Patrick Dempsey

Sports car racing may be confusing, but that’s no excuse for this graphic (PHOTOS)

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Yes, between the FIA World Endurance Championship (LMP1-H, LMP1-L, LMP2, GTE-Pro, GTE-Am), TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (P, PC, GTLM, GTD), Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (GS, ST) and Pirelli World Challenge (GT, GT-A, GTS, TC, TCA, TCB) you have 15 different classes and two in-category subclasses (LMP1-L and PWC GT-A, respectively), so sports car racing is confusing.

Still, if you’re promoting an event, that’s still no excuse to not do some basic research as to which cars fit into which class when you’re creating a promotional poster for said event.

Hat tip to Rebellion Racing for finding this gem off the website, in advance of the FIA WEC/IMSA combined weekend Sept. 19-20 at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

This GTE-Am group shot is littered with errors.

For 8Star Motorsports, the car pictured is a pre-bodywork update Corvette Daytona Prototype, that 8Star ran in the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Series DP class. 8Star this year runs a year-old Ferrari F458 Italia in the FIA WEC GTE-Am category; it also runs a PC class Oreca FLM09 in the TUDOR Championship, but its PC car would be just as irrelevant to GTE-Am as is this older DP.

AF Corse is misspelled as “AF Course.” And the chassis is the older model Ferrari F430 GT, which has been out of commission since 2010, before the introduction of the F458 in 2011. What’s particularly egregious here is that AF Corse ran no less than seven combined GTE-Pro and GTE-Am F458s in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans… yet this creator decided to grab a four-year old car because, hey, it’s a red Ferrari, who’s going to know the difference?

The errors roll on in GTE-Am with the next car, which is a whopper. A customer Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car from maybe 2007 or 2008 is utilized in the place of where the factory Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage should be placed. And again, come on guys, basic research here… AMR ran four Vantages at this year’s Le Mans, and actually won the GTE-Am class with the “Dane Train” No. 95 car. Instead, they’ve gone for this car. I’ll let Twitter user Fred Smith point out how much skill it takes to get a car this wrong.

Lastly, ProSpeed Competition rounds out this page with something that’s actually in range. The team had an older Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in its arsenal, and I believe the No. 75 car pictured here is the one drafted into last-minute action at this year’s Le Mans, and then shifted from the GTE-Am to GTE-Pro class where Jeroen Bleekemolen and Cooper MacNeil drove the race on their own. But this ProSpeed photo wouldn’t fit the comedy of errors without being wrong itself, too. The team runs a 991-spec Porsche 911 RSR in the FIA WEC this year, so the photo’s still wrong.

Like Rebellion Racing, which competes in the LMP1-L category with its Rebellion R-One Toyota, Aston Martin poked a bit of fun at this perplexing quartet when discussing the loved/hated acronym we all know from sports car racing: BoP (Balance of Performance).

The actual cars these teams – and the rest of the FIA WEC field – will be at Austin Sept. 19-20.

NHRA: Schumacher needs big weekend to keep Top Fuel title hopes alive

tony schumacher NHRA
(Photo courtesy NHRA)
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With just three races remaining in the Countdown to the Championship, eight-time and reigning NHRA Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher needs a big-time Texas turnaround this weekend.

Schumacher, as well as the rest of the Top Fuel class, has been at the mercy of Antron Brown thus far in the Countdown.

Brown, who is Schumacher’s teammate at Don Schumacher Racing, has won each of the first three races in the six-race Countdown.

“We do have quite a challenge in front of us over the second half of the Countdown. Hats off to Antron and all those Matco Tools/U.S. Army guys because they’ve had about as perfect of a run so far as you can have in this sport,” Schumacher said in a media release.

And as the NHRA moves into this weekend’s AAA Texas Nationals at the (Ennis) Texas Motorplex, Schumacher – who is in second place in the standings, 94 points behind Brown – knows what is at stake.

And most importantly, with just 12 rounds of racing remaining this season (four rounds in each of the final three races), Schumacher – who is the defending champion of this event – knows what he and his team have to do.

“If you do the math, we have five round wins to make up in the next three race weekends, which is entirely within the realm of possibility, especially for this U.S. Army team,” Schumacher said. “We’ve made up larger deficits before and came out with the championship by the time all was said and done. We live for the challenges we face every day and this is one we’re certainly ready to tackle.

“Obviously, it would be incredible to wipe out the entire deficit at Dallas and then hit Vegas and Pomona (the final two races) on equal ground.

“It’s mathematically possible, but is it likely? I would think not, especially with the way (Brown’s) team has been performing the first half of the Countdown. But, you never know. The way we approach it is to take care of what we can control, and that is to go out and try to be fastest in every qualifying session, then run the table on Sunday. That’s the best we can do.

“I always say it is a gift to be able to do what we do, and it is a gift to be presented with the opportunity to come to bat with the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and your team needing a grand slam to win the game, to win the championship.

“Some people wilt under that kind of pressure. This Army team has proven time and again that it is at its best when those opportunities come around, and we have one of those in front of us right now. It’s time to go out and get it done.”

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Canada Drag Racing Hall honors some of nation’s greatest legends

canadian drag racing hall of fame
(Photo courtesy RB Photographie/Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame)
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Hockey may be the national sport in Canada, but drag racing isn’t far behind in overall popularity.

And nearly 40 legends in the sport were honored Oct. 9 as inaugural inductees of the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Montreal.

Among the 28 living and 10 posthumous legends honored included racers, crew chiefs, mechanics, track officials, promoters and sponsors from across the nation “who made a lasting impact and significant difference the development of drag racing in Canada and elsewhere,” according to a media release from the Hall.

“The recognition of world-class Canadian drag racing legends, all under one roof, is long overdue,” said Hall founder John Scotti. “I am very excited about this achievement for the sport and look forward to sharing it with others who will visit the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame museum as well.”

Added Hall director Bob Aubertin, “It is a dream come true to see great ones of our sport getting the recognition they deserve for their extraordinary achievements, contributions and efforts for the sport of drag racing.”

Among inductees are NHRA senior vice president Graham Light, all-star crew chief Dale Armstrong, famed Funny Car driver Gordie Bonin, longtime John Force Racing crew chief Bernie Fedderly, former U.S. Nationals Top Fuel winner Terry Capp and 1970 Winternationals Super Stock winner Barrie Poole, the first Canadian driver to win an NHRA national event.

A former Competition Eliminator and Top Fuel driver, Light owned and operated Edmonton International Speedway in his hometown from 1974 to 1982. He joined NHRA in 1984 and has been with the sanctioning body ever since.

“It’s a great honor to be inducted into the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame during its inaugural year and to be included among the legends of Canadian Drag Racing,” said Light, who was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996. “All of the inductees owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to founder John Scotti for his vision in creating the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame, which will provide an appropriate venue to preserve the history of the sport well into the future.”

Complete list of inductees in alphabetical order:

  1. Dale Armstrong, AB (Posthumous)
  2. Gordie Bonin, AB (Posthumous)
  3. Ron Bracken, Pierrefonds, QC (Posthumous)
  4. Ronald Brunet, Napierville, QC
  5. Frank Cantusci, Ottawa, ON
  6. Terry Capp, Sturgeon County, AB
  7. Wally Clark, Niagara, ON
  8. Aurèle Collette, Bouctouche, NB
  9. George Constantine, Montreal, QC (Posthumous)
  10. Marcel Couture, St. Henri, QC (Posthumous)
  11. Garry Dearn, Lasalle, QC
  12. Louis Desjardins, Montreal, QC
  13. John Dingman, Montreal, QC (Posthumous)
  14. Sandy Elliot, Chatham, ON (Posthumous)
  15. John Elliot, Chatham, ON
  16. Bernie Fedderly, Edmonton, AB
  17. Alban Gauthier, Montreal, QC
  18. Ralph Hope, London, ON
  19. Don Lavoie, Dieppe, NB
  20. Graham Light, Edmonton, AB
  21. André Massé, St.-Jean d’Iberville, QC (Posthumous)
  22. Jacques Marier, Repentigny, QC
  23. Terry ‘Zeke’ Maxwell, St. Constant, QC
  24. Ken McDonald, Montreal, QC (Posthumous)
  25. Doug Miller, Williamsburg, ON
  26. Jim Morrison, Elmsdale, NS
  27. John Petrie, Victoria, B.C.
  28. Barrie Poole, Montague, PEI / Chatham, ON
  29. Jim Rini, Kingston, ON
  30. Dan Rini, Kingston, ON
  31. Joe Roy, Montreal/Toronto, QC/ON
  32. Stan Sipos, Victoria, BC
  33. FJ Smith, Cayuga, ON
  34. Ollie Stephan, Scarborough, ON
  35. Alain Tanguay, Charlesbourg, QC
  36. Claude Tetreault, Napierville, QC
  37. Denis Warner, Toronto, ON (Posthumous)
  38. Scott Wilson, London, ON

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