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Kohler Co. named title sponsor for Road America weekend

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Didn’t quite get to this over the weekend because it came out on Friday, but it’s still awesome. Kohler Co. is the title sponsor for the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend at Road America, June 23-26, which also features the full complement of Mazda Road to Indy and Pirelli World Challenge classes.

The IndyCar race airs Sunday, June 26, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and is the 10th round of the season.

The full release is below:

Kohler Co. has signed on to be the title sponsor for the Verizon IndyCar Series event at Road America, and the race will be known as the KOHLER Grand Prix. The green-flag will fly on the event at approximately 12:15 pm CST on June 26.
“Kohler Co. is pleased to serve as the title sponsor for the KOHLER Grand Prix for the Verizon IndyCar Series at historic Road America.  Verizon IndyCar events are among the most exciting in motorsports today as evidenced by the recent sell out of the 100th Indianapolis 500,” said David Kohler, President and CEO of Kohler Co. “Kohler shares this passion and enthusiasm and we are excited to welcome Verizon IndyCar fans to our home to take part in the return of IndyCar racing at Road America, one of the most beautiful and unique tracks in the world.”
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 30,000 associates. With 48 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines and power systems; premier furniture, cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two of the world’s finest five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St Andrews, Scotland. The Kohler courses have hosted six Major golf championships to date, including the record-setting 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, and will host the Ryder Cup in 2020.  Kohler’s Old Course Hotel in St Andrews served as host-hotel for the 2015 British Open. Kohler recently broke ground on LODGE KOHLER, a hotel development within the new Titletown District in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.
“Kohler is a great fit for Road America,” said George Bruggenthies, Road America’s president and general manager. “They have a very unique brand that has been instrumental to Road America’s success through previous partnerships and initiatives while remaining dedicated to supporting the local area. We feel that Kohler Co. will incorporate itself very well in the racing community through this entitlement and we are very excited to have them on board in such a prestigious capacity.”
The Verizon IndyCar Series KOHLER Grand Prix takes center stage at Road America June 23-26 as an international lineup of drivers will have their chance to battle it out for glory on one of the world’s most revered road courses. The first IndyCar race at Road America took place in 1982, when Hector Rebqaue was crowned as the winner. In 2000, Dario Franchitti set the track record with a lap of 1 minute, 39.866 seconds (145.924 mph) set in qualifying for the 2000 race. Legendary drivers Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi have each won three times at Road America, while Jacques Villeneuve and Paul Tracy were two-time winners on the high-speed course.
Ten current Verizon IndyCar Series drivers have raced on the circuit, with Sebastien Bourdais winning the last Indy car race there in 2007 under Champ Car sanction. “I am really excited to see Road America back on the 2016 Indy car schedule,” said Bourdais, a four-time Indy car champion who currently drives for KVSH Racing. “This place allows our cars to stretch their legs fully and show what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about. For me, it is the best racetrack in North America and I have some great memories there, including the win in 2007, and I am looking forward to coming back.”
Tickets are still available and additional event details; ticket pricing, a tentative event schedule and camping information can be found atwww.roadamerica.com or by calling 800-365-7223. New for 2016, anyone 16-years-old and under are FREE with a paying adult at the gate. All races will run rain or shine.

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.