Photo: WSF/Shea Racing

Shea Holbrook to represent Women in Motorsports at Women’s Sports Foundation Annual Salute

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Some cool news from Pirelli World Challenge team owner/driver and IHRA Nitro Jam drag racer Shea Holbrook, who is New York tonight for an annual event. See the release below:

Pirelli World Challenge Road Racer and IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racer Shea Holbrook attends the Women’s Sports Foundations Annual Salute tonight in New York City. Holbrook, representing Women in Motorsports alongside seven-time Indianapolis 500 driver and mentor, Lyn St. James will be in attendance as well as many world-class female athletes.

Founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, the Women’s Sports Foundation is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.

During the 2013 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Indianapolis, Indiana Holbrook was recognized by the Women’s Sports Foundation for her on and off track efforts as a leading female in the motorsport community. She also became a recipient of the “Women’s Sports Foundation’s Women in the Winners Circle Project Podium Grant,” designed to help young racers overcome the business challenges unique to motorsports.

“I’m incredibly honored and thrilled to be a part of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Women in the Winners Circle Project Podium Grant and to be celebrating amazing Women in Sports tonight at the Annual Salute. Having the opportunity to collaborate with the foundation toward making strides in the advancement of women in motorsports is truly amazing and humbling,” said Holbrook.

Holbrook graduated from the Lyn St. James, Women in the Winners Circle in 2008 and went on to race in thePirelli World Challenge Championships while advancing her racecraft, brand and entrepreneurial aspirations. Her first mark in history was in 2011 where she became the first female to win a Touring Car race at the famous Long Beach Grand Prix. She went on to launch a multi-car effort becoming co-owner, driver and brand ambassador at Shea Racing, LLC. in 2013. Later during the following season Holbrook, team and partners lead the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car A Championship although ended up as runner ups at the last race of the season successfully securing 2nd place in the championship.

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.