Olympic medalist Caitlyn Jenner joins W Series as car owner

Caitlyn Jenner W Series
W Series
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Caitlyn Jenner will field a car in W Series in 2022 with a driver to be announced at a later date.

Jenner, a decathlon gold medalist in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, enters the series as a former professional driver with more than 50 starts in the IMSA Camel GT Championship as a factory driver for Ford Motor Company and Jack Roush.

“As a believer in fair competition, a lover of motor racing, and a supporter of all women in sport from the grassroots to elite level, W Series ticks every box for me and is a fusion of the different aspects of my career,” Jenner said in a release. “A championship dedicated to inspiring young girls and giving women the chance to succeed in roles throughout what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, W Series is changing the face of motorsport.

“As the series continues its rapid expansion with a truly international cast of drivers and races, this was the perfect time to come on board. W Series had a global reach of more than half a billion viewers in 2021, and I am going out to the market to acquire sponsors that align with mine and W Series’ joint missions.”

The 2022 W Series schedule features eight rounds, all of which will be held as companion events to Formula One races. Both American F1 races and the Mexican Grand Prix will be part of the schedule as the W Series seeks to expand their presence in the United States. Earlier this month, the W Series held a test at the Inde Motorsports Ranch near Tucson, Arizona that featured seven drivers from the Americas.

The 2021 season wrapped up last October with two rounds of racing at the Circuit of the Americas with Jamie Chadwick crowned as champion. Jenner credits that race as part of her inspiration to join the series.

“I watched on with great excitement last year when W Series made its American debut in Austin, Texas, USA, where its drivers entertained 400,000 fans over the weekend at the Circuit of the Americas,” Jenner continued. “In May, I will be beaming with pride when my Jenner Racing team starts its bid for W Series glory on motor racing’s greatest stage at the first race of season three in Miami, USA, in support of Formula 1.

“As has always been the case, I’m in it to win it.”

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 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


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