DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), announced Friday before the Rolex 24 At Daytona that both sanctioning bodies are converging the top categories of endurance racing.
Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, and Jim France, IMSA Chairman, unveiled the guiding principle for the platform – the introduction of the top category of competition LMDh, which will be eligible for both the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The convergence will allow auto manufacturers to compete with the same car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, at SuperSebring or at Spa-Francorchamps, at the Motul Petit Le Mans or even Silverstone. The future top category of endurance racing will include both LMDh and Le Mans Hypercar. A balance of performance (BoP) system will ensure fair competition.
“When my father, Bill France Sr., brought the first Daytona Continental SportsCar race here to Daytona International Speedway back in 1962, he wanted to bring together sports car drivers, teams and manufacturers from around the world,” said Jim France. “With the ACO, IMSA and manufacturers aligned, today’s announcement proudly takes my father’s vision to the next level.”
“This announcement today is the crucial starting point for a joint endurance racing future, supported by both the ACO and IMSA,” said Fillon. “We can’t emphasize enough, as it’s exceptional, how many opportunities this long-term sporting and marketing vision will open up.”
“The big winner today is endurance racing as the door is now opened to many additional competitors to compete at the highest level on both sides of the Atlantic with the same car,” said Gerard Never, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship. “The two sanctioning bodies should be congratulated for their vision and spirit of collaboration. Le Mans Hypercars and the new LMDh cars racing together at Le Mans or Daytona will be an incredibly exciting prospect for endurance fans across the world.”
RILEY MOTORSPORTS MERCEDES-AMG WINS MICHELIN PILOT CUP CHALLENGE ENDURANCE RACE
The Riley Motorsports No. 34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 driven by Dylan Murry, Jim Cox and Jeroen Bleekmolen took home the Gran Sport victory in the BMW Endurance Challenge on Friday. The win is Riley Motorsports second consecutive endurance win in IMSA. The same trio of drivers also won last summer’s four-hour race at Watkins Glen International – and Murry and Cox also won November’s four-hour Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring.
“We’re petitioning IMSA to make all races four hours now,” said Cox.
The Winward Racing No. 57 Mercedes-AMG driven by Philip Ellis and Bryce Ward claimed the runner-up spot while their sister car, the No. 4 shared by Indy Dontje and Russell Ward finished third to make it a podium sweep for the German manufacturer.
ROAD SHAGGER RACING AUDI WINS TAKES TCR CLASS VICTORY
The No. 61 Road Shager Racing Audi RS3 LMS took home the victory in the TCR class. The victory was the second for the team, who won last year at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Mikey Taylor and William finished second in the No. 32 Speed Syndicate Motorsports Audi while Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson finished third in the No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi, giving another German manufacturer a podium sweep.
CHALLENGING DEBUT FOR HAILIE DEEGAN
Ford Performance development driver Hailie Deegan’s first foray into IMSA sports cars and endurance racing proved to be eventful for the 18-year-old rising star.
Deegan was running as high as 12th when her No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang suffered a pair of mechanical issues, at one point requiring about half an hour of work in the garage. But after driving more than two hours, Deegan brought the car into the garage for work and a driver change, leaving Ford teammate Chase Briscoe to finish the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge.
“I feel like I just gained a lot of experience,” Deegan said after climbing out of the car. “I’m here to gain experience after that three-day road test, coming here and practicing for two days. I just feel like I know a lot more about racing than I did before and that’s why I’m here and supposed to be doing. I’m gaining experience and that’s what I’m here to do.’’
Racing Notebook – Monday, July 5: Weekend Racing Recap and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Monday’s Racing Notebook takes a look back at a historic weekend of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as this weekend’s local action from Lernerville, Jennerstown, PA and OH Sprint Car Speedweek plus President Trump wants an apology from Bubba Wallace:
Harvick Wins 3rd Brickyard 400:
- Kevin Harvick picked up his third Brickyard 400 victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday holding off Chip Ganassi Racing’s Matt Kenseth in overtime. Denny Hamlin was also one of the strongest cars at IMS on Sunday until he blew a tire late in the race. Check out our recap here.
Reutzel Wins At Fremont Speedway:
- Aaron Reutzel was victorious on Sunday at Fremont Speedway in the Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions feature. Paul McMahan finished second and Lee Jacobs finished third. It was the third straight podium finish for Reutzel in Ohio Sprint Speedweek competition.
Scott Dixon Wins GMR Grand Prix at IMS:
- PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon started off the historic INDYCAR/NASCAR tripleheader at IMS on Saturday by capturing the checkered flag in the GMR Grand Prix. Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal was second followed by Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud. Check out our recap here.
Chase Briscoe Wins Xfinity Series Race at IMS:
- Indiana native Chase Briscoe was the winner of the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Justin Haley finished second followed by Noah Gragson. The next race for the Xfinity Series is July 9, 2020 at Kansas Speedway
Kyle Larson Wins at Port Royal to capture PA Speedweek Title:
- Kyle Larson captured the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek Championship and did it in style by winning the 410 feature at Port Royal Speedway Saturday night. Larson held off Brent Marks and Rico Abreu to capture his first win at “The Speed Palace” and his first PA Sprint Car Speedweek title. Check out our recap here.
Bubba Pollard Gets CARS win at Jennerstown; Heim 6th:
- Bubba Pollard won the Inaugural Thomas Automotive American Freedom 300 at the Jennerstown Speedway Complex. It was Pollard’s second win in as many CARS Tour races after claiming the checkered flag at Hickory Motor Speedway in June. Sammy Smith finished second followed by Jake Garcia. Corey Heim, who has relatives in the area and was a guest on The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast finished 6th.
Buddy Kofoid Takes Night 2 Of Ohio Sprint Speedweek:
- Buddy Kofoid started on the pole position and led wire-to-wire to capture the checkered flag in the second night Ohio Sprint Car Speedweek. Kofoid was barely challenged except on three restart where he prevailed. Aaron Reutzel finished second followed by Cole Duncan.
Friday Winners From Lernerville:
- Erick Rudolph took home the checkered flag in the BRP Modified Tour main event at Lernerville Speedway coming from the rear of the field to hold off Rex King Sr. and Garrett Krummert. Michael Bauer picked up his first career victory in the Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar 410 Sprint feature. Tyler Dietz beat Daryl Charlier and Corey McPherson to win the Millerstown Pic-A-Part RUSH/DIRTcar Pro Stocks main event and Greg Dobrosky won the Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 feature.
Cap Henry Wins Ohio Speedweek Opener:
- Cap Henry opened up Ohio Sprint Speedweek by picking up his second career All Star Circuit of Champions feature win Friday night at Attica Raceway Park. Buddy Kofoid finished second followed by Aaron Reutzel.
Trump Says Wallace Should Apologize:
- President Donald Trump thinks NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace should apologize for the noose incident last month at Talladega, calling it a “hoax” in a tweet. See both Trump’s and Wallace’s response below:
Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) July 6, 2020
Racing Notebook – Tuesday, June 30: Rose Mattioli Passes plus Knoxville Nationals Cancelled and NASCAR cancels Champions Week and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sad news from the Pocono Mountains as the matriarch of Pocono Raceway, Rose Mattioli passes away at the age of 92. COVID-19 forces the cancellation of the Knoxville Nationals and the Kings Royal as well as NASCAR Champions Week in Nashville.
Pocono Raceway Matriarch Dr. Rose Mattioli Passes:
- Dr. Rose Mattioli, the matriarch of Pocono Raceway and the Mattioli family, passed away at her home on Monday at the age of 92. Dr. Rose and her late husband Dr. Joseph Mattioli co-founded Pocono Raceway in 1968. Dr. Mattioli is survived by her daughters Looie and Michele, and son Joseph III. In lieu of flowers her family asks for donations to be sent to any charity of the donors’ choosing. The family also released this statement: “The entire Pocono Raceway family thanks you for your kind words and outreach.”
Knoxville Nationals Cancelled:
- The 60th running of the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals has been postponed due to COVID-19. The decision was made collaboratively between Knoxville Raceway officials and the Marion County Fair Board. The new date is August 11-14, 2021. Anyone with tickets to the event will automatically have their ticket rolled over for use at next year’s event, where new tickets will be issued. If you can’t make the event next year, you can call the track at 641-842-5431 to return your tickets for a refund.
Eldora Speedway Cancels “Kings Royal”:
- Eldora Speedway has rescheduled the 37th annual Kings Royal Weekend to July 2021. The legendary half-mile dirt oval’s marquee sprint car event was originally slated for July 15-18, but the Ohio Department of Health’s orders restricting mass gatherings and spectator events at large venues remains in effect as a part of the state’s overall response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
NASCAR Cancels “Champions Week” In Nashville:
- The Coronavirus has forced NASCAR to cancel ‘Champions Week’ in Nashville. The sanctioning body released this statement:
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 29, 2020
Racing Notebook – Monday, June 29: Jimmie Johnson to test Chip Ganassi’s INDYCAR plus PA Speedweek continues and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson is jumping behind the wheel of one of Chip Ganassi’s INDYCARs, plus Pennsylvania Speedweek continues tonight at Lincoln Speedway and Max Blair wins the Bill Emig Memorial at Lernerville and more.
Jimmie Johnson To Test A Chip Ganassi Racing INDYCAR:
- 7-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson is getting to the chance to jump into the cockpit of one of Chip Ganassi’s INDYCARs. Johnson will test on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of this weekend’s INDYCAR/NASCAR triple header. Johnson took to twitter to make the announcement and even Chip weighed in on who he might get to help. Check out the thread:
I get to test an @IndyCar next week! A big thanks to my friends @CGRIndyCar & @GanassiChip for the opportunity. Now back to the gym for a crash course in IndyCar specific strength training. pic.twitter.com/Bc7JLB1O8T
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) June 29, 2020
Hey 7x Champ @JimmieJohnson! Looking forward to giving you a go at this @indycar stuff! Maybe we can get 5x @scottdixon9 to give you a tip or two! See you there July 8th @imsroad course https://t.co/hjLcgSgx2Y
— Chip Ganassi (@GanassiChip) June 29, 2020
PA Speedweek continues tonight at Lincoln Speedway:
- Round Four of PA Speedweek continues tonight at Lincoln Speedway with a Sprint only program. Danny Dietrich picked up his second win of Speedweek taking the victory last night at Selinsgrove Speedway. Dietrich also won the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial at Lincoln Speedway. Lance Dewease opened up Speedweek with a victory at Williams Grove.
Max Blair Wins Bill Emig Memorial:
- Max Blair picked up another victory at Lernerville Speedway taking the “Bill Emig Memorial” on Saturday. Blair held off Chub Frank to take on the victory in the event sanctioned by the RUSH Racing Series. Boom Briggs finished third followed by Jeremy Wonderling. Chad Sines rounded out the Top 5. Blair won Thursday night’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series qualifying race at “The Action Track”.
Carl Bowser Wins at Tri-City:
- Carl Bowser was victorious Sunday at Tri-City Raceway Park. Bowser beat George Hobaugh and Jack Sodeman Jr. to pick up his first victory of the season. A.J. Flick finished fourth and R.J. Jacobs rounded out the top 5.