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The chase for Hoosier Super Tour point championships across 28 classes has come to an end. After 22 Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour races at 11 tracks this year, plus the 54th SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, top series performers have now been identified.
 
A couple class point champions were decided prior to the Runoffs. After the record-breaking National Championship at IMS, several classes were decided by just a handful of points. The margin of victory in Formula Atlantic was only four points. Spec Miata was decided by three points. Two points was the winning margin in Super Touring Lite. The difference between the champion and runner-up in Formula Mazda came down to a single point. And H Production ended in a tie that was ultimately decided upon the strength of the point champion's Runoffs finish.
 
Only the top six regular-season finishes counted toward a driver's 2017 point total. Points were also awarded for a seventh and final race, the Runoffs. For each race, points were awarded to the top 20 finishers in each class. Winners earned 25 points, and 21 points went to second. Points were then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher.
 
Below is a rundown of the 2017 Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour point champions. A full accounting of the standings can be viewed at the Hoosier Super Tour points webpage. Congratulations to one and all for a fantastic effort this season.
-American Sedan®: Daniel Richardson; Derwood, MD; Chevrolet Camaro
-B-Spec: John Phillips III; Sealy, TX; Honda Fit
-E Production: Matt Reynolds; Fair Oaks, TX; Mazda Miata
-F Production: Ken Kannard; East Troy, WI; Mazda Miata
-H Production: Jason Isley; Coto de Caza, CA; Toyota Yaris
-Formula 500: Jack Walbran; Saint Louis, MO; Scorpion S1 Rotax 593
-Formula 1000: Gary Hickman; Santee, CA; Phoenix F1K.12 Suzuki
-Formula Atlantic®: Spencer Brockman; Westport, CT; Swift 014 Mazda
-Formula Continental®: Robert Allaer; Lithia, FL; Van Diemen RF02
-Formula Enterprise: Elliot Finlayson; Yorkville, IL; Mazda Formula Enterprises
-Formula F: David Livingston Jr.; Nashville, TN; Spectrum 14H Honda
-Formula Mazda: Brad Yake; Fort Worth, TX; Star Formula Mazda
-Formula Vee®: Charles Hearn; Houston, TX; Vortech FV
-GT-1: Michael Lewis; Poway, CA; Jaguar XKR
-GT-2: Tom Patton; Hamilton, OH; Sunbeam Tiger
-GT-3: Collin Jackson; Langley, BC; Nissan 240SX
-GT-Lite: Michael Kamalian; Marietta, GA; Mazda Miata
-Prototype 1: Jim Devenport; Modesto, CA; Norma Auto Concept M20 Honda
-Prototype 2: Tim Day Jr.; Scottsdale, AZ; Stohr WF1 Suzuki
-Spec Miata: Jim Drago; Memphis, TN; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford: Richard Baldwin; Covington, LA; SCCA Enterprises SRF
-Spec Racer Ford Gen3: John Black; Olympic Valley, CA; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
-Super Touring® Lite: Eric Kutil; Columbus, OH; Honda Civic Si
-Super Touring® Under: Luis Rivera; Angleton, TX; Mazda Miata
-Touring 1: Michael Pettiford; Louisville, CO; Chevrolet Corvette
-Touring 2: Bill Collins; Saint Paul, MN; Chevrolet Corvette
-Touring 3: Ali Salih; Wooster, OH; BMW SpecE46
-Touring 4: Don Knowles; Pittsboro, NC; Mazda RX-8
 
The inaugural Hoosier Super Tour season opened in January with Round One and Round Two atSebring International Raceway in Florida. The tour then took a month off before holding three events in March -- one at NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana, another at Willow Springs International Raceway in Southern California, and a third at Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Three events were also held during April starting with Oklahoma's Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, followed by a stop atVIRginia International Raceway, and finally a visit to Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California. Next up was Round Fifteen and Round Sixteen at Portland International Raceway in Oregon. The regular-season calendar then wrapped up in June with three final events. The first weekend took place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Then came the June Sprints at Road America in Wisconsin before the final regular-season event at Watkins Glen International in Upstate New York.
 
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.
 
 After a comprehensive review process by karting industry authority eKartingNews.com’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Rob Howden and Managing Editor David Cole, Mission Viejo, Calif., native Jake Craig, 19, emerged from a list of six finalists to earn a coveted ticket to the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout. Howden and Cole were tasked with the difficult decision to select one up-and-coming karter to contest the Shootout at the Bondurant Racing School near Phoenix, Ariz., on December 9/10, which will see the champions of 17 series around the globe and three at-large entries vie for a Mazda Scholarship into the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
 
Craig has become one of American karting’s most visible and well-known stars since sitting in a kart for the first time at the age of 5. He holds 12 national championships and has been the #1 ranked driver on eKartingNews.com’s prestigious TaG driver list in 2014 and 2015. He currently holds that position again heading into the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals in Las Vegas next month where he won from a field of over 80 drivers worldwide last year.
 
Recently adding the graduation to cars to his resume, Craig tasted the waters in the USF2000 series in a test with Newman Wachs Racing last month and will return to the team this weekend to participate in the seventh annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
 
“We’re honored to have been asked to offer a selection for the 2018 Mazda $200,000 Scholarship Shootout and we have no doubt that Jake will be impressive in Arizona,” offered Howden and Cole. “Jake’s an incredible talent and a class act; a young man who displays maturity and poise both on track and off.  He’s been at the top of our driver rankings for years, spending a majority of that time at #1.  When we looked at all the talented karters in our sport, Jake stood out as the driver who has truly earned this opportunity and carries the skill set needed to challenge for the top prize at the Shootout. We know that he’ll represent EKN and the sport of karting well.” 
 
Honorable mention goes to the five other talented karters on eKartingNews.com’s short list which included Jake French, Brandon Jarsocrak, Braden Eves, Ryan Norberg and Billy Musgrave. 
 
“Grassroots racing is very important to Mazda, and karting represents such a critical opening step on the racing ladder,” said Kyle Kimball, Operations Manager for Mazda Motorsports. “It was important for us to make sure we had a proper representative from that world, and who better than Rob [Howden] and David [Cole] to select the best candidate? We’re looking forward to seeing Jake Craig in action at the Bondurant Racing School for the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.” 
 
Craig is among 12 drivers to date that have confirmed entry tickets with additional tickets to follow as racing seasons draw to a close. The most recent was Elliot Finlayson, 21, of Yorkville, Ill., who earned his ticket by winning at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Indianapolis in a flag-to-flag victory in his FE (Formula Enterprises) Mazda. 
 
"I am so honored to have been selected for the MRTI Shootout!,” said Craig. “Karting has been such a big part of my life and it's humbling to be selected by EKN. I can't wait to get to the Shootout and compete for a career changing opportunity. Big thank you to everyone at eKartingNews.com and Mazda!"
 
The next winners to be announced will follow the completion of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, England, this weekend and the Walter Hayes Trophy on November 4/5 at Silverstone – the Home of British Motor Racing.
 
A final list of all participants will be announced in the near future as well as the panel of judges and a detailed schedule. 
 

The SCCA® Road Racing Super Sweep is the most challenging award a Club racer can achieve. To earn the honor a driver must, in a single class, win a U.S. Majors Tour Conference Championship, win the class Hoosier Super Tour point standings, and win at the National Championship Runoffs. This year, three talented drivers managed to achieve the elusive Super Sweep -- the first Super Sweep for each racer.

 
Jason Isley, of Coto de Caza, California, earned a Super Sweep in H Production driving his No. 99 RACER.com/Hoosier/TRD Toyota Yaris. He took the U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference Championship in H Production by 13 points with wins at Auto Club Speedway, Willow Springs International Raceway and Buttonwillow Raceway Park. The H Production battle, however, was much, much tighter in the Hoosier Super Tour Point Championship as Isley ended up in a tie with Ron Bartell driving the No. 4 Hoosier MG Midget. The tiebreaker became the Runoffs finish, where Isley won after starting on pole.
 
The next Super Sweep winner is Elliot Finlayson, of Yorkville, Illinois, who had a strong performance this year driving the Performance AFX Motorsports Formula Enterprises Mazda. He took the U.S. Majors Tour Northern Conference Championship in Formula Enterprises after competing in 10 race weekends, earning wins at Blackhawk Farms Raceway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America and GingerMan Raceway. He dominated the Hoosier Super Tour Point Championship by nearly 30 points, and started on pole at the Runoffs before skipping away to a 13-second victory.
 
Collin Jackson, of Langley, British Columbia, had a dominant season driving his No. 53 Specialty Engineering/BM&M Screen Nissan 240SX in the GT-3 class. He was unbeatable in the U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference Championship with weekend sweeps at Thunderhill Raceway Park, Buttonwillow Raceway Park and Portland International Raceway. The wins at Buttonwillow and Portland also gave him the Hoosier Super Tour Point Championship in the class. And to top it off, Jackson took the GT-3 Tire Rack Pole Award at Indianapolis and went on to claim victory at the Runoffs, thus earning his Super Sweep accolade.
 
Congratulations to each of these drivers on the incredible season, masterful performance and tremendous accomplishment.
 
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.

Mazda racers scored five wins on a hot, humid, and occasionally rainy Sunday in Florida, as the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) concluded its season-ending championship weekends with the Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires at historic Sebring International Raceway

 

After 45 minutes of intense Spec Miata action, Michael Ross scored a dramatic 0.052 second win over Selin Rollan, with Trevor McCallion in third. With several of the favorites starting from the rear after a multi-car crash during a Saturday qualifying race, Toyo Tires awarded a set of Spec Miata race tires to Christopher Haldeman and John Davison as the hard chargers of the race.   

 

In the NP01 class, where all of the Elan prototypes are powered by Mazda MZR engines, Jay Aranha scored the win over Charles Liniger.

 

Bryan Putt drove his Mazda-powered Elan DP02 to the win in the Super Unlimited class.

 

Mazda Miata racers took the top step in both the Performance Touring C and D classes Aaron Michelet won in PTC with Brian Henderson in PTE.

 

Other Mazda podium finishers:

Michael Globe             Second            PTC                             Global Mazda MX-5 Cup

Tyler Harrell                Second            PTE                             Mazda MX-5 Miata

Franklin Futrelle          Third                Super Touring 1          Elan NP01 Mazda MZR

 

“Congratulations to all of our Mazda racers in Spec Miata, NP01, and the ST, PT and TT classes,” said David Cook, business development manager, Mazda Motorsports. “We saw racers such as Chris Haldeman, Todd Buras, Mike Globe, and others overcome adversity, displaying great effort and heart throughout. The entire Mazda community stuck together and showed once against it’s a tight knit family. Also, hats off to our five champions. We’re excited to add this depth to our nominees for the Mazda Road to 24 shootout with the $100,000 Mazda scholarship on the line."

 

A select group of the competing racers from both NASA championships, the SCCA Runoffs, and the regional Teen Mazda Challenge Championships will be eligible for the Mazda Road to 24 (MRT24) shootout, seeking to earn a Mazda Scholarship to compete in the 2018 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires.  The shootout will take place in early December.  Shootout details will be announced at a later date.

The PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series will crown three season champions and wrap up a second successful year at the season-ending event Oct. 27-29 at the iconic Daytona International Speedway.

 
Known for the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance race, the 3.56-mile sports car course includes portions of the famous Daytona oval, including high-speed turns with 31 degrees of banking.
 
Curt Swearingin, representing the Tennessee PCA Region in his No. 18 ACI Motorsports entry, has already clinched the Championship class standings entering the final event of the season.
 
"I feel great going into Daytona knowing the Championship is secured and that we broke all of Keith Jensen's records from last year," Swearingin said. "We know he had a special year in 2016 and I'm glad to have an incredible run in 2017. The things we accomplished and the record we had will be hard to beat for anyone."
 
Since Swearingin has already clinched the Championship class, he's is switching it up and racing his 2016 GT3 Cup car in Porsche Club of America (PCA) Club Racing's GTC6 class at Daytona.
 
"It will be bittersweet to show up to Daytona without the No. 18 ACI Motorsports Clubsport entry, but we have met and exceeded all of our goals in the series this year. I am super excited about racing my Cup car for the first time ever in PCA's GTC6 class at Daytona."
 
The battle for second place in the Championship class is sure to be exciting this weekend. Autometrics Motorsports' David Baum is leading by just 11 points over NOLAsport's Alejandro Galindo after he won the 80-minute endurance race overall at NOLA Motorsports Park in September.
 
Other class leaders include BGB Motorsports' Jim Cox in his No. 38 MR entry in the Pro class and Connecticut Valley PCA Region member Charlie Craig in the Masters class.
 
Craig is leading the Masters class, 187-148, over Kathy Mead, representing the Hill Country PCA Region. Craig continued his quest for more points by getting second place in both Sprints 1 and 2 and third place in the endurance race in the Masters class at NOLA Motorsports Park recently.
 
There will be three practice sessions Friday, Oct. 27. The first sprint race starts at 2 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 28, with the second sprint race at 4:45 p.m. The endurance race will start at 2:10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29.
 
The championship celebration banquet will wrap up the 2017 season Sunday evening at the Goodyear 500 Club at Daytona International Speedway. The event will include awards, prizes and two special sports car racing legends.
 
Porsche Design will also present the Championship and Masters class champions with an exclusive titanium timepiece as a finale prize.

"Porsche Design of America is thrilled to celebrate our Championship and Masters winners at the 2017 Championship Banquet," said Greg Kelley, corporate sales manager at Porsche Design. "We have two customized Porsche Design Timepieces engraved with the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East logo forever marking this year's accomplishments. We look forward to celebrating and wish everyone the best of luck at Daytona!"
 
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY RACE WEEKEND SCHEDULE
(All times local)
  
Friday, Oct. 27
9:20 a.m.          Practice 1
2 p.m.               Practice 2
4:20 p.m.          Practice 3
 
Saturday, Oct. 28
9:10 a.m.           Warmup
10:40 a.m.         Qualifying
2 p.m.                Sprint Race 1 (30 minutes)
4:45 p.m.           Sprint Race 2 (30 minutes)
 
Sunday, Oct. 29
9:10 a.m.          Enduro Warmup
2:10 p.m.          Enduro Race (80 minutes)

By: Brandon White

 

Mooresville, NC 8/24/17 – The CARS Tour announced the 2018 schedules for both the Super Late Model Tour and the Late Model Stock Car Tour during a press conference at South Boston on Friday evening, along with several incentive programs that the series hopes will boost car counts and loyalty amongst teams in the future.

 

For the first time in CARS Tour history, the SLM and LMSC Tours will not run identical schedules, as the Late Model Stock Car Tour will run 12 races in 2018, while the Super Late Model Tour will only run nine races. Both divisions will still share seven races with each other during the 2018 season, including the Mid-Atlantic Classic at Orange County Speedway, the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway, and the season finale at South Boston Speedway.

 

The CARS Tour will also venture to five new tracks for the 2018 season. The CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour will make stops at Wake County Speedway, Ace Speedway, Carteret County Speedway and Kingsport Speedway for the first time in the series’ history. The Super Late Model Tour will travel to Tennessee on April 7th to participate in a combination race with the Championship Racing Association and Southern Super Series at Fairgrounds Speedway.

 

Changes to the purses in both divisions were also announced in Friday’s press conference. The CARS LMSC Tour purse, which is based on a 28-car field, will be increased by 12% in 2018, with the average purse for each race being $32,450 in comparison to the $28,875 spread out amongst the drivers in 2017. A driver who wins a CARS LMSC Tour race in 2018 will earn $6,000 instead of $5,000, and any driver who starts a race will automatically earn $700.

 

The purse for the Super Late Models in 2018 will also be based on a 28-car starting field, with one major change being that the purse for SLM events will be aligned with other SLM sanctioning bodies. Unlike the LMSC Tour, four races in the SLM Tour will award $10,000 to the winner of the event, which will be the races at Myrtle Beach Speedway, Anderson Motor Speedway, the Mid-Atlantic Classic, and a race that has yet to be announced for May 20, 2018.

 

The CARS Tour also announced the Touring Twelve program for the Late Model Stock Car Tour, which is a loyalty program that will consist of twelve Late Model teams that plan to compete in every points event for the 2018 season. There will be several benefits for Touring Twelve teams that will include a reduced entry fee of $825, and a guaranteed minimum of $1,000 in earnings for each race. Touring Twelve teams will also receive two sets of discounted Hoosier tires, four complimentary race tickets to all CARS LMSC Tour points races, and an opportunity to be featured on CARS Tour merchandise.

 

In order for teams to participate in the Touring Twelve program, CARS LMSC Tour teams must sign an agreement to participate in all regular season races and complete driver and owner registrations by March 2, 2018. Drivers will be required to have their name and likeness used on CARS Tour branding and merchandise, and must be committed to participate in limited driver appearances throughout the season, along with running a special throwback scheme at the Throwback 276 on August 4, 2018.

 

There will also be a loyalty program for CARS LMSC Tour competitors who do not participate in the Touring Twelve program. Any car owner in the division that competes in three consecutive races will receive a $500 bonus as a part of their winnings for the third event, which could result in an additional $2,000 in winnings for the 2018 season. A driver who participates in this program is not required to start in the season opener at Tri-County, and can run any three consecutive LMSC Tour races of their choice.

 

Other programs announced by the CARS Tour include a Hometown Hero bonus, in which any non-CARS LMSC Tour regular who is in the top three in a track’s LSMC points prior to the CARS Tour arrival will receive free Hoosier Tires for the CARS Tour race at that track. Information regarding finances and fees for CARS Tour teams will remain the same with the exception of late fees, which will drop to $100 in 2018 as opposed to the $250 late fee implemented in 2017.

 

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

 

2018 CARS Tour Schedule:

March 3     Tri-County Speedway              Hudson, NC             Open Practice/SRI Performance Media Day

March 10   Tri-County Speedway              Hudson, NC             LMSC $10,000 to win.

March 24   Myrtle Beach Speedway          Myrtle Beach, SC    SLM $10,000/LMSC

April 7         Fairgrounds Speedway          Nashville, TN           SLM w/CRA and SSS

April 7         Wake County Speedway        Raleigh, NC             LMSC

April 21       Mid-Atlantic Classic                Rougemont, NC      SLM $10,000/LMSC

May 5          Hickory Motor Speedway       Hickory, NC             SLM/LMSC

May 20       TBA                                         TBA                         SLM $10,000/LMSC

June 9         Ace Speedway                       Altamahaw, NC       LMSC

June 9         Anderson Motor Speedway   Williamston, SC       SLM w/SSS $10,000

June 23    Carteret County Speedway      Swansboro, NC       LMSC

July 14      Kingsport Speedway                Bloomingdale, TN   LMSC

August 4   Throwback 276                         Hickory, NC            SLM/LMSC

Sept 8       Orange County Speedway       Rougemont, NC      SLM/LMSC

Oct 13       South Boston Speedway         South Boston, VA    SLM/LMSC

 

Shell is proud to announce that its Shell V-Power race fuel and Pennzoil® with PurePlusTM Technology lubricant delivered 23.3% of the total efficiency gain of Scuderia Ferrari’s power unit since the end of the 2014 season. This means Scuderia Ferrari can go over half a second a lap faster with the same amount of fuel.

 

Shell Motorsport Innovation Manager Guy Lovett explains what this means: “Efficiency is crucial for us in motorsport, where performance improvements are primarily found through exploiting efficiency, due to the fuel limit, so we can only go faster by getting more out of each drop of fuel. At Shell, we work tirelessly with Scuderia Ferrari designers and engineers over the winter and during each season, with 21,000 hours devoted to the Formula 1 products alone. The scale of the efficiency benefits we have delivered since the end of 2014 is a testament to all the team at Shell, and truly demonstrates the benefits of our Innovation Partnership with Scuderia Ferrari. Ultimately, we strive to bring improvements from the intense testing environment of the racetrack to help develop the best fuel and lubricants for drivers on the road.”

 

The 2017 Formula 1 cars require more power due to ‘draggier’ designs and because drivers spend longer at full throttle, efficiency is now more important than ever. Shell must deliver maximum performance to Scuderia Ferrari from the fuel as well as from engine lubrication, to enable the cars and drivers to perform at their peak during each race of the season. Such gains in efficiency have already helped power Scuderia Ferrari to four race wins and eight further podium places in the first half of the 2017 season.

 

Scuderia Ferrari Driver and current series leader Sebastian Vettel said: “Our performance so far this season relies on all parts of the puzzle working together, and of course the fuels and lubricants from Shell are playing their part – stats like this show how their expertise contributes to give us an advantage on the track.”

 

Mattia Binotto, Technical Director, Scuderia Ferrari said: “It’s really impressive that Shell fuels and lubricants delivered nearly a quarter of the overall efficiency gain of our power unit since the end of 2014, and our thanks go to Shell for delivering such an improvement. To achieve ever increasing standards of performance out of the same amounts of
Shell V-Power race fuel is remarkable, and this combined with the benefits of
Pennzoil® with PurePlusTM Technology lubricant in the engine, is an important factor contributing to Scuderia Ferrari’s on-track results.”

Nissan is set to become the first Japanese automotive brand to compete in the FIA Formula E Championship - joining the electric street racing series in season five.

 

The move to participate in Formula E provides Nissan with a global platform to spread the message of Nissan Intelligent Mobility - the company’s three-pillar strategy to re-define how its vehicles are driven, powered and integrated into society.

 

Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “To have a name like Nissan coming on board is a momentous day for the series. Not only is it great to welcome a new manufacturer to the Formula E family - it’s great to see our first Japanese manufacturer entering the frame, showing truly how global the electric revolution is. Japan is a country at the forefront of new technologies with one of the biggest followings of Formula E. The shift towards sustainable mobility is in motion and it’s unstoppable. I look forward to seeing the Nissan logo adorned on the new-look cars for season five.”

 

“As the ultimate expression of the thrill of instant acceleration and agile handling that’s at the heart of Nissan zero-emission driving, Nissan is going to electrify the Formula E championship,” said Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president of global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and battery business, and chairman of Nissan’s management committee for Japan, Asia and Oceania. “Nissan will be the first Japanese brand to enter this growing championship, bringing our long history of motorsports success to the Formula E grid. It will give us a global platform for bringing our pioneering Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy to a new generation of racing fans. Nissan’s DNA is rich in innovation in electric mobility, not to mention a long history of success in motorsports. It makes sense that we bring these two core elements together by competing in Formula E.”

 

Nissan is set to replace one of the existing validated manufacturer registrations for the 2018/19 season - maintaining the current list of nine manufacturers in total for season five. Further information about Nissan’s participation will be available in due course.

 

To follow the latest news and information, visit - www.fiaformulae.com

 

After racing on home soil last weekend in the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, Haas F1 Team heads south of the border for the Mexican Grand Prix Sunday at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.

 

The 4.304-kilometer (2.674-mile), 17-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 1963, but in preparation for Formula One’s return in 2015 after a 22-year hiatus, it was completely revamped. Noted track designer Hermann Tilke penned the new layout, which followed the general outline of the original course. The entire track was resurfaced, with new pit, paddock and spectator stands constructed. The most notable changes from the old layout to the current version were an added sequence of corners comprising turns one, two and three, along with a revised set of corners through the Foro Sol baseball stadium, which was built inside the famed and feared Perlatada corner, which serves as the track’s final turn.

 

The new asphalt made for a slippery surface in 2015 and despite a year of weathering, it remained slick in 2016. Even as the refurbished track readies for its third year of Formula One action, drivers and teams alike expect grip to be elusive.

 

The smooth pavement is one factor, but Mexico City’s notoriously thin air is another significant contributor.

 

Sitting 2,200 meters (7,218 feet) above sea level, Mexico City’s high altitude means there is less downforce on the cars. To compensate for this, teams run more downforce than they would at similarly fast tracks like Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza and Azerbaijan’s Baku City Circuit. But with top speeds expected to surpass the high mark of 372 kph (231 mph) earned last year, teams have to compromise between straight-line speed and the downforce necessary to push through the track’s corners.

 

Cooling is another issue facing teams in the Mexican Grand Prix. The thinner air means the turbo has to spin at a higher rate to inject more oxygen into the engine, and with the brakes being used for approximately 25 percent of the race’s 71-lap duration, keeping those brakes cool adds another degree of difficulty.

 

Haas F1 Team is up for the challenge, with drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen eager to get back on track and vie for points in the hyper-competitive midfield. The American squad is eighth in the constructors standings with 43 points, five points behind seventh-place Renault and 10 points behind sixth-place Toro Rosso with a 20-point cushion over ninth-place McLaren.

 

With only three races remaining in the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship, the midfield battle is as tight as it’s been all season. Points are highly coveted by all, but with the super teams of Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull typically consuming six of the top-10 point-paying positions, the seven other teams on the grid scrape and claw for the remaining four spots and the valuable points that come with them.

 

Shut out of the points at COTA after scoring a double-points finish in the preceding Japanese Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team seeks an elevated position in the constructors standings with a high-end performance in the elevation of Mexico City.

The list of Cape Motorsports’ Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires alumni reads like a who’s who of motorsports, including 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series drivers JR Hildebrand and Spencer Pigot, newly named Penske sports car teammates Ricky Taylor and Dane Cameron, Andy Lally, Scott Hargrove and 2017 IMSA champions Trent Hindman (Lamborghini Super Trofeo) and Jake Eidson (Porsche GT3 Cup). 

 
The team’s history in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is just as impressive. They have won 11 USF2000 Drivers Championships, nine Team Championships and seven Rookie of the Year titles with 122 series wins and 145 pole positions. In 2017, they took 20-year-old Oliver Askew to the team’s seventh straight driver’s title.
 
Askew’s rise from the karting ranks to open-wheel champion over the past year may have taken some by surprise, but not his Cape Motorsports team. The young Floridian’s prowess in England as part of the Team USA Scholarship team, his scholarship-earning win at the MRTI Shootout and his Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda title were exactly the sort of performance team owners Dominic and Nicholas Cape expected, and illustrates the reasons the team signed him. The brothers have stringent criteria for prospective drivers and Askew checked all the boxes.
 
“Oliver hit our radar about two years ago,” said Dominic Cape. “We have a particular kind of person and driver that we’re looking for. He has a very good karting background and he’s raced in Europe at a high level, so he knows what he’s doing. If you look back at any of our previous drivers, they’re all similar. He hits all the same marks as any of the drivers who have won a championship with us. We have won seven drivers’ championships in a row and they all are super talented.” 
 
“We plotted a plan out for him in September of last year of what we wanted to achieve together in order to get him into USF2000,” said Nicholas Cape. “He had a lot of pressure all the way through the year, not only racing and winning but looking after all the off-track things that come with being the scholarship winner. He and (2016 USF2000 champion and 2017 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires runner up) Anthony Martin both did. We had two scholarship drivers this year and it was a great honor to have them both, along with a tremendous amount of pressure to succeed on the team members and drivers, and we almost pulled it off for both.”
 
The brothers are quick to note that the Cape Motorsports team members have an equally significant part to play in the team’s stellar history, as the continuity under the team tent is vital to the team’s success.
 
“All the hard work is attributed to having excellent people around us,” said Nicholas Cape, “and having them with us for a long period of time. Our lads are awesome, all with the same mentality and passion for winning. Don Conner and Will Paul, Reg and Colin have been with us for over a decade and John, Jeremy, Adam, Alan and Larry have all won championships with us over the past few years. Jonatan Jorge was an awesome addition this year as driver coach, so all these guys are the backbone of our team.”
 
The team began the year with Askew and Bangalore, India-native Ricky Donison in USF2000 and Martin in Pro Mazda. Askew hit the track with a bang, leading five of the six sessions in the series test at Homestead-Miami Speedway in March, then taking a victory and a second-place finish in the season-opener at St. Petersburg, Fla. He followed that up by sweeping victories at Barber Motorsports Park and the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and suddenly, Askew had a seemingly insurmountable lead in the championship. Were the Cape brothers surprised at the explosive start?
 
“We weren’t surprised in the slightest,” said Dominic Cape. “We expected that from him. We knew he was that good. Everyone thought we had the magic bullet for the Van Diemen, but everyone else did as well. It’s not magic, it’s just hard work and having the right guy in the car, year in and year out. You could just tell from the outset that he was going to be one of those guys who would get it done.”
 
Just when it appeared the title chase was all but decided, Askew ran into a string of bad luck, and combined with the performance of a surging Rinus VeeKay and Pabst Racing, Askew’s lead began to shrink. The team arrived at the lone oval race of the year at Iowa Speedway with no testing beforehand, which set them on the back foot until Askew put it all together just in time for qualifying. He took the pole position and the race win in a seminal moment for driver and team.
 
“We did a test at LOR in May and he was setting the pace there within 10 laps,” said Nicholas Cape. “He took to it right away. He found he liked oval racing, which not all drivers do. He did the same thing at Iowa, which was very impressive.”
 
“Everything’s race to race, we don’t care what the points are,” said Dominic Cape. “You have to win all the small battles to win the war; you have to stay focused. We had our share of problems like everyone else. We didn’t have the money to go testing at the oval so we struggled out of the box at Iowa but, as always, he came through in the end.”
 
Askew and Cape arrived at the one-race season finale at Watkins Glen with only a 13-point lead. Askew took the pole position and, with the team’s strategy in mind, wisely didn’t contend the issue when VeeKay made a pass for the lead early in the race. With VeeKay’s teammate Calvin Ming hot on his heels, Askew remained calm and brought the car home in second position to secure the championship title and the Mazda scholarship that will allow him to graduate into the 2018 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
 
“Part of winning the championship is knowing how to win it,” said Dominic Cape. “We all sat down and made a game plan – we knew we’d be close on pole, so when we had that, it was all strategy to win the championship. It didn’t matter what anyone else did, it only mattered what we did. There was no point risking it all. Oliver did exactly what he had to do – and that’s exactly what we expected.”
 
It is unprecedented for a team to earn seven straight driver titles in a series, especially given the change in car for 2017. But the Cape brothers kept Askew and Martin on the straight and narrow throughout the season. Both brothers agree that there is a very simple formula for their success.
 
“We outwork everyone at the track,” Dominic Cape stated. “It’s a whole team effort. Most of these guys have been with us for a long time and you know their strengths and weaknesses. Anthony and Oliver were never in competition, they both worked together well and became good friends. They helped each other when they needed it. That helped both through the difficult times.” 

Chase Purdy is still two weeks away from his 18th birthday, but the current NASCAR Next member received an early birthday gift and will celebrate in style leading into his milestone event.  Purdy and MDM Motorsports announced today that they will embark on an ARCA Racing Series championship run in 2018 that will commence at next month’s ARCA-sanctioned test at Talladega Superspeedway on November 7 – 8.

Purdy, who claimed four consecutive poles and five runner-up finishes en route to a fourth-place championship finish this season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, will once again be paired with veteran crew chief Charles “Cully” Barraclough and will have continued sponsorship support from Bama Buggies and Textron Off Road as he transitions to full-time ARCA Racing Series competition.  Barraclough has led successful teams at Joe Gibbs Racing, Yates Racing and Roush Fenway Racing for the likes of Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and David Gilliland, and is tasked with guiding the Meridian, Mississippi, native on his quest for the ARCA Rookie-of-the-Year honors.

“Having Cully on board will certainly ease the transition,” said Purdy, who started racing go-karts at age 9 before advancing to Bandolero cars at 12 and Legends Cars at 15.  “Besides being a familiar face, he understands what I’m saying when I describe how the car is handling and changes that work best for me.  I think that bond and relationship will make it an easier transition and more exciting season.”

MDM Motorsports, fresh off the victory in last week’s ARCA season finale at Kansas Speedway, fielded multiple part-time entries this season that tallied five victories and will make its first foray into full-time ARCA racing as well in 2018.  In only its second year of competition, MDM captured its first championship with Harrison Burton in the NASCAR K&N Series and earned its first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory with Bubba Wallace at Michigan International Speedway in August.  In all, MDM has scored 13 wins this season across the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series.   

“We expect to win a good bit and certainly contend for a championship,” said Purdy, who also competed in three ARCA Series races this season with a pair of top-10 finishes.  “The Rookie-of-the-Year title is a top goal, and I’ll be surrounded by good people and good equipment, so we want to have fun and be successful.  I finished second five times this year in the K&N Series and I’m looking for that one spot better where we can celebrate at the end of one of these races.  I ran a few ARCA races this year after we decided it was going to be the next step in my driving career, so I have a few races on radial tires and with live pit stops, which I think are the biggest challenges moving from the K&N Series.  This is the next step and I’m going to make the most of it to further advance my racing career while getting closer to the ultimate goal of racing on Sundays with the big boys.”

Purdy captured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Rookie-of-the-Year Award in 2016 and won the 2015 US Legends INEX National Championship in the Young Lions division.  A quick study, he earned his U.S. Legends INEX national championship in his first season of competition.

“As an organization, we saw Chase’s ability when we competed against him on a regular basis in the NASCAR K&N Series,” said Mark McFarland, MDM Motorsports’ managing partner.  “He showed great speed throughout the K&N season and we’re looking forward to helping him grow on and off the race track.  This is the first of many announcements about our plans for next season and it’s the next step of growth for our organization as we compete full-time and for the championship in the ARCA Racing Series.”

Additional information about MDM Motorsports is available at: www.MDMmotorsports.com, find us on Facebook and follow the team on Twitter @MDMmotorsports. 

For more information on Chase Purdy and his run for the 2018 ARCA Racing Series championship, visit his website at: www.ChasePurdyRacing.com, find him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @ChasePurdy12 and Instagram @Chase_Purdy.

MDM Motorsports PR