Photo courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: BAR1 steps up to prototype

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BAR1 Motorsports, stalwarts of the now defunct Prototype Challenge class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and recent PC class winners at the Motul Petit Le Mans, confirmed on Tuesday that they will make the jump up to Prototype in 2018, using a Riley Mk. 30 Gibson platform. The team confirmed that it will contest the entirety of the 2018 season with its new chassis, doing so with an eye toward branching out even more in the future, possibly even to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Obviously, this is an important step for us,” said team owner Brian Alder. “The move to LMP2 opens up a lot of opportunities for the team. Running in the series’ flagship class attracts a higher level of marketing partners, top tier drivers and, for me personally, a chance to return to Le Mans.”

Alder added that the team’s decision to use a Riley Mk. 30 comes after evaluating how the chassis is developing with help from Multimatic and Mazda Team Joest, whose Mazda RT24-P is based on the Riley chassis.

“After spending the past few months researching the different options for our move into the prototype class, we feel this car has the most potential of the P2 cars and is the best fit for our program in 2018,” Alder explained. “Multimatic’s continued support from Mazda and their new relationship with Team Joest only enhances the attractiveness of this program. Clearly, they learned quite a bit in 2017… I’ve seen first hand the changes they have made for 2018 and they are impressive. They have definitely done their homework and the initial testing results from overseas are exceeding everyone’s expectations.”

Further, the ACO’s decision to allow Ligier, Dallara, and Riley to update their respective LMP2 platforms – nicknamed a “joker” rule – also got the attention of Alder and team, noting that it signifies the importance of maintaining a competitive environment in the LMP2 field.

“The development allowances and ‘joker’ rule are very important to us,” Alder added. “It demonstrates that organizers are adamant in their desire to maintain the competitiveness of the class and their ultimate aim to ensure that LMP2 remains a category that contains variety and a high level of competitiveness.”

Further announcements regarding a driver lineup will be revealed in the coming weeks.

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Holmatro, INDYCAR renew partnership in five-year extension

Photo: IndyCar
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Holmatro, a long-time partner of INDYCAR and title sponsor of the Holmatro Safety Team, have renewed a long-standing partnership that will see Holmatro and INDYCAR continue their partnership in a five-year contract extension.

“Holmatro has been a trusted partner and supplier in Indy car racing for more than 20 years,” said president of competition and operations Jay Frye. “Holmatro’s growth parallels some of the great strides made in safety for INDYCAR drivers and teams. We’re pleased to see this partnership continue, as it is a great benefit to everyone in the paddock.”

Holmatro’s relationship with INDYCAR dates back to 1991, when they first supplied tools to the safety team of the CART sanctioned PPG IndyCar World Series. Holmatro branding will continue to be featured on the firesuits, vehicles, and transporters of INDYCAR’s safety team throughout the agreement.

“Holmatro is extremely pleased to extend our partnership with INDYCAR for another five years,” said Tony Barboza, general manager for Holmatro. “We’re extremely proud to be affiliated with the premier on-track safety team in the world. Members of the safety team serve on their home fire departments when not at INDYCAR events and, like them, we believe in constant improvement and innovation. When the race is for life, you can count on the INDYCAR Safety Team and Holmatro rescue tools.”

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