No. 967
October 10, 2018

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Horizon #430

arrowup.gifChip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing, Toyota (Lexus). Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dario Franchitti (No. 01 TELMEX/Target Lexus Riley) won the Rolex 24 At Daytona in a basically flawless and dominant run last weekend. The Ganassi Racing organization thus becomes the first team to capture the overall win in the Rolex 24 At Daytona for three consecutive years. The 24-hour event was the season opener of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, and the 46th running of the endurance race. The Ganassi team survived rain and slippery track conditions prevalent throughout the night stages of the race to complete 695 laps, speeding to a two-lap victory over defending series champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty (who were assisted by two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and former Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser) in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Lowe's Pontiac Riley. The wins were the second straight for Montoya and Pruett, the first time drivers earned repeat victories in the race since Derek Bell, Al Unser, Jr. and Al Holbert accomplished the feat in 1986 and 1987. "We pushed very hard," Montoya said. "Every stint I was in the car, I pushed really hard. It's a good way to start the year. We all worked; we all did what we need to do." The No. 9 Penske-Taylor Racing Toshiba Pontiac Riley of Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Kurt Busch finished third in Roger Penske's first Rolex 24 effort since 1973.


Publisher's Note: This photo of the winning Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing No. 01 TELMEX/Target Lexus Riley driven by Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dario Franchitti to victory in the Rolex 24 was taken by ace photographer John Thawley. As we mentioned earlier this year, we're grateful to John for allowing us to share his superb images with our readers during this 2008 racing season. Click HERE to go to a gallery of John's work from last weekend. All images are Copyright © 2007, John Thawley ~ Creative Communications Group. All rights reserved.

arrowup.gifSpeedsource, Mazda. Sylvain Tremblay, David Haskell, Nick Ham and Raphael Matos started from the pole in the Rolex Series GT class in their Rotary-powered No. 70 SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8, and led 323 of 664 laps to finish ninth overall and capture the class win. The win was the 22nd class win at the race for Mazda and the victory by the SpeedSource team - combined with a Lexus-powered Daytona Prototype taking the overall win - broke a 14-year streak of Porsches in the Rolex 24 Victory Lane. "This was a great win for the entire SpeedSource team. Endurance racing in particular is a team sport and I am so proud of our collective effort. Thanks especially to our new partners at Castrol, who believed in our ability to deliver.  Thanks also to Fresh from Florida for their support of our in-car camera, as well as the many rotary enthusiasts who have supported our efforts," remarked SpeedSource owner/engineer/driver Sylvain Tremblay. TRG's seven car Porsche 911 GT3 effort finished second, third and fourth in the race that saw five of the team's seven cars take the checkered flag. Andy Lally finished second in the No. 66 TRG Marquis Jet/Mitchell Rubber Porsche GT3, just seconds ahead of No. 67 TRG Monster Cable/Need For Speed Porsche GT3 driven by Emmanuel Collard. The two cars, which each finished two laps behind the GT winners' pace, swapped the lead during the middle and late stages of the race and consistently ran among the top five. Lally shared the No. 66 with Bryce Miller, Ted Ballou and Richard Westbrook, while Collard, Romain Dumas, Spencer Pumpelly, Tim George Jr. and Bryan Sellers piloted the No. 67. Jim Lowe, Jim Pace, Johannes van Overbeek, Tim Sugden and RJ Valentine finished fourth in the No. 64 TRG/J-Lowe Racing Porsche 911 GT3. Next stop for the Grand-Am series will be with the IRL at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami, March 28-29.

arrowup.gif Mazda. MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development unveiled their 2008 livery at the ALMS Winter Test in Sebring, FL, yesterday. The new graphics and colors (we likey, by the way - Ed) reflect the addition of two new partners, BP and Yokohama Tire Corporation, who have joined the B-K Motorsports Lola B07/46-Mazda MZR-R LMP2 team with multi-year partnerships. More than just a sponsorship arrangement - according to Mazda - both partners will be key contributors to the team’s overall program with both technical and marketing collaboration.  BP is a global energy leader with extensive experience with alternative and future fuels and lubricants, and with the “greening” of the ALMS series, BP’s direction will complement the Mazda program with relevant technology. Yokohama has a long history in motorsports and has had multiple past collaborations with Mazda for production and motorsports programs.

(Photo courtesy of Mazda)

arrowup.gif KL Process Design Group. KL Process Design Group (KL) of Rapid City, SD, will supply the American Le Mans Series with cellulosic E85 racing ethanol for the 2008 season. The fuel, produced from waste wood, will be used for the first time during the season opener - the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15, 2008. Cellulosic ethanol is produced from biomass such as wood waste, switchgrass or citrus. Corvette Racing will be the first team to use the cellulosic-based flex-fuel ethanol in competition.

arrowup.gif Gil de Ferran, Acura. Acura Motorsports will enter a fourth Acura ARX-01b sports car in the LMP2 class of the 2008 American Le Mans Series to be campaigned by de Ferran Motorsports, a newly formed team owned by former Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time CART Champ Car champion Gil de Ferran. In addition to ownership of the Acura factory-backed organization, de Ferran will return to the cockpit as the team’s primary driver of the ARX-01b. A co-driver of the de Ferran Motorsports machine will be announced in the future. De Ferran's outfit will join Acura's other ALMS teams consisting of entries from Andretti Green Racing, Highcroft Racing and Lowe’s Fernandez Racing and will be headquartered in the Indianapolis area. John Anderson has been named the team’s general manager. “It is extremely exciting to be involved in the new Acura Motorsports program,” said de Ferran, who won a combined 12 races in his U.S. open-wheel career, in CART and the Indy Racing League. “The American Le Mans Series has a tremendous combination of technology and fierce competition. In addition, I am so eager to get back into the driver’s seat and on the track. The racing in the American Le Mans Series is spectacular. I know this program will be a challenge for me, both on and off the track. Having John Anderson on board is a great start for our organization, and we are working hard to put the remaining pieces together now.” While the original three Acura teams will compete in all 12 American Le Mans Series events, the de Ferran team won't enter the Series until the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 17-19, at the earliest.

(Copyright © 2007, John Thawley ~ Creative Communications Group. All rights reserved.)
Publisher's Note: The American Le Mans Series Winter Test happened this week at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fl. The Highlight for U.S. fans, of course, was the appearance by the Peugeot Team with their beautiful turbodiesel-powered 908 HDi prototype racers. John Thawley was there, so click HERE to see some of his images from Sebring. - PMD

arrowup.gif Team Cadillac. From the "Back from the Dead" File, Team Cadillac, which was given up for dead after last season because of lack of funding, will be back in the 2008 SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series, thanks to a new sponsorship deal with Remington Shaving & Grooming products. The new Team Remington Cadillac will campaign the same two Pratt&Miller-prepared Cadillac CTS-V factory race cars from 2007. The 2005 season Drivers Champion, Andy Pilgrim, will pilot the No. 8 Cadillac CTS-V for his fifth season. The No. 16 Cadillac CTS-V will be driven by 2006 Sebring SPEED GT race winner Michael McCann, who has driven a Viper for the last four seasons. Team Cadillac won 12 out of 41 races and captured the Manufacturers Championship in 2005 and 2007. The new sponsorship deal allows Team Cadillac to continue for another season with the previous generation CTS-V racer, while the upcoming CTS-V is prepared for the 2009 season - that is if Cadillac decides to continue with the program by then.

(Photo courtesy of Team Remington Cadillac)

arrowdown.gifarrowdown.gifarrowdown.gif Motorsports Authentics, NASCAR. Scenedaily reports that Motorsports Authentics lost a staggering $42,975,000 for the fiscal year ending Nov. 30, 2007, according to an annual financial statement International Speedway Corp. has filed with the SEC. ISC owns 50 percent of Motorsports Authentics, while Speedway Motorsports, ISC's chief rival in the racing biz, owns the other 50 percent. The two companies also split an additional "impairment charge" - a write-down in the value of the company - by $69,499,000. Analysts estimated that Motorsports Authentics would lose between $40 million and $50 million. This is one more hit of bad news for the NASCAR marketing machine, and it's clear now that not only has the whole NASCAR "thing" peaked, but it's apparent that the decrease in its popularity seems to be accelerating. We doubt if anyone in Daytona Beach actually believes for a second that NASCAR popularity is on the wane, unfortunately, and by the time they wake up and find out it will be way too late. And when that train wreck unfolds, a lot of people - from the big corporations overextended in their NASCAR sponsorships, all the way down to the mom and pop souvenir trailer operations - are going to get caught up in the wreckage. It's going to be u-g-l-y.