By Richard RJ Valentine In my 40 years as a pro-racer, there have been memorable highlights and multiple finishes, but there have also been serious injuries. Same can be said for many other drivers but, in some cases, they lost their racing career and in others, their life. I have always contended that it's impossible to understand how critical track safety is, unless you've personally been behind the wheel, racing at 100+ miles per hour, knowing you could hit a wall that might maim or kill you. The bottom line is track operators aren't the ones risking their lives in the driver's seat.
Di Grassi extends championship lead with Paris victory
Formula E Lucas di Grassi has extended his lead in the FIA Formula E Championship with a flawless drive in the Visa Paris ePrix. The Abt Schaeffler driver sprung off the line to take the lead at the start. Aside from two laps during the car swap pitstop phase, he led the entire way. The sell-out event crowd of 20,000 was denied the grandstand finish the race deserved when series debutant Ma Qing Hua crashed heavily in the closing stages. The Chinese racer was unhurt.
Alfonso Ribeiro Wins 40th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race!
Wins race of previous winners Alfonso Ribeiro won the 2016 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, triumphing over the most accomplished field the annual charity racing event has ever seen. The roaring crowd witnessed the stunning performance by Ribeiro, who started the race in the 8th position and successfully avoided any collisions or walls to take the checkered flag. Ribeiro, now a four-time Toyota Pro/Celebrity winner (1994, 1995 & 2015), is best-known for his role as 'Carlton' on "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Ribeiro, who is the new host of "America's Funniest Home Videos," had the fastest lap of the day with a time of 1:42.102.
Abt Schaeffler star retakes championship lead with stunning drive Redemption came to Lucas di Grassi in the shape of a perfectly-judged win in the FIA Formula E Faraday Future Long Beach ePrix. The Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver had sprayed the victory champagne at the last race in Mexico City, only for the disappointment of disqualification to hit home long after the bubbles had fizzled out. But with a steely determination Long Beach would be a different story.
2nd Update Lucas di Grassi has been excluded from the result of the Mexico City ePrix, handing victory to Jerome D'Ambrosio. Di Grassi's Abt Schaeffler car that he used for the first part of the race, was found to weigh 886.2kg, 1.8kg under the 888kg minimum. Abt has decided not to appeal the decision. The decision means di Grassi is now 22 points behind Sebastien Buemi, who is promoted to second place.
by Stephen Cox It was the same sound you hear when you pour too much lighter fluid on the charcoal as you're preparing a Fourth of July barbecue. A giant "whoosh" followed by a flash of flame. Except it was a thousand times louder. And it wasn't charcoal that was on fire. It was me. On COTA's massive back straightaway, the fastest point on the course, I smelled fuel and felt a cold spray over my right hand and leg. There was a sudden flash and my whole world turned a bright, terrifying orange. Everything was on fire.
Erick Rudolph Wins Race And Title In Trenton Indoors (Update)
2nd place DiMattia disqualified Erick Rudolph wrapped a near-perfect weekend Saturday night at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J., when he won the 40-lap Battle Of Trenton TQ Midget Indoor race. The victory was his second of the three race Len Sammons Motorsports Productions VP Racing Series 2016 season and he earned his second straight Series title with the win.
Nick Ladyga, Jimmy Blewett and Ryan Susice win Nick Ladyga of Voluntown, Ct., Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J., and Ryan Susice of Ransomville, N.Y., each punched their ticket into the 40-lap Battle Of Trenton TQ Midget feature Saturday by winning 20-lap TQ Qualifier races Friday at Sun National Bank Center. Their wins guaranteed them starting berths in Saturday night's 40-lap Battle Of Trenton feature race.
Before 17,000 fans Sam Bird produced a brilliant performance to hold off the charge of Sebastien Buemi and claim the first Formula E win for the DS Virgin alliance. Bird started the race from pole and controlled the pack from the front, just using enough energy to keep Nico Prost (Renault e.dams) and then Team Aguri’s Antonio Felix da Costa at bay.
by Stephen Cox Trophies are nice, but rings are forever. Trophies eventually end up at the bottom of a closet. A championship ring is a legacy that is passed on for generations. Trophies sit in an office or a garage to be seen only by the few who visit. Championship rings are worn proudly by the owner. Everywhere he goes. For the rest of his life.
Dakar: Peterhansel, Price and Patronelli celebrate
6th Dakar win for Peterhansel After a grueling Dakar journey of 9,500km through Argentina and Boliva a trio of Red Bull Desert Wings have emerged victorious across the car, bike and quad categories. Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel cemented his title of Monsieur Dakar with his sixth car win while Australian biker Toby Price won the rally for the first time. The crowds at the finish line in Rio Cuarto, Argentina also had a local hero to cheer home as Marcos Patronelli won the quad category for a third time.
by Stephen Cox You just never know what you'll find in the bottom of your grandmother's closet. Northern California's Shasta Speedway held its first full season of competition in 1951. The 3/8th mile former horse racing track had been opened to motor racing the previous summer and immediately attracted the attention of a mechanically-inclined teenager from Indiana. Bud Pedigo had dated my grandmother, Ruth, when they attended high school together in Indianapolis in the mid 1930's.
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