Racing News (10723)
Racing News from around the World
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As Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud completed what proved to be a pole-winning lap in Saturday's Honda Indy Toronto qualifying session at Exhibition Place, NTT IndyCar Series rivals were sliding off pace.
Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport bounced off the outside wall in Turn 6, and Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon spun early in his final timed lap. Neither probably had the speed to match Pagenaud, but it made for an adventurous watch in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session.
"Yeah, that was a pole run right there, man," Dixon joked before fessing up. "I'd only done two corners, so I have no idea."
With a lap of 58.4293 seconds, 110.041 mph, on the 11-turn, 1.786-mile temporary downtown street circuit, the result was Pagenaud's second pole of the season the 12th career top qualifying position for the driver of the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet. In May, Pagenaud won the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge from the pole.
Pagenaud will lead the field to the green flag for Sunday's 85-lap Honda Indy Toronto (3 p.m. ET, TV: NBC Sports Network, Radio: Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, SiriusXM Radio, Channel 209).
"It was a great day, really," Pagenaud said. "Great weekend so far. I've had the most fun ever in Toronto. The car has just been amazing. The engine, Chevrolet, provided us a bit of an update this weekend and I think it's really showing. I think the horsepower down Lake Shore (Boulevard) really helped to get pole. But also, just tying every corner so well together.
"It's so exciting in the car. I just had so much fun just being on the limit and finding further limits every lap. It was just a great lap. We really put down a big lap and I'm really proud for the DXC Technology people that are here this weekend. It's a big event for them and I love this track, so it's great to really be able to kick it to the next gear for the end of the championship."
Pagenaud had the fastest lap in each of the three practices here, but he respected the potential of Rossi, Dixon and others to knock him off his perch.
"At the end of qualifying, everybody goes out to the maximum limit, so obviously the lap times get closer and closer and closer," he said.
Pagenaud stopped short of saying the car's strength has made it a smooth ride this weekend, but he described the performance of the car as versatile and predictable. A driver can extract a lot of speed when those qualities exist in a car.
"It's honestly a pleasure to drive this weekend," Pagenaud said. "I'm having the most fun I've had in a long, long time."
Dixon, driver of the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda, earned the second starting position with a lap of 58.4293 seconds (109.730 mph). Rounding out the top five, respectively, were Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Felix Rosenqvist (58.6793 sec. / 109.572), Rossi (58.9215 / 109.121) and Team Penske's Josef Newgarden (59.3103 / 108.406).
Local favorite James Hinchcliffe will start 14th in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Motorsports Honda.
To watch today's qualifying highlights in less than five minutes, please visit https://youtu.be/D3mVixC6A4g.
NTT IndyCar Series PR
Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) waited until the very end of the 90-minute practice session for tonight’s Menards 250 at Elko Speedway to set the fastest lap of the session, knocking Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) off of the top of the leaderboard in the final seconds of the session.
Gibbs moved to the top within the first 15 minutes with a lap 14.686 seconds, but Eckes made a charge late in the session with a lap at 14.524 seconds/92.950 miles per hour around the tight 0.375-mile oval located about 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis. His fast lap was the 49th of 51 laps he turned in practice.
Gibbs, grandson of legendary NFL Hall of Fame coach and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gibbs, stayed second at 14.532 seconds/92.898 miles per hour. His fastest lap was the 41st of 47 that he turned on the session.
Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) was third with a lap at 14.628 seconds/92.289 miles per hour. Sam Mayer (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet) was fourth at 14.632 seconds/92.264 miles per hour and Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet), who is currently second in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, rounded out the top five at 14.639 seconds/92.219 miles per hour.
Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota), Carson Hocevar (No. 28 GMPartsNow.com/Scott’s/KBR Development Chevrolet), Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota), Hailie Deegan (No. 55 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota), and Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) rounded out the top ten.
There were only two incidents in practice, though only one brought on the caution flag. Eric Caudell spun in turn two the first time he was on the track but did not make contact and did not stop, not drawing a caution flag. Late in the session, Caudell spun in turn two again stopping in the grass at the bottom of the track and drawing a caution. He ended the session 14th of the 20 cars that took time.
General Tire Pole Qualifying is up next at Elko Speedway with the first car slated to roll at 5:15 pm ET/4:15 pm CT. The Menards 250 is scheduled to go green shortly after 10 pm ET/9 pm CT and will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can follow along with live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.
ARCA Menards Series PR
Vittorio Ghirelli just became not only a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series winner but also an oval racing winner. The Italian won a nail-biting battle against Myatt Snider in the closing stages of ELITE 2 Round 9 to grab his maiden NASCAR victory.
ELITE 2 ROUND 9 RESULTS
Ghirelli built himself a solid lead in the first half of the race, but Snider chased him down as the laps were winding down and the two engaged in a spectacular bumper-to-bumper battle with 10 to go. The Rome-native held on to the lead and brought home the sixth PK Carsport win at Venray.
“I’m so happy to win here, because we put a lot of work in the car,” said Ghirelli, who also won the Rookie Trophy classification. “I had a big lead on the chasing group but in the closing laps I lost a lot of time while lapping other cars. It’s great that we made it in the end! Let’s keep this momentum in the playoffs!”
Snider had a tough start behind polesitter Giorgio Maggi. The Swiss spun his wheels at the start of the race and lost several positions. Snider was stuck behind the Hendriks Motorsport driver and found himself in the middle of the pack.
The 2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Rookie of the Year fought his way back and when he took second, he rapidly closed the gap separating him from the leader. Despite several attempts and even a slight touch between the two cars, in the end he had to settle for second behind Ghirelli both in the overall classification and in the Rookie Trophy.
“It was a great race, but Vittorio managed to open a big gap, while I was battling in the pack with several drivers,” said Snider. “I closed the gap and tried to make a clean pass, as there are no bump and runs in Europe. It was a great race overall and congratulations are due to Vittorio. I really wanted to win. An oval win for an European driver is more important than for me, but I’m a racer and I also wanted to win.”
Local hero Barry Maessen returned to the podium for the first time since 2016 by finishing third. The Dutchman took advantage of his deep knowledge of Raceway Venray and a great #11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro. Andre Castro ended up fourth in his first ever oval race at the wheel of the #46 Marko Stipp Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro.
Points leader Giorgio Maggi rounded out the top-5 with another solid performance, despite enduring a tough start of the race. The Swiss driver limited damage in his #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang and will enter the NWES playoffs leading the ELITE 2 championship standings by nine points over Ghirelli.
Nicholas Risitano was seventh in his #8 Racers Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro ahead of Lasse Soerensen. Despite being in the lead group in the first part of the race, the Dexwet-df1 Racing driver couldn’t continue his streak of six consecutive podium finishes in 2019 at Raceway Venray but grabbed important points for his championship ambitions.
Jesse Vartiainen, Pierluigi Veronesi and Michael Bleekemolen rounded out the top-10. The 69-year old Dutchman grabbed the Legend Trophy win by finishing tenth in the overall race standings. Justin Kunz was eleventh ahead of Simone Laureti.
On Sunday the ELITE 1 Division will be back in action. Qualifying and the 100-lap long ELITE 1 Round 9 will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page and YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of social media pages and websites from around the world.
Kent Robinson battled Jason Feger side-by-side to claim the second DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory of his career on Friday night at Oakshade Raceway, which also came at Oakshade in 2017.
The drama was building for the championship with points leader Brian Shirley 17th in the field while second-running Bobby Pierce started sixth. Shirley methodically worked his way forward throughout the 40-lap Feature and wound up finishing eighth, one spot behind Pierce to maintain his Summer Nationals championship advantage heading into Saturday night’s finale.
Jason Feger drew the pole position with Frank Heckenast Jr. setting the front row for the $5,000-to-win Feature. Feger led early around the middle groove leaving the bottom slightly open. Robinson edged ahead of Feger on lap 14, but Feger charged right back to the front on the following lap.
Feger started to pull away from Robinson as Heckenast challenged second, but eight laps later Robinson and Heckenast were on Feger’s tail in a three-way battle for the lead. Robinson moved inside of Feger and the two raced side-by-side for the lead, with Robinson finally gaining the advantage on lap 23. This time he wouldn’t surrender the top spot and powered ahead to the checkered flag with Feger in second and Heckenast third.
14-Year-Old Gossum wins DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature: Hunt Gossum, a 14-year-old racer from Mayfield, KY, powered to the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals victory on Friday night at Oakshade Raceway to become the youngest winner in tour history.
Gossum chased Curt Spalding for the lead in the 25-lap Feature when Spalding was slowed by lapped traffic. Gossum, who started racing UMP Modifieds as a 10-year-old, went the top with six to go, passed Spalding, survived a restart with three to go and drove off with the $1,000 checkered flag.
Spalding wound up second for the third consecutive night as Gossum became the 65th different winner in DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals history.
DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature (40 Laps) - 1. 7R-Kent Robinson ; 2. 25F-Jason Feger ; 3. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, Jr. ; 4. 51-Devin Shiels ; 5. CJ1-Rusty Schlenk ; 6. 22-Gregg Satterlee ; 7. 32-Bobby Pierce ; 8. 3S-Brian Shirley ; 9. 2S-Travis Stemler ; 10. 42-Chad Finley ; 11. 67-Chris Keller ; 12. 55-Jeep VanWormer ; 13. 49-Brian Ruhlman ; 14. 23-Brad Wade ; 15. X3-Dan Wallace ; 16. 10-Brett Miller ; 17. 31AUS-Paul Stubber ; 18. P3-Truck Robertson ; 19. 25H-Chuck Hummer ; 20. 88-Andrew Reaume ; 21. 50-Ryan Missler ; 22. 77-Steve Kester ; KSE Hard Charger Award: 3S-Brian Shirley[+9]
DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 99-Hunt Gossum ; 2. 5CS-Curt Spalding ; 3. 47-Collin Thirlby ; 4. 2-Nick Hoffman ; 5. 12M-John McClure ; 6. 2D-Curtis Deisenroth ; 7. 65-Todd Sherman ; 8. O7K-Curtis King ; 9. 19B-Brandon Ordway ; 10. 17T-Michael Tarlton ; 11. 11JS-Josh Scott ; 12. 88-Matt Crafton ; 13. 20K-Bill Keeler ; 14. 49-Brian Ruhlman ; 15. 22S-Brian Speelman ; 16. 23-Luke Hubbell ; 17. 25-Josh Lolmaugh ; 18. OO6-Jarrett Rendel ; 19. 81-Rick Swartout ; 20. 8C-Corey Bevard ; 21. 555-Justin Coulter ; 22. 20M-Josh Morton ; KSE Hard Charger Award: 88-Matt Crafton[+8]
DIRTcar Series PR
Giorgio Maggi pulled a perfect lap from his hat at Raceway Venray, the only oval on the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series schedule. Driving the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang, the Swiss clocked a 19.636 seconds lap in the very last run of the 30-minute ELITE 2 Division qualifying session and grabbed his second NWES career pole position.
ELITE 2 QUALIFYING RESULTS
“It was a tough qualifying. I was leading in the beginning and then I dropped back to fifth,” said Maggi, who already started from the pole last time out in Most. “It was an intensive battle for the first spot, but I pulled it off in the very last run. The car felt very good with just a little bit of understeering. I was fast enough to be on pole for today’s race and I’m really happy right now. In the race I have to be really careful, because Vittorio and of course Myatt are very fast.”
The ELITE 2 championship leader edged fellow rookie Vittorio Ghirelli, who was only 0.028 seconds slower than Maggi, missing the pole position for the NASCAR GP Netherlands by the narrowest margin. It is the first ever oval outing for the Italian, who is driving the #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro.
Myatt Snider, who was fastest in Free Practice, ended up third just 0.155 seconds short on the polesetter. Driving the #48 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang, the American stays one of the favorite drivers for the NASCAR GP Netherlands win with his pocket full of oval experience in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series.
Dexwet-df1 Racing’s Lasse Soerensen finished fourth and secured a spot on the second row of the grid. The Dane never drove on an oval before today but was very consistent and posted a 19.836 seconds lap. NWES veteran Martin Doubek, who boasts plenty of experience at Venray, rounded out the top-5.
Local hero Barry Maessen was sixth with a 0.271 seconds gap from Maggi. The son of track owner Harry Maessen knows every secret of Raceway Venray and will definitely be a contender in the race in front of his home crowd. Pierluigi Veronesi was seventh ahead of oval racing rookie Andre Castro, Nicholas Risitano and Dutch race driver Michael Bleekemolen, who led the Legend Trophy classification.
The ELITE 2 Round 9 will be streamed live at 3:15 pm CEST on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR YouTube channel and Facebook page, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media pages from around the world.
Despite being just 24 years old, Myatt Snider is the most experienced oval racer in the ELITE 2 Division field in 2019 and one of the favorites for the NASCAR GP Netherlands at Raceway Venray. Fresh of a top-10 finish at Gateway in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on June 22, the Charlotte native clocked a 19.971 seconds lap to lead practice in first oval racing weekend in Europe.
ELITE 2 FREE PRACTICE RESULTS
When a sudden shower hit the track in the closing minutes of the session, Snider stayed on track and kept running at an impressive pace. It was the first time the American drove a NASCAR car in wet conditions around a half-mile banked oval.
Martin Doubek, who took part in six races at Raceway Venray in his NASCAR career, was second, just 26 thousands of a second behind Snider. His Hendriks Motorsport team mate Giorgio Maggi was third only 0.137 seconds slower than the American. The Swiss put the experience he gained in a couple of local races at the track to good use.
PK Carsport driver Barry Maessen, son of track owner Harry Maessen, was fourth ahead of Dexwet-Df1 Racing’s Lasse Soerensen, who was fastest among the drivers to put wheels on an oval for the very first time. The Dane was 0.162 seconds slower than Snider.
Andre Castro – one of seven oval racing rookies at the Raceway Venray – was sixth in his #46 Marko Stipp Motorsport Ford Mustang ahead of PK Carsport’s Vittorio Ghirelli, Nicholas Risitano, Jesse Vartiainen and Freddie Hemborg.
Qualifying will be streamed live at 12:20 pm CEST at Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page and YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media pages from around the world.
ASCS Frontier Region
Gallatin Speedway (Belgrade, Mont.)
4th annual Grizzly Nationals
Friday, July 12, 2019
Hard Charger: Jeremy McCune +8
High Point Driver: John Carney II
Provisional(s): Damon McCune (Regional)
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Jesse Colwell finished third as the top placing Toyota in a wild POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature at Valley Speedway Friday night.
Cannon McIntosh appeared to have earned his first POWRi feature victory, but was disqualified after his car was found to be under weight in the post-race inspection. The win was then awarded to Jake Neuman.
The race featured numerous passes for position and began with three-time POWRi champion Zach Daum going from the outside of the front row into the lead on the opening lap, only to see pole-sitter Chance Morton drive around him on the top side to take the point position on lap two. Behind the top two were Hank Davis, Ace McCarthy, Jake Neuman, McIntosh, Holley Hollan, Kyle Jones, Andrew Felker and Colwell.
As the race neared the midway point, McIntosh began to make his move, jumping from fifth to third on a restart and began to close on Morton and Daum. McIntosh would then begin a fierce battle with Daum as the two traded sliders back and forth for second with McIntosh eventually taking the position.
At that point, the 16-year-old Oklahoma native quickly caught Morton and threw a slider for the lead, only to see Morton drive back around him. Then with nine laps remaining, McIntosh again went for the lead, with the top two cars making slight contact and Morton spinning, resulting in a caution and having Morton re-join the field at the back of the pack.
McIntosh would bring the field back to green with eight laps remaining with Daum right behind him. The two would battle for the next six laps, before Daum appeared to stall his car as he prepared to set McIntosh up for the pass. That resulted in a caution, setting up a two-lap run to the finish.
In the green-white-checkered finish, McIntosh led Neuman to the green flag, where Neuman would throw a slider at McIntosh going into turn one, only to see McIntosh drive back around him for the lead. Neuman would throw another slider at him on the last lap, but couldn’t pull the pass off, giving McIntosh the apparent win with Neuman, Felker and Colwell, who went from sixth to four in the final two laps, crossing the finish line behind McIntosh.
Also earning top-10 finishes were Toyota-powered drivers Holley Hollan in seventh and 14-year-old Daison Pursley in ninth.
With the third-place finish, Colwell moves up to second in the POWRi point standings.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League returns to Valley Speedway on Saturday night.
Jason McDougal led the final 12 laps to score his first national midget car feature win in the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship “Mid-America” Midget Week event at Jefferson County Speedway Friday night. McDougal’s win comes in just his third race since joining the Toyota-powered Frank Manafort Racing (FMR) team.
Four different Toyota-powered teams have now won this season in USAC competition as FRM joins Keith Kunz Motorsports, Petry Motorsports and Dave Mac Motorsports as event winners.
For much of the race, it looked like another Toyota-powered entry was going to find his way to Victory Lane as pole-sitter Tanner Thorson went straight to the front at the green flag, with Robert Dalby running in second, McDougal third, Kevin Thomas Jr. in fourth and Tucker Klaasmeyer climbing into the top five by lap two. They would continue to run in that order until lap seven when McDougal would move past Dalby for second with Thomas Jr. and Klaasmeyer also slipping ahead of Dalby.
Thorson would begin to pull away from the field as they moved past the midway point. The race would see a major shake-up as Thorson was moving through traffic on lap 18 when a lapped car would spin in front of the leader. Thorson then spun while trying to avoid him, collecting Thomas Jr. and Klaasmeyer in the process.
McDougal was the only car in the top four to avoid the incident and would take over the point position following the caution. Coming back to the green flag on lap 19, it was McDougal, Chris Windom, Tyler Courtney, Chad Boat and Jerry Coons, Jr., making up the top five.
As the laps began to wind down, the battle for second began to heat up and that was just what McDougal needed to widen his advantage. Courtney would eventually take over the position on lap 29 and made a late run at McDougal coming off turn four on the final lap, but it would be too little, too late as McDougal took the checkered flag.
“This is amazing,” said McDougal afterward. “I’m lucky to be part of such a great team and it feels good to get one for the FMR guys.”
Boat would eventually finish fourth, with Coons in fifth, followed by Tyler Thomas, who overcame an early spin to finish sixth, one spot ahead of Logan Seavey in seventh.
The feature win marks the 22nd for a Toyota-powered driver in national midget competition, coming from a total of nine different drivers.
The USAC “Mid-America” Midget Week returns to Jefferson Speedway on Saturday night, before closing up the week’s action at Sweet Springs Motorsports Complexin Sweet Springs, Mo., on Sunday.
Robert Wickens has inspired the masses with his unrelenting determination to fully recuperate from a multitude of injuries from his accident last August at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, with the most serious being a spinal cord injury.
On Sunday in front of a home Canadian crowd, the 30-year-old Guelph, Ontario, native will enjoy another monumental achievement in his recovery process when he drives an Acura NSX equipped with hand controls on the parade lap for the start of the Honda Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place.
Wickens, who was the NTT IndyCar Series' rookie of the year last season for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, had the opportunity made possible by the team's engine manufacturer and its primary sponsor. Honda provided the Acura NSX while Arrow created the modifications to allow Wickens, without the use of his legs, to get back on track once again.
"I've had this dream for so long to get back, and this was the target to get the car ready for Toronto," said Wickens during a special press conference Friday during the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend. "And it was only fitting that it's the Honda Indy of Toronto, and it's my home race. It was kind of the perfect fit."
Wickens' first time in the striking black-and-gold Arrow-branded Acura NSX came Wednesday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, where he ran laps for about 90 minutes. He followed that shakedown of the car with a 30-minute test session Thursday on the Honda Indy Toronto's 11-turn, 1.786-mile street circuit.
"It's amazing," Wickens said. "I was able to get a couple practice laps in yesterday (Thursday), and it put a huge smile on my face. Just to think how fortunate I am, one, to have such great partners around me to make this happen. Racing is my dream, it's my passion, it's all I want to do. And to have a company like Arrow to be so hands-on building the hand controls and then a company like Honda that somehow trusts me with a very expensive car is -- I still don't know why. But I actually bent a wheel already."
The emotional moment also will be enhanced by the fact that his fiance, Karli Woods, will be in the passenger seat for the parade lap. Wickens, however, kidded that he may be looking for a bit more behind the wheel when asked if he will pull off following his parade lap.
"I will neither confirm nor deny," Wickens said, smiling. "I'm trying to figure out what that penalty would be if I just kept going."
Wickens was joined by Honda Performance Development President Ted Klaus and Arrow Electronics Chairman, President and CEO Mike Long, who both were key to this project materializing. They see this as just the first phase of Wickens' comeback drive.
"There was an interesting piece of this that I think everybody in the world was wondering is will Robert go fast again," Long said. "I will tell you I don't think there's any question. We wanted to start this now with Robert so we can be a part of his rehab together with our friends at Honda and get Robbie back to racing because that's what he wants, and we're going to be there to support that effort all the way."
Added Klaus: "But I do hope that as Robbie really enjoys re-learning how to control the car with his hands, I'm sure he's going to realize he's just using different parts of his brain and his body with this man-machine, woman-machine challenge, it's just amazing."
Wickens said he feels "like I'm being portrayed as this extremely strong and inspirational person but behind every good person is a great team." That team includes everyone from Woods to the fans and the continual encouragement has been important to his progress over the past 11 months.
"It's just been a whirlwind," he said. "It's been a big eye-opener for me, this whole injury. I have a whole new perspective on life, which I guess there's good to take away from that,. But the biggest thing for me is when I was in rehab every single day, it was the support that I had from my racing partners, from my family, from Karli, from all the fans, from everyone that kind of was getting me there to the gym the next day.
"And I was always -- when I was at rehab, I was just patient 31265, and then you get to become friends with these patients and you hear their story, and then like I get back to my place at the end of the day and I kind of think like, 'Man, I'm so lucky that I have such great support everywhere.' If I'm having a bad day, just all my fans can just come and pick me up where everyone else can easily get into this big spiral and get into some depression and everything."
The Honda Indy Toronto, an 85-lap race on the downtown city streets at Exhibition Place, will be televised live Sunday July 14 beginning at 3 p.m. ET by NBCSN. The event is Round 11 of the 17-race NTT IndyCar Series season.
NTT IndyCar Series PR