Extreme Speed gearing up for overseas WEC debut


After their initial dip into the FIA World Endurance Championship at the American round in Austin’s Circuit of the Americas in September, the pair of Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03bs are headed to Shanghai this weekend for their first overseas race in the WEC.

It’s a potential exploratory effort for the team, which has not confirmed either a full season TUDOR United SportsCar Championship or WEC program in 2015. The Tequila Patron-backed team will run the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup in the TUDOR Championship for sure.

“I’m so excited to be going to Shanghai to race in the WEC,” said Ed Brown, Patron Spirits CEO and one of the drivers of the team’s No. 31 entry. “I really look forward to driving with my teammate Johannes and honored to be driving with David. This is going to be such a great experience for the entire ESM Patrón team. Johannes and I will learn the track as fast as we can to ensure we’re up to speed on the circuit. We’ll leverage David’s knowledge of the track to help us get our heads wrapped around the circuit.”

Brown will share the No. 31 with usual co-driver Johannes van Overbeek and David Brabham, back in a car for the first time since Sebring earlier this year. Meanwhile Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and Ricardo Gonzalez will be in the No. 30.

Added Dalziel: “After COTA we feel confident in going to Shanghai and having both cars compete for the win. We learned a lot at COTA both on- and off- track and I think goals are a double podium this weekend. We’re strong enough and have the right combination of drivers and machinery to get it done.”

Practice has been underway today with the race later this weekend.

NTT re-signs as IndyCar title sponsor in multiyear deal starting with the 2024 season

James Black/Penske Entertainment

The IndyCar Series has re-signed NTT as its title sponsor in a multiyear agreement starting in 2024.

NTT, a global information technology and communications company based in Japan, became the series’ title sponsor before the 2019 season after starting as a sponsor of the No. 10 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

NTT Data (a subsidiary of parent company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.) will remain the official technology partner of IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard weekend.

With the extension, an IndyCar spokesman said NTT would become the second-longest title sponsor in series history. The longest title sponsor was PPG from 1980-97 (under the CART sanction of the Champ Car Series).

NTT replaced Verizon, which was IndyCar’s title sponsor from 2014-18 after IZOD from 2010-13.

“NTT is an excellent partner across our enterprise with strong expertise and a deep commitment to our sport,” Penske Corp. chairman and IndyCar owner Roger Penske said in a release. “From Smart Venue technology at the Racing Capital of the World to the reimagined Series mobile application, NTT is transforming the fan experience in new and innovative ways. We look forward to a bright future together.”

NTT has used artificial intelligence-enabled optical detection technology at IMS to provide information to the track’s operations and security teams, helping improve fan traffic flow and safety, the track said.

“IndyCar is a great partner for NTT Data because of our shared commitment to driving innovation, increasing sustainability and delivering amazing experiences,” NTT Data CEO Kaz Nishihata said in a release. “We also appreciate how IndyCar is so diverse, with drivers from 15 different countries, and races that range from short ovals and superspeedways to road and street courses. It’s both an incredible sport and a wonderful example for our world.”

NTT also has been instrumental in helping redesign the IndyCar app and providing more race and driver data for use in NBC Sports’ broadcasts by utilizing 140 data points from every car in the field.

“NTT is fully invested in the development and growth of our sport and has already established a terrific track record in our industry with problem-solving capabilities and access to top talent and tools,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said.

Said NTT Data Services CEO Bob Pryor: “We’re thrilled to continue our collaborations that enhance and expand the fan experience for motorsports and serve as proof points for data analytics, AI, and other innovative digital technologies. For more than a century, this racing series has pioneered innovations making driving safer for everyone, and by continuing this relationship, we will accelerate the pace of innovations and new technologies, particularly related to sustainability that ultimately can benefit organizations, communities and individuals around the world.”

Starting as a Japanese telephone company, NTT grew into a $100 billion-plus tech services giant with U.S. operations based in Plano, Texas.