Dylan Ferrandis takes the top spot in Motocross Power Rankings after High Point

Power Rankings High Point
Align Media

Three rounds are in the books for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season and Dylan Ferrandis took the top spot in the Power Rankings after High Point. Last week, he was second behind Ken Roczen.

In Round 3 at High Point, Ferrandis did not win a moto, but he was the most consistent rider in the field with a pair of second-place finishes and that gave him the overall win and enough points to take the lead in the championship race by three over Ken Roczen. He carries the red plate to Buchanab, Mich. and the RedBud MX Park this week with a worst overall finish of second.

Roczen was also consistent with a 3-3 at High Point, but he finished only fourth in the overall standings since Adam Cianciarulo and Eli Tomac earned moto wins.

Aaron Plessinger ascended to third in the Power Rankings. His best overall result was third in the season opener at Fox Raceway in Pala, Calif., but he has not been worse than eight in a moto or sixth in the overall standings through three races.

In his last two races, Chase Sexton has identical results of 4-5 at Thunder Valley and High Point and would be higher in the rankings if not for a 10th-place finish in Moto 2 at the season opener at Fox Raceway.

Rounding out the top five this week is Justin Barcia with podium finishes at Fox and Thunder Valley. He struggled at High Point with a best finish of sixth in Moto 2.

That leaves the two moto winners from High Point just outside the top five with Cianciarulo sixth and Tomac seventh.

Cianciarulo struggled in the opener at Fox while Tomac finally found his mojo at High Point.

450 Power Rankings

    1. Dylan Ferrandis [2 overall, 1 moto win]
    2. Ken Roczen [1 overall, 3 moto wins]
    3. Aaron Plessinger
    4. Chase Sexton
    5. Justin Barcia
    6. Adam Cianciarulo [1 moto win]
    7. Eli Tomac [1 moto win]
    8. Marvin Musquin
    9. Cooper Webb
    10. Christian Craig
    11. Joey Savatgy
    12. Max Anstie
    13. Justin Bogle
    14. Zach Osborne
    15. Fredrik Noren
    16. Coty Schock
    17. Brandon Hartranft
    18. Tyler Medaglia
    19. Ryan Surratt
    20. Phil Nicoletti
Power Rankings High Point
High Point was the third round of the 2021 Pro Motocross season and riders are begging to jockey for position. Align Media

In the 250 class, Jett Lawrence retains his top spot in the Power Rankings. Lawrence scored moto wins at Fox and Thunder Valley and swept the podium at High Point. While he failed to win a moto there, he finished second in the overall.

Justin Cooper scored the overall win at Thunder Valley without winning a moto. At the time he was annoyed that he was unable to be the first to the line in either moto. He got off to a slow start in Moto 1 at High Point with a fifth-place result, but got his elusive moto win in the second race to finish third overall.

Hunter Lawrence lands third on the grid this week with top-10 finishes in five of the six motos. His consistent run at Thunder Valley was enough to stand on the podium in the overall rankings and that has boosted him up the grid.

Garrett Marchbanks lands fourth on the grid with consistency. His best moto finish so far this season was a fourth in Race 2 at High Point. Coupled with a 10th in the first race, that gave him a fifth overall.

Jalek Swoll entered High Point with a career-best moto finish of sixth, but one would not have known that by the way he rode. Either High Point was uniquely suited to his riding style, or he’s gaining confidence in the pro ranks. But either way, he scored his first professional win in Moto 1, finished third in the second race, and won the overall.

250 Power Rankings

  1. Jett Lawrence [1 overall, 2 moto wins]
  2. Justin Cooper [1 overall, 1 moto win]
  3. Hunter Lawrence
  4. Garrett Marchbanks
  5. Jalek Swoll [1 overall, 1 moto win]
  6. Colt Nichols
  7. RJ Hampshire
  8. Austin Forkner
  9. Jo Shimoda
  10. Dilan Schwartz
  11. Carson Mumford
  12. Jarrett Frye
  13. Pierce Brown
  14. Max Vohland
  15. Ty Masterpool
  16. Joshua Varize
  17. Ramyller Alves
  18. Derek Drake
  19. Derek Kelley
  20. Max Miller

Ford unveils a new Mustang for 2024 Le Mans in motorsports ‘lifestyle brand’ retooling

Ford Mustang Le Mans
Ford Performance

LE MANS, France — Ford has planned a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its iconic Mustang muscle car next year under a massive rebranding of Ford Performance aimed at bringing the automotive manufacturer “into the racing business.”

The Friday unveil of the new Mustang Dark Horse-based race car follows Ford’s announcement in February (and a ballyhooed test at Sebring in March) that it will return to Formula One in 2026 in partnership with reigning world champion Red Bull.

The Mustang will enter the GT3 category next year with at least two cars in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, and is hopeful to earn an invitation to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The IMSA entries will be a factory Ford Performance program run by Multimatic, and a customer program in WEC with Proton Competition.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, also an amateur sports car racer, told The Associated Press the Mustang will be available to compete in various GT3 series across the globe to customer teams. But more important, Farley said, is the overall rebranding of Ford Performance – done by renowned motorsports designer Troy Lee – that is aimed at making Ford a lifestyle brand with a sporting mindset.

“It’s kind of like the company finding its own, and rediscovering its icons, and doubling down on them,” Farley told the AP. “And then this motorsports activity is getting serious about connecting enthusiast customers with those rediscovered icons. It’s a big switch for the company – this is really about building strong, iconic vehicles with enthusiasts at the center of our marketing.”

Ford last competed in sports car racing in 2019 as part of a three-year program with Chip Ganassi Racing. The team scored the class win at Le Mans in 2016 in a targeted performance aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford snapping Ferrari’s six-year winning streak.

Ford on Friday displayed a Mustang with a Lee-designed livery that showcased the cleaner, simplified look that will soon be featured on all its racing vehicles. The traditional blue oval with Ford Performance in white lettering underneath will now be branded simply FP.

The new mark will be used across car liveries, merchandise and apparel, display assets, parts and accessories and in advertising.

Farley cited Porsche as an automaker that has successfully figured out how to sell cars to consumers and race cars in various series around the world while creating a culture of brand enthusiasts. He believes Ford’s new direction will help the company sell street cars, race cars, boost interest in driving schools, and create a merchandise line that convinces consumers that a stalwart of American automakers is a hip, cool brand.

“We’re going to build a global motorsports business off road and on road,” Farley told the AP, adding that the design of the Mustang is “unapologetically American.”

He lauded the work of Lee, who is considered the top helmet designer among race car drivers.

“We’re in the first inning of a nine inning game, and going to Le Mans is really important,” Farley said. “But for customer cars, getting the graphics right, designing race cars that win at all different levels, and then designing a racing brand for Ford Performance that gets rebranded and elevated is super important.”

He said he’s kept a close eye on how Porsche and Aston Martin have built their motorsports businesses and said Ford will be better.

“We’re going in the exact same direction. We just want to be better than them, that’s all,” Farley said. “Second is the first loser.”

Farley, an avid amateur racer himself, did not travel to Le Mans for the announcement. The race that begins Saturday features an entry from NASCAR, and Ford is the reigning Cup Series champion with Joey Logano and Team Penske.

The NASCAR “Garage 56” entry is a collaboration between Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, and is being widely celebrated throughout the industry. Farley did feel left out of the party in France – a sentiment NASCAR tried to avoid by inviting many of its partners to attend the race so that it wouldn’t seem like a Chevrolet-only celebration.

“They’re going right and I’m going left – that NASCAR thing is a one-year deal, right? It’s Garage 56 and they can have their NASCAR party, but that’s a one-year party,” Farley said. “We won Le Mans outright four times, we won in the GT class, and we’re coming back with Mustang and it’s not a one-year deal.

“So they can get all excited about Garage 56. I almost see that as a marketing exercise for NASCAR, but for me, that’s a science project,” Farley continued. “I don’t live in a world of science projects. I live in the world of building a vital company that everyone is excited about. To do that, we’re not going to do a Garage 56 – I’ve got to beat Porsche and Aston Martin and Ferrari year after year after year.”

Ford’s announcement comes on the heels of General Motors changing its GT3 strategy next season and ending its factory Corvette program. GM, which unlike Ford competes in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype division (with its Cadillac brand), will shift fully to a customer model for Corvettes in 2024 (with some factory support in the IMSA GTD Pro category).