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 – Thursday, April 9: Dale Jr. To Drive In INDYCAR iRacing Challenge; World of Outlaws Cancels Brushcreek Event
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Dale Earnhardt Jr. is going to be racing this weekend in the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge plus the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models Series is forced to cancel another event due to COVID19.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Is Going INDYCAR Racing:
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. asked for, and received, an invitation to this Saturday’s INDYCAR iRacing Challenge from virtual Michigan International Speedway. Earnhardt Jr. will be joining the IndyCar Series regulars along with Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson, who competed in the last event at virtual Barber Motorsports Park. Earnhardt Jr. will be carrying a familiar sponsor along for the ride:
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) April 8, 2020
World of Outlaws Late Models Put Brakes on Kentucky/Ohio Weekend:
- The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series is putting the brakes on their Kentucky/Ohio Weekend due to COVID-19. The event at Richmond Raceway in Kentucky, originally scheduled for Friday, April 24, is being postponed in an effort to potentially find a new date once the COVID-19 outlook becomes more clear. The race at Brushcreek Motorsports Complex set for Saturday, April 25, has been canceled. Brushcreek staff will refund tickets purchased. Fans can call the track at 937-544-3344 and visit the track’s website, www.brushcreekmotorsports.com.
Docuseries To Feature Ross Chastain:
- Chip Ganassi Racing development driver Ross Chastain is the subject of a new docuseries. Nutrien Ag Solutions announced today the premier episode launch of “Two-Track Mind,” an online docuseries featuring NASCAR’s busiest driver, Ross Chastain. The documentary, which premiered on NASCAR’s YouTube channel, navigates Chastain’s journey as an eighth-generation watermelon farmer and professional NASCAR driver. This series captures the passions, emotions, successes and hardships that Chastain endures in the field and at the track.
Racing Notebook – Wednesday, April 8: NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees plus the World of Outlaws are going iRacing tonight
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Wednesday’s Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on the nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, plus the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink goes iRacing tonight.
NASCAR Announces Hall of Fame Nominees:
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is among ten nominees on the “modern day ballot” for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The ballot also includes Neil Bonnett, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Harry Gant, Harry Hyde, Larry Phillips, Ricky Rudd, Kirk Shelmerdine and Mike Stefanik. The “Pioneer Ballot” includes “Suitcase” Jake Elder, Red Farmer, Banjo Matthews, Hershel McGriff and Ralph Moody. The “Landmark Award” nominees include Janet Guthrie, Alvin Hawkins, Mike Helton, Pocono Raceway founder Dr. Joseph Mattioli and Ralph Seagraves. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will consist of two inductees from the list of Modern Era nominees, and one from the list of Pioneer nominees – for a total of three new inductees in 2021.
World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Go iRacing Tonight:
- The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series goes iRacing tonight on FS1. The list of participants include several Sprint Car standouts like defending champion Brad Sweet, Logan Schuchart, David Gravel, Carson Macedo and Kyle Larson along with non-Sprint car drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Ron Capps and Bubba Wallace. Tune into FS1 tonight at 8 pm ET for all the action from virtual Knoxville Raceway.
— World of Outlaws (@WorldofOutlaws) April 8, 2020
Racing Notebook – Monday, April 6: William Byron wins eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational plus Detroit Grand Prix Canceled and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Detroit Grand Prix has been canceled due to the coronavirus plus William Byron wins the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational at Bristol and the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models iRacing invitational takes place tonight.
The Detroit Grand Prix Is Canceled:
- The Detroit Grand Prix, scheduled for May 29-30, has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Event organizers hoped to reschedule the event on Belle Isle to later in the fall but were unable to do so because of the amount of events scheduled on the island. The Detroit cancellation forced INDYCAR to revise their 2020 schedule. For our complete coverage click here.
William Byron Wins eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational At Bristol:
- Hendrick Motorsports William Byron took home the victory in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational on Sunday at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet dominated in the virtual racing series that is following the NASCAR Cup Series schedule that has been paused due the COVID-19 pandemic. But this time, Byron was able to pull away from John Hunter Nemechek and Matt DiBenedetto during a restart with four laps to go and drive away with the win after leading 116 laps in the race.
The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models Go iRacing Tonight:
- The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models iRacing Invitational takes place Monday night at 7:00PM Eastern from virtual Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa. Tonight’s event is included in DIRTVision subscribers “Fast Pass” and is $9.99 for Pay-per-view.
— World of Outlaws Late Models (@WoOLateModels) April 6, 2020