Kyle Busch says Toyota teams are “idiots” by not working close together

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kyle Busch admits he’s frustrated that Toyota partners Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing do not work as closely together as other teams do.

Busch felt the same way after last year and says he hasn’t seen any improvement between the teams with the season-opening Daytona 500 less than a month away.

“I’m very vocal about it because I feel like we’re idiots by not continuing to work in the right direction in order to put our companies together and do the right things for Toyota and for all of us collectively,’’ Busch said Monday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup media tour. “It just makes me mad every day they say that nothing has progressed.

“Nothing has happened to where Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing are going to work collectively together as in-depthly as Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are.’’

Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports have combined to win the past two Cup titles and three of the last four with Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas) last year, Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick) in 2013, and Tony Stewart (Stewart-Haas) in 2011.

Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing combined to win only two races last year. Busch won at Auto Club Speedway and teammate Denny Hamlin won at Talladega.

“Yes, we came 12 laps from winning a championship, (but) it was a terrible year,’’ David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told MotorSportsTalk. “It was a bad year. It was completely unsatisfactory. We underperformed as a team. That’s Toyota and our team partners. That for us was certainly something that gave us some additional fuel to say, ‘Guys we need to be better than this, we have to be better than this.’ ‘’

So, shouldn’t the Toyota teams be working more closely together after such a year?

“We would like there to be better collaboration between our organizations, but we don’t feel like we can force it either,’’ Wilson said. “There is so much trust and confidence required to make that work well that if you force it, you could send it off the rails prematurely.’’

Wilson said that the teams are working together in some ways. He noted their preparation for restrictor-plate races and that the teams went to the wind tunnel together last year.

“There are a lot of things that are happening in the background,’’ Wilson said. “There’s not a lot that has been up front, but make no mistake there’s been a tremendous amount of conversation, discussion, collaboration happening in the background that most people aren’t aware of.’’

Extreme E reveals competition format for its global races next season

Extreme E
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Extreme E, a new series that will raise awareness about climate change by racing electric SUVs around the world, unveiled its competition format Friday.

The five-race environmentally conscious series will begin next season with races held in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil.

Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport are among the eight teams that will race in the series. Each team will have a male and female driver who alternate in each event.

ELECTRIC APPEAL: Why Ganassi is going to the Extreme E

In the details provided Friday, the two-day events will feature two qualifying races Saturday and two semifinals and a final round Sunday. Each race is two laps: One driven by the male driver and the other by the female. Results are based on finishes, not times.

The first semifinal is slotted with Saturday’s top four qualifiers, and the top three finishers advance to the final. The second semifinal (also known as the “Crazy Race”) will feature the last four qualifiers with the winner advancing to the final.

Click here to see the details of Extreme E’s sporting format.

Here’s the release from Extreme E:

29 May, London: Extreme E, the revolutionary electric off-road racing series, has outlined the race format for its five-event adventure to some of the most formidable, remote and spectacular locations across the globe, starting early 2021.

The series has devised an innovative format unlike any other, likened to a Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, which is designed to break the mould in motorsport with all-action, short, sharp wheel-to-wheel racing, world-class drivers and teams, the cutting-edge ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV and its stunning, formidable environments, all firmly in focus.

Each race, which will be known as an X Prix, will incorporate two laps over a distance of approximately 16 kilometres. Four teams, with two drivers – one male, one female – completing a lap apiece in-car, will race head-to-head in each race over the two-day event.

Qualifying takes place on day one to determine the top four runners who will progress through into Semi-Final 1 and the bottom four competitors who will go on to take part in Semi-Final 2: the unique ‘Crazy Race’.

The Crazy Race will be a tooth-and-nail, all-or-nothing fight, with only the quickest team progressing into the Final, while the top three will make it through from Semi-Final 1. The winner of the Final – the fastest combination of team, drivers, car and engineers over the epic two-day battle – will then be crowned the X Prix Winner.

Another innovative feature is the Hyperdrive. This will award an additional boost of speed to the team who performs the longest jump on the first jump of each race. Hyperdrive power can be used by that team at any point in the race.

This initial format is designed to incorporate eight teams, and can be adapted to accommodate additional entries.

Teams will field one male and one female driver, promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors. Each driver will complete one lap behind the wheel, with a changeover incorporated into the race format.

The teams will determine which driver goes first to best suit their strategy and driver order selections are made confidentially, with competitors kept in the dark as to other teams’ choices until the cars reach the start-line. Contests between males and females will therefore be ensured.

X Prix circuits will also incorportate natural challenges that will leave viewers at the edge of their seats, and drivers and teams will be pushed right to the limits of their abilities; with hazards to navigate and defeat such as extreme gradients, jumps, banks, berms, pits, dunes and water splashes.

Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: “Extreme E is a championship like nothing else that has come before in sport. Its goal and objective is to accelerate innovation and tackle climate change head on using transportation.

“Creating this innovative sporting format, which we’re likening to Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, is vital in order to engage the next generation of motorsport fans. We hope our fans will enjoy the short, sharp, wheel-to-wheel racing this format has been built around, and with our high performance electric vehicle, driver changeover, the Hyperdrive feature, and the Crazy Race qualification format, there is plenty to watch out for, and many chances for positions to change hands, Our races really will go right to the wire.”

Extreme E’s cutting-edge 550-horsepower, ODYSSEY 21, incorporates a number of innovations to enable it to cope with all the rigours of racing over the toughest terrain, where no car has raced before. The battery-electric, 400kw (550hp), 1650-kilogram, 2.3-metre wide E-SUV is bespoke from the ground up. Capable of firing from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent.

It is made up of a common package of standardised parts, manufactured by Spark Racing Technology with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering. This encompasses a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage, whilst tyres, for both extreme winter and summer requirements, supplied by founding partner Continental Tyres.

As well as being used as platform for equality and illutstrating the capabilities of electric vehicle technology, Extreme E will highlight the impact that climate change is having on its remote race locations, using a committee of leading scientists to help bring global attention to issues such as deforestation in Brazil, rising sea levels along the West African coastline, melting Arctic icecaps in Greenland, and more.

The championship will announce further drivers, teams and partners over the coming weeks as it builds towards its early 2021 start-date apace.