Could NASCAR’s Air Titan technology help pro tennis?

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Considering that tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race is under a rain delay at this time, this seems like a fitting topic.

As you may recall, NASCAR recently unveiled its second version of the Air Titan track-drying technology that debuted last year. The system has been used quite a bit this season, and we don’t think there’s even one fan that would say NASCAR’s investment in it wasn’t a wise one.

Now, it appears that the system has attracted the attention of another sport that has its own issues with the rain: Professional tennis.

Earlier today, NASCAR CEO Brian France disclosed a recent meeting he had with the United States Tennis Association on the subject.

“I was just out with the United States Tennis Association because they have a similar issue with all those courts,” NASCAR chairman Brian France said at a sports editors’ conference according to USA Today.

“When it rains, they need about 20 or 30 minutes to dry their courts. This technology is going to have major ramifications. We always believed that it would. It’s a green solution.

“To give you a little perspective on that, we can clean the area the size of a football field in 20 seconds with this technology, which gives you a certain feel of why the tennis guys are intrigued to know more about this technology.”

It sounds strange to put NASCAR and tennis together, but last year, the New York Times relayed comments from NASCAR vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell that suggested tennis hardcourts could eventually benefit from the Air Titan system.

And now that the system’s evolved into a more compact and greener version, that time could be coming soon.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”