TUSC: FIA homologates Colin Braun’s speed records at Daytona

Leave a comment

The FIA’s Land Speed Records Commission has homologated two of Colin Braun’s record speed runs this past October at Daytona International Speedway as official world records.

The world records are for 10 kilometers (203.010 mph) and 10 miles (210.017 mph), both from a standing start. Braun achieved the marks in a Ford Ecoboost-powered Daytona Prototype prepared by Michael Shank Racing.

In a statement, Braun said the recognition from the FIA is a “great reward” for everyone that played a role in it.

“It is pretty cool to have the record run be homologated by the FIA,” Braun said. “It was exciting to be right on the edge, and it was much tougher than I expected it was going to be to go break these records.

“The FIA has incredibly high standards and my hat is off to everyone at Daytona, Ford, Continental Tire, IMSA, and Michael Shank Racing for the all homework they did to prepare for the run with the new EcoBoost motor. It was a pretty exciting day for everyone and it is something I’ll always remember.”

Also happy was team owner Michael Shank, who thanked all involved for “working together with this one goal.”

“It was a big day for everyone involved and I am really thankful to have that kind of support from everyone to pull this off,” he said. “My guys are working every day now to be prepared to bring the Ecoboost [engine] another big day at [Daytona] with a win in the Rolex 24 next month.”

Braun also set a Daytona single-lap record at 222.971 mph in the Ford-powered MSR Prototype, breaking the old mark of 210.364 mph on a qualifying lap by Bill Elliott in 1987. However, it should be noted that, unlike Braun’s record lap, Elliott’s was made during official competition.

Hartley happy with ‘big progression’ on first day with Toro Rosso

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With 69 laps completed (28 in free practice one and 41 in free practice two) and respectable lap times in both sessions, Brendon Hartley quickly acclimated to a modern day Formula 1 chassis in his first run with Scuderia Toro Rosso in Friday practice for the United States Grand Prix.

The Porsche factory driver has been drafted into the team following a convoluted series of musical chairs that sees Daniil Kvyat back after a two-race absence, Carlos Sainz Jr. now at Renault and Pierre Gasly racing at the Super Formula season finale in Suzuka.

Over the time in the car today, Hartley experienced changeable conditions in FP1 before a more normal FP2, and discovered the new F1 cockpit after a day learning in the garage yesterday.

“A steep learning curve today! It all went pretty smoothly and I kept the car on track without making too many mistakes, so I’m quite happy,” the New Zealander reflected at day’s end.

“I didn’t really know what to expect from today because I just had so much to learn! I think I made quite a big progression throughout the day.

“The biggest difference from what I’m used to is the high-speed grip, it’s incredible here in Formula 1…it was quite an eye-opener! Another challenge are the tires, which are also quite different to what I’m used to. On the other hand, the long-run looks quite positive and I did a good job managing the tires there – the biggest thing I need to work on now is the new tire pace, and I’ll get another crack at it tomorrow morning before qualifying.

“All in all, I’d say it’s all coming together. We’ll now work hard and go through plenty of data tonight and hopefully I’ll make another step forward tomorrow.”

His best lap was 1.1 seconds up on Friday driver Sean Gelael, the Indonesian Formula 2 driver, in FP1 (1:39.267 to 1:40.406, good enough for 14th) and 1.1 seconds off the returning Kvyat in FP2 (1:37.987 to 1:36.761, good enough for 17th). Interestingly, the Gelael/Hartley combination in FP1 marked the second time in three races that Toro Rosso had a pair of drivers in its cars without a single Grand Prix start between them – Gasly’s debut at Malaysia was the other, when he and Gelael were in in FP1.

Coming into Friday’s running, Hartley said he was more ready for this opportunity now than he had been as a teenager. He admitted he’d called Red Bull’s Helmut Marko in the wake of Porsche’s LMP1 withdrawal news earlier this year to say he was game for any chance that might come.

“I’m a lot stronger than I was back then, basically. I wasn’t ready at 18 years old. I like to think I’m ready now,” he said.

“I haven’t driven a single-seater since 2012, but I like to think that Porsche LMP1 has hopefully prepared me well.”

As for the rest of his weekend, it’s been made more complicated by Hartley being assessed a 25-spot grid penalty, even though Hartley had done nothing to accrue the penalties.

The roundabout sequence of driver changes at Toro Rosso saw Gasly replace Kvyat, Kvyat replace Sainz, and now Hartley replace Gasly, as is outlined by NBCSN pit reporter Will Buxton below.