6.7.2014 (via thecheckeredflag.co.uk) - VW lead the way on the opening day of the Red Bull Global Rallycross at X Games Austin as Scott Speed, Anton Marklund and Tanner Foust all took victories in their first heats; Travis Pastrana was the only non-VW win as he piloted his Subaru to a win in his heat.
Joni Wiman set the pace early on in the day as he gained the top seeding after qualifying but an accident in his heat sent him head-on into the hairpin wall. While Wiman was not injured, his car was wrecked and had to sit on the sidelines for the rest of the race.
“We’ve had a lot of pace here,” said Scott Speed to GlobalRallyCross.com, “We’re trying not to do anything stupid. I took a very conservative start, and Isachsen was super aggressive, so I let him have the spot. Then I ran around until I got close enough to pass him on the joker without any incident, and just tried to go as easy on the car as possible.”
Speed took victory in his heat as he finished almost a second faster than the two Subaru’s of Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek. Lasek will be doing everything he can to win tomorrow after missing out on a medal in the Skateboarding Vert final. Brian Deegan finished in fourth place while Pat Moro registered a DNF.
“I was on the outside, which I think isn’t seen as the favorable spot,” said Foust. “I got by (Patrik) Sandell and was in the lead, but then there was a red flag because (Steve) Arpin stalled it in the hairpin. So we did it again, and lightning struck twice there—I got by Sandell on the outside that time.”
Foust would finish the race 1.5 seconds ahead of the Olsbergs MSE Ford of Sandell, with Rhys Millen finishing in third place ahead of Liam Doran in his Citroen DS3. Steve Arpin rounded out the 5-car field in last place, 6.2 seconds down.
Anton Marklund took a win in his round ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr, who is also taking part in the GRC Lites races this weekend. Austin Cindric would finish third while Wiman failed to finish after colliding with the wall.
X Games legend Travis Pastrana took the win in his heat to break the VW clean-sweep, ahead of a hard fought battle between reigning GRC champion Toomas Heikkinen and Ken Block. While the Gymkhana icon took the second place, Heikkinen will be looking to make up for lost time tomorrow. Ricky Johnson and Emma Gilmour rounded out the field.
6.5.2014 (via thecheckeredflag.co.uk)
Red Bull Global Rallycross has officially arrived in Austin, Texas as part of the X Games package after drivers shook down their cars in first practice.
With a 19-car strong entry list (was previously 20, but Sarah Burgess will not be taking part) featuring the likes of Tanner Foust, Ken Block, Scott Speed, Brian Deegan and Britains very own Liam Doran the X Games moves to Austin, Texas and the Circuit of the Americas.
“We look forward to participating at X Games this weekend in Austin as part of our multi-year collaboration,”said Colin Dyne, Red Bull GRC CEO. “Circuit of the Americas is one of the greatest race circuits in the world, and we are proud to be competing at a venue of such incredible caliber.”
Talking after first practice Scott Speed told fans “Practice in the books, we have a ton of speed, just need to stay clean through the weekend” via his Instagram account. Speed will be hoping to add another victory to his 2014 season after winning in Barbados.
6.5.2014 (via fiaformulae.com) – Franck Montagny is the first driver to be confirmed for the Andretti Autosport Formula E Team and we spoke with him following his first outing in the fully-electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E…
How does it feel to be announced as a Formula E driver for the first fully-electric racing championship?
Well I’m very happy to be part of it and I’m proud to be here at the beginning of the story. It’s a new championship and it’s completely different with a unique approach to racing. It’s not only a new racing series but a new era of motorsport.
Having driven the car for the first time during the shakedown at Donington Park, what are your feelings of the car?
The car is very special and honestly I have had a smile on my face since the first lap I stepped into it and I still can’t stop. It’s good fun to drive and if I have fun inside the car I think people outside will like it.
With the different levels of power available have you had the chance to experience a variety of feedback from the car?
I’ve tried full power once on an in-lap just to get a feeling and it’s fantastic but I guess this is not the way we are going to run the race. The power is not the most important thing, we have to bring the show to the people and I think we can do that.
6.4.2014 (via fiaformulae.com) – Teams competing in the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship got their first chance to familiarise themselves with their Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars today during a shakedown session at Donington Park.
The teams completed a full-day of systems checks at the Leicestershire track in wet conditions using a modified configuration of the National Circuit, which included an additional chicane on the main straight.
The seven confirmed drivers – Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi (Abt), Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari (Virgin Racing), Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok (Mahindra Racing) and Franck Montagny (Andretti Autosport) – were all in attendance together with several new drivers under evaluation.
Rob Arnott, Team Manager at Andretti Autosport, said: “The car has run exceptionally well for us, almost like clockwork. We’ve had virtually no issues which say a lot for a car straight out of the box and Franck [Montagny] has been really surprised with the car and its balance, especially in the wet. I was concerned the tyres wouldn’t be able to cope being a ‘one-stop-shop’ so to speak but they are very impressive and a good compound. Tomorrow we’ll debrief and analysis the data but it’s apparent battery management is going to be key.”
5.31.2014 (via RACER.com) – The Indy Grand Prix and the Indy 500 have come and gone, and the month of May is almost over; it has certainly gone by in a flash. I have been absorbed solely into racing and nothing else during this time and it feels nice to finally have a little bit of a break before the next race at Pocono in July.
There have been some highs and lows, but it has been an amazing experience. It was very gut wrenching and saddening for my whole family to lose my grandfather, Poppy. I know he would have been very upset with me if I had let his passing interrupt my focus for the Freedom 100, as racing was everything to him. So, I tried to look on the positive side and stay clear-minded.
Poppy's life was absolutely amazing; he lived in a great era and what he achieved during his time on this earth was incredible. I'm completely blown away from all of the support and condolences from everyone. It has made me incredibly proud, especially when I went to Lucas Oil Raceway and saw that all the USF2000 and Pro Mazda competitors had the same tribute sticker that I ran at the Freedom 100 on their cars. It was hard to keep my emotions in check. I had a strong month racing-wise and I felt Poppy was with me all the way.
There was a great deal of expectation leading into the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race. The hype of the Indy 500 and everything else going on around us was hard to totally absorb. We also only had two days on track; I wish we had more time on The Speedway as it was such a blast to drive on. It went by so quickly and it was all over before I knew it.
Practice didn't start out so well for us. We all did qualifying simulations in the only morning practice session on Thursday, and straight away it became apparent that the Sam Schmidt cars were very quick. The team and I were still confident we could go out and be in contention for pole, but it was a little disheartening when that didn't happen. Zach Veach and I spent the rest of the session working together on our race setups. My racecar felt very good in practice, and Zach and I worked really well together, but it was hard to tell how we both compared to the rest of the field.
Qualifying went as we thought with Zach and I lining up in the second row behind Luis Razia and Jack Harvey. Everyone was very close except for Luis, who absolutely smoked us, which was a worry. I figured it would be really hard to break the draft in the race, and I felt as though my race setup was really good so I remained confident.
Carb Day was amazing! I was surprised at how many people were at IMS. I almost missed the drivers briefing because it was chock-a-block traffic getting into the track. It was a really cool experience to be competing in front of such a big crowd. They gave us all the pre-race lead in's and introductions, which was really special. It made it a little more nerve-wracking before the start of the race, but once we pulled out of pit lane, all my emotions and butterflies disappeared; I was only focused on the race.
5.31.2014 (via Daily Tribune) – Marco Andretti smiled when he was reminded that Honda engines were in both cars that won IndyCar races on Belle Isle last year. “We have to keep it up,” the driver of the No. 25 Snapple Honda said.
The game within the game will be part of the drama this weekend when the IndyCar Series stages two points races in Detroit, corporate home of Honda rival Chevrolet, which also happens to be the title sponsor of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
“We sure are,” Andretti said when asked if drivers are aware of the competition between the engine makers.
Andretti, 27, wore a golf shirt embroidered with logos of sponsors, Honda included, when he signed autographs and chatted with fans at a Kroger store in Shelby Township on Thursday.
The Pennsylvania native’s appearance represented calm before the racing storm that begins Friday with two practice sessions that precede 70-lap races Saturday and Sunday on the 2.3-mile Belle Isle street course.
“Track position, qualifying, pit stops: We need to execute everything,” Andretti said. “I need to get the monkey off my back. I need a win.”
Andretti came to Michigan feeling good about his driving and his season, even if he does thirst for a first-place finish. He took third last Sunday in the Indianapolis 500, which was won by Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay. Andretti led 20 laps in the 98th running of the 500, which paid double points, and posted his third top-10 finish in five races this season.
“As much as I was disappointed with not winning the Indy 500, you have to look at the positives,” the grandson of open-wheel racing legend Mario Andretti and son of two-time Belle Isle winner Michael Andretti said.
“It was like two podium (top three) finishes because of the double points,” Marco said.
5.29.14 – Andretti Formula E, the FIA Formula E division of race team Andretti Autosport, will welcome French-native Franck Montagny to the team's stable of full-time drivers. With a diverse and extensive racing resume, Montagny becomes the first driver announced for Michael Andretti's two-car Formula E effort.
Although both new to Formula E for its debut season, the relationship between Andretti and Montagny dates back to 2008 when Montagny competed in the ALMS series with Andretti Autosport, he then returned to the team in 2009 with the IndyCar Series and again for the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
"It is a great honor to be racing again with Andretti Autosport and Michael Andretti." said Montagny. "I worked a great deal with the team in 2008 and 2009, and again this year, and working together on this new electric challenge will be exciting. I am convinced that this new fully-electric technology in the automotive industry will become a very important characteristic of our day to day lives in the future, and this high-level racing competition will very quickly bring new technical developments just as Formula 1 did in the past for everyday automobiles."
In addition to his resume with Andretti Autosport, Montagny boasts 12 starts at the historic 24 Hours de Le Mans with four-podium finishes, in addition to five years of Formula One experience with seven grand prix competitions.
In addition to his time on track as a driver, Montagny has spent a great deal of time working in front of the camera with the French TV Group TF1 as a Formula One consultant and pit reporter for "Canal+".
The FIA Formula E Championship will travel to Beijing, China for the debut round of competition taking place in September 2014.
5.27.2014 (via INDYCAR) – Andretti Autosport driver Kurt Busch has been named the winner of the prestigious 2014 Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award for his performance during the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In the first Verizon IndyCar Series race of his career, Busch, in his No. 26 Andretti Autosport Suretone Honda, was the fastest qualifier (12th) and highest finisher (6th) among the seven rookies in this year's Indianapolis 500.
In addition to the prestige of being named Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Busch also earned a $25,000 bonus from Sunoco as part of his total race winnings of $423,889. Busch was presented with his award last night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indianapolis 500 Victory Awards Celebration presented by Ice Miller Legal Counsel, Contour Hardening, Inc. and Allied Solutions.
Since its inception in 1952, the Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award has been presented to an amazing list of legendary drivers including Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Tony Stewart, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Arie Luyendyk and many more.
Sunoco has a long and successful history in motorsports. In the late 1960's, the team of Roger Penske and Mark Donohue competed in several different series with Sunoco-sponsored cars. This legendary team won many major events including the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona, the 1972 Indianapolis 500 and numerous high-profile sports car championships.
Sunoco has been the official fuel partner of the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2010, providing the opportunity to demonstrate the performance and durability of Sunoco gasoline in the most demanding and competitive forms of racing in the United States.
The Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award electorate is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR officials, and members of the media.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Sunoco, Inc. markets its brand of gasoline through more than 5,000 retail outlets in 25 states, from Maine to Florida and west to Michigan and Louisiana, including more than 600 APlus convenience stores. Sunoco is proud to sponsor INDYCAR, NASCAR and more than 50 other racing sanctions. For more information on Sunoco Retail, or to find a local Sunoco location, visit http://www.gosunoco.com/.
The 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2015