Archive for October, 2018

— Endurance Warranty Services Enters Motorsports with Andretti

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (October 30, 2018) – Jarett Andretti today announced his newest national marketing and sponsorship partner for the 2019 race season. Andretti is proud to be the national brand spokesperson for Endurance Warranty Services (Endurance). Endurance is making their motorsports debut with Andretti in 2019. Andretti, already a champion open wheel racer, will continue his young career in sports cars, competing in the Pirelli World Challenge GT4 America Series.

Endurance is one of the largest providers of vehicle service contracts in the nation. They offer a variety of different protection plans for the most comprehensive coverage for your car. The company will introduce and lead a multifaceted campaign with Andretti through national television ads, public relations, digital and social media and more. In addition, Endurance will serve as the primary sponsor for Andretti throughout the Pirelli World Challenge schedule.

“This is an exciting day for our company,” said Jordan Batt, CEO of Endurance. “We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Jarett and are looking forward to beginning our motorsports marketing campaign. Jarett has impressed us on and off the track and we know he can help us win with our customers. We are already looking forward to next season and are currently planning our national ads with Jarett.”

The new multiyear partnership for Andretti comes after completing his rookie season in the Pirelli World Challenge Series while still competing in over 50 sprint car races this summer throughout the Midwest. Andretti enjoyed his experience in the Pirelli World Challenge Series and looks forward to growing in the series with Endurance next season.

“I’m really thankful to Jordan and his team at Endurance for supporting our sports car program in 2019,” said Andretti. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the people at Endurance and learning more about their services. This is a perfect brand to be in motorsports because of the quality of car warranties they provide. I’m looking forward to telling their story throughout the year and help grow their business.

“On the track, this partnership will continue to help me develop as a driver,” said Andretti. “The Pirelli World Challenge Series offers competitive racing with championship-caliber teams and drivers. It makes you push hard each lap and I enjoy that. I’ve had fun learning and racing the different tracks, too. I feel that sports car racing helps you become an overall better driver. Having Endurance behind us, we know that we’ll have the proper planning and funding to make a championship run next year.”

Andretti is a graduate of North Carolina State University who now lives in Indianapolis and races full-time. He is the son of John Andretti, cousin of Marco Andretti, nephew of Michael Andretti, the grandson of Aldo Andretti and the great nephew of Mario Andretti.

He’s carried on the family racing tradition and has championships in go-karts, the USAC Eastern Ignite Pavement Midget Series, the 410 Sprint Car division at the Lawrenceburg Speedway and is also an Indiana Sprint Car Series champion. In addition, Andretti is the 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year and a former Rookie of the Year at the Oswego Speedway in the supermodified class.

About Endurance Auto Warranty Services

Founded in 2006, Endurance Warranty Services LLC is the most customer-driven company in the vehicle protection industry. Named one of the largest and fastest-growing companies in Chicago by Crain’s and continuosly climbing the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America, Endurance protects thousands of drivers from the high cost of repair bills every day. Endurance is the only company industry-wide that is both A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and Gold-Certified by the Vehicle Protection Association, and all Endurance policies are backed by an AM Best “A” rated insurance company. By delivering world-class service to every customer, current or future, Endurance continues to reign as the premier provider of vehicle protection in the nation. For more information, please visit www.endurancewarranty.com


October 12, 2018 Sun Valley, Idaho – Heinricher Racing LLC, has entered into a partnership with Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona and the 2019 International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on board the No. 57 MSR Acura NSX GT3 entry. Heinricher, is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and founder of successful biotech company BooShoot.

In addition to Heinricher, from the U.S., the team will include Katherine Legge of England, Simona De Silvestro of Switzerland and Bia Figueiredo (Ana Beatriz) of Brazil. In partnership with Meyer Shank Racing (MSR), Heinricher, Legge and Figueiredo will also compete in the 2019 Michelin Endurance Cup Championship rounds with De Silvestro confirmed for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. The Endurance Cup will also include events at Sebring International Raceway, Watkins Glen International and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. In addition to its full season IMSA campaign, Heinricher/MSR/CAT are targeting the 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The MSR team last raced and led laps at Le Mans in 2016 competing in the highly competitive LMP2 category. Legge and Heinricher will co-drive for the full-season IMSA GTD campaign.

“Caterpillar is committed to a diverse workplace that’s representative of the customers we serve around the world,” said Victoria Morrissey, Global Marketing and Brand Director. “Women are an important, valuable part of our global team and this all-female race team is an example of how we support them.”

“I am honored to partner with CAT and to have their support,” said Jackie Heinricher, Heinricher Racing. “My vision has long been to bring together a diverse team of four female drivers, some of the fastest globally, to join forces to compete together, and with the support of CAT, I get to see my long held vision become reality.” I am excited to be joining Michael Shank and the entire winning MSR team in this amazing partnership and to have the honor to compete with Katherine, Ana, and Simona.” Heinricher Racing LLC will continue to build upon this innovative racing program with the exciting addition of development driver, Loni Unser.

“This is truly a groundbreaking effort for next year, not only for us as a team but for the series as well,” Mike Shank, owner of MSR. “It’s great to have Katherine (Legge) back with us, she has been doing great this season as we fight for the championship. I also want to thank Jackie (Heinricher) for developing the Caterpillar partnership and we are excited to have her on board. Simona (De Silvestro) and Bia (Figueiredo) are also very strong talents, and hopefully with them all joined together we can make a statement next year.”

“It feels great, I have always wanted to do something like this to show the appeal of racing to a wider audience,” said Legge. “Jackie (Heinricher) has done an amazing job to create this opportunity and develop this partnership. I’m thrilled to be working with Simona (De Silvestro) and Bia (Figueiredo), and it is exciting to return to Meyer Shank Racing with the Acura NSX GT3. We’ve had great success and we are looking forward to building on that starting at Daytona.”

“It’s pretty exciting and I think for sure the line up that we have is really strong,” said De Silvestro. “All of us girls have a lot of credibility and I think it will be quite exciting so I’m really looking forward to Daytona. I think the team dynamic will be very strong. For myself, it will be a little bit of learning but I am looking forward to it. It’s quite a special feeling to be a part of such a good team that has had a lot of success so I think this is going to be a great car to be in and to give us all a strong shot. I just can’t wait to go racing in Daytona, which I have always dreamt about.”

“I never thought this could happen in my career if you were to ask me a few years ago but it feels pretty exciting,” said Figueiredo. “I’ve known Katherine (Legge) and Simona (De Silvestro) for a long time and they had great success where they have raced. The MSR team is always fighting for wins and championships in IMSA and I am sure they will do the best they can to get this girl power team in high positions. I can’t wait to be in the car for such important races like Daytona where I’ve never raced before but I’ve always dreamt about.”

About Caterpillar Inc.

Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. We are also a leading financial services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services.

About Jackie Heinricher

Jackie Heinricher, generously supported by Caterpillar Inc., believes the partnership reflects not only her passion for racing but for her unique story and impressive background. A role model for all, Heinricher is a mature self-made entrepreneur and scientist, having started a successful biotech company, called Booshoot, from her garage. She has authored numerous journal articles and patents and continues to spearhead visionary Intellectual Property development in plant sciences and innovative forestry. On the racing track, Heinricher has competed in Ferrari Challenge, Lamborghini Super Trofeo, and the Red Bull Global Rally Cross Series. Heinricher has a track record of making history—she was the first woman to compete in the North American Blancpain Super Trofeo, and she brought the first female co-driver duo, herself included, to the 2017 Lamborghini series. Heinricher Racing LLC will continue to build upon this first of its kind program. To learn more go to booshootbiotech.com and jackieheinricher.com.

About Meyer Shank Racing

Making a mark for himself as a professional racing driver, team owner Mike Shank first started Michael Shank Racing in the Champ Car Toyota Atlantic Championship, flourishing with the likes of Kenny Wilden, Sam Hornish Jr., and Johnny Rutherford before switching the team into a new direction and into the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2004. The team flourished in IMSA Prototype competition, leading and earning a podium the first race that it entered. The team then made its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in 2016 and then made its 250th Prototype start where the team saw victory at the Petit Le Mans in 2016. Moving out of the Prototype ranks in 2017, MSR served as a factory team for the inaugural year with the Acura NSX GT3. Over the course of the next two race season, MSR earned four wins and 11 podiums with the Acura NSX GT3. MSR also first entered into the Verizon IndyCar series and into the 2017 Indianapolis 500. The team continued its IndyCar campaign for six more outings into 2018 with driver Jack Harvey in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda. 2018 also welcomed Jim Meyer to the Michael Shank Racing family, serving as new co-owner alongside Mike Shank as the team was rebranded as Meyer Shank Racing.

About Acura / Honda Performance Development

Acura is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability. Five of the six models in the Acura lineup are made exclusively in central Ohio, using domestic and globally-sourced parts, including the ILX and TLX luxury sports sedans (Marysville Auto Plant), the RDX and MDX luxury SUVs (East Liberty Auto Plant) and the Acura NSX supercar, which is built to order at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.

PMC_logo

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 – Michael Goulian of the United States scored an emotional victory in home skies Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, taking the Master Class points lead in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship with one race remaining this season.

Goulian, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, posted the quickest time in the Final 4, 1 minute, 6.208 seconds. It was his second win of the season, as he also won the season opener in Abu Dhabi. He flew to victory at IMS after qualifying a disappointing eighth Saturday in the 14-pilot Master Class field.

“Right now the season doesn’t even mean anything to me here at Indy – to win at Indy is amazing,” Goulian said after the race as tears welled in his eyes and his voice choked with emotion. “It’s a good day. After qualifying, I knew where the issue was, but I wasn’t super-confident that I could fix it. It was all in that VTM (Vertical Turn Maneuver). Sometimes the day just works out for you, today did.”

Goulian also seized the points lead from Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic with his third career victory. Goulian tops the elite Master Class standings with 70 points as he seeks his first World Championship. Sonka is second with 65, with Matt Hall of Australia third with 63. The season finale is Nov. 17-18 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Pete McLeod of Canada finished second with a run of 1:06.736, .528 of a second behind Goulian. Nicolas Ivanoff of France finished third at 1:06.951 in his first Final 4 appearance of the season. Master Class rookie Ben Murphy of Great Britain was fourth at 1:07.863 in the first Final 4 flight of his career.

Goulian’s victory looked unlikely during the opening Round of 14. He faced McLeod, who turned in a run of 1:04.223, the quickest flight of the day. Goulian was slower at 1:05.182, but the quickest loser in the Round of 14 advances to the Round of 8.

So Goulian was forced to watch and hope in his hangar during the final two heats of the Round of 14, hoping his time would hold up.

Heat 6 loser Petr Kopfstein was timed at 1:07.902, so Goulian’s fate hung on the final heat between two-time World Champion Kirby Chambliss of the United States and Sonka.

Chambliss, from Tucson, Arizona, started the heat with a run of 1:05.140 – quicker than Goulian. So all eyes were on Sonka, who entered this race on peak form with a series record-tying three consecutive victories and was the top qualifier Saturday.

Sonka managed only a time of 1:06.463 and was eliminated in the opening round, giving Goulian a pass to the Round of 8 as the quickest loser.

“We’ll look at the data and review the settings,” Sonka said. “I don’t know what went wrong.”

Sonka wasn’t the only upset victim in the opening Round of 14. The winners of the first two Red Bull Air Races at IMS and the last two World Champions, Yoshihide Muroya (2017) and Matthias Dolderer (2016), also lost due to penalties during their respective runs.

Goulian flew a run of 1:06.489 in the Round of 8 to easily dismiss Cristian Bolton of Chile, who could only manage 1:07.888. Goulian’s prospects improved even more later in the Round of 8 when title contender Hall lost to McLeod after incurring a three-second penalty for hitting an Air Pylon.

Then came the pressure and drama of the Final 4.

Goulian lost in the opening Round of 14 at the last event, Sept. 15-16 at Wiener Neustadt, Austria, and scored zero points with his only finish outside of the Final 4 this season. So Goulian Aerosports team manager Pablo Branco offered Goulian final advice that exorcised any demons from that Austrian race and paid dividends and helped Goulian become the first American to win a home race since Chambliss in 2008 at Detroit.

“Pablo stuck his head in the canopy and said don’t go crazy – just be good,” Goulian said. “It was a great day. It’s great to be here. Weiner Neustadt was an outlier, just like this place was for Martin and Matt. Everybody will be here full steam ahead at Dallas, and I think it’s what everybody wants to see is a fight for the championship, and that’s what they’re going to get.”

Florian Berger of Germany edged American Kevin Coleman to win the Challenger Class race.

Two-time reigning Challenger Class champion Berger earned his second victory of the season and seventh of his career. The win also vaulted Berger into the class lead with 28 points despite competing in just three races this season.

Berger was the fifth of seven pilots to fly in the Challenger Class race, producing a track-record time of 1:09.397. That was 1.6 seconds quicker than his run of 1:10.945 during qualifying Saturday, good for the No. 2 spot.

“I can’t believe it,” Berger said. “It’s so much fun to win here, to fly here. It was very close. I just wanted to be safe and be quick.”

Berger’s dramatic run spoiled a chance for a home victory for Coleman. Louisiana native Coleman flew second, producing a time of 1:09.660. That was a stunning turnaround from Saturday, when Coleman qualified last at 1:13.896 after being slowed by four seconds of penalties.

Top qualifier Patrick Davidson of South Africa ended up third Sunday at 1:09.695, as just .298 of a second separated the top three pilots.

The top six pilots in the standings will race for the Challenger Class title at the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway – Berger (28 points), Kenny Chiang of Hong Kong (26), Luke Czepiela of Poland (26), Coleman (24), Baptiste Vignes of France (24) and Daniel Ryfa of Sweden (20).