By Steve Zongker
As a die-hard racing fan, this past weekend was one of the superb weekends to just cozy up to the sofa and TV, and get your fill of racing.
The Indycars, Weather Tech SportsCar Championship, and Pirelli World Challenge were all in Long Beach, CA. The FIA World Endurance Championship began their season at Silverstone in the UK, Formula 1 was in Shanghai China, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series were in the Bristol TN â€œColiseumâ€. Fortunately, the racing gods smiled upon us and staggered the racing over the entire weekend.
I spent over 12 hours on Sunday watching racing from all over the globe. I know for sure that some of my other racing family spent just as much, if not more. Even fan favorite, Vickie Miller, spent her week at Silverstone watching both ELMS and WEC. Iâ€™m sure she will have a great wrap-up as well.
Some of the best racing of the weekend, came from the WEC race. A post-race exclusion of the race-winning Audi #7 car for excessive wear of the front skid plank was shocking.
The most ironic item to come of the weekend was former Indy Car driver Paul Tracy pointing out that the race-winning move of Simon Pagenaud was afoul of the regulations because of his merging onto the race line after his final pit stop. Any racing historian or longtime fan will find it humorous that noted bad boy Tracy was pointing out the rules violation.
Earlier in the week brought an interesting press release with the news of the Stephane Ratel-led SRO Motorsports Ggroup becoming a board member of Pirelli World Challenge & WC Vision. Iâ€™m sure this news reverberated across the paddocks in Long Beach.
In my opinion, I feel the addition of SRO to the PWC board will be beneficial of both parties. The Blancpain Series in Europe has quickly become the benchmark of GT racing in the world today. PWC will get enhanced visibility to a greater world-wide market, and also allow optimal growth in the American marketplace.
Also, this week it was reported that the upcoming 2017 regulations for the IMSA Daytona Prototype International (DPI) have received lukewarm receptions from some of the DP teams. The great news to come out of this was from fan favorite and Speedway Report podcast friend Starworks Motorsports. They announced the purchase of a new Riley-Multimatic P2. We should be hearing much more news about the 2017 programs for American teams as the weather heats up.
Another interesting tidbit of news coming from the paddocks was that LeMans winning engineer, Leena Gade will be leaving her post as race engineer for Audi and heading to Bentley Motorsports in an ambassadorial role. I wish her nothing but the best of luck in her future endeavors.
Now, that the racing season for everyone is hitting its stride there will be a flurry of races in succession leading up to the greatest weekend on the motorsports calendar.
Memorial Day Sunday has in recent years become the de-facto national holiday for motorsports. Formula 1 in Monaco is the highlight and not just for the glitz and glamour. The Indy 500 follows next, and this year will be extra special as the race celebrates its 100th running at the Brickyard. At this point in your day, you will need to take a pit-stop and re-fuel your snacks and drinks before coming to the last race of the day, the Coke 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway.