Thursday, May 21, 2015

Racing Datsuns - The Happy Coincidence Of Adam Carolla And Paul Newman

Banner on the back wall of Adam Carolla's Picture Lab Entertainment and garage facility in Glendale, California - Adam Carolla and Nate Adams recently held a private screening of the documentary WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN. Much of the archive footage and images have never been in wide release of seen in public and through interviews with those people closest to Paul Leonard Newman exposes a very personal insight to the little-known side of this very public life of an iconic actor and brightest stars of Hollywood. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

Racing Datsuns - The Happy Coincidence Of Adam Carolla And Paul Newman

Adam Carolla, who bounded onto the entertainment scene (for many) when he partnered with Jimmy Kimmel for the cable broadcast television show "The Man Show" (1999-2004) and as his career progressed, became noted for finding, restoring, and racing historic race cars, has put together a compelling and entertaining documentary about the automobile racing life of iconic actor Paul Leonard Newman.

Adam Carolla discusses one of his current restoration projects - 1988 Trans-Am 300ZX 2+2 - with those gathered at the pre-release screening of the new documentary about Paul Lenard Newman's racing life. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

At a recent pre-release screening of the documentary, WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN, Adam Carolla shared that his interest in restoring winning Datsun/Nissan race cars became the "Happy Coincidence" (stated by Adam at 15:15 in the Q&A) that led him to discover this somewhat unknown life about how Paul Newman, after becoming one of the brightest stars in Hollywood through his acting, in his late forties ... late in life for a race car driver, focused his pursuits at being a standout race car driver and top level racing series team owner.

The Paul Newman raced, Bob Sharp built, and Adam Carolla restored #33 IMSA GTX 300ZX Twin-Turbo. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

The following sixteen minutes is what Adam Carolla and co-producer Nate Adams had to say in a post-screening Q&A about their film effort involved in the making of WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN.


Movie poster of WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN leaning against the studio wall. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN

Release Date:
VIDEO ON DEMAND – Release Date – May 22, 2015

Directed by:        Adam Carolla and Co-Directed by Nate Adams

Produced by:         Nate Adams, Adam Carolla and Mike August

Exec Producers        Norm Pattiz, Matt D’Andria

Edited By:        Simon Sandquist

Cinematography By:    Mårten Tedin

Runtime:    83 Minutes

MPAA Rating:    Unrated

Distributor:    FilmBuff

Starring:    Paul Newman (archive footage), Robert Redford, Patrick Dempsey, Mario Andretti, Jay Leno, Robert Wagner, Joanne Woodward (archive footage), Arthur Newman, Tom Cruise (archive footage), Michael Andretti, Bob Sharp, Sam Posey, Sebastien Bourdais and many other racers,

Synopsis:    The world knows Paul Newman as an Academy Award winning actor with a fifty-plus year career as one of the most prolific and revered actors in American Cinema. He was also well known for his philanthropy; Newman's Own has given more than four hundred and thirty million dollars to charities around the world. Yet few know the gasoline-fueled passion that became so important in this complex, multifaceted man's makeup. Newman’s deep-seated passion for racing was so intense it nearly sidelined his acting career.

His racing career spanned thirty-five years; Newman won four national championships as a driver and eight championships as an owner. Not bad for a guy who didn't even start racing until he was forty-seven years old.

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/NewmanRacingFilm 

Twitter:            @NewmanRaceFilm
#:            #NewmanRacingFilm, #PaulNewman, #WinningMovie

For additional information please contact:

New York
Lee Meltzer – Lee.Meltzer@pmkbnc.com – 212.373.6142
Nina Baron – Nina.Baron@pmkbnc.com  – 212.373.6150

Los Angeles
Tiffany Olivares – Tiffany.Olivares@pmkbnc.com – 310.854.3272
Jazmin Sanchez – Jazmin.Sanchez@pmkbnc.com – 310.854.3267

... notes from The EDJE


TAGS: Documentary, Adam Carolla, Nate Adams, #NewmanRacingFilm, #PaulNewman, #WinningMovie, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Patrick Dempsey, Mario Andretti, Jay Leno, Robert Wagner, Joanne Woodward, Arthur Newman, Tom Cruise, Michael Andretti, Bob Sharp, Sam Posey, Sebastien Bourdais, The EDJE

Monday, May 18, 2015

99th Indianapolis 500 Qualifications Exemplify A Disastrous Start To 2015

Verizon P1 Pole Winner sticker as it was placed on Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon's No. 9 Chevrolet-powered Dallara IndyCar. Notice the lack of attention to detail on how the sticker was placed. Image Credit: Joe Skibinski

99th Indianapolis 500 Qualifications Exemplify A Disastrous Start To 2015

After having a fairly interesting week of watching the Verizon IndyCar Series work in, and understand, the new aerodynamics kits for large oval racing that were added to their Dallara DW12 racing platforms, and after the weather elements washed out any chance of holding the scheduled 4-lap qualification runs used to decide where the drivers would line up for the INDY 500 race, then, lastly, a third Chevy chassis spun and turned around backwards causing the chassis to lift off of the track surface, Race Control saw fit to shut down all of the team and driver development understanding achieved over hundreds of laps logged at the old Brickyard.

The third Chevy-powered accident damage on Ed Carpenter's Dallara DW12. It was feared that the new aerodynamics body work led to having cars become airborne when they spin and present the rear of the car toward the wind. Image Credit: Mike Young

One might say ... IndyCar Race Control "Bricked" the 99th Indianapolis 500 qualifications.

The 2015 season at this point has had more going wrong with the competition and fan enjoyment than at almost anytime during these merger years.

To understand and gain a perspective on how the decisions made for Sunday's augmented qualifications session played out, one needs a brief review of the 2015 season.

2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season had its opener in Brazil canceled ...

its second scheduled race at St. Pete ended up in a non-passing crash fest with the first time implementation of new aerodynamics body work with restricted testing imposed on all teams ...

its third scheduled race, Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, at NOLA (a brand new venue) ran almost having more laps run under YELLOW Flag with the rest of the timed-race laps being a mud bath ...

Long Beach Formula E Race winner Nelson Piquet Jr. - NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team - at the beginning of the FIA Formula E electric car open-wheel race as he negotiates Turn 3 at the end of Shoreline Drive at Pine Ave.. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

the fourth scheduled race at The Beach becoming a snoozer as a lack of passing ruled the day (two weeks earlier the FIA sanctioned Formula E had more interesting competition) ...

the fifth scheduled race at Barber Motorsports Park finally had some excitement - and passing, imagine that - passing ...

and finally, if this idiocy of INDY500 decision-making keeps up, the crown jewel of Speedway, Indiana during the month of May might become the Grand Prix of Indiana as opposed to the INDY 500 because, again, the Race Control by committee crowd allowed competition to break out (OH! ... and it was a road race).

Announcement of modified and augmented INDY 500 qualification's procedure at IMS delivered by CEO Mark Miles (L) and Race Control Director Derrick Walker (R). Image Credit: Bret Kelley

This excerpted and edited from Racer Viewpoints -

MILLER: Barnum & Bailey spotted at IMS
By Robin Miller - Sunday, 17 May 2015

It wasn’t as big a circus as 1997, when every bit of integrity and competition got kicked to the curb so the Indy Racing League could avoid the public relations nightmare of not starting the fastest 33 qualifiers.

But Sunday’s sideshow at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway would have surely brought a little smirk to Barnum & Bailey. A lot of panic, a little knee jerk, possibly some politics, a little confusion and a lot of “WTF?” summed up a very forgettable and embarrassing day in IMS history. From the time Ed Carpenter flipped in morning practice to the inane Last Row battle, it looked more like the Speedrome instead of Speedway.
----
Carpenter’s crash was the third in which a Chevrolet­powered Dallara driver wound up on his head. Helio Castroneves got upside down on Wednesday, followed by Josef Newgarden on Thursday. All three drivers escaped injury but not speculation. Why were their Indy cars suddenly sailing?

The finger was pointed at the new aero kits with the angled tire ramps and ramps inside the rear wheel pods or the vertical wickers on the nose but was countered by the Physics Police who reasoned as long as there are tunnels under a car and it goes backward there is going to be lift. Everyone seemed to have a theory except IndyCar, which offered nothing publicly until Sunday. “We knew the cause of the first two wrecks were very different and that probably obscured the overall concern,” said Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles, who at least chose Indy qualifying over golf this weekend.

IndyCar did mandate those vertical wickers be removed from all Chevys, but not the Hondas, after Helio flew.

Of course Carpenter crashed with no wicker but using the extra boost for qualifying while Castroneves had the wicker and normal horsepower before a tank­slapper sent him into the wall. Newgarden had no wicker and no added boost in a crash caused by a deflated tire. Even though Carpenter snapped loose before climbing the wall backwards and flipping over, it was his accident that suddenly sent IndyCar officials into DefCon 1. So when IndyCar sent out the word that it was taking away the extra power for qualifying and all the cars would have to start the race in the aero package they used to qualify (which instantly slowed the cars by several miles an hour), it created some predictable emotions in Gasoline Alley.

“We look like a bunch of pussies,” said one driver.
----
“It’s amateur hour, they’re throwing darts at a board,” said a former IndyCar champion of the process.

Honda drivers and teams bit their tongue but the obvious question was why did Honda have to abide by the edict?

Competition director Derrick Walker replied: “Just because we’ve seen three incidents happen with a Chevrolet doesn’t mean that there aren’t three Hondas out there that are likely to happen [fly while going backward] or could happen. I can assure you that Honda doesn’t believe that they have any issue, but then again, they will admit right now that we don’t have that answer.
----
Was it more about safety or competition? Chevy has clearly been ahead of Honda in pace this season and this month (with or without extra boost) so it’s not like Honda lost any advantage, other than its cars weren’t flipping at any speed or under any configuration.

Three accidents force a total change in philosophy? Sending drivers out with a combination they hadn’t run all month for a short practice session before qualifying hardly seemed safe but that’s what happened.

Some people blamed IndyCar for not doing more testing with the oval­track kits, which prompted one veteran mechanic to say: “We could have run for two weeks but unless somebody spun backwards, how would we know if there was a problem?”

Of course nobody wants to see anybody hurt when it can be prevented and nobody crashed Sunday afternoon ...
----
And naturally the day ended with some head shaking stupidity. Instead of letting the Fast 9 at least get one chance to battle for the pole, the hearty but tiny gathering of fans that hung around had to endure the dramatic duel to see which one of the 34 drivers was [to be] sent home. IndyCar opted to have the slowest four drivers go back out to eliminate one of them in an effort to keep the insulting “Bump Day” theme alive.

How pathetic.

There’s no Jim Nabors this year so my suggestion is scrap “Back Home Again in Indiana” for “Send in the Clowns.

[Reference]

Charlie Kimball and former champion Dario Franchitti pose for fan pictures at IMS. Image Credit: Forrest Mellott

Robin Miller (Racing, Viewpoints) was very correct to cite the 1997 IRL embarrassing INDY500 event because - and this is the reason - The Hulman/George decision-making Race Control by committee of 2015 was what had the event of last weekend's 99th INDY 500 qualifications feel so similar and familiar.

We are reliving the Tony George inspired competitive attitudes that the IRL gave American Open Wheel Racing right now in 2015. We have a racing series that is being run by a committee of pussies and one of them has been brought back (TGBB) after being replaced (with reason) a few years ago ... need we say more?

Robin Miller​ spanks the system but does not call them out as morphing into the IRL of old ... running the present day.

Comment/Observation From FB:
Ira Fierberg · Friends with Dicken Wear and 82 others - If you watched the coverage on Sunday, Roger Penske was interviewed and several times during the interview he referred to the sanctioning body as "The IRL"!

Can the reinstatement of Tony George as Chief "Clown & Mucky-Muck" be too far behind?

... notes from The EDJE


TAGS: Verizon IndyCar Series, 99th INDY 500, Indianapolis, Qualifications, Aerodynamics, Chevrolet-­powered, Honda-powered, Dallara, Testing, Hulman & Company, Mark Miles, Derrick Walker, Race Control, Boost, The EDJE,

Sunday, May 10, 2015

At GP Of INDY It's Rayhall vs. Rahal ('RAyHALl') ... Is There An Echo In Here?

Fans walk the frontstretch during the post-race track invasion at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Image Credit: Joe Skibinski via VICS

At GP Of INDY It's Rayhall vs. Rahal ('RAyHALl') ... Is There An Echo In Here?

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) during the final day of competition during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the only name heard, it seemed, was the sound made by the last name of a one-time Indy 500 winner (1986) - Bobby Rahal. In this case the name heard belonged to two different drivers in separate open-wheel series, although sounding the same, was spelled in two different ways.

Fans observe on track road course action on the mounds at IMS. Image Credit: Dana Garrett via VICS

The first session of the day belonged to a first-time driver in new IndyLights Series (that features a new Dallara racing platform powered by Mazda that looks like disturbingly like the ChampCar DP01 - down to the louvers in the sidepod) by the last name of Rayhall ... Sean Rayhall (8Star Motorsports).

Sean Rayhall leading IndyLights Race 2 at IMS. Image Credit: Tim Holle via VICS

He began the two race event by qualifying third and finishing second in Race 1 where he received a Podium trophy. on this final day of the event weekend, he began Race 2 in P2 along side of season series points leader and polesetter Ed Jones ... drafted his way down the front straight to put on a clean pass in Turn 1 and young Rayhall was never seriously challenged after the second GREEN Flag flew for the balance of the 35 lap race.

Sean Rayhall wins the IndyLights Race 2 at IMS. Image Credit: Doug Mathews via VICS

Post Race Quote:

Sean Rayhall  (#8 Bass Egg and Edvisors-8Star Motorsports): "In my head, that was longer than the six hours I've driven in endurance races! Jack was probably faster than me, but I was trying to save my tires for the end in case he got close. The restart had me nervous but I used a little trick I picked up driving Late Model (stock) cars to keep him back. After that, the only thing that was going through my head was to keep hitting my marks. I never expected this. Racing against guys like Max, RC, Ed, these guys have been doing open-wheel racing for the last five or six years, while I've done endurance racing. I'm inexperienced compared to them; it was an honor yesterday just to be on the podium with them so to be able to win, I'm just blown away. In the end, it's another race car. It's a switch in your head; you go from one to another, you drive different styles and push in different ways but you get to a point where you can flip it on and flip it off."

Sean Rayhall leading IndyLights Race 2 at IMS. Image Credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

He improved all event weekend long at the IMS infield road course where he posted a P5 in Practice 1, a P6 in Practice 2, A P3 in Qualifications, A Podium P2 in Race 1, a P1 in Practice 3, and brought home the Podium hardware in Race 2 with the winner's trophy and bragging rights for next year if he is still driving IndyLights.

P1 Rayhall, P2 Enerson, P3 Chilton at IMS Race 2. Image Credit: IndyLights

As reported by IndyCar:

Rayhall crossed the finish line 4.9438 seconds ahead of RC Enerson (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian). Max Chilton (Carlin) finished third. After seven of 16 races, Ed Jones (Carlin) holds the provisional points lead (176), 14 ahead of Jack Harvey (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian).

After only two races, Sean Rayhall (8Star Motorsports) has P11 in the points (81) out of 14 drivers with points.


Which brings us to the main event of the weekend, the fifth race of the Verizon IndyCar Series - Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and the other Rahal ... Graham Rahal.

This excerpted and edited from The Columbus Dispatch -

IndyCar: Graham Rahal trying to make the best of slower car
By: Tim May - Friday May 8, 2015 10:44 PM

Coming off a stirring run to a second-place finish in the previous IndyCar race, Graham Rahal spoke of renewed momentum for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan race team headed into Saturday’s second Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

He stuck with the momentum on Friday, but after qualifying he wasn’t happy. Neither were most of the other 11 drivers in the 25-car field who are using Honda engines and aerodynamic devices.

Chevrolet drivers smoked them. Team Penske’s Will Power led the way, taking the pole for the race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The “fast six” final qualifying was all Chevy; the top 12 who advanced to second-round qualifying included just one Honda, Jack Hawksworth from the Foyt Racing team, who wound up 11th.

It was like taking a “knife to a gun fight,” said Rahal, who will start 17th.

This year, IndyCar moved from stock bodies for all of the cars to aero kits (the downforce-inducing wings and pods on the cars) designed and produced by the two engine manufacturers in the series. If a team uses Honda engines it also uses the Honda aero kit. The same with Chevy.

Through the first four races and headed into the fifth, all on road or street courses, Chevy aero kits routinely have produced the faster times.

“It’s demoralizing,” Rahal said. “There’s nothing we can do; it’s out of our control. Our team has done the best job, I think, of driving the Honda all year (he’s eighth in points, up from 19th last season), but we’ve got to get the cars better.”

The Chevy drivers know there is a disparity. There is a chance of rain for the race today, which could close that gap.

“If it’s wet, absolutely,” Power said. Honda has “a lot of good drivers in their camp. Right now, they just don’t have their aero kits side of things together. … I hope they bridge that gap. It is more competitive when it’s an even playing field, which it isn’t right now.”
[Reference]


The race was run and it wasn't wet ... just a little messy at first, and fast (only one Full Course YELLOW Flag).

Seven cars were visibly involved in the Turn One incident, at race start, when the pack funneled down into the sharp first corner. Others got banged and bent. Third place starter, Helio Castroneves/No.3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, rear-ended second place starter, Scott Dixon/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. At least two cars stalled and had to be started – Jack Hawksworth/No.41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt and Josef Newgarden/No.21 Century 21 CFH Racing Chevrolet. Everyone else continued, eventually, but some had to pit for repairs. Image Credit: Eric Schwarzkopf

From IndyCar - ANGIE’S LIST GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS RACE RUNNING:

Lap 1: GREEN flag at 3:49 p.m. 1-Power leads the field into Turn 1. FULL COURSE CAUTION, contact in Turn 1 involving 9-Dixon, 3-Castroneves, 41-Hawksworth, 5-Hinchcliffe and 21-Newgarden. 3-Castroneves and 5-Hinchcliffe keep going. 9-Dixon, 41-Hawksworth and 21-Newgarden are stopped in Turn 1, assisted by the Holmatro Safety Team, restarted and return to the field.

Lap 2: Pits are open. Pitting are: 25-Wilson (replace front wing), 83-Kimball, 5-Hinchcliffe, 3-Castroneves, 7-Jakes, 9-Dixon (replace front and rear wings), 21-Newgarden (replace rear wing), 18-Huertas, 41-Hawksworth (replace front wing).

Lap 4: GREEN flag. 1-Power leads 22-Pagenaud. 15-Rahal has advanced 11 positions from the start to sixth place.

A photo posted by Edmund Jenks (@the_edje) on

This excerpted and edited from NBC Sports Motorsports Talk -

Graham Rahal bridesmaid again in Grand Prix of Indianapolis
By: Daniel McFadin - May 9, 2015, 7:14 PM EDT

It never rained and Rahal didn’t require its services. Thanks to a Lap 1, Turn 1 crash involving Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Jack Hawksworth and Josef Newgarden, Rahal was able to go from 17th to sixth before he made it to Turn 5 on the opening lap.

“I said I’ll go as far left as they can, I’ll have a great angle to cut to the apex,” Rahal said of his plan for the first turn. “Worst comes to worse I’ll do the shortcut. It’ll be fine. Sure enough it worked perfect. I saw smoke everywhere. Next thing I know I see (Scott Dixon). I got (JR) Hildebrand into four. That definitely went our way.”

Then a strategy of pitting a lap later than the leaders put Rahal into the top three and within reasonable distance of Power. He led nine laps during green flag pit stops, but afterward was never able to make up full deficit due to lapped cars.

“I feel good about it. We’ve come away from finishing first by like three seconds combined,” Rahal said. “This tiny little one car team is fighting with Penske and that feels pretty good.”

It should feel good, though finishing second is undoubtedly getting old.

Still, Rahal, now fifth in points with his single-car team, has multiple podiums in a season for the first time since the 2011 campaign when Rahal notched three with Chip Ganassi Racing.
[Reference]

Angie's List #GPofINDY Podium (middle - Will Power P1, right - Graham Rahal P2, left - Juan Pablo Montoya P3) - This is Will Power’s first victory this season and 25th of his career, which ties him with Gordon Johncock for 15th place on the all-time list. It comes in Power’s 144th career start. Power is the fifth different winner in as many races in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season (following Juan Pablo Montoya, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden). The #GPofINDY race featured six different leaders (Will Power, Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and James Jakes). None of the six led a lap in the inaugural 2014 Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Graham Rahal finished second for the second straight race, tying his season-best finish. Image Credit: Eric Schwarzkopf via FB

This Verizon IndyCar Series season now has had 5 races with the last two showing great promise for the rest of 2015. Some complaints about the lack of Mushroom Busting or Trailing Turbulence which reduces an ease in passing with one of the most vocal drivers in the on-air post race comments being Sebastien Bourdais (starting P7 and finished P4).

Don't tell this to Graham Rahal (race's most improved 15 positions - started P17 - Finished P2) or, Helio Castroneves (started P3, booted Dixon in Turn 1, dropped back to P23 or P24 on Lap 10 pitstop, finished P6), or for that matter, the Verizon IndyCar Series PR department who is boasting 192 passes for position on the track, 11 lead changes and six leaders in the 82-lap race.

Podium Press Conference >>>

No matter how it's spelled (Rayhall / Rahal) it all sounds the same and that "RAyHALl" sound heard throughout the paddocks, for most all of the day, Saturday, is the sound the of success few other names have at the 2nd annual Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

What a way to start the "Month Of May" at IMS. Next up ... practice for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 will begin May 11 (racecontrol.indycar.com).

Qualifications will be May 16 - ABC @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm ET and May 17 - ABC @ 1:00 pm - 3:00pm ET - includes V E R I Z O N  I N D Y C A R  S E R I E S – Q U A L I F Y I N G – F A S T 9 (racecontrol.indycar.com).

Coors Light Carb Day will be May 22 (racecontrol.indycar.com).

The INDY 500 race will be May 24 and televised at 12:00pm ET on ABC Networks and racecontrol.indycar.com.

... notes from The EDJE


TAGS: Sean Rayhall, Graham Rahal, Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Month of May, 8Star Motorsports, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, IndyLights, IndyCar, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, RC Enerson, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Curb-Agajanian, Max Chilton, Carlin, The EDJE, Verizon IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mazda Provides Fleet Of New 2016 Mazda6s And CX-5s To Camp Zoom-Zoom



Mazda Provides Fleet Of New 2016 Mazda6s And CX-5s To Camp Zoom-Zoom (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca)

Mazda North American Operations handed over the keys to 13 all-new 2016 Mazda6 and CX-5 vehicles to staff of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during this past weekend's Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda. The cars, emblazoned with Mazda-designed graphics, will become a staple on the Monterey Peninsula landscape and special events.

"We are extremely grateful and fortunate to have Mazda as a partner," commented Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "Their enthusiasm, guidance and ongoing activations throughout the year are remarkable, and enable us to host major international races each year."

Affectionately known as "Camp Zoom-Zoom" among Mazda officials, the automaker regularly uses Mazda Raceway to conduct new product launches, media drives, engineering tests and dealer meetings.

"As we kick off our sixteenth season of partnership with Mazda Raceway, it's always fun to see the new fleet of Mazda vehicles arrive with the track's hard-working team," said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, US Operations, for Mazda North American Operations. "Some companies put their names in places that just don't make sense, but the reason for our ongoing partnership is that motorsport is in our blood, and Mazda Raceway is one of the most iconic race facilities in the world. We look forward to many more years of partnership."

The 2016 Mazda6 is the flagship model in Mazda's new-generation product lineup. It has earned high acclaim in markets around the world thanks to the alluring vitality of the "KODO - Soul of Motion" design language and SKYACTIV Technology's balance of driving pleasure, environmental performance and safety. Mazda went to extraordinary lengths to bring new levels of depth and maturity to every aspect of the 2016 model. In addition to an innovative interior design, the updated refreshed Mazda6 offers the customer greater sophistication and value with enhanced exterior design, functionality, ride comfort, quietness and safety.

Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype Progress - For the second time in four races, the Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype (both captured here during the pre-race Grid Walk) led the race. The No. 70 car of Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito started eighth and took the lead after the 45-minute mark, heading the field for seven laps. They finished sixth in class and seventh overall, matching the best-ever finishes for the Prototypes. The No. 07 car of Tom Long and Joel Miller started ninth but retired with mechanical problems. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 was the first model to fully adopt SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and the "KODO - Soul of Motion" design language. The model offered much more than the basic values of utility and practicality that customers expect from an SUV and it delivers high levels of both driving pleasure and environmental and safety performance. Since the launch of the original model, Mazda has made steady refinements to the CX-5 each year, aiming to deliver customers even greater value and sophistication.

Since Mazda became title sponsor of the iconic motorsports and events facility in 2000, located in the destination-rich Monterey Peninsula, Mazda has had a prolific presence. The Soul Red Metallic vehicles serve a variety of purposes, from utilitarian duties and participating in parades and civic activities, to serving as pace cars. "The Mazdas are instrumental in our jobs," added Campbell.

The next race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the MotoAmerica & FIM World Superbike Championship, GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round July 17-19. For ticket information and a complete season lineup, visit MazdaRaceway.com or call 831-242-8200.

For information on the full Mazda new model lineup, visit MazdaUSA.com.

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Motor Culture, Social Media, And The Search For Creations Past

Image of a 1963, Derbi 50cc 7-speed Grand Prix motorcycle. Image Credit TOURNESOL via Philippe de Lespinay on his Facebook page

Motor Culture, Social Media, And The Search For Creations Past

Funny what pursuits in motor culture one finds bounding through social media news feeds.

In this case, a submission by driver, collector, historian, builder, standards judge, and artist (more could have been added) Philippe de Lespinay about his past in Grand Prix motocycle racing and the query on a model built and presented to a onetime benefactor to his exploits.

Images of a 1963, Derbi 50cc 7-speed Grand Prix motorcycle. Image Credit: Print Magazine via Philippe de Lespinay on his Facebook page

This was written by Philippe on his Facebook page [edited]:

"52 years ago, I built [a model of] this 1963, 1/8 scale Derbi 50cc 7-speed Grand Prix motorcycle using only basic materials: soldered steel-wire frame, wooden engine and fuel tank, wheels made from plumbing fiber gaskets... those were the days!

I gifted it [the model] to the late Jacques Roca, who had been instrumental in helping me begin my racing career. Not sure if it survived in his estate ... these pictures were found in a period magazine."
[Reference]

Philippe de Lespinay made several models, but to date, it is known that only two have survived as far as Philippe knows. This one being only 3" long and in need of repairs, it is of a 250cc Aermacchi Harley-Davidson. Image Credit: Philippe de Lespinay

If anyone knows additional information on this brief news feed item, please leave a comment (and a link, if helpful) so this can be passed on to Mr. de Lespinay.

... notes from The EDJE


TAGS:  model, Derbi, 50cc, 1963, 7-speed, Grand Prix motorcycle, Jacques Roca, TOURNESOL, Philippe de Lespinay, The EDJE

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SKYACTIV Diesel Technology Comes Back To Corporate Home Track

Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype Progress – For the second time in four races, the Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype led the race. The No. 70 car of Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito started eighth and took the lead after the 45-minute mark, heading the field for seven laps. They finished sixth in class and seventh overall, matching the best-ever finishes for the Prototypes. The No. 07 car of Tom Long and Joel Miller started ninth but retired with mechanical problems. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

SKYACTIV Diesel Technology Comes Back To Corporate Home Track

Anticipation was the word going into the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix weekend of races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, May 1-3, 2015.

The Mazda SpeedSource SKYACTIV Prototype diesel-powered team effort seems to be a bit frustrated after just three races into this 12 race Tudor United Sports Car Championship season. After finishing no better than 7th this season, the feeling throughout the Mazda SpeedSource Prototype paddock was this would be the race for a breakthrough since these cars and the type of torque and mileage delivered by the experimental SpeedSource SKYACTIV Diesel engines seems suited to the multiple turns, elevation changes, and shorter straights characterized by the corporate named track near Monterey.

The fuel efficient Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype at the top of the Corkscrew, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015) 

This excerpted and edited from Planet Le Mans - 

Mazda Prototypes at Mazda Raceway: High Expectations
April 29, 2015

There’s a new kind of pressure on the Mazda SpeedSource Prototypes for this weekend’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda. Race number four for the TUDOR United SportsCar Series will take place Sunday, May 3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. The two-hour, forty-minute race takes place at a track which plays into the strengths of the chassis and SpeedSource SKYACTIV Diesel engines. The team aims to live up to the pressure of heightened expectations with drivers such as Jonathan Bomarito, who grew up in Monterey, and Tom Long, who will be pulling triple duty through the weekend.

Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No. 70, Mazda Prototype
“Yes, there is pressure. But it’s a good pressure. We’re expected to do well – plus the track is named Mazda Raceway! The opportunity is there for us to capitalize.”

Why do the Mazda Prototypes perform so well at this track? “Mazda Raceway allows us to showcase all of the elements where we excel. The track has 11 corners, and not a lot of long straights. All of the corners that lead into the straights, such as turns four and six, are smooth, medium- to high-speed corners that play to the aerodynamic strength of our chassis and the torque of our diesel engine. Our chassis likes to be run close to the ground for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, and the smooth track allows us to run much lower than at a bumpy course like Long Beach. All of those elements play into what we believe is a performance advantage. It’s our strongest track, so we expect to perform well.”

Bomarito is a native of Monterey and expects a large contingent of supporters for the event. “My best friend, my family and many more. My mom knows everyone in the Monterey Peninsula, so there will be a lot of familiar faces there.”

Tom Long, driver, No. 07, Mazda Prototype
Long has three distinct roles this weekend at Mazda Raceway. In addition to driving the No. 07 Prototype, he will be racing in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race in a Mazda MX-5 with Freedom Autosport. 
----
My main focus is certainly with the SpeedSource Mazda Prototype. We have the tools we need to really compete, so that’s the number one priority for me. I have to make the best of it and capitalize on such a great opportunity.”

About Mazda Raceway: “It’s not my home track because I’m from the East Coast, but I really like it. I’ve driven a lot of laps and done a lot of driver coaching for Mazda here. I think the coaching and tutoring really help me. If you understand the track better by teaching it to others, I believe it has the advantage of being an almost subconscious boost when it’s time for me behind the wheel.”

Mazda Driver Lineup / Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Car No. 07 Tom Long / Joel Miller
Car No. 70 Jonathan Bomarito / Tristan Nunez

The pair of sleek Corporate colored and SKYACTIV liveried Soul Red cars are coming off of their best finishes of the year, with the SpeedSource No. 07 finishing seventh and the SpeedSource No. 70 finishing eighth (out of a field of 9 cars in class) at the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
[Reference Here]

Tristan Nunez, who has been doing double duty driving in two racing series (Verizon IndyCar Series), pilots the SpeedSource #70 Mazda Prototype through the famed Corkscrew Turn at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

The weekend hopes had a promising beginning because for the second time in four races, a Mazda SpeedSource SKYACTIV Prototype led the race. At about 45 minutes into the 2 hr. and 40 min. trophy dash, after starting eighth in a nine car class field.

This excerpted and edited from Concept Carz - 

MAZDA PROTOTYPE MATCHES BEST-EVER FINISH AT MAZDA RACEWAY
May 3, 2015 - Concept Carz

The No. 70 Mazda Prototype with drivers Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito recorded a finish of sixth in class and seventh overall in today's Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda. Both numbers match the best-ever results for the diesel-powered Mazda Prototypes, which began an aggressive development program in 2014. 

Tristan Nunez, who started the race in the No. 70 car, led seven laps, taking advantage of the fuel economy from the diesel engine. It is the second race that Mazda has led this season.

The sister car, the No. 07, started strong with driver Tom Long before dropping out of the running early with engine issues. Long and teammate Joel Miller finished ninth in the Prototype category.
Tristan Nunez, driver, No. 70 Mazda Prototype About starting the race and being in the midst of heavy race traffic: 'As the starting driver, you have to think of the long view of the race. Mostly, I was thinking of putting it in Jonathan's hands. That's what's tough as the starting driver: you have all of the traffic - it's mayhem in front of you - but you've got to keep the car clean. Our plan was to keep up with the leaders so that we could get in a position where we could lead and take advantage of our fuel mileage advantage.'

SpeedSource #70 Mazda Prototype Diesel powers out of Turn 6 on its way up the Rahal Straight. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

About leading overall for the first time in his young Prototype career (Nunez is 19 years old.): 'The team came on the radio and told me that I was leading the race, and then I looked at the No. 70 up on the (scoreboard). It was really surreal. I dreamed of leading and winning with this team since I started racing. It was my dream to wear the Mazda brand. And what better place to do it than Mazda Raceway! This is the race track where I won my first car race… oh gosh, I was such a young boy. It was 2010 in the Skip Barber Series.'

Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No. 70 Mazda Prototype About matching the best-ever finish for the Prototype: 'We're racing at Mazda Raceway in a Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda - so it's an amazing day really. I feel bad for the guys on the No. 07 car, they had some trouble early, but the No. 70 had a great race. Good strategy, good pit stops. The drivers want so bad to have good results for these crew guys who work so hard year-round, and for Mazda and SpeedSource. I'm happy about the day and the car ran great.'

About repeatedly lowering his personal-best lap times late in the race: 'When the field gets spread out, you're almost racing yourself. Primarily, you're managing traffic and trying to keep improving that lap time. That's what keeps you motivated and pushing, and we were running a really decent pace at the end of the race.
(ht: Mazda Motorsports)
[Reference Here]

SpeedSource celebrated its 20th anniversary on Monday, the day after this weekend’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda. Next race, SpeedSource hopes to have both cars finish and place setting new marks in race five to be held May 30, 2015 at the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers at Belle Isle near Detroit, Michigan.

... notes from The EDJE


TAGS: Continental Tire, Monterey Grand Prix, Mazda, SpeedSource, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, SKYACTIV, Nunez, Bomarito, Long, Miller, The EDJE