FERRARI FRONT ROW LOCK OUT…HOW WILL THEY SCREW IT UP ON RACE DAY!
Charles Leclerc has qualified on pole for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. Leclerc romped to pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix as Ferrari locked out the front row.
Leclerc demolished team-mate Vettel by a mighty 0.748 seconds to claim the third pole of his career.
LCH finished third, just 0.015 seconds adrift of Vettel, with Valtteri Bottas fourth in the sister Mercedes. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished fifth.
“We were very strong and it felt amazing,” said Leclerc, 21. “We have struggled with the race pace so we need to work on that.”
Vettel said: “It is good that we secured the front row, but I have no excuses.”
“Final practice was terrible for me because you know how hard the guys work to build those parts and how hard they work to put the car back together,” he said.
“My guys are faultless and I tried to pay them back with a good qualifying session. I am grateful I am third. I am going to give it everything tomorrow and hopefully give these guys a good race.”
Well it’s not seven tenths, it’s 1.3s to Leclerc. We knew that it’s going to be difficult and probably third and fourth is what we expected. If you have that much of a deficit… you have got to do everything right and we didn’t. Today we tripped over our own feet. You want to do it extra perfect and then you’re looking like an idiot and we did it twice today.
I think there is everything to play tomorrow. We have a strong race car, we know they have struggled in races.
CLARK AND NASIR MEET UP AT LAGUNA SECA TO DISCUSS OLD TIMES, CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF IMSA AND TO SPEAK WITH TWO TIME FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPION MIKA HÄKKINEN!
BORN28 SEPTEMBER, 1968
McLAREN CAREER SPAN1993 – 2001
If Ayrton Senna forged a close bond with McLaren, then Mika Häkkinen was not far off. He earned his stripes as a committed but quite mild-mannered protégé, managed and tutored to the edge of the F1 stage by his astute and intelligent manager Keke Rosberg. Having cut his F1 teeth with the struggling Lotus team in 1991 and ’92, he then took a strategic step backwards by signing a test and development contract with McLaren, reasoning that he would be better served by taking this route rather that continuing to race an uncompetitive car.
Mika joined McLaren against the backdrop of the unspoken possibility that he might gain
promotion to the race team earlier than he might otherwise have expected in the event of the team parting ways with Michael Andretti, who struggled to replicate his Indycar form. For 1994 Häkkinen assumed the McLaren team leadership, but the Peugeot V10 engines did not deliver the reliability or power that was expected.
So it was not until 1995 that Mika found himself starting out on the road to stardom as McLaren began the partnership with Mercedes-Benz which would eventually carry Mika to F1 World Championship titles in 1998 and ’99. He would also survive a serious accident practising for the 1995 Australian GP at Adelaide, his life being saved by the dramatic intervention of a doctor who administered an emergency tracheotomy at the trackside.
Ron Dennis and his wife Lisa sat for several days at Häkkinen’s bedside, only returning to England when they were satisfied that he was out of danger. It said much for the affection and high regard Mika was held in that the team’s workforce was shocked when Häkkinen decided to retire from F1 at the end of 2001. They would miss his humanity and commonsense, both outside the car and in. More than anything, he was one of the most respected members of the McLaren family
SATO HOLDS OFF CARPENTER FOR WIN IN BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500
MADISON, Ill. (Saturday, August 24, 2019) – NTT IndyCar Series driver Takuma Sato hasn’t had many weeks as wild as this past one.
Sato qualified fifth for Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway, dropped to last place after opening-lap contact with other cars in Turn 1 and battled back to win in the closest finish in this track’s 10-year history – 0.0399 seconds over Ed Carpenter.
The victory came six days after being the center of attention for his role in the first-lap, multi-car accident at Pocono Raceway that left his car upside down. But the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver stood his ground and focused forward, and that approach led him to his second win of the season, the fifth of his career and first on a short oval track.
Next to the 2017 Indianapolis 500 victory, Sato called this the most gratifying win of his career.
“Yes, I’m sure,” he said. “Winning (from) pole at Barber was very significant – just the domination of the weekend is always great credit for the team and satisfaction. But this win is so special – beside Indy 500, obviously nothing like (that). This is just so emotional. Gave me unbelievable boost.
Sato (No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda) might not have held off Carpenter (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet) had the race gone another corner much less another lap. Carpenter made a valiant charge in the final two laps to overtake Tony Kanaan (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Chevrolet) and close in on Sato. The margin was the closest of the NTT IndyCar Series season.
“It could have been (different winner) if we had a little longer straightaway or another lap,” Carpenter said.
After Sato held off Carpenter at the finish line, all eyes turned to NTT P1 Award winner and championship leader Josef Newgarden (No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet), who had been swapping fourth place with rookie Santino Ferrucci of Dale Coyne Racing (No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda). Ferrucci had drifted high a few laps earlier, allowing Newgarden to get past. But Ferrucci passed Newgarden back – apparently in tight form – and Newgarden spun in Turn 4.
“I was happy I wasn’t in the (wall), to be honest with you,” Newgarden said. “The engine was still going, I wasn’t in the wall. (I thought), thank goodness I’m kind of straight, I can’t believe we’re still going here.”
Newgarden’s misfortune caused him to drop to seventh place, which cost him six points, but he will head to Portland International Raceway for next weekend’s penultimate race with a lead that has grown each of the past two weeks.
Newgarden leads teammate Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet) by 38 points, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda) by 46 points and Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) by 70 points after they finished fifth, 13th and 20th, respectively.
Carpenter and Kanaan scored their first top-three finishes of the season. Carpenter last finished second in last year’s Indianapolis 500; Kanaan’s most-recent podium was at Texas Motor Speedway in 2017.
Ferrucci, who led a race-high 97 of 248 laps, scored his second consecutive fourth-place finish and the third of his rookie season, and it allowed him to move two points ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist (No. 10 Monster Energy Honda) for the lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year battle.
Conor Daly (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet) gave his team its best finish of the season in sixth place.
The NTT IndyCar Series heads to Portland, Ore., for next Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland. Live race coverage on NBC begins at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT local) with the green flag at approximately 3:45 p.m. Live radio broadcasts will be available on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM 209, Sirius 98, Internet/App 970).
NEWGARDEN MAKES HIS POINT, SCORES POLE
IN BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500 QUALIFYING
MADISON, Ill. (August 24, 2019) – In a season where every championship point figures to matter in determining the winner, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was pleased to add another point in NTT P1 Award qualifying Friday at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
Newgarden earned the NTT IndyCar Series point by winning the pole for Saturday night’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline. Although INDYCAR doesn’t officially award qualifying points until the conclusion of the event, Newgarden effectively has a 36-point lead over Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in pursuit of his second series championship. Rossi will start 11th in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda.
Newgarden won the Gateway race in 2017 on his way to his first season title. He hopes to convert another strong performance Saturday night in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet.
“We’ve only gone through half the journey this weekend,” Newgarden said of the race to come. “We need to go through the race simulation and then see where we really end up. But I feel pretty confident that the PPG car is going to be strong and Chevy has obviously done (its) homework and given us a great package.”
Newgarden posted a two-lap run around the 1.25-mile, D-shaped speedway at 48.2554 seconds, an average of 186.508 miles per hour. That gave him his second pole of the season – the first came in the second race in Detroit on June 2 – and gave him eight for his INDYCAR career.
Newgarden’s effort as the final qualifier denied Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan his 35th career pole. The four-time Indy car champion will start on the front row for the first time this season and helps take the sting out of crashing on the opening lap of last year’s race here.
Bourdais’ qualifying average was 185.927 mph (48.4062 seconds) in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda. He thought it might be good enough for the pole, but then rookie teammate Santino Ferrucci approached him.
“He just told me before (Newgarden ran) ‘That pole will be yours,'” Bourdais said. “I told him, ‘Man, you just jinxed it.'”
Team Penske took three of the top four qualifying positions, with last week’s race winner at Pocono Raceway – Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – qualifying third at 185.896 mph (48.4142 seconds) and Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet) fourth at 185.143 mph (48.6110 seconds). Power won last year’s race here.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato was fifth (185.050 mph, 48.6356 seconds) in the No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda.
Pagenaud, who is third in the standings with three races to go, now has a 41-point deficit to Newgarden. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, who qualified eighth (184.293 mph, 48.8354 seconds), trails by 53 points.
An Exciting Race Weekend Concludes as
Special Awards Are Presented at
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion celebrates the 50th anniversary of IMSA
The 50th anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) was celebrated with IMSA being the featured marque at this year’s event. Four IMSA-focused run groups were represented in the racing lineup. IMSA driving legend Hurley Haywood, whose career successes include three 24 Hours of Le Mans titles, five Rolex 24 at Daytona wins, and five season championships served as Grand Marshal.
Several celebrated IMSA drivers with long history with the series were on hand for the celebration, including Parker Johnstone, driving his original 1991-93 Acura Spice prototypes, and Tommy Kendall who was reunited with his 1982 Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTU. In addition, comedian and actor Adam Carolla suited up to drive his 1979 Porsche 935 that Paul Newman drove in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and later took the title at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona. The Paddock Stage was buzzing with Q&A sessions, and book signings with famous authors and race car drivers such as Hurley Haywood, John Morton, Sylvia Wilkinson and John Nikas. Mitch Bishop and Mark Raffauf were also there to sign and discuss their new book, IMSA 1969-1989.
Special guests this weekend included Formula 1 Champion Mika Häkkinen who took the wheel of the 1970 McLaren M8D/3 “Batmobile” for demonstration laps and participated in Q&A and autograph sessions.
Former Formula 1 multiple-race winner, 24 Hours of Le Mans podium finisher and Rolex Ambassador Mark Webber was on hand for pit lane commentary for guests of Rolex.
Celebrating the past but looking towards the future, car manufacturers Audi and Lexus both brought vehicles making their North American Debut at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion after their world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed just last month.
The Audi R8 LMS GT2, the most powerful racecar Audi Sport customer racing has produced was driven by nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen. Lexus revealed an LC convertible prototype, expanding its LC flagship coupe series and Scott Pruett, five-time overall winner at the Rolex 24 at Daytona drove the prototype for its first laps on North American soil.
The seven-person selection committee chose the best for 14 different run groups. Cars ranged in age from a 1911 National Speedway Roadster and 1911 Fiat S74 to a more recent 2014 Lola Toyota Rebellion LMP1 prototype, and included a full field of 56 Formula Fords, representing the very first IMSA race in 1969.
Saturday race results available HERE on our website
Sunday race results available HERE on our website
1931 BENTLEY 8 LITRE GURNEY NUTTING SPORTS TOURER Shown by The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 18, 2019) — Every August, the history of the automobile rolls onto the competition field of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where, this year, 216 classic cars from 17 countries and 31 states represented the evolution of the automotive dream.
Among the cars chosen to participate in this premier automotive pageant of elegance and innovation was the 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer of The Honorable Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong, and it was presented with the prestigious Best of Show award at the Concours on Sunday.
As the golden ribbon was placed upon the windshield alongside ribbons garnered for the car’s class win and completion of the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, Sir Michael expressed his gratitude for the award and the car.
“The Centennial of Bentley may have played a role in this award,” he said, “but the 8 Litre is the ultimate W. O. Bentley–era automobile. This is the car that represents Bentley at its finest, and I have been very fortunate to have a car that has this elegance and finish, and that the Pebble Beach Concours feels is worthy.”
Sir Michael hopes and imagines W. O. Bentley was looking down on the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach, feeling proud of his accomplishment and his company’s centennial celebration. “This is a high I have not known before,” he said.
“This Bentley exudes strength and confidence, and that translates into elegance,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “Yes, this is a fast, strong, sturdy car, but it also has perfect proportions, a stunning stance, and a boldness that draws you to it. When you drive it, it does everything you ask of it.”
The race for Best of Show this year featured other strong contenders, including Richard and Melanie Lundquist’s 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Figoni & Falaschi Teardrop Cabriolet; David F. MacNeil’s 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Coupé; and The Keller Collection at The Pyramids’ 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Erdmann & Rossi Special Cabriolet.
On this occasion, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance raised more than $2 million for charity. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the primary charitable partner of the Concours, these funds will benefit more than 80 local charities, impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children annually in Monterey County.
Jay Leno, comedian, actor, producer, and host of Jay Leno’s Garage, who led the charity drawing during the Concours Awards Ceremony, raised more than $100,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County by offering tours of his garage. He has now raised more than $800,000 for Concours charities.
Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, realized more than $76 million at the annual Pebble Beach Auctions this weekend. The stars of Friday’s auctions were the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider which sold for $9,905,000, and the 1975 Ferrari 312T, which garnered attention with a final sale price of $6,000,000. Saturday’s stars included the 1931 Studebaker Special Indy Car, which set a new auction world record when it sold for $1,105,000, and the 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 Coupe, which hammered at $2,755,000.
The 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 16, 2020, and will celebrate 70 years of Pebble Beach Concours Best of Show winners, Pininfarina, and Porsche 917s. For more information on the Pebble Beach Concours visit www.pebblebeachconcours.net.