Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 

With motorsports enthusiasts all revved up to get back to racing, Lucas Oil Products is giving race fans exactly what they want - racing! Though all live events are still on hold for the time being, Lucas Oil’s new Tailgate Party will broadcast daily replays of past races - from the door banging action of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing to the high-speed battles of Circle Track - on the official Lucas Oil Facebook page.

 

"Times are tough for race fans right now. A lot of live events are either being postponed or canceled altogether. We at Lucas Oil wanted to give race fans something to smile about - a glimmer of hope that we will all be back at the track soon enough," said Russell Rosenwirth Lucas Oil Social Media Coordinator. "I'm excited to provide some past races to our fans so we can at least gather in our living rooms and feel a little bit of normalcy during all this craziness."

The race broadcasts began Saturday, March 28th with a replay of the 2017 Cowboy Classic from Lucas Oil Speedway. Future replays will air every day at 4pm PT/ 7pm ET with each day catering to a specific style of racing. And after each race, fans get a chance to vote for what they want to see next week. All broadcasts will also live on Lucas’ Facebook page so fans can have access to their favorite races regardless of the day or time.

Lucas Oil Tailgate Party Schedule:

Monday: Off Road
Tuesday: Pro Pulling
Wednesday: Late Model
Thursday: On The Edge!
Friday: Sprint Car
Saturday: Lucas Oil Speedway Saturday Night Racing
Sunday: Circle Track (Mods, SLR, ARCA)

Visit Lucas Oil Products on Facebook to watch for favorite races from years past today!

 

IMSA’s U.S. television partner, NBC Sports, launches a new initiative next week with “Racing Week in America” that is set to air on NBCSN to help fill the void of live traditional sports coverage.
 
As the home of motorsports in the United States, NBC Sports has a plethora of motorsports content to choose from. “Racing Week in America” will include two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races – the 2019 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race in its entirety and a one-hour cutdown version of the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
 
The 2019 event featured the second consecutive Long Beach victory for the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R co-driven by Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque after a late-race battle with the two Acura Team Penske DPis. It also featured the first victory of a GT Le Mans (GTLM) championship-winning campaign by drivers Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR. The Long Beach race will air on NBCSN on Tuesday, April 7 at 1 p.m. ET.
 
January’s Rolex 24 saw teams in three classes – DPi, LMP2 and GTLM – score back-to-back victories in the twice-around-the-clock classic, an all-time race distance record, a spirited, race-long battle between BMW and Porsche in GTLM and Lamborghini scoring its third consecutive Daytona victory in GT Daytona (GTD) with Paul Miller Racing taking the 2020 victory.
 
There will be two showings of the 2020 Rolex 24, the first on Saturday, April 11 at 2 a.m. ET and the second at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 12.
 
Six-time drag racing world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will always pick the familiar confines of his JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro as his preferred mode of go-fast transportation. But for three years, from 2008-2010, Coughlin enjoyed the unique experience of hitting breakneck speeds driving an Olympic bobsled as part of the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge.
 
"As I think back on those three events, that was actually pretty crazy," said Coughlin, who will pullback from full-time racing at the end of the year. "At the time, the competitor in you comes out and the way they set it up was NASCAR versus NHRA so we just kind of dove into the fight. It probably was a bit insane but it was also a lot of fun.
 
Jeg Coughlin Jr. carries the Olympic torch prior to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.
"You're in these things with no roll cage, no safety belts and no brakes really, except for one the brakeman uses after the run is over. It's all about gravity and once they release you in that tube, you're fully committed. The sled and its occupants are going to the bottom of the mountain. How you get there is up to you. If you crash and turn it over, you're still going all the way down, just on your head, and that happened."
 
Coughlin got involved in the charity event after hearing the story of former NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine, who had learned of the struggles of the United States bobsled team in the 1990s. Bodine discovered the American athletes were far behind countries like Germany and Russia because they were using old, second- and third-hand bobsleds from their European counterparts. 
 
Thinking the technology in the USA was equal to or even superior to most other countries, Bodine put a group together and started building bobsleds at his racecar shop. Almost immediately, the fortunes of the Americans soared and by 2002, the team collected its first Olympic medals since 1956. The Bo-Dyn Project took off from there.
 
"Geoff put quite the effort together to help our athletes and it was great to see the success they had attained after his involvement," said Coughlin, who was a torchbearer for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. "Both the men's and the women's teams jumped way up in the world rankings. Of course, funding was critical and they put together the Challenge both to raise money and awareness for our U.S. athletes.
 
"When Woody (Scott Woodruff, director of media and motorsports at JEGS) asked if I wanted to race as part of the NHRA team going up against the NASCAR guys, I jumped at the chance. I figured not too many civilians would ever have the chance to pilot a bobsled with our Olympic athletes serving as coaches. I knew nothing about bobsleds other than watching on TV but we decided to go for it."
 
The Bobsled Challenge had actually taken place for two years prior to the NHRA drivers getting involved but despite their lack of experience, an NHRA contingent of Coughlin, Morgan Lucas, J.R. Todd, Melanie Troxel, Shawn Langdon and Bob Vandergriff attacked Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y., with wide-eyed gusto.
 
Jeg Coughlin Jr. pilots the JEGS.com Bobsled in Lake Placid.
 
"I clearly remember going to the first event and just being an awe of this little town and the history that had been made there," Coughlin said. "They took us to the ice rink where the 'Miracle on Ice' hockey game had taken place, we went by the giant ski jumping structure, the Olympic Village, everything I saw as a kid watching the Winter Games from there in 1980.
 
"We had two days of training with the actual Olympic team members helping us every step of the way. As we ascended the road to get to the top of the modern bobsled run, which is all elevated in a climate-controlled track, you could see the old run, carved out of the earth, and they told us of the fatalities that had happened over there. That certainly got you to focus."
 
Adjusting for their skill level, the participants raced in two-man bobsleds and did not push-start themselves like Olympians do. Instead, each driver and brakeman were already seated in a sled already on the track. An official would then simply let the sled go and gravity would take over.
 
Jeg Coughlin Jr. trackside at Vancouver Winter Games in 2010.
"The closest thing I could relate to was as a kid in Ohio and running our little Radio Flyer wagons down the hill," Coughlin said. "They had given us a lot of coaching and we walked the entire length of the track, but I could hear the NASCAR drivers talking about cornering and entry and exit points and I thought, 'well the only thing I have to offer is quick reaction times.'
 
"The first day of practice was quite an experience. It comes at you fast when you get up to 60-70 mph and it seemed like I hit everything I could hit on the way down. I thought about it a lot overnight but the next day was even worse. Out of 19 drivers I think I was third slowest. 
 
"Fortunately, on game day things came together. It was bitterly cold and snowing a bit and I was third out. My idea was to not steer it much unless I absolutely had to and I ended up putting together a great run. We whittled the field down from there and I ended up third so I was super happy with that result." 
 
A positive finish and plenty of time with the athletes spurred Coughlin to participate in two more challenges until the entire project ended. His best finish was second overall, in a bobsled that was fully branded in JEGS famous yellow-and-black livery.
 
Team USA 1 zooms down the track in the famous Night Train bobsled in Vancouver.
"After that first year I made some notes in my calendar about what I had learned," Coughlin said. "Lo and behold, about two weeks before the following year's event, those notes popped up and really kind of got my mind back to thinking about what I needed to do. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I never crashed so that was good as well.
 
"The main thing was to help the athletes and get Team USA on top. I was fortunate enough to be a guest of the U.S. Bobsled Federation at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver where the men's four-man team, using a Bo-Dyn bobsled nicknamed 'Night Train,' won a gold medal, our country's first since 1948. 
 
"The next year at the Charlotte 4-Wide Nationals we hosted the four gentlemen who won the gold and NHRA made them Grand Marshalls of the event. We even saluted them with a 'Night Train' sticker on my racecar. It was quite an honor to have been a part of it all."
 
Team USA bobsledders Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler, Curtis Tomasevicz and driver Steve Holcomb celebrate their historic gold medal performance in Vancouver.

 

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), several IMSA Manufacturer Partners are leading the charge to assist with relief efforts.
 
Here are some examples of those manufacturers shifting their focus from the racetrack to the relief efforts:
 
General Motors
General Motors developed a plan, arranged an assembly line and manufactured its first of what will be thousands of face masks for workers facing the threat of COVID-19 within one week. As of Monday, March 30 – just three days after the prototype was produced – more than 2,000 masks have been made with an estimated 20,000 to be delivered by Wednesday, April 8.
 
“Our team began looking at ways we could quickly utilize our talents and resources to help in the shared fight against COVID-19,” said Peter Thom, GM Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering. “Working around the clock, our team rallied with incredible passion and focus to come up with a plan to produce masks that will help protect the women and men on the frontlines of this crisis.”
 
Ford
Ford Motor Company announced an initiative with GE Healthcare to produce 50,000 ventilators in the next 100 days, assisting the United States’ government’s own goal of 100,000 in the same time frame. Using the design from Airon Corp.’s FDA-approved ventilator, these units are not dependent on electricity, but rather air pressure.
 
“The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers,” said Jim Hackett, Ford President and CEO. “By producing this ventilator in Michigan, in strong partnership with the (United Auto Workers), we can help health care workers save lives, and that’s our No. 1 priority.”
 
Production is intended to start the week of April 20, with 500 paid, UAW-represented volunteers to work around the clock to meet the manufacturer’s goal.
 
Lamborghini
Lamborghini is looking to bring hope to Italy, one of the countries that has been most affected by COVID-19. At the manufacturer’s sports car production plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese, efforts have turned towards creating surgical masks and protective plexiglass shields for the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna.
 
It is anticipated that 1,000 masks and 200 shields will be produced per day.
 
“During this emergency, we feel the need to make a concrete contribution,” said Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “The S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital is an institution with which we have had a collaborative relationship for years, through both professional consultancy in promoting programs to protect our workers’ health, and in research projects. We will win this battle together by working in union, supporting those who are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic every day.”
 
Lamborghini also has been lighting up its historic headquarter buildings in Sant’Agata Bolognese every evening with the colors of the Italian flag as a sign of unity and support for the entire nation during this time.
 
Toyota
Toyota, the parent company of Lexus, is in the early stages of its own COVID-19 assistance. Mass production of face shields was set to begin this week to aid hospitals in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas.
 
Additionally, the manufacturer is nearing partnerships with companies to produce face masks, ventilator hoods and respirator hoods.
 
“With our plants idled and our dealers focused on servicing customers, we are eager to contribute our expertise and know-how in order to help quickly bring to market the medical supplies and equipment needed to combat the COVID crisis,” Ted Ogawa, whose tenure as CEO of Toyota Motor North America began on Wednesday. “Our message to the medical equipment community is we are here to help. Please utilize our expertise.”
Ryan Tuerck is joining the most winning team in Formula Drift as he moves to Papadakis Racing for 2020 to take the helm of the Gumout / Nitto Tire / Toyota Corolla Hatchback. On the team, he joins champion driver Fredric Aasbo, who moves to the all-new Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra for the upcoming Formula Drift season.
 
Both cars are revealed in their 2020 trim today for the first time. Both will run on Nitto tires and the duo will appear together for the first time as teammates at 11 a.m. on a Nitto Tire Facebook Livestream at www.facebook.com/NittoTire.
 
Tuerck is a leading social influencer and top-tier driver with a career 14 podiums. His down-home charm, commitment to the sport's grassroots, and talent in front of the camera have brought him a social fanbase of over a million followers. Earlier this year, he retired his previous chassis, a powerful Toyota 86, sparking speculation about his next move.
 
"It's been really hard to keep this under wraps for so long," said Tuerck. "I got a taste of the Toyota Corolla Hatchback over the past year while I drove a de-tuned version of the Papadakis Racing car in demo events. It's a blast and I couldn't be more excited about the competition potential of the platform."
 
Teammate Aasbo is the most winning driver in Formula Drift history, with 13 career victories. He earned the series crown in 2015. He started his Formula Drift career in a Mark IV Supra and comes full circle this season as he takes the helm of his all new Toyota GR Supra. He said he's excited to welcome Tuerck to the Papadakis Racing squad.
 
"It's going to be great having Ryan working with us this year," said Aasbo. "You never want to meet your teammate in tandem, but we've had some great battles over the years and it's going to be a heck of a match-up when it happens now!"
 
Papadakis Racing joins the Nitto Tire Formula Drift lineup for the first time in 2020. "It's big news to bring an organization like Papadakis Racing onto our team and we're thrilled to work with Steph, Fredric and Ryan this year," said Nitto Tire Brand Publishing Manager Harry Kong.
 
Paul Doleshal, the group manager of motorsports and asset management for Toyota Motor North America, said he's looking forward to seeing the new team in action. Although both Tuerck and Aasbo have driven for Toyota Racing since the brand joined the series, this is the first time they're working together under the same tent.
 
"It's really exciting for all of us at Toyota to see Fredric and Ryan together on the same team for the 2020 season," said Doleshal. "Once the season begins, we feel Papadakis Racing will be a championship contender for Toyota with Fredric behind the wheel of the Toyota GR Supra and Ryan fielding the Toyota Corolla Hatchback."
 
Known for his flat-out style, Aasbo made his U.S. debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008 and turned heads as the winner of the 2010 Formula Drift Rookie of the Year title. He joined Papadakis Racing in 2011 and since then he has charged through the drifting ranks around the world and is both a fan favorite and championship winner. 
 
Tuerck started his motorsport career on two wheels, racing AMA motocross through his early teens. He developed a passion for drifting at age 16 while learning to control rear-wheel drive cars on the snowy winter roads near his family's New England home. He soon became a regular at Club Loose events on the east coast and began competing in Canada, where he immediately won back-to-back national championships (2005, 2006), before moving to Formula Drift.
 
The Papadakis Racing team began drifting in 2004 and is the most winning team in Formula Drift history, earning the 2015 title with driver Aasbo, as well as back-­to-­back championship titles with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008.
 
Team owner Stephan Papadakis is a legend of sport-compact racing who began building his reputation in the 1990s with the first front-­wheel­-drive, tube­-chassis drag car in the U.S. The team earned multiple records and championships in the discipline, turning in elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable in front­-drive drag cars. Papadakis' successes in front­-wheel drive were matched by his efforts in rear­-wheel drive when he campaigned just the fifth car to join the NHRA's Sport Compact 200 MPH club.
 
On YouTube, Papadakis has found a strong audience for regular content uploads focusing on the technical side of racing and vehicle performance. Channel content spotlighting the all new, 1,000 hp Toyota GR Supra Formula Drift build has generated millions of views over the past few months. The channel has topped 450,000 subscribers.
 
IMSA today announced changes to the 2020 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series schedule due to continuing effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
The season was scheduled to start this weekend at the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham. With the postponement of that event, the 2020 slate now will begin its six-round calendar at Watkins Glen International on June 25-27.
 
The Grand Prix of Alabama round will be replaced by a series to Road America on the weekend of August 6-8, which is the NASCAR Xfinity weekend at “America’s National Park of Speed.” The Streets of Toronto, VIRginia International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca events retain their original places on the revised calendar alongside Watkins Glen.
 
The season finale is scheduled at Misano Adriatico ahead of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals.

 

With the current situation surrounding COVID-19 restricting everyone to their homes and TV sets, MAVTV is here to give motorsports enthusiasts the automotive content they need starting with the world’s best X-Trial riders battling against one another in a test of skill and balance during the April 1st broadcast of the FIM X-Trial World Championship.

Fans of automobile racing will enjoy high-speed action from the most prestigious grassroots events across America during the season premiere of Speed Sport on April 2nd.

The world’s best airplane pilots then make their Motorsports Network debut during the Red Bull Air Race World Championships broadcast on April 4th. In this high risk, high reward competition, pilots must combine speed, precision, and skill to navigate the low-level slalom track successfully.

Rounding out this month’s broadcast schedule is the April 15th season premiere of Best in the Desert, the most extensive desert racing series in North America, followed by an April 16th broadcast of the 2020 GNCC series opening round from Union, South Carolina.

 

MAVTV is now available to more viewers than ever before entering the popular summer racing season. With a total of 220 providers across cable, satellite, telco, and digital broadcast platforms, including AT&T U-verse, Charter/Spectrum, DIRECTV, Fios by Verizon, FuboTV, Google, Mediacom, and many more, the country’s premier motorsports network is seen in more than 30-million households.
 
Race fans who don’t have MAVTV should contact their local cable, satellite, or other subscription service provider to get details on how to add it to their channel lineup. A full list of providers, shows, and scheduled broadcasts can be found by visiting www.MAVTV.com.
 
MAVTV February Schedule

Date Series Event / Venue Time (ET)
       
April 1 FIM X-Trial   11:00 a.m.
April 2 Speed Sport   7:00 p.m.
April 4 Red Bull Air Race World Championships   8:00 p.m.
April 15 Best in the Desert    3:00 p.m.
April 16 GNCC   6:30 a.m.
       
Bold indicates a live event.
The full LIVE event broadcast schedule is available at MAVTV.com/schedule/.

 

AMA Pro Racing today announced the promotion of Gene Crouch to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) from his previous position of Chief Marketing Officer. As COO, Crouch will now coordinate the operational efforts of all departments at AMA Pro.

“Gene has a proven track record of implementing innovative solutions to achieve our corporate goals,” said Michael Lock, Chief Executive Officer of AMA Pro Racing. “His demonstrated leadership abilities, his focus on executing on our corporate strategic vision and his strong relationship skills will be tremendous assets to me and AMA Pro in this new role. His efforts will be a key component as we implement new growth strategies for the sport of Pro Flat Track.”

Crouch joined AMA Pro Racing when the company was founded in 2008, coming from sister-company GRAND-AM where he started his motorsports career in 2005. During American Flat Track’s period of rapid growth since 2017 under the leadership of Michael Lock, Crouch executed the strategy of rebranding of the sport and has delivered consecutive seasons of growth in TV ratings as an executive producer of American Flat Track’s shows on NBCSN. His achievements in the motorsports industry encompass innovations in timing & scoring and live streaming, including the development of industry-leading technology for the professional motorcycle racing championships promoted by the AMA, Feld Entertainment and MX Sports and working in close collaboration with NASCAR and IMSA on the FansChoice.tv live streaming platform.

 

After months of design, fabrication and building, the new 2020 Formula Drift Supra is nearly complete and Papadakis Racing today reveals the final stages of preparation on the vehicle and the first dyno test that will ready it for its track debut.
 
 
"It's amazing to look back on the transformation of this vehicle and realize that it's really been reincarnated," said legendary builder Stephan Papadakis. "It's a fully built race car with the soul of a Supra."
 
In this episode, the team works through final build and assembly details to get the engine running in the vehicle, including wiring and electronics, a full systems test, and its first start. Champion driver Fredric Aasbo visits the shop to finally see his new car, while a trip to the chassis dyno gets the vehicle running under its own power for the first time since Papadakis pulled the engine last summer.
 
"The first time we get to see the engine running in its chassis is a special moment for a build team," said Papadakis. "It's like watching your baby take its first steps."
 
The vehicle's transformation journey has been a remarkable one.
 
When the team took delivery of the 2020 Toyota GR Supra just weeks after the model first hit Toyota dealerships last summer, the car had barely seen 500 miles of driving. The team started by pulling the stock engine and, over the course of four episodes on the PapadakisRacing YouTube channel, they modified it to produce more than 1,000 hp on an engine dyno.
 
They started on the chassis in January, planning to give the 1,000 hp B58 engine a home in an all-new competition drift car for Aasbo to drive in Formula Drift this season. Over four more episodes this year, the team has dismantled the vehicle, undertaken rapid prototyping design and component manufacturing to prepare the chassis and new parts, and installed a raft of competition critical components.
 
They've held back one final detail: viewers won't get to see the body assembled or final paint scheme until the car hits the track for the first time. "We're really excited for its next stage, when we can get it dressed in its clothes and take it to the track," said Papadakis.
 
The first round of the Formula Drift season has been postponed and the team is now on a temporary hiatus. The PapadakisRacing YouTube channel will continue delivering content from the vaults while fans await the start of the Formula Drift season.
 
The action-oriented Formula Drift series features a diverse field of vehicles capable of fast sprints off the start line as well as wild, door-to-door slides. The Papadakis Racing team are three-time series champions with a long legacy in the sport, and are rooted in the Southern California drag racing scene. Papadakis is known for innovative builds that defy expectations and set trends in the automotive aftermarket. His builds have been featured in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
 
Under series rules, competing vehicles start their lives in the showroom, rather than being built from scratch, and are adapted to perform in the competition environment. Top performing cars are typically equipped with 1,000-plus horsepower engines, feature extensive competition safety roll cages, and are engineered to deliver an astonishing 65-degrees or more front steering angle.
 
The 2020 Toyota GR Supra is an enviable platform to begin with. The Supra nameplate is a legendary performer with a long history in the sport compact scene. The GR Supra is rear-wheel drive and lightweight, and it comes equipped from the factory with a turbocharged inline six cylinder 3.0-liter engine rated at 335 horsepower and 365 lb.-ft of torque.
 
Subscribe to https://www.youtube.com/user/PapadakisRacing to be notified as new episodes are released to the channel.
 
Papadakis is a legend of sport-compact racing. He established his reputation as an innovator in the 1990s with the first front-wheel-drive, tube-chassis drag car in the U.S. His team earned multiple records and championships, turning in elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable in front-drive drag cars.
 
Since moving to Formula Drift in 2004, Papadakis' winning vehicles include the landmark V8-powered Scion tC, and the current 1,000-horsepower, 4-cylinder rear-wheel-drive converted Toyota Corolla Hatchback -- which won its first outing in 2018 and is fighting at the front of the Formula Drift Championship this season.
 
On YouTube, Papadakis has found a strong audience for his regular content uploads focusing on the technical side of racing and vehicle performance. Channel content has generated millions of views over the past few months and has topped 450,000 subscribers.
 
Season two of the build series has been produced by Red Team LA in collaboration with Papadakis Racing.

Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires competitor Philippe Denes (RP Motorsport USA) dominated a strong 27-car field to win today’s opening round of the Ricmotech Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires iRacing eSeries at a virtual Barber Motorsports Park.

Last year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship winner Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport), from New Albany, Ohio, finished second following a race-long battle with Andre Castro (Legacy Autosport), from New York, N.Y., who unfortunately spun off on the final lap. Castro’s incident allowed USF2000 driver Eduardo Barrichello (Pabst Racing), from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to complete the podium in third.

The 45-minute race began with Turn 3 Motorsport team owner – and former Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race winner – Peter Dempsey claiming the SimMetric Driver Performance Labs Pole Award following a frenetic 15-minute qualifying session. Just a few days after celebrating his 21st birthday, Denes, from Carmel, Calif., started alongside on the front row of the grid ahead of Barrichello, DEForce Racing Team Principal – and former NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver – David Martinez, Castro and Denmark’s Christian Rasmussen (Jay Howard Driver Development).

Dempsey took off confidently into the lead but was unable to shake off the attentions of Denes and Barrichello as the top three quickly distanced themselves from the pack.

Martinez maintained fourth at the start, while Castro lost out initially to both Rasmussen and Eves, one of the most successful iRacing sim racers in the field. There was virtual carnage a little farther back in the pack, which allowed 15-year-old USF2000 racer Reece Gold, from Miami, Fla., to jump all the way from 23rd after a poor qualifying run to the top 10 inside just a couple of laps.

Barrichello was the fastest man on the track in the early stages. His pressure on Denes allowed him to move up to second place on Lap 4, only for Denes to reclaim the position a couple of laps later.

Dempsey continued to hold a narrow lead, but only until Lap 8 when the unfortunate Irishman fell foul of a lapped car in Turn 12 and was sent bounding across the grass. Dempsey rejoined in a distant 10th place and was able to work his way up to seventh by the checkered flag.

After gratefully taking over the lead, Denes remained under pressure from Barrichello until a slight error on Lap 13 gifted Denes a little breathing space.

Denes, who posted the TSOLadder.com Fastest Lap of the Race on Lap 7 at 1:17.347, controlled the remainder of the 45-minute race, which was enlivened by a surprise series of pit stops at around the three-quarter distance when all the competitors discovered their identically set-up Pro Mazda cars had been equipped with only five gallons of fuel, rather than the intended seven gallons.

Most of the leaders never skipped a beat, making their fuel stops within a lap of each other. The lone exception was Barrichello, who lost around 10 seconds, dropping him behind the thrilling battle between Eves and Castro. The pair exchanged positions several times before, on the final lap, a slight error by Castro at the Turn Eight/Nine complex enabled Eves to nip past into Turn 12. Castro tried desperately to regain the place, but a robust defense from Eves resulted in Castro spinning. He eventually finished sixth behind the impressive Gold, who emerged ahead of Indy Pro 2000 driver Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing) following another protracted battle.

Behind Dempsey in seventh, Flinn Lazier (Lazier Racing), from Vail, Colo., and Cameron Shields (Legacy Autosport), from Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, were the first lapped drivers in eighth and ninth, with Indy Pro 2000 regular Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), from Sugar Land, Texas, completing the top 10.

Today’s Road to Indy eSeries opener will be followed later this afternoon by the first round of the INDYCAR iRACING CHALLENGE. A host of Road to Indy Presented Presented by Cooper Tires graduates will be among the 25-car starting field, including former champions Josef Newgarden, Oliver Askew, Patricio O’Ward, Kyle Kaiser, Conor Daly, Sage Karam and Kyle Kirkwood.

Round Two of the Ricmotech Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires iRacing eSeries will be held next Saturday, with drivers taking on the challenge of the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

Provisional championship points after one of five races:
1. Philippe Denes, 30
2. Braden Eves, 25
3. Eduardo Barrichello, 22
4. Reece Gold, 19
5. Colin Kaminsky, 17
6. Andre Castro, 15
7. Peter Dempsey, 14
8. Flinn Lazier, 13
9. Cameron Shields, 12
10. Kory Enders, 11

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