Tuesday, Aug 16
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

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  

  

 

Devlin DeFrancesco is ready to switch back into oval racing mode this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES set for a double-header weekend at Iowa Speedway.

This weekend will be the first time DeFrancesco has raced on the 7/8th of a mile oval – however, he did get his first taste of the venue recently in a test for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport.

A self-professed lover of oval racing, the 22-year-old series rookie, will have plenty of opportunities to gain more oval experience this weekend, with a 250-lap race scheduled for Saturday and a longer 300-lap race set for Sunday.

The Miami-based Italian-Canadian racer enters this weekend after recording his best ever INDYCAR qualifying result last weekend on home soil at the Honda Indy Toronto.

DeFrancesco progressed from his qualifying group for the first time and started the race from 12th. The Toronto event was a special one for the DeFrancesco family – the race anchoring a fundraising event for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. The “Racing for the Tiniest Babies” campaign is raising funds for the center’s neo-natal NICU center – the one that cared for DeFrancesco when he was born 15 weeks early more than 22 years ago.

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The Iowa Speedway event forms part of a hectic schedule for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, which stages four back-to-back races and seven race weekends over nine weeks to complete the 2022 schedule.

DeFrancesco is confident of having a strong package for his Honda-powered Dallara at Iowa Speedway. Out of the 15 INDYCAR races staged at the venue, cars from the Andretti organization have won seven times.

Track action kicks begins on Friday with a 90-minute practice session followed by qualifying at 9:30 AM on Saturday morning. The HyVeeDeals.com 250 presented by DoorDash 250 lap event goes green on Saturday at 3:06 PM, followed by the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google on Sunday from 2:30 PM.

DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO

“Back to oval racing in Iowa for a doubleheader. I think finally advancing in qualifying at Toronto really motivated the crew. We’ll be looking to build consistency and the back-to-back races will give us that opportunity. I hope to make some progress in the No. 29 Andretti Steinbrenner PowerTap Honda.”

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SCHEUDLE
FRIDAY, JULY 22

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Practice
SATURDAY, JULY 23
9:30 AM – Qualifying
3:06 PM –  HyVeeDeals.com 250 presented by DoorDash (250 laps/223.5miles), NBC (Live)
SUNDAY, JULY 24
10:55-11:00 AM – Systems Check
2:30 PM – Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google (300 laps/268.2 miles), NBC (Live)

 

HOW TO WATCH
USA: NBC and Peacock TV
Peacock also will stream all races airing on NBC’s networks and will be the exclusive home of INDYCAR practice and qualifying sessions, as well as a new post-race show.
Canada: SportsNet World
International TV: https://www.indycar.com/ways-to-watch/international

 

HOW TO LISTEN
INDYCAR Radio and Sirius XM – https://www.indycar.com/radio/broadcast-schedule

 

HOW TO FOLLOW

Website: devlindefrancesco.com
Website: andrettiautosport.com
Website: steinbrennerracing.com
Twitter: twitter.com/devlindefran
Instagram: instagram.com/devlindefran

 

TRACK
Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile (0.894-mile) oval in Newton, Iowa


TIRES
Firestone tire allotment: Fourteen sets for use through the doubleheader weekend

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Drivers and crew at Winward Racing must be scratching their heads, wondering what they need to do to nail down a win in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It’s not for lack of trying.
 
In last weekend’s FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 grabbed the GT Daytona (GTD) lead on a restart with less than 10 minutes remaining and appeared the certain class winner on the last lap, until the car sputtered heading into the final turn – victim of a fuel pump failure.
 
The No. 57 coasted agonizingly slower and slower as driver Philip Ellis feverishly tried to change over to a backup fuel pump installed in the car for just this situation, but to no avail. Ellis fell to fifth place by the time he rolled across the finish line.
 
Among those helplessly watching from pit lane was co-driver Russell Ward.
 
“I’ve got to say it was a new experience for me,” Ward admitted. “It could have failed one corner later and we would’ve won the race, or it could have failed in practice. It was just kind of a freak accident; sometimes that happens. It was really disappointing.”
 
Ward said the fuel pump was new, installed following the previous race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park two weeks before. The racing gods just weren’t looking out for Winward that day.
 
“We had plenty of fuel to finish the race,” Ward said. “The car has a spare fuel pump for this case; you swap it over and then refire the car. By the time Philip was able to do that, the damage was already done.
 
“It adds another race on the list of races that got away from us – and this year there have been plenty of them.”
 
Indeed. Lime Rock marked the third straight race where the No. 57 Winward Mercedes challenged for the win but came up short. In the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 26, the car took the checkered flag first in GTD but was among nine entrants moved to the rear of their respective classes for failing to meet adjusted minimum drive times in the weather-shortened race.
 
The following week, Ward and Ellis – whose lone win came in their series debut with Winward at the 2021 Rolex 24 At Daytona – were within an eyelash of winning at CTMP, finishing second just 0.493 seconds behind the No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin GT3. Despite the disappointments, Ward said spirits remain high.
 
“Since Detroit (in early June), we’ve been able to execute everything quite well and just haven’t had the luck to put it all together,” he said, adding that optimism runs high because of the Mercedes’ prowess on the three remaining tracks this season – Road America, VIRginia International Raceway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
 
“I think the next couple of tracks are really good for us. I was a little worried about the pace at Lime Rock because the Mercedes typically doesn’t do super well there. Road America suits the car a lot better, Virginia suits the car a lot better and so does Atlanta. The next three races coming up are some of my favorites on the calendar.”
 
First up is the IMSA Fastlane SportsCar Weekend at Road America from Aug. 4-7. All five WeatherTech Championship classes will be in action at the Wisconsin circuit. Race coverage starts at 11:40 a.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 7 on Peacock and IMSA Radio. USA Network joins the live telecast at noon.

Will Power led three Team Penske drivers in the top seven of practice Friday for the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway, the only session before qualifying and two races.

Power led overall with a top lap of 18.5729 seconds, 173.285 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on the .894-mile oval. He seized the top spot from early leader and 2020 Iowa NTT P1 Award winner Conor Daly, who ended up second at 173.239 in the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet.

SEE: Practice Results | Qualifying Order

“The car feels really good,” Power said. “It felt good on a long run. We did make some changes, and at least we know what they do now. Whatever you run in quali, you’ve got to race. That’s a bit of a compromise there. I feel like we’ve got a good car and hope we can have a good weekend.”

Power alluded to the unique nature of the only doubleheader weekend on the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. The Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 presented by DoorDash will be held at 4 p.m. ET Saturday with the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google to follow at 3 p.m. ET Sunday. Both races will air live on NBC, with flag-to-flag coverage also on the INDYCAR Radio Network.

NTT P1 Award qualifying starts at 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, with each driver’s first lap setting the grid for Saturday’s race and their second lap setting the lineup for Sunday’s race. Cars will be placed in impound after qualifying, with front wing and front-wing endplate angles and tire pressure changes among the limited adjustments allowed before the race Saturday.

Scott McLaughlin was third at 173.083 in the No. 3 Freightliner Team Penske Chevrolet, giving the winningest team in INDYCAR SERIES history two of the top three spots on the time sheet.

Reigning series champion Alex Palou was fourth at 172.764 in the No. 10 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda, with Pato O’Ward rounding out the top five at 172.687 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Series points leader Marcus Ericsson was sixth at 171.819 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, while two-time series champion Josef Newgarden was the third Team Penske driver in the top seven at 171.557 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson returned to his comfort zone on ovals, ending up ninth at 170.795 mph in the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

All 26 drivers in the field were forced to try to keep cool in scorching air temperatures in the mid-90s at the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet.”

“It’s fine,” Power said. “Tire deg (degradation) is more (in the heat), and it’s better for racing. It’s a really cool track. I really, really enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun.”

The 90-minute session was incident-free, with just two short caution periods for track inspection. The 26 drivers combined to turn 2,410 laps, with Palou leading the way with 119.

A week after winning in Denver, Top Fuel star Leah Pruett kept rolling on Friday in Sonoma, powering to the provisional No. 1 spot for Tony Stewart Racing at the 34th annual Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
 
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Troy Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 12th of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. It is also the second event in the three-race NHRA Western Swing.
 
Pruett went 3.689-seconds at 327.59 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Rayce Rudeen Foundation Top Fuel dragster during the lone qualifying session, putting her on track to qualify No. 1 for the first time this season and the 12th time in her career. It also puts the team on a great path following their Denver win, which only further bolstered the overall desire to add another victory.
 
“What was most important to this team was starting off in Q1 in a different fashion than we have in the last handful of races,” said Pruett, who was the runner-up in Sonoma last season. “We considered it a little bit conservative, but it gives us a really solid look into our tuning window. The win in Denver was so big for us because it showed us where we needed to improve to do it again and that’s what we’ve prepared for this week.”
 
Doug Kalitta was the only other driver in the 3.60s on Friday, going 3.694 at 331.45, while Steve Torrence, the defending event winner, took the third spot after his 3.710 at 326.08.
 
Robert Hight continued his dominant run in Sonoma in Funny Car, making his quickest pass in five years with a stellar pass of 3.825 at 332.75 in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. Hight, who is the points leader on the strength of five wins in 2022, has won three straight years at Sonoma and will now try to become the first driver in NHRA history to win four consecutive times. After Friday’s incredible run, he couldn’t have asked for a better start.
 
“You have to have a gameplan when you come into one of these races. You can’t think of the end result,” Hight said. “You have to go one round at a time and it’s a job well done for this team tonight. We saw what was out there and (crew chief) Jimmy (Prock) and Chris (Cunningham) have a really good handle on this tune-up. I was impressed. When it left the starting line, it really wanted to go right on me. This thing was trucking, and I had to get it back in the groove. At the middle of the race track it was pulling, and I knew it was on a great run.”
 
Defending world champ Ron Capps took the second spot in Funny Car after one session with his 3.846 at 334.48, while Alexis DeJoria’s 3.867 at 330.63 slots her third heading into Saturday.
 
Troy Coughlin Jr. made a strong impression on Friday in Pro Stock, vaulting to the top with a run of 6.549 at 210.87 in his JEGS/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. That run would give the young standout his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and the second in his career. Coughlin rebounded from a mid-season slump by going to the semifinals in Denver and he appears to have continued that momentum at Sonoma Raceway.
 
“We’re very pleased and everyone works so hard on this team,” Coughlin said. “We have one goal and that’s to turn (win lights) on and make good laps. It’s an exciting thing to be a part of. This team is putting a lot of hours in and it shows. They’re so much passion in the pit area and the shop, and there’s not a stone unturned with these guys. I think we’ve got some left in it. We’ll keep a clear mindset, and we just want to stay consistent.”
 
Mason McGaha’s 6.551 at 210.57 has him second and Kyle Koretsky is currently third after his run of 6.553 at 209.36. Points leader Erica Enders is eighth after the first qualifying session.
 
After struggling at the past two races, Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Steve Johnson returned to form on Friday, jumping to the top on his Butter Transportation Suzuki with a standout pass of 6.743 at 198.73. If it holds, it would be the first No. 1 qualifier of the season for Johnson and the eighth in his career. The run was also a welcome sign for the veteran after suffering back-to-back first-round losses. His points lead shrunk to just 10 points heading into Sonoma, but Johnson with pleased with how his weekend opened on Friday.
 
“Our philosophy was just to get it down the track so we can get data and test some things,” Johnson said. “We really wanted to go ‘A to B.’ We made some good decisions, and we had a good run. That 60-foot was really good and very important to what we do, and that was huge. It’s so important to run well because it’s so hard to ride a Pro Stock Motorcycle and you need the confidence as a rider.”
 
Denver winner and reigning world champ Matt Smith took second with a 6.758 at 200.74, while Eddie Krawiec is currently third after going 6.785 at 198.23.
 
Qualifying continues at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

Hunter McElrea earned his second consecutive Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires victory Saturday, elevated to first place at Iowa Speedway after a post-race penalty was levied on Linus Lundqvist.

Series points leader Lundqvist took the checkered flag first in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car, 3.4258 seconds ahead of McElrea in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car on the .894-mile oval. But INDYCAR officials determined Lundqvist made avoidable contact with Matthew Brabham in a duel for the lead with five laps to go, damaging Brabham’s front wing.

Lundqvist was penalized three spots, dropping to fourth in the final results. That penalty gave Andretti Autosport a sweep of the top three spots. with pole sitter McElrea the winner, fellow rookie Christian Rasmussen second in the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht car and Brabham third in the No. 83 Andretti Autosport entry.

SEE: Race Results

“Not the way I want to get it, obviously,” McElrea said. “I think, to be honest, Matt deserved that. But I’ll take it. Back to back. You’ll take what you can get in this game.”

McElrea’s victory in the first oval race of the Indy Lights season was the 250th across all series for Andretti Autosport.

The flashpoint of the 75-lap race took place on Lap 71. Leader Lundqvist lost momentum in Turn 1, and Brabham pounced by steering to the outside lane, looking to pass as they drove nearly side by side entering Turn 2. Lundqvist moved up to the high line before he was clear of Brabham, making contact with and damaging Brabham’s front wing. Brabham also made right-side contact with the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 2 while trying to avoid contact with Lundqvist.

“It was a close fight,” Lundqvist said. “I got a little bit loose through (Turn) 1, and I saw that he was behind me. But I got a ‘clear’ from my spotter, so I switched my lane, and unfortunately I think my rear just touched his front nose. It’s inch-perfect on ovals, and I put my trust in the spotter. Sorry to Matt for the incident.”

Said Brabham: “My perspective is that I got drove into the wall. It looked like he was struggling coming off that corner, and I took the high line and he took the low line. It looked like he just committed to going low and trying to block for the next corner. I said, ‘If you’re going to give me the top, I’ll take the top.’ There was overlap, and we’re still side by side, and I felt like he figured out, ‘Oh, maybe he doesn’t want to give me the top,’ and came over.

“He said his spotter cleared him. But we still have mirrors, at the end of the day. He knew I was there because he was giving me the lane at first.”

Brabham hung on to second place on track in his damaged car until the final lap, when teammates McElrea and Rasmussen passed him.

McElrea led the first 50 laps from pole, resisting a move by Lundqvist for the lead on Lap 35. But Lundqvist passed McElrea for the lead on the only restart of the race, on Lap 50. McElrea’s car drifted toward the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4 as the field headed for the green flag on the restart, giving Lundqvist a huge opening to exploit.

“That restart, I don’t know what I did,” McElrea said. “I’ll have to look back, look at the footage and stuff. Really not good enough to get up in the marbles like that.”

Despite losing what would have been his fifth victory of 2022 to the penalty, Lundqvist still maintains a sizable lead in the series standings with five races remaining this season. He is 77 points ahead of McElrea, who leapfrogged teammates Sting Ray Robb and Brabham to jump from fourth to second in the championship.

Indy Lights drivers and teams return to action Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville, Tennessee.

 Fictiv, the leader in high-quality, on-demand manufacturing recently congratulated Formula Electric at Berkeley, the electric vehicle team at the University of California, Berkeley, for successfully participating in the Formula SAE (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers) Electric Vehicle Competition, which is part of the largest student engineering competition in the world. Fictiv contributed $10,000 in essential machined parts to Formula Electric at Berkeley’s student-designed electric vehicle to complete the construction of the race car.

Fictiv, which produces parts for major U.S.-based electric car makers, manufactured multiple mechanical components including the front and rear uprights, brake rotors, motor shaft, and bearing retainers for the UC Berkeley race vehicle using CNC machining. Fictiv's artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which offers instant design for manufacturability feedback, paired with its highly vetted network of manufacturing partners, helped the students optimize their designs in order to meet the needs of their formula-style electric race car.

“Fictiv’s mission is to give engineers the freedom to focus on their creations instead of going back and forth with vendors, and wading through red tape just to get their parts into production,” said Michael Amico, business unit director - advanced manufacturing at Fictiv. “It’s been incredibly rewarding eliminating those logistical challenges for the next generation of engineers, and I know these elite engineering students participating in the Formula Electric at Berkeley project will achieve great things beyond this competition.”

The SAE event, which took place in Brooklyn, Michigan, June 15-18, featured university student competitors from around the world including teams representing not only UC Berkeley, but also Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, and Georgia Institute of Technology. 

“We couldn’t have participated in the event successfully without Fictiv,” said Christopher Leafstrand, a member of the Formula Electric at Berkeley Dynamics Subteam and a second-year student at UC Berkeley College of Engineering. “Fictiv made the most important parts of our electric vehicle, parts that require very tight tolerances, very tight machining, and very high precision. These are parts our team had never made before, and are a very difficult part of the inspection process to proceed in the event.”

Formula Electric at Berkeley formed in 2020. The project brings together a diverse community of individuals for the purpose of researching, designing, testing, and manufacturing efficient, sustainable technology at UC Berkeley.  

“Working with Fictiv made the process of getting critical, quality vehicle parts as easy as possible,” said Tijmen Sep, program manager for Formula Electric at Berkeley and a third-year student at UC Berkeley College of Engineering. “The Fictiv team gave a group of students with a relatively small order a lot of personalized attention and were happy to help – even meeting with us face to face. Beyond the smooth parts development process, we’re also grateful for Fictiv’s overall support. Students typically spend upwards of $20,000 constructing electric vehicles for Formula SAE, so Fictiv’s donation provided not only needed functional parts, but incredible savings.”

Formula SAE was founded in 1981 to provide teams of college undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to design and build formula-style vehicles. In 2013, Formula SAE expanded to include a separate electric vehicle competition. 

Myles Rowe was simply picture perfect this afternoon as the Atlanta, Ga., native romped to his fifth win of the year. Rowe extended his championship points lead with his seventh consecutive podium finish and brings his Pabst Racing team another step closer to its first driver’s title in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Crossing the finish line with a comfortable lead of 5.7 seconds over the field, Rowe had little pressure in an all-green flag race on the ultra-challenging 1.786-mile circuit held on the streets of Toronto.
 
Teammate Jace Denmark finished second to notch his seventh podium of the season with Jagger Jones of Cape Motorsports, a winner earlier in the season at Barber Motorsports Park, in third for Race One of the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto.
 
 
Rowe claimed his third Cooper Tires Pole Award of the year yesterday, but was subsequently issued a post-qualifying penalty of two grid spots for missing the entrance to pit lane and completing an additional lap after the checkered flag fell. That handed the prime starting spot to Denmark with Jones also moving up to slot in second.
 
Both Denmark and Jones held pace until Lap 3 when Rowe found his way to the front. He held off a brief challenge from Denmark but by Lap 5 had managed a gap of over a second which continued to grow as he settled in comfortably.
 
Michael d’Orlando of Cape Motorsports, who entered the weekend fresh off his third win of the season two weeks ago, finished fourth after a move on Jacob Douglas of Exclusive Autosport on the opening tour. The biggest mover of the race, however, was his brother, Nicholas d’Orlando, with a gain of three positions to finish ninth and claim the Tilton Hard Charger Award.
 
With a full bonus points hull for pole, laps led and fastest race lap and another PFC Award for team owner Augie Pabst, Rowe now holds a 26-point lead over d’Orlando.
 
Following a second qualifying session this morning, Denmark will start on pole for Race 2 of the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto at 9:45 am EDT tomorrow, followed by Jones, Rowe, d’Orlando and Billy Frazer of Exclusive Autosport.
 
Provisional championship points after 14 of 18 races:
1. Myles Rowe, 329
2. Michael d’Orlando, 303
3. Jace Denmark, 290
4. Jagger Jones, 250
5. Billy Frazer, 223
6. Bijoy Garg, 196
7. Thomas Nepveu, 196
8. Christian Weir, 168
9. Nicky Hays, 161
10. Spike Kohlbecker, 160.
 
Myles Rowe (#22 Penske Entertainment-Pabst Racing Tatuus USF-22): “The weekend is going really well right now – we’ve had good pace all weekend. We qualified first but unfortunately got a penalty for missing the pit lane but we made a good recovery. It’s awesome for the whole team to come back and recover to get the win. We qualified third for tomorrow’s race so the job is not done, but it’s a good start to this great weekend.”
 
Jace Denmark (#23 Radford Racing School Metal Works-Pabst Racing Tatuus USF-22): “It was great to lead the race for a few laps, but my teammate was able to get by. Small mistakes led up to losing the lead, but it’s a really good points day for Pabst Racing. I’m happy with the results but we’ll be going for one more step tomorrow.”
 
Jagger Jones (#3 Cape Motorsports Tatuus USF-22): “Solid finish in third. We didn’t get the great start we wanted so we were fighting from behind a bit. We need to work harder tonight and tomorrow to figure some things out – and hopefully we can have a bit more pace to run with the front guys. We’re starting second, so we’re all focused on getting the win tomorrow.”
 Louis Foster has taken another step forward in his quest for the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires title with a flag-to-flag win by a 5.2 second margin in this afternoon’s L&W Supply Grand Prix of Toronto for his Canadian-owned Exclusive Autosport team.
 
This is the fifth win of the year for the driver who hails from Basingstoke, England, and has now become the first driver this season to win on each type of circuit – road, oval and street – on the 2022 schedule.
 
Enaam Ahmed, who is chasing his first win of the season for Juncos Hollinger Racing, finished second with Josh Green of Turn 3 Motorsport, who rebounded impressively from a heavy crash in the morning qualifying session, third.
 
 
Foster continued his rich vein of form during qualifying on Friday afternoon when he posted the fastest time to clinch another Cooper Tires Pole Award, his third of the season. He held off Ahmed’s challenges at the start but that was short-lived when caution flags flew midway through the opening lap for a wing on the front straight from the #2 entry of Jonathan Browne of Exclusive Autosport.
 
The resulting single file restart was no problem for Foster as he continued to extend his gap while second through fifth battled nose to tail. Reece Gold (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing) and Green were in the thick of the battle as Green managed to displace Siegel for fourth.
 
A second, brief caution on Lap 10 for Salvador De Alba (DEForce Racing), who found the tires in Turn Three, wiped clean the 4.9 second lead Foster had developed and the ensuing result gave Green the opportunity he needed to bump Gold from a podium finish.
 
With his victory today, Foster earns another PFC Award for team owner Michael Duncalfe and extra points for fastest race lap and most laps led bringing his tally to a 63-point lead over Gold in the standings.
 
Tomorrow’s L&W Supply Grand Prix of Toronto Race Two will see Foster again lead the field to the green flag following qualifying this morning with Siegel, Green, Gold and Jordan Missig (Pabst Racing) rounding out the top five. The action will get underway at 11:40 am EDT.
 
Provisional championship points after 13 of 18 rounds:
1. Louis Foster, 315
2. Reece Gold, 252
3. Nolan Siegel, 244
4. Enaam Ahmed, 243
5. Josh Green, 231
6. Braden Eves, 218
7. Kiko Porto, 207
8. Salvador De Alba, 199
9. Jack William Miller, 179
10. Yuven Sundaramoorthy, 173.
 
Louis Foster (#90 Copart.com/Novara Technologies-Exclusive Autosport Tatuus PM-22): “Our pace on cold tires was better than everyone else’s so we were able to pull out a good lead early. The safety car bunched us up, but the car was great and we were able to stay out front. The team worked hard, as they always do, and I’m proud to bring them a win in their home country!
 
“It’s been a good stretch, these past five races. I think it just comes down to getting a feel for the tires and how to maximize them in qualifying – we’ve had strong race pace all year, but we didn’t get the results because of where we qualified. Once we’ve been in the lead, we’ve been able to drive away. But before this year, I’d never driven on an oval or on a street course. St. Pete was such a new experience but this weekend, I had so much more confidence coming in. You can’t make a mistake, it’s so unforgiving. The championship is obviously in my mind – we just have to make correct decisions in the races and be smart. But we’re starting on pole again tomorrow so we’ll be aiming for another win.”
 
Enaam Ahmed (#47 Clear Capital Market/The Support of Pakistan-Juncos Hollinger Racing Tatuus PM-22): “It seems as though these past two weekends – this one, and Mid-Ohio – Exclusive has really made a step forward and we haven’t quite had their pace. We’ve been good in qualifying, but I knew Louis would be fast and the only place I’d be able to get him would be on a restart. I pushed hard and was able to get alongside but it was just too difficult to pass. I tagged the wall in qualifying this morning so we’re starting seventh tomorrow, but I’m just going to focus on moving forward.”
 
Josh Green (#3 SessionGuardian/Zimperium-Turn 3 Motorsport Tatuus PM-22): “I have a wrap on my right hand so I don’t have a lot of grip in the middle of my hand, so the last sector – especially Turn 11, which is super high speed with a big load on the steering wheel – it was a bit difficult to get the car hooked up the whole way through. Those last five laps were a struggle, but I’m so proud of the Turn 3 guys. They made an awesome car, putting it back together quickly after this morning, so I know we’ll have something to fight with tomorrow. Bit of rest and some ice tonight!”
By John Oreovicz & Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Returning to a favorite racetrack proved to be just the tonic for Rebel Rock Racing.
 
Robin Liddell took the wheel of Rebel Rock’s No. 71 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R from Frank DePew and stamped his authority on the second half of the Lime Rock Park 120, claiming the Grand Sport (GS) class victory Saturday in Round 7 of the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
 
Liddell moved from 10th to fourth place before making a green-flag pit stop with 57 minutes remaining in the two-hour contest. Just three minutes later, a full-course caution waved when Eric Foss (No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4) tapped Matt Plumb (No. 46 Team TGM Porsche 718 GT4 RS Clubsport) into a traffic-induced crash.
 
After the leaders completed pit stops under yellow, Liddell found himself in third place, trailing Kyle Marcelli in the No. 877 JG Wentworth Racing by PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 and Mike Skeen in the No. 55 FCP Euro by Ricca Autosport Mercedes when racing resumed with a little more than half an hour remaining. Liddell made quick work of Skeen, then set about cutting into a 5.4-second deficit to leader Marcelli.
 
Once clear of lapped traffic, Liddell closed quickly on Marcelli and the Camaro passed the Mustang exiting Big Bend with 12 minutes to go. Marcelli held tough through the subsequent Left Hander and Right Hander and regained the lead through the Uphill Bend.
 
Liddell repeated his pass at Big Bend the following lap, and this time, Marcelli was unable to respond. Marcelli and Billy Johnson (No. 59 Kohr Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4) waged an exciting scrap over the final 10 minutes, but both were ultimately passed by Trent Hindman in the No. 7 Volt Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 he shared with Alan Brynjolfsson.
 
Liddell crossed the line 2.951 seconds ahead of Hindman to earn his 14th career victory in Michelin Pilot Challenge competition. He also claimed a GS class victory at Lime Rock in 2018 when teamed with Matt Bell. The win was DePew’s fifth in Michelin Pilot Challenge.
 
“We had a difficult year in 2021, with a lot of incidents and just disappointment,” Liddell said. “This year, we have put solid races under our belt and are finishing the best we can – some top-10s, some top-fours and now a win, which is great. I’m super happy, the team did a great job, and the car always performs well here.
 
“We made a good call to get out of that traffic melee we were in, and when the yellow came out, we were in a great spot with the undercut,” he added. “But it was a blinking hard race – lots of contact, lots of battling, but we managed to bring the car home in one piece. We had better tires at the end, and that really made the difference. I just had more grip and they couldn’t hang with us.”
 
Behind Hindman, Marcelli and co-driver Sheena Monk took third place in the No. 877 Mustang.
 
The second-place finish was a big boost for Brynjolfsson and Hindman in the GS point standings. They extended their advantage over Foss to 265 points after Foss and Kenton Koch were credited with 19th place in the No. 56 Mercedes.
No. 17 Audi Takes a Beating and then Delivers One in TCR
 
Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor spent most of Saturday’s Touring Car (TCR) class race getting knocked around. But like the famous old timepiece commercial, the No. 17 Unitronic-JDC MotorSports Audi RS3 LMS SEQ took a licking and kept on ticking – all the way to victory lane.
 
The No. 17 Audi won by 1.148 seconds over the No. 15 Belgard & Techniseal Racing Audi RS3 LMS DSG shared by Preston Brown and Denis Dupont, but only after Miller and Taylor survived multiple skirmishes and several near catastrophes in the two-hour race at Lime Rock Park.
 
“It was a dogfight out there,” Taylor admitted after closing out the win. “They call it the bullring for a reason. Every single lap, I thought I was going to be hit from behind; all over the place. It all culminated in kind of two big incidents. I’m just happy we survived.”
 
Miller was running third in class 20 minutes into the race when he was knocked off course and fell to last place in the field. Undaunted, he stayed the course and turned the car over to Taylor a little more than 20 minutes later. A lightning-fast pit stop advanced Taylor to seventh in TCR and he charged forward from there. Another stop just before the second and final full-course caution of the race allowed the No. 17 to cycle into second place when racing resumed with 33 minutes to go.
 
“I was just making sure we stayed on the lead lap and thinking of taking care of the car,” Miller said. “I knew we had a quick race car. … I knew Mikey, if I gave him a chance, he’d do something good with it.”
 
Taylor bumped his way past Jon Morley in the No. 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi and into the TCR lead with 25 minutes left on the clock. But the mission was far from finished as the top five TCR cars jostled for position down the stretch, often clustered within a second.
 
Contact between the No. 17 Audi, No. 19 van der Steur Racing Hyundai Veloster N TCR and No. 65 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 from the GS class nearly disrupted the race for all three cars but they continued.
 
Tyler Gonzalez regrouped in the No. 19 Hyundai to make a final charge at Taylor with 90 seconds remaining. Gonzalez attempted an over-under pass for the lead in Turn 1, and the cars made side-to-side contact several times through Turns 2 and 3 before the No. 19 Hyundai sustained left-rear damage and limped back to the pits to finish 10th in class.
 
“I thought we were both going to not finish the race at that point,” Taylor said. “These cars are not that robust and you can only take so many hits. … I was radioing into the team, ‘Is bodywork flying off? Is my splitter even still on?’ It was crazy at the end. Just happy we finished and to be here is awesome.”
 
The win was the fourth for Taylor in the Michelin Pilot Challenge and third for Miller. It was their first since taking the TCR victory last October at VIRginia International Raceway.
 
The runner-up finish by the No. 15 Belgard and Techniseal Audi equaled the team’s best finish set earlier this year at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson finished third in the No. 54 Michael Johnson Racing with Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR, just 0.350 seconds behind the No. 15 Audi.
 
By finishing fifth Saturday, Michael Lewis and Taylor Hagler, co-drivers of the No. 1 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra, expanded their championship lead to 70 points over Roy Block, Tim Lewis and the No. 5 KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR.
 
Three races remain. The next is the Road America 240, a four-hour race at the track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) took a maiden Formula E race win in the New York City E-Prix, heading home ahead of Lucas di Grassi (ROKiT Venturi Racing) and teammate Robin Frijns as torrential rain deluged the track late in the race, creating the most dramatic finish of the season so far..

In the final 10 minutes of the scheduled 45-minute plus on lap race, a storm swept in with heavy rain buffeting the Brooklyn Street Circuit leaving pools of standing water in the braking zone to Turn 6. 

A Full Course Yellow was called but Cassidy, di Grassi and Vandoorne - as well as Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) - couldn't help but aquaplane straight on and into the wall. More drivers fell foul in impossible conditions as the race was brought to an early conclusion with a Red Flag.

Before the rain came, Nick Cassidy had started from Julius Bär Pole Position for the first time and led from the front through both ATTACK MODE activations. Di Grassi and Frijns applied pressure from behind as the race headed towards its conclusion with the pair having deposed Vandoorne from second on Lap 27 as the points race twisted and turned. 

Drivers’ World Championship leader Mortara had also worked his way up to fifth with a late second ATTACK MODE, the Venturi driver having missed out on the Duels in qualifying, starting ninth.
The Red Flag meant the race result was decided on countback with finishing positions defined based on the lap prior to the one in which the stoppage was called, as per article 41.9 of the FIA sporting regulations. The ruling meant the race win went the way of an elated Cassidy, with di Grassi and Frijns rounding out the podium.

Vandoorne wasn't able to capitalise on his starting grid advantage over Mortara, with the ROKiT Venturi Racing driver coming home in fifth but extending his Drivers' World Championship lead to 13 points over Vandoorne. Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) managed just 11th and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) finished 18th, both outside the points.

That leaves ROKiT Venturi Racing at the top of the Teams’ World Championship standings, 23 points up on Mercedes-EQ which climbs above DS TECHEETAH.

It’s a busy night ahead for engineers in most of the team garages to prepare for Round 12 and the second race in the New York City E-Prix double header tomorrow. 

The iconic Empire State Building was lit up in Formula E’s distinctive electric blue to mark the fifth year of the New York City E-Prix in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. 
NICK CASSIDY, ENVISION RACING, #37 said “It is such a rollercoaster of emotions, I was pretty calm after everything happened (but) obviously very disappointed initially. It felt like I did everything right today, felt like it was in the bag with ten to go, then it started raining. I was initially very disappointed considering that, but - and I know I'm biased - I think it is the right decision.
 
"[When finding out he won] I said in the garage 'are you sure, are you sure?!' It is difficult for me to say too much, but I am super happy with the win and I don't want to talk about the decision making process and all that. But in terms of the race the team did a fantastic job, I had a fantastic car today and I am really pleased especially after last weekend that we could come here and take the win.
 
LUCAS DI GRASSi, ROKiT VENTURI RACING, #11 said  “The crash today was the strongest Formula E crash of my career, one of the strongest crashes I have had in motorsport - it was well over 15g. I am fully bruised, my neck, my hands, my legs - but I'm okay. It just shows when you're not complaining there is nothing you can really do.
 
"I am happy they gave a Red Flag and reversed the result of the race, that was the first thing to do. I am happy with the points, but unhappy the car is in complete pieces and that the mechanics will have to work hard to put the car together tomorrow.” 
 
ROBIN FRIJNS, ENVISION RACING, #4 said “"I am okay, I didn't touch the wall. The two guys in front, Nick and Lucas, they went straight in turn 6, they spun basically - I don't know what happened behind me but I was the only one who survived the carnage.
 
"It was very tricky [avoiding the crash]. We are using the tyres for three-quarters of the race, the tread is going down and then the rain comes - you're basically driving with slicks. I braked a bit early, but I didn't see anything because of the spray from Lucas, and then when the spray disappeared I saw Lucas sideways, 45 degrees in front of me. Luckily I braked a bit early and just made the corner."
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