Sunday, January 29, 2012

Boss Mustang Takes Continental Tire Series Daytona 200 for 2012

Photo Credit: Grand Am

The Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race receives credit for being the annual kick-off for North American motorsports. However, the sensational around-the-clock event is not the first set of vehicles to compete at the Florida race facility. One day before the high-profile 24-hour event, the Grand Am Continental Tire Series christens the Daytona International Speedway with a brief 200-mile sprint race among production-derived race cars.

Composing of the two categories, the BMW Performance at 200 Daytona features the powerful Grand Sport and the smaller Sport Tuning category vehicles, The 2012 season opener for the Grand Am Continental Tire Series allowed the engine notes of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Porsche 997, Kia Forte and the BMW M3 to hum across the Daytona track for 58 laps.

A first time for many driver and car combinations unite in competition, the The 200-mile event on the 3.56-mile road course proved precarious even before the green flag dropped. Jarrett Andretti (son of NASCAR/INDYCAR winner John Andretti) made contact with the turn 2 retaining barrier. Along with Andretti, the #57 Volkswagen Jetta piloted by Eric Metzger spun in turn 3 minutes later.

When the green flag finally dropped after the chaotic warm-up laps, pole-sitting #10 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R driven by Shelby Blackstock enjoyed a short-lived time at the front of the GS class. Launching from 4th place in the opening lap, the #01 Chevrolet Camaro of Eric Curran took the lead of the Daytona race. By lap 3, the #55 Aston Martin Vantage was running in second place while the #13 Rum Bum Racing BMW M3 was third. In the Grand Am Continental Tire Series ST category, the Kia Forte Koup driven by Andy Lally led the first 10 laps until the #81 BMW 328i took the class' top position.

Photo Credit: Grand Am

As the race progressed, the front position of both Grand Am Continental Tire Series categories would not be entirely enviable. Consisting of a total of nine lead changes on the front, the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona GS class would end with some pacesetter falling out of the fold. the #01 Camaro early race-leading pace ended with a 22nd place finishing position. The BGB Motorsports Porsche 997 also led mid-way through the event but resulted in the race team settling for 11th place.

Taking the lead on lap 41, the #61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R driven by Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr never gave up the top position in the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona. Taking the checkered flag, the 2012 race victory is the first for the Ford Mustang since 2007. In the final results, the Grand Sport category  Ford Mustang Boss 302R and BMW M3 sports cars that covered the top 11 spots. Behind the winning Roush Performance Mustang Boss 302R, three BMW M3s fielded by Fall-Line Motorsports finished 2nd through 4th place.

Narrowing losing the GS class to the Ford Mustang Boss 302R car, the BMW brand's plans for one class victory was also quashed in the ST category. The #31 i-Moto Mazdaspeed3 won the class with the #10 Kinetic/Kia Racing car ahead of the #81 BMW 328i.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Complexion of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teams

Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR

More than a month before Speedweeks open the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway, deals are coming together assuring to normally competitive field of cars for the crown jewel Daytona 500 race on February 26th. For others within stock car racing, the off-season consists also of a time where drivers and teams plan for a season of 36 races.

In a bizarre off-season move that erupted after from the actions of a disgruntled Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion was removed from his #22 Penske Racing Dodge moving to the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet team. A domino effect saw AJ Allmendinger joining the Penske Racing stock car team while 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series runner Aric Almirola takes over the vacated #43 Ford Fusion at Richard Petty Motorsports. 

As of mid-January, 39 driver and team combinations are expected to run the 2012 Daytona 500. Listed below a list of confirmed entrants includes a select number of expected part-time runners including the #6 Roush Fenway Ford being driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Among the confirmed list is 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams that are guaranteed to run the first 5 races of the 2012 season on virtue of placing in the top-35 in car owner points.

Still unable to find a new owner or investor, two of the vacancies in the top-35 cars in the Team Red Bull racing team. Approaching the Daytona 500, the team campaigning two Toyota Camrys last season is completely silent. While the arrangement for the #4 car driver Kasey Kahne to move to Hendrick Motorsports was orchestrated in 2010, Brian Vickers (Team Red Bull pilot since the organization's inception in 2007) is still without a seat for the Daytona 500. Kahne and #4 Team Red Bull car's victory at Phoenix International Raceway late in 2011 appears to be a last effort for the group. Heading into February, it remains a possibility that some or all of the 5 cars remaining as part of the top-35 will be romanced by new teams to relinquish their guaranteed starting spot. If the car owner spots in the top-35 remain unused, the active teams down the list of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup car owner points will inherit the sought-after honours.

Confirmed 2012 Entrants

Car Number /Driver /Race Team /Car Make
00 Mark Martin/Michael Waltrip/TBA Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt/Ganaasi Racing Chevrolet
2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge
5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Racing Ford
9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
10 Danica Patrick Stewart/Haas Racing Chevrolet
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
13 Casey Mears GEICO Toyota Ford
14 Tony Stewart Stewart/Haas Racing Chevrolet
15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford
22 A J Allmendinger Penske Racing Dodge
23 Robert Richardson R3 Motorsports Chevrolet
24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
30 David Stremme Inception Motorsports Chevrolet
31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
35 David Reutimann Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet
36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet
38 Travis Kvapil Front Row Motorsports Ford
39 Ryan Newman Stewart/Haas Racing Chevrolet
42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt/Ganaasi Racing Chevrolet
43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota
48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet
56 Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
66 Michael McDowell HP Racing LLC Toyota
78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
95 Scott Speed Leavine Family Racing Ford
99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Possible (Unconfirmed) 2012 Team Combinations

Car Number /Driver /Race Team /Car Make
7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge
37 Josh Wise Gunselman Motorsports Ford
46 ? Whitney Motorsports Ford
75 Derrike Cope Creation-Cope Racing Dodge
92 Brian Keselowski K Automotive Chevrolet
93 ? Sinica Motorsports Chevrolet

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona Team/Driver Entry List

Photo Credit: Grand Am

The following list is an preliminary list for the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona as of January 10th. The 50th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona is set for January 28th.

Grand Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Class

For the first time since 2008, a new look Daytona Prototype class will debut in 2012 in accordance to new Grand Am Rolex Series rules. Rolling along the high-banked Daytona International Speedway turns will be refreshed Riley along with the Dallara and Lola chassis cars. Set to make a stunning class debut is the Chevrolet Corvette DP car with five vehicles set to race with a Chevrolet V-8 engine.

Car # Race Team Drivers Car Engine/Chassis
1 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Joey Hand, Scott Pruett, Graham Rahal, Memo Rojas BMW / Riley
2 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya BMW / Riley
2 Starworks Motorsport Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Miguel Potolicchio, Maurizio Scala, EJ Viso Ford / Riley
5 Action Express Racing David Donohue, Christian Fittipaldi, Darren Law Chevrolet / Corvette DP
6 Michael Shank Racing
Ford / Riley
8 Starworks Motorsport Ryan Dalziel, Lucas Luhr, Allan McNish, Alex Popow, Enzo Potolicchio Ford / Riley
9 Action Express Racing Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, JC France, Max Papis Chevrolet / Corvette DP
10 SunTrust Racing Max Angelelli, Ryan Briscoe, Ricky Taylor Chevrolet / Corvette DP
50 50+Predator/Alegra Byron Defoor, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Brian Johnson, Jim Pace, Carlos de Quesada BMW / Riley
60 Michael Shank Racing Ozz Negri, John Pew Ford / Riley
76 Krohn Racing Colin Braun, Nic Jonsson, Tracy Krohn, Ricardo Zonta Ford / Lola
77 Doran Racing
Ford / Dallara
90 Spirit of Daytona Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin Chevrolet / Corvette DP
99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Jon Fogarty, Memo Gidley, Alex Gurney Chevrolet / Corvette DP

Grand Am Rolex Series GT Class

Photo Credit: Grand Am

A category consisting of production-based sports cars, the Grand Am Rolex Series GT Class will again feature the teams competing with the Chevrolet Camaro, Porsche GT3, BMW M3 and the Mazda RX-8. GT Class for the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona will see the debut of the Ferrari 458 Italia race car and the series entrance of Audi with their R8 supercar.

Car # Race Team Drivers Car
3 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ed Brown, Guy Cosmo, Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek Ferrari 458
4 Magnus Racing Justin Bell, Ryan Eversley, Daniel Graeff, Ron Yarab Jr. Porsche GT3
12 Alliance Autosport Scott Rettich, Matt Schneider, Darryl Shoff Porsche GT3
15 Rick Ware Racing
Ford Mustang GT
16 Rick Ware Racing
Porsche GT3
17 Burtin Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports Sebastian Asch, Jack Baldwin, Claudio Burtin, Martin Ragginger, Bryan Sellers Porsche GT3
18 Muehlner Motorsports America, LLC Mark J. Thomas Porsche GT3
20 Liqui Moly Team Englster/Mitchum Motorsports Porsche Franz Englster, David Murry, Joseph Safina, Gunter Schaldach Porsche GT3
22 Bullet Racing Randy Blaylock, Darryl O'Young, Steve Paquette, Joe White Porsche GT3
23 Alex Job Racing Emmanuel Collard, Marco Holzer, Butch Leitzinger, Cooper MacNeil Porsche GT3
24 Alex Job Racing Michael Avenatti, Bob Faieta, Fred Poordad, Bill Sweedler, Cort Wagner Porsche GT3
26 NGT Motorsport Henrique Cisneros, Sean Edwards, Carlos Kauffmann, Nick Tandy Porsche GT3
40 Dempsey Racing Patrick Dempsey, Charles Espenlaub, Joe Foster, Tom Long Mazda RX-8
41 Dempsey Racing Don Kitch Jr, Charles Putman, Dan Rogers Mazda RX-8
42 Team Sahlen Dane Cameron, Joe Nonnamaker, Wayne Nonnamaker, Will Nonnamaker, Joe Sahlen Mazda RX-8
43 Team Sahlen Joe Nonnamaker Mazda RX-8
44 Magnus Racing Andy Lally, Richard Lietz, John Potter, Rene Rast Porsche GT3
45 Flying Lizard Motorsports with Wright Motorsports Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Seth Neiman, Mike Rockenfeller Porsche GT3
46 Michael Baughman Racing Michael Baughman, Ray Mason, Mike Yeakle Chevrolet Corvette
48 Paul Miller Racing Rob Bell, Sascha Maassen, Bryce Miller Porsche GT3
49 Team Sahlen Joe Sahlen Mazda RX-8
51 APR Motorsport Ian Baas, Jim Norman, Dion von Moltke Audi R8 Grand-Am
55 Acumen Motorsport Frank Del Vecchio Doug Grunnet, Scott McKee Porsche GT3
56 AF - Waltrip Rui Aguas, Robert Kauffman, Travis Pastrana, Michael Waltrip Ferrari 458
57 Stevenson Motorsports Ronnie Bremer, John Edwards, Robin Liddell Chevrolet Camaro GT.R
59 Brumos Racing Andrew Davis, Hurley Haywood, Leh Keen, Marc Lieb Porsche GT3
62 Risi Competizione Raphael Matos, Toni Vilander Ferrari 458
63 Risi Competizione
Ferrari 458
64 TRG Gaetano Ardagna, Eduardo Costabat, Emilio Di Guida, Eliseo Salazar Porsche GT3
65 TRG Bob Doyle, Mike Hedlund, Jack McCarthy, Jim Michaelian Porsche GT3
66 TRG Dominik Farnbacher, Ben Keating, Patrick Pilet, France Allan Simonsen Porsche GT3
67 TRG Steven Bertheau, Marc Goossens, Wolf Henzler, Spencer Pumpelly Porsche GT3
68 TRG Chris Cumming, Kevin Estre, Damien Faulkner, Carlos Gomez, Ben Keating Porsche GT3
69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari Emil Assentato, Anthony Lazzaro, Nick Longhi, Jeff Segal Ferrari 458
70 SpeedSource Jonathan Bomarito, Marino Franchitti, James Hinchcliffe, Sylvain Tremblay Mazda RX-8
74 Oryx Racing Humaid Al Masaood, Saeed Al Mehairi, Steven Kane, Audi R8 Grand-Am
75 Stevenson Motorsports Matt Bell, Al Carter, Eric Curran, Hugh Plumb Chevrolet Camaro GT.R
82 Dick Greer Racing John Fergus, John Finger, Dick Greer, Mark Hotchkis, Owen Trinkler Porsche GT3
87 Racers Edge Motorsports Jan Heylen, Doug Peterson, Maxim Soulet, Emilio Valverde Dodge Viper
88 Autohaus Motorsports Paul Edwards, Matthew Marsh, Tom Milner, Jordan Taylor Chevrolet Camaro GT.R
93 Turner Motorsport Michael Marsal, Dirk Muller, Jorg Muller, Dirk Werner BMW M3
94 Turner Motorsport Bill Auberlen, Paul Dalla Lana, Billy Johnson, Boris Said BMW M3