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Last Update 6/26/2014

 

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Steeda Takes 1st Place at Local SCCA Event

The SCCA race action at the Homestead-Miami Speedway this past weekend was hot, with blistering near 100 degree conditions on the track and over 120 degree conditions in the race car, and the race results were even hotter when the #20 Steeda prepared Mustang not only captured both pole positions but also finished in first place beating all other cars including various built Porsche, BMW, Corvette race cars.
   2014 SCCA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RUNOFFS  AT LAGUNA SECA RACEWAY ON OCTOBER 6, 2014

50 years after the first edition at Riverside in 1964 and long after its last visit in 1968, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs returns to the west coast in a big way with an event at the iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. National Champions will be crowned in 27 Runoffs-eligible classes in this winner-take-all motorsports classic.

  

Davison, Wilson Combine To Give TRG-AMR First GS Victory In Continental Tire Challenge At Kansas Speedway

Valiante, Gilsinger Take ST Victory For Honda Over Nonnamaker Porsche

 

   KANSAS CITY, KANSAS (June 7, 2014) – Fresh from his rookie run in the Indianapolis 500, James Davison prevailed in a terrific battle with Matt Plumb throughout the final hour to win Saturday night’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Kansas Speedway.

Davison and Kris Wilson teamed in the No. 07 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage giving Davison, the team and Aston Martin their first victory in the series. It was the second victory for Wilson, who narrowed the gap in the Grand Sport (GS) point standings in the process.

Wilson started from the pole and led the opening 70 minutes of the two-hour, 30-minute race up until his pit stop. That gave the lead to Matt Plumb, who took over for starting driver Nick Longhi early in the race in the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911.

Davison made his charge throughout the final 30 minutes, getting around Plumb in traffic with 24 minutes remaining. Plumb recovered and regained the lead, only to see Davison get back in front to stay with 13 minutes left. Racing without radio communications, Plumb stumbled on fuel with two laps remaining, forcing a late pit stop that resulted in a fourth-place finish.

“It was certainly a competitive race, and I was trying as hard as I could,” Davison said. “I did throw away the (Mazda Raceway) Laguna (Seca) race, so I’m pleased for the whole TRG-AMR team. Kris did a great job putting the car on pole and he gave me the car in a competitive position. That made it easier for me than any other race I’ve had before, not having to come from behind.”

Andrew Aquilante finished second in the No. 32 Phoenix American Ford Mustang Boss 302R started by Kurt Rezzetano, 20.934 seconds back, followed by Brett Sandberg and Al Carter in the No. 7 Rebel Rock Racing Porsche 911.

John Edwards and Trent Hindman entered the race with a commanding 25-point lead (127-102) in the GS standings, but the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 drivers never were in contention and finished 16th, four laps down.

“We had a loss of power, and it started on the pace lap,” Edwards said. “That’s why I got swarmed on the opening lap. The power came back, but it went away again. All we could do was stay out and get as many points as we could.”

Valiante, Gilsinger Win ST In HART Honda Civic Si

Last year, Michael Valiante beat the Street Tuner (ST) field to the checkered flag in the inaugural Continental Tire Challenge race at Kansas Speedway – only to be penalized after the race for “manipulating the field” on the final restart which resulted in an 11th-place finish.

Saturday, Valiante came out ahead in a battle with Wayne Nonnamaker, joining Gilsinger for the first victory of the season in the No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si.

Valiante took the lead with 45 minutes remaining from Charles Espenlaub, who took over the No. 87 Rebel Rock Racing Porsche Cayman started from the ST pole by Corey Lewis. Wayne Nonnamaker – who took over for his brother Will Nonnamaker in the No. 42 Team Sahlen’s Porsche Cayman – made repeated attempts to take the lead over in the final 30 minutes, but came up 0.794 seconds short.

“This was one of the toughest wins I’ve had, with that much pressure and knowing that second and third were coming,” Valiante said. “I knew I couldn’t make any mistakes, particularly when they are on your bumper. I kept telling myself, ‘hit your marks, hit your marks’ and get good exit shots, and I was able to pull it off.”

Lewis and Espenlaub finished third to give Rebel Rock Racing its second podium finish of the night, followed by Ryan Eversley and Kyle Gimple in the No. 75 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si, and Jim Jonsin and Tom Dyer in the No. 88 Rebel Rock Racing Porsche Cayman.

The next race for the Continental Tire Challenge will be at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, June 28.


Balzan   Holds Off Late-Race Charge To Give Ferrari

 

Victory

 

 At Detroit Belle Isle

 

 

Balzan, Westphal Score GTD-Class Win For Scuderia Corsa In Ferrari 458

 

   DETROIT (May 31, 2014) – Alessandro Balzan held off late-race charges from the Audi   R8 LMS of Spencer Pumpelly and the Porsche 911 GT America of Mario Farnbacher to win Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers at Detroit Belle Isle in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia he co-drives with Jeff Westphal.

 

Balzan took the lead when Tomy Drissi pitted with 33 minutes remaining, holding off the rest of the GT Daytona (GTD) class for the final 20 laps of the one-hour, 40-minute event. It was the second career North American sports car racing victory for Balzan – and the first in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – and the first career victory for Westphal.

 

“It was a nightmare out there, because there were five or six cars that could have won today,” said Balzan. “It was difficult for me to stay focused in the car. I think I said some bad words to my engineer, I said to him, ‘please, shut up’ because I needed 110 percent of myself today.”

 

For the second consecutive race, Pumpelly and the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports team suffered heartbreak in the closing laps. After running out of fuel while leading on the final lap at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Pumpelly looked to rebound at Detroit Belle Isle and attempted to pass Balzan for the lead with less than five minutes remaining.

 

Pumpelly ran wide and quickly lost the position to the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America of Mario Farnbacher and the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS of Christopher Haase.

 

With Pumpelly out of the picture, Farnbacher and Haase set their sights on Balzan, but fell just short. Farnbacher took the checkered flag 0.297 seconds behind Balzan to finish second for he and co-driver Ian James, while Haase and co-driver Bryce Miller finished third.

 

The race was slowed by full-course caution twice for 11 laps. The first, from Laps 22-26, was the result of water on course in Turn 6. The second full-course caution lasted for 23 minutes for repairs to the tire wall in Turn 12 following an incident involving the No. 81 Tully’s Coffee Porsche of Damien Faulkner.

 










  By Dave Lewandowski
Published: May 25, 2014

   Chants of “USA, USA” from the hundreds of thousands of spectators rose from the cavernous    Indianapolis Motor Speedway – and likely among TV viewers across America – as Ryan Hunter-Reay took the slowest lap of the day.

The 32-year-old Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident, draped in an American flag, saluted the fans as he circled the 2.5-mile oval on his victory lap in the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Pace Car. “Thank you; hope you enjoyed the show. I sure did. I'm proud to be an American and win this race,” Hunter-Reay said as he soaked in the surreal scene.

Hunter-Reay was denied a shot at a final-lap victory in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race because of a yellow flag for a single-car incident in Turn 1. Third place was a career high in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," but he felt cheated.

Click it: Indianapolis 500 Mile Race box score || Historical field notes

A similar situation materialized in the 98th edition, and this time Hunter-Reay was the one drinking the milk in Victory Circle.

Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport, held off three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves by a hair-raising .0600 of a second -- the second-closest margin of victory in the history of the event -- in a six-lap shootout to claim his first Indy 500 victory. Hunter-Reay’s teammate, Marco Andretti, finished .3171 of a second back for his third third-place finish in nine starts.

"It's a dream come true," said Hunter-Reay, who is the first American winner since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006. "This (race) is American history. It's where drivers are made; where history is made. I hope the fans loved it because I was on the edge of my seat. The Verizon IndyCar Series, with superspeedways, short ovals, road and street courses is a true drivers championship, which is what I love about it."

There were 34 lead changes among 11 drivers in the fast-paced 200 laps (186.563 mph average; second-fastest in history), with Hunter-Reay regaining the point from Castroneves for good by a scant .0235 of a second at the end of Lap 199. Hunter-Reay, earning the 50th Verizon IndyCar Series win for Andretti Autosport and his 10th with the team, recorded a 220.927 mph final lap to Castroneves’ 220.729 mph, which essentially was the difference in the battle between drivers, teams and Honda and Chevrolet.

“It’s interesting when second place kind of sucks,” said Castroneves, who started fourth in the No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske car. “What a fight. But certainly taking the positive out of this, it was a great race. I did everything I could obviously to try to stop (Hunter-Reay). I do not take (the result) for granted.  I'm extremely happy with the result.

“We were able to put ourselves in a great position to win. Unfortunately, as I said, it wasn't our day.  It was great to see an American driver winning.”

Carlos Munoz, who finished second last year as a rookie, finished fourth and 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth. Kurt Busch, who had 600 more miles of racing left on the day in the NASCAR event North Carolina, placed sixth in his first 500 Mile Race. Both drove for Andretti Autosport. Its fifth driver, James Hinchcliffe, who started second and led early, was involved in a Turn 1 incident with pole sitter Ed Carpenter on a Lap 176 restart.

The shootout was set up when INDYCAR officials red-flagged the race on Lap 192 for seven minutes for crews to fix the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier and clean up from the single-car incident involving Townsend Bell's No. 6 Robert Graham KV Racing Technology entry. Bell had been running fifth -- 1.8 seconds behind Hunter-Reay.

Hunter-Reay and Castroneves alternated as the front-runner through Lap 199 – Hunter-Reay leading by only .0196 of a second at the line on Lap 198. The closest margin of victory was .043 of a second by Al Unser Jr. over Scott Goodyear, who was an analyst in the ABC booth on this day, in 1992.

Sebastien Bourdais, driving the KVSH Racing car that won the “500” last year with Tony Kanaan, placed a career-best seventh in the 500 Mile Race and Will Power finished eighth. Power, who started on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, was issued a drive-through penalty for a pit speed violation on Lap 128 as he exited while running second to Montoya.

With double points awarded for the three 500-mile races this season – the Indy 500, Pocono Raceway on July 6 and Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30 – Hunter-Reay took the championship lead over Power, 274-234. Hunter-Reay entered the race trailing by one point.

Sage Karam, the 19-year-old rookie from Nazareth, Pa., finished ninth in the No. 22 Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing with Chip Ganassi car. JR Hildebrand, who was the race runner-up as a rookie in 2011, placed 10th.

“The (car) was stable all day and I was able to come from the back and get a top 10. I will take it,” said Karam, whose 22 positions gained relative to his starting spot was a field high. “150 laps straight of green-flag racing takes a toll on you. My foot even hurts from the vibrations of keeping it flat for so long. Now I know why they say this is the hardest race to win in the world.”

The first caution flag flew on Lap 150 when the No. 83 car driven by Charlie Kimball made light contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. The record to start the race had been 65 laps in 2000.

Graham Rahal was the first to retire from the race with an electrical issue in the No. 15 entry. Kanaan developed an early suspension issue and finished 26th.

 

 

Continental Tire Challenge Headlines Memorial Day Weekend

 

  The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will headline Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park, continuing a tradition of holiday competition that dates back to 1967 on the 1.5-mile circuit in Lakeville, Conn. The series will run a pair of two-hour, 30-minute races on Saturday for the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes.

This marks the ninth consecutive year that the series will race at Lime Rock. The track  hosted the series’ season finale the past two years. The Continental Tire Challenge raced during the Memorial Day Classic from 2006 through 2011.

The ST race begins at 9:10 a.m. ET, followed by the GS race at 2:15 p.m. Practice and qualifying sessions for both classes will be held on Friday.

Turner Motorsport is a four-time GS winner at Lime Rock, winning in 2006-2007, and 2009-2010. The team’s current team driver Bill Auberlen won in 2006-07.

In ST, Georgian Bay and Freedom Autosport are two-time winners. Georgian Bay is the current CKS Autosport, with Eric Curran of nearby Holyoke, Mass., winning both races alongside Jamie Holtom in 2006 and 2008. Curran won the final GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT-class event at Lime Rock park in 2013 with co-driver Lawson Aschenbach. Aschenbach — who filled in for Boris Said in that event — joins Curran again this weekend in the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R.

The weekend returns IMSA as the Memorial Day Weekend headliner. The IMSA GT Series was a holiday tradition at the scenic circuit in the Berkshire Hills from 1973 through 1998, led by stars including five-time winner Peter Gregg and four-time winner Al Holbert.

 
 
 
 

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

 
BUILDING STRENGTH - How to prevent your 5.0L crankshaft from starving for oil by preventing main cap walk.
STOP THAT PONY! Online-R-Cobra EBC "Red Stuff" Brake Pad Test
Titanium Retainers are they a good idea?
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Old + New =  One helluva ride!  Test-driving the new GB Motorsports Boss 5.0 Roadster.

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