No. 979
January 16, 2018

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April 22, 2009


arrowup.gifDario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone) used well-timed pit stops and veteran race track savvy to record his ninth career IndyCar victory (although the first on a street road course) and the 25th for Target Chip Ganassi Racing at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Will Power (No. 12 Team Penske Verizon Wireless D/H/F) was second, and Tony Kanaan (No. 11 Andretti Green Racing Team 7-Eleven/Dr. Pepper D/H/F) finished third. Power switched to a third Team Penske entry upon the return of Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Team Penske D/H/F), who ended up seventh. For Kanaan it was his 68th career top-five finish - the most all-time in the IndyCar Series - and his 100th career start in the IRL. “I got lots of Champ Car street and road course wins, but I haven’t had one in the IndyCar Series, so to finally get one feels good for all kinds of reasons," Franchitti said afterwards. "After everything we went through last year and then Chip(Ganassi) coming up and saying, ‘Hey, do you want to drive my Indy car?’ And now we’re back here winning together. Having finished second to his cars here twice I said to him last night, ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,’ and here we are. Thanks to my crew and the whole Target team. It’s good to be back and see full grandstands and see a buzz at the track. Great day.”

(Chris Jones/IRL)
Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Will Power take their victory/podium lap after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

(Chris Jones/IRL)
J.R. Hildebrand (No. 26 ARPRO) led all 45 laps of the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Long Beach from the pole to earn his second career victory. Richard Philippe (No. 36 Genoa) was second, and James Hinchcliffe (No. 7 Hinchtown/Sam Schmidt Motorsports) finished third.

(Photo© John Thawley)
de Ferran Motorsports scored its first victory in the American Le Mans Series on Saturday as Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud (Acura ARX-02a) won the Tequila Patrón ALMS race at Long Beach. de Ferran and his Acura ARX-02a beat Patrón Highcroft Racing’s David Brabham across the finish line on Shoreline Drive under yellow. Brabham and Scott Sharp managed to maintain their LMP1 championship lead with their runner-up finish that goes along with an overall win two weeks ago at St. Petersburg. Intersport Racing’s AER-powered Lola B06/10 of Clint Field, Jon Field and Chapman Ducote finished third in class. Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz earned their third straight LMP2 victory for Lowe’s Fernandez Racing as Acura swept the two prototype classes for the second straight race. Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin won the final GT1 race for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series, marking the end of an era for Corvette Racing. The 24 Hours of Le Mans will mark the final GT1 race for the team, which has won there five times since 2001. August will see the Mid-Ohio debut of Corvette Racing’s entry into the GT2 class where they'll go up against Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Panoz and others. Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister won in GT2 for the second straight race beating Risi Competizione’s Jaime Melo and Pierre Kaffer (Ferrari F430GT). The Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR took victory two weeks ago at St. Petersburg and held off the hard-charging Ferrari, which started from the rear of the grid. The winners of the MICHELIN Green X Challenge were the same as the race winners. The de Ferran Acura claimed the prototype trophy while the Flying Lizard Porsche was the winning GT entry. The awards go each race to the prototype and GT entries that go the farthest and the fastest with the least amount of environmental impact. The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix from Miller Motorsports Park. The race is scheduled for 1 p.m. MDT on Sunday, May 17. SPEED will broadcast the race starting at 10 p.m. ET on the same day. See a gallery of fantastic images from digital ace JohnThawley, from Long Beach, by clicking here.

(SCCA/Mark Weber)
James Sofronas (No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3), of Newport Beach, Calif., won the World Challenge ACS Grand Prix of Long Beach Presented by Lala Motorsports last Sunday afternoon, Round Two of the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship. Eric Curran (No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette), of Easthampton, Mass., was second and Brandon Davis (No. 10 Applied Computer Solutions/SunMicro Ford Mustang Cobra), of Huntington Beach, Calif., finished third. Curran now leads the Drivers’ Championship with 222 points, followed by Sofronas (212), Brandon Davis (199) and Tony Rivera (196). Porsche leads the Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER Magazine, with 19 points, followed by Ford (10), Volvo (two) and Dodge (two). This race will be broadcast Friday, May 22 at 2 p.m. (Eastern) on SPEED. Next up for the series is the New Jersey Motorsports Park May 1-2.

East Lansing, Mchigan-based Rocketsports Racing (RSR) is bringing Jaguar to the American Le Mans Series GT2 class. The team will enter a Jaguar XKR for a partial season in 2009 with a full-season effort slated for 2010. Jaguar will be a technical and marketing partner to RSR and has provided vital engineering support to assist the team in the homologation and construction process. Construction of the Jaguar XKR is near completion at the RSR facility. A parallel engine development process is also underway for the new AJ-133 direct injected 5-liter normally aspirated engine. Testing and development will begin in June and the team plans to enter the Series mid-summer. RSR will be building at least three XKRs this year and will have cars available for customer use in 2010.

arrowup.gifPaul Tracy, KV Racing Technology. KV Racing Technology will enter a car for open-wheel star Paul Tracy at the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500, May 24, 2009, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 40-year-old Canadian veteran and 2003 Champ Car World Series champion will drive the No. 15 GEICO - KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry. Tracy's teammate will be Mario Moraes (No. 5 KV Racing Technology - Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone), in a two-car effort. This will be Tracy's sixth Indy 500 and first since 2002 when he was the runner-up to Helio Castroneves in a controversial finish. In five previous races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - four in CART/Champ Car and one in the IndyCar Series - Tracy has a best qualifying position of seventh in 1993 and the best finish of second in 2002. This year marks the opening of the Centennial Era for the Speedway and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the facility. The 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be in 2011.

arrowup.gifIndianapolis Motor Speedway. The Official Program for the 2009 Indianapolis 500, the largest and most comprehensive ever produced for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” celebrates 100 years of competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will be available for purchase Friday, May 1. The Centennial Era Edition program consists of 260 pages, including a special Centennial Era section of 100 pages. The double-pane cover of the program features the painting “Indy Excitement” by artist Thomas Kinkade. The program also includes a special envelope and inserts with reproductions of historical documents from the Speedway, including:

  • 1909 Auto Race Meet Ticket
  • 1909 Brick Contract to purchase the 3.2 million bricks that were used to pave the Speedway
  • 1910 Aviation Meet postcard
  • Entry ledger for the first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 1911
  • 1934 Indianapolis 500 Credential
  • 1961 Indianapolis 500 Race Day ticket
  • Centennial Era Logo decal

Fans can purchase this commemorative program for $12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, at the Brickyard Authentics store at the Indianapolis International Airport, online at or by calling (800) 955-INDY.


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