No. 924
November 22, 2017

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NOVEMBER 8, 2017

(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
In rare come-from-behind fashion Ernie Francis, Jr. (
No. 98  Ford Mustang) secured his seventh Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli win of the season at Circuit of The Americas with a last-gasp pass of Lawrence Loshak (No. 50 Burtin Racing Pennzoil/GoShare Chevrolet Camaro), making his move on the inside of turn one on the 29th lap, taking the lead. “It was a tough race,” said Francis, who captured the season title a race prior at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Loshak would hold second position through the checkered flag, finishing on the podium in his TA debut after two years of full TA2 competition. Tomy Drissi (No. 8 Murder on the Orient Express Chevrolet Corvette) finished third to complete the TA class podium after working his way up through the field after starting in sixth position. Check out all of John Thawley's terrific images from the Trans-Am weekend at Circuit of The Americas in the UjianNasional Gallery here.

(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Shane Lewis (No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila/74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro) captured the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2 class win in the Trans American Muscle Car Challenge at Circuit of the Americas. The TA2 class-exclusive races saw competitors from both Trans Am’s primary series and Trans Am’s West Coast Championship run in unison, combining for 31 cars taking the green flag. Over the course of the 2017 season, Lewis participated in both championships, in the East for Robinson Racing, in the West for Napoleon Motorsports, and was eligible for both divisions. As a result, Lewis secured a win in both championships, clinching the title in the West Coast and moving into second in Trans Am’s primary championship behind teammate Gar Robinson. Lewis, who started on pole, seemed destined for a second-place finish, following teammate and race leader Gar Robinson (No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro) for 19 of the 25 laps around COTA before the No. 74 began to heavily smoke on the 20th lap, forcing Robinson to pull over and conclude his day, finishing 25th in the combined TA2 field. Despite that, Robinson clinched the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2 Championship, with a single race remaining. Adam Andretti (No. 44 ECC/Anchor Bolt and Screw Chevrolet Camaro) finished second and Cameron Lawrence (No. 79 Class Auto Centers Chevrolet Camaro) finished third, after starting the race dead last in 29th. Lawrence moved up seven positions over the first two laps and continuously climbed, securing fourth on the 18th lap before moving to third on the 19th.  For his charge through the ranks Lawrence was awarded the COOLSHIRT Cool Move of the Race.  

Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima (No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid) won the 6 Hours of Shanghai FIA endurance race over the weekend. Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber (No.  2 Porsche 919 Hybrid) wrapped up the drivers' title by finishing second, and Porsche won the manufacturers' championship. Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy (No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid) finished third.

Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber celebrate their FIA/WEC drivers' championship.

Bruno Senna, Julien Canal and Nicolas Prost (No. 13 Rebellion Oreca) won in LMP2, claiming the class championship lead with one round to go.
Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell (No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT) won the GTE Pro class at the 6 Hours of Shanghai, setting the stage for a fight for the 2017 GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship at the final round in Bahrain in two weeks.  This is the British duo’s second consecutive win in Shanghai. “That was probably our most hard-fought win so far and the most rewarding,” Priaulx said. “Every moment was critical. Every lap, every pit stop, it all had to be perfect. We really needed this result and we’re back in the fight for the driver’s championship. It’s our fourth win together so we must be doing something right. We couldn’t do it without this brilliant team. The car was great, the pit stops were perfect, and the strategy was perfect. All we need to do now is go to Bahrain and win again!”

(Aston Martin)
Aston Martin Racing has claimed its 50th class victory since its inception in 2004, after winning the 
the 6 Hours of Shanghai, the eighth round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. After taking the GTE Am pole position, the No. 98 V8 Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda converted their advantage to a trouble-free one lap victory, claiming a maximum 26-point haul from the weekend. The result ensures that the No. 98 entry reclaims the lead in both the GT AM Drivers and Team championships going into the WEC finale at Bahrain.

(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Mobil 1 Ford) passed Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota) with 10 laps left in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and pulled away to win by 1.580 seconds (pictured with team owner Tony Stewart). Harvick's win earned him a spot in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19th. The victory was Harvick’s second of the season and the 37th of his career. “Damn, it’s good to be in Victory Lane here in Texas,” Harvick said. “I knew I had a really good car. I knew I had to do something different. I started driving a whole lot deeper in (Turn) 1 — a whole lot deeper. I started doing that earlier in the race, but I was afraid I didn’t have the brakes to continue to do that all day. So I waited until the end and was able to get on the outside of Martin (off Turn 2) and got him loose and brushed across the back of him and was able to get by on the outside down there.” Truex clinched a berth at Homestead on points, leaving Texas 57 points ahead of fifth-place finisher Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Wurth Ford), who is fourth in the standings with a 19-point edge over fifth-place Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx Office Toyota) who finished third. Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Team USA Toyota) finished fourth.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. will sponsor this  Class 11 Volkswagen Beetle in the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000® race, November 14-18, 2017. — a team of Denver-based enthusiasts/racers led by industrial designer Josh McGuckin — has made completing the grueling event through the Baja California desert one of their life’s ambitions. “The Class 11 Beetle harks back to the origins of desert racing,” said McGuckin. “We like a challenge and racing a Class 11 in the SCORE Baja 1000 is the ultimate. Our story started in the same way as many Class 11 teams: we were inspired by seeing the little underdog Beetle bouncing through the desert while the big Trophy Trucks made it look easy. Last time we attempted the event, back in 2014, we failed to make it to the finish line, but we are hoping to use everything we learned and 6 years of car development to help us get there this year.” McGuckin’s driving team will be accompanied by CNET Roadshow writer Emme Hall, who will report firsthand from the co-driver’s seat along with Matt Wilson, Matt Fisher, Evan Chute and Nick Wilson.