IndyCars - The off-season: Series news and comment until the March 2014 kick-off

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And this is why we have always loved, and still love Josef Newgarden…
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It’s just hard to keep the goofball in him down for too long.

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Now, it makes sense…Manuel Sulaimen is heading to Indy Lights…

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When the Indy Lights went to World Wide Technology Raceway in August for a double header, Nikita Lastochkin was not driving the # 59 Dallara for HMD Motorsports, apparently unable to find a sponsor for the car. Next, we noticed that Manuel Sulaiman was not driving the # 22 Tatuus for Juncos Hollinger Racing at the triple header weekend for Indy Pro 2000 at New Jersey, last weekend.

Now, we know why. Manuel is going to take the leap and drive the # 59 for HMD Motorsports for the remaining 6 races of the Indy Lights season.

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ManuelSulaiman

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Sulaiman competed in British F4 before becoming the 2018-2019 FIA Fórmula 4 NACAM Series Champion with 10 WINS and 15 podiums. Then, in 2 and 2/3rds seasons of the Road to Indy Manuel collected 3 WINS, 9 podiums, 31 TOP TENS and 5 poles for first DEForce Racing and then Juncos Hollinger. It was obvious someone was going to snap him up in the Lights, but we thought it would be in 2022. This move gives Manny a head start to that new season.

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Said Manuel, “I am very happy with this announcement and for me, this is a very important step in my life as a professional driver. Road to Indy and IndyCar are my passion and my dream. I am very grateful for what I have achieved up to now and look forward for more success. The atmosphere and welcoming that HMD has given me in this important upward step I am taking has been exceptionally good, and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I, as a driver, will give everything I have and it is an honor to belong to HMD, a team with an impressive win record In Indy Lights, and my respects to them for their success. Nothing else to say, but I am excited to go racing!”

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The young Mexican will begin his journey in the Lights at the double header at Portland, this coming weekend. Great to have you and good luck, Manny!

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It’s a BIRTHDAY week for Juncos Hollinger Racing…

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First, on Thursday, their rookie Indy Pro 2000 driver Reece Gold celebrated his 17th birthday. Reece had 2 WINS In USF2000, but just collected his first IP2K WIN last weekend at New Jersey - a nice birthday present to himself.

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Reece Gold
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Today, their 2020 Indy Pro 2000 Champion Sting Ray Robb turned 20 years old. Sting Ray will be making his first race as an Indy Lights driver at Portland, this coming weekend, as the series supports the IndyCars with a double header.

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Sting Ray Robb
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Happy Birthday, boys!!

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Rumor du Jour - Rasmus Lindh will be racing this weekend at Portland…

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In 2019 Sweden’s Rasmus Lindh nailed down his 2nd Road to Indy Vice Championship in a row, taking that title in Indy Pro 2000, following his similar title in USF2000 the year before. He was poised to begin his Indy Lights career for Belardi Auto Racing in 2020.

Then, the pandemic, and the Indy Lights season was cancelled. Soon after, Brian Belardi decided that it was all too much to recover from and folded his tent in the Lights, and Rasmus was out of a ride.

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Rasmus Lindh
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Ever the racer, Lindh has been staying very busy in IMSA competition, both in the IMSA Prototype Challenge series and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, driving LMP3s for Performance Tech Motorsports and collecting 6 podiums and a pole.

BUT, we have heard there is a chance Rasmus will be in a Dallara IL-15 for someone at Portland, this weekend, for the double header. He has tested for HMD Motorsports in the past and was a Juncos driver in Indy Pro 2000, so either team might be a potential benefactor.

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Two guys WILL NOT be at Portland - Toby Sowery has decided to end his 2021 season of the Lights early, as has Alex Peroni. Peroni will be returning to Europe and F3 but Sowery is trying to pull together an IndyCar deal. Alex drove for Carlin and they still have Christian Bogle in the Lights. Sowery drove for Juncos, and that leaves a seat open for Rasmus, next to Sting Ray Robb.

Toby Sowery (left) and Alex Peroni
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All we can say is no one deserves it more than Ras, if it happens, so Racing Gods…Make it so.

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Announced over the weekend…Charlie Kimball will drive for AJ Foyt at Long Beach…

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Charlie last drove for Foyt in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indy Road Course. Foyt then gave him a car for the Indy 500, but it was a dog than never had any speed in practice and Kimball - usually TOP THREE ROW material - was unable to get into the show.

Since then, “Charlie Murphy” has been doing an excellent job as the color commentator on the Indy Lights broadcasts, but his sponsor, Novo Nordisk and Tresiba, have pulled together the budget for Kimball to drive in the season finale at Long Beach - one of his favorite tracks. Congrats, Charlie!

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Charlie Kimball - back in the game
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In the mean time, catch Charlie on the Indy Lights broadcasts, including this weekend at Portland for a double header.

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YES!..Rasmus Lindh to come to Indy Lights for Juncos Hollinger Racing…

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…for the remaining 6 races of the 2021 season. Announced today, Ras will drive the # 51 Dallara IL-15 beginning at Portland International Raceway this weekend. This was the car that was driven by Toby Sowery up until his decision to step out of the car, last week.

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Ricardo Juncos (left) and Rasmus Lindh have a WINNING history together
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Ras drove one practice session for Belardi Auto Racing during the Indy Lights race at St. Pete in 2020. Then the bottom fell out and the entire season was cancelled that same weekend, due to COVID-19. Since then, the swift Swede has been driving LMP3-class cars in IMSA competition, and getting poles and podiums, but he was first and foremost a formula car guy, taking the 2018 Vice-Championship in USF2000 for Pabst Racing and the 2019 Vice-Championship in Indy Pro 2000 in 2019 for Juncos Racing. In both cases he was 2nd in the title hunts to Kyle Kirkwood. He will be driving against Kyle again for the rest of this Lights season.

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Said Ras, “I’m looking forward to driving the Indy Lights car again. I have not been in the car since we went out for practice in St. Pete back in March 2020. When Ricardo Juncos called me and told me he had a seat available for the remaining races, it was an easy yes for me! I was thrilled to add this to my schedule and that these final events had no conflict with my current IMSA program. I want to thank everyone who helped make this possible including Andersen Promotions, my sponsors, and my team Juncos Hollinger Racing.”

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Lindh will have a tough time making any headway in the car, which has not been fast all season, but just the fact that he will get the rides is good, and sets him up for a possible 2022 season. We couldn’t be happier.

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IMSA is coming to Laguna Seca this weekend…

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…as they do the Hyundai Monterey SportsCar Championship. The weekend will include the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, the Michelin Pilot Challenge series and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, and there are IndyCar guys in all three.

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The IndyCars will also be racing at Portland, this weekend, so no current IndyCar guys will be in Monterey, but a lot of former IndyCar drivers and a few current Road to Indy guys will be there. Let’s see who they are, starting with the WeatherTech gang:

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DPI class - Former Indy Lights Champion and IndyCar Rookie of the Year Tristan Vautier will drive the # 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPI V.R for JDC-Miller Motorsports with co-driver Loic Duval. These guys WON at Sebring this year with the help of IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais.

Tristan Vautier
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Indy Pro 2000 alum Pipo Derani drives the # 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi V.R for Action Express with the help of Felipe Nasr. These two have WON the last two races in a row.

Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani
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GTD class - Road to Indy ace and IndyCar driver Zach Veach is one of the pilots in the # 12 Lexus RCF GT3 for Vasser Sullivan. Zach shares the car with Frankie Montecalvo. These guys already have two P2s on the season.

Zach Veach
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Former Indy Pro 2000 champ and IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth drives the # 14 Lexus RCF GT3 for Vasser Sullivan and shares the car with another former IP2K champ, Aaron Telitz. Both guys were big aces in the full Road to Indy ladder. The duo collected a WIN at Watkins Glen.

Jack Hawksworth (left) and Aaron Telitz
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Current Indy Pro 2000 driver Jacob Abel will drive in the Compass Racing # 76 Acura NSX GT3, subbing for regular driver Jeff Kingsley. Jacob’s co-driver will be Mario Farnbacher.

Jacob Abel
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Former Champ Car driver Katherine Legge will drive the # 88 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Hardpoint Motorsports with team owner and co-driver Rob Ferriol.

Katherine Legge
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  • The Michelin Pilot Challenge series will also have a number of IndyCar guys in both classes. They are:

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Grand Sport class - former Indy Lights and Indy Pro 2000 champion and IndyCar driver Spencer Pigot drives the # 3 McLaren 570S GT4 for Motorsports in Action with co-driver Sheena Monk.

Spencer Pigot
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Former Champ Car driver Jan Heylen is a driver in the # 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for Wright Motorsports. He usually shares the car with Ryan Hardwick but Ryan has COVID, so young Max Root is filling in. Jan also competes in SRO GT World Challenge America, where he and co-driver Fred Poordad are leading the Pro-Am series points by nearly double the next competitors!

Jan Heylen
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Former Road to Indy Shootout entrant and Porsche Challenge Cup champ Trenton Estep will drive the # 18 Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 for CB Motorsports with co-driver Mark Kvamme. These guys started the season driving a Hyundai Veloster for CB Motorsport in the TCR class, but the team is now into GS class.

Trenton Estep
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Malaysian former Road to Indy ace Weiron Tan will be driving the # 99 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for Automatic Racing. Weiron’s co-driver will be Indonesian Anderson Tanoto.

Weiron Tan
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Touring Car class - Indy Pro 2000 alum and paraplegic Michael Johnson drives the # 54 Hyundai Veloster N TCR for Michael Johnson Racing, using hand controls. Michael’s co-driver is Stephen Simpson. The car is prepared by Bryan Herta Autosport.

Michael Johnson
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Indy Lights race WINNER and 2020 TCR class Champion Ryan Norman drives the new # 98 Hyundai Elantra N TCR for Bryan Herta Autosport. His co-driver in the car is Parker Chase. These guys have already given the new car its first series WIN and got a podium at the last race at Road America.

Ryan Norman
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  • Lamborghini Super Trofeo only has one IndyCar guy but he’s a Duesey:

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Pro class - Road to Indy ace Jake Eidson will drive the # 6 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo for O’Gara Motorsport / USRT with co-driver Steven Aghakhani. The boys are coming off a P3 and a P2 at Road America and Jake is 3rd in the points.

Jake Eidson
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We will also be covering the IndyCars this weekend AS WELL AS traversing the country in big, aluminum tubes, so we will do the best we can in reporting results, at the least. Wish us luck!!

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On Friday all three series will hold practice - 2 each for the Michelin gang and the Lambo guys and one for the WeatherTech gang.

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Friday was a day of practice at Laguna Seca…

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All three series we will follow this weekend had practice on Friday - two sessions each for Michelin Pilot Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo and one session for the 4 classes of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship that will be in Monterey. After combining sessions, we have the TOP THREE from the Lambo Pro class and have the TOP THREE from each class for each of the other two series. The Lambos finished both their sessions first:

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Pro class - The TOP DAWG for the day was Sergio Jimenez in the # 44 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO for ANSA Motorsports with a time of 01:25.719s for a speed of 93.990mph. Sergio got the better of Richard Antinucci in the # 27 Lambo for Dream Racing Motorsport by 0.167 seconds. Third fastest was Road to Indy ace Jake Eidson in the # 6 Lambo for O’Gara Motorsport / USRT.

Both Sergio and Richard drive alone but Jake’s co-driver in the O’Gara / USRT car is Steven Aghakhani.

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The # 44 Lamborghini for ANSA Motorsport - TOPS in practice
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Sergio Jimenez
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The Michelin Pilot Challenge series was the next to complete their day of practices, with two sessions in each class:

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Grand Sport class - the RABBIT in class for the day was Eric Foss in the # 56 Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 for Murillo Racing with a P-1 session speed of 01:31.438s for a speed of 88.111mph. Eric bested Bill Auberlen’s P-2 session time in the # 95 BMW M4 GT4 for Turner Motorsport by a teensy 0.023 seconds. Third fastest was Trent Hindman in the # 7 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for VOLT Racing with Archangel.

Eric shares the Mercedes with Jeff Mosing while Bill shares the Bimmer with Dillon Machavern. Trent’s co-driver is Alan Brynjolfsson.

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The # 56 Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 for Murillo Racing - TOPS for the day
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Eric Foss
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Touring Car class - The HOT SHOE for the day was Robert Noaker in the # 84 Honda Civic FK7 TCR for Atlanta Speedwerks with a P-2 session time of 01:33.111s for a speed of 86.528mph. Robert got on top of Mikey Taylor’s P-1 session time in the # 17 Audi RS3 LMS SEQ for Unitronic JDC-Miller MotorSports by 0.281 seconds. Third fastest was Tim Lewis with his P-2 session time in the # 5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR for KMW Motorsports w/ TMR Engineering.

Robert shares the Honda with Brian Henderson while Mikey shares the Audi with Chris Miller. Tim’s co-driver in the Alfa is Roy Block.

The # 84 Honda Civic FK7 TCR for Atlanta Speedwerks - TOPS in practice
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Robert Noaker
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continued…

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Friday was a day of practice at Laguna Seca…(part 2)…

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The WeatherTech gang also had a single practice today and we have the TOP THREE forom each class here:

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DPi class - The TOP DAWG of the class was Filipe Albuquerque in the # 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Taylor Racing with a time of 01:14.880s for a speed of 107.595mph. Filipe bested Indy Pro 2000 alum Pipo Derani in the # 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi V.R for Action Express by 0.094 seconds. Third fastest was Harry Tincknell in the # 55 Mazda RT24-P for Mazda Motorsports.

Filipe’s co-driver in the Acura is Ricky Taylor while Pipo’s co-driver in the Caddy is Felipe Nasr. Harry shares the Mazda with Oliver Jarvis. Filipe’s time was actually faster than the track qualifying record.

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The # 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Taylor Racing - TOPS in practice
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Filipe Albuquerque
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LMP2 class - The HOT SHOE fo the class today was Mikkell Jensen in the # 52 ORECA 07 Gibson for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports with a time of 01:16.115s for a speed of 105.850mph. Mikkell got on top of Ryan Dalziel in the # 18 ORECA for ERA Motorsports by 0.881 seconds. Third fastest was Gabriel Aubrey in the # 8 ORECA for Tower Motorsport.

Mikkell shares the # 52 with Ben Keating while Ryan shares the # 18 with Dwight Merriman. Gabriel’s co-driver in the # 8 is John Farano.

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The # 52 ORECA 07 Gibson for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports - TOPS in practice
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Mikkell Jensen
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GTLM class - The RABBIT in class today was Nick Tandy in the # 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R for Corvette Racing with a time of 01:22.081s for a speed of 98.156mph. Nick topped Matt Campbell in the # 79 Porsche 911 RSR-19 for WeatherTech Racing by a teensy 0.027 seconds. Third fastest was Jordan Taylor in the # 3 Corvette for Corvette Racing.

Nick shares the # 4 Corvette with Tommy Milner while Matt shares the Porsche with Cooper MacNeil. Jordan’s co-driver in the # 3 Corvette is Antonio Garcia.

The # 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R for Corvette Racing - TOPS in practice
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Nick Tandy
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GTD class - The LEAD FOOT for the class this afternoon was Bill Auberlen in the # 96 BMW M6 GT3 for Turner Motorsport with a time of 01:24.630s for a speed of 95.200mph. Bill bested Laurens Vanthoor in the # 9 Porsche 911 GT3R for PFAFF Motorsports by 0.475 seconds. Third fastest was Bryan Sellers in the # 1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Paul Miller Racing.

Bill shares the BMW with Robby Foley while Laurens shares the Porsche with Zacharie Robichon. Madison Snow is Bryan’s co-driver in the Lamborghini.

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The # 96 BMW M6 GT3 for Turner Motorsport - TOPS in practice
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Bill Auberlen
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Saturday will start with a 2nd practice for the WeatherTech gang, after tweeking their cars overnight. That will be followed by qualifying for everyone, then followed by Race 1 for the Lambo guys and ending the day with the Michelin Pilot Challenge race.

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Saturday at Laguna Seca - The Lamborghinis qualify and then do Race 1…

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Lamborghini Super Trofeo held two qually sessions, followed by Race 1 of the weekend. Taking the WIN from pole was points-leader Richard Antinucci in the # 27 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo, 1.926-seconds over the # 16 Change Racing duo of Jeroen Mul and Stevan McAleer from their P4 start.

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Richard Antinucci
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The # 1 Prestige Performance w/ Wayne Taylor Racing Lamborghini of Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal completed the overall and Pro class podium ahead of the # 6 O’Gara Motorsport / USRT entry of Steven Aghakhani and Road to Indy ace Jake Eidson, thanks to Eidson’s last-lap pass on the # 48 Kelly-Moss Road & Race entry of Alec Udell.

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On the pole for Sunday’s Race 2 will be Danny Formal while P2 will be Antinucci and P3 will be Jake Eidson.

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Saturday at Laguna Seca - The WeatherTech gang hold a final practice and qualify…

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All four classes of the WeatherTech SprotsCar Championship series present at Monterey held practice and qualfying for Sunday’s Hyundai Monterey SportsCar Championship and we have the TOP THREE qualifiers in each class here:

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DPi class - Harry Tinknell was the fastest guy in the P2 practice in the # 55 Mazda RT24-P for Mazda Motorsports, but in qualifying it was Filipe Albuquerque who put the # 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Taylor Racing on pole with a time of 1:14.441s for a speed of 108.230mph. Starting P2 will be Dane Cameron in the # 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 while starting P3 will be Kevin Magnussen in the # 01 Cadillac DPi V.R for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Filipe’s co-driver is Ricky Taylor while Dane’s co-driver is Olivier Pla. Kevin shares the Caddy with Renger van der Zande while Harry shares the Mazda with Oliver Jarvis.

The 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Taylor Racing - on the pole
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Filipe Albuquerque
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LMP2 class - Ryan Dalziel led the P-2 practice session on speed in the # 18 ORECA 07 Gibson for Era Motorsport but for qualifying it was Ben Keating in the # 52 ORECA for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports that took pole witha time of 1:17.227s for a speed of 104.325mph. Starting P2 will be Dwight Merriman in the # 18 that he shares with Dalziel while starting 3rd will be Steven Thomas in the # 11 ORECA for WIN Autosport.

Ben shares the # 52 with Mikkell Jensen while Steven shares the # 11 with Tristan Nunez.

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The # 52 ORECA for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports - on the pole
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Ben Keating
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GTLM class - Tommy Milner topped the charts in the P-2 practice in the # 4 Corvette C8.R for Corvette Racing but getting pole later was Jordan Taylor in the sister car, the # 3 Corvette, with a time of 1:21.151s for a speed of 99.281mph. Starting P3 will be Cooper MacNeil in the # 79 Porsche 911 RSR-19 for WeatherTech Racing.

Tommy shares the # 4 with Nick Tandy while Jordan shares the # 3 with Antonio Garcia. Copper’s co-driver is Matt Campbell.

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The # 3 Corvette C8.R for Corvette Racing - on the pole
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Jordan Taylor
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GTD class, position - Topping practice today was Madison Snow in the # 1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Paul Miller Racing but pole was later taken by Trent Hindman in the # 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Wright Motorsports with a time of 1:24.505s for a speed of 95.340mph. Starting P2 will be Robby Foley in the # 96 BMW M6 GT3 for Turner Motorsport while P3 will be Roman De Angelis in the # 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 for Heart of Racing Team.

Madison shares the Lambo with Bryan Sellers while Trent shares the Porsche with Patrick Long. Robby’s co-driver is Bill Auberlen while Roman’s co-driver is Ross Gunn.

The # 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Wright Motorsports - on the pole
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Trent Hindman
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GTD class, points - When the pro-level guys came out the top guy in points was Laurens Vanthoor in the # 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R for PFAFF Motorsport with a time of 1:23.872s for a speed of 96.060mph. P2 on points was Bill Auberlen in the # 96 BMW M6 GT3 for Turner Motorsport while P3 on points went to Bryan Sellers in the # 1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Paul Miller Racing.

Laurens shares the Porsche with Zacharie Robichon while Bill shares the Bimmer with Robby Foley. Bryan’s co-driver is Madison Snow.

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The # 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R for PFAFF Motorsport - points wagen
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Laurens Vanthoor
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.The race is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

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Satruday afternoon at Laguna Seca - The Michelin gang qualify and race…

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The Michelin Pilot Challenge series held qualifying for the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 and then late in the day held the race and we have the results here:

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WINNING the race overall and in GS class were starter and pole-sitter Max Root, and IndyCar driver Jan Heylen, closing in the # 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for Wright Motorsports. P2 went to the # 4 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 of closer Indy Dontje and starter Russell Ward from their P3 start while P3 went to the sister car for Winward, the # 57 Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 of closer Alec Udell and starter Bryce Ward, from a P5 sart.

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Heylen (left) and Root - Victory
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Max Root, subbing for Ryan Hardwick, down with COVID-19, led the race from pole until the race’s only full-course caution that led to the first round of pit stops just past the 40-minute mark. Veteran Bill Auberlen took over the lead in the # 95 BMW M4 GT4 for Turner Motorsports, from co-driver Dillon Machavern’s P2 start. Heylen, now in the Porsche, pursued Auberlen during the second half of the race until Auberlen drifted off course in Turn 6, allowing Jan to make the race-winning pass with 38 minutes left in the two-hour race. Auberlen’s car immediately took a flat right rear tire, and the trip to the pits had the Bimmer end the day in P14.

This is Jan’s 4th podium on the year but first WIN, allowing him to get ever closer to points-leaders Auberlen and Machavern.

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In TCR class the WINNERS were closer Mark Wilkins and starter starter Harry Gottsacker in the # 33 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR, from their P3 start, while taking P2 were closer Parker Chase and IndyCar driver Ryan Norman, starting in the # 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR, from their P5 start. Completing the sweep for BHA, third place went to closer Michael Lewis and starter Taylor Hagler, all the way from their P11 start in the # 77 BHA Hyundai Veloster N TCR. Lewis and Hagler hold a 180-point lead over Chase with two races remaining.

Wilkins made the pass on leader Parker Chase in the final minutes of the race, after the two Elantras battled to the front and then battled each other for much of the contest.

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The TCR class podium - all Bryan Herta Autosport and all Hyundai - That’s left to right, Parker Chase & Ryan Norman in P2, Harry Gottsacker & Mark Wilkins in P1 and Taylor Hagler & Michael Lewis in P3:

TCR POdium

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The next outing for the Michelin Pilot Challenge series will be at VIRginia International Raceway for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, October 8-10.

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This was the last on-track activity of the day

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Sunday at Laguna Seca - the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race results…

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In DPI class and overall the WINNERS were Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque in the # 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Taylor Racing. P2 were Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen in the # 01 Cadillac DPI V.R for Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing. P3 went to Felipe Nasr and IndyCar driver Pipo Derani in the # 31 Whelen Cadillac for Action Express.

Ricky Taylor (left) and Filipe Albuquerque
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In LMP2 class the WINNERS were Ben Keating and Mikkell Jensen for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports in the # 52 ORECA 07 Gibson. P2 went to John Farano and Gabriel Aubrey in the # 8 ORECA for Tower Motorsports while P3 went to Steven Thomas and Tristan Nunez in the # 11 ORECA for WIN Autosport.

Ben Keating (left) and Mikkell Jensen
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In GTLM class the WINNERS were Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy in the # 4 Corvette C8.R for Corvette Racing. P2 went to Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the sister car, the # 3 Corvette while P3 went to Cooper MacNeil and Matt Campbell in the # 79 Porsche 911 RSR-19 for WeatherTech Racing.

Tommy Milner (left) and Nick Tandy
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Finally, in GTD class the WINNERS were Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon in the # 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R for PFAFF Motorsports. P2 went to Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow in the # 1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Paul Miller Racing while P3 went to Trent Hindman and Patrick Long in the # 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Wright Motorsports.

Laurens Vanthoor (left) and Zacharie Robichon
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With these results, the DPi class points leaders are Albuquerque and Taylor. The LMP2 class points leqaders are Keating and Jensen. The GTLM class points leaders are Garcia and Taylor. The GTD class points leaders are Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley for Turner Motorsport. Auberlen and Foley finished the race in P4.

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Next up for the WeatherTech gang will be the Acura Grand Prix at Long Beach, in conjunction with the IndyCar season finale. Classes will be DPi, GTLM and GTD. It all happens September 24-25, and hopefully we will NOT be flying that weekend!

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On Sunday IndyCar released their 2022 race schedule…

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…and we have the graphic here. It shows 17 scheduled races and 14 of them will be on NBC broadcast - the most ever on a broadcast network for the series. Two additional races will be on NBC’s USA network and the last of the 17 will be on NBC’s streaming channel, Peacock.

All the races will also be available LIVE on Peacock’s premium channel, as will practices and qualifying, except for the Indy 500, where qualifying over two days will be on NBC network.

Here you go:

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Here’s what’s evident:

  • Including the Indy 500, there are 5 oval races on the schedule, including a return to the 7/8ths-mile Iowa Speedway - one of the series’ most popular races. Making it even better, it is a double-header weekend - The only one on the schedule.

  • There are two races at the IMS Road Course, but they are not a double-header, being some 10 weeks apart.

  • There are 5 street course, including the (hopeful) return of Toronto to the schedule. If for some reason Toronto doesn’t return (again) there is speculation that Detroit - now a single race weekend - may be asked to hold a double. No confirmation of that, of course. IndyCar must and will insist that Toronto will be there. Cross your fingers.

  • The remaining 7 races are all natural road courses, including the season finale at Laguna Seca - a great venue to finish the season, if last weekend’s race is any indication.

  • It takes a while to crank up the action as the first 4 races are separated by 3 weeks apiece, but after Barber most races are either one or two weeks apart.

  • Unfortunately, the race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway conflicts with the 12 Hours of Sebring, so the IndyCar drivers who always enhance that event will not be there.

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When we get the Road to Indy schedules for 2022, we will see where and how they compliment this schedule.

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