ZF becomes IMSA partner; will produce videos (VIDEO)

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One of the partner pieces of news that came down over the week at the Rolex 24 at Daytona was that ZF Friedrichshafen AG – a global leader in driveline and chassis technology – would join IMSA as an Official Partner in a multiyear deal.

ZF, which has a rather large base in Europe, is expanding into North America in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. As IMSA president and COO Scott Atherton said during the week, this “is the first example of a new corporate partnership that is a result of the merger.”

Julio Caspari, president, ZF North America, Inc., expanded on the expansion and on ZF’s Race Reporter Programs.

“You have to have the appropriate products for this market. Now with the market becoming more harmonized between different regions, you see more common sizes, we saw a good opportunity to apply our technologies,” he told MotorSportsTalk. “Our intention is to make our racing efforts more well known in the media, and to other companies.”

The first three Daytona videos are below, all hosted by MRN Radio’s Tony Rizzuti. The first explains the TUDOR Championship classes and structure; the second is an interview with ZF Motorsports Manager Mehmet Ozerman and the third is known as the “ZF Fan Reporter.”

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.