Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for, where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  



As anticipation climbs for the 2020 season of American Flat Track, Coolbeth-Nila Racing makes an announcement sure to turn the tide of the inaugural AFT SuperTwins season. Making his debut on the Indian Motorcycle FTR750, Sammy Halbert will pilot the Coolbeth-Nila machine in 2020.


"We are really excited to get the season started," said Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. of Coolbeth-Nila Racing. "We have made a lot of major improvements to the bikes, and combine that with Sammy's drive to win, and I feel like we will be up front and contending for wins. Our team owner John Wise has put a lot into the program within the last couple of months to make sure that Sammy will be set up to be a major contender in the SuperTwins class."


Arguably one of the most versatile riders on the circuit, Halbert has scored a victory on each of the four types of AFT tracks. With thirteen career premier class victories to his name, Halbert is excited and optimistic about his transition to the multi-championship-winning FTR750.


"I'm honored to have Kenny Coolbeth choose me to ride for him, especially after having raced with him in the AFT series since 2005," said Halbert. "We've had a lot of great battles on the track over the years, which makes it that much more special to combine our efforts and talents to take on the competition. I'm excited to see what I can do on a bike that's already a proven winner. With the full support of this team behind me, and our growing list of partners including Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas, I am looking forward to great things this year.”


Tickets for the first-ever doubleheader - DAYTONA 200 and DAYTONA TT - at the legendary Daytona International Speedway are on sale now. Watch both historic motorcycle racing events during Bike Week at DAYTONA for just $25 when you purchase an advance General Admission ticket online. Get yours at


For more information on American Flat Track visit


To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit

A thrilling 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season opener lived up to the pre-race excitement with a challenging track inside Angel Stadium that added a level of unpredictability to the racing. The track instigated several lead changes in front of the sold out crowd of 45,050. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing's Justin Barcia took the first win in the 17-race series, just as he did in 2019, but 450SX Class rookie Monster Energy Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo made him earn it in a battle that had both riders pushing their limits for the 20 minutes plus one lap race.


When the 450SX Class Main Event's gate dropped Smartop / BullFrog Spas / Motoconcepts Honda's Vince Friese grabbed the holeshot, but Justin Barcia wasted no time and within five corners had established himself as the race leader ahead of Friese, Smartop / BullFrog Spas / Motoconcepts Honda teammate Justin Hill, Team Honda HRC's Justin Brayton, JGRMX / Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Fredrik Noren, Adam Cianciarulo, and defending champion Cooper Webb of the Red Bull KTM team.


Cianciarulo was on the move instantly, reaching fourth place with an aggressive move through the first set of whoops and setting his sights on the front. In less than four minutes of racing Cianciarulo had put his Kawasaki into second place and set his sights on Barcia. Nearing the halfway point, Barcia made a mistake that took him briefly off the track. Cianciarulo slipped past, quickly pulled nearly a two second lead, and looked destined to win his 450SX Class Main Event debut while past champions and pre-season favorites battled well behind.


Cooper Webb, riding with a flu, put his KTM into third place just past the half way point. Then, with under six minutes of racing left on the clock, Cianciarulo got bit by the track trying to seat bounce out of a corner. He lost traction and drive and came up short and sideways on a landing. He managed to keep the bike off the ground, but Barcia capitalized and rocketed back into the lead where he would keep his Yamaha until the checkered flag waved.


It was also a big night for another racer, though for a different reason. The day prior, Mountain Motorsports, cbdMD, CR22 Racing's Chad Reed announced to the U.S. press his decision to retire after 18 years of Supercross racing. 2020 will be Reed's final year in Monster Energy Supercross competition, and the race at Anaheim marked the milestone 250th 450SX Main Event start by the veteran. It didn’t come easy: after getting tangled in a first turn crash in 450SX Heat Race 1, Reed was forced to qualify through the 450SX Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). With a bad starting position, Reed found himself at the back of the pack, and only reached 18th place on the night.


After his win, Justin Barcia, "I busted my butt in the off-season and worked so hard. That was just all strength through that whole race. I've definitely matured a lot, developed as a rider a lot, that was an incredible race. I didn't want to win this race! [laughs] My goal was to get out of here safe, healthy, and I just want to be on the podium a lot this year and be in the fight for the championship because I haven't been able to do that."


Adam Cianciarulo commented on the difference in race duration with the move up to the 450SX Class, "The races are a little bit longer, and even though 250 and 450, it's 15 and 20 minutes, that extra six or seven laps we do feels like a lifetime. So [I was] just trying to adapt to the track out there, and yeah, Justin made a mistake and went off, [then] squared up under me and I thought we were both going to die off the next rhythm sections. Man, it was so much fun racing him. Then I spun out [jumping] out of the triple there; and thank God [that] God blessed me with some long legs, I was able to save that. [But I] knocked the wind out of myself for a good 20-30 seconds."


450SX Class Results

1. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha

2. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki

3. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM

4. Blake Baggett, Grant Terrace, Calif., KTM

5. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna

6. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda

7. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki

8. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda

9. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda

10. Vince Friese, Menifee, Calif., Honda



450SX Class Championship Standings

1. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (26)

2. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (23)

3. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM (21)

4. Blake Baggett, Grant Terrace, Calif., KTM (19)

5. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (18)

6. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (17)

7. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (16)

8. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (15)

9. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda (14)

10. Vince Friese, Menifee, Calif., Honda (13)

Pla, No. 77 Mazda Unofficially Breaks Daytona Track Record in Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona Garage and Pit Qualifying; Calado Fastest GTLM Qualifier in No. 62 Ferrari.
A year ago, there was much fanfare surrounding Oliver Jarvis and the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RT-24P at the end of Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona qualifying for garage and pit stall selections in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class.
The reason for the fanfare was the fact that Jarvis had just unofficially broken PJ Jones’ 26-year-old track record of one minute, 33.875 seconds. When he returned for the race three weeks later, Jarvis officially claimed the track record with a lap of 1:33.685 en route to the Motul Pole Award.
On Sunday, Jarvis’ new-for-2020 endurance racing teammate Olivier Pla unofficially toppled the not-quite-year-old record with a lap of 1:33.324 (137.321 mph). As a result, the No. 77 team, which includes co-drivers Pla, Jarvis and Tristan Nunez, will – for the second consecutive year – have first choice of garage location and pit stall for the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona on the weekend of Jan. 23-26.
“We knew this morning that the conditions would probably be fast with the cold air temperature but some sun, so we were expecting a fast lap time,” Pla said. “I’ve been told to push and to push hard so that’s what we did. I have to thank my team for allowing me to because the car was really good. We’ve been working always really hard. We are pleased with that. It doesn’t mean anything, but I think it just showed a continuity of last year.”
The race kicks off the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the four-race IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup. Pla moves over to the No. 77 after sharing the team’s No. 55 Mazda with Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell, who now have 2012 IndyCar champion and 2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay as their co-driver.
Pla led a total of five drivers to post speeds faster than the track record, which can be set officially in qualifying on race weekend. Ricky Taylor was second fastest in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 at 1:33.543 (137.000 mph), followed by 2019 WeatherTech Championship DPi champion Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 6 Acura DPi at 1:33.565 (136.967 mph).
Felipe Nasr was fourth fastest in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R at 1:33.652 (136.840 mph) and Bomarito rounded out the top five at 1:33.660 (136.828 mph).
In the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, James Calado led an extremely close session, posting the fastest time of 1:42.685 (124.803 mph) in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE he is sharing this weekend with Daniel Serra. Calado and the team are coming off a victory in the 2019 WeatherTech Championship season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last October.
Calado’s time was 0.001 seconds faster than Nick Tandy’s second-fastest time in the session of 1:42.686 (124.801 mph) in the No. 911 Porsche GT Team RSR-19. The entire GTLM field was covered by just 0.446 seconds.
“The difference this year, especially this year, is that everyone has upped the ante in the Roar,” Calado said. “It’s not like previous years where people would hold back. I think it’s pretty equal at the moment and I think that puts us in good stead for a good race.
“I think over the last couple years we’ve had good races as well. We know how competitive GTLM is and the whole of GT to be honest. Looking forwarding to battling with all these guys and having a good race. It’s 24 hours, anything can happen, conditions change especially here, so fingers crossed.”
Tommy Milner led much of the session before ending up third in the new No. 4 Corvette Racing C8.R at 1:42.793 (124.671 mph). Jesse Krohn was fourth in class at 1:42.844 (124.610 mph) in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE, followed by defending WeatherTech Championship GTLM champion Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche. Vanthoor’s best time was 1:42.903 (124.538 mph).
On-track activity for the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona begins Thursday, Jan. 23 with practice and qualifying. NBC will have live network coverage of the start of the race beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 25, and also will televise the race finish beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 26 as part of NBC Sports’ complete coverage of the event that includes windows on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout race weekend on and, with complete race coverage also airing on SiriusXM Radio.
Tickets for the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona are available on
Kyle Busch Settling in to IMSA as the Roar Before the Rolex 24 Comes to Close
In his final media availability of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch discussed the differences he has experienced in braking and passing etiquette during his weekend in a sports car.
And in a light-hearted moment, also fire suit pant cut.
While being asked about the ribbing that his teammate in the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 Jack Hawksworth doled out, Busch said the other drivers’ fire suits “looked like underwear, long johns,” whereas his looked like “a pair of pants, I’ve got the regular boot cut…NASCAR-style.”
“Theirs are all wrong, mine’s right.”
When it got back to the more serious matter of differences in racing between NASCAR and IMSA, Busch brought up a couple of “interesting” moments on track while navigating traffic.
“I learned from Jack that correct road course driver etiquette is to not ever be on the outside of another guy ‘cause they’ll just force you off,” Busch said. “He was actually quite entertained when he ran his NASCAR race at Road America last year that guys would actually give you room on the outside of the corner and not just throw you off on the dirt.”
The challenge of passing similarly paced GT cars while staying out of the way of fast-approaching Daytona Prototype international (DPi) cars, all while still maintaining consistent lap times, is one that is not lost on Busch.
“Interesting moments like that that are going to play out the whole time in the race,” he said. “You have instances in which you’re faster than the guy in front of you, and just barely because it’s a class car, and you’re trying to pass that guy…but you have these other guys coming and blowing your doors off on some of these corners, that you basically have to forfeit. You can lose a lot of time in doing those things.”
Busch also indicated that he’s still learning the braking – as his NASCAR Toyota Camry carries a great deal more weight than the IMSA Lexus RC F GT3, which also has ABS braking that is lacking in the stock car. Throughout the weekend, he felt he started to get a better grasp on the limits in the corners and gained consistency each time out.
One additional surprise came in the visibility on the track during the only night practice session Saturday evening.
“What do you even need the headlights for? There’s plenty of light,” Busch said. “I raced local short tracks, some of them dirt…and there wasn’t very much light at those places.
“It seems as though my eyes still work OK.”
Busch will return to Daytona later this month alongside co-drivers Hawksworth, Parker Chase and Michael De Quesada for the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona.
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Teams Complete Roar Testing Ahead of Four-Hour Opener During Rolex 24 Weekend
Nearly 40 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge teams took their first laps of the 2020 season at Daytona International Speedway this weekend as part of the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24.
Following six testing sessions, Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 31 Team Hardpoint Audi R8 GT4 owned the fastest time of the weekend of one minute, 53.555 seconds (112.856 mph), posted during the Sunday morning practice. Pumpelly returns to Daytona alongside co-driver Rob Ferriol, both of whom shared an Audi for the final three races of 2019.
While the Team Hardpoint car led two of the six sessions, the No. 33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 led the way through the first three.
“Testing doesn’t say much, everyone is getting warm,” said Dutchman Indy Dontje, who will co-drive with Russell Ward for the second straight season. “It was good to be back directly on top, but you never know what everyone is doing.
“At least it’s good to be back with the team. Everybody is in a good rhythm. We have actually a lot of the same faces, so I think that is also a really good thing for us because everybody knows what he’s doing and for that reason, I think we came out really good.”
In the TCR class, Stephen Simpson broke the two-minute mark during the final practice, topping the class’ charts at 1:59.846 (106.932 mph) for the weekend. While no longer with JDC-Miller Motorsports in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Simpson remains with the team in Pilot Challenge as the longtime coach for Michael Johnson. The two return in the No. 54 Audi RS3 LMS.
Additionally, the No. 18 TEAM PREMAT Audi, the No. 5 KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the No. 21 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N posted fastest laps in class by a session’s end.
The four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge opens the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season on Friday, January 24. The race begins at 1 p.m. ET and can be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. The NBCSN television broadcast will air on Thursday, February 6 at 1 p.m. ET. IMSA Radio will also provide live coverage of the race.

The Heart of Racing team returned to Daytona International Speedway this weekend to compete at the ROAR Before the Rolex 24. This was the first outing for the program after a three-year hiatus, and for 2020 the team have chosen to make the change and compete with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3. This weekend the car was in white with green accents, but the team look forward to showcasing their new blue-checkered livery designed by Gray Newell. 

For former The Heart of Racing drivers Ian James and Alex Riberas, as well as new full-season driver Roman De Angelis, this was the first time racing an Aston Martin. The team were joined by Aston Martin Works Driver Nicki Thiim and the crew were supported by Aston Martin Racing engineers

In the qualifying session on Saturday, designed to secure pit lane position, Roman De Angelis was in the hot seat and secured a lap time of 1:47.769. At this time, pit and garage positions are still to be confirmed. “All in all, I think it was a very good weekend”, said De Angelis. “We progressed as a team well bearing in mind, we had a brand-new platform to work on and not only for us, but for the North American market. It was great to finally be together with the team, my teammates did an awesome job all weekend helping me get used to the Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Really looking forward to going into the 24-hour race strong and I think we have a good chance to at least fight. That’s what we came here to learn, and that’s what we’re coming out with so I’m looking forward to getting going later in the month.”

The team now return to their Florida base to regroup and get ready for the most grueling race on the calendar, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, Wednesday 22, to Sunday 26, January 2020. 

We achieved everything we wanted to achieve this weekend,” said James. “We each got seat time and made the most of all test sessions. It’s a new car to us, one I’m very excited about, but that also comes with challenges. I am very confident in the team though and happy with what we have learnt about the car this weekend. Looking forward to the race.”

Ben Keating was the fastest LMP2 qualifier and Frankie Montecalvo was the fastest in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in Saturday’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying sessions used to determine pit and garage spaces for the Rolex 24 At Daytona event week.
Keating ran a best lap of one minute, 38.056 seconds (130.694 mph) in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07 LMP2 machine he is co-driving with Nick Boulle, Simon Trummer and Gabriel Aubry. The Texan is pulling double duty at the Roar and will be again in three weeks at the 58th Rolex 24 At Dayton. He also is competing in the GTD class alongside co-drivers Gar Robinson, Lawson Aschenbach and Felipe Fraga in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Keating said. “The car’s been great. Everybody at the PR1 team, they’ve got the car extremely well sorted. The last time I raced an LMP2 car was at Le Mans and I’ll just say the car wasn’t as well sorted. It’s nice to get in a car that has had a season or two under its belt to get everything sorted out and all I have to do is hop in and drive. It’s been really good.”
Henrik Hedman was second quickest in the 15-minute LMP2 qualifying session aboard the No. 81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA at 1:38.695 (129.848 mph), followed by Kyle Masson in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA at 1:38.712 (129.826 mph).
Meanwhile, in the 15-minute GTD session that immediately preceded LMP2, Montecalvo drove the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 to a best lap of 1:46.754 (120.046 mph). He is returning for the full 2020 WeatherTech Championship with co-driver Townsend Bell and will share the car with Shane van Gisbergen and Aaron Telitz for the Rolex 24.
“With the changing conditions, I think our car from AIM Vasser Sullivan suits this well,” Montecalvo said. “The team did a phenomenal car getting the RC F right on track from where we left off last year and that year of experience really shows for us. The guys did a great job.”
Second in GTD qualifying was 2019 WeatherTech Championship LMP2 champion Matt McMurry in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 at 1:46.873 (119.912 mph), followed by Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 with a lap of 1:46.919 (119.860 mph).
Similar qualifying sessions will be held early Sunday afternoon for the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes.
Speeds Increase in Night Practice
The fastest speeds of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend in all four WeatherTech Championship classes were posted during night practice on Saturday. Oliver Jarvis put up a time of one minute, 34.753 in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RT-24P DPi car to lead the way at the end of two days of on-track activity at the Roar.
In the LMP2 class, it was Harrison Newey doing the honors in the No. 81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA 07 at 1:37.372. Laurens Vanthoor owns the fastest GTLM time of the weekend so far at 1:43.513 in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR and Franck Perera was quickest in GTD at 1:46.713 in the No. 11 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 at 1:46.713.
In addition to garage and pit stall qualifying for DPi and GTLM, Sunday’s on-track schedule for the WeatherTech Championship includes two more practice sessions. There also will be a pair of IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge sessions on Sunday.
BGB Commits to First Full Michelin Pilot Challenge Season Since 2013
Longtime IMSA team and Daytona Beach, Florida-based BGB Motorsports has confirmed its participation for the full IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season after several years of running only individual races. This weekend at the Roar Before the Rolex 24, team owner John Tecce and his protégé since the team’s inception, Tom Collingwood, are joined by Jan Heylen behind the wheel of the No. 38 Porsche 718 Cayman Clubsport GT4.
“We raced in GRAND-AM for pretty much as long as I’ve been doing this from ’02 and then we stopped in ’13,” Tecce explained. “I wanted to take a step back and start developing relationships with customers that wanted to grow from the club level up to the pro level.
“It just makes sense because we were an IMSA team forever and I feel like part of the IMSA family. The allure of the IMSA events – Sebring, Daytona – it’s just impossible for the guys to stay away from. They love the big show, the crowds, the hospitality, so it’s just a logical decision for us to come back and run a full season.”
The 10-race season starts with a four-hour enduro at the team’s home track, Daytona International Speedway, on Friday, January 24 at 1 p.m. ET. The race can be streamed live via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold for viewers in the United States, and on with IMSA Radio commentary for international viewers.
An all-new driver lineup delivered similar results for the 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge championship-winning No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports team, as Joel Janco, JJ Jorge and Kyle Kirkwood, co-drove to victory in Saturday’s three-hour season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
The team fell off the lead lap early after an incident under rainy conditions in the Bus Stop with their team car, the No. 40, but battled back in the final hour to get into contention for the victory. On a restart with 28 minutes remaining, Kirkwood lined up fourth behind the No. 75 of Max Hanratty, the No. 17 of Garett Grist and race leader Dakota Dickerson in the No. 54 entry.
Kirkwood and the No. 47 Norma M30 quickly made their way forward, and 10 minutes later he took the lead from Dickerson at the start-finish line. He cruised the rest of the way to win by 8.846 seconds.
It was Kirkwood’s first IMSA Prototype Challenge victory, coming in his first series start. However, he does have one previous win aboard an LMP3 car in an IMSA-sanctioned race, the 2018 Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring International Raceway co-driving with Canadian Roman De Angelis.
“This is my third time in an LMP3 car, the first time with the Norma last month we did a couple of amateur test days earlier in December,” said Kirkwood. “This is really my first time at speed in this car. I adjusted to it really quick. It kind of suits my driving style. For me, I like more of an understeering car and I think that suits more for myself than the Ligier does.”
Janco and Jorge co-drove to the IMSA Prototype Challenge Bronze Cup championship in 2019, but this was their first overall race victory in the series. They won the non-points Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore in November 2019 with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship regular and past IMSA Prototype Challenge champion Tristan Nunez as their co-driver.
“It’s unexpected,” Janco said. “We’re honored to have won the race. Clearly, I have a very good choice in co-drivers here and the team. Forty7 was awesome, they made no mistakes and they had a fast car. it’s just beyond any of my fondest dreams.“
“The team does a really great job,” Jorge added. “They’re fairly new to this type of racing, they’ve been doing P3 for three years now. It’s a family-type of orientation so when we come into the track, you really feel welcome. That alone sets the precedent for the entire weekend.”
Matt Bell and Naveen Rao finished second in the No. 64 K2R Motorsports Norma following a late-race rally from Bell, who restarted fifth with 28 minutes to go. Rao started the race from the pole position.
Third place went to the No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier JS P3 squad of Dickerson and Dean Baker.
Cameron Cassels and Hanratty came home fourth in the No. 75 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier, with Grist and Rob Hodes completing the top five in the No. 17 Nielsen Racing Norma.
In the Bronze Cup class for driver lineups that are exclusively Bronze-rated, Steven Thomas and Thomas Merrill took the victory in the No. 11 K2R Motorsports Ligier.
“The big piece of the credit goes to the K2R team for giving us a great strategy, Merrill said. “We were managing the conditions to our benefit and trying to stay out of pit lane as best we could. The conditions were tricky and so our job was to keep it on the island, keep the car in one piece and my job was to give Steven the car back in a good position that we could win our class and I’m happy to say we did that.”
“I started racing one year ago almost today was my first in a race car,” Thomas added. “Going from here to there, awesome. I want to thank Ross Bentley for helping me get there and for Thomas who has also been coaching me and has done awesome.”
Television coverage of the 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge season opener from Daytona will air on NBCSN at 4:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Next up for the series is a one-hour, 45-minute battle on the 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway circuit as part of the “Super Sebring” event week on Thursday, March 19. Live coverage of that race will be on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold in the United States and internationally available on and the IMSA App. IMSA Radio will also carry the race live.
Throughout IMSA’s 2020 season, NBC Sports will broadcast and stream more than 400 hours of coverage in the United States from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
The coverage is highlighted by 59 hours of the WeatherTech Championship on the NBC network, NBCSN and CNBC which features nine hours of coverage on the NBC network beginning on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 1:30 p.m. ET with the first hour of the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona, followed by a two-hour live telecast of the race finish on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 12 p.m. ET also on the network of NBC.
A total of 435 hours of digital and linear coverage will be available with 326 coming on NBC Sports platforms.
The 2020 season marks the debut of TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold which will be the exclusive streaming home to all IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge races. The platform also will offer full live streaming of all IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races. There will be 113.5 hours of coverage from these championships on the service during 2020.
NBCSN coverage of single-make and challenge series begins on Monday, Jan. 14 at 4:30 p.m. with the broadcast of the first IMSA Prototype Challenge race which will be run on Jan. 4 at Daytona International Speedway. In all NBCSN will broadcast 39 hours from the 29 races from these four series during the course of the year.
There will be 75.5 hours of WeatherTech Championship and 39 hours of single-make and challenge series available on the NBC Sports App to authenticated subscribers., and the IMSA app, will stream 109 hours of exclusive content during the season. This coverage is highlighted by 72 hours of in-car cameras during WeatherTech Championship and Pilot Challenge races. All WeatherTech Championship qualifying sessions are included for additional 11 hours as are all Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America races for a total of 26 hours of coverage (16 GT3 and 10 Lamborghini). All of these events will be streamed live.
Paraphrasing the immortal words of Forrest Gump, when it comes to finding speed at Daytona International Speedway over the last two years, the Mazda RT-24P and the 3.56-mile road course “go together like peas and carrots.”
Just as Oliver Jarvis did on Friday of the 2019 Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Olivier Pla placed the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest Daytona Prototype international (DPi) machine atop the time charts at the end of the first day of official practice for the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Pla posted a best lap of one minute, 35.794 seconds (133.780 mph) to lead a 1-2 sweep of top speeds for the team.
“Well, it was a good session and a nice way to rebound after we missed some time in the first practice,” said Pla, who joins Jarvis and Tristan Nunez as co-drivers of the No. 77 Mazda after sharing the team’s No. 55 entry in 2019. “We still have a long way to go and the team is working very hard to continue to improve the car, but obviously the Mazda RT-24P is working very well.
“This is a good first day of working with my new co-drivers, Olly and Tristan. We worked together a lot last year even though we were in different cars, but I am enjoying being in the No. 77.”
Last year, Jarvis ended the Roar weekend with an unofficial track record in the No. 77 machine, before officially breaking PJ Jones’ 26-year-old track record three weeks later en route to the Motul Pole Award for the 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Jarvis was 0.080 seconds quicker than teammate Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 Mazda. Bomarito’s best lap was a 1:35.874 (133.669 mph) in the car he is sharing with Harry Tincknell – who led the day’s first practice session – and former IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Simon Trummer led the way in the LMP2 class, posting a best lap of 1:38.315 (130.350 mph) in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07. Trummer’s co-drivers are Nick Boulle, Gabriel Aubry and Ben Keating.
Defending Rolex 24 GT Le Mans (GTLM) class winner Colton Herta was quickest in class aboard the No. 25 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE. His best lap in the car he is co-driving with Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Bruno Spengler was 1:44.239 (122.942 mph).
Whereas the fastest laps of the day in DPi, LMP2 and GTLM all came in the second session, the quickest lap in GT Daytona (GTD) was achieved in the first session by Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. Hawksworth, who is sharing the ride with Parker Chase, Michael De Quesada and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, posted a best lap of 1:47.031 (119.735 mph).
Bryan Herta Autosport mixing it up for 2020
More often than not, a championship-winning team will leave well enough alone and enter the next season prepared to defend with the same lineup.
But not Bryan Herta.
The owner and namesake of Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian is, in his words, “mixing it up” for the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season. And not only that, he and the team are adding a third car to the entry list for this year’s championship push.
Reigning Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR class champions Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis are back with the team, as are Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi, who drove the sister car in the Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian stable last year.
But this time, Wilkins and Gottsacker will pair together in the No. 21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR while Lewis and Filippi with co-drive the No. 98 car.
“We wanted to mix things up a little bit, I think keeping things fresh is important,” said Herta. “I feel like we could mix any two of these guys together in any car and it’s going to work. I feel like driving with a different co-driver, they’re all going to learn little tips that will help make each other better…they’re going to continue to learn and evolve and that’s part of the goal for what we’re doing.”
And with the addition of a third car, drivers Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman have been added to the team to race that new entry. Chaves, the 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year while driving for Bryan Herta Autosport, embarks on his first full-time season in IMSA, while Norman joins the team after finishing fourth in the Indy Lights championship the last two seasons, then driving for Andretti Autosport.
“I’m really excited, it’s fantastic to be back with BHA,” said Chaves. “I’m very happy [to be in the IMSA paddock full-time], to have the full commitment this year really will take it to the next level. And to be able to fight for a championship and to be part of such a great team, I’m really, really excited for it.”
Norman is also thankful for the opportunity to make the jump to sports cars.
“Really excited to work with Gabby and everyone else on the team to bring a championship,” Norman added. “I definitely have a lot to learn, this is my first venture into sports car racing and IMSA racing, but I definitely think with everyone that is involved with this program that I’m going to be able to get up to speed pretty quickly.”
The good fortune that leads to allowing the team to expand, and their partnership with Hyundai in the process, is a source of pride for Herta.
“Extremely fortunate,” he said. “Hyundai’s commitment to motorsport is fairly new, but their appetite is to grow and to continue to do new things. We’re excited to be a motorsport partner for Hyundai and as they’re growing and getting more involved in motorsports, we look to do those things, too.”
Riley Dickinson wins prestigious IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship
Newly minted IMSA President John Doonan probably said it best today when he pointed out that he often encourages young, developing drivers to be “students of the game” because it’s essential they understand those who came before them on the track.
“To be a recipient of a scholarship with Hurley Haywood’s name attached to it is no small thing,” Doonan said.
That wasn’t lost on the 2020 recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, 17-year-old Riley Dickinson from New Braunfels, Texas. The young driver came out on top after a two-day North American Porsche Young Driver Academy program that included one day of classroom activity and another of on-track sessions that helped determine the scholarship recipient.
“Having the opportunity this year, being able to represent someone like Hurley is something unbelievable,” Dickinson said when asked about the meaning of the scholarship. “It’s truly a great honor for me to be able to do.”
Winning the scholarship isn’t just about the ride for 2020, but about the process of getting there as well.
“I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone who made the Porsche Young Driver Academy possible,” stated Dickinson. “It was truly a professional, great experience for myself. I learned so much from it that I’ll be able to take with me for the rest of my life, whether that’s on-track or off-track.”
And Haywood had high praise for Dickinson’s performance at the Academy, especially with the growing depth of excellent drivers competing for the scholarship.
“When we combined with IMSA and the Hurley Haywood Scholarship with Porsche Cars North America, it expanded our pool of drivers that we were looking at,” said the five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona overall winner. “Every year, I think this is the 33rd driver lineup that we’ve had, we’ve been doing it for 11 years – every year the group of people that we get are just amazing. This last go-through, I was so impressed with the level of understanding that the drivers have, how they look at data.
“Riley immediately after the first run, knew what he wanted to look at. He came to the guys that were doing the data and pinpointed exactly where he felt he was weak. And sure enough, he looked at it, went out and solved the problem and went faster.”
Long the face of Brumos Porsche and oft-affiliated with its iconic red, white and blue scheme, Haywood’s mark in sports cars is legendary, with five Rolex 24 watches and three 24 Hours of Le Mans trophies to his credit.
Doonan added his thoughts to the enormity of the impact that Haywood has on the sport and the league he now oversees.
“Growing up as a fan of endurance racing, you pick your legends, you pick your heroes of the sport,” said the new IMSA president. “To be sitting up here in my new role, to be sitting here next to a gentleman who is truly a legend in our sport is quite special for me personally.”
The legend himself had some final light-hearted words regarding his expectations for the winner of the scholarship that bears his name. 
“I told him all he needs to do is win every single race and that would make me happy.”
New IMSA President John Doonan living out a second boyhood dream
The former director of motorsports for Mazda North America Operations, John Doonan “finally” saw cars on track as he officially started his third day as the new president of IMSA.
And he admitted that watching while in his new role is a bit of an adjustment.
“Little different not having a specific horse in the race,” Doonan said while speaking with media at Daytona International Speedway on the opening day of the Road Before the Rolex 24. “I sat back in my office for the first time all weekend and watched the first session quietly because I didn’t want to show any emotion on pit road for anybody in particular.
“I explained to some people who don’t necessarily understand sports car racing that I used to be responsible for the elephants in the circus, now I’m responsible for the whole circus.”
And being responsible for the whole circus means he gets a chance to expand on what has already been a dream career in motorsports as he takes over the reigns from the now-retired Scott Atherton.
“It was an awesome journey, a boyhood dream to work for Mazda,” said Doonan, who began working alongside Atherton and transitioning to his new role with the sanctioning body in October. “Several people in the garage area said I can’t believe you’re wearing a different shirt.
“But rarely do you get to live out two boyhood dreams. In February of ‘79, I was sitting in my living room with my family, at that time there were just regular, I don’t even think it was hourly, I think it was every six or eight hours they gave some updates from Daytona and the Rolex 24. To imagine being a young person like that, I spoke about being that next generation of wanting to be somehow in the game or be part of the action. And now to have had the opportunities I’ve had at Mazda and now to come here, it’s really hard to explain.”
For a leader who started in the sport as a fan, it’s especially important to him that he helps lead IMSA on a path that grows the audience of the sport he has a great passion for. And he knows he can’t do it alone.
“We – as a collective, and I continue to use the word ‘we’ and that’s not just ‘we’ IMSA, it’s ‘we’ the team owners, ‘we’ the drivers, ‘we’ the media – need to do our ever best to continue to grow our platforms and to grow our value,” Doonan asserted. “For me, it starts with our audience.”
“I think growing the audience, growing the outreach of how people can take in the IMSA content is critical. We also need to look at our audience, especially the younger generation.”
That will include developing initiatives to encourage fans to follow along with IMSA in new ways, such as through eSports or platforms like the newly launched TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
Another key tenet of Doonan’s leadership will be preserving and elevating the values that the France and Bishop families founded IMSA on.
“I’m honored to work for the France family,” he said. “I had a chance to talk with Jim France and then called Mitch Bishop. I said to both of them, IMSA was founded on a set of values that would allow racers, drivers, manufacturers to go racing on a variety of levels. It would be my personal goal to make that those original value statements of what IMSA was founded on are carried through to today.
“I think without a doubt the staff at IMSA has done that with a lot of passion. A lot of professionalism. And I’m here and fortunate enough to be the next caretaker of it.”
Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch takes to the track
Usually race fans have to wait until February to see the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion take to high banks of Daytona International Speedway, but Kyle Busch is providing a sweet treat to race fans this year as he joins Lexus for the 2020 Rolex 24 in the GTD class.
He’s in Daytona this weekend to turn laps in the No. 14 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus RC F GT3 alongside his co-drivers Jack Hawksworth, Parker Chase and Michael De Quesada.
It took a little persuading to get him behind the wheel of the sports car, but he didn’t want to lose the opportunity to try out the road course for the marquee event of the WeatherTech Championship season.
“I’ve been asked the last couple years by the folks at Toyota/Lexus to come out here and run their car, and I politely declined them the first couple times,” Busch told media today. “I felt like if I didn’t say yes eventually, then I would probably never be asked again.”
Busch has turned laps on the Daytona road course before – over a decade ago in a Daytona Prototype with Scott Speed in the summer sprint race in 2008. And he hopes this time he fares better.
“It was a thousand degrees inside the car, we had the NASCAR race that night, I remember just being flushed after that race was over, it was so hot,” he said. “We didn’t fare too well. I was slow. The car was slow. We were slow. So, I’m looking forward to being a bit faster this time around.”
He’s relying heavily on his teammate Hawksworth for advice as he gets used to the lighter weight and overall different feel of the Lexus compared to the Toyota Camry he pilots in NASCAR. Hawksworth traveled to the Charlotte area to spend a day on the simulator with Busch at TRD. Without Hawksworth’s guidance at the session, “I probably would have been completely lost,” said Busch.
After this first practice session, Busch admitted that he still has his “NASCAR driving techniques just embedded in (his) brain” and he has to shed them as he learns the differences in the car.
He also acquiesces that his biggest adjustment is to the braking.
“I’m used to our big heavy stock cars where you have to start the slowdown process early, the braking zone is forever, and then by the time you turn in you have to be off the brakes otherwise the inside wheels will lock up,” he said. “You also have to take care of our brakes on the Cup cars because they’re so heavy…you can really overheat them.
“Completely different techniques. On these cars, you can drive the snot out of them.”
The car Busch is driving was fast in the opening practice session. In fact, his co-driver Hawksworth put up the fastest time of the day for the GTD class. Busch’s speed was middle of the pack as he learned the car, with his fastest lap clocking in at 1:48.544 (118.066 mph).
But for all the differences, one thing remains the same. Busch wants to make his way to Victory Lane at the end of the race.
“I didn’t come here to completely have fun, of course I want to have fun,” he said. “But more importantly I want to be able to go out there and win for Lexus and for AIM VASSER SULLIVAN racing.”

Seven events are on the schedule at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for 2020:

May 1-3, 2020 – Trans Am SpeedFest
July 10-12, 2020 – MotoAmerica Superbike SpeedFest at Monterey*
July 23-26, 2020 – Ferrari Challenge & Corse Clienti F1
August 8-9, 2020 – Monterey Pre-Reunion
August 13-16, 2020 – Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
September 11-13, 2020 – IMSA Monterey SportsCar Championship
September 18-20, 2020 – IndyCar Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

Ticket renewals will be sent out January 8, and the first day of ticket sales to the public will be February 12, 2020.  Click here for more details on our website, Children 15 and under are admitted free to all events when accompanied by a ticketholder. *Please note that MotoAmerica SpeedFest is an independently promoted event, and tickets are available through their website

The WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Season Pass will be offered again this year, allowing motorsports enthusiasts to enjoy all major events on the schedule, including MotoAmerica SpeedFest, with general admission parking at one discounted price. Each Season Ticket provides admission and entry to the paddock so fans can get up close to the competing cars, bikes, drivers and riders. A value of over $600, the 2020 Season Pass is available to all for only $399. Monterey County residents save even further with 2020 Season passes offered for a preferred price of $299. 

The Family Friendly Pass is a new addition this year that includes four passes for admission and paddock access and one preferred parking pass (location depending on event) all for just $800 for Monterey County Residents and $1,000 for non-residents.

Both 2020 Season Passes will include admission to all events, including MotoAmerica Suberbike SpeedFest.

Seven thrilling events featuring racing machines on two and four wheels ranging from vintage to cutting-edge make up the incredible racing season that will take place on the legendary 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course. Furthermore, fan experience is enhanced through open grandstand seating areas as well as the range of vendors and fan activities in the Hagerty Marketplace.

Tickets, camping and VIP hospitality for individual events will be available on February 12 by visiting or calling 831-242-8200.

Seventeen-year-old driver Riley Dickinson is the 2020 recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship. The award goes toward a full season of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama racing that opens on the weekend of March 13-15 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“I’ve been impressed with the quality of the attendees during each of the eight iterations, and this past November’s Porsche Young Driver Academy was no different,” said five-time Daytona, three-time Le Mans, and two-time Sebring winner Hurley Haywood.” The young drivers come from increasingly diverse backgrounds and are sharper, more media savvy and confident every year.
“I enjoy giving back to talented young drivers, so I see it as a natural, next step combining IMSA and Porsche Motorsport’s efforts together for the scholarship, and I am proud to see it grow. With Riley Dickinson already having national, and international experience in a 911 GT3 Cup race car, I am confident his natural talent in and out of the race car will only continue to flourish.”
Dickinson, who hails from New Braunfels, Texas, finished third as a rookie in the 2019 GT3 Cup Challenge USA Platinum Cup championship standings for current-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars. He claimed his first victory in the series in the penultimate round of the season at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in October and had seven podium results from the 16-race season during the season.
He will return to the cockpit of the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche in 2020 with the substantial assistance provided by the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship. Dickinson earned the scholarship after participating in the North American Porsche Young Driver Academy at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama last November.
“Having been selected as the recipient for the 2020 IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship is a huge honor and especially meaningful to me for several reasons,” Dickinson said. “Being able to represent an American racing icon like Hurley Haywood is something that I’m going to be extremely proud of throughout the entire year and will look back on with great memories. I can’t thank everyone enough involved with the Porsche Young Drivers Academy and the scholarship for making it a professional grade learning experience for me and the other contenders.”
Dickinson was selected as the scholarship recipient as one of four participants in the eighth North American Porsche Young Driver Academy. Dickinson, 21-year-old Britt Casey, Jeff Kingsley (21) and Hanna Zellers (22) all participated in the two-day program that included one day of classroom activity and another of on-track sessions that helped determine the scholarship recipient.
“We are pleased to be aligning two significant Porsche development driver programs; the North American Porsche Young Driver Academy and the IMSA Hurley Haywood Scholarship, in 2020,” said Daniel Armbruster, President/CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America. “In the past, these efforts have run parallel to one-another benefitting dozens of drivers and now, working closely with IMSA, Yokohama, Porsche Cars North America and all of the partners of the scholarship, we have combined them.
“This will give a most deserving young driver better tools to make concrete career advancements. Congratulations to Riley who proved himself on track last year in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car and in all aspects of the eighth annual Porsche Young Driver Academy. Teamed again with Moorespeed, we are confident Riley will make a mark on the 2020 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama advancing his own career and further establishing a clear path for other drivers on the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid here in North America."
Dickinson is the fourth recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, joining Sean McAlister (2019), Max Root (2018) and Jake Eidson (2017). The scholarship was expanded in 2017 from an initial program started by IMSA, Porsche and Yokohama in 2014. Previous IMSA Scholarship recipients include Victor Gomez IV (2016), Elliott Skeer (2015) and Michael Lewis (2014).
“Riley Dickinson is a rising star in sports car racing and a worthy recipient of the 2020 IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “He was outstanding as a rookie in the 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season and will be a championship contender in his second year with Moorespeed in 2020. We’re grateful to our partners, Porsche, Yokohama, OMP, PFC Brakes and RACER magazine, for their continued support and to the legendary Hurley Haywood for lending his name to this most-prestigious scholarship.”
The scholarship provides more than $85,000 in value for Dickinson and includes the following benefits:
  •  Full-season, premium entry for the 2020 GT3 Cup Challenge USA season provided by IMSA
  • One free set of race tires per event provided by Yokohama
  • $20,000 in parts credit provided by Porsche Motorsport North America
  • A custom driver suit and other safety products provided by OMP
  • Two full sets of brakes provided by PFC Brakes
  • Promotional consideration by RACER Magazine
“Our team is really happy for Riley and honored he was selected for the Hurley Haywood Scholarship,” said Moorespeed President David Moore. “To be chosen over the other top young drivers invited to the Porsche Young Drivers Academy is an honor he earned. He learned a lot and was truly humbled getting to work directly with Hurley himself along with Pat Long, David Brown, Jamie Howe, Drew Dayton and other top professionals assembled by PMNA. There is no doubt getting their nod of approval means an awful lot to Riley and I can’t think of a more deserving young man.”
Dickinson will compete in the full, 16-race GT3 Cup Challenge season that runs from March in St. Petersburg through the weekend of Oct. 7-10 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The series, which enters its 16th season, is one of Porsche’s 24 one-make series in the world.
In 2020, Yokohama is entering its 12th season of support for the series, which produces intense competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers.
“Yokohama is honored to be associated with a legend like Hurley Haywood, and supporting this scholarship is the perfect way to show our commitment to the development of racing talent in North America,” added Drew Dayton, motorsports manager for Yokohama Tire. “We are excited to help support Riley in his second year of GT3 Cup Challenge racing, his performance in 2019 showed consistent improvement throughout the year and his ability to take on all of the challenges thrown at him during PYDA make him an excellent choice for the scholarship.”
For more information about the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, visit, follow hashtag #GT3USA @IMSA on Twitter, @imsa_racing on Instagram or IMSA on Facebook.
Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.