Tony Kanaan’s son Leo receives “Mini Baby Borg” from BorgWarner

0 Comments

As the latest event in the post-Indianapolis 500 victory tour, Tony Kanaan and KV Racing Technology team co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser all received their “Baby Borgs” from BorgWarner on Wednesday night in Detroit. The “Baby Borg” is a small-size scale of the iconic, legendary Borg-Warner Trophy that all winning drivers and team owners receive.

But what “TK” didn’t know there was a special surprise coming: a “Mini Baby Borg,” the first of its kind in a one-off creation for Tony’s 6-year-old son Leonardo. That was the emotional, heartwarming, best part of the night as now the father-and-son team had matching father-and-son “Baby Borgs.”

“Oh it was big time … of course, I was prepared to give my own Baby Borg away to my son,” Tony Kanaan explained in a phone interview last night. “But BorgWarner came with this big surprise, and now my son has two trophies. He’s extremely excited. It was an emotional moment for me regardless, and then when they brought that up, it was difficult to hold my emotions.”

Kanaan said he was almost “relieved” he’d be able to keep his own Baby Borg, but delighted nonetheless.

Since winning his elusive first Indianapolis 500 last May, Kanaan embarked on the post-victory media tour, had his face engraved on the actual BorgWarner Trophy, and now has his Baby Borg. Of all the post-winning activities, this immediately moved to the top of the list.

“Nothing’s gonna top what happened tonight. Obviously it’s my son – we dedicated the win to him,” he said. “Tonight will top it big time. It’s the first time BorgWarner has done something like this – which is trouble going forward, but it’s not my problem now!”

Kanaan had a friendly joke too at his good friend, and driver he’ll be replacing in the No. 10 Target Chevrolet for Target Chip Ganassi Racing this year, Dario Franchitti.

“It’s awesome … I can’t thank those guys enough for what they’ve done. It shows how supportive they are, and them being the official trophy since ’47?… ’36 here we go. So as long as Dario’s been alive, he was born in ’35. It’s good to be as enthusiastic as we are for what we do. The whole story makes it extremely special.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
0 Comments

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III