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TUSC: Taylor brothers team up with dad Wayne

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We’re a bit late on posting this news, but then the Taylor brothers might argue it’s never too late to race together as “Bro-drivers.”

Indeed Jordan Taylor – 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype co-champion and an emerging Internet legend – and older brother Ricky Taylor will co-drive their father Wayne’s No. 10 Corvette Dallara DP in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

“This has obviously been a longtime dream of mine and, quite honestly, I thought it could never happen,” Wayne Taylor said in the team’s release. “Thanks to the tremendous support of Team Chevy, Velocity Worldwide and Toshiba for making this happen. I am incredibly excited to move forward with both my sons driving for our racing team full-time.

Jordan Taylor replaced Ricky alongside Max Angelelli this season; the JT and “Max the Axe” pairing won five races, including the last three in a row. At another Corvette DP team, Ricky bore the brunt of bad luck with co-driver Richard Westbrook and went winless.

Angelelli will race on with the team as third driver for endurance races. Jordan Taylor, however, will not be able to carry on his duties as third driver for Corvette Racing’s GT program at least in the TUDOR Championship.

The Taylor brothers did race as co-drivers in 2009 with Beyer Racing for three races, but this marks their first full season racing as co-drivers.

“I think we’ve both had the chance to prove ourselves out there on our own the last several years,” Jordan Taylor said. “With Ricky having earned all those poles and winning all those races with Max, and then our championship this year with Max, the timing seems to be ideal for maximizing our recent success with Ricky and myself as full-time co-drivers. Max has been a like a brother to both of us and it will be great to keep that continuity going, as well, with him as our mentor and co-driver at the longer races.”

“First off, my dad and I would like to thank the Spirit of Daytona team for the opportunity to drive for their organization this past season,” Ricky Taylor added. “Prior to that, it was a tremendous experience to spend three years driving my dad’s car with Max, and it was an absolute thrill to see Jordan and Max enjoy such a solid season in winning the championship the way they did. Now, the three of us will all be working together with the goal of winning the first United SportsCar Championship. This is truly incredible for our family, for our great sponsors and partners, and our fans.”

Ricky Taylor has also, for the move, changed his Twitter handle from @ricky_taylor90 to @rickytaylor_10, so make a note of that.

Folger to make MotoGP debut with Tech3 in 2017

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - APRIL 22: Jonas Folger of Germany and Dynavolt Intact GP  rounds the bend during the MotoGp of Spain - Free Practice at Circuito de Jerez on April 22, 2016 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
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Yamaha Tech3 has confirmed that rising German talent Jonas Folger will make his MotoGP debut with the team in 2017, stepping up from Moto2.

Folger, 22, finished sixth in last year’s Moto2 riders’ championship, and already has one pole position and two podiums to his name after four races in 2016.

The Kalex rider will make the jump up to MotoGP for 2017, joining the Yamaha satellite team on a one-year deal with an option for a second.

“I am super excited about the news and I still can’t believe this is happening,” Folger said.

“I have been racing for years in the motorcycling world championship and to make the move up to the premier class is a dream come true plus I’d like to thank all my sponsors that have stuck by me all these years.

“Furthermore, it’s an honor to make this step with Yamaha, Hervé Poncharal and Tech3 team who have such a long and deep history in the paddock. I will try my absolute best to repay the faith the team has put in me, and I’m really looking forward to the new adventure.

“However, I will remain completely focused for the rest of the year in the intermediate class but I can’t wait for Valencia where I will sample the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time.”

Folger will get his first taste of the Tech3-run Yamaha bike at the traditional end of season MotoGP test in Spain this November.

Hamilton asks fans to trust and respect Mercedes team

SOCHI, RUSSIA - MAY 01:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP leaves the paddock after the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on May 1, 2016 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
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Three-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has called on his fans to trust and respect the Mercedes team amid unfounded allegations of sabotage in the past two races.

Hamilton suffered an issue on his power unit in qualifying for both the Chinese and Russian Grands Prix, helping teammate Nico Rosberg on his way to a streak of four successive victories to start the season.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff responded to claims on social media that the team was deliberately hindering Hamilton’s efforts by calling the accusers “lunatics”, before Mercedes itself wrote an open letter to its fans in response to the claims.

Hamilton has now issued a message of his own via his Facebook page on Friday:

Dear All,

I want you to know how grateful I am for all of your support. I’d like to ask that you please trust in my team, as I do. This is my family. These guys have been the greatest, hardest working people for me, and that is why I am now 3x World Champion.

Please don’t put any more thought into my team doing anything unjust towards me, and understand that it would be in no ones best interest for that to be the case. We’ve had the best 3 years together, and whilst it’s not going to plan right now, all will unfold in its own time.

I trust these guys 1000% and my mechanics are incredible, the best in the business. I respect them so please do the same. They are the guys that are going to make winning this championship possible.

Thank you once again.

Hamilton will bid to end Rosberg’s winning streak and get back into the title hunt when F1 arrives in Europe next weekend for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Button confused by Red Bull’s decision to drop Kvyat

SOCHI, RUSSIA - APRIL 30: Jenson Button of Great Britain and McLaren Honda in the garage during final practice ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 30, 2016 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
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2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button questioned Red Bull’s decision to drop Daniil Kvyat for Max Verstappen as of the Spanish Grand Prix, saying the team has “short memories”.

Red Bull announced on Thursday that Kvyat would be returning to Toro Rosso, its B-team, as of the next race in Barcelona, with Verstappen moving in the opposite direction.

The decision sparked mixed reactions on social media, with many pointing out that Kvyat had been on the podium just three weeks ago in China.

Button made the exact same point in a couple of tweets sent from his Twitter account on Thursday.

IMS confirms 100th Indy 500 reserved seats are sold out

Indianapolis 500
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials have confirmed Friday that the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil will have a sellout crowd, with confirmation all reserved seats have been sold.

“Every Indianapolis 500 is special, but the buzz surrounding the 100th Running has been building for nearly a year, ever since the checkered flag fell on the 99th,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said in a release. “Our fans are the best in sports and their incredible support of this year’s race will make it a truly historic day for ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”

Further information is linked here, via the IMS website.