(Photo courtesy Formula DRIFT)

Vaughn Gittin Jr. edges Chris Forsberg for 2nd straight Formula DRIFT win at Homestead

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. out-drove points leader Chris Forsberg in the final round to earn his second consecutive victory in this weekend’s Formula DRIFT “Round 3: Miami Heat” event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Gittin and his Monster Energy/Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR held off Forsberg and his Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z to win his second win in the series’ first three events.

“It feels really amazing to be here and come to a brand new track and work with my team to get my Monster Energy, Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR on rails to be able to hit every mark and compete with some of the best drivers in the world,” Gittin said. “Back-to-back wins is just amazing and we are working hard and it just feels good that it’s paying off and I’m just pumped.”

While Forsberg kept things close, Gittin earned just enough points to not only win the event, but also to move into second place in the Formula DRIFT standings, just 10 points behind Forsberg.

Kenny Moen, in the Achilles Radial/Bridges Racing Nissan 240SX, finished third.

It was the first time that the Formula DRIFT series has raced at HMS.

“Homestead-Miami Speedway provided a great new venue for our Championship,” Formula DRIFT president Jim Liaw said. “The increasingly bigger fan base was treated to some impressive driving all weekend with the first event PRO 2 Series competition and Round 3 of the Pro Championship.”

The 2014 Formula DRIFT Championship season continues with Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway in New Jersey on June 20-21.

 

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Formula DRIFT Professional Championship Presented by GoPro Round 3: Miami Heat Event Results

Winner: Vaughn Gittin Jr., Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR

2nd: Chris Forsberg, Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z

3rd: Kenny Moen Bridges Racing Nissan 240SX

 

Formula DRIFT Professional Championship Presented by GoPro 2014 Standings After Three Rounds:

1. Chris Forsberg, Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z, 263.00 points

2. Vaughn Gittin Jr., Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR, 253.00 points

3. Kenneth Moen, Bridges Racing Nissan 240SX, 205.50 points

4. Fredric Aasbo, Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC, 189.50 points

5. Justin Pawlak, Falken Tire Ford Mustang, 140.00 points

6. Robbie Nishida, Achilles Radial / Bridges Racing Lexus SC300, 132.50 points

7. Forrest Wang, Get Nuts Lab / Hankook Tire / STR Racing Nissan S14,129.50 points

8. Aurimas Bakchis,Feal Suspension / Nitto Tire Nissan 240SX, 121.00 points

9. Tyler McQuarrie, GoPro Mobil 1Chevrolet Camaro, 114.00 points

10. Michael Essa, Essa Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3, 109.00 points

11. Darren McNamara, Falken Tire Nissan S14, 102.00 points

12. Chelsea DeNofa, BC Racing Nitto Tire BMW 3-Series, 92.00 points

13. Conrad Grunewald, Megan Racing / Top 1 Oil / BRE Chevrolet Camaro, 90.50 points

14. Ryan Tuerck, Retaks Maxxis Tires Air Force PSI Scion FR-S, 90.50 points

15. Ken Gushi, GReddy Performance X Scion Racing Drift FR-S V2, 89.00 points

16. Matt Field, CX Racing / Nitto Tire Nissan 240SX, 84.50 points

 

Manufacturers Championship Standings After Three Rounds:

1. Ford            393.00 points

2. Nissan      334.50 points

3. Scion      312.00 points

4. Chevy      204.50 points

5. BMW      201.00 points

 

Tire Championship Standings After Three Rounds:

1. Hankook     452.50 points

2. Nitto            422.00 points

3. Achilles            338.00 points

4. Falken            242.00 points

5. Yokohama      128.00 points

 

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Verstappen disappointed with himself after Monaco crash

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 29: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 29, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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Max Verstappen admitted that he felt disappointed with himself after crashing out of Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix in his second race for Red Bull.

Two weeks on from his stunning victory in Spain, Verstappen endured a tough weekend in Monaco that saw him suffer three crashes.

A shunt in qualifying meant he had to start the race from the pit lane, but he made the most of the inclement conditions early on by switching tire to run inside the top 10.

However, a mistake at Massenet on lap 34 sent him careering into the barrier and out of the race, ending his hopes of a fightback to points.

“Disappointed in myself and disappointed for the team, because they worked very hard to get the car ready and I didn’t give them the result they deserved today,” Verstappen said.

“We were in a good way, we were in the points and to start from the pit lane and end in the points would have been very good, but I learned from this and hopefully we can come back stronger in Canada.

“It was pretty tricky especially in the beginning of the race it was a very slippery track. It got better and better, the track was drying, and I think from then on we had great pace and I was overtaking cars, charging through the field and everything felt well.

“Then we put the softs on and I locked up. Unfortunately I went a bit off-line and of course then you arrive in the wet area and I was a passenger from there on.

“That’s racing in the end, it can go up and down very quickly but you shouldn’t back off because of this you should keep positive, keep pushing.

“I learn a lot from those moments as well and I’m already focusing on Canada now and leaving Monaco behind.”

Bell, Hunter-Reay crash in pit lane battling for Indy 500 lead

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara, practices during Carb Day ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Ryan Hunter-Reay and Townsend Bell’s hopes of winning the 100th Indianapolis 500 for Andretti Autosport were dashed after coming together in the pit lane when battling for the lead of the race.

Following a caution period called for crashes involving Mikhail Aleshin and Conor Daly, the majority of the field dived into the pits for the fifth round of pit stops.

Both Hunter-Reay and Bell had been running inside the top three before the caution, battling with Tony Kanaan, James Hinchcliffe and Helio Castroneves for the lead of the race.

On the race off pit road, Bell’s car was released into the path of the oncoming Castroneves, resulting in contact.

Bell’s car was sent into Hunter-Reay just as he was released, leaving both pointing the pit wall nose-first.

Only one crew member was in the line of fire, but he managed to jump out of the way quickly. A tire was also hit, but did not come off the ground, meaning no-one in the area was hurt.

Bell was assessed a penalty for the incident, unsafe release:

Andretti was forced to wheel both of its cars back to their pit boxes, costing both drivers time before they were sent back out again. At the time of writing, Hunter-Reay and Bell now run P25 and P26 respectively and are battling to remain on the lead lap.

Castroneves leads halfway; Karam crashes out on Lap 94 at Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Helio Castroneves #3 of Brazil watches alongside owner Roger Penske during Carb Day ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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INDIANAPOLIS – Thus far the quartet of Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Townsend Bell and Josef Newgarden have had the strongest cars in the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

But it’s Helio Castroneves who now leads at the 100-lap mark, as he did last year, following the fourth round of pit stops. He’s in search of his fourth Indy 500 win.

Prior to Lap 100, Bryan Clauson was out front. Clauson went a lap down early and has not made his fourth pit stop yet in the No. 88 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Honda for Dale Coyne Racing. But courtesy of a typically-cagey Coyne strategy play, he was nearly out front for this historic moment in the longest Indianapolis 500 outing of his three starts thus far.

There’s already been 31 lead changes – other leaders include Hunter-Reay who’s led a race high 44 laps, Hinchcliffe, who’s led 26, then Will Power (8 laps led), Bell (8), Castroneves (6), Clauson (3), Newgarden (2), Sage Karam (2) and Carlos Munoz (1).

Just prior to halfway, Sage Karam’s strong run from 23rd up to seventh came to a crashing halt in Turn 2. The driver of the No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet for DRR-Kingdom Racing appeared to get pinched in Turn 1 by Bell – who also made a similarly tight move on Newgarden – then hit the wall and careened through to Turn 2.

Karam’s accident means he’s the second car officially out of the race, along withe defending race winner Juan Pablo Montoya.

At Lap 100 the order is below:

500halfway

Defending Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya wrecks out on Lap 64

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Juan Pablo Montoya of Columbia, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet,   drives  on Carb Day ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Juan Pablo Montoya will not be the first driver to go back-to-back as winner of the Indianapolis 500 since 2002.

The defending Indy 500 winner wrecked out of the 100th running of the race on Lap 64. Montoya’s silver No. 2 Chevrolet got loose in Turn 2, spun around and hit the outside wall with his left front.

“I just got loose and lost the car,” Montoya told ABC. “It’s just difficult, people were doing a lot dumb things on the restarts and I felt it was not necessary. So I took my time and started coming through the field and the car felt pretty good. It just stepped out of nowhere.”

Montoya, who started 17th, was running in 19th when the single-car accident occurred. The two-time winner of the “500” was cleared and released from the infield care center.

The crash caused the second caution of the race after an early debris caution.