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 Examiner.com., 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 SpeedwayDigest.com.
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For the last event of 2019, Cool Racing would have preferred to end up with a top three/four result. Nevertheless, the 8 hours of Bahrain, being the longest race of the WEC season so far, was also the longest race of the new Swiss team in world endurance racing.
Their main objective was therefore to gather information and experience, especially at night, to go to the chequered flag and bring the car back without making any mistakes. These objectives were fulfilled, since Oreca #ANA42 takes the points of 7th LMP2.
As soon as in the first free practice Alex and Antonin could confirm the great help simulator work was in order to get prepared for a race track you don't know. The adaptation to the track went pretty fast, and #42 ends up 2nd LMP2.
After having had such good Free Practice 1, the team decided in FP2 to concentrate on different set-up test in order to optimize the use of the tires on the long runs, as on this BIC circuit, the car behaves very differently with used or new tires. The car ended the session P6.
The third and last free practice on Friday morning took place on a dry track. Antonin got surprised and lost the car sliding on an astroturf part that was still wet from the morning rain. He ended his course in the barrier. The mechanics did a wonderful job repairing the car, changing the rear wishbone and the rear tire. Thanks to them, Alex was able to go back on track for a few laps.
Nico and Antonin were on duty for qualifying as usual. The Frenchman set a best lap in 1:46.713, while the Swiss did it in 1:47.818. The average time placed our #ANA42 Oreca fifth of the LMP2 field, on the 5th row.
"It was a difficult session for us today. After the very short FP3 (Antonin's accident) our car was not totally ready for the qualifying and had some problems in the tire exploitation. We are far down and it's not the qualification we expected, but we have an 8-hour race ahead of us, and we will do our best of course." said Nico
He lost several positions before he handed the car to Alex after a simple stint. Alex leaves with new tires and manages his stint. Lap 46 Antonin takes his turn, the car is P8. He keeps that position during his 22-lap stint having a complicated time, keeping the tires up. Nico took over after 68 laps for a double stint and did his best to make it work, but no, they definitely could find the correct set-up to take advantage of the tires.
Track is declared WET, but in the end, the race stays dry all along the 8 hours and Alex takes over on Lap 115, no rain for him either. Just before the mid-race fireworks comes the first FCY after the accident of Porsche GTE Am #88 left debris on the track. Antonin - Alex - Antonin so went the following stints. Antonin finally finds the way to use his tires and show very good performances.
Just before the last hour of the race started, Nico took over with a better car, and tries to make up for some places. But the car is too far down, so the team decides to keep safe. The Oreca #ANA42 received the chequered flag in 7th position.
Iradj Alexander - Cool Racing Sporting Director : "We started the race with a set-up that surprised us, as we suffered oversteer. This hindered of course our drivers to fight severely. With the temperatures getting lower at night, we managed to get a more stable car and they did some nice lap times with medium tires. But we were already very far down, so our objective was to keep the car on track, go to the end and not make any mistake. In Nico's last stint we also decided to play safe, this is why we came in for a "splash & dash" (fuel). Of course we are disappointed, but the team worked well and there were no errors."
Alexandre Coigny : "We were missing the right rhythm at the beginning of the race. We could only really exploit our car in the night conditions. The result is disappointing, but the most important for all of us, is that we did not make mistake. The potential of the car exists and we have again learned a lot. That matters for the future."
Nicolas Lapierre: "The Bahrain International Circuit is quite different from what we can find on other tracks and we had troubles finding the correct set-up to use the tires in the best possible way this weekend. We also had a puncture which made us lose some time and miss an FCY window. We will need to analyze our weekend in order to benefit from the experience and not have the same in the coming races, even though we will not have the same conditions on the coming racetracks."
Antonin Borga: "It was a race... really not easy going for us this weekend. We could not find the keys to our car's set-up. We run on hard tires at the beginning and obviously it was not the right choice. It really is a pity, but we will come back stronger, for sure."
After a quiet end of the 2019 year, the Cool Racing team will be back on track at the next WEC Lone Star Le Mans / USA in February.
- The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 moves to Thursday, March 19 at 3:50 p.m. EDT from its traditional Friday date.
- The WEC’s 1000 Miles of Sebring on Friday, March 20, will now take place four hours earlier with the race starting at 12 noon and finishing at 8 p.m.
American Honda Motor Co. and Richie Morris Racing have signaled their intention to make an all-out assault on the AFT Singles championship with the blockbuster signing of Henry Wiles to contest the 2020 American Flat Track season aboard a Honda CRF450R.
After returning to the scene following more than 25 years away and coming within six points of claiming the AFT Singles title in 2019, American Honda is set to increase their involvement and support of RMR for the upcoming season.
“RMR has been a great partner, earning second place in the 2019 AFT Singles championship during our first year of collaboration,” said Brandon Wilson, Manager of Advertising & Motorcycle Sports at American Honda. “For 2020, we’re excited to have Henry Wiles on a CRF450R, and we look forward to him and the team continuing Honda’s proud history in the sport of dirt track racing.”
The addition of Wiles is a monumental development destined to send shockwaves throughout the paddock and the clearest sign possible regarding the seriousness of the RMR/American Honda effort.
"It’s an honor to have American Honda back with RMR in an even larger capacity in 2020," said Richie Morris, owner of Richie Morris Racing. "I’m so excited that this partnership includes the recruitment of Henry Wiles. In my opinion, Henry is one of the best flat track pros to ever swing a leg over a 450; RMR is proud to have him. We’re certain that he’s the right man to bring home the championship in 2020."
“King Henry” is arguably one of the most accomplished Singles riders in the history of the sport. The Winn, Michigan, native was crowned GNC1 Singles Champion in 2009 and 2010, and boasts 26 career premier-class victories aboard four-stroke singles, including a string of 14 straight at the legendary Peoria TT.
In fact, from 2009 to 2016 (the final year singles were included in the premier category), he won half (19 of 38) of the races he started on single-cylinder equipment.
Wiles is AFT’s all-time winningest TT rider with 19 victories in the discipline and stands equal with Chris Carr at the top of the order in Short Track wins at nine. He ranks 11th in career American Flat Track wins at 30, having also demonstrated the ability to take the checkered flag first aboard twin-cylinder machinery and at Half-Mile venues. That versatility was well demonstrated in 2018, when he finished as the AFT Twins championship runner-up with six podiums and 13 top-fives.
Regarding his impending move into the AFT Singles class, Wiles said, “Richie gave me a call and was talking about going and winning a 450 championship. It’s absolutely exciting to be associated with American Honda, and I’m walking on to a good team that already has some things sorted out. That’s going to be good for me… and I think it’s going to be bad for everybody else. Richie was very up front with me about what the goal is. They’ve got everything in place, and Richie has won championships before. He’s a team owner who knows how to put the right people in place to do just that.”
Wiles will team with returning RMR rider Cole Zabala, who registered five top-10 finishes in AFT Singles action a year ago with RMR.
"Cole is truly a good kid," Morris said. "He’s not afraid of hard work and I admire that. He learned much last season and is important to one of our associate sponsors, Tucker Powersports. It’s going to be fun to watch him learn from Henry and become the future of American Flat Track."
Zabala said, “I’m really excited to continue the relationship with RMR and American Honda. Last year was a huge improvement in my program, and I’m stoked for this upcoming season!”
American Flat Track will start its highly anticipated 2020 season with the first-ever Daytona 200 and Daytona TT Doubleheader at Daytona International Speedway. It all kicks off at the peak of Daytona Bike Week on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Tickets start at just $35 online and are available for purchase now at www.americanflattrack.com.
The CARS Super Late Model Tour will introduce an all new touring program for the 2020 season. The “Super Six” program is a touring loyalty program dedicated to teams receiving additional financial and promotional benefits for participating full time on the CARS Super Late Model Tour in 2020. The program is modeled after the highly successful Touring 12 program for the Late Model Stock tour that has seen car counts sky rocket over the last two seasons.
The “Super Six” program for Super Late Models is a touring loyalty program that will consist of six Super Late Model teams that plan to compete in every points event for the 2020 season. Multiple benefits of the “Super Six” program will include: $100 savings per set of tires purchased at the track each race, $150 cash travel bonus at each event, two complimentary race tickets to all CARS SLM Tour points races, and multiple other financial and promotional benefits throughout the year.
In order for teams to participate in the “Super Six” program, CARS SLM Tour teams must sign an agreement to participate in all regular season races and complete driver license, owner license, and annual race entry by March 3, 2020. Drivers will be required to have their name and likeness used on CARS Tour branding, and must be committed to participate in limited driver appearances throughout the season, along with running a special throwback scheme at the Throwback 276 set for August 1, 2020. Drivers who are eligible for the Rowdy Manufacturing Super Challenge are not eligible for the Super Six program.
“Ever since we introduced the Touring 12 program for Late Model Stocks, the Super Late Model guys have expressed the desire to have a similar program. It is something that we’ve really thought about and wanted to do, we just needed to see the support from the competitors. After a very good year with Super Late Models we fell that the 2020 season is the right time to see if we can start building a program like this, “explained CARS Tour Series Director, Chris Ragle. “We have to get six teams that want to build and invest in each other. That is the key to growing this program and the series for Super Late Models. I really hope teams will respond to this program, there’s no other series I can think of that does additional compensation for participating, and that is what this program is design for. It is about participation and not performance.”
Teams wanting to apply for the inaugural Super Six program can do so by visiting www.carsracingtour.com and clicking the “Super Six” application banner located in middle of the site’s home page. CARS Tour officials will also communicate the link to apply online, much like that to enter a race, via email throughout the application period.
For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.
The Mid-States Conference 2020 SCCA® U.S. Majors Tour® competition calendar has been released. A total of six weekends, 12 races in all, make up the schedule that runs from April to August and visits five different venues.
The Mid-States Conference again opens its season with a Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour event at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Oklahoma, followed by a stop at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas, later in April. May sees two events on the Mid-States Conference calendar with the first taking place at World Wide Technology Raceway, formerly Gateway Motorsports Park, located just east of St. Louis, followed by a visit to Pueblo Motorsports Park in Colorado. The final two events on the calendar then occur at High Plains Raceway in Colorado with one event scheduled for July and the other in August. All six meets on the Mid-States Conference schedule are two-day events.
As always, the calendar below is subject to change, but the current 2020 U.S. Majors Tour Mid-States Conference schedule is comprised of the following:
- April 4-5: Hallett Motor Racing Circuit; Jennings, Oklahoma
(Dual Mid-States/Southern Conference Event)
- April 18-19: Heartland Motorsports Park; Topeka, Kansas
- May 2-3: World Wide Technology Raceway; Madison, Illinois
- May 23-24: Pueblo Motorsports Park; Pueblo, Colorado
- July 4-5: High Plains Raceway; Deer Trail, Colorado
- August 22-23: High Plains Raceway; Deer Trail, Colorado
Schedules for other SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Conferences will be published as they are finalized. Only SCCA Full Competition and SCCA Pro Racing License holders may register for U.S. Majors Tour or Hoosier Super Tour events. Again this year, both the U.S. Majors Tour and Hoosier Super Tour serve as pathways to the 2020 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® being held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 115 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA’s activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Hagerty, the Official Insurance Partner of SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.
Photo: SCCA racers wind their way around Hallett Motor Racing Circuit
Credit: Mark Weber
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (YMUS) is pleased to announce support for Estenson Racing’s effort in American Flat Track (AFT) for the 2020 season. The team has signed a multi-year deal with JD Beach, who will lead the campaign in the all-new SuperTwins class, while Kolby Carlile, the 2017 AFT Singles Champion, steps up to the premier class alongside Beach aboard the Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT. The team has also signed Mikey Rush for a two-pronged threat in the AFT Singles class with young phenom Dallas Daniels.
Returning for his second year with Estenson Racing, 2020 will be JD Beach’s first full-season in American Flat Track. With multiple road race titles on his resume, the Owensboro, Kentucky, resident has his sights set on a SuperTwins crown. He pulled double duty with the team in 2019, competing in the premier classes of both AFT and MotoAmerica. The dirt track/road racer made history with his first AFT Grand National win at the Super TT in Arizona, which was also the first victory for a Yamaha Twin since 1981. Beach then backed it up the following weekend at Virginia International Raceway with his first MotoAmerica Superbike win, becoming the first rider to top the podium during the same season in the premier class of both disciplines since Nicky Hayden in 2002. He ended the year in AFT with two wins and three podiums.
Kolby Carlile made the transition to the Twins ranks last season, competing both in the new AFT Production Twins class and AFT Twins. He had a solid rookie year in spite of injury and made a late-season charge for the Production Twins title, ultimately ending the year third in the Production championship with two wins and six podiums. The “Flying Tomato” also showed strength in the premier class on the TTs, making all four Main Events. Carlile now looks forward to stepping up to the SuperTwins full-time in his fourth season with the Estenson Racing squad.
The newest member of the team, Mikey Rush, jumped straight into the premier class of AFT in 2009 and scored his first win in 2013 at the Daytona Short Track. After some tough years in the privateer ranks, he made the move to the AFT Singles class and had a standout season in 2019, finishing second in the championship with four wins and seven podiums. The Californian now looks to bring home the title in 2020 aboard the Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F.
Returning with the team is 2019 AFT Singles Rookie of the Year, Dallas Daniels. The 16-year-old turned heads last season with a dominant debut win at the Peoria TT. He then went on to back it up with two more podiums to finish the year just outside the top 10, despite only turning pro mid-season. Daniels looks to build on his progress in his first full-year of AFT competition.
Keith McCarty – Yamaha Racing Division Manager
“We’re very excited to expand our partnership with the Estenson Racing team for 2020. Last year, Tim Estenson really stepped it up in a big way with his new tractor-trailer that set the standard in the pits that Yamaha is accustomed to. In addition, he assembled a great group of riders that accomplished some milestone events for Estenson Racing and Yamaha with a couple of AFT Twins wins and several podium finishes. The team also had success in the Production Twins and singles class.
For 2020, with the help of Tommy Hayden, Tim has refined his crew and assembled a solid team of winning riders with improvements to their equipment that should greatly increase their chances for championships. With a great rider line-up and Tim’s enthusiasm for perfection, I’m sure good things will happen for the Estenson Racing Yamaha Team.”
Tim Estenson – Estenson Racing Team Owner
“My roots in racing, in motorcycling in general, have been with the Yamaha brand, so I’m really happy to have Yamaha USA’s increased support for our American Flat Track effort. Last season, we were able to accomplish my dream of returning a Yamaha Twin to the top of box for the first time in nearly forty years with JD Beach’s win in Arizona. Going into the new season, along with the support we are receiving from Yamaha, we’ve made some key additions to our staff and technical program. We’ve had some success early on with our young team and I look forward to building on that in 2020 to fight for the championship.
“I’m really happy to have JD back on board with us and especially full time this year in American Flat Track. I also look forward to seeing Kolby step up full-time in the SuperTwins class. He brought us our first championship and it has been great to see him progress in the sport with our team. On the AFT Singles side, Dallas had a great rookie season in 2019 and I look forward to his continued growth in the sport. I’m also really excited to have a championship contender like Mikey Rush join our team. He has a great story and has showed a lot of character and perseverance over the years as a privateer in the sport.”
JD Beach – Estenson Racing SuperTwins Team:
“I’m really looking forward to being back with the Estenson Racing crew. I think we kind of got started on our back foot last season. We were hoping for more, but we still managed a few wins, and within the Twins team a few podiums. I think the changes to the team and the new personnel are going to help a lot. We’re all putting in a lot of work this winter to come out next season swinging. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Kolby Carlile – Estenson Racing SuperTwins Team:
“2020 is going to be an awesome year for me. I learned a lot last year racing the Twin in the Production Twins class and winning a few rounds. This year I’ll be racing in the new AFT SuperTwins class full-time on the Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07. The guys I’ll be racing against week in and week out are the fastest guys in the world and I feel like I’ve always benefited from racing the best there is. The team also has some new members that are going to be huge additions in the development of the bike.
“Going into the new year, I’ve been taking a few months away from racing to allow me to focus on getting my knee in better condition. The races are a bit longer this year for me, and the intensity is up from what I have raced before, so being in top physical condition is important. I have an awesome teammate in JD Beach. I’ve grown up learning from him and I don’t plan on stopping now. I look forward to doing my best to improve the bike, the team, and myself in 2020.”
Mikey Rush – Estenson Racing AFT Singles Team:
“I’m really excited to have this opportunity with Estenson Racing. Tim is a great guy and their whole program is very professional. I’m looking forward to working with them next season and am ready to go racing and fight for the AFT Singles Championship.”
Dallas Daniels – Estenson Racing AFT Singles Team:
“I’m super excited to start my first full year in American Flat Track with Estenson Racing. I’ve been training hard and preparing for 2020. I’m really looking forward to getting things started in Daytona. I can’t wait for the season.”
American Flat Track will kick off its highly-anticipated 2020 season with the first-ever Saturday of Speed featuring the DAYTONA 200 and DAYTONA TT Doubleheader at Daytona International Speedway. It all kicks off at the peak of Daytona Bike Week on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Tickets start at just $35 online and are available for purchase now at www.americanflattrack.com.
For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.
To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.
After tight 2019 Main Event battles in all three classes, tickets for American Flat Track's highly-anticipated return to the Red Mile are in high demand. Admission for the 2020 Red Mile - scheduled for May 30 - is now available for purchase at tickets.americanflattrack.com.
Race fans may remember an unforgettable battle between AFT Singles competitors Shayna Texter and Mikey Rush for which only a photo-finish could determine Rush's victory. In similar fashion, the later-crowned 2019 AFT Twins champion Briar Bauman came up only inches short of Wrecking Crew teammate and defending-champion Jared Mees in a heart-stopping Main Event battle.
With its undeniably exciting on-track action, coupled with multiple experiential additions in the fan zone, AFT's return to Lexington, KY will be bigger and better than ever before.
For the exclusive race-day experience, fans should explore the VIP Hospitality Suite ticketing option. With food and beverage provided, this indoor, climate-controlled VIP area provides an unbeatable Turn 1 view of all the on-track race action. New for 2020, fans may purchase an all-day Paddock Access add-on allowing a behind-the-scenes view of riders and teams right in the heart of the pits. All VIP passes purchased include Paddock Access upgrade. Premium Red Mile ticketing options always sell fast, so be sure to reserve yours today at tickets.americanflattrack.com.
For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.
To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.
In a record-setting season for television viewership, ESPN networks averaged more than 20 percent in audience gains and set seven event viewership records during the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship season that ended this past weekend. Live Formula 1 racing returned to ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC in 2018
Over the 21-event season, live race telecasts averaged 671,000 viewers, an increase of 21 percent over the average of 554,000 on ESPN networks last year and up 25 percent from the 538,000 average on NBC networks in 2017.
Seventeen of the 21 races saw year-over-year viewership increases and seven races earned U.S. viewership records. In addition, the young adult demographic (persons ages 18-34) was up 75 percent over 2018 and 89 percent over 2017.
“This was a fantastic season for Formula 1 on our networks,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling. “The viewership increases and event records demonstrate that the core F1 fans in the United States are tuning in and new viewers are watching as well.
“We look forward to helping Formula 1 celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2020.”
ESPN and Formula 1 recently announced a new, three-year deal to keep F1 races on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the 2022 season. As an additional element of the new deal, ESPN Deportes will serve as the exclusive Spanish-language home for all Formula 1 races in the U.S. starting in 2020.
The 2020 Formula 1 season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on March 15.