Robby Gordon, Arctic Cat enter five-year development and marketing deal

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MINNEAPOLIS, August 6, 2015 — Arctic Cat Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAT) announced today that it has entered into an exclusive, five-year product development and marketing agreement with famed racer Robby Gordon and his newly formed SPEED RMG Partners LLC with Todd Romano, an aftermarket futurist.

“Our partnership aims to set new standards for product innovation and excitement in the off-road vehicle industry,” said Arctic Cat President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Metz. “We see significant opportunities to re-imagine what’s possible and create dynamic, end-user focused new products and accessories, in line with our stated strategic growth initiatives. We believe this effort will further enhance our competitiveness and brand position. We will announce further details about this exciting collaboration at our wheeled dealer show later this month. Stay tuned.”

The agreement reflects Arctic Cat’s commitment to the high-performance off-road vehicle market, and its Wildcat™ side-by-sides and accessories. Gordon and Romano will provide research and development consulting on new technologies.

“We sought a partnership with a company that shared our passion for creating new markets with untapped potential,” said Gordon. “Arctic Cat’s vision complements our ideas. We are excited about what we can achieve together.”

Gordon is a recognized pioneer in racing and off-road vehicle design, with 30 years of experience designing and developing state-of-the-art machines. He has proven to be among the most competitive racers at NASCAR, IndyCar, TransAm, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), International Race of Champions (IROC) and the Dakar Rally. Gordon has won seven international off-road class championships, two stadium series and three Baja 500s. He also created the enormously successful Stadium Super Truck (SST) series.

Romano is the founder of DragonFire Racing and Finish Line Marketing. DragonFire Racing pioneered the development of performance accessories for the UTV/SXS industry and has become an industry Icon. The attention that DragonFire Racing brought to the industry quickly attained international recognition and led to its acquisition. Finish Line Marketing is a recognized leader in the power sports space as an innovative creator of marketing programs that raise consumer awareness and retail demand.

Arctic Cat, in collaboration with Gordon and Romano’s Speed RMG Partners, plans to create the most innovative technology and products the industry has seen.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.