Long won PWC. Photo: Porsche

Long (PWC), Martin (Pro Mazda) round out St. Pete weekend with wins

Leave a comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Patrick Long (Pirelli World Challenge) and Anthony Martin (Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires) won the post-Verizon IndyCar Series race events Sunday at St. Petersburg to cap off a busy weekend on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend.

Long’s PWC win saw him make a move on the start to get past polesitter Alex Riberas from third on the grid, past the Spaniard and Johnny O’Connell in his Cadillac.

The driver of the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R also needed to hold off O’Connell on a restart with less than three minutes remaining after the track had a couple cars peppering it. But Long was able to do so and won by 1.475 seconds from O’Connell in the Velocity Red No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R, and Riberas in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3.

The win was particularly cool for Long, having helped co-run the Kart 4 Kids Pro/Am in Palmetto, Fla. this week – both he and Sebastien Bourdais, who won the IndyCar race earlier Sunday, auctioned their to-be-race-worn helmets off.

Alec Udell (GTA, No. 17 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R) and Preston Calvert (GT Cup, No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) took their second class wins in as many days. Udell will race the SprintX races in a Calvert Dynamics-entered, GMG-operated Porsche 911 GT3 R with Calvert as his co-driver.

Full results from today’s PWC race are linked here.

Martin won Pro Mazda. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Meanwhile in the second of two Pro Mazda races, Mazda scholarship driver Anthony Martin completed a weekend sweep for Cape Motorsports.

The Australian took his No. 8 entry to the victory over Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni and Team Pelfrey’s TJ Fischer, thus making it an identical podium for the pair of races in the second level of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, which is now off until the IndyCar Grand Prix weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in mid-May.

Fischer’s podium was a luckier one with Carlos Cunha succumbing to a mechanical issue, thus depriving the talented teenaged Brazilian of a maiden podium finish.

The results from this Pro Mazda race are linked here.

Hamilton, Red Bull teammates both go to NASA before USGP

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Leave a comment

One of the more intriguing United States Grand Prix adventures occurred on Wednesday, as both Lewis Hamilton and the pair of Red Bull Racing teammates, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – in separate sessions – before heading onto Austin.

Hamilton posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday that he’d “quit his day job in a second” to work at NASA and become an astronaut, and the unbridled enthusiasm spoke to the three-time Formula 1 World Champion’s love of different life aspects entirely outside of racing.

“(I) had an incredible day yesterday, having a bit of a comedown today,” Hamilton said today at the FIA Press Conference. “I was just buzzed all day yesterday because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. It’s always something I’ve been fascinated about, space and space travel particularly.

“So to actually go there… and I had a million questions. I’m sure the guy got fed up with me. I asked a lot of questions and I got to see a lot of great things, some of the new technology they are working on and yeah, I want to go back.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team posted a gallery of Hamilton’s adventure on its website, linked here, and a few samples are below.

As for the Red Bull pair, the young duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen were equally awestruck by the experience.

“There really are a lot of similarities between this and F1, just the technology alone,” Ricciardo said. “I had a guest come to a race last year, when they got into the garage they were like: ‘this is like a space station’. We went to mission control here and it’s really like what we have in the Ops Room in Milton Keynes. Even the safety technology is similar. The astronauts go through the same measurements, a similar kind of HANS device etc. It’s really cool.”

Verstappen added, “There are quite a lot of comparisons, if you really want to talk about it we could go on for an hour! The control center looks pretty similar to ours. We share a lot of the same technology. It was really interesting for us to see that and I bet it would be the same if they could see ours.”

Here’s a link to Red Bull’s gallery and some teaser shots below.