Rzadzinski in 2013. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Stefan Rzadzinski wins ROC Factor North America vote

Leave a comment

Edmonton native Stefan Rzadzinski used a strong social media campaign, a wealth of local support from his home country and a genuine presentation of his desire to race against his racing heroes to capture the ROC Factor North America vote and compete in the Race of Champions in Miami later this month, on January 21-22.

The 24-year-old will compete in the Race of Champions as his countryman James Hinchcliffe’s teammate, in the second edition of ROC Factor. Bradley Philpot competed rather well last year in England.

Rzadzinski and Conor Daly, Verizon IndyCar Series driver and like “Razzle Dazzle” a talented young driver, emerged as the leading contenders among the 10 finalists, a list that also included up-and-coming Mazda sports car racer Glenn McGee and IMSA Radio pit reporter Shea Adam among others.

Several Canadian outlets profiled Rzadzinski, who competed in all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires from 2011 through 2013 before heading back to his home country and winning races in the Nissan Micra Cup ranks. Rzadzinski pioneered a new winning style – “reverse donuts” – in Micra Cup races.

A persistent social media push was also enough to keep Rzadzinski’s name alive and well, while Daly drew ardent support from his compatriots in the IndyCar series.

In the end, Rzadzinski, who just turned 24 on Thursday, emerged victorious. Both he and Daly were classy and gracious about the result, Daly among those to offer congratulations on social media.

Argentine native Gabriel Glusman won the ROC Factor Latin America vote for the opportunity to partner with another IndyCar driver, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
Leave a comment

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.”