Pirelli World Challenge hits Road America (SPOILER)

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Writer’s Note: The following is a recap of this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge races at Road America. NBCSN will broadcast the races on Friday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET. If you don’t want to know who won until then, we suggest you find another post to read here on MotorSportsTalk…

Mike Skeen and Nic Jonsson completed weekend sweeps in GT and GTS respectively during the Pirelli World Challenge’s visit this weekend to “America’s National Park of Speed” – Road America.

Starting fifth in Friday’s race, Skeen moved up early and challenged Andy Pilgrim until Lap 15, when he took his No. 2 Hawk Performance Audi around Pilgrim’s Cadillac for the lead in Turn 13. Skeen would lead the final nine laps of the race, ultimately winning in GT by 1.838 seconds.

As for Kia driver Jonsson, he vaulted from fourth on the grid to first by the end of Lap 1 and went on to win in GTS by a margin of just above nine seconds in his No. 36 Optima. His teammate, Mark Wilkins, finished second for a Kia 1-2, the manufacturer’s first such accomplishment in 2014.

Moving to Saturday, Skeen lost the GT lead off the start to Johnny O’Connell but on a restart at Lap 12, he took it back from the defending series GT champion. Pilgrim successfully challenged Caddy compadre O’Connell for second on the same lap, but he was unable to reel in Skeen, who won by 1.748 seconds.

Jonsson again had a stellar afternoon in GTS, leading all 16 laps en route to a tidy, 1.019-second win in GTS.

In the GT-A subcategory, Tim Pappas collected his first win of the year on Friday and Marcelo Hahn got his class-leading third win of the year on Saturday.

Friday and Saturday also featured the Touring Car-based categories in action. In their first race of the weekend, Steven Doherty snapped Michael diMeo’s season-opening, six-race win streak in the TC class.

Also victorious on Friday were Shea Racing drivers Shea Holbrook in TC-A and Paul Holton in TCB. Holbrook now has four wins in TC-A this year, while Holton earned his first career checkered flag.

On Saturday, Adam Poland (TC), Jason Wolfe (TC-A), and Glenn Nixon (TCB) took wins. Poland went wire-to-wire in his victory, but Wolfe and Jason Cherry swapped the TC-A lead three times before Wolfe won out. Nixon also got his win after enduring through multiple lead changes – in his case, against NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Ryan Reed.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.