Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival Celebrates
Sports Car Press Releases
RRDC Evening with Brian Redman Draws Racing Elite in Long Beach
WeatherTech Porsche On Pole in GTC at Long Beach
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen will start from pole position in GTC for this weekend's American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron Long Beach Grand Prix to run tomorrow, April 20.
In today's first, and only, practice session, Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) put in a lap time of 1:23.039 to pace the GTC field. The Dutchman, combined with co-driver MacNeil (Hinsdale, ILL), worked with the Alex Job Racing (AJR) team to hit the set up of the WeatherTech Porsche just right on a green track to be number one on the GTC time sheet this morning.
BMW of North America Adds Support to RRDC Evening with Brian Redman
American Honda Lends Support to RRDC Evening with Brian Redman in Long Beach
HILLIARD, Ohio - RIS - American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will support the RRDC Evening with Brian Redman presented by Firestone by hosting the cocktail reception for the fourth consecutive year at the Road Racing Drivers Club's fifth annual West Coast banquet, held prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.).
"American Honda is profoundly pleased to support the Road Racing Drivers Club in its salute to Brian Redman,” said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of Automobile Sales, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Brian’s multi-faceted career encompassed almost every major racing category, and his numerous championships are a testament to his rare combination of skill and versatility. His continued involvement in motorsports speaks volumes of his love for the sport we all cherish.”
KARL LUDVIGSEN SPEAKING IN WATKINS GLEN ON APRIL 13
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -RIS - - Automobile industry insider and author/historian Karl Ludvigsen will speak about his experiences in the worlds of cars and racing on April 13 at the International Motor Racing Research Center.
Von Moltke joins MacNeil and Bleekemolen in WeatherTech Porsche at Sebring
TAVARES, Fla. -RIS - Dion von Moltke will join Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing GTC Porsche for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring next week.
Von Moltke (South Africa) has had a great year as the AJR go-to-guy at the endurance races. At last year's Sebring race, the young Florida International University student teamed with Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell to drive their AJR Porsche to a GTC win. Most recently, von Moltke was a member of the WeatherTech/AJR Audi R8 winning GT team at the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona.
"This year's Sebring 12 hours will be my third event with the WeatherTech car and second of this year. I could not be more excited," von Moltke exclaimed. "As a company they are very focused on making a product with great quality and they bring that mindset to the racing side which matches perfectly with Alex Job Racing. Every time I have driven an Alex Job Racing/WeatherTech car it has been one of the fastest cars in the field and I hope we can continue that trend next week! To win it at Daytona required everyone on the entire team - from the drivers, to the engineer, to the crew guys to put in an excellent effort and it will take the same execution to do well at Sebring."
Miller Named SCCA Mechanic of the Year
Veteran Team Owner Recognized at SCCA National Convention
Oklahoma City, OK - RIS) – Wendell Miller, founder of Quantum Mechanics Racing Services, was honored as the Sports Car Club of America’s “Mechanic of the Year” at the racing organization’s annual convention, held March 1-3 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A racing veteran with more than 35 years experience as a driver, engineer, entrant and team owner, Miller spent 2012 overseeing Jack Donnellan’s SCCA National Championship campaign that saw the Oklahoma driver finish fourth at the SCCA Runoffs in his #16 Kechi Energy Lola Sports 2000; and campaign a multi-car, race-winning effort in the SCCA F2000 and F1600 Championship Series.
Driver Line-ups for #70 and #00 Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesels Set
March 1, 2013 (Coral Springs, Fla.) Now that the months of new car preparation and the season opening Rolex 24 at Daytona are memories, the SpeedSource team is ready for the next task -- the first ever professional sports car race at the new Formula1 track, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. All GRAND-AM teams will be racing there for the first time, so well-prepared teams will be at an advantage. SpeedSource is among the best prepared teams in the sport.
A MAD MARCH FOR MAZDA MOTORSPORTS
-- 15 Races in Seven Series at Three Race Tracks in Two States in One Month --
March 1, 2013 (IRVINE, Calif.) Mazda is ramping up the 2013 professional racing season with their usual hectic month of March, starting with races on March 1st in Austin, Texas, before two busy weekends in Florida. For Mazda, racing is not just a single series, but the majority of all sports car and open wheel road-racing classes in North America. 2013 highlights on the professional level will include:
BRIAN REDMAN TO BE HONORED BY RRDC AT LONG BEACH
Brian Redman, whose internationally-acclaimed career as a sports-car, Formula One and F5000 racer has spanned more than 40 years, will be honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club at the "RRDC Evening with Brian Redman" in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday, April 18, prior to the running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This is the RRDC's fifth consecutive annual banquet honoring the legends of the sport.
ALMS Sports Car Event at COTA Grows Even Larger
BRASELTON, Ga.) - The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón’s visit to the state-of-the-art Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas was already one of the most anticipated events on the 2013 calendar.
That excitement was kicked up another notch with today’s news that the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has been added to the Sept. 20-22 event weekend.
Dempsey/Del Piero Racing to Partner with Porsche in 24 Hours of Le Mans and 2013 American Le Mans Series
Dempsey/Avenatti/Foster head to Le Mans; Andy Lally and Andrew Davis to anchor two-car GTC effort
LOS ANGELES (February 1, 2013) – Dempsey/Del Piero Racing confirmed today that the international sports car racing team, newly formed and announced last week by Italian soccer star Alessandro Del Piero and Patrick Dempsey, has been notified that its entry submitted to the Selection Committee of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) has been accepted by the ACO, placing the Dempsey/Del Piero team on the entry list for the 2013 24 Hours Le Mans in a Michelin-shod GTE-Am class Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The Dempsey/Del Piero Racing entry will be fielded in partnership with the experienced and proven Proton Competition racing team.
Dempsey/Del Piero Racing has also confirmed that the team will join with famed endurance racing marque Porsche and field a two car GTC-class effort in the 2013 American Le Mans Series.
The 2013 Dempsey/Del Piero GTC-class entries will be driven by 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champion Andrew Davis who will pair with experienced Porsche GTC-class competitor Michael Avenatti and multi-year GT3 Cup Champion Bob Faieta in the No. 10 Porsche 911 GT3. As international football fans are well aware, Del Piero has a long and storied history with the No. 10. Dempsey will share his No. 27 Porsche 911 GT3 with three-time GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champion, and four-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner, Andy Lally, as well as long-time racing partner Joe Foster.
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Teams Run Strong; Finish Fifth, Sixth, Tenth at Rolex 24
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – January 27 – After 678 laps around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway, the GT class battle between Porsche, Audi and Ferrari came down to fuel strategy and the timing of pit stops.
The #44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, with John Potter/Andy Lally/Nicolas Armindo/Richard Lietz, while in second place, came in for an extra splash of fuel with an hour to go to avoid an extra pit stop, but the 35 seconds they lost was too much to overcome as the Alex Job Racing Audi scored a narrow victory at the 51st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Magnus Porsche finished fifth.
CLIFF WHITE PRESENTED WITH ANNUAL RRDC MARK DONOHUE AWARD IN DAYTONA
GRAND-AM Rolex Series young star Dion von Moltke teamed with a trio of Audi factory drivers today to take the German manufacturer to its first victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Darren Law has a new respect for steering wheels, after an electronic failure dropped him and the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team from podium contention in the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona. The Phoenix driver joined Jon Fogarty (Bend, Ore.), Memo Gidley (Novato, Calif.) and Alex Gurney (Irvine, Calif.) behind the wheel of the team's No. 99 'Red Dragon' Corvette-powered Daytona Prototype for the 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Jan. 26 and 27. The race was the season-opener in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
After 678 laps around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway, the GT class battle between Porsche, Audi and Ferrari came down to fuel strategy and the timing of pit stops.
After 24 hours it came down to mere minutes for the No. 23 WeatherTech Porsche. Damien Faulkner had to pit the 23 black and white Porsche with just three minutes remaining in the 51st running of the GRAND-AM Rolex 24 at Daytona for a splash fuel giving up a possible podium finish and settling for sixth in GT.
The WeatherTech Audi R8 GRAND-AM racing team of Felipe Albuquerque (Portugal), Oliver Jarvis (England), Eduardo Mortara (Italy), and Dion von Moltke (Coral Gables, Fla.) won the GT class of the 51st GRAND-AM Rolex 24 at Daytona.
WHAT’S NEW WITH MAZDA MOTORSPORTS? EVERYTHING!
New car, engine, fuel, teams, and drivers join Mazda and SpeedSource at Daytona
January 26, 2013 (DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.). Mazda will be seeking its 24th class win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race with three all-new 2014 Mazda6 racecars powered by Mazda’s advanced, 400-horsepower SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine. This will be the first-ever diesel powerplant to compete in GRAND-AM racing. The SKYACTIV-D engines are very much production-based, with more than 60-percent stock components, including the engine block and head.
The Car: Model Year 2014 Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Racecar
PETER BROCK HONORED WITH RRDC'S 2013 PHIL HILL AWARD
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2013) - Peter Brock, a true motorsports Renaissance Man - a designer, author, team owner and photojournalist - was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club with the 2013 Phil Hill Award. RRDC president Bobby Rahal presented Brock with the award at a dinner prior to the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season opener of the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
The Phil Hill Award has been presented annually since 1993 to the person who the RRDC feels has rendered outstanding service to road racing. The recipient may be a driver, entrant or outstanding member of a sanctioning body.
It is named in honor of America’s first Formula 1 World Champion (in 1961), and is not only a tribute to his masterful accomplishments on the race track, it also recognizes his contributions as a great ambassador for the sport. Hill passed away in 2008.
Nick Tandy signed as the tenth Porsche works driver
Stuttgart/Atlanta - December 20 -- Nick Tandy, the 2012 Porsche Cup winner, has earned a contract as a Porsche factory driver. The 28-year-old from Great Britain is now the tenth Porsche works driver joining Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Wolf Henzler, Marco Holzer, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Patrick Long and Patrick Pilet. With his inclusion in the factory team, this marks the pinnacle of Tandy’s racing career so far.
"A big dream has come true. I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Tandy. “Ever since I first drove a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup it was clear to me that there could be nothing better than to become a works pilot for Porsche. It’s great that Porsche recognized what I have achieved so far and that they included me in the factory pilot family. I’ll do everything to merit this trust.”
“I’m delighted to welcome Nick as our tenth works driver,” says Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport. “His career is exemplary. He followed up his title victory in the Carrera Cup Deutschland with a convincing performance in the international Grand Touring scene. With his ability, he is a perfect complement to our driver line up which consists of the very best drivers from sports car racing.”
SPEED Announcer Bob Varsha to Serve as Online Instructor Reaction Training, Featuring PitFit’s Jim Leo, the Subject of Newest Video Tutorial
SPEED Announcer Bob Varsha to Serve as Online Instructor
Reaction Training, Featuring PitFit’s Jim Leo, the Subject of Newest Video Tutorial
HILLIARD, Ohio (December 20, 2012) – When the Skip Barber Racing School hosted its 2012 Championship Shootout last week at Road Atlanta, offering the top prize of a funded ride in next year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda worth in excess of $200,000, SPEED television announcer Bob Varsha and PitFit Training’s Jim Leo were among the industry experts on hand to tender advice on how to optimize the candidates’ capabilities.
This week, both Varsha and Leo will continue to give back to the sport that has enriched their livelihoods by contributing to the Road Racing Drivers Club’s ground-breaking www.SAFEisFAST.com initiative. Varsha will serve as the latest Online Instructor, fielding questions especially pertaining to interaction with the media, while Leo will feature in the latest video tutorial, demonstrating how a driver can improve his or her hand-eye coordination in order to gain an advantage on the race track.
Best known as the lead announcer for SPEED’s Formula One coverage, a position he took over when he joined the network (then operating under the Speedvision moniker) from ESPN in 1999, Varsha holds a degree in law and was an accomplished long-distance runner. The native New Yorker twice attended the U.S. Olympic Trials as a marathoner while undertaking his law studies at the Emory University School of Law, from which he graduated in 1977. He looked set for a bright career as a corporate litigator until fate intervened in 1980 and he was invited by TBS to cover a renowned foot race in Atlanta. Before long he had found a new profession. In addition to announcing virtually every form of motorsport in the world, Varsha’s wealth of knowledge includes the experience of supporting his son Matt as he attempted to follow his dream of becoming a professional racecar driver in the middle 1990s. Varsha will continue with SPEED in 2013, commencing his season by leading coverage of the 51st annual Rolex 24 at Daytona.
World’s Most Successful Production-based Race Car Moves to Porsche 911 (type 991) in 2013 for Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup; More Horsepower, Paddle Shift Highlight Improvements
1 Supercup; More Horsepower, Paddle Shift Highlight Improvements
Stuttgart/Atlanta – December 8 -- The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is the most successful race car in the world. Since 1998, 2,395 units of the near-street-stock race vehicle for customer sport have been produced. The new edition of the 911 GT3 Cup is the motorsports version of the future showroom model 911 GT3 (yet to be introduced) and as such is the first race car that is based on the seventh generation of the sports car icon (Porsche 911 – type 991) from Zuffenhausen.
The new 911 GT3 Cup will be run exclusively in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2013. The rest of the Porsche makes cups and challenge cups around the world, including the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, will compete in the current 911 GT3 Cup racer for 2013, switching to the new car in 2014. The new car for one-make racing made its debut on the occasion of the end of motorsport season “Night of Champions” celebration at the R&D Centre in Weissach.
ALMS Has a Rebellion on Its Hands
Petit Le Mans winner taking full-time plunge in 2013
BRASELTON, Ga. (Dec. 6, 2012) - Was an overall victory at Road Atlanta the first of many to come for Rebellion Racing in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón? We may soon find out.
The Swiss squad will compete as a full-time entry in the 2013 ALMS championship with one of its Toyota-powered Lola coupes. Sports car racing in North America is getting a proven winner as evidenced by a three-lap victory in the ALMS’s 2012 finale at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. Andrea Belicchi, Nico Prost and Neel Jani drove the car at Road Atlanta. Jani earned pole position for the race and also set the fastest lap in the 1,000-mile enduro.
“This is great news and we welcome everyone at Rebellion Racing back to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón with open arms,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. “The team's presence as a full-season entry will provide ALMS fans with not just another world-class competitor but a fascinating championship fight in our premier P1 class. This news - with more to follow – only adds to the anticipation for a great 2013 season.”
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and driver Klaus Graf set an all-time track record on Friday at Virginia International Raceway on its way to claiming its seventh pole position of the season.
The pole position, a fifth consecutive one for the team, was also Graf's fifth in as many qualifying attempts this season, making him a perfect five for five on the year.
After seeing Graf and teammate Lucas Luhr top the time sheets in both practice sessions earlier in the day, the Pickett Racing team headed into qualifying confident they could keep their pole position streak alive.
Corvette Racing Sweeps ALMS GT Championships with VIR 240 Victory
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won the American Le Mans Series GT Drivers Championship with a victory today in the VIR 240 at Virginia International Raceway. Their fourth victory in nine races clinched the GT Manufacturer Championship for Chevrolet and wrapped up the GT Team Championship for Corvette Racing.
"This is the kind of day you hope for – a perfect race, a great race car, the right pit calls, and no drama," said Milner. "I got my start in professional sports car racing at VIR, so to get my first championship here in my home state of Virginia is very special. I can't say enough for Oliver and the Corvette Racing crew; they've been best friends from the day that I arrived. Just a great day!"
CLIFF WHITE NAMED 42nd RECIPIENT OF ANNUAL RRDC MARK DONOHUE AWARD
HILLIARD, Ohio – Cliff White, 26, of Huntsville, Ala., was selected as the 42nd annual recipient of the prestigious Road Racing Drivers Club Mark Donohue Award for his outstanding Spec Racer Ford class victory at the 2012 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., in September. White will be officially presented the award on March 2, 2013, at the SCCA National Convention at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas. He will also be honored by the RRDC at its annual dinner at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in Florida on Jan. 23, 2013.
White is a CPA and MBA who runs the family business operating assisted-living communities. He is a veteran of the Spec Racer Ford (SRF) class with 11 years in the seat – he started at age 16. This is his first SCCA National Championship.
His drive to victory was anything but leisurely. According to Don Knowles, who chaired this year’s Donohue Award selection committee, “I watched the SRF race from turn 13 and then on the live computer broadcast. Cliff and the other three SRF frontrunners ran what is almost unheard of – a clean Runoffs race! Three leaders on the last lap with Cliff coming from fourth to first – a real tough tactical battle. Winning the arm-wrestling contest with that field is a great driving accomplishment.”
RRDC VOTES IN 42 NEW MEMBERS FOR 2012
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR customer teams qualified their GT cars seventh, ninth, 11th and 12th for the 15th annual Petit Le Mans, to be held tomorrow, Saturday, October 20, at the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta sports car circuit.
While teammate Tony Vilander was in pit lane enjoying the start of a pole winning celebration, Guy Cosmo peddled the No. 02 Ultimat Vodka Extreme Speed Motorsport Ferrari across the line with a 1:18.677 second lap to take the top spot in GT qualifying. Vilander will start second, just 0.05 seconds behind.
Lotus Alex Job Racing (AJR) will start the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season ending Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda from the seventh row in GT. Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Johnny Mowlem are poised for 10 hours of racing tomorrow at Road Atlanta.
In today's Petit Le Mans GT Pro qualifying session Joerg Bergmeister clocked the seventh fastest time in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche with a time of 1:19.225; Marco Holzer was ninth in the No. 44 with a 1:19.524.
In a day which saw team owner Scott Tucker crowned as the 2012 L2 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Champion, Level 5 Motorsport’s ALMS qualifying was always going to be in danger of being overshadowed by that success.
Reigning American Le Mans Series champions Dyson Racing qualified third and fourth for the season-ending 15th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda. The 1,000 mile/ten-hour race will decide the championship with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith thirteen points out of first. Dyson drivers occupy second through sixth in the championship tally.
Andretti Autosport, Cooper Tires Presents USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
Race Report: Virginia International Raceway
Shelby Blackstock, Team Starstruck, No. 8
Blackstock finished the first USF2000 Championship race at Virginia International Raceway sixth. He came in seventh during the second race this weekend, after starting sixth. He recorded eight top-10 finishes this season and finished ninth in the championship point standings.
"This was a pretty solid weekend for my Andretti Autosport team. We had a pretty tough qualifying session at the start of the weekend and my front wing got damaged during our first race. I then had to relearn how to drive the car in that condition and once I did, was able to move forward. We ended sixth after some really fun racing! During two of my passes, you probably wouldn't have been able to fit a human hair in between mine and my competitor's tires when we were side-by-side. I then finished seventh in the second race today and it didn't really go in our favor. The track had changed a lot, so the car was quite loose. It was all about survival during the race and keeping the car on the track. It's not quite how I wanted to finish season. However, even with our tough luck and DNF's (did not finish) this season, the team was there for me in the end and always gave me good equipment. It is depressing that the season is over. Hopefully next year will be better and we can look forward."
A Muscle Milk Victory and Championships Galore at VIR
DANVILLE, Va. (Sept. 15 2012) - Muscle Milk Pickett Racing returned to its winning ways Saturday in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, the same day where three class driver championship battles ended at VIRginia International Raceway. It marked a magical day for the ALMS in its debut at VIR.
Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr teamed for a three-lap victory in the four-hour race driving Muscle Milk’s Honda Performance Development ARX-03a. The day also belonged to Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, who clinched the GT title with a class victory; and Alex Job Racing’s Cooper MacNeil, who clinched the GT Challenge championship thanks to a class win with Leh Keen.
CORE autosport’s Alex Popow wrapped up the Prototype Challenge title with a third-place class finish in the No. 06 ORECA FLM09 as CORE teammates Colin Braun and Jon Bennett won in the No. 05 entry.
The P1 and P2 championships will go down to the season’s final race – Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta. Level 5 Motorsports’ Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker won in P2 in a back-and-forth affair with Conquest Racing’s David Heinemeier-Hansson and Martin Plowman.
In GT, Gavin and Milner led twice for more than three hours and took the lead for good at the one-hour, 15-minute mark in the No. 4 Corvette C6 ZR1. Gavin made his 100th ALMS start a memorable one by clinching his fourth class championship. Milner won his first at his home track to go along with a class victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2011.