Jenson Button, David Brabham win at virtual Indy in Legends Trophy

Legends Trophy

Formula One champion Jenson Button and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner David Brabham won Saturday at virtual Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the middle leg of the “Triple Crown” in the Legends Trophy sim racing series.

It was the first Legends Trophy victory for Brabham, who took the lead in the opening race after a multicar crash knocked Juan Pablo Montoya from first. Brabham led the final 14 laps and won by 2.059 seconds over Montoya and Andy Priaulx. Michael Jourdain Jr and Darren Turner rounded out the top five.

“Finally, I got to win one of these Legends races and on the oval at Indianapolis; I’m thrilled with that,” Brabham said. “It was fantastic racing on the oval. It’s amazing, everyone is enjoying it. It’s pretty intense in the race, just in trying to keep the car on the track.

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“It’s so close racing with the tactics. It’s just little things here and there and you can lose a few hundredths and then you’re way back on the grid. It’s very competitive. There are great drivers in there, and I’m just pleased to finally get a decent result.”

Jenson Button won the second race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Legends Trophy).

Button won the second race, fending off a strong challenge by Fernando Alonso (who had swept the Legends Trophy’s last doubleheader at the Brickyard) and beating Petter Solberg by 3.633 seconds.

Max Papis finished third, ahead of Alonso and Emanuele Pirro.

“It was awesome to get a win, really cool,” Button said. “It’s always so much fun driving with these guys.”

Coming off June 6 victories at Monaco, Alonso and Priaulx were unable to complete the ROKiT Triple Crown. But Alonso still remains in the hunt for the third-round championship.

Heading into the Le Mans finale next week, he has a three-point lead (156-153) on Montoya. Brabham is third at 142 points.

In his Legends Trophy debut, action sports start Travis Pastrana finished 13th and 16th, respectively, in his first time on an Allinsports sim rig.

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“For eSports, I’ve done a little bit of rallycross but this is a first for me,” said Pastrana, who was invited to the competition by Montoya. “Today was the first time I’ve driven an Indy car in sim or real life.

“I was just like a kid in a candy shop looking at the entry list. When Juan said, ‘Hey, do you want to get in the race?’ I was like, ‘you don’t have to ask me twice!’”

David Brabham takes the checkered flag in the opener (Legends Trophy).

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.