Latest Releases . . .
NUREMBERG, Germany, June 29 - After starting the weekend with great pace in practice, Ryan Tveter advanced six positions in the first race and he also battled hard in the third race as the young American gained valuable experience last weekend in his first visit ever to the Norisring. Unfortunately he was the victim of contact early in the second race of the FIA Formula 3 European Series tripleheader, but luckily he was unhurt.
The weekend started off extremely well for Tveter, who posted the fourth-fastest time in both practice sessions on the eight-turn, 1.4-mile street circuit. He was just 0.148 seconds from P1 in Practice 1, and just 0.006 seconds separated him and P2 in Practice 2.
Tveter was feeling confident going into qualifying, but he needed a couple tenths in Q1. He ended up P10 in his group, just 0.313 seconds off the fastest time, and P11 in Q2, 0.328 seconds off. The smallest of margins in this ultra-completive championship left Tveter qualifying 20th for Race 1, 22nd for Race 2, and 20th for Race 3."Read more"
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 27 - Rain played a big role in Saturday's Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Watkins Glen International, but in the end Doran Racing's #14 Nissan 370Z driven by Brad Jaeger and B.J. Zacharias posted its second consecutive podium finish both in the series and in this race.
The weather made for slippery conditions and poor visibility throughout the event, but all concerned did their best to deal with it, and both of the team's cars returned to the garage area unscathed. The 2.5-hour race ended under yellow with 45 laps complete after a red flag to try to sweep standing water off the course, and Zacharias took the checkered in third place behind Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell's Camaro and Ashley Freiberg and Trent Hindman's BMW.
Jaeger qualified second on Friday, which was the Lebanon, Ohio-based team's best starting spot so far this year. There was a full-course yellow almost immediately when two Street Turner cars crashed, and shortly after the restart Hugh Plumb got by Jaeger on the outside in Turn 11 to push the #14 back to third."Read more"
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 26 - Doran Racing's pair of Nissan 370Zs will start Saturday's Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Watkins Glen International at the top of the field in Row 1 and Row 2.
In the Lebanon, Ohio-based team's best qualifying performance so far this year, Brad Jaeger of Charlottesville, Va., qualified the #14 in second place, just 0.125 of a second off the pole with a time of 2:01.483 for an average speed of 100.755 miles per hour.
Nick McMillen of Salem, Ore., will start right behind him in fourth place thanks to the 2:01.973 he posted during qualifying Friday afternoon on the 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course for an average speed of 100.350 mph."Read more"
TORONTO, Ont., June 15 - M1 Racing's Victor Franzoni posted his best finish to date when he placed fourth in only his third event ever in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires Saturday on the street circuit at Exhibition Place in Toronto.
Franzoni, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, took the checkered flag only 0.7868 of a second after the third-place finisher did in the 30-minute race on the 11-turn, 1.755-mile street circuit. He was driving the AutoEnginuity/Novac Sports #21, which also carries the logo of team sponsor Tampa Bay Jaw Surgery Centers.
The Dallas-based team fielded three cars in the doubleheader, and the other two drivers had good weekends too. Learning as much as possible, gaining experience and staying out of trouble were the primary goals of young Bryson Schutte, who made his Pro Mazda debut. The young driver from Uxbridge, Ontario accomplished all that and was rewarded with tenth and 11th-place finishes with his Spectrodata Communications car. Meanwhile, Pro Mazda veteran Jay Horak of Mesa, Ariz. also finished both races and came away with an Expert class victory on Sunday with his AutoEnginuity #37."Read more"
ANDERSON, Ind., May 27 - Saturday night's Pay Less Little 500 presented by UAW-GM at Anderson Speedway lived up to its reputation as a race that's very hard to win. Nolen Racing entered three asphalt sprint cars in the 67th annual edition of the race, and all three of them were involved in a crash with 82 laps down. Two restarted, and in the end the one driven by Shane Hollingsworth of Lafayette, Ind. took the checkered flag in fifth place in front of a large crowd.
Ironically Hollingsworth started further back in the 33-car field than either of the other two drivers of cars fielded by the Whiteland, Ind.-based team. He started 15th in the yellow #20, which is sponsored in part by Columbus Container and KECO, and finished fifth by completing 497 of the required 500 laps around the quarter-mile bullring.
One of his teammates, Jerry Coons Jr. of Plainfield, Ind., set the fastest lap on one of the practice days and qualified sixth, but he was involved in a multi-car accident working lap 83 while running comfortably in fourth place. He ended up 26th. "Read more"
BROWNSBURG, Ind., May 26 - M1 Racing and its rookie driver, Victor Franzoni, continued to impress the railbirds as Franzoni came from the ninth starting position to finish sixth Saturday afternoon in the "Day Before the 500," the first oval race of the year in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
It was only the second Pro Mazda event ever for the young driver from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and he and his Dallas-based team consistently improved throughout the event despite the fact that the team didn't test here and Franzoni's tire budget is much smaller than his rivals'. That wasn't lost on the officials, who presented Franzoni with the Staubli award for his performance.
It was also a great showing for the sponsors of the white #21, which include Auto Enginuity, Novac Sports and Tampa Bay Jaw Surgery Centers."Read more"
INDIANAPOLIS, May 22 - Nolen Racing's Jerry Coons Jr. ran in the top five for more than half the race and was as high as fourth, but he finished 14th in the 62nd annual Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Thursday night after he was forced to pit just 13 laps from the end to allow his Whiteland, Ind.-based team to replace the yellow #20's right-rear tire.
Coons, a native of Tucson, Ariz., now living in Plainfield, Ind., started fifth in the 27-car field in the Eagle Chevy sponsored in part by KECO and Columbus Container. His qualifying time was a 34.260 for the 1-mile dirt oval, which was substantially better than the 36.081 he ran to rank ninth in practice.
Shane Cockrum got around him on the first lap of the 100-lapper, but Coons ran in sixth place for the first 10 laps. He moved into fifth working lap 11 after the driver who started third, Tracy Hines, stopped on the backstretch. Coons remained in fifth place through lap 45, and set his fastest lap of the race on lap 35 with a 33.445."Read more"
PAU, France, May 20 - Ryan Tveter began the third round of the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship by setting the fifth-fastest time in practice in Pau. At one point he was running third in the qualifying session, but two incidents on a treacherous, wet circuit denied the young American of a good starting spot in all three races last weekend. After that Tveter focused on just finishing all three races on the tight street circuit where passing is extremely difficult. He did just that, avoiding multiple incidents and steadily advancing in each race. He bettered his starting position by six spots in the first race and four positions in the second race, both held on Saturday, and eight positions in Sunday's finale.
Tveter's time of 1:24.020 during practice in extremely tricky, wet conditions on his first visit to the challenging circuit comfortably put him in the top five ahead of Carlin teammate and Silverstone Race 2 winner George Russell, and only a few tenths of a second from P2 and the fastest time set by Prema Powerteam's Jake Dennis. Dennis went on to collect three pole positions and win Races 1 and 2 of the weekend.
Going into qualifying later on Friday, conditions were again wet and constantly changing. Tveter was battling at the front in P3 just a couple tenths between his teammate Gustavo Menezes and Dennis, who was fastest at the time in the closing few minutes of the session. After finding a gap behind Dennis, Tveter was in a good rhythm before the Mücke Motorsport car of Michele Beretta went spinning across the track at the Foch Chicane in front of Tveter and Dennis."Read more"
INDIANAPOLIS, May 10 - Victor Franzoni's debut in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires was a resounding success. Over the course of the series' tripleheader on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, M1 Racing's newest rookie topped the charts in a practice session, posted a top-five finish, won a Quartermaster Hard-Charger Award, won a RePlay XD Move of the Race Award, and set the fastest lap of the final race with his AutoEnginuity/Novac Sports #21.
The 19-year-old driver from Sao Paulo, Brazil was moving up to Pro Mazda from the USF2000 series, and he was making his first start with Dallas-based M1 Racing. Technically the race reports will show that he finished tenth, fifth and 19th in the three races on IMS's 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course, but the race results don't even begin to tell the whole story.
"It was a good learning experience," Franzoni said after Saturday's race. "We had a problem with the brakes right away today. I could tell when I left pit lane. But we came in and fixed it and then I was able to set the fastest lap of the race later. Without that problem, we could have been in the top three for sure. But it's OK. I'm happy that we got a top-five yesterday. Remi [Lanteigne, the team's lead engineer] and I came up with a good set-up and everyone on the team worked very hard. We were very competitive right away, so it was good.""Read more"
HOCKENHEIM, Germany, May 4 - A rookie's main objective is to gain experience and to learn, and that's just what Ryan Tveter did in the FIA Formula 3 European tripleheader last weekend at Hockenheim, Germany.
The young American's challenges at a mostly wet Hockenheim began in Thursday’s collective test, when a technical glitch again severely limited the speed of his #26 fielded by Jagonya Ayam with Carlin. More challenges came for the 20-year-old driver from Oyster Bay, N.Y. throughout the weekend, with issues ranging from "lap-murdering" red flags during qualifying to blinding spray followed by contact in Race 1, as well as an engine misfire that sent him to pit lane for virtually all of Race 2. Early progress with a very strong start in Race 3 was short-lived when a brush with the curb during a fight for 12th place sent him back to 28th, although he ultimately fought his way back to finish 20th.
Despite the repeated setbacks, Tveter and his team considered it a productive weekend.
For every driver, but especially for rookies, what happens behind the scenes between the drivers, engineers and team managers is very important as they work together towards future on-track success. Many performance goals are set independent of race results, and then evaluated by the team in the massive on-board data collected. Tveter continues to exceed his team's expectations on the steep learning curve in formula racing, and Hockenheim gave him another opportunity to add to his skills."Read more"
SALINAS, Calif., May 4 - Saturday's Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca had a little bit of everything that makes road racing great. When the checkered fell after two and a half hours of competition around the challenging, 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course, only 0.836 of a second separated the top three cars. Nissan fans were happy because that third car was Doran Racing's #14 Nissan 370Z co-driven by Brad Jaeger and B.J. Zacharias and advertising Nissan's popular GT Academy. Zacharias was only 0.284 of a second behind the Mustang that finished second.
The timing of pit stops to generate good track position, management of tire wear, fuel consumption, avoiding accidents, the timing of full-course cautions, the nimbleness and light weight of the Nissan 370Z and plain old hard driving all played a role in the Lebanon, Ohio-based team's first podium finish of the year. It duplicated Jaeger and Zacharias' third-place finish here in 2013, but it was even harder fought.
Jaeger qualified seventh but he was already fifth by the end of the first lap of the race, partly due to an incident involving the team's #41 shared by Nissan GT Academy winners Nick McMillen and Steven Doherty. Jaeger, of Charlottesville, Va., was still firmly in fifth place when team owner Kevin Doran brought the car in for its first pit stop on lap 14 under the race's second full-course caution."Read more"
DALLAS, May 1 - M1 Racing is pleased to announce that Victor Franzoni and Carlos Conde have joined its team in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, effective immediately.
They will join Expert class driver Jay Horak of Mesa, Ariz., in the series' tripleheader on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 7-9.
Franzoni, 19, is stepping up from the USF2000 series, where he is currently fifth in the point standings. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil won the USF2000 race April 12 at NOLA Motorsports Park, and he finished second in a similar event April 24 at Barber Motorsports Park. He also finished second in the pre-season Cooper Tires Winterfest with two victories and a second, missing the title by a mere five points.
Last year he placed fifth in the USF2000 championship as a rookie, winning at St. Petersburg, Fla. He also posted podium finishes at Barber, Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
He competed in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2013, and he had great success in karting before he advanced to formula car racing. He started karting at the age of 4. He speaks four languages."Read more"
TOLEDO, Ohio, April 29 - As the winner of two of only three USAC Silver Crown races ever held at Toledo Speedway, Nolen Racing's Jerry Coons Jr. has to be considered to be one of the favorites to win Friday night's USAC Silver Crown season opener there.
The USAC Triple Crown winner from Plainfield, Ind., won the series' initial race at the half-mile asphalt oval in 2010. Kody Swanson won in 2011, but Coons was victorious at Toledo again in 2012.
On Friday night he'll drive Gene Nolen's yellow #20 in the 100-lapper, called the Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness "Rollie Beale Classic."
"Winning at Toledo requires a fast race car and staying out of trouble," Coons said while helping the Nolen Racing crew prepare his car Tuesday night at the team's headquarters in Whiteland, Ind. "Your car has to be right to pass there because it's a tough place to pass. It helps if you can qualify well."Read more"
LEEDS, Ala., April 27 - M1 Racing's Walt Bowlin persevered to finish 14th in the GTA class Sunday in the second half of a Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader at Barber Motorsports Park with his Tampa Bay Jaw Surgery Centers Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Bowlin, from Tarpon Springs, Fla., started the 29-lap race in 15th position in class, survived several incidents, had good battles with two drivers of Porsche 911s, and set his fastest lap of the race on his final trip around the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course near Birmingham, Ala., with a time of 1:28.841.
Bowlin rose two positions at the start of the race when a car ahead of him stalled during the standing start and the driver who started second, Nick Catsburg, got pushed off the track and into a gravel trap. Unfortunately Bowlin got hit in Turn 1 on the same lap, and a little later more contact sent him off the track and pushed a fender into one of his tires."Read more"
LEEDS, Ala., April 27 -The battle for the championship in the Expert class of the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires was a draw at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend, as M1 Racing's Jay Horak took the class victory on Saturday with his AutoEnginuity #37 but finished second to his primary rival on Sunday.
Horak, from Mesa, Ariz., won the Expert class championship in 2013 driving for Dallas-based M1 Racing. The class is for drivers over the age of 30.
Saturday's timed race of 40 minutes lost 10 minutes due to a schedule change and another 10 minutes due to false starts by some over-excited drivers. Horak moved up one spot right away when Kyle Connery's car rolled to a stop between Turns 4 and 5 before one lap was in the books. The first four laps were run under yellow, and when the action finally started on lap five there was a tussle between Jose Gutiérrez and Dalton Kellert that gave Horak two more spots. In the meantime he was able to pass the Expert class leader, Bobby Eberle, when he finally got the chance and Horak moved into 13th place overall and first in the Expert division on that lap. "Read more"
SALINAS, Calif., April 27 - Doran Racing has high hopes for Saturday's Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca because its Nissan 370Zs are well suited to the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course near Monterey, Calif. The team has done very well there in the past with it cars, which advertise Nissan's popular GT Academy program where gamers are groomed to race professionally.
Last year the Lebanon, Ohio-based team finished fifth and sixth with its pair of Nissan 370Zs at Laguna. The year before that the team's Brad Jaeger and B.J. Zacharias finished third after 75 laps of competition. They return with the #14 this weekend, and they hope there will be no substitute for experience. They both have many years of experience at Laguna Seca in a wide variety of cars, and their compatibility, teamwork and work ethic makes them a potent combination.
Nissan GT Academy champions Nick McMillen and Steven Doherty will be paired together for the first time to drive the #41. David Empringham and John Farano drove that car last year, and McMillen and Bryan Heitkotter drove it in the first two races of the year. Doherty, who was born in nearby San Jose, is stepping in for Heitkotter, who is now racing a Nissan GT-R GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge's GTA class. Doherty competed in seven CTSCC races last year in the Street Tuner class, including the one at Laguna, but this weekend's event will mark his debut in the faster Grand Sport division"Read more"
WHITELAND, Ind., April 24 - As he begins his 26th season as a USAC Silver Crown car owner, Greenwood, Ind.'s Gene Nolen has set two high goals for his Whiteland, Ind.-based racing team: win the USAC Silver Crown national championship and the Pay Less Little 500 pavement sprint car race May 23 at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Ind.
To do either is hard. To do both will be even harder, especially considering that racing in the Little 500 will force Nolen Racing's lead driver, Jerry Coons Jr. of Plainfield, Ind., to compete in two premier races in one day.
The USAC Silver Crown division's third race of an 11-event season is part of the 70th annual "Night Before the 500" slated for Saturday afternoon, May 23, at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, while the 67th annual Pay Less Little 500 pavement sprint car race will be held later the same night in Anderson, Ind., some 54 miles northeast. "Read more"
AVONDALE, La., April 14 - New Orleans is known for partying, and Wright Motorsports had plenty to celebrate after Saturday's IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup race at NOLA Motorsports Park. The Batavia, Ohio-based team made it look easy at the 2.75-mile, 13-turn road course about 20 miles outside of "The Big Easy."
Two of the team's five drivers finished on the podium, as one won and another was third. Another Wright Motorsports driver was fourth overall and a fourth driver finished seventh in the top class. Two finished first and second in the Platinum class's Masters division, and one of them won the Yokohama Hard-Charger award too. A fifth one was involved in an incident during the race but qualified second and was very competitive.
The team's youngest driver won the race outright. He also set two new track records at the event and is now leading the driver point standings, while Wright Motorsports is leading the team point standings."Read more"
SILVERSTONE, England, April 13 - Last weekend's FIA Formula 3 Europe tripleheader at Silverstone was all about the starts and restarts for America's Ryan Tveter.
His standing start in Race 3 on Sunday morning was a thing of beauty, as he blasted from 13th on the 35-car grid to ninth on the first lap. He held off all challengers and ran in ninth place for the next 15 laps of the 18-lap race, as the rookie driver from Oyster Bay, N.Y. sought his first point in this very competitive series. Only the top 10 drivers earn points.
He almost got it, as he finished 11th. A spin by Emerson Fittipaldi's grandson, Pietro Fittipaldi, in the Village Corner forced a full-course yellow on lap 15. On the ensuing restart Tveter passed Brandon Maisano to vault into eighth, but Maisano was able to get the cut back on Tveter out of the final chicane and the pair ran side by side down the start-finish straight. Tveter was then on the outside for the first corner, and had to cede the position back to Maisano while coming quickly under attack by Mikkel Jensen and Callum Ilott. Tveter went on the defensive into Village Corner, but Jensen was able to sneak by into the Loop, forcing Tveter slightly wide and allowing Ilott to slip through as well. Still, it was a great start for the young driver and the yellow #26, which is sponsored by Jagonya Ayam! KFC Indonesia, Sparco, Brett King Design and Switzerland's Autobau conference center and racing museum. "Read more"