Photo courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: Pumpelly, Machavern win Continental Challenge opener for RS1

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The first race of the IMSA weekend at Daytona International Speedway was held on Friday by IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, and saw a dominating performance from Spencer Pumpelly and Dillon Machavern for RS1 in their No.28 Porsche Cayman GT4 MR.

However, while they spent much of the race out front after Pumpelly rocketed into the lead from the pole position, the victory was not without its challenges. A late-race caution for Austin Cindric, whose No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 stopped on-course, saw the team, with Machavern now at the wheel, run third within the final 30 minutes.

However, when racing resumed, Machavern was quickly able to work his way back to the lead, passing Tyler Cook in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 GT4 and Scott Maxwell in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsport Ford Mustang, to seize control of the lead for good, eventually winning by over seven seconds.

Second place went to Cooke and co-driver James Clay, while third went to Maxwell and co-drivers Cole Custer and Ty Majeski.

The TCR (Touring Car) class, which made its debut in IMSA competition this weekend, saw victory go to Britt Casey Jr. and Tom Long in the No. 77 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR.

In the ST (Street Tuner) class, Nick Galante and Devin Jones took the victory in their No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i.

Full race results can be found here.


NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.