TUSC: BAR1, Scuderia Corsa each announce two-car programs

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BAR1 Motorsports and Scuderia Corsa will each field two entries in the Prototype Challenge and GTD categories respectively for the 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

BAR1 finished the 2013 American Le Mans Series season on a tear with three consecutive victories for its No. 8 ORECA FLM09 at Circuit of the Americas, Virginia International Raceway and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. One of the No. 8’s drivers, Chris Cumming, narrowly missed out on the PC class driver’s championship by a single point to Mike Gausch.

“Looking back at 2013, I can’t say enough about the effort our team put forth,” said BAR1 team owner Brian Alder in a statement. “To win the final three races of the season was a huge accomplishment. We finished on the podium a total of eight times this season. We proved week in and out we are one of the premier teams in the highly competitive Prototype Challenge class.”

“Today’s announcement serves notice we’ll be back to finish the job. We want more wins and we want the championship.”

As for Corsa, they’ll field the No. 63 and No. 64 Ferrari 458 Italias for the inaugural TUSC season. The No. 63 will feature the final GRAND-AM GT champion, Alessandro Balzan, pairing up with Jeff Westphal. Dr. Rod Randall and Ken Wilden are set to drive the No. 64.

“I’m very happy to be joining such a great championship team,” Wilden said in a Corsa release. “The Ferrari 458 is an awesome car. Scuderia Corsa has done an exceptional job in the series and we look forward to the year ahead.

“Rod and I both felt this was a great opportunity after running with the team at Indy last year; it was such a great fit and an easy decision. We are looking forward to a very competitive season.”

The No. 63 Ferrari was the fastest in GTD during this past week’s test session at Daytona International Speedway.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

Photo: IndyCar
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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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