull Signature Series and World of Adventure Sports presented by Go Pro. Alli Sports is a division of the NBC Sports Group. More information can be found at www.Allisports.com.
AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
Lucas Oil Products
Based in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products, Inc is the world leader of High Performance Lubricants and Problem Solving Additives and produces and markets 272 unique formulations in thirty four countries around the globe and is growing country by country, market by market every year. Through innovative product research and development, along with progressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top-selling additive line in the American truck-stop industry. Lucas Oil is involved in an array of motorsports sponsorships, including the "Official Motor Oil of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship." Visit: www.lucasoil.com.
MAVTV is a television network with its roots deep in the automotive world. With an unparalleled line-up of motorsports events and exclusive automotive reality shows, MAVTV is the answer for motor-heads from all walks of life. But MAVTV is much more than a motorsports destination, with original action/adventure programming, live MMA and an unbelievable library of blockbuster movies - MAVTV is a network the whole family can enjoy. A network by the people and for the people, made in America and American Real. Visit: www.mavtv.com.
(Lucas Oil Pro Motocross PR)
On Saturday, July 26, Ken Block earned the second win of his Red Bull Global Rallycross career at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Block, driving the #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST, earned the victory on a mostly dirt course over Subaru Rally Team USA’s Sverre Isachsen and SH Racing Rallycross driver Nelson Piquet Jr.
“For me, most of my career has been on gravel and dirt,” said Block. “We were very quick to get the car set up right, to get my Ford Fiesta out to the front and from there be able to find the right lines. The gravel gives us so much more of an opportunity to find different lines and try different stuff. The track constantly changed, and I love that.”
For Piquet and Block, Charlotte marked their second podium finishes in two weeks, as both drivers also made their way to the podium at last weekend’s Volkswagen Rallycross NY. Despite having to race in the last chance qualifier, Piquet, a Charlotte native also extended his provisional championship lead to 46 points over Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver Scott Speed.
“It was good to spend a weekend here at home and see friends and family,” Piquet said. “I saw a lot of friends that I made last year in NASCAR around, and it’s good for them to see a new world and more open sport. The weekend had a lot of ups and downs—coming in with the points lead, we tried to eliminate all the risks we had, but until the final it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. We were just up and down and running around.”
In GRC Lites, Mitchell DeJong won his third race of the season over Olsbergs MSE teammates and brothers Kevin and Oliver Eriksson. DeJong currently leads the GRC Lites championship by 10 points.
Results from Red Bull Global Rallycross Charlotte are as follows:
- Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
- Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
- Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
- Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
- Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
- Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
- Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
- Brian Deegan, #38 Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST
- Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
- Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
- Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
- Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
Provisional point standings are as follows:
- Nelson Piquet Jr., 227
- Scott Speed, 181
- Steve Arpin, 164
- Joni Wiman, 162
- Ken Block, 155
Red Bull Global Rallycross resumes its 2014 season on August 22-23 at Daytona International Speedway. Tickets are available athttp://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/DIS. The Red Bull Global Rallycross Midseason Recap will be broadcast on NBC on Sunday, August 3, at 4PM ET.
Scuderia Corsa took its second TUDOR United SportsCar Championship victory of the year on Friday at the racing capital of the world - Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In winning the Brickyard Grand Prix in the GT-Daytona class, Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal scored their second win of the season and the third in North American endurance racing for the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia.
Starting from the ninth position, Westphal moved the Ferrari through the field during the opening stages of the race. When an extended caution came out, the Scuderia Corsa team elected to stop at near the end of the caution period - giving up their leading position, but satisfying the minimum drive time requirement for Westphal. The strategy call would enable Balzan to challenge for the lead with an hour remaining. After executing a pass on the leading Porsche, Balzan had enough fuel to make it to the finish with a healthy advantage over the rest of the GT-Daytona field.
"Yesterday we had a hard day with some problems in qualifying," said Balzan. "But I knew the car could be really fast over a stint. And today, Scuderia Corsa gave me the perfect car, and it was a perfect race. The team strategy worked perfectly, and the car worked perfectly on the Continental tires. Jeff from ninth position, got up to first positon, and he did an incredible job. Coming from Italy, when I was a little baby I understood that Indianapolis is a very historic circuit. Now, I'm a little man, and I've won here. I think I will realize tomorrow where I won today."
The victory was Balzan's third, and Westphal's second, with Scuderia Corsa.
"First and foremost, a big thank you to the Scuderia Corsa team," said Westphal. "It is the 60th Anniversary of Ferrari racing in North America and we worked so hard to come back from a rough race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Everybody in the team, Alessandro included, did a great job and we just tried to make our way up the field when we could. It was a really, really nice feeling to kiss the bricks."
The victory was especially satisfying for Scuderia Corsa team owner, Giacomo Mattioli. At last year's Brickyard Grand Prix, Mattioli's no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia led but would ultimately finish in fourth position as another Ferrari won the race.
"When you lead the race, it stings when you don't win," said Mattioli. "But certainly, I remember the picture of another Ferrari team kissing the bricks last year, and I thought 'that is on the bucket list!' So, this victory today is really amazing. This is the racing capital of the world, and I wouldn't pick any other place to win. The team did an amazing job. We had some issues yesterday, but we worked through them and everything worked out great. Jeff did a very good job in his stint, as he's been doing all year long. Alessandro did a fantastic job - he pushed hard lap after lap and dealt with a lot of traffic and a lot of pressure. To win again this season is unbelievable."
Scuderia Corsa will next compete at the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 8-10.
Following a promising start to the weekend as the two fastest cars in opening practice and sweeping the front row in qualifying, Extreme Speed Motorsports’ (ESM) Brickyard Grand Prix proved to be challenging. With less than 10 laps to go, both Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) pitted for a splash of fuel to reach the scheduled race distance. In the end, the ESM machines finished fifth and seventh.
In its Indianapolis Motor Speedway debut, ESM earned its first front row sweep in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition, appropriately on National Patrón Tequila Day. The team was confident it had exorcised the mechanical and electrical gremlins that arose in the two previous rounds of the TUDOR Championship. The front row start was a step in the right direction.
From the pole position, Scott Sharp led the field to green in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD. Sharp battled with the leaders and settled into a steady second place pace. The second caution flag of the race took place on Lap 24, which started as a debris caution and turned into an extended caution in order to repair the race track from an earlier incident. Taking advantage of the caution, Sharp pitted for fuel, tires and a driver change to Ryan Dalziel. This stop was earlier than the team anticipated and altered fuel strategy for the balance of the race.
“We had a really good car; we had a great weekend," added Sharp. "We had great practice sessions and the front row for the start. We were a little bit worried. The long straightaways and the power advantage the DPs have, as usual, enables them get through traffic better. Somehow we used a lot of fuel on the No. 1 HPD in the middle of the race and made us have to pit early and take on more. A couple of the DPs didn’t pit and those that did, pitted later and took less fuel, which made for a shorter pit stop. Fifth was the best we could do in that kind of scenario."
Dalziel began running lap times quicker than the leaders and reached a race-high of third place. He pitted again on Lap 65 and Lap 98, both for fuel and tires. The third and final pit stop, for seven seconds of fuel, took place with less than 10 minutes left. Dalziel was running fourth at the time of the stop and returned in seventh position. In the end he was able to improve two positions and finish fifth.
“When we run the same top speed as the GT cars, we have to take bigger risks on the brakes to pass them," commented Dalziel. "It’s risk the DPs don’t have to take because they can pass them in a straight line. It is the nature of the rules and the P2. We have to pass them on the straights and that’s been the struggle for us this year. I think today was probably one of the harder ones to take based on the potential we had. If the whole race was green, maybe that would have helped us a little bit. That first long yellow really hurt us.”
Ed Brown took the opening stint for the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD. Brown held his ground on the front row against the hard-charging field. In a similar strategy to the No. 1 machine, Brown pitted on Lap 26 for tires, fuel and a driver change to Johannes van Overbeek in hopes of setting a different fuel strategy from the rest of the field, yet similar to the sister No. 1 machine.
“It was a frustrating day," Brown added. "The team did a great job on both cars. We had a problem-free race, nerve-wracking because when you’re playing the fuel game that makes it even more intense. Both cars did really well. It is a hard fight out there on track."
During his stint, van Overbeek also needed to pit twice – on Lap 68 and then again on Lap 106. The last stop came with two laps to go and van Overbeek running second. Four seconds of fuel later, he returned to the track and finished seventh.
“Both cars finished the race, so that’s a step in the right direction," concluded van Overbeek. "It is still a bit frustrating. To have two cars on the front row and then to finish fifth and seventh is a little bit anticlimactic.”
Next up for Extreme Speed Motorsports is the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. on Aug. 8-10.
David Ostella was poised for a podium finish but settled for fourth place in the Prototype Challenge class Friday in the Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ostella, from Maple, Ontario, qualified the No. 38 Dash Neighborhood/Phillips 66 car fourth Thursday after a strong last-lap effort. Due to a penalty assessed to another team, Ostella's co-driver, James French, started the two-hour, 45-minute TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race in third position.
"I have to work on getting quick times earlier, but I'm on pace with (pole sitter) Colin (Braun) both in qualifying, and then in the race we were right there," Ostella said.
French took the lead early in the race. After a quick pit stop for fuel, he re-entered the race in fourth and fought back to second before handing the car to Ostella. French was thrilled with his first performance with the team.
"Honestly, the moment I heard I was in the lead position I had a little celebration, but I still had a lot of pressure on me this race," French said. "There was a lot of pressure from the guy behind me, and I could tell he had more pace than I did. I was trying to hold him off the best I could. Then the long yellow flag came out, and David did an awesome job. It was an awesome first stint for me. Honestly, it was a lot of fun."
After the stop, Ostella returned to the track in fifth place. He then began what has become his trademark methodical climb through the field on the 14-turn, 2.435-mile road course that incorporates part of the famous IMS oval.
With no yellow flag in sight, the team went into fuel conservation mode to make it to the end of the race. Team officials thought rivals ahead on the track would need to make a late dash to the pits for fuel, enabling Ostella to drive past and deliver Performance Tech its second podium finish of the season. But all of those rival teams made it to the finish without stopping.
"We didn't really have any mistakes on track," Ostella said. "A few little ones, but qualifying was great, and I had no issues there. We're getting there, slowly but surely. By the end of the year, we should have a really good result."
The fourth-place finish was a better result than the last time Ostella ran at IMS during his Indy Lights career, when he crashed out of the 2012 Firestone Freedom 100 in a multi-car accident, suffering the hardest hit of his racing career.
"It's definitely a better memory from the last time I was here," Ostella said. "But I think it goes back to the beginning of the year. I think I put too much pressure on myself to do well, and I had a few mistakes at Sebring and Laguna. Working with Jonatan to get everything organized for myself and stay on pace has helped, and it's definitely starting to show. It showed at Watkins Glen and now here."
Team Principal Brent O'Neill was gutted the team strategy encountered a flaw but still was impressed with the effort of his team and drivers Ostella and newcomer James French.
"It was an awesome run by both of them," O'Neill said. "James' first time in the car, did a great job, kept us out front and led some of the race. We put David in, and he did a great job. We put ourselves in the position to be on the top step.
"We ran in conservation mode at the end because we thought two of the cars in front would have to stop for fuel. I guess we were wrong. We look forward to Road America and bringing James with us. It will be a good time."
Ostella and his Performance Tech crew will race next August 8-10 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for the next round of TUDOR Championship competition.