SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 22, May 31, 2012

Racing News: Tanner Foust Scores Podium at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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  Tanner Foust finishes second in the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta at the opening round of the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo: Jakub Nitka/ERC24.com

Tanner Foust Scores Podium at Charlotte Motor Speedway

At the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust scored his first U.S. podium finish of the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship.

Foust, in his 550-plus-hp Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta, battled teammate Marcus Grönholm for the lead in a 10-car final race. He crossed the line just behind the two-time World Rally Champion.

The defending Global Rallycross Champion, Foust kept the pressure on throughout the contest, while managing overheating brakes on a track considered one of the fastest in rallycross history. He qualified in the second position and won his heat races to line up beside Grönholm in the final. Drivers competed on a course laid out on the front stretch and pit lane of the 1.5-mile oval. It featured narrow passing zones, chicanes, water hazards and a 3-ft.-tall jump.

The Charlotte event marked the first stop in a five-week stretch of European and American rallycross competition for Foust, which culminates with X Games in downtown Los Angeles, July 1.

His next stop is the Hungarian Round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship this weekend (June 2–3). Foust is favored for a top finish. He is the 2011 European Rallycross Championship runner-up, and won the first European race of the season in April.

National Speed Sport News, "RaceDay" on Fox Sports Radio Team Up

National Speed Sport News, which relaunched in March with an all-new monthly magazine, has partnered with "RaceDay" on FOX Sports Radio, hosted by industry veteran Rob D'Amico.

Beginning last Sunday, the program will be rebranded "SPEED SPORT on FOX Sports Radio," and air every Sunday from 7:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m. (EDT) on more than 250 FOX Sports Radio affiliates, XM Satellite Channel 169 and the American Forces Network.

The program will also stream live online at www.iheartradio.com, www.foxsports.com and via the iHeart Radio mobile app. Archives will be available at www.speedsportonfox.com and www.nationalspeedsportnews.com/radio.

In addition to collaborating on content and programming, National Speed Sport News will handle sales and marketing of the show.

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  Frank Arciero (right).

Motorsports Icon Frank Arciero Passes Away

Frank Arciero passed away last Wednesday night. He began his motorsports career in 1943. His involvement included CART and the Champ Car World series. In the 1986 Indianapolis 500, one of his drivers, Randy Lanier won the Rookie of the Year and in 1987 another one of his drivers, Fabrizio Barbazza, also won the award.

Arciero's drivers included Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Jim Clark, Bobby Unser, Roger Penske, Phil Hill, Geoff Brabham, Michael Andretti, Scott Pruett, Max Papis and Dan Wheldon.

Arciero was also a successful businessman who, in 1986, opened his own winery, now called EOS Estate Winery, in Paso Robles, California.

Arciero is survived by sons Frank Jr. and Albert; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Angie.

Services were held May 30, at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Newport Beach, California.

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  Heidi Steele will make her season debut at the 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500, June 1–3, 2012.

Yokohama Tire Corp.-Sponsored Heidi Steele Returns to Action at SCORE Baja 500
Heidi Steele, the Yokohama Tire Corp.-sponsored off-road driver and defending Class 6 Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts (SCORE) champion, will make her season debut at the 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500, June 1–3, 2012, in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico. As before, Steele and co-driver/Desert Assassins teammate Rene Brugger will tackle the tough Baja terrain in a Ford Ranger with off-the-shelf Geolandar M/T+ tires.

Steele, wife of Trophy-Truck veteran Cameron Steele (also competing in Baja), missed the first part of the off-road season to give birth to her first child, Cameron Kay Steele. Now she’s ready to race.

Cameron has two 800hp Geiser Brothers Trophy-Trucks entered in the Baja 500, both running on newly developed 40-in. Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S R tires specially engineered for extreme off-road conditions.

The #14 Desert Assassins Trophy-Truck will start farther back in the field. Trophy-Trucks have 26 in. of front-wheel travel and 36 in. of rear-wheel travel and can hit a top speed of 135 mph.

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An injury will keep driver John Gaydosh temporarily sidelined from NHRA competition.  

NHRA Pro Stock Competitor Gaydosh Temporarily Sidelined Following Surgery
Pro Stock driver John Gaydosh wants nothing more than to race at the upcoming Toyota NHRA Supernationals at the racetrack that he considers home, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey.

The Pontiac GXP pilot suffered a major setback just prior to the recent NHRA event in Atlanta—the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals—when he tore a tendon in his right forearm. It was determined shortly thereafter that the painful injury would require immediate repair through surgery, and so Gaydosh went under the knife the very week he returned from racing at Atlanta Dragway.

As he continues to heal through rest and physical therapy, Gaydosh will miss the race in Englishtown and the soon-after event, the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, but he plans to rejoin NHRA competition at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago in late June and race the following weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

As the second half of the Full Throttle Drag Racing season kicks into high gear, Gaydosh intends to pick up speed and attend as many events as possible as he continues to live out his dream of driving in one of the most competitive categories in the series.

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  Hexis Racing claimed double victories at the Circuito de Navarra in Spain with new 12C GT3.

Hexis Racing Claims Double Victories With 12C GT3 in FIA GT1 World Championship Race in Spain

McLaren GT customer team Hexis Racing claimed first victories for the MP4-12C GT3 last weekend with back-to-back wins at the Circuito de Navarra in Spain. A dominant performance by reigning FIA GT1 World champions Hexis in qualifying and the championship race places the French team in second position in the series after three rounds.

The weekend’s qualifying session saw a strong start from the No. 1 12C GT3, driven by Fred Makowiecki (France) and Stef Dusseldorp (Netherlands). The duo dominated the race throughout and crossed the line more than 20 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. This result secured an all-McLaren 12C GT3 front-row lock out, and another performance from both driver pairings again saw Makowiecki and Dusseldorp lead from lights to flag, while the No. 2 12C GT3 driven by McLaren GT driver Alvaro Parente (Portugal) and Grégoire Demoustier (France) claimed fourth place.

Fellow McLaren GT customer team Lapidus Racing also showed strong performance with the debut of the 12C GT3 in the International GT Open at the Nürburgring in Germany. The orange and white-liveried 12C GT3, driven by team owner Klaas Hummel and McLaren GT development driver Adam Christodoulou, showed consistent pace throughout the weekend’s two races, and the team claimed a double fourth-place finish.

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  Greg Alexander returned to action in the annual Salute to Indy featuring the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway.

Greg Alexander Returns After Fire

After an expensive fire last month, Gardena, California's Greg Alexander returned to action in the annual Salute to Indy featuring the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway.

While running second late in the B main April 28, the "carbeque" happened at the Riverside County clay oval. The blaze started around the engine, but quickly spread to the cockpit. Feeling the intense heat from the flames, the 23-year-old racer quickly slid the car to a stop on the inside of turn four. He jumped out of the cockpit and began rolling on the ground. Even though the fire crew was on him and the car within seconds, the damage was extensive.

All of the car's wiring, hoses and gauges were burned and had to be replaced. Alexander's helmet and firesuit were hurt in the blaze and had to be replaced as well. Needless to say, he was done for the night even though he had earned a ticket to race in the A main.

Although Alexander emerged from the inferno uninjured, repairs and replacements took time and he was forced to sit out the race at King's Speedway in Hanford.

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Chris Lock won round two of the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California.  

Chris Lock Wins the Thunderhill Round of the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship
Chris Lock, driving the Roger Kraus Racing Honda Prelude, won round two of the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California. This was Lock’s first USTCC win, and he won the race as a rookie. Finishing in second position was the K-PAX/Auto Parts Warehouse Volvo C30 of Robert Thorne. Hyundai managed to score a first-ever podium finish with the help of Ali Arsham who was driving the GoGoGear.com/DelCity.net/UTI Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

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  United Autosports No. 23 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 in action at Monza during the opening round.

Busy Schedule Ahead of Home Race for United Autosports at Silverstone
United Autosports heads back to home soil as it prepares for the second round of the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone this weekend.

In the Pro Cup Class, David Brabham will be joined by Matt Bell and Alvaro Parente in the No. 22 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 sportscar, while team owner and driver Zak Brown will be in the No. 23 sister car with Mark Blundell and Mark Patterson contesting the Pro/AM class.

In the build-up to the event, the team has conducted a full day of testing at Snetterton in Norfolk with drivers Brabham, Blundell and Bell behind the wheel. The team was able to get significant track time around the Norfolk circuit and managed to test the various development parts on offer from McLaren.

It was a mixed weekend for the team during the season opener in Monza, and they will be looking for a solid performance at Silverstone—home of British Motorsport and a current Formula 1TM Grand Prix Circuit. The 3.660-mile new configuration makes it one of the quickest on the calendar. More than 60 cars are expected to take to the grid.

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