An illustrious group of auto racing professionals, led by Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, will join forces later this week to select a pair of talented young American race car drivers who will be invited to travel to England next month to compete in both the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone.
The two winners will be chosen from six finalists who will take part in a shootout hosted by Cooper Tire and the Lucas Oil School of Racing at Palm Beach Int’l Raceway in Jupiter, Fla. They will follow in the footsteps of a long list of accomplished racers such as Jimmy Vasser, who in 1990 claimed the first Team USA Scholarship, Bryan Herta, Jerry Nadeau, Memo Gidley, Andy Lally, Dane Cameron, Josef Newgarden, Trent Hindman and Spencer Pigot.
Tequila Patron ESM Makes Changes to Remaining 2016 Program With just three races remaining in the 2016 race season, Tequila Patron ESM has announced JAGONYA AYAM, KFC's Indonesian branch, as the main sponsor for the No. 30 Ligier for the remainder of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
"Jagonya Ayam expressed interest in getting a taste of a P2 program, and we already had the car, crew and full season entry," said Tequila Patron ESM Team Owner Scott Sharp.
Formula 1's new chairman Chase Carey has promised to bring the sport the leadership it needs to be taken "to another level", as he suggested it should not be run by a dictatorship writes Jonathan Noble of Motorsport.com.
Carey attended his first race at the Singapore Grand Prix but, despite coming from a media background, steered clear of actually speaking to the media at length to explain his vision.
It's not often that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver opts out of competing in a race.
But Regan Smith, who normally drives the No. 7 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing, obviously made the right choice by doing so Sunday when he elected to skip the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Smith did so to be by his wife's side for the birth of their daughter, Eliza Grace Smith.
Roger Penske has sponsorship locked down for three of his IndyCar teams next season, with Menards signing on for 10 races with Simon Pagenaud to drive the bright yellow colors of the home improvement store. The announcement Saturday returns John Menard to a high-profile role in IndyCar after a long absence.
The billionaire was a team owner and sponsor in the series but walked away after the 2004 season to back his son, Paul, in NASCAR. Menard made a slow return to Indy this year as a sponsor for Pagenaud in the 100th Indianapolis 500, and that deal grew to cover five races.
Menard says he and Paul Menard are signed with Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR through 2017, so moving his son to Penske's organization is not currently being discussed. Associated Press/ESPN.com
2017 British Formula 3 calendar unveiled The calendar for the 2017 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship has been announced today (September 19) with 24 races scheduled across eight rounds, seven of which will be co-headlining events alongside the British GT Championship, including a return to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Following the successful introduction of the Tatuus-Cosworth car, which has seen BRDC British F3 become the perfect stepping stone for drivers from FIA Formula 4 championships to European F3 and the GP3 Series, the 2017 calendar sees the category once again visit some of the finest and most challenging circuits in Europe.
Billionaire John Menard defends sponsorship of all foreign driver Penske team
Roger Penske (L), Captain of the all foreign driver Team Penske, next to John Menard
John Menard came under some heat at Sonoma this weekend when he announced sponsorship of the all foreign driver Penske IndyCar team. John Menard defended his associations with foreign drivers in IndyCar by saying Saturday he's had plenty of Americans.
"I mean, we ran Tony Stewart, for example,” he said at Sonoma Raceway, site of IndyCar's season-ending race. "He's almost too American.”
Johnny O'Connell Doubles Up GT Wins at Sonoma in Cadillac
Defending four-time GT driving champion Johnny O'Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga., dominated Sunday's 50-minute GT sprint race in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Cadillac with an impressive first turn move and never looked back for his second win of the weekend. In addition, Michael Schein of Glen Cove, N.Y., and Alec Udell of The Woodlands, Tex., scored double victories in the GTA and GT Cup divisions, respectively.
O'Connell, the sports car legend driving the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R., started third behind K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S teammates Austin Cindric and Alvaro Parente at the drop of the green flag. But Johnny slid his Cadillac inside Cindric into turn one and took the lead up the hill into turn two.
NASCAR themed musical gets Black Flag after getting panned The NASCAR themed production of the pop rock musical Helldrivers of Daytona, which opened last Monday, was cancelled Friday. The stage show at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago canceled the remainder of its run after theater critics panned the musical.
Previews began September 8 for an anticipated run through October 30.
Sandberg Records Season-High Fifth PWC GTS Win Over Mantella and Stacy SONOMA, Calif. – GTS pole-sitter Brett Sandberg from Allendale, N.J., led Round 17 from flag to flag Sunday and captured the top spot on the podium at the Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Cadillac, his fifth of the season. Toronto, Ontario, Canada's Anthony Mantella fought through the field and captured the second spot, passing Round 16 winner and teen phenom Nate Stacy (Owasso, Okla.) who still managed to hold on to the third step on the podium.
Sandberg, the current GTS point leader, jumped to the lead in his No. 13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 from the standing start Sunday with Stacy, the Saturday GTS winner in the No. 14 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302, in hot pursuit. Mark Klenin of Long Tree, Colo., made a sensational start from his fourth position but spun in turn 2 while running second. Klenin's spin caused a full-course caution period for the first lap of the 50-minute sprint race.
IndyCar: Sunday update from Sonoma (Update) UPDATE The air temperature is now almost 90 degrees, just one hour until the start of the IndyCar race, but it's a dry heat. The sun has been brutal today and it is hot. Cars are moving out to the grid now.
After the DHL/Andretti Autosport press conference that announced that DHL would be sponsoring Ryan Hunter-Reay for the next four years, I asked Hunter-Reay how he felt about the having the Honda package for the future. He replied, "I think the Honda package itself has shown some advantages on some courses and disadvantages on others. There are strength and there are weaknesses like any team has. I see that the direction we are headed is the right one. We need to as a team really level out our lows. And if we do that, we will be contenders for a championship." Lucille Dust
Menards & Penske Extend IndyCar Pact (Update) UPDATE Added full transcript of press conference below
From left, Penske, Menard and Pagenaud
Team Penske announced Saturday that it has reached a partnership extension with industry-leading home improvement store company Menards for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season and beyond.
The easily-identifiable bright yellow paint scheme of Menards will continue as a partner of Verizon IndyCar Series championship contender Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Dallara/Chevrolet for 10 races in next year, including the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 28.
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by James Hinchcliffe, driver of the No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Honda. Also new Dancing with the Stars contestant.
James, let's talk about racing for a moment. We are here at Sonoma Raceway, the finale of the 2016 season. Obviously quite a journey for you this season. Your first season back in the car since the accident, the great pole position at Indy, a lots happened. Looking back on your season, what would you say are the highlights and what are you looking forward to at Sonoma?
Roger Penske is celebrating his 50th year as a team owner. Team Penske debuted in 1966 in the 24 Hours of Daytona, won its first title in the U.S. Auto Club National Championship in 1977 and has a record 16 victories in the Indianapolis 500.
Sunday at Sonoma Raceway, Penske is guaranteed to collect his 14th career championship across three Indy car series: USAC, CART and IndyCar.
The only question remaining is whether Simon Pagenaud will score his first IndyCar title or Will Power will collect his second.
NASCAR Chicagoland Xfinity Post-Race Q&A Race-winner and top NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase seed Erik Jones (No. 20 Hisense Toyota), Race-winning crew chief Christopher Gabehart, Steve deSouza (Executive Vice President, Joe Gibbs Racing) and runner-up finisher Kyle Larson (No. 42 ENEOS Chevrolet) Comment
2016 WEC at COTA - Winning Porsche Report WEC race from the Circuit of The Americas in Austin (Texas) featuring the Porsche 919 Hybrid and the Porsche 911 RSR. The 919 Hybrid celebrated its fifth victory of the year and the third in a row for the title defenders Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber. In LMGTE AM, Joel Camathias, Wolf Henzler and Christian Ried came home second. Comment
The morning practice session was red flagged twice due to separate incidents involving Josef Newgarden and James Hinchcliffe. It is an hour from qualifying and both of their cars are ready to go in their respective groups.
The drivers are complaining about their Firestone tires. Helio Castroneves, driving the number 3 Hitachi entry for Team Penske, had this to day so it the tires yesterday, "And the tire degradation, you've got to get really right in one lap, I mean really right in one lap. If you're lucky, you can get a second one. That's why it's so important to have a consistent car because whatever happens in those conditions, if you can really be confident on the first one, you have a very good chance to do well in qualifying."
Mired at the back of the grid all season, Marco Andretti found something this weekend in Sonoma. He was near the top most of the day on Friday and on Saturday morning he turned the fastest lap to lead Practice 3 with a lap of 1m16.306s.
Juan Montoya, fighting to keep his Penske seat, was 2nd just 0.070sec behind Andretti and ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay in 3rd. In fact the Andretti cars were 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th - their best result on a road course this year.
It is a cool morning here in Sonoma. The fog is still lingering over the track as I write this and should be gone long before the first practice session at 11 am. But as the temperature warmed up yesterday around 1 pm, the same is expected for today. And the track will heat up before the 3:05 pm qualifying sessions today.
Yesterday's highlights included the DWTS dancer Sharna Burgess being at the track and taking a two seater ride with James Hinchliffe at 5 pm. See video here
Video: Porsche WEC Friday report from Austin Please find a video news from the Circuit of The Americas in Austin (Texas) featuring the Porsche 919 Hybrid and the Porsche 911 RSR. The two Porsche 919 Hybrids will start from positions three and five on the grid for the sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The CoTA hosts an unforgettable Porsche Festival this weekend. Aside from the IMSA SportsCar Championship, fans are treated to the WEC Sports Car World Endurance Championship, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge as well as the SportsCar Challenge.
Video: James Hinchcliffe takes Dancing with Stars Partner Sharna Burgess for a ride Footage of driver James Hinchcliffe giving his "Dancing with the Stars" partner Sharna Burgess a whirl around Sonoma Raceway, an 11-turn circuit north of San Francisco, in an INDYCAR Experience two-seater prior to the Sept. 18 Verizon IndyCar Series season finale, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Read more & Comment...
A session that had a bit of everything - crashes, mistakes, and even a giant monitor lizard - Nico Rosberg was again fastest in his Mercedes but the huge gap Mercedes has enjoyed the past 3 years wasn't there this time.
Just 0.059s separated the top two, and three teams - Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari - were all at the top.
Rosberg was followed by Max Verstappen running the only 'trick' Renault engine this weekend and Kimi Raikkonen in third for Ferrari.
The incredible story of ex-F1 and CART driver amputee Alex Zanardi that inspired Last leg's Alex Brooker's moving speech Host of England Channel Four's Last Leg Alex Brooker brought much of the nation to tears with an incredibly moving speech about a Paralympics athlete. Italian cyclist Alex Zanardi had just won a gold medal but it was the circumstances that made the story so incredible.
Video: NASCAR Chicagoland Truck Series post race Q&A NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase Top Seed William Byron (No. 9 Liberty University Toyota), second-place finisher Daniel Hemric (No. 19 DrawTite Ford), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Race winner Kyle Busch (No. 18 SiriusXM Toyota) and crew chief Wes Ward Comment
NASCAR will talk to Stewart, Newman before Chicago race (Update) UPDATE
Neither Tony Stewart nor Ryan Newman felt the need to apologize for their actions Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, but they reiterated they have put the incident behind them after spending more than 30 minutes with NASCAR officials Friday. Stewart and Newman, longtime friends, stood side-by-side for a few minutes afterward, answering reporters' questions and joking with each other in the Chicagoland Speedway garage.
"We don't have to apologize to each other," Newman said. Stewart chimed right in: "You've got to remember, we've been teammates. We've known each other since long before either one of us ever got an opportunity to come to NASCAR." Newman interrupted: "I'll text you an apology later." Newman, who drove for Stewart-Haas Racing from 2009 through 2013, said he didn't regret what he said. "They're just words, right?" Newman said.
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