Scott Goodyear, Super Bowl champ Adam Vinatieri, form F4 team for 2016

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The world of racing and football have come together to form a new open-wheel team that will compete in the FIA Formula 4 Series sanctioned by SCCA Racing.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 runner-up and broadcaster Scott Goodyear, three-time Indianapolis 500 competitor Dr. Jack Miller and four-time Super Bowl champion Adam Vinatieri have formed a new team known as Goodyear, Miller, Vinatieri Motorsports LLC.

The new organization is wasting little time getting started. Based in Westfield, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis, Honda-powered GMVM plans to campaign up to two entries in the Formula 4 series in 2016.

The three principals of the organization bring their own unique talents to serve in specialized roles. Goodyear has past experience not only as a professional racer, but also as a driving instructor.

Miller will handle much of the marketing and conceptualization of the new program, while Vinatieri is a member of the Indianapolis Colts, and before that won four Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots. A longtime motorsports fan, Vinatieri hopes to translate some of the success he has achieved on the football field to his race team and what it does on race tracks.

“I’ve known Jack for years and his commitment to success and his passion for the sport inspired me to get involved,” Vinatieri said in a media release. “Indianapolis is all about racing and helping young drivers work to achieve greatness and make it to the pinnacle of the sport at the Indy 500 is something I’m excited about.”

In a sense, the team will be a combination of friends as owners and a family affair that will feature two of their sons as competitors.

Goodyear’s son, Michael, will run a limited number of events. A college sophomore and Accounting and Economics double major, has been racing in karting since age 12 and has collected a number of poles, wins and six championships.

Meanwhile, Miller’s son, Jack William, will be a test driver for the team in 2016 and hopes to participate full-time in the 2017 season. Jack William has been racing since the age of 3 and has earned over 100 karting wins and multiple championships across several karting classes.

“F4 allows young up and coming drivers to graduate from karting to a state of the art open-wheel car and gain valuable experience in a single-seater,” Goodyear said. “I’m excited to be part of this leading edge series and to have the opportunity to share my racing knowledge and some valuable secrets of success with up and coming racers.

“Both Jack and Michael have shown their speed and success in karting, and like many fathers whose child is competing in karting, I’m excited for them to move up to the next level of competition and we are excited to provide that opportunity for them and others in the Formula 4 Series.”

At the same time, GMVM is looking for additional younger drivers to potentially fill a second car.

“The team is excited by the opportunity that the Formula 4 series will provide young racers and will have the option of a second car for the season and welcomes inquiries from interested drivers who wish to advance their skills under the guidance of the team,” the release said.

The Formula 4 Series begins on May 27-28 at Lime Rock Park and will run a 15-race, five-venue schedule.

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Ford Mustang GT3 test has Austin Cindric dreaming of Daytona: ‘I want to drive that car’

Cindric Ford GT3 test
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Austin Cindric wasn’t the “mystery” test driver behind the wheel of the new Ford Mustang GT3 at Sebring International Raceway, but the Team Penske driver desperately wanted to be.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, an amateur sports car driver himself, made the big reveal via a Tuesday tweet that provided the first video evidence of the GT3 Mustang on track.

“I’ve watched the video in question about a million times,” Cindric said Wednesday during a Ford Performance Zoom news conference to promote NASCAR’s first road course weekend of the season at Circuit of the Americas. “Definitely exciting times for sure. I want to drive that car. It suits my experience level and also the relationships that I have.”

Ford will enter the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next season with its GT3 Mustang, entering a two-car factory effort (that will be managed by Multimatic) in GTD Pro and making customer cars available in the GT Daytona category.

That increases the likelihood of seeing more NASCAR drivers crossing over to IMSA. Cindric has been the only full-time Cup driver in the Rolex 24 at Daytona the past two years, but Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook has said the GT3 Mustang will provide more opportunities.

Ford has used its GT4 Mustang as a NASCAR driver development tool in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Harrison Burton and Zane Smith combining to win the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in January.

“We’re excited about the Next Gen car and the new architecture there and the similarities between that car and GT3 and even GT4 cars,” Rushbrook said at the announcement of the Ford GT3 program in January 2022 at Daytona. “We think it’s a great opportunity and to do be able to do that in a 24-hour race and get NASCAR drivers even more time is something we need to consider taking advantage of that opportunity.”

Given his sports car background, Cindric probably still would be in the Rolex 24 regardless. He has eight IMSA starts since the 2017 season opener at Daytona, racing a Lexus RCF GT3 and Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GT category. The 2022 Daytona 500 winner made his second LMP2 start this year with Rick Ware Racing.

But Cindric’s preference naturally would be in a Ford, particularly with sports car racing enjoying convergence and crossovers in both GT and prototype racing.

“It’s an exciting time in GT racing, just as it is now for prototype racing with a lot of new regulations and manufacturers building new GT3 cars,” he said. “And also the opportunity with WEC (the World Endurance Championship) and Le Mans and how that all lines up for that category of car. It’s definitely an exciting time. I want to be as much of a part of that as possible.”

Though those odds seemingly will increase with multiple Ford entries in the Rolex 24 field next year, Cindric said NASCAR drivers still have to put in the networking to land rides as he has in recent years.

“Now how (the GT3 Mustang) relates to specifically NASCAR drivers and how often they want to be in the Rolex, could it be an influence? Absolutely, as far as the tie-in with the manufacturer,” Cindric said. “But the challenge and the drive and the logistics of getting an opportunity for a race like the Rolex 24 will be just as challenging as it always is to find your one-off ride for the race. At least from my experience, that’s what I still anticipate.”

It turned out the “mystery” test driver wasn’t from NASCAR (Farley revealed the driver to be 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Joey Hand after a fan asked whether it was Joey Logano).

But Cindric believes there could be more Cup drivers — and perhaps himself — behind the wheel of Mustang GT3s in the future.

“There’s definitely more of a pathway than I think there would be before as far as Ford drivers are concerned,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll get the opportunity to drive that thing. It’s obviously a great looking car. That’s the first box you’ve got to check. And it’s cool (to have) a guy like Jim Farley, no doubt he’s a racer just as much as he is steering the ship for Ford. It’s cool to see he’s just as excited as the rest of us about it.”