Pippa Mann and Shea Holbrook will return to action for their second start as teammates in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America championship this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, following a debut that was good for both friends and their partners last month at Road America.
Key to this deal, which will see the pair share the No. 57 Prestige Performance Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 in the Am class, is the debut of the Driven2SaveLives campaign in the IMSA paddock. Mann has teamed up with Donor Network West, Holbrook and BUBBA burger for the IMSA paddock.
This campaign hopes to register IMSA fans to become donors in honor of the late Justin Wilson and Bryan Clauson at this weekend’s races.
In addition to showcasing their support with on-car branding, Mann, Holbrook and BUBBA burger are partnering throughout the weekend with Donor Network West to help drive on-site registration of race fans as organ, tissue and eye donors.
These efforts will be highlighted through a “Got the Dot” autograph session sponsored by BUBBA burger, with Mann and Holbrook at the Donor Network West booth on Saturday, September 23rd. Over the race weekend, fans will also be able to register to win a pair of autographed driving gloves worn by Mann.
The two races are 10:20 a.m. Saturday and 11:25 a.m. Sunday, both times PT, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Mann scored a class podium co-driving with Dion von Moltke at Watkins Glen, and she and Holbrook were both close to the podium first time out at Road America. Holbrook has Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track experience from her time in Pirelli World Challenge. This will mark the first weekend in four race weekends this year where Mann has had the same co-driver for a second weekend, which should build continuity and confidence for both drivers.
Further information about organ transplants and the autograph session are linked below.
* More than 118,000 people nationwide are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.
* In the U.S., another person is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
* Each day, 22 people on average in the U.S. die because a donated organ wasn’t made available in time.
* Approximately 90 percent of Americans support organ donation, yet only 50 percent are registered.
* You can register to become an organ, tissue and eye donor here.
AUTOGRAPH SESSION/DONOR REGISTRATION EVENT:
* Location: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, likely at the Donor Network West booth
* Date: Saturday September 23rd
* Time: 12.35 – 1.35 during lunch break for on track activity
* Event Goal: To encourage sign up of race fans as organ and tissue donors on site with at the race track as part of the Driven2SaveLives campaign’s racing activation.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Notes from this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event at Road America, the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, are below.
These are in addition to the schedule notes and other elements of this weekend, which will get broken out in later days.
PAUL MILLER LAMBORGHINI HIT WITH HEAVY PENALTY
The No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, which had originally qualified sixth in the GT Daytona class, has been hit with a heavy penalty that will send the car to the back of the grid and also has championship implications.
The car’s ECU (electronics control unit) has been confiscated by IMSA, with the team fined $7,500 with the entrant and drivers (Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow) both docked 15 points.
Violations were Article 22.7.1 of IMSA’s Sporting Regulations (Cars out of compliance with the Technical specifications and/or regulations may be penalized up to and including Removal from the results) and Article 4.7.1 of the GTD Technical Regulations (At all times during IMSA-sanctioned Events it is the Entrant’s responsibility to ensure the configuration of the Car Model represents the Homologation components of the Specification; including: a. As-Homologated Configuration b. As-Delivered Configuration c. Parts Manual d. Homologation Extension Form Configuration).
A statement from Paul Miller regarding the No. 48 is below:
“We won’t comment on severity of the penalty or the specifics of the situation, but I’d like to commend the IMSA officials on the professional manner in which they went through their process yesterday.”
SHANK ACURA REPAIRED
Following Katherine Legge’s incident in practice on Saturday, the No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 has been fully repaired and got back together before Sunday’s race.
With spares from Acura, Shank and RealTime Racing, the No. 93 car is nearly as good as new. The only new piece brought in was part of a front bar added to the nose assembly from RealTime.
The Shank crew was done in the early evening and out of the track by about 7:30 a.m., in an impressive repair job that went quicker than anticipated.
Dan Binks, crew chief on the No. 3 Corvette C7.R, held the annual benefit auction for Camp Anokijig on Saturday at the Road America Corvette Corral. It helps raise funds for the local camp – which is Native American for “We Serve” – where Binks is both a board member and former camper.
Nearly 40 items were up for auction, including one of the front wheels from the No. 63 Corvette C7.R at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans – photographs and paintings. Last year’s auction raised more than $26,000 for the camp, which opened in 1926.
But this year topped it, with the auction raising more than $43,500 for the camp located in nearby Plymouth. The funds will go toward a new ventilation system in the campground’s kitchen and dining commons.
“I can’t say enough about the generosity of everyone who participated at this year’s auction,” Binks said. “It’s really encouraging to be able to improve the experience of our thousands of campers and the Anokijig staff. This means so much to me, my family and everyone at the camp.”
LIGIERS LINE UP SECOND, FOURTH
It was a good day for both Ligier JS P217 Gibsons on Saturday with Jose Gutierrez getting the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen car into a season-equaling best start of the year in second, and Marc Goossens doing well to get VISIT FLORIDA Racing’s new Ligier into fourth.
“Yesterday was a difficult day because of the weather conditions but this morning we threw some things at it and the Onroak guys together with the VISIT FLORIDA Racing engineering group have given us a great car,” said Goossens.
“It is a matter of being able to touch it first to feel exactly what the car can do and by the time I managed to do that, the tires were no longer at their best. I think a 1:53.8-9 (second lap) would have been possible. We’re on the second row – it’s a big change for the team. I think we have a good race car – we still need to dial it in a little further. But we made quite a few changes – all the small ones together made for one big change. We need to keep tuning it but I think this baseline is pretty good for the race.”
THE TAYLORS GO PODCASTING WITH CONTINENTAL TIRE
Ricky and Jordan Taylor have a new podcast, that’s been announced this weekend. The new BadFast Podcast website is linked here and is sponsored by Continental Tire.
“This is an exciting announcement not just for the IMSA paddock, but for motorsports in general,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire. “Partnering with BadFast podcast is one more layer in Continental Tires continued commitment to helping grow the sport of racing in the US. Rob’s experience coupled with the liveliness of the Taylor brothers will offer the perfect foundation to talk about action on-track and happenings off-track. I think fans are really going to enjoy it!”
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Ricky Taylor (Prototype), Dirk Mueller (GT Le Mans), Jeroen Mul (GT Daytona) and James French (Prototype Challenge) have scored the pole positions for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, the two-hour, 40-minute next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season from Road America. Quick qualifying reports are below.
Ricky Taylor laid down the hammer early at 1:53.058 and was never headed in the rest of qualifying for Prototype, for both his own and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team’s fourth pole this season. Taylor shares the car with brother Jordan and the two enter this weekend with a 19-point lead in the championship.
They’ll be looking to snap a two-race rut after winning the opening five races; additionally they will be looking to stop the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing crew of Dane Cameron and Eric Curran from winning their third straight Road America race.
The battle in Prototype qualifying was for second place, with the remaining seven cars in class covered by just over half a second. From second to sixth, just 0.157 of a second covered the rest.
Jose Gutierrez was best of the rest, an impressive second in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson he shares with Olivier Pla, but still more than a second back at 1:54.075.
The No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi was third in the hands of Scott Sharp (he shares with Ryan Dalziel) while the new Ligier in the field from VISIT FLORIDA Racing, the No. 90 car driven by Marc Goossens and Renger van der Zande, rolls off from fourth.
The second Patron Nissan starts fifth ahead of the second, third and fourth place cars in points – the Nos. 31 and 5 Cadillacs and the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson, which led Friday’s practice but fell down a bit during the sunny session.
GT LE MANS
Coming into Road America, the pair of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs got a bit of help from the series organizers – a boost increase – and the EcoBoost twin-turbo V6s then promptly boosted their win chances as a result of qualifying in GT Le Mans.
Dirk Mueller and Ryan Briscoe slotted their Nos. 66 and 67 Fords into the top two spots in qualifying rather easily, with Mueller scoring his first and Ford’s fourth pole of the season. Ford has not won since the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona but both cars are still in realistic title contention.
Mueller’s 2:01.422 lap was better than Briscoe’s 2:02.203 by a substantial margin. In third place, Alexander Sims’ best time of 2:02.211 in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM was the only other car within a second of pole.
Mueller shares his car with Joey Hand, Briscoe with Ryan Westbrook and Sims with Bill Auberlen.
The Nos. 912 and 911 Porsche 911 RSR cars were fourth and sixth, sandwiching the second BMW, with the pair of Corvette C7.Rs seventh and eighth. For the points-leading No. 3 car qualified by Jan Magnussen in the car he shares with Antonio Garcia, it will be a long road Sunday to move up the order.
Change Racing scored its first pole of 2017 in what’s been a year dominated by bad luck, in the stacked GTD class.
Jeroen Mul impressed in the No. 16 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 to deliver a best time of 2:06.649, which was 0.174 of a second clear of fellow Road America first-timer Jesse Krohn, driving the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.
Mul shares his car with Corey Lewis and Krohn with Jens Klingmann. Neither Lamborghini nor BMW has won this year in GTD.
Patrick Lindsey took the Lime Rock-winning No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R to third ahead of Scott Pruett, in his first qualifying in the No. 15 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 and Andrew Davis, in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS.
First and second in points, the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 and No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes AMG-GT3, roll off from eighth and ninth. Ben Keating, in the Mercedes-AMG, did outqualify the second car under the Riley umbrella, the now WeatherTech Porsche qualified by Cooper MacNeil, in 11th.
Neither the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes (mechanical) nor the No. 93 Acura (accident damage) was able to qualify.
It was another track, and another pole, for James French in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 in PC. It’s his third straight at his home track.
French’s best lap on this occasion was 1:59.149, nearly three seconds clear of second-placed Don Yount in the No. 20 BAR1 entry.
French recorded his sixth pole in seven attempts this year, and fifth in a row. This was meant to be Pato O’Ward’s turn to qualify but a last-minute change saw the Sheboygan native back in the car to qualify. The pairing looks to extend their perfect win streak to seven this weekend.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Given the depth of drivers and teams within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class, you tend to think of veterans as those in their late-20s, early-30s, who consistently have won races and contended for championships.
You don’t necessarily think of 21-year-olds in that vain; then again, Madison Snow is not your ordinary 21-year-old.
The Utah native has come into his own in his second full season in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 he shares with Bryan Sellers, the two drivers benefiting from a year of continuity in a class known for annual upheaval.
And for Snow, who’s bounced around a bit as he’s tried to make his home in the series following his own Wright/Snow Racing family team drawing down its WeatherTech Championship efforts midway through 2015, it’s provided him a proper home.
While he’s the son of Martin and Melanie Snow, who achieved a wealth of sports car wins and titles in their own careers, Madison emerged on the national sports car radar when he won the 2011 Porsche GT3 Cup USA championship at the tender age of 15.
It presented an interesting situation. He was talented enough to move ahead, but not yet old enough to really star in either the GRAND-AM Rolex Series or American Le Mans Series.
Still, he took opportunities when they presented themselves. Winning with Flying Lizard Motorsports in the GT Cup class (GTC) in the 2013 ALMS series swan song at Petit Le Mans, co-driving with Spencer Pumpelly and Nelson Canache, was his first win in either of the top flight sports car championships.
Occasional podiums followed in the year and a half that followed in the Wright Motorsports-run Snow Racing Porsche 911 GT America in IMSA’s GTD ranks, but the team pulled out midway through 2015 citing Balance of Performance concerns. It left Snow at a bit of a crossroads career-wise.
However he got back on the map with a second Petit win in 2015, albeit under unusual circumstances. Snow drove the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche with Pumpelly and Patrick Lindsey only in practice and qualifying, but didn’t get a chance to drive in the rain-shortened race. It wasn’t long afterwards, and after he’d made his introduction to the Lamborghini world with wins in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series, that he’d get signed up alongside Sellers at PMR.
So while the intervening four years have been an odyssey for Snow, they helped prepare him and develop him as a person into a more well-rounded 20 to 21-year-old now.
“Really for the first time in IMSA, there’s just been a comfort aspect to having the same of everything,” Snow told NBC Sports.
“It means you don’t have to learn everything, but they don’t have to relearn you either. The better you know someone, the better you can set up the car. So the engineer knows how to interpret both of our feedback; Bryan and I like a very similar car.”
Snow’s benefited from Sellers’ steady hand as co-driver. For Sellers, having a young driver to grow with has aided him in his own transition from GT Le Mans, when he needed a ride after the end of the Derrick Walker-run Team Falken Tire Porsche program.
“Bryan is just amazing to be with as a friend and a co-driver, and that helps you develop,” Snow explained. “We see each other, we can have a beer, hang out… so we have a good relationship off track. That is so important because then at the track, you get on better. It doesn’t matter who qualifies or finishes; we both want what is best. Whatever it takes, we’re willing to do it.”
That comfort level with Sellers has helped give Snow the confidence to dice within the GTD field, as he races so many drivers anywhere from a handful to a couple decades his senior. Snow’s also raced long enough where he’s known to the field, in a class that also has several other young 20-somethings but not as many with Snow’s experience level.
“It’s cool to race with everyone out there, but I’ve gotten used to it. I’m so much comfortable now because of how much running I’ve had,” he said. “You have to continue to learn. For me, I try to keep up with them on a more consistent basis. Me being young, I don’t have the experience compared to Bryan.
“And Bryan and I note it’s a tough series with the competition we have. Bryan coming from GTLM tells me, this is just as tough right now in GTD as it was in GTLM.
“Still, I feel like there’s a comfort level I’ve definitely gained driving, even though it feels I’ve only done this for three or four years. But I guess it’s been a bit longer!”
Snow’s also benefited from his younger brother McKay, 19, racing full-time in the Porsche GT3 Cup series and growing his own career. He can see a lot of parallels in McKay’s upbringing, as he’s now racing with Wright in that series. This gives Madison the chance to play both teacher and student, as he admitted he’s learned some things from McKay as well.
“McKay and I have a different upbringing. He was big into go-karts; I was only decent at go-karts,” Madison said. “It’s just different to see how we have changed coming from the same family by the amount of time in the car, racing various things. And I can use some of that to analyze myself.
“We’re at two separate teams, series, and we have different goals. But it’s easy to swing by there when I can.”
Snow and Sellers enter this weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America fourth in GTD points, yet to win but on the heels of their second 2017 podium with second at Lime Rock, and after Snow won the team’s second pole of the year in qualifying – his first this year.
Given their propensity for results in the GT-only races – Lime Rock last race and VIR the next one sandwich Road America this weekend – Snow is optimistic the team will end 2017 on a high, and that he can continue to establish himself in the paddock.
“You always want to look up to others as you learn,” he said. “Getting a name for yourself is the goal so more people see you, and how you can help them. I have a small following; Bryan’s is huge.
“But anyone who sees us on the podium might think, ‘Hey you’re good. We need to beat you!’”
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Two friends and drivers who’ve worked tirelessly to make their driving dreams happen will now finally get the chance to work together.
In a last-minute program, Pippa Mann and Shea Holbrook will share the No. 11 Prestige Performance Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2, representing Lamborghini Paramus, at this weekend’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America races at Road America.
Both Mann and Holbrook have known each other in the racing world for several years, but the opportunity to work together has only come together in the last few days. The natural dynamic they have from each of their own business savvy should make it a seamless transition. Mann has two race weekends under her belt and Holbrook has tested a Lamborghini recently at Road America.
For Mann, she’ll be looking to build on a class podium finish achieved last time out with Dion von Moltke at Watkins Glen with Prestige, where she consistently improved her times throughout the whole weekend. She wasn’t expecting to be racing this weekend owing to a lack of funding, but has been working diligently to resolve that, and has hopes of returning for at least one further race weekend this season in Super Trofeo.
“I’m so thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity to be back in Super Trofeo with Prestige Performance and Wayne Taylor Racing this weekend, and I’m so excited to partner up with Shea and BUBBA burger for the first time,” Mann said. “I am so grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to be here this weekend, and I can’t wait to be back on track in Lamborghini Paramus car to turn my first Road America laps.”
Holbrook, meanwhile, will make her Lamborghini series debut. The opportunity arose after a busy couple week working to get back in a car; her Shea Racing team is in the midst of Pirelli World Challenge’s long break in the Touring Car class schedule since late May at Lime Rock Park, with their next race set for Utah Motorsports Campus next week.
It also presents a great opportunity for Holbrook, who has been supported by BUBBA burger in recent years, to race in the IMSA paddock as BUBBA burger has enhanced its presence there. A couple weeks ago, IMSA and BUBBA burger confirmed a three-year extension that sees BUBBA burger the Official Burger of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship through at least 2020.
“What an incredible opportunity to join Prestige Performance and Wayne Taylor Racing in the Super Trofeo series this weekend at Road America,” Holbrook said. “To team up with my dear friend, Pippa Mann in the Lamborghini Paramus with added BUBBA burger livery is a dream come true. I’m grateful to all parties involved to get us to this point and look to build on the momentum throughout the weekend.”
The two races are Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT and Sunday at 10:55 a.m. CT and local time.