NHRA: Erica Enders shifts into high gear for 2nd Pro Stock title bid

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When someone yells “You go, girl,” Erica Enders typically does – at over 200 mph.

After a slow start to the season, the defending NHRA Pro Stock champion is once again one of the hottest drivers on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Enders became the first female driver to ever win a Pro Stock championship last season, going to victory lane six times along the way.

Coming off her win at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway this past Sunday, Enders is already way ahead of last season’s pace: her win at Bristol is Enders’ fourth in the season’s first 11 races, with 13 more races still to go.

“Everything’s been clicking for us,” Enders said. “We even switched to a new car a few races back but really didn’t miss a beat. In fact, we got even better.

“It speaks to the quality of work these guys put in every day. We expect the best from each other and they deliver it time after time.

“Our team owner, Richard Freeman, is really good at getting the best out of people and that attitude spreads throughout the team. We’re not cocky; we just know what we’re capable of, and we feel a huge responsibility to prove ourselves every weekend.”

Bristol was a big win for Enders, perhaps bigger than usual. She came into the race 70 points behind Greg Anderson.

She left Bristol with a 14-point edge over Anderson, an 84-point swing that put her back on top of the Pro Stock point standings. That was a great way for Enders and her team to go into the upcoming off-weekend.

If Enders and her Chevrolet Camaro continue the pace of wins they’ve already collected together this season at Las Vegas, Houston, Topeka and Bristol, Enders could be on-track to win eight, maybe nine races by the time this season comes to an end.

“I’m with a team that takes great care of me, and we have a blast together,” Enders said. Every challenging moment was worth it to get where I am now at Elite Motorsports.”

In addition to Freeman, credit must also be given to the father-son crew chief pairing of Rick and Rickie Jones. Their proficiency in dialing in Enders’ car has been near-uncanny: she’s suffered just two first-round losses this season and has qualified seventh or better in 10 of the first 11 races.

“(My team) are the best guys out here, and I have complete faith in them all,” Enders said. “… Our heads are held high.”

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Bryan Sellers aims to be first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Champion

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Bryan Sellers will leave the familiar confines of his Paul Miller Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and head into the unknown in 2019.

At the age of 36, Sellers has 25 years of competitive racing behind him and is turning his attention to the battery-powered Jaguar I-PACE sedan that he will driver for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – something he describes as “the way of the future.”

Racing for Ohio native Bobby Rahal, it is a connection that brings him home to his roots. Sellers was born in Centerville, Ohio. 

“I’m very proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Sellers said in a press release. “I grew up in Ohio watching Bobby (Rahal) win races and build an incredible racing program and it will be nice to finally get to see it from the inside.”

Sellers’ electric-powered Jaguar won’t have the same horsepower as the V10 Lamborghini that he steered to victory in the 2018 IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car championship with co-driver Madison Snow and Katherine Legge.

At his heart, Sellers is a  racer chasing a championship and it’s not the horsepower but the potential for close competition that drives him. Next year, he has an opportunity to win the first ever Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship.

In 2016, Jaguar joined the Formula E series. Now they are looking to make history with the world’s first all-electric production-based international race series that will compete at 10 venues next year in support of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The series’ 10 venues will be international, racing on tracks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, China, Italy, Mexico, France, Monaco, Germany and the USA, which will showcase electric cars on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, in July.

“Electric cars are clearly the way of the future and to be involved with the first electric production car racing series is very important to me,” Sellers said. “I’m very thankful to everyone at RLL and Jaguar for giving me this opportunity.”

Sellers raced fulltime in the American LeMans Series from 2005 through 2013 – amassing four victories and two other podium finishes. In 30 career races in the Grand-Am Series, he added three more visits to the podium.

But it was last year that was clearly the highlight for Sellers. For the second time in his career, he scored multiple wins in a series (Sellers had two wins in ALMS in 2011), but he stood on the podium eight times in addition to winning the championship.

Joining Sellers in the I-PACE eTROPHY Championship Jaguar next year will be Legge, who was one of his co-drivers in 2018.

“Experience, maturity and pace are very important qualities that I was looking for when we chose our driver lineup,” said Rahal, the former IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 winner.

The series will kickoff with the Formula E season-opener in Riyadh on December 15, 2018. They will not run in conjunction with the next two Formula E rounds and will rejoin for most of the remainder of the 2019 season.