SEMA eNews Vol. 16, No. 42, October 17, 2013

Racing News: Essa Wins 2013 Formula Drift Title at Irwindale

By SEMA Editors

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Michael Essa won the overall Formula Drift series championship. Photo credit: Albert Wong
   

Essa Wins 2013 Formula Drift Title at Irwindale
Formula Drift staged the seventh and final race of its 2013 racing season, Saturday, October 12, at Irwindale Speedway, where Michael Essa won the overall series championship, and Daigo Sato won the Irwindale event for the second year running. After a season that kicked off in April on the streets of Long Beach, and that visited Road Atlanta; Palm Beach, Florida; Wall Stadium in New Jersey; Evergreen Speedway in Washington state; and Texas Motor Speedway, Formula Drift was back home in front of the largest-ever audience at Irwindale Speedway—a sell-out, standing-room-only crowd of some 13,000 fans. The series championship came right down to the wire with 17.5 points separating first- and second-place overall after seven races that took the Drift teams across the country and back.

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Porsche's newest Factory Driver Nick Tandy will return to the 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
 
   

Team Falken Tire Brings Nick Tandy and New Livery to Petit Le Mans
The 2013 American Le Mans Series is drawing to a close, ending with the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Porsche's newest Factory Driver Nick Tandy will return to the 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The 10-hour endurance race is the second-longest race on the ALMS calendar, requiring all teams to increase their two drivers per car minimum to three drivers. Tandy joined veteran Team Falken Tire drivers Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler for the 12 Hours of Sebring in March of 2013, where the privateer team finished third amongst a field of factory teams.

Another change for the team will be the Falken Tire livery. Earlier this year, Falken Tire joined forces with Microsoft and Turn 10 studios to utilize the Xbox 360 game Forza Motorsport for a worldwide contest. The month-long competition called for Xbox users to use the game to submit their own livery designs for the Team Falken Tire Porsche GT3 RSR. More than 200 designs were submitted, then narrowed down to six finalists, which were posted on Falken's Facebook page, where fan voting determined the winner. In the 2013 Petit Le Mans, the ’10 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR will trade its teal-and-blue livery to the winning Forza design by Kevin Neuville of Belgium. The new look will also be on display at the SEMA Show, November 5–8.

The 16th Annual Petit Le Mans will be the final race of the American Le Mans Series before merging with GRAND-AM Road Racing for the Tudor United SportsCar Championship in 2014.

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Brittany and Courtney Force finished two backyards and a front yard for deserving Habitat for Humanity families in Santa Ana, California.
   

Brittany Force Spends Saturday on Fulfilling Habitat for Humanity Project
Rookie Top Fuel driver Brittany Force spent her first Saturday off in more than one month finishing two backyards and a front yard for deserving Habitat for Humanity families in Santa Ana, California. The Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award contender organized a group that included John Force Racing teammates, representatives from sponsor System 51 and a few friends to lay sod and finish the landscaping on two homes.

“We met with Habitat for Humanity in June or July and it has taken a while to get a free weekend to come out and get involved. It was so much fun to work with my teammates and some of our sponsors helping some great families. Giving back to the community is something I would be doing even if I wasn’t a professional driver,” said Force after a long day. “I do hope that the fact that I am a professional NHRA driver can help raise some awareness for Habitat for Humanity. This was not a one-time event for me. My goal is for this to be the first of many homes I am able to be involved in, and I want to hopefully encourage other people to get involved with Habitat for Humanity or any charity organization in their local community,” added Force.

Force was joined by her sister Courtney Force, driver of the Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car as well as some of her Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster crew members. In addition, Jeremy Porrazzo, System 51 president and Chris Walters, System 51 vice president, also donated their time and sweat to the effort. Force blogged about the day spent helping others for espnw.com.

The Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award, which recognizes the top rookie competitor in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be presented during NHRA’s annual championship awards ceremony Monday, November 11, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. More than 120 of the nation’s leading auto-racing journalists will select the winner through a voting system based on the following criteria: performance on and off the racetrack, participation in NHRA promotions, number of events participated and relationships with fans, sponsors and media.

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The Federated dirt-track car, driven by Federated spokesperson Kenny Schrader, features a special pink design for its races during the month of October.
   

Federated Dirt Track Team Goes Pink in October
The Federated Auto Parts dirt-track racing team has gone pink this October in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Federated dirt-track car, driven by Federated spokesperson Kenny Schrader, features a special pink design for its races during the month of October. Schrader is driving the No. 9 Federated dirt modified car sporting the special pink scheme in races throughout the Midwest during the month of October. In addition, Schrader has “Goin’ Pink” merchandise available online and at his races.

In memory of Schrader family friend Lisa Meloni, who passed away from breast cancer in September 2011, the Schrader Racing team will place pink ribbons on the No. 32 FAS Lane Ford that Schrader will drive in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Oct. 27 at Martinsville (Virginia) Speedway. The pink ribbons can be purchased for $10 each, and all proceeds will benefit the Breast Health Center at Carolina Medical Center Northeast in Concord, North Carolina. To purchase a ribbon, visit givenortheastfoundation.org/donate.

Sports Car Club of America Announces Departure of President and CEO Jeff Dahnert
The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Board of Directors announced that, effective October 14, Jeff Dahnert has resigned as its president and CEO. Dahnert joined the staff of SCCA in 2004 and has served as president since 2009. Dahnert will continue to serve as a consultant to SCCA through the end of the year. The Board of Directors also announced the appointment of Lisa Noble, who will resign as current board chairman to serve as interim president and CEO. She has been active in the SCCA since 1971 and a member of the board since 2008. To fill out Noble’s term, John Walsh, director from the Northeast Division of the SCCA, was appointed as new chairman of the Board. Walsh, from New York, has been a member of the Board since 2011. Additionally, a search committee has been appointed and a national search for a new president and CEO will soon be underway.

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