Zipadelli: “Options” exist for 2014, but no decisions yet for Stewart-Haas

Leave a comment

Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli didn’t bite on any inquiries regarding the team’s 2014 plans, and whether it could expand to a fourth car for NASCAR Sprint Cup. But, he said in a teleconference Monday, there are “options.”

“I mean, right now we’re really focusing on Mark (Martin),” Zipadelli said. “Obviously there’s options out there. We’re looking at everything that’s there. There is nothing done. Right now like I said we’re focused on the 39 (Ryan Newman), trying to win another race to make it into the Chase and getting Mark fitted up in this car and heading to Bristol to do the best job we can.”

SHR has already expanded from two cars, for eponymous team owner and currently sidelined driver Tony Stewart and Newman, to a third full-time entry for Danica Patrick for the 2013 sason. Patrick, interestingly, was not mentioned once by name over the course of Monday’s teleconference.

Zipadelli said there were some growing pains that came with the expansion, but would take what they learned from adding Patrick’s team to the fold if they would add a fourth besides Stewart, Patrick and 2014 new recruit Kevin Harvick.

“Well, there’s lessons to be learned, but we’re not to that point yet,” Zipadelli said. “Right now we are a three-car. We have made lots of gains throughout the year, but I still think we have room to improve. We’re still working on that.

“Obviously if something were to come, we would look at where we feel like we fell short and try to do a better job at it.”

SHR is reported to have made a formal offer to Kurt Busch for a potential fourth car, a story revealed after the weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
Leave a comment

SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.