Jimmie Johnson loses engine at Michigan

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After moving within the Top 10 in a backup car, Jimmie Johnson’s checkered history at Michigan International Speedway continued when engine issues put him out of the race.

Johnson was running eighth after making his second stop of the day at Lap 45 when he brought his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet back to the pits. He then went back out for one slow lap around the two-mile oval before he took the car behind the wall at Lap 55.

“The engine broke there,” Johnson told ESPN. “…I didn’t really notice anything off, then it finally dropped a cylinder or two down the back straightaway. Definitely an unfortunate thing, but we had plenty of speed in the car and I think we were going to be a factor with this [car].”

Noting MIS’ penchant for taking engines to – and then beyond – their limits, Johnson said that days like today made him glad to have as big a points lead in the Sprint Cup standings as he’s created.  Going into the Pure Michigan 400, he had built a 75-point advantage over Clint Bowyer with four “regular season” races to go.

“It happens and I hope to get all of this stuff out of the way now, although I hate losing momentum going into the Chase,” said Johnson. “It’s nice to roll in there hot and I think we had a chance to win today. But we’ll dust ourselves off and go again next week.”

Bryan Sellers aims to be first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Champion

JaguarUSA.com
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Bryan Sellers will leave the familiar confines of his Paul Miller Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and head into the unknown in 2019.

At the age of 36, Sellers has 25 years of competitive racing behind him and is turning his attention to the battery-powered Jaguar I-PACE sedan that he will driver for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – something he describes as “the way of the future.”

Racing for Ohio native Bobby Rahal, it is a connection that brings him home to his roots. Sellers was born in Centerville, Ohio. 

“I’m very proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Sellers said in a press release. “I grew up in Ohio watching Bobby (Rahal) win races and build an incredible racing program and it will be nice to finally get to see it from the inside.”

Sellers’ electric-powered Jaguar won’t have the same horsepower as the V10 Lamborghini that he steered to victory in the 2018 IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car championship with co-driver Madison Snow and Katherine Legge.

At his heart, Sellers is a  racer chasing a championship and it’s not the horsepower but the potential for close competition that drives him. Next year, he has an opportunity to win the first ever Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship.

In 2016, Jaguar joined the Formula E series. Now they are looking to make history with the world’s first all-electric production-based international race series that will compete at 10 venues next year in support of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The series’ 10 venues will be international, racing on tracks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, China, Italy, Mexico, France, Monaco, Germany and the USA, which will showcase electric cars on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, in July.

“Electric cars are clearly the way of the future and to be involved with the first electric production car racing series is very important to me,” Sellers said. “I’m very thankful to everyone at RLL and Jaguar for giving me this opportunity.”

Sellers raced fulltime in the American LeMans Series from 2005 through 2013 – amassing four victories and two other podium finishes. In 30 career races in the Grand-Am Series, he added three more visits to the podium.

But it was last year that was clearly the highlight for Sellers. For the second time in his career, he scored multiple wins in a series (Sellers had two wins in ALMS in 2011), but he stood on the podium eight times in addition to winning the championship.

Joining Sellers in the I-PACE eTROPHY Championship Jaguar next year will be Legge, who was one of his co-drivers in 2018.

“Experience, maturity and pace are very important qualities that I was looking for when we chose our driver lineup,” said Rahal, the former IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 winner.

The series will kickoff with the Formula E season-opener in Riyadh on December 15, 2018. They will not run in conjunction with the next two Formula E rounds and will rejoin for most of the remainder of the 2019 season.