Conor Daly among finalists for 2017 ROC Factor competition

© INDYCAR
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Verizon IndyCar Series racer Conor Daly has been named as one of the finalists for the ‘ROC Factor’ competition ahead of the Race of Champions later this month.

The Race of Champions pits drivers from an array of series up against each other in a multi-discipline challenge, with this year’s event taking place in Miami on January 21-22.

The line-up features a number of motorsport’s biggest names, including Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Kanaan, Sebastian Vettel, Tom Kristensen, Jenson Button, Alexander Rossi, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch.

Following the successful running of the ROC Factor competition for the 2015 Race of Champions in London, the competition returned for Miami, with applicants getting the chance to team up with either James Hinchcliffe or Helio Castroneves.

The 10 finalists to join Hinchcliffe on ROC Team North America were confirmed on Wednesday, with 2017 Foyt IndyCar racer Daly among them.

The 10 finalists for ROC Factor to join Team North America are:

  • Shea Adam
  • Bill Caswell
  • Gary Grant
  • Conor Daly
  • Christopher Hill
  • Glenn McGee
  • Floyd Raglin
  • Stefan Rzadzinski
  • John Sabol
  • Jeff Seehorn

10 finalists have also been named to join Castroneves on Team Latin America:

  • Cesar Baltazar Rivera, Mexico
  • Rafael Duarte Oliveira, Brazil
  • Gabriel Glusman, Argentina
  • Thomas Graef, Brazil
  • Jaime Guerrero, Colombia
  • Luis Martinez, Cuba
  • Gonzalo Rodriguez, Peru
  • Federico Treviño, Mexico
  • David Tuaty, Peru
  • Esteban Yanguas, Colombia

Both ROC Factor contests are now live on Facebook, allowing fans to vote for their favorite and complete the line-up for the Race of Champions. You can find out more information by clicking here.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III