SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 29, July 19, 2012

Racing News: Tanner Foust Leads Global Rallycross Championship

   foust

Tanner Foust hits the dirt at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 
Photo: Jakub Nitka/ERC24.com
   

Tanner Foust Leads Global Rallycross Championship
Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust has a strong lead in the Global Rallycross Championship points after a big race weekend that saw an estimated 45,000 fans in the grandstands at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last Saturday.

Foust scored the No. 1 position in qualifying last Friday and then won Saturday's first heat race to bypass the last-chance qualifier and advance directly to the 10-car final. He lined up on the first row of the grid for the race alongside Rockstar Energy and Ford teammate Brian Deegan and rival Travis Pastrana. Foust got an early lead but stalled as he got a bump coming over the pit-lane crossover section, and he was forced to battle traffic for the remaining laps. He clawed his way back into podium contention but crossed the line in a close fourth place, behind Deegan.

Foust's result was enough to keep him in the lead of the championship standings with 62 points. He is now 12 points ahead of closest challenger Samuel Hubinette, who finished second last weekend.

Before he returns to U.S. competition, Foust will once again turn his attention overseas where he is currently third in the competitive European Rallycross Championship rankings. Foust will run back-to-back ERC races in Belgium (August 4–5) and the Netherlands (August 11–12).

  vickers
Brian Vickers’ virtual garage includes his Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota Camry.
   

NASCAR Star Brian Vickers and MyClassicGarage Team Up for Race Weekend at Lenox Industrial Tools
MyClassicGarage—an online resource and tool for car
collectors—and NASCAR driver Brian Vickers teamed up during the
LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup race when MyClassicGarage
became the primary sponsor of Vickers’ racecar during his fourth career
start of the 2012 season last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor
Speedway in Loudon. To kick-off race weekend, Vickers claimed his
personal, virtual garage on the MyClassicGarage website. Called
the Sheriff’s Shop, Vickers’ virtual garage includes his vintage ’66
Corvette and the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota Camry.

 brown
Dave Brown and Karl Chicca scored a win for the Hawk Brakes/San Rafael Mitsubishi at the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship.
 
   

Brown/Chicca Make It Three Different Teams in Three Races This Season
The team of Dave Brown and Karl Chicca managed to score a win for the Hawk Brakes/San Rafael Mitsubishi at the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship, June 17, 2012, at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California. Brown became the third driver to score a win this season in as many races. Robert Thorne crossed the line in second place but was later disqualified for avoidable body contact. Scoring second place was Felipe Cabezas who has not finished worse than fourth this season in his TNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3. Taking the last podium position was Pete Bovenberg who has had a terrible season this year in the MBO Motorsports Honda Civic.  

Thorne qualified on pole in his Auto Parts Warehouse Volvo C30 alongside the Mitsubishi of Brown. At the green, Brown used the all-wheel-drive grip of the Mitsubishi to jump to the lead and never looked back. He led every lap of the race and won comfortably.

Cabezas prevailed in opening stage of the race and managed to pull away without any problems. Bovenberg has had a rocky season with a 15th-place finish and an eighth-place finish.   

In the GT class, Ken Kurtz used his V8 engine to muscle his way to a victory in his Yokohama/TPIS Pontiac Firebird. Robin Riner’s R&D Builders Ford Mustang finished second and kept his points lead. Dave Levey finished third in the LIC Motorsports Subaru WRX STi in his first USTCC race.

The teams will compete next be at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California, August 18–19, 2012. 

Team Bully Dog Wins Pro Street, Logs New Personal Best
The most recent long haul on the National Hot Rod Diesel Association’s (NHRDA) Pro Street circuit had Team Bully Dog winding their way through the north woods of Minnesota to Brainerd International Raceway.

The team discovered a fault in the race truck’s transmission during the test and tune on Friday and after helping another team get running, they sacrificed some sleep to get it fixed. After the late night, Team Bully Dog's Jarid Vollmer took to the track, competing in both his own Pro Street class as well as the Pro Stock class.

Vollmer first qualified for Pro Stock, clocking a 9.46-second quarter-mile at 152.81 mph. He followed this up with a Pro Street qualifying run of 9.57 seconds at 149.46 mph. In the Pro Street finals, Vollmer chased down a personal best of 9.38 seconds at 153.54 mph, winning that class. A nitro issue during the Pro Stock finale pushed Vollmer’s time back to a 10.78 at 91.22 mph, and resulted in some minor engine damage.

   pirelli
B-Spec cars have been running both Pirelli World Challenge and SCCA Club Racing this season. Photo: Mark Weber/SCCA
   

Pirelli World Challenge, SCCA Announce Partnership for B-Spec Shootout at National Championship Runoffs
Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and Pirelli World Challenge have announced the “B-Spec Shootout Presented by Pirelli World Challenge” at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs as part of the subclass of the Showroom Stock C race. Top finishers in the race can win cash and entries into the Pirelli World Challenge Championships Touring Car-B class for the 2013 season.

While not an official SCCA National class in 2012, B-Spec will run within the Showroom Stock C race, Thursday, Sept. 20—the opening day of four days of National Championship races at Road America.

As part of the partnership with Pirelli World Challenge, winners will receive $3,000 and have all 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B entry fees waived, with $1,500 going to the runner-up and $500 to third place. The second- and third-place finishers will also get a two-race entry fee and a single-race entry fee waiver for TCB in 2013, respectively.

In addition, The B-Spec Shootout will get a full post-race podium celebration, coverage on SCCA.com and during the live Runoffs broadcast on SpeedcastTV.com. The streaming web program will include a piece on the birth of the B-Spec concept and the successful debut season of Touring Car B in Pirelli World Challenge.

The B-Spec rule set was developed by the SCCA to allow drivers to use the same car in a number of platforms, including SCCA Club Racing and the Pirelli World Challenge, with minimal changes. Already this season, Joel Lipperini has run a SafeRacer National Series race at Lime Rock Park, then driven overnight to finish second in the Pirelli World Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in the same weekend.

As part of the program, each B-Spec competitor in SSC will run special Pirelli World Challenge B-Spec Shootout numberboards. Numberboards and numbers for each side of the car will be supplied by SCCA. Drivers may run any SSC-eligible tire brand and may also run for that brand’s contingency program.

   ecklund
For the third time this year, both Scott-Eklund Racing 600 bhp, 2L, 16-valve Saab 9-3s made it to the final.
   

Scott-Eklund Racing Secures First GRC Podium
Scott-Eklund Racing secured its first podium in the Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) with a fighting second place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Saturday July 14. 



American Samuel Hubinette, driving the Eneos Motor Oil-backed Saab 9-3, finished second in his qualifying heat to advance into the final for the fourth time this year and, after a battle with Travis Pastrana, crossed the line more than a second adrift at the flag. After a strong finish both in Charlotte and Texas, the result puts 41-year-old Hubinette into second place overall in the points table.



For the third time this year, both 600 bhp, 2L, 16-valve Saab 9-3s made it to the final. Scott-Eklund Racing Team Principal Andy Scott recovered well from a broken right rear wheel in qualifying to line up on the second row for his heat. 



A great start for the Dumfries fisherman allowed him to battle for the lead going into the tight first corner, but a hit from Ken Block on the descent from the first ramp jump saw Scott sidelined with steering damage.



The Scott-Eklund Racing team made rapid repairs to the Scott Trawlers-backed Saab 9-3 to allow him to take up a place in the Last Chance Qualifying race, from which the top four would advance into the final. With limited time between the restarted heat and the LCQ, a full repair could not be carried out, with Trawlers taking up position with the steering not fully fixed.



Despite that handicap, the British Rallycross vice champion progressed through the field well, taking the long jump on the opening lap and steadily moving up the order to take fourth to put him into the final alongside his teammate Hubinette.



At the start, Hubinette made a good getaway and was immediately pushing hard for the final podium spot. He drew alongside Pastrana to move ahead as they entered the crossover, but as the pair ran nose-to-tail, Hubinette was tapped from behind and forced wide, allowing Pastrana through and into the lead, which he held to the flag.

A solid drive by Trawlers, with the steering not fully operational, netted a strong sixth place to move him up to eighth place in the points, just 12 points adrift of Hubinette.

   project 1320
The Quarter Mile Foundation has now recorded 179 pioneer interviews for the PROJECT
1320 documentary film about the early days of drag racing and the
performance automotive aftermarket.
   

Quarter Mile Foundation Adds 16 More Pioneer Interviews
The Quarter Mile Foundation’s efforts to capture first-person interviews of many of the surviving pioneers of drag racing were boosted by the addition of 15 more veterans (plus a spouse) at the recent 11th Annual York – U.S. 30 Reunion and Nostalgia Nationals at the York (Pennsylvania) Expo Center, July 13–14, 2012).

Using facilities within the York Expo Center at York Fairgrounds to record the interviews, the Foundation added a number of East Coast racers, promoters, photographers, journalists and aftermarket figures to the historical record of the sport.

The interviewees were:

  • Margaret Altizer
  • Arnie (“The Farmer”) Beswick
  • Francis Butler
  • Gordy Foust
  • Dave Hale  
  • Ben Koch
  • Judy (“Miss Mighty Mopar”) Lilly
  • Larry Lombardo
  • Bob (“Beaver Bob”) McCardle
  • Bill Pratt
  • Frank Spittle
  • Jere Stahl
  • Jim Stuempfle
  • Chuck Stolze 
  • Arlen (“Akron Arlen”)  Vanke

The Foundation expanded the interview of former NHRA Division One Director and York Reunion promoter Darwin Doll, whose interview was shortened at the 2011 event. Additionally, Margaret Altizer, the wife of Gene Altizer (S&S Racing Team), added a wife’s unique perspective of the powerhouse “Gasser” teams in the ’60s, as well as her continued involvement with the team’s strong presence in the today’s drag-racing nostalgia movement.

The Foundation has now recorded 179 pioneer interviews for the PROJECT 1320 documentary film about the early days of drag racing and the performance automotive aftermarket. The Foundation will film more pioneer interviews at the NHRA’s MAC Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis over the Labor Day weekend.

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