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

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Sunday morning at Road America - The USF Juniors do it again in Race 2…

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The Juniors put on yet another nail-biter and Velocity Racing Development once again swept the podium with their three drivers, but this time in a different order from Race 1. Taking the WIN was Nikita Johnson from his P5 start. P2 went to teammate Sam Corry from pole while P3 went to teammate Alessandro De Tullio from his P3 start.

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Sam Corry led the field to the green flag from pole on lap 1 and immediately Andre Castro for International Motorsport was by Nikita Johnson to take P5 from him, but before the cars were past Turn 5 Johnson respond and not only recovered P5 but also passed in order P4-starter Ethan Ho for DC Autosport w/Cape Motorsports, Alessandro De Tullio and then P2-starter Mac Clark for DEForce Racing to find himself in P2 behind Sam. Ho fell to P7 behind Jeremy Fairbairn for Crosslink Kiwi Motorsports. Sam Corry set Fastest Lap out front to try to get away. On lap 2 Alessandro set Fastest Lap as he passed Mac to take over P3. Eliott Cox for Sarah Fisher Hartman Driver Development passed Ethan Ho and Jeremy Fairbairn to wind up in P6. Jeremy followed through to P7. Alan Isambard for International took the P10 spot from Ethan Barker for Barker Racing. On lap 3 Jeremy responded to Eliott and reclaimed P6 with Ethan Ho following through to P7. Mac Clark set Fastest Lap from P4, trying to catch Alessandro. Nikita Johnson closed the 1 second gap to Sam and brought it down to 0.2 seconds.

On lap 4 Eliott tried a pass on Jeremy in Turn 5 but went off with damage. He motored around to the pits, out of the race. Then, two battles developed for the lead as Sam and Nikita went nose-to-tail and a few seconds back Alessandro and Mac also went nose-to-tail. At the start of lap 6 Nikita was able to go to P1 on the front straight and Mac was able to go to P3 on the front straight. The cars stayed nose-to-tail around the 4-mile circuit. On the start of lap 7 Sam retook P1 on the front straight and Sandro retook P3 on the front straight. As the cars approached Turn 5 Nikita pulled inside Sam and took P1 back again. Alan Isambard passed Ethan Ho for P6. At the end of the lap Mac pulled ahead of Sandro as they climbed the front straight to retake P3. On lap 8 Ethan Ho once again claimed P6 from Alan Isambard.

On lap 9 there was a 4-second gap between the P1 / P2 fight and the P3 / P4 fight. At Canada Corner Alessandro reclaimed P3 from Mac. The final lap, lap 10, saw the two battles continue nose-to-tail all the way around the track. As the leaders crossed the finish line Nikita was only 0.087 seconds ahead of Sam. Five seconds later, Alessandro crossed the line an even smaller 0.027 seconds ahead of Mac.

Another incredible race and finish for the Juniors!

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Nikita beats Sam to the line
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…and Alessandro beats Mackenzie to the line!
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Notable:

  • This is Nikita Johnson’s first WIN in the series. He has three P2s prior and three P3s, as well. Johnson has finished in the TOP SIX in all but 1 race this year.

  • The P3 for Alessandro puts him 2 points closer to points-leader Mac Clark - a 27 point gap. The title chase is closing up! The trouble for Mac Clark is he is the lone DEForce Racing driver at the top while he has to battle with all three Velocity Racing Development guys, at one time or another. He needs to stay ahead of De Tullio most, but the others are causing him to lose points, too.

  • The Juniors are turning out to be the most consistently thrilling series in the Road to Indy. The racing rivals anything out there, today, even if the racecraft is still very raw, and the drivers are showing a lot more racing respect for one another than one would expect, leading to great racing.

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Your happy team VRD podium sweep - That’s Sam Corry in P2 on the left, Nikita Johnson in P1 in the middle and Alessandro De Tullio in P3 on the right:

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Race 3 will come off this afternoon just before 2:00pm. We will post the grid when that information is released.

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UPDATE!

Following the technical inspection after the race Alessandro De Tullio’s car was disqualified for reasons unknown, which elevates Canadian Mac Clark to the P3 position. It also removes Alessandro’s P3 points, which puts Sam Corry in 2nd place, 39 points back of Mac Clark.

Mac Clark - P3
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Sunday at Road America - The Grid for Race 3 for the USF Juniors is set…

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The grid was set using either the driver’s 2nd best qualifying lap or his/her best Race 2 lap, whichever was faster.

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Here is the way USF Juniors will grid for Season Round 13: all drivers are series rookies

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Row 1

Pole - Sam Corry [R], Velocity Racing Development
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P2 - Mac Clark [R], DEForce Racing
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Row 2

P3 - Alessandro De Tullio [R], Velocity Racing Development
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P4 - Nikita Johnson [R], Velocity Racing Development
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Row 3

P5 - Ethan Ho [R], DC Autosport w/ Cape Motorsports
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P6 - Alan Isambard [R], International Motorsport
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Row 4

P7 - Jeremy Fairbairn [R], Crosslink Kiwi Motorsports
P8 - Quinn Armstrong [R], DEForce Racing

Row 5

P9 - Giorgio Carrara [R], International Motorsport
P10 - Ethan Barker [R], Barker Racing

Row 6

P11 - Andre Castro [R], International Motorsport
P12 - Maxwell Jamieson [R], DEForce Racing

Row 7

P13 - Elliot Cox [R], Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development
P14 - Titus Sherlock [R], Crosslink Kiwi Motorsports

Row 8

P15 - Jake Bonilla [R], DEForce Racing
P16 - Maite Cáceres [R], International Motorsports

Row 9

P17 - Jacob Bolen [R], IGY6 Motorsports

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Notable:

  • This is Sam Corry’s 2nd career pole - his first being the Race 2 pole.

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Sam Corry
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The ten-lapper is set to start at 1:50 CENTRAL time.

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Sunday at Road America - VRD does it again in Race 3…

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Velocity Racing Development once again swept the podium in Race 3 and again, just barely. This time it was Alessandro De Tullio taking the top spot from his P3 start. P2 went to teammate Sam Corry from his pole position while P3 went to teammate Nikita Johnson from his P4 start.

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The first lap was waved off as the starter didn’t like the speed of the field as it came to the start / finish line. As the race started on lap 2 Sam Corry got a good leap off pole to get away. He soon set Fastest Lap. Jeremy Fairbairn for Crosslink Kiwi Mortorsports took P5 from Ethan Ho for DC Autosport w/ Cape Motorsports. Giorgio Carrara for International Motorsport passed Quinn Armstrong for DEForce Racing for P8 and Andre Castro for International followed through to take P7. Castro and Ethan Barker for Barker Racing then touched in Canada Corner, with Barker going off and getting stuck, bringing out a full-course caution. It took a while to get Ethan out of there.

On the lap 6 restart Sam again got a good jump and cleared the field. Alessandro passed Mac Clark on the front straight for P2. Nikita Johnson tried to follow through and he and Mac banged wheels twice going down the hill. They raced down the Moraine Sweep side-by-side and Nikita finally took P3 in Turn 5. Sam reset Fastest Lap. On lap 7 Jeremy Fairbairn passed Mac on the front straight to put the Canadian back in P5. A big scrum developed for places P6 to P12 on the front straight as first Giorgio Carrara and Andre Castro both passed Alan Isambard for International, putting him in P9 just as Jake Bonilla for DEForce and Jacob Bolen for IGY6 Motorsports both got by Quinn Armstrong, putting him in P12. Alessandro now set Fastest Lap in pursuit of Sam in first place.

On lap 8 it paid off and Sandro caught Sam took P1 on the front straight. Meanwhile, Giorgio and Andre moved again, going to P6 and P7 respectively, past Ethan Ho. Quinn Armstrong recovered P11 from Jacob Bolen. The huge scrum of cars continued. On lap 9 Alessandro and Sam started to get way away from the pack, but running nose-to-tail to each other. The scrum was now positions P3 to P9 and almost indistinguishable from each other - a mad pack. Within the scrum, Mac was able to get into P4 past Jeremy and Giorgio followed through to take P5 as Alan Isambard took P8 from Ethan Ho. On the final lap, lap 10, Alessandro was able to stay 0.111 seconds ahead of Sam at the line to take the WIN. The mad pack arrived about 5 seconds later and at the line Nikita took P3 from Mac by 0.019 seconds! Andre Casto also took Jeremey Fairbairn at the line for P6 and Ethan Ho recovered P8 from Alan Isambard.

Fantastic, close racing throughout the field to the final inches of asphalt!

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Notable:

  • Alessandro recovered some of what he lost with the DSQ of Race 2 (see post # 1801), and Sam Corry was able to bite somewhat into Mac Clark’s points lead, but the lead is still formidable at 30 points.

  • Andre Castro is 5th in the points but is now mathematically eliminated from the title chase, with only three races left in the season.

  • With the sweep of the podium Velocity Racing Development has already secured the Team Championship for this inaugural season with three races still to go. A HUGE congrats to those guys!

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Your happy podium - That’s Sam Corry in P2 on the left, Alessandro De Tullio in P1 in the middle and Nikita Johnson in P3 on the right:

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Points have yet to be awarded, but our calculations put them with the TOP FOUR leaving Road America looking like this:

1 - Mac Clark, 324
2 - Sam Corry, 293
3 - Alessandro De Tullio, 284
4 - Nikita Johnson, 274

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The USF Juniors will now take a month and a half off and then close out their great inaugural season with a triple-header at Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, September 16-18. We can hardly wait!

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Let’s catch up with Josef Newgarden’s “Admit 1” series…

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…this edition is the one from the Iowa double-header which was both great and bad for Newgarden:

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A WIN followed by a DNF and a medical problem. What the vid doesn’t show is that Newgarden was looked at and released by the Infield Medical Center, following the shunt shown at the end, but later fainted and hit his head on the asphalt. That triggered a ride to the hospital for more extensive testing and the kick-in of the IndyCar mandated concussion protocols, putting his appearance in the next weekend’s Gallagher Grand Prix at risk.

He was eventually cleared to drive, as the next “Admit 1” obviously shows. That’s upcoming…

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Josef Newgarden’s “Admit 1” offering from Indianapolis…

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As promised, here is the very latest edition of Josef’s season-long series, this one from the last weekend event at the Indianapolis Road Couse, where the IndyCars shared the track with NASCAR for the Gallagher Grand Prix:

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It was a static day for Josef. He finished where he started. That leaves him still third in the points, heading to Nashville, this coming weekend.

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This weekend, IMSA invades Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for…

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…The Fastlane SportsCar weekend at Road America. This event will feature the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series - all five classes - with support from the Michelin Pilot Challenge series, the Porsche Carrera Cup North America series and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series…and there will be IndyCar drivers in all four series.

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There’s no better place to hold a race weekend than at the “National Park of Speed” and IMSA has been coming here for decades, holding great racing on the 4-mile 14-turn track

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Let’s see which IndyCar drivers are going to be racing at Road America, starting wit the WeatherTech gang:

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DPi class - Sebastien Bourdais already has WINs at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Detroit Grand Prix and the SportsCar Grand Prix at CTMP in the # 01 Cadillac DPi V.R for Chip Ganassi’s Cadillac Racing. His co-driver is Renger van der Zande.

Sebastien Bourdais
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Former Indy Lights Champion Tristan Vautier will drive the # 5 Cadillac for JDC Miller MotorSports with Brit Richard Westbrook as his co-driver.

Tristan Vautier
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Former Indy Pro 2000 driver Pipo Derani is one of the drivers in the # 31 Whelen-sponsored Cadillac for Action Express, with Olivier Pla also in the car.

Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani
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LMP2 class - We have an exciting young talent emerging in LMP2 as 16-year-old phenom Josh Pierson from USF2000 in the Road to Indy has joined with co-driver Patrick Kelly in the # 52 ORECA 07 Gibson for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports. Josh is already a race WINNER this year in the WEC.

Josh Pierson
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Storied veteran of IndyCars, NASCAR Cup cars, Formula One cars and SportsCars Juan Pablo Montoya is a co-driver with Henrik Hedman in the # 81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA 07 Gibson.

Juan Pablo Montoya
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LMP3 class - Canadian Indy Lights alum Garett Grist will share the # 30 Ligier JS P320 for Jr III Racing with Ari Balogh.

Garett Grist
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Indy Lights alum and SRO SportsCar Champion Jarett Andretti will drive the # 36 Ligier for Andretti Autosport with former Indy Lights Champ and IndyCar driver Gabby Chaves.

Jarett Andretti (left) and Gabby Chaves
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Former Indy Lights driver and former PC class Champion James French will share the # 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 with Dan Goldburg.

James French
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Multi-junior formula champion and Road to Indy ace Dakota Dickerson will take on the # 58 Ligier JS P320 for MLT Motorsports with co-driver Josh Sarchet.

Dakota Dickerson
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In GTD Pro class - former Indy Pro 2000 Champion and IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth shares the driver duties in the Vasser Sullivan # 14 Lexus RCF GT3 with fellow Britain Ben Barnicoat.

Jack Hawksworth
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Road to Indy ace Connor de Phillippi shares the # 25 BMW M4 GT3 for BMW M Team RLL with John Edwards. Connor has a WIN at the Nurburgring recently in a similar BMW M4, driving for ROWE Racing with Augusto Farfus

Connor De Phillippi
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GTD class - another former Indy Pro 2000 Champion, Aaron Telitz is a co-driver in the # 12 Vasser Sullivan RCF GT3 with co-driver Frankie Montecalvo.

Aaron Telitz
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Wright Motorsports boasts much-heralded former IndyCar driver Jan Heylen in the # 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R with co-driver Ryan Hardwick. Jan and Ryan WON the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year, with help from Richard Lietz and Zacharie Robichon.

Jan Heylen
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Indy Lights race WINNER Robert Megennis is a co-driver in the # 39 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for CarBahn with Peregrine Racing with co-driver Jeff Westphal.

Rob Megennis
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  • The Michelin Pilot Challenge series has a few former IndyCar guys and they are all in the Touring Car class:

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Former Indy Lights race WINNER and former TCR class Champion Ryan Norman drives the # 2 Hyundai Elantra N TCR for Bryan Herta Autosport with co-driver AJ Muss.

Ryan Norman
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IndyCar driver and paraplegic Robert Wickens drives the # 33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR for Bryan Herta Autosport using hand controls. His co-driver in the car is fellow Canadian Mark Wilkins. These guys already have two WINS on the season.

Robert Wickens
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Using similar hand controls, former Indy Pro 2000 driver and another paraplegic, Michael Johnson, drives the # 54 Hyundai Elantra N TCR for Michael Johnson Racing w/Bryan Herta Autosport. His co-driver is Stephen Simpson and they are coming off a podium at Lime Rock.

Michael Johnson
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  • The Porsche Carrera Cup North America series has 3 former Road to Indy drivers in it. They are:

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Road to Indy Shootout participant and former Porsche Cup Challenge USA Champ Trenton Estep drives the # 6 Porsche 992 Cup car for MDK Motorsports. Trenton is coming off two WINS at Toronto, sweeping the weekend.

Trenton Estep
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Road to Indy multiple ace Parker Thompson drives the # 9 Porsche 992 for JDX Racing. Parker already has 7 podiums on the season, including two WINS, and he comes to Road America 2nd in the points.

Parker Thompson
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TJ Fischer is another Road to Indy veteran with success this season, driving the # 58 Porsche for Topp Racing and collecting two podiums at Long Beach.

TJ Fischer
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  • Lamborghini Super Trofeo only has 1 indyCar guy and it is current Indy Pro 2000 driver Jordan Missig, who drives there for Pabst Racing. This weekend, Jordan is in the Pro class # 53 Wayne Taylor Racing / Prestige Performance Lambo with Aidan Yoder. We’ll keep an eye on Jordan and let you know how he’s doing.

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Jordan Missig
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We are primarily watching the IndyCar event at Nashville, this weekend, and there is a separate thread for that, but we will try to drop in here from time to time to keep abreast of the IMSA doings at Road America, so check in.

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Thursday is a day of 1st practice for the Porsche guys, the Lambos and the Michelin Pilot Challenge gang.

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Thursday at Road America - Practice begins…

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There was a P-1 session for the Porsche Carrera Cup gang, one for the Lamborghini Super Trofeo guys and one for both classes of the Michelin Pilot Challenge series and we have the TOP THREE in each series here: (NOTE that the MPC race is a 4-hour enduro, so there will sometimes be three drivers to a car).

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TOPPING the P-1 session for the Porsche Carrera Cup North America series was Riley Dickinson for Kelly-Moss Road & Race with a time of 2:09.715 seconds in the # 53 Porsche 992. He bested teammate and points-leader Kay van Berlo by 0.546 seconds. Michael McCarthy made it a Kelly-Moss sweep, having set the third quickest time in his # 7 Porsche - best showing of the year for him.

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The # 53 Porsche 992 for Kelly-Moss Road & Race - TOPS in P-1
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Riley Dickinson
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In Lamborghini Super Trofeo the TOP TIME in the P1 session was turned in by Pro-Am class driver Patrick Liddy in the # 8 O’Gara Motorsport / Change Racing / USRT Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2, with a time of 2:06.243 seconds. Liddy was 0.151 seconds quicker than the # 27 Dream Racing Lamborghini of Edoardo Liberati, who was second quickest overall and the fastest of the Pro class guys. Billy Johnson was third in his Pro class # 71 TPC Racing Lamborghini. Our guy Jordan Missig was 7th in Pro class in the # 53 for Wayne Taylor Racing / Prestige Performance

Patrick shares the # 8 with Damon Ockey while Edoardo shares the # 27 with Dario Capitanio. Jordan’s co-driver in the # 53 is Aidan Yoder while Billy drives solo in the # 71.

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The # 8 O’Gara Motorsport / Change Racing / USRT Lamborghini Huracan - TOPS in P-1
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Patrick Liddy
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In the Grand Sport class of the Michelin Pilot Challenge series the TOP time of the P-1 session went to Alec Udell in the # 66 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport for Kelly-Moss Road & Race with a time of 2:16.831 seconds. Alec topped Bill Auberlen in the #. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 by 0.035 seconds. The # 14 Riley Motorsports Toyota GR Supra GT4 of Thiago Camilo came in third quickest.

Alec shares the Porsche with David Brule while Bill shares the Bimmer with Dillon Machavern. Thiago’s co-drivers in the Toyota are Javier Quiros and Alfredo Najri.

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The # 66 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport for K-M Road & Race - TOPS in P-1
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Alec Udell
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In the Touring Car class for the MPC the TOP time of the practice session was posted by Jon Morley in the # 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi RS 3 LMS TCR - a 2:20.544 second lap late in the session. He bested Denis Dupont in the #15 Belgard & Techniseal Racing Audi TCR by 0.286 seconds. Third was Karl Wittmer in the # 99 Honda Civic Type-R TCR for Victor Gonzalez Racing Team.

Jon shares the # 61 Audi with Gavin Ernstone while Denis shares the # 15 Audi with Eric Rockwell and Nick Looijmans. Karl’s co-driver is Victor Gonzalez.

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The # 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi RS 3 LMS TCR - TOPS in P-1
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Jon Morley
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On Friday there will be a second round of practice for these three series, two practice session for the WeatherTech gang and qualifying for both the Lambos and the Porsches.

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Friday at Road America - Porsche Carrera Cup goes for P-2 and qualifying…

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The guys from Porsche Carrera Cup North America had their 2nd practice session and then qualified for the weekend. We have the TOPS in practice and the TOP THREE qualifiers here:

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TOPPING all the practice of the weekend so far was Road to Indy ace Parker Thompson in the # 9 Porsche 992 for JDX Racing, but when it came time to go for the pole it was Nederlander and points-leader Kay van Berlo for Kelly-Moss Road & Race who took the pole in the # 3 Porsche with a time of 2:08.061s for a speed of 113.795mph. Kay bested his own teammate Riley Dickinson in the # 53 Porsche by 0.257 seconds. Parker will start 3rd on the grid in the # 9 Porsche for Race 1

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The # 3 Porsche for Kelly-Moss Road & Race - On the pole
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Kay van Berlo
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Race 1 for the PCCNA will be early Saturday, just following qualifying for the Michelin Pilot Challenge gang.

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UPDATE!

Following post-qualifying technical inspection, both Kelly-Moss Road & Race cars were disqualified for infractions. That elevates Road to Indy ace Parker Thompson to pole position in the # 9 Porsche for JDX Racing. Road to Indy alum Trenton Estep is elevated to a P2 start in the # 6 for MDK Motorsports and Michael McCarthy in the # 7 Porsche for Kelly-Moss will start 3rd.

The # 9 for JDX Racing - on the revised pole
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Parker Thompson
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Friday at Road America - Lamborghini Super Trofeo goes for P-2 and qualifying…

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The Lamborghini guys also had a 2nd practice session, followed by their qualifying session of the weekend and we have the TOPS in practice plus the TOP THREE qualifiers for Race 1 of the weekend:

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TOPPING the P-2 practice session was Pro class driver Danny Formal in the # 1 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2 for Wayne Taylor Racing / Prestige Performance, and that speed later translated into pole for Danny with a time of 2:06.141s for a speed of 115.527mph. Danny beat out Patrick Liddy in the Pro/Am class # 8 O’Gara Motorsport / Change Racing / USRT Lamborghini by 0.402 seconds. Starting 3rd will be Sebastian Carazo in the Pro/Am class # 47 Lambo for Precision Performance Motorsports. IndyCar driver Jordan Missig qualified 7th in the Pro Class # 53 for WTR / PP.

Danny shares the # 1 Lambo with Kyle Marcelli while Patrick shares the # 8 Lambo with Damon Ockey. Sebastian’s co-driver in the # 47 Lambo is Bryan Ortiz. Jordan’s co-driver is Aidan Yoder

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The # 1 Lamborghini Huracan for Wayne Taylor Racing / Prestige Performance - on pole
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Danny Formal
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Race 1 for the Lamborghini Super Trofeo gang starts mid-morning on Saturday, following the PCCNA race.

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Friday at Road America - The Michelin Pilot Challenge gang hold their 2nd practice…

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The MPC had their P-2 session today in anticipation of Saturday morning qualifying for their 4-hour endurance race on Saturday afternoon. We have the TOP THREE in practice for each class, here:

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GS class - TOPPING all the practice so far this weekend was young Luca Mars in the # 60 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 with a time of 2:16.595s for a speed of 106.685mph. Luca bested Spencer Pumpelly in the # 83 Porsche 718 GT4 RS C for BGB Motorsports by 0.129 seconds. Third quickest was Robby Foley in the # 96 BMW M4 GT4 for Turner Motorsport.

Luca shares the Mustang with Nate Stacy while Spencer shares the Porsche with Thomas Collingwood and John Tecce. Robby’s co-driver is Vincent Barletta.
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The # 60 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 - TOPS in the P-2 session
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Luca Mars
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TCR class - TOPS in the P-2 session was Karl Wittmer in the # 99 Victor Gonzalez Racing Team Honda Civic FK7 TCR with a time of 2:20.795s for a speed of 103.503mph. Karl bested Rory van der Steur in the # 19 Hyundai Veloster N TCR for Van der Steur Racing by a healthy 1.253 seconds. Third quickest was Tim Lewis in the # 5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR for KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering.

Karl shares the Honda with Victor Gonzalez while Rory shares the Veloster with Tyler Gonzalez. Tim’s co-driver in the Alfa is Roy Block.

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The # 99 Victor Gonzalez Racing Team Honda Civic FK7 TCR - TOPS in P-2
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Karl Wittmer
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Michelin Pilot Challenge will be first on the track Saturday morning to qualify and then they will hold their enduro using most of the afternoon.

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Friday at Road America - the WeatherTech gang holds their two practice sessions…

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All five classes of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series came out for their P-1 session in the late morning and then came out again in the afternoon for their P-2 session. We have the TOP THREE in practice for each class for the day, here:

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DPi class - TOPPING the day was Alex Lynn in the # 02 Cadillac DPi V.R for Cadillac Racing with a P-2 session time of 1:49.321 seconds. Alex bested his teammate IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais’ P-2 time in the # 01 Caddy by 0.253 seconds. Third quickest was Filipe Albuquerque in the # 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Talor Racing with his own P-2 time.

Alex shares the # 02 caddy with Kiwi Earl Bamber while Seb shares the # 01 Caddy with Nederlander Renger van der Zande. Filipe’s co-driver in the Acura is Ricky Taylor.

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The # 02 Cadillac DPi V.R for Cadillac Racing - TOPS in practice
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Alex Lynn
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LMP2 class - TOPPING practice for the day was Ryan Dalziel in the # 18 ORECA 07 Gibson for Era Motorsport with a P-1 session time of 1:52.147 seconds. Ryan beat out the P-1 session time of Tristan Nunez in the # 11 ORECA of PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports by 0.732 seconds. Third quickest was IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya in the # 81 ORECA for DragonSpeed with his P-2 session time.

Ryan shares the # 18 with Dwight Merriman while Tristan shares the # 11 with Steven Thomas. JPM’s co-driver is Henrik Hedman.

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The # 18 ORECA 07 Gibson for Era Motorsport - TOPS in practice
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Ryan Dalziel
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LMP3 class - TOPS for the day in practice was IndyCar driver Gabby Chaves with his P-2 session time of 2:00.039 seconds in the # 36 Ligier JS P320 for Andretti Autosport. Gabby beat out Malthe Jakobsen’s P-1 time in the # 33 Ligier for Sean Creech Motorsport by 0.400 seconds. Third quickest was Scott Andrews with a P-2 session time in the # 90 Duqueine D08 for JDC-Miller Motorsports.

Gabby shares the # 36 Ligier with Indy Lights driver Jarett Andretti while Malthe shares the # 33 Ligier with Joao Barbosa. Scott’s co-driver in the Duqueine is Gerry Kraut.

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The # 36 Ligier JS P320 for Andretti Autosport - TOPS in practice
AndrettiAutosport#36LigierJSP320-300-

Gabby Chaves
05-31-Chaves-On-Pitlane-Indy500_zpsfpazvvuo

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GTD Pro class - TOPPING the practice for the day was Indy Pro 2000 Champ and IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth with his P-2 session time of 2:05.968 seconds in the # 14 Lexus RCF GT3 for Vasser Sullivan. Jack bested the P-1 session time of Road to Indy ace Connor De Phillippi in the # 25 BMW M4 GT3 for BMW GT Team RLL by 0.669 seconds. Third quickest was Matt Campbell with his P-1 session time in the # 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R for PFAFF Motorsports.

Jack’s co-driver in the Lexus is Ben Barnicoat while Connor’s co-driver in the Bimmer is John Edwards. Matt shares the Porsche with Matthieu Jaminet.

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The # 14 Lexus RCF GT3 for Vasser Sullivan - TOPS in practice
VasserSullivanLexusRCFGT3#14-300-

Jack Hawksworth
JackHawksworth150-6

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GTD class - TOPS for the day was the other Vasser Sullivan IndyCar guy, Indy Pro 2000 Champ Aaron Telitz whose P-2 session time in the # 12 Lexus RCF GT3 was 2:05.975 seconds - right below Jack Hawksworth’s GTD Pro class time on the charts. Aaron beat out the P-1 time of Indy Lights race WINNER Rob Megennis in the # 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Lamboghiini Huracan GT3 by 0.391 seconds. Third quickest for the day was the P-1 session time of Jaden Conwright in the # 42 NTE / SSR Lamborghini.

Aaron shares the Lexus with Frankie Montecalvo while Rob shares the # 39 Lambo with Jeff Westphal. Jaden’s co-driver in the # 42 bull is Marco Holzer.

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The # 12 Lexus RCF GT3 for Vasser Sullivan - TOPS in pracrtice
VasserSullivanLexusRCFGT3#12-300-

Aaron Telitz
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On tap for Saturday is first qualifying for the Michelin Pilot Challenge race, then Race 1 for both the Porsches and the Lambos. Then, the WeatherTech gang will qualify. Lastly, the MPC will hold their enduro, the Road America 240.

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Saturday morning at Road America - The Michelin Pilot Challenge gang qualify…

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…for the Road America 240 four-hour enduro, to be held later today, and we have the TOP THREE qualifiers in both classes:

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Grand Sport Class - The speed that 16-year-old Luca Mars showed in the # 60 Ford Mustang GT4 for KohR Motorsports on Friday afternoon translated in to pole this morning for the car, with a time of 2:16.905s for a speed of 106.444mph. Luca bested Kenton Koch in the # 56 Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 for Murillo Racing by 0.289 seconds. Starting third in class will be Billy Johnson in the other KohR Mustang, the # 59.

Lucas shares the # 60 Mustang with Nate Stacy while Kenton shares the Mercedes with Eric Foss. Billy’s co-driver in the # 59 Mustang will be Californian Bob Michaelian.

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The # 60 Ford Mustang GT4 for KohR Motorsports - on the pole in GS class
KohRMotorsportsMustangGT4-300-

Luca Mars
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Touring Car class - Tim Lewis was TOP THREE in speed in practice for the day on Friday and that speed put him onto pole for the start of Saturday’s race in the # 5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR for KMW Motorsports w/ TMR Engineering with a lap time of 2:19.722s for a speed of 104.298mph. Tim beat out Chad Gilsinger in the # 89 Honda Civic FK7 TCR for HART (Honda of America Race Team) by 0.309 seconds. Starting third on the grid will be Tyler Gonzalez in the # 19 Hyundai Veloster N TCR for Van der Steur Racing.

Tim shares the little Alfa with Roy Block while Chad shares the Honda with Steve Eich and Ryan Eversley. Tyler’s co-driver in the Veloster is Rory van der Steur.

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The # 5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR for KMW Motorsports w/ TMR Engineering - on the pole in TCR class:
KMWMotorsportsw-TMREngineeringAlfa300-1

Tim Lewis
TimLewis150-2

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The race is scheduled for start at 2:15 EASTERN time and can be seen on Peacock Premium.

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Saturday morning at Road America - The Porsche Carrera Cup Race 1…

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…was WON from the revised pole by Road to Indy ace driver Parker Thompson, who led all 15 laps for JDX Racing. P2 went to another Road to Indy alum, Trenton Estep for MDK Racing from his P2 start while P3 went to Michael McCarthy for Kelly-Moss Road & Race from his P3 start.

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parkerWIN

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Thompson was the fastest in practice for the race but was held up by traffic during qualifying and was slated to start third, but in post-qualifying tech, both pole-sitter Kay van Berlo and P2 starter Riley Dickinson were disqualified for infractions in their Kelly-Moss mounts, elevating Thompson to pole.

In the race Parker was hunted by Trenton Estep from the start while van Berlo and Dickinson did their best to recover from their back-of-the-field starts. An accident by Dominique Lequeux in the # 30 Goldcrest Motorsports Porsche at the Kink saw nearly half of the 40-minute race run behind the safety car. On the restart, Thompson got a great jump and increased his lead over Estep. He crossed the line 1.094 seconds ahead of Trenton. This is Parker’s 3rd WIN of the season and 8th podium and helps him close the points to van Berlo, who finished an impressive P4. Dickinson also recovered to P7.

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Your happy podium - That’s Trenton Estep in P2 on the left, Parker Thompson in P1 in the middle and Michael McCarthy in p3 on the right:

PodiumPorsche

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The Porsche Carrera Cup North America will hold Race 2 on Sunday morning where Parker should again start on pole, with Estep in P2 and McCarthy once again in P3. Van Berlo and Dickinson will again start from the rear of the field.

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Saturday at Road America - the Lamborghinis hold Race 1 of the weekend…

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Pro class closer Giano Taurino and starter Loris Spinelli claimed victory for Taurino Racing by D Motorsports from their P7 start in the # 88 Lamborghini in a race that had its fair share of caution, including the last laps. Pole-sitter Danny Formal and closer Kyle Marcelli took P2 for the Pro class # 1 Lambo for Wayne Taylor Racing / Prestige Performance while P3 went to the Pro class # 50 for O’Gara Motorsport / Change Racing / USRT with starter Patrick Kujala and closer Edoardo Piscopo on board.

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LamboWINNER

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A long early caution extended the pit window of the first stint and that allowed Spinelli to go long as the leaders pitted, which gave him the eventual lead of the race. After the restart there was only about 15 minutes of racing in what remained of the race, due to another two lengthy cautions. Indy Pro 2000 driver Jordan Missig and closer Aiden Yoder started the day in P9 in the Pro class # 53 Lambo for Wayne Taylor Racing / Prestige Performance and ended the race in P7.

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Giano Torino (left) and Loris Spinelli for the WIN
GianoTorino150-1LorisSpinelli150-1

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Race 2 for the Lamborghinis will be held on Sunday afternoon - last event of the day.

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Saturday at Road America - the WeatherTech gang qualify for Sunday’s race…

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All five classes of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series qualified this afternoon for Sunday’s Fastlane SportsCar Weekend and we have the TOP THREE in each class, here:

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DPi class - taking pole with a near-record lap was Filipe Albuquerque in the # 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Taylor Racing with a time of 1:48.915s for a speed of 133.799mph. Filipe bested Alex Lynn in the # 02 Cadillac DPi V.R for Cadillac Racing by 0.182 seconds. Starting third will be Tom Blomqvist in the # 60 Acura for Meyer Shank Racing.

Filipe’s co-driver in the # 10 Acura is Ricky Taylor while Alex shares the # 02 Caddy with Earl Bamber and Tom shares the # 60 Acura with Oliver Jarvis.

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The # 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Taylor Racing - on the pole
DPiWINNERS

Filipe Albuquerque
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LMP2 class - It was Steven Thomas in the # 11 ORECA 07 Gibson that took pole for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports with a time of 1:54.137s for a speed of 127.677mph. Steven beat out teammate Patrick Kelly in the # 52 Oreca by 0.134 seconds. Starting third will be Dwight Merriman in the # 18 ORECA for Era Motorsports.

Steven shares the # 11 ORECA with Tristan Nunez while Patrick shares the # 52 with 16-year-old Road to Indy phenom Josh Pierson. Dwight’s co-driver in the # 18 is Ryan Dalziel.

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The # 11 ORECA 07 Gibson for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports - on the pole
PriMathiasenMotorsports#11ORECA300-

Steven Thomas
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LMP3 class - taking the pole was Malthe Jakobsen in the # 33 Ligier JS P320 for Sean Creech Motorsport with a time of 1:59.434s for a speed of 122.015mph. Malthe beat up Indy Lights driver Jarett Andretti in the # 36 Ligier for Andretti Autosport by a healthy 0.729 seconds. Starting third will be points-leader Gar Robinson in the # 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier.

Malthe shares the # 33 Ligier with veteran Joao Barbosa while Jarett shares the # 36 Ligier with IndyCar driver and Indy Lights Champ Gabby Chaves. Gar’s co-driver in the # 74 Ligier is Felipe Fraga.

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The # 33 Ligier JS P320 for Sean Creech Motorsport - on the pole
SeanCreechMotorsportLigier300-

Malthe Jacobsen
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GTD Pro - it was Indy Pro 2000 Champ and IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth taking the pole in the # 14 Lexus RCF GT3 for Vasser Sullivan with a time of 2:05.365s for a speed of 116.242mph. Jack bested points-leader Matt Campbell in the # 9 PFAFF Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R by 0.253 seconds. Starting third will be Antonio Garcia in the # 3 Corvette C8.R GTD for Corvette Racing.

Jack’s co-driver in the Lexus is fellow Brit Ben Barnicoat while Matt shares the Porsche with Matthieu Jaminet and Antonio shares the 'Vette with Jordan Taylor.

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The # 14 Lexus RCF GT3 for Vasser Sullivan - on the pole
VasserSullivanLexus#14RCFGT3-300-

Jack Hawksworth
JackHawksworth150-4

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GTD class - Taking pole was Robby Foley in the # 96 BMW M4 GT3 for Turner Motorsport with a time of 2:06.084s for a speed of 15.579mph. Robby beat out Franke Montecalvo in the # 12 Lexus RCF GT3 for Vasser Sullivan by just 0.140 seconds. Starting third will be Indy Lights race WINNER Rob Megennis in the # 39 Lamboghini Huracan GT3 for CarBahn with Peregrine Racing.

Robby’s co-driver in the BMW is Bill Auberlen while Frankie’s co-driver in the Lexus is Indy Pro 2000 Champ Aaron Telitz. Rob shares the Lambo with Jeff Westphal.

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The # 96 BMW M4 GT3 for Turner Motorsport - on the pole
TurnerMotorsport#96BMWM4GT3-300-

Robby Foley
RobbyFoley150-2

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Notable:

  • IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais ran wide into the entry of Turn 14 before going off into the tire barriers in his # 01 Chip Ganassi Cadillac with less than three minutes to go in qualifying. Seb was okay but unable to return the car to the pits.

  • This is the first pole for Sean Creech Motorsport in the LMP3 class.

  • Jack Hawksworth is still recovering from his motorcycle accident that sidelined him for three races, but he is clearly doing very well, now.

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The race is schedule for broadcast on USA network from 12:00pm EASTERN time on Sunday, with concurrent broadcast starting at 11:40 on Peacock Premium. This will all be concluded before broadcast of the IndyCar race, should you want to watch both.

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Saturday afternoon at Road America - The Michelin Pilot Challenge race…

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The MPC did their 2nd and final 4-hour enduro of the season at Road America today and at the end the WINNERS overall and in the GS class were qualifier Kenton Koch and Eric Foss in the # 56 Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 for Murillo Racing from their P2 start. P2 went to the # 43 BMW M4 GT4 for Stephen Cameron Racing of qualifier Sean Quinlan and co-driver Gregory Liefooghe from their P16 start, while qualifier David Brule and Alec Udell took the # 66 Porsche 718 GT4 RS CS for Kelly Moss to a P3 finish from their P25 start.

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Kenton Koch (left) and Eric Foss for the WIN in GS class and overall
GS WIN
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Kenton was in the Murillo Mercedes for the last stint and forced his way past Alec Udel in the Kelly Moss Porsche in the final 5 minutes of the race. A late race caution, extended when Scott Andrew’s Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 lost a wheel while circulating under the yellow-flag conditions, helped Udell, who was short on fuel at the time and set up an 11-minute sprint to the end. Udell dropped to third place after having a side-by-side wheel-banger with Koch with two laps to go, as Gregory Liefooghe slipped past into P2.

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In TCR class the race WINNER was the # 5 KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR with qualifier Roy Block and Tim Lewis onboard from their pole position start. P2 went to Road to Indy alum and paraplegic qualifier Michael Johnson and co-driver Stephen Simpson in the # 54 Hyundai Elantra N TCR for Michael Johnson Racing w/ Bryan Herta Autosport from their P12 start, while P3 went to qualifier Michael Lewis and co-driver Taylor Hagler in the # 1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR for Bryan Herta Autosport from a P11 start.

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TCR podium, left to right - Michael Johnson, Stephen Simpson in P2, Roy Block, Tim Lewis in P1 and Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis in P3:

TCR POdium

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The race was WON in the final lap with Tim Lewis, on fresh tires, getting around the # 54 Hyundai of Stephen Simpson. Lewis pitted for tires during the final caution and that allowed him to rocket past his competitors. It’s the third WIN of the season for the little Alfa. This is the 2nd podium of the season for Johnson and Simpson.

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The next outing for the Michelin Pilot Challenge will be at VIRginia International Raceway in support of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, August 26-28.

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Sunday morning at Road America - The Porsche Carrera Cup race…

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The rain-impacted race was WON by Road to Indy alum Trenton Estep in the # 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche 992 from his P2 start. P2 went to pole-sitter and Road to Indy ace driver Parker Thompson for JDX Racing while P3 fell to the # 77 Topp Racing Porsche of Travis Wiley from his P8 start.

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TrentonWIN

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Trenton took over the lead of the race from Parker on lap 4 in Turn 3 as the two blasted down the Moraine Sweep in challenging conditions. Later, the first of two cautions came out when the Pro-Am class # 99 Kelly-Moss Porsche of Alan Metni found himself in the gravel. A second yellow came out just six minutes after the restart when points-leader Kay van Berlo for Kelly-Moss Road & Race got beached after Leh Keen for 311RS Motorsport tagged Kelly-Moss driver Riley Dickinson, who then in turn got into van Berlo entering Turn 5. Trenton finished 3.657 seconds ahead of Parker at the line. Travis Wiley completed the podium after a last-lap battle with teammate and Road to Indy alum TJ Fischer

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Trenton Estep
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Notable:

  • The DNF for van Berlo allowed Parker Thompson to get points on him and a once formidable lead in the championship is now a 16-point gap between van Berlo and Thompson - manageable! There are two weekends left on the schedule.

  • This is Trenton’s 3rd WIN of the season and keeps him 3rd in the points.

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The next outings for the Porsche Carrera Cup North America series will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, September 2-4.

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Sunday at Road America - The WeatherTech race…

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The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race was a hugely entertaining event, due to the mixed conditions it was run under, with a wet race at the start ending on dry tires, but with disaster waiting offline for anybody getting into the wet grass.

Taking the WIN overall and in DPi class was the # 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 for Wayne Taylor Racing of Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor, as Filipe made a great pass on Oliver Jarvis in the # 60 Meyer Shank Acura with about 24 minutes to go. Jarvis would later have a big shunt in the Kink with about 8 minutes to go, putting the race in caution to the end and handing P2 to the # 02 Cadillac for Cadillac Racing of Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber. Renger van der Zande and IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais took P3 in the # 01 Caddy for Cadillac Racing. This is the first team WIN at Road America for WTR and the 4th WIN of the season for the # 10, putting them in the points lead. Jarvis was okay and in fact able to motor away from his shunt, but the debris he left behind was massive.

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AcuraWIN

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In the LMP2 class the WINNERS were the # 18 Era Motorsport ORECA 07 Gibson, thanks to a late-race pass by Ryan Dalziel on the then-leading # 8 Tower Motorsport entry of Louis Deletraz. Dalziel shared the car with Dwight Merriman and Louis shared the # 8 with John Farrano. Posting third at the end was the # 20 High Class Racing ORECA of Dennis Andersen and Anders Fjordbach.

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EraMotorsportsORECA07Gibson300-

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In LMP3 class Riley Motorsports’ Felipe Fraga and Gar Robinson controlled the race in their # 74 Ligier JS P320 to take their third WIN of the season. They beat the # 13 Duqueine D08 for Canadian team AWA driven by Orey Fidani and Kyle Marcelli, with the class points leaders Jon Bennett and Colin Braun finishing third in the # 54 CORE Autosport Ligier.

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RileyMotorsportsLigier300-1

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In GTD Pro class Ben Barnicoat brought the Vasser Sullivan #14 Lexus RCF GT3 he shares with Indy Pro 2000 champ Jack Hawksworth across the line ahead of the points-leading # 9 PFAFF Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell. The two cars battled nose-to-tail for much of the race and traded the class lead more than once. This is the first season WIN for the Lexus. P3 went to the # 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia for Corvette Racing.

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VasserSullivanLexusRCFGT3#14-300-

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GTD class - The WIN went to the #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Philip Ellis and Russell Ward - their first WIN since the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2020. The # 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Jeff Westphal and Indy Lights driver Rob Megennis came home P2, ahead of the # 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RCF GT3 of Indy Pro 2000 champ Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo in third.

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WinwardRacingMercedes-AMGGT3#57-300-2

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A BIG CONGRATS to Jack Hawksworth for his WIN and congrats to podiums for IndyCar guys Sebastien Bourdais, Rob Megennis and Aaron Telitz!

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The next outing for the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship will be at VIRginia International Raceway, August 26-28, for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, with only the GTD Pro class and the GTD class in attendance. Support will come for the Michelin Pilot Challenge series, the IMSA Prototype Challenge series and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series.

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Sunday at Road America - the Lamborghini Super Trofeo hold Race 2 of the weekend…

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…to close out the IMSA event and SWEEPING the weekend in the big bulls was the # 88 Pro class Huracan for Taurino Racing by D Motorsports, driven by Loris Spinelli and Giano Taurino. P2 went to Joel Miller in the # 11 Pro class Lambo for Flying Lizard Motorsports, while P3 went to the # 46 Pro/Am class Lambo for Precision Performance Motorsports driven by Bryson Lew and John Dubets

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Loris Spinelli (right) and Giano Taurino SWEEP the weekend
LamboWIN

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Weather played a huge roll in the race which started out a dry race but was red-flagged at one point for all the shunts on track when rain began to fall. With showers starting at Canada Corner, a slew of cars went off track under braking, including then-race leader, Nelson Piquet Jr. in the Pro class # 30 Lambo for Ansa Motorsports. Piquet Jr. extracted himself from the kitty litter and hung onto the lead of the race as cars were brought back to pit lane after the red flag flew.

With the field having changed to wet weather tires, Piquet Jr. led on the restart, being the only car in the field having yet to make his mandatory pit stop at the time. After the restart, Spinelli went on a charge, going from P11 to P2 in the 17 minutes of the race remaining. Piquet Jr. crossed the finish line first but was handed a hefty time penalty for failing to make his mandatory pit stop during the 50-minute race, elevating Spinelli to the WIN.

Indy Pro 2000 driver Jordan Missig and co-driver Aiden Yoder took the Pro class # 53 Lambo for Wayne Taylor Racing / Prestige Performance from their P7 start to finish P4 in class and P5 overall - not too shabby!

Jordan Missig.
JordanMissig150-3

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Next event weekend for Lamborghini Super Trofeo will be at VIRginia International Raceway to support the Weathertech SportsCar Championship event, August 26-28.

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This ends the big IMSA weekend at Road America.

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