Thursday, October 8, 2015

Action Express Racing Defends Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup Title

Action Express Racing Defends Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup Title
PR1 /Mathiasen Motorsports, Corvette Racing, Win Class Honors
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 8 2015) – Action Express Racing came to Road Atlanta with three goals, including the objective to repeat as winners of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. The team was successful in that pursuit, in addition to winning the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda and securing its second consecutive TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype title.

The team’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP driven by Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais clinched the Prototype (P) class honors in the Patrón Endurance Cup by scoring the five bonus points earned for leading the opening segment of Saturday’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.

With the Patrón Endurance Cup secured, Action Express then met its next two goals – winning the scheduled 10-hour race and the Prototype championship. Barbosa and Bourdais won the Patrón Endurance Cup by eight points over Bourdais (who did not compete at Watkins Glen), 45-37, with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates drivers Scott Pruett and Joey Hand third with 35 points.

The Patrón Endurance Cup encompassed approximately 50 hours of racing, also including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

“It was a very different chemistry than last year,” Barbosa said. “Last year we came to Road Atlanta with nothing to gain, everything to lose. This year was intense from the get-go. It was a very tough year, but it ended in the best way. But we always believed we could win both championships, and it ended up very well.”

New champions also were crowned in the remaining classes: PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports in Prototype Challenge (PC); Corvette Racing in GT Le Mans (GTLM); and Riley Motorsports/TI Automotive/ in GT Daytona (GTD).

The No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R of Al Carter and Cameron Lawrence also clinched in the opening segment to successfully culminate a four-race effort dedicated to winning the Patrón Endurance Cup. Carter and Lawrence won in the GTD class by 10 points over TUDOR Series champions Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler, 45-35.

“Winning the Patrón Endurance Cup in my first year in the TUDOR Championship was huge,” Lawrence said. “It was awesome to be able to race up against the big guys I’ve been looking up to so much for the last few years, and to be successful. This was a real big step in my career, and a really cool experience.”

The PC and GTLM titles were not decided until the checkered flag at Road Atlanta.

GTLM went right down to the wire, with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the Daytona- and Sebring-winning No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R prevailing by two points over teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the team’s No. 4 entry, 39-37. Ryan Briscoe, who drove in both cars this year, was tied for second with 37 points. Next, with 33 points, were Petit Le Mans winners Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, drivers of the Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

Mike Guasch, Tom Kimber-Smith and Andrew Palmer added a victory at Petit Le Mans to earlier triumphs at Daytona and Sebring to claim the PC title in the No. 52 Cuttwood/Spyder ORECA FLM09, denying CORE autosport its second consecutive crown. While Jon Bennett and Colin Braun won TUDOR Championship class honors in the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources entry, they came up nine points shy in the Patrón Endurance Cup standings, 46-37.

Points in the Patrón Endurance Cup were awarded at specific intervals throughout each race, with the leader at the end of each segment scoring five points, four points for second, three points for third, and fourth place on back receiving two points. Points were scored at four hours and the finish at Petit Le Mans, with no points scored at the eight-hour mark due to the race ending early due to weather conditions.

Patrón Endurance Cup round-winning drivers at each event received a limited edition bottle of Gran Patrón Platinum, numbered and signed by Francisco Alcaraz, the creator of the Gran Patrón Platinum recipe and Tequila Patrón’s Master Distiller and Blender. Round-winning team owners won specially designed PRS Guitars.

The Patrón Endurance Cup will return in a similar format in 2016 as part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The competition gets underway with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Current and Former Champions Pack the Entry List

Current and Former Champions Pack the Entry List for the ARCA Midwest Tour Oktoberfest 200

by Kari Shear-Carlson / Oct 6, 2015 – The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment will make its final stop of the season at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway for the 46th Annual Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest has been a tradition since 1970 and carries one of the richest history’s in Wis racing. This year’s entry list is packed with series and track champions, Oktoberfest winners, and up and coming stars.
Defending, and four-time winner of the event, Travis Sauter, three-time event winner, and two-time Midwest Tour Champion, Dan Fredrickson, 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion, and current point leader, Ty Majeski, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, Johnny Sauter, and one of Wisconsin’s active most winningest drivers, Rich Bickle Jr, who won the race in 1986, are just a few of the names fans will find on this year’s entry list. 
Along with all of the Midwest Touring Stars, area drivers like 2015 Red, White, and Blue Series, and Slinger Super Speedway Champion, Steve Apel, 2015 Slinger National’s Champion, Dennis Prunty, and 2015 Elko Speedway Champion, Jacob Goede, will be vying for a victory in one of the most anticipated races of the year.
Anthony Danta, the 2015 Illiana Motor Speedway Champion will head north to LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, and Colorado National Champion, Bruce Yackey, will be making the 1000 mile trek in an attempt to add his name to the historic list of winners.
Not only will the field be filled with former winners and veterans, but up and coming young guns as well, like Derek Kraus, who recently won the Midwest Truck Series Championship and was crowned Rookie of the Year in the American Ethanol Super Truck Series. Iowa’s, Caleb Adrian, finished fifth at Hawkeye Downs in his ARCA Midwest Tour debut in September. He also clinched his first Big 8 Series victory earlier this year. 
In addition to the Oktoberfest 200, Ty Majeski will be looking to clinch his second consecutive ARCA Midwest Tour Championship this weekend, while the Rookie of the Year honors will be decided between Ricky Baker and Austin Nason. 
Oktoberfest Race Weekend kicks off Thursday night. ARCA Midwest Tour qualifying and preliminary events will be on Saturday, beginning at 2:05pm. On Sunday, an on-track autograph session will begin at 11:00am, with racing to follow at 12:00pm. The ARCA Midwest Tour Oktoberfest 200 will cap off the weekend. The winner will be named the 2015 Oktoberfest Champion. 
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (/midwesttour), Twitter (@midwesttour) and Instagram (@midwesttour)
To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on to The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedway.
35 as of 10/6/15 
Car # Name Hometown State
4 Brad Tilton Cheyenne WY
5 Johnny Sauter Necedah WI
5 Travis Sauter Prairie Du Sac WI
7 Erik Darnell Park City IL
7 John DeAngelis, Jr Hubertus WI
9 Derek Kraus Stratford WI
11 Andy Jones Gurnee IL
12 Bruce Yackey Greeley CO
12 Nick Murgic Rosemount MN
14 Austin Nason Roscoe IL
15 Dean LaPointe Marshfield WI
23 Ryan Hinner Stevens Point WI
29 Caleb Adrian Walcott IA
31 Nick Barstad Prior Lake MN
36 Dan Fredrickson Lakeville MN
39 Andrew Morrissey DeForest WI
42 Dennis Prunty Allenton WI
43 Matt Kocourek Franklin WI
45 Jim Sauter, Jr Tomah WI
45 Rich Bickle, Jr Edgerton WI
51 Anthony Danta Downers Grove IL
52 Ricky Baker Plainfield IL
64 Griffin McGrath Cedar Rapids IA
72 Jacob Goede Carver MN
75 Chris Weinkauf Merrill WI
76 Jason Weinkauf Merrill WI
77 Jonathan Eilen Hampton MN
78 Skylar Holzhausen Bangor WI
91 Ty Majeski Seymour WI
97 James Swan Lake Geneva WI
97 Steve Apel West Bend WI
99 Tim Sauter Necedah WI
O1 Claire Decker Eagle River WI
O1 Mike Litchfeld Westfield WI
O4 Natalie Decker Eagle River WI

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

IMSA Celebrates 2015 Season At TUDOR Night Of Champions

IMSA Celebrates 2015 Season At TUDOR Night Of Champions
Action Express Repeats In Both TUDOR Championship, Patrón Endurance Cup
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 6, 2015) – The Georgia Aquarium proved to be an appropriate backdrop as the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) paid tribute to its 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship titlists at Monday’s TUDOR Night of Champions.

“We’ve been surrounded by sharks all season, so this is a very interesting setting,” said Joao Barbosa, who joined Christian Fittipaldi in repeating as Prototype (P) champions for Action Express Racing.

Other series champions crowned at the event were Patrick Pilet in GT Le Mans (GTLM); Jon Bennett and Colin Braun in Prototype Challenge (PC); and Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell in GT Daytona (GTD). Each driver champion received the Bishop-France Award, replicas of the series’ perpetual trophy.
"Obviously winning the championship the way we did in the final laps of the season was very exciting for the fans and for the series," Fittipaldi said "The competition was much stronger this season and we had what we had for the championship fight. It was great to deliver the championship for everyone who works so hard at the shop and track to give us incredible race cars.”
The festive evening also included reigning American Idol winner Nick Fradiani, who introduced the opening and second half of the festivities with a trio of performances.
The seven champions also received TUDOR Grantour Chrono Fly-Back Timepieces, presented by Russell Kelly, Brand Manager of TUDOR Watch USA.
“The championship battles in all four TUDOR United SportsCar Championship classes went down to the final race of the season, and given Saturday’s unprecedented conditions, you are all worthy champions,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. 
Team championship-winning Action Express Racing (P), Porsche North America (GTLM), CORE autosport (PC) and Scuderia Corsa (GTD) – also received paintings of their race cars commissioned by Continental Tire. Motorsports artist Bill Patterson executed the painting of the Action Express Corvette DP on the main stage while guests filed in to the Aquarium ballroom.
The championship marked the fifth consecutive PC team title for CORE autosport, dating back to American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón competition, and second straight for Bennett and Braun as drivers.
“Our team manager, Morgan Brady, warned us at the beginning of the year that this could be the most competitive season of all in PC,” Bennett said. “Morgan was not wrong. The quality of competition in PC is improving every year, and it was a tough season. We didn’t have nearly as many wins as we’ve had in the past, but we did have a solid season. Our keys were reliability and perseverance.” 
Scuderia Corsa only led the GTD standings at one point of the season – at the checkered flag of Saturday’s rain-drenched Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.
“Last season, we led most of the year and lost it in the last two races,” Bell said. “To reverse that process here is definitely the way to go, leading for the first time in the final race and winning the championship. It’s very satisfying winning it with a new team – Scuderia Corsa. We’ll never forget the treacherous conditions in the final race, and to come out without making any mistakes was great. Frankly, it was a dream season.”
Chevrolet, Porsche and Ferrari were recognized as winners of the manufacturers’ championships – Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona, respectively. Michelin was the winning GTLM tire manufacturer.
The winners of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, recognizing the four iconic endurance races on the schedule, were officially honored. Barbosa and Fittipaldi also repeated in Prototype; Corvette Racing with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in GTLM; PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Mike Guasch, Tom Kimber-Smith and Andrew Palmer in PC; and TI Automotive/ViperExchange’s Al Carter and Cameron Lawrence (GTD) were champions of the unique competition that awarded points at different segments of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.
“It was a tough year, so to come away with the Patrón Endurance Cup is a nice consolation for what could have been,” Magnussen said.
Among the other presentations:
  • Winning the TOTAL Pole Awards were Ricky Taylor (P), James French (PC) and Dion von Moltke (GTD).
  • The Continental Tire “Driving Confidence Award” for most racing miles went to Action Express (P) for the second consecutive year, following its perfect 2014 season by completing all but one lap in 2015. CORE autosport won in PC for the second consecutive year, while Alex Job Racing’s No. 22 Porsche won in GTD.
  • The VP Fuels Front Runner Award, presented to the team leading the most laps during the second half of the season, went to RSR Racing in PC/GTD and Porsche North America in P/GTLM.
  • The No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R won the DEKRA Green Challenge Award for having the cleanest, fastest and most efficient car.
  • BMW was presented the Green Racing Manufacturer Award.

The evening ended with a look to the future, with Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood giving an update on DAYTONA Rising.
“Only 100 days to go,” Chitwood said of the $400 million transformation. “It will be finished and ready, creating the world’s first true motorsports stadium. Everyone will be amazed when they show up for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 30-31.”
The next scheduled activity in preparation for the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be a two-day test at Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 17-18.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Porsche Shocks The Field With Petit Le Mans Overall Victory,

Porsche Shocks The Field With Petit Le Mans Overall Victory,
Pilet Earns Driver Title, Clinches GTLM Manufacturer Title
Bell, Sweedler Win GTD Championship; Pumpelly, Lindsey, Snow Earn Victory At Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, Ga (Oct. 3, 2015) – From winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall in a prototype to winning the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda overall in a GT Le Mans (GTLM) car, something about “Le Mans” style endurance races suits Porsche North America driver Nick Tandy.

With Tandy’s win at a rain-soaked Road Atlanta, the No. 911 Porsche North America team earned its fourth GTLM victory of the season, winning the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship team title. It also propelled his co-driver Patrick Pilet to the GTLM driver title, beating out No. 25 BMW Team RLL drivers Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner by 10 points in the standings, 315-305. Tandy did not win the driver championship alongside his teammate because of three races missed due to overseas commitments.

John Edwards, Lucas Luhr and Jens Klingmann finished second in the 10-hour race in the No. 24 BMW/IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM. Like the No. 911 Porsche, Klingmann finished ahead of the Prototype category, second overall.

The No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and IndyCar regular, Ryan Briscoe, earned its first TUDOR Championship podium since January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona where Corvette Racing regulars finished third. Milner and Gavin’s most recent podium came in June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans when they won the GTE Pro class overall with Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jordan Taylor in that very same Corvette. Their Corvette Racing teammates in the No. 3 entry, Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, finished sixth in today’s race and third in the GTLM points standings.

Sweedler, Bell Win GTD Title; Lindsey, Pumpelly, Snow Earn Victory At Road Atlanta
Park Place Motorsports drivers Spencer Pumpelly, Patrick Lindsey and Madison Snow claimed the GT Daytona (GTD) victory at Road Atlanta, their second victory of the 2015 TUDOR Championship season, leading the final 17 laps of the race. Pumpelly and Lindsey finish the season fifth in the GTD standings with 266 points.
Scuderia Corsa drivers Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Jeff Segal finished fourth in today’s race. The finish was enough to earn the duo the GTD championship title in the No. 63 Robert Graham/Royal Purple Ferrari 458 Italia, beating Christina Nielsen by just two points, 281-279. Nielsen finished 10th with co-drivers Kuno Wittmer and Brandon Davis.
Second in the race was Andy Lally, John Potter and Robert Renauer in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America. This is team’s second podium of the year after finishing in second at the most recent endurance race, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Rounding out the podium was the No. 93 Riley Motorsports TI Automotive/Viper Exchange Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R co-driven by Cameron Lawrence, Al Carter and Marc Goossens. Lawrence and Carter clinched the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup GTD title earlier in the race.
  • Porsche won the GT Le Mans Manufacturers’ title over BMW, 325-319. In GT Daytona, Ferrari won its third Manufacturers’ title in four years – including two GRAND-AM championships in the 458 Italia. They bested Audi by a single point, 307-306.
  • The DEKRA Green Challenge Award winner was the No. 24 BMW Team RLL IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM. The award is presented each race to the most environmentally clean, fast and efficient GTLM competitor. The award is determined through Green Racing protocols established by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International.

Nick Tandy – No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR
“When the race was coming to a close, I was aware that the No. 31 car was in the lead, but I knew if we had another rain shower I knew we would checker the race, so that was why I was pushing so hard to get ahead of the GTLM cars, and once I had done that and we had a really good pace and were comfortable we were catching the No. 31. It was a case of just pulling ahead of the rest, but we ended up winning overall, so it was fantastic.”
Patrick Pilet – No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR
“[Winning the championship] means a lot. It’s a lot of work, especially since I was with Porsche since 2008, it’s really a championship I love. It’s a fight with Corvette and BMWs, and all the manufacturers really push us. The team works so hard to improve the car, we had a really bad thing in the beginning of the season, and we just improved the car, improved everything. It’s just, I’m so happy now, just trying to enjoy the moment, and looking backward to what we have achieved, it’s really amazing.”
Bill Sweedler – No. 63 Robert Graham/Royal Purple Ferrari 458 Italia
“What I would say first, Christina was a formidable competitor. We were in the same place, we led up until the final two races and we got beat. It causes that much more euphoria and elation to come from behind to get it. Every one of my cordilleras did a spectacular drive all year. Townsend was the rock. We were close, we’ve won the [Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup], but this was a really sweet, sweet win for us. I can say Townsend and I will be back for another season, and we will announce our plans shortly.”
Townsend Bell – No. 63 Robert Graham/Royal Purple Ferrari 458 Italia
“It’s a great combination but I’m a little bit in shock, in these conditions we knew we’d be quick here in the dry, in the wet we were concerned. We knew we had to keep it on the island all day. I’m so happy for Bill, this season. He was the backbone of our championship run; he drove impeccably all year. I’m so glad we ended up with things this way.”