Ford confirms factory pullout from Australian V8 Supercars after 2015

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Ford, one of the two longest-running manufacturers in Australian V8 Supercars, will withdraw all its factory support at the end of 2015.

The decision was made by Ford Australia as part of the company’s wider drawdown of its Falcon line of cars. The new FG-X model will race into 2015 with Ford Performance Racing (Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert) and Team Penske DJR, the latter of which welcomes Marcos Ambrose into the fold for 2015.

Ford issued no public statement, but an internal email was obtained by Australian website Speedcafe.com, contents of which are also posted to News.com.au.

Prodrive Racing Australia (PRA), which runs and operates the FPR squad, did release a statement. PRA CEO Tim Edwards said the team could still run the Falcon FG-X into 2016 but was otherwise disappointed by the news.

“Ford Australia’s decision to not extend its commercial relationship with our team beyond the end of next season is extremely disappointing for our large and loyal fan base, but as a business this decision now allows us to concentrate on our long-term future,” he said.

The V8SC is in a period of transition as a series, with a new TV package coming into play next year and also featuring a date clash with the Bathurst 12-Hour next February 6-8. V8SC has its preseason test day scheduled at Eastern Creek the same time, February 7-8.

Ford’s drawdown is a signal of that transition, as well. New manufacturers such as Nissan, Volvo and Erebus Mercedes have entered the championship in recent years along with the Ford and Holden brands.

V8SC concludes its 2014 season with the Sydney 500 this weekend.

Alex Marquez wins first MotoGP #StayAtHomeGP Virtual Race

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Alex Marquez of Spain won the inaugural MotoGP #StayAtHomeGP Virtual Race as the world’s premier bike racing series followed other motorsports into online racing.

The #StayAtHomeGP, which was streamed Sunday on several platforms including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel, featured a field of 10 riders competing on their console gaming systems at home.

Francesco Bagnaia was the runner-up, and Maverick Vinales rounded out the podium.

INDYCAR iRACING: Sage Karam wins Watkins Glen opener

Defending MotoGP premier series champion Marc Marquez, the older brother of the rookie race winner and his teammate at Repsol Honda Team, finished fifth.

Here’s a recap of the race from the MotoGP site.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of SebringNASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.