IMSA: New Alianza-Gilbert Prototype partnership adds Jason Bell to driver lineup for 2019

Alianza-Gilbert Motorsports
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The newly formed Alianza-Gilbert Motorsports partnership announced Wednesday that it has signed drivers Anthony Simone and Jason Bell to pilot it’s Norma M30 entry in the IMSA Prototype Challenge in 2019.

Simone and Bell’s first run together will be in the Jan. 4-6 Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, a prelude event to the Rolex 24 Hours on January 26-27.

The team had originally announced last week that Simone and Rodrigo Pflucker would be its drivers, but Bell has apparently changed that dynamic.

Here’s the Alianza-Gilbert Motorsports entry that will compete in next month’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“Last week we announced Anthony and another competitor (Pflucker) as drivers in our program, but as is the case in motorsports at times, some things change,” Alianza Motorsports’ official Lorne Kelly said in a media release. “We are very happy to welcome Jason Bell to the team and feel he will be a great fit.”

Added Alianza-Gilbert Motorsports’ partner Henry Gilbert, “We would like to welcome Jason to the team with open arms. I am confident that we have the car, the crew, the team and now the drivers to challenge for a strong finish in Daytona.”

Although Bell is a veteran sports car racer, the Roar Before the Rolex 24 will be his first career LMP3 race. He is also currently competing in an Audi R8 GT4 LMS.

“I have driven in several different events and vehicles over the past two years, and I have always had my eye on the LMP3 cars,” Bell said. “I followed the Alianza – Gilbert Motorsports team during the tire test last week and they showed great pace.

“I have taken part in several endurance events throughout the 2018 season and understand the dynamics of a long race. My job is to keep the car out of trouble and help Anthony and I garner the best result possible. I know Anthony is competing for the overall series championship, but as drivers, we want to win and be on the podium, so that is the ultimate goal.”

While the new Alianza-Gilbert partnership will debut at The Roar Before the Rolex 24 as just a single-car team, plans are in the works to add another team in time for the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 16.

“We have several developments and programs in the works and hope to have announcements in the very near future,” Kelly said. “2019 is going to be very big for Alianza – Gilbert Motorsports and January can’t come quick enough.”

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Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.