Photo via @TownsendBell Twitter

Townsend Bell caps off 2016 with motorcycle ride, Twitter Q&A

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Our NBCSN Verizon IndyCar Series analyst Townsend Bell spent the last two days taking a motorcycle ride down the coast of California, from Sonoma where the season ended on Sunday back down to Santa Clarita by end of day Tuesday.

The ride follows the end of the season, when Simon Pagenaud – who Bell was a one-time teammate of in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 with Sam Schmidt’s team – secured his first IndyCar title in his fifth season.

Bell stopped for a few pics along the way, and they’re below:

More to the point, Bell also took a number of questions for a season-ending Twitter chat, with the @IndyCarOnNBCSN Twitter account.

The Q&A is below:

On the number of “Paul Tracy pre-race nap” photos…

On whether A.J. Foyt Enterprises will have any changes:

And on where those two rising Americans, Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, will land in 2017:

On the 2018 IndyCar, new “universal kit” and head protection:

On why Team Penske asks for its drivers to dress corporately:

On Indy Lights drivers eligibility coming into IndyCar:

On when he’ll be getting back behind the wheel himself, following 24 Hours of Le Mans win:

On whether he’d ever consider a dancing turn a la James Hinchcliffe…

And more Paul Tracy banter…


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.”