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Last Update 4/15/2014

 

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No. 01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley Of Pruett And Rojas Dominates At Long Beach

 

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2014) – Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas say they don’t have anything to prove. They’re just racing like they do.

 

Pruett and Rojas, co-driving the No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost/Riley, dominated the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase on Saturday at the Long Beach Street Circuit, for their second-straight victory in the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.

 

The pair led 76 of the race’s 77 laps, with Rojas starting the No. 01 of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates from the pole and efficiently leading the first 40 laps of the one-hour, 40-minute event – the third race of the season. Pruett took over on Lap 41, briefly lost the lead to the No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa coming out of the pits but went back in front on Lap 42, with approximately 55 minutes remaining.

 

From there, Pruett had to mostly be concerned with a dogged chase by Jordan Taylor, in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP he shares with his brother Ricky. Pruett, driving steadily, edged Taylor by a scant 0.759 seconds. Finishing third was Barbosa, who co-drove the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with Christian Fittipaldi. Last month, Pruett and Rojas also won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, teaming in that endurance event with Marino Franchitti. 

 

Pruett and Rojas virtually ruled the Rolex Sports Car Series from 2004-13, driving for Ganassi. Pruett won the series’ Daytona Prototype championship five times. Four of those titles were shared with Rojas. Concurrently, however, there was another premier sports car organization operating with its own stellar drivers – the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Who was better? Who knows?

 

Starting this season the two series have merged into the TUDOR Championship, which means former champions are just that. It’s time to answer those questions.

 

“It’s not a matter of having something to prove; we just want to win races,” said Rojas.

 

Added Pruett: “It’s business as usual – for all of us. Our job is to go as fast as you can, try to run up front and try to win races or short of that, make the podium. [The merger] has been a huge challenge because our cars, the Daytona Prototypes, are so much different than in years past. That being said … you couldn’t see a more exciting time for road racing. The future couldn’t be brighter.”

 

Pruett also brought the Ganassi Racing No. 01 to Victory Lane at Long Beach in a 2006 Rolex Series event. Factoring in a 1987 Trans-Am victory, Saturday meant Pruett has won Long Beach in three decades.

 

“That doesn’t seem right,” Pruett joked.

 

But Saturday sure did.

 

The TUDOR Championship season resumes on May 4 at historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. There will be a pair of two-hour races, one for the Prototype and GT Le Mans classes, the other for the Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona classes. Both races will be televised live on FOX Sports 1.

Corvette C7.R Scores Breakthrough First GTLM Victory In

Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase At Long Beach

·         Magnussen, Garcia Lead All But Two Laps In No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R

 

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2014) – Corvette Racing entered Saturday’s Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase with the goal of proving its new Corvette C7.R was ready to win races in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s competitive GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

 

Mission accomplished. From the pole position to the checkered flag, co-drivers Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen dominated the GTLM field under sunny skies on the famed Long Beach street circuit, leading all but two of the race’s 75 laps in the yellow No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R.

 

BMW Team RLL’s No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE finished second, while it was a double-podium for Corvette Racing with the team’s No. 4 entry finishing third.

 

“It was an important victory for the team,” said Magnussen, who scored his 38th career win in North American endurance sports car racing. “The whole time we had a fast car. We just didn’t make the most of it with reliability issues at both Daytona and Sebring. I couldn’t be happier for Antonio, myself and this entire team.”

 

One day after Magnussen gave the Corvette C7.R its first pole, Garcia started the car and drove away from the field in the early stages of the 100-minute race. By the time Magnussen got behind the wheel for the final stint he was well ahead of the competition and navigated Long Beach’s city streets – and GTLM lap traffic – for the victory.

 

BMW Team RLL earned its third consecutive podium finish to start the season with Dirk Mueller and John Edwards co-driving to a second-place finish in the team’s No. 56 BMW. Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin crossed the line third in Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Corvette C7.R. Just missing the podium after winning the season-opening endurance events at Daytona and Sebring was Porsche North America’s pair of Porsche 911 RSRs. 

 

 

New Camaro Z/28.R Gets First Win As Liddell Goes From Third To First On Restart for Stevenson Motorsports,

Wins Inaugural Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Race At Sebring

·         Davis, Liddell Capture First GS Victories

·         Mazda One-Two In ST Led By Freedom Autosport’s Pobst, Carbonell

 

SEBRING, Fla. (March 14, 2014)  – Robin Liddell took the lead on a restart with 30 minutes remaining and went on to capture Friday’s inaugural Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Sebring International Raceway.

After the opening one hour and 33 minutes of the two-and-a-half-hour race was run under the green flag, a pair of on-track incidents caused much of the final hour to run under caution. In between yellow flags, Liddell went from third to first on a restart that proved to be the key to victory for the No. 6 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R started by Stevenson Motorsports teammate Andrew Davis.

The pole-winning No. 46 BMW M3 of Fall-Line Motorsports teammates Trent Hindman and John Edwards dominated the opening stages of the race, leading all but four of the opening 42 laps. The first caution waved with 31 minutes remaining, with Edwards leading the top nine Grand Sport (GS) cars into the pits while allowing Shane Lewis to take the lead in the No. 12 Porsche 911 of Bodymotion Racing.

On the restart, Liddell went to the outside in his third-place Camaro, boxing in Edwards’ BMW while avoiding an incident that involved three of the top five cars in the GS class.

“To be honest, I thought John (Edwards) would drive away from us after the restart,” said Liddell, who won for the first time in his seventh race in the series. “I had the bit between my teeth to see what I could make of the first lap. I had a really good run and managed to get alongside John, keeping him boxed in behind Shane (Lewis). When we got to the brake zone for Turn 1 (a left-hander), I just broke completely right and went to the outside of them going into the turn. I saw there was some carnage behind me, but I had a pretty massive lead at that point. I don’t know if John would have passed us, but I thought he was going to chase us down.”

Edwards never got the opportunity. Only nine minutes later, the second caution waved for an incident involving Marc Miller, who made heavy impact with a tire barrier that destroyed the front end of the No. 3 Mazda MX-5 of CJ Wilson Racing. Miller was treated and released from an area hospital on Friday evening.

The debris strewn across Turn 6 forced the race to end under caution.

“I didn’t have a great run on the restart,” Edwards said. “I had to lift to avoid passing the safety car before he got to pit road. That gave Robin a great run, and then the No. 12 hit the brakes earlier than I expected for Turn 1 and I had nowhere to go with Robin on my right. Luckily we came away with second and got the points lead. I hate to be upset about second, but it’s still hugely disappointing not to win on such a strong day.”

The incident eliminated Lewis’ Porsche plus the contending No. 01 Camaro Z/28.R of CKS Autosport with drivers Eric Curran and Lawson Aschenbach, while relegating the No. 9 Camaro Z/28.R of Stevenson Motorsports with drivers Matt Bell and Andy Lally to an eighth-place finish.

Brad Jaeger and BJ Zacharias finished third in the No. 14 Nissan 370Z of Doran Racing, followed by the TRG-AMR No. 07 Aston Martin Vantage of TRG-AMR and drivers Max Riddle and Kris Wilson. The No. 78 Ford Mustang Boss 302R of David Levine and Lucas Bize for Racers Edge Motorsports finished fifth.

Mazda MX-5 of Pobst, Carbonell Take ST Victory for Freedom Autosport

The No. 26 Mazda MX-5 of Randy Pobst passed the No. 93 Honda Civic Si of pole-winner Chad Gilsinger on the ninth lap and joined Freedom Autosport co-driver Andrew Carbonell in dominating the remainder of the race, taking the Street Tuner (ST) victory. It was the fourth career victory for Carbonell and seventh for his new teammate, with Pobst last winning at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2009.

“The Freedom Autosport team had our car so well balanced that it was really working in the hot Florida sun,” Pobst said. “We really had the Continental Tires working, and it was amazing that they help up so well on this hot racetrack.”

Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer finished second in the No. 5 Mazda MX-5 for CJ Wilson Racing, followed by Daytona winners Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss in the No. 56 BMW 328i for Murillo Racing.

CJ Wilson Racing originally qualified first and third, but both McAleer’s pole-winning No. 5 and Tyler McQuarrie’s No. 3 Mazda’s were sent to the rear of the grid after failing post-qualifying inspection and putting the No. 93 Honda Civic Si of HART with Gilsinger and Michael Valiante on the pole.

The next race for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will be the Continental Tire Festival of Speed powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., on Saturday, May 3.

 

Patrón Endurance Cup Heads South To Sebring Raceway

Together After 17 Years Daytona, Sebring On Same Schedule

 

  It’s been a long time – 17 years to be exact – since the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida have been together on the same schedule.

The two classics are kicking off the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Partnering with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International (June 29), and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (Oct. 4), America’s premier endurance events form the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

The Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup rewards the top-performing teams, manufacturers and drivers in the four longest races in the TUDOR Championship, battling for $300,000 in combined bonuses among the four classes.

Together, Daytona and Sebring represent 114 years of competition. The inaugural Twelve Hours was held in 1952 at the former WWII training base known as Hendricks Field.

The first Daytona Continental followed 10 years later, with the three-hour event held on the unique infield circuit nestled inside the mammoth high-banked superspeedway; the race expanded to 24 hours in 1966.

The two races ran approximately one month apart on the FIA World Manufacturers Championship through 1972, then switched to the fledgling IMSA GT Series for a quarter-century. It was this era that saw the rise of the exotic GTP Prototypes and World Sports Cars.

By the late 1990s, a split divided the two series. The 1997 Rolex 24 kicked off the IMSA World Sports Car season, with the name of the sanctioning body changed to Professional Sports Car Racing by the time the series came to Sebring.

For 1998, the Rolex 24 was sanctioned by the U.S. Road Racing Championship, and switched to GRAND-AM Road Racing in 2000. Sebring continued with Professional Sports Car Racing in 1998, and transitioned to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón the following year.

Unification of the ALMS and GRAND-AM’s Rolex Series was announced in September 2012. Now, sports car fans can watch “the best of the best” competing together at Daytona, Sebring and other legendary North American circuits.   READ MORE........

 

SEMA 2013

This year's SEMA Award for the top trending vehicle models in four categories were      presented during the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The Ford Mustang was named Hottest Car, the Scion FR-S took the Hottest Sport Compact honors, the Ford F-Series won Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler received the Hottest 4x4-SUV award.

SEMA Show exhibitors chose the Ford Mustang, Ford F-Series, Scion FR-S and Jeep Wrangler as the winners of the 2013 SEMA Award. Presented in four categories—Hottest Car, Hottest Truck, Hottest Sport Compact Car and Hottest 4X4/SUV—the SEMA Award recognizes vehicle models that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase the year’s coolest products.

Check out more pictures of the show here:  

 

 
 

BACK TO THE TRACKS

 Founder Ed Inclan exlains the concept behind his organization

Interview By: L.A. Pierre - Back to the Tracks” is a community awareness program we started back in 1993.  This program focuses on promoting auto racing as a sport while also educating people of the dangers associated with illegal street racing.   Click here for complete interview  

Annual car show raises community awareness about the dangers of street racing and money for children’s museum

 
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