PWC: Davison suspended for one race; Dolby set for weekend fill-in

Photo: NISMO

James Davison has been suspended for the first of two Pirelli World Challenge races this weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus (the former Miller Motorsports Park) following an incident at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course two weeks ago.

Here’s the release from PWC explaining the how and why:

WC Vision, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge GT Production-based series, today announced that GT Class driver JD Davison has been suspended for Round 16 scheduled for Saturday at the Utah Motorsports Campus due to rule violation PWCR 1.11.3 – making avoidable contact while on probation.

Davison’s suspension, established by Pirelli World Challenge race director Dorsey Schroeder, was a result of avoidable contact on lap 1 in GT Round 14 two weeks ago at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Per the SCCA Pro Racing rulebook, a driver receives a suspension from participation in Race 1 at the next round that the competitor participates, a $5,000 fine and an additional three-race probation.

Davison was put on probation for three event weekends (six races and through the Mid-Ohio event) following an on-track incident at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in May.

“According to the rulebook, any driver who is on probation and violates the term of the probation is automatically suspended for one race – the next round,” said Schroeder. “The Davison violation at Mid-Ohio occurred at the start of Race 1 before the start/finish line that included contact with Colin Thompson.”

Craig Dolby, a 28-year-old veteran driver from Mleton Mowbray, England, will now drive the No. 33 Always Evolving/Replay XD/Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT3 GT-R in the opening race of the Pirelli World Challenge Utah Motorsports Campus Grand Prix presented by Energy Solutions in Round 16 set for Saturday, Aug. 13, at 4 p.m. MDT.

Dolby drove the Always Evolving Motorsports Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 last year in the SRO Blancpain Sprint Series in six races with a best finish of fifth. Dolby was the 2006 Formula Renault 2.0 series champion and placed second in points in the 2009 and 2010 Superleague Formula series.

Rounds 16 and 17 of the PWC GT division will be held Saturday (Aug. 13) and Sunday (Aug. 14) at Utah Motorsports Campus.

In a team release, Always Evolving confirmed Davison will be out of the cockpit both races this weekend as the team prepares for a potential car addition in 2017.

From the release posted to Facebook:

“It feels mega to be back with the Always Evolving team and crew from AIM Autosport,” Dolby said.

“This is an amazing opportunity to be part of, I’m really looking forward to the weekend of racing in the US it’s been a life long dream to come over here. We had quick success with the Blancpain program last season and it’s great to be back in the NISMO GT-R.”

James Davison, a longtime Always Evolving athlete, switches roles this weekend to provide coaching and expertise while the team gets Craig Dolby acclimated to the PWC sprint weekend format.

“We’d love to have James and Bryan back with us next year but Craig is certainly one of the guys on our radar for the expanded program,” Always Evolving team owner, Erik Davis said.

“With the 2017 schedules now revealed, we’re investigating running both the existing Championship Sprint format plus the new Sprint X Series which will obviously require us to add to our driver talent pool.

“The new partnership between the Pirelli World Challenge and the SRO organization is proving to be a positive step forward for GT3 racing in the US.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.