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Henry claims bronze in Igls’ women’s skeleton World Cup

GLS, Austria (Jan. 17, 2020)– Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) put together two solid runs to claim bronze in today’s women’s skeleton World Cup in Igls. Today was only Henry’s fifth World Cup appearance. Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) and Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) and also had strong performances, finishing 14th and 18th, respectively. 

“I’m super excited to have my first World Cup medal,” Henry said.

Henry started her campaign for the medals with a start time of 5.36 seconds and the third best run of 53.80 seconds. Only five-hundredths of a second separated the top five after the first heat. Russian Elena Nikitina was one-hundredth of a second ahead in silver medal position, and hometown competitor Janine Flock was three-hundredths ahead in first place. Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling was on Henry’s heels, just two-hundredths behind in fourth.

“I knew that I had a really good run, but I didn’t know how good,” Henry said. “I got to the bottom and Tuffy (Latour) told me my position and I was like, ‘Oh, ok,” Henry said. “I kind of felt like my legs were jello before the second run. I knew that I could medal as long as I stayed consistent with my push.”

Henry nearly matched her first run start time with a 5.37 push, and the American raced to the finish in 53.90 seconds. She had fallen back a spot, but would later gain it back.

Kimberly Murray from Great Britain surprised even herself with the track record of 53.70 seconds in the second heat. This was Murray’s 10th career World Cup race. She was in 16th place after the first heat, and moved up eight spots to finish eighth. The pressure was on for the remaining competitors.

Loelling broke Murray’s newly set track record with a second run of 53.62 seconds to leap past Henry and take over the lead to win with a combined time of 1:47.44. Flock bumped back one spot into second place with a total time of 1:47.46. Nikitina fell back into fourth to finish behind Henry with only the 10th best run of the second heat. Henry claimed bronze with a total time of 1:47.70.

“There were a couple of mistakes I would have liked to clean up, but when I realized I had medaled I was super excited,” Henry said. ”I can’t be disappointed with my first World Cup medal.”

Wesenberg finished 14th with a two-run combined time of 1:48.59. She clocked start times of 5.69 and 5.72 seconds for runs of 54.31 and 54.28 seconds, respectively.

“Good drive,” said USA Skeleton Technical and Development Lead Coach Caleb Smith from the coach’s box after Wesenberg’s final run.

Graybill pushed identical start times of 5.60 seconds in both heats. She posted a downtime of 54.46 in the first heat, and 54.38 in run two for a combined time of 1:48.84 to lock in 18th place.

Tomorrow will feature the women’s bobsled race at 10 a.m. local time, and the two-man bobsled competition at 2 p.m. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the races. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Jacqueline Loelling (GER) 1:47.44 (53.82, 53.62);
2. Janine Flock (AUT) 1:47.46 (53.77, 53.69);
3. Megan Henry (USA) 1:47.70 (53.80, 53.90);
14. Kendall Wesenberg (USA) 1:48.59 (54.31, 54.28);
18. Savannah Graybill (USA) 1:48.84 (54.46, 54.38);

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

Source: TeamUSA

Blaser leads USA Skeleton in fifth career World Cup

IGLS, Austria (Jan. 17, 2020)– Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) led the U.S. in this morning’s men’s skeleton World Cup in Igls with an 18th place finish. It was the first time Blaser has raced in Igls. Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) finished 26th and 28th, respectively.

This is Blaser’s World Cup debut season, and his first time racing the European tracks. Today was the fifth World Cup race of Blaser’s career, and the first time he’s qualified for the second heat. Blaser was the only North American to make the top 20 today.

“We knew it was going to be a development year for me,” Blaser said. “It was my first time in La Plagne (France), my first time in Winterberg (Germany), my first time here– I’m getting those first runs under my belt this season. It was overwhelming at first, but it’s exciting and things are starting to come together over time.”

The Igls track favors fast starters, which gave Blaser a boost today. He posted a first run start time of 5.01 seconds, which was 10th best of the field, and raced to the finish in 53.27 seconds for 19th place to qualify for the second heat. Only the top 20 athletes after the first heat are granted a second run.

“I was elated,” Blaser said.

He nearly matched his first run start time in heat two with a push of 5.02, and moved up a spot with a downtime of 53.05 seconds. Blaser finished 18th with a combined time of 1:46.32.

When USA Skeleton Head Coach Tuffy Latour handed Blaser the phone for this interview, his first reaction was, “Did my mom get Tuffy’s number?”

“This is all new to me,” Blaser said.

Latvian Martins Dukurs was today’s winner in 1:44.50. Reigning Olympic champion Sungbin Yun of Korea was a distant 0.42 seconds behind in second place with a total time of 1:44.92. Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov claimed the bronze medal in 1:44.94.

Florian and Ivanov both missed the top 20 cutoff for the second heat. Florian clocked the 22nd best start time of 5.11, and slid to the finish in 53.63 seconds for 26th. Ivanov was 28th fastest off the start with a push time of 5.17, and he maintained 28th place at the finish with a downtime of 53.74.

The women’s skeleton race is up next at 2 p.m. local time. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the Igls races. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:44.50 (52.34, 52.16);
2. Sungbin Yun (KOR) 1:44.92 (52.66, 52.26);
3. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:44.94 (52.53, 52.41);
18. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:46.32 (53.27, 53.05);
26. Austin Florian (USA) (53.63, DNS);
28. Alex Ivanov (USA) (53.74, DNS):

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter.

World Cup makes fifth stop in Igls, Austria

Photo credit: Mike Kohn

IGLS, Austria (Jan. 16, 2020)– The fifth stop of the bobsled and skeleton World Cup tour will take place in Igls, Austria starting tomorrow through the weekend. The detailed schedule is as follows, with all times listed in local time:

Friday, Jan. 17

10 a.m.: Men’s skeleton run #1

11:45 a.m.: Men’s skeleton run #2

2 p.m.: Women’s skeleton run #1

3:30 p.m.: Women’s skeleton run #2

Saturday, Jan. 18

10 a.m.: Women’s bobsled run #1

11:30 a.m.: Women’s bobsled run #2

2 p.m.: Two-man bobsled run #1

3:30 p.m.: Two-man bobsled run #2

Sunday, Jan. 19

1:30 p.m.: Four-man bobsled run #1

3 p.m.: Four-man bobsled run #2

Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) will kick off the Igls event in the men’s skeleton race tomorrow morning, followed by Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) in tomorrow afternoon’s women’s skeleton race. This is the first time racing in Igls for Blaser, the fourth for Florian, and the sixth for Ivanov. Graybill has the most experience of any U.S. skeleton athlete on the roster in Igls. This will be her 14th competition on the Austrian track. It will be the ninth race for Henry in Igls, and the eighth for Wesenberg.

In women’s bobsled, Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) will team with Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas) for the first time. The last time Humphries raced in Igls was in 2017, when she finished fourth. The two-time Olympic champion has claimed three World Cup medals in Austria over the years, and the 2016 World Championship silver medal. Humphries also won the women’s four-man bobsled exhibition race in 2016. Hoffman was a participant in season 2 of “The Next Olympic Hopeful,” and she excelled as a rookie last season.

Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) once again learned another new track this week. The 23-year-old will race with season 1 winner of “The Next Olympic Hopeful” Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.) in two-man on Saturday. Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) will join Williamson as Church’s four-man push crew on Sunday.

NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup in Igls from Jan. 17-19. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.

Source; TeamUSA

Big C8 news!

And we literally mean “big.”

With production of the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray about to get underway next month, attention is now turning towards future variants. More specifically, the E-Ray, the first of two hybrids planned (the second likely named Zora), as well as the Z06, and, eventually, the ZR1. While we don’t have a precise timeframe as to when any of those will arrive, it goes without saying the Corvette engineering team led by Tadge Juechter is hard at work this very moment.

Details remain mostly vague, but GM Authority has learned something very cool about the C8 Z06. An inside source familiar with the project is claiming the C8 Z06 will sport a massive rear wing, even bigger than what’s found on the outgoing C7 Corvette ZR1. What’s more, it’ll produce higher levels of downforce and create less drag.

Although the C8.R race car has a big rear wing of its own, the Z06’s will differ in both appearance and functionality. Think more along the lines of the rear wing on the Koenigsegg Agera RS. Another unknown is whether or not the C8 Z06 will come with the rear wing as standard or if it will be optional. Some sources are claiming the Corvette team is leaning towards making it standard.

Assuming all goes to plan, the next Z06 could arrive in about two years’ time. Instead of the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 with 490 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, the C8 Z06 is expected to have a new NA 5.5-liter V8 with a flat-plane crank. Expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 hp.

Additional elements will include an improved suspension, brakes, and additional aerodynamic components aside from the rear wing. There shouldn’t be any mistaking the C8 Z06 for the C8 Stingray, even when the latter is equipped with the Z51 performance package. It should also go without saying the Z06 will command a significant price premium. A fully-loaded 2020 Corvette Stingray will surpass $100,000, so don’t expect the Z06 to cost any less.

Source; Jay Traugott; Carbuzz

Is the new midengine Corvette too good to be true?

“Wow — thank you so much, ma’am!” gushes a young parking attendant at the Jonathan Club in Santa Monica. “It made my day to see this car in person!”

That’s the contagious effect the all-new 2020 Corvette Stingray has on just about everyone. A toddler in a stroller pointed and squealed as I rolled by. A well-dressed businessman was studying the car with appreciation when I emerged from a store. “I’ve never been a Corvette guy, but I can actually see myself owning one of these,” he told me before jumping into his Audi R8.

Of course, $300,000-plus Lamborghinis and McLarens garner longing looks, but they don’t provoke the ear-to-ear grins that Chevy’s latest does. I have rarely seen a vehicle elicit so much joy, so consistently, as I did in the two days I had the eye-popping “Rapid Blue” version GM lent me for testing.

Chevy gave the world its first peek of the C8 (its internal name) last July, at an unveiling in a hangar in Tustin to a standing-room-only crowd of media, collectors and influencers. Chevy chose SoCal for the launch because it’s the most important market for the car — which is the first in the model’s 67-year history in which the engine sits behind, not in front of, the driver. At the event, journalists commented to me that it looked like a Ferrari, to which I replied, “Is looking like a Ferrari a bad thing?!”

Last month, I got the call: It was finally time to test-drive a pre-production version. When I slid behind the steering wheel, I entered a whole other world of aromatic leather, slick driver-centric controls and intuitive next-gen tech. I pushed the start button and the 6.2-liter V8’s 495 horses raucously screamed to life over my shoulder.

I headed to test-drive heaven — California 1. Almost immediately I was laughing at all the G-forces I could easily conjure with the steering wheel and my right foot. I played with the paddle shifters like a pinball machine (in automatic mode, the eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission is far faster than me—or you—but where’s the fun in that?).

From Malibu’s twistiest canyons to heavy 101 traffic, the Stingray ticked all the boxes. Cornering: tenacious grip without body roll. Steering: light and responsive. Brakes: grabbier than a pickpocket. Off-the-line acceleration: near-psychedelic pull with a dash of wheelspin, even with traction control on. Acceleration at speed: Just about terrifying, if it didn’t feel so darn capable and well-sorted.

I am not gushing. I’m merely reporting the delicious facts.

I am fortunate to have driven some of the best cars on the planet. So, when I say the new Vette exceeded my expectations, consider that a sizable understatement. And now perhaps the best news of all: The Corvette’s base price is $59,995. If you wanted to buy a midengine sports car with this level of capability from a European competitor, you’d have to spend five times as much, minimum.

GM has been producing competent Corvettes since the 1950s — two-seaters long on under-the-hood oomph but short on the kind of snob appeal that Aston Martins, Porsches and the like command. For all the performance prowess over time, there has always been some defensiveness on the part of Vette owners, who often cite one of the model’s best stats — its dollar-to-horsepower ratio. Those numbers are indeed impressive, but sports cars are about sex appeal; not every buyer sees the desirability of a lower sticker price over, say, Italian sheet metal.

Ironically, Corvette’s spiritual father and first chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov, was himself European — Belgian-born and a successful endurance sports car racer. Duntov joined GM in 1953 after seeing the first Corvette concept earlier that year in New York City (constructed, under the skin, largely out of GM truck parts, including Chevy’s “Blue Flame” six-cylinder engine).

From the beginning, Duntov dreamed of a midengine version of the Corvette, where the engine’s weight would help to balance the car’s handling and allow for a clear view over a short hood. He constantly lobbied GM’s top brass to bring such a forward-leaning configuration to market.

But the costs and engineering required to shoehorn a powerful V8 engine into a small space without the benefit of a long hood were onerous. So were other technical challenges — cramped passenger space, little cargo room and no place to tuck a convertible roof, to name a few. Eventually, Duntov and his successors built several midengine concepts but never a production version.

Fast-forward to today. According to Tadge Juechter, Corvette’s chief engineer, his team had finally reached the limit of how much performance they could squeeze out of the Corvette’s front-engine architecture. Also, it was clear the car’s loyal buyers were aging. Those factors, along with huge strides in areas like materials science and production capabilities, gave Juechter and his team the moment they had been waiting for.

But would the car’s traditional owners feel abandoned? “On the marketing side, this was a huge endeavor. We did a heck of a lot of research,” says Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet cars and crossovers marketing. “Could we retain loyalists and also attract new buyers who appreciate the configuration but who don’t have the best perception of the Corvette brand?”

Apparently, yes. “Die-hard Corvette fans didn’t believe that Chevy would really do it, but now that they’ve seen the car, no one is complaining,” says Mike Vietro, the founder of Corvette Mike, an Anaheim-based specialty sales, service and restoration shop that has been around for 38 years.

Think about it: a $60,000 midengine V8, capable of a sub-three-second zero-to-60 time, with the looks of a European exotic and the reliability and affordability of an American-made car. Against the odds, Chevy has managed to achieve the best of both worlds.

“The C8 demonstrates GM’s technical capability to run with the big boys in performance but at Chevy prices — one of the brand’s key philosophies,” says Don Runkle, former chief engineer for Chevrolet. “Another is a focus on racing. The new Vette epitomizes both.”

To that point, the C8’s track version, the C8.R, will make its endurance racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26. “With this new Corvette, there’s a direct linkage between the production-car and the racing programs,” says Majoros. “Working with the racing side is a great way to test new technologies that may find their way into production, and it’s also an internal training ground for engineering talent.”

From the epic expense of motorsports to the relatively low-volume nature of a sports car, it’s a small miracle, really, that the Corvette has survived at all, even putting aside where its pumping heart resides. Given economic downturns, gas price fluctuations, priority on new and greener powertrains, and the killing off of entire GM brands such as Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile, the car‘s endurance is testament indeed to its accomplishments and fan base.

So thank you, Chevy, for finally doing what Duntov envisioned and for setting a new high-water mark for an irresistible, ultra-high-performance car that is also financially approachable as well as user-friendly. If that doesn’t have the Corvette’s far pricier competitors quaking, I’ll bet the sales numbers will. According to Chevy, already 45,000 consumers have preordered a car online; deliveries begin in February.

2020 Chevrolet Stingray Coupe

Price: $59,995; $83,825 as tested

Engine: 6.2-liter V8

Horsepower: 490; 495 as tested with optional Z51 performance package

Torque: 465 lb.-ft. – 470 lb.-ft. as tested

0 to 60: 3 seconds; 2.8 seconds as tested

Original Source: Sue Calloway; LA times

Patience and understanding are more than necessary

If you’re waiting for an all new 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette, it’s only natural that you’re wondering when your allocation is going to come up. And, with production just now kicking off, it’s easy to wonder whether yours will be considered a 2020 or a 2021 model (and what pricing implications that will have on your bottom line.) I’m sure some of you have plenty of other questions too and now, thanks to Mike Furman – one of the most famous Corvette salesman in the world – we have some answers. Keep reading for a full update on the Chevy C8 Corvette and what’s going on behind the scenes.

CHEVY ISN’T PRODUCING C8’S SLATED FOR CUSTOMER DELIVERY YET

One of the most important things we’ve learned from Mr. Furman’s latest e-mail update is that Chevy’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant is exclusively producing C8 Corvettes, but none of them are going to make it into customer’s hands. According to Furman, all of the C8’s produced so far and those produced through the end of January, are all “captured test vehicles.” Now, no clarification beyond that was mentioned, but in most cases, these are the vehicles used to fine-tune the production process, make sure everything lines up the way it should, etc. Chevy could have other uses for these vehicles, but usually, they are destroyed or recycled once their purpose has passed.

IF YOUR ALLOCATION COMES AFTER THE 2021 MODEL YEAR SWITCH, YOU’LL PROBABLY PAY MORE

We all know that the initial 2020 models will be cheaper than subsequent model years, however, the difference in cost between the 2020 and 2021 models has yet to be revealed. In his latest E-mail, Mike Furman raised a very important point.

Pricing for 2021 models will probably go up, but historically GM has not raised the price by more than $2,500 year-to-year.

So, it won’t be outrageously more expensive if you receive a 2021 model over a 2020. And, as pointed out by Furman, the C8 Corvette landed at some $10,000 less than anyone expected anyway, so you’re getting one hell of a deal for a world-class sports car anyway.

C8 CORVETTE PRODUCTION FOR CUSTOMER CARS STARTS IN THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY

If you’re lucky enough to have one of the first customer car allocations (you’re probably not,) you could be riding around in your new Vette very soon.

The production of customer-bound cars starts in the first week of February and GM will begin delivery sometime after that.

And, if you were considering skipping the museum delivery because of not having paint film protection for the ride hone, you can now get XPEL applied at NCM Motorsports Park before you head our on your maiden voyage.

CHEVY IS LIMITED ENGINE TORQUE FOR 500 MILES BECAUSE YOU CAN’T FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS

When news about Chevy reducing torque in the C8 Corvette during the break-in period hit the net, some people lost their minds. Well, there’s a damn good reason that Chevy has to do it, and it boils down to the fact that people just don’t honor the break-in period as they should. As quoted on Mid-Engine Corvette Forum it has to do with ensuring that the break-in period is honored and, while torque will be reduced by 25-30 percent for around 500 miles, it doesn’t really affect performance that much:

“For the 8th generation Corvette, we have taken it a step farther. With more weight on the rear, the car has more traction and we take advantage of that with more aggressive gearing. That translates into more torque multiplication and more loads in the driveline. We decided for the first 500 miles to limit maximum torque in first and second gears. The torque reduction is roughly 25 to 30% depending on which transaxle (standard or Z51) and which gear. That may sound like a big reduction, but in reality the car is still really fast.”

The basic principle is that this is done to make sure the engine’s components wear properly during break-in and, ultimately, helps ensure the longevity of the engine. Apparently, Chevy is still going to ask customers to take it easy on the car during the break-in period too, so do yourself a favor and don’t get into it until you pass the golden 500-mile mark.

JAY LENO WAS THE FIRST NON-GM-EMPLOYEE TO DRIVE THE 2020 CHEVY C8 CROVETTE CONVERTIBLE Z51

ENJOY THE CHEVY C8 CORVETTE EXHAUST COMPILATION FROM DRIVE615

Source Robert Moore;Top Speed

Corvette C8.R impresses at Roar Before the 24, Daytona

The Corvette C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler at the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The C8.R is Corvette’s first mid-engine race car.

The Corvette C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler at the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The C8.R is Corvette’s first mid-engine race car.

The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24. The C8.R uses a 5.5-liter flat-plane crank engine different than the 6.2-liter push-rod engine that will be in the first production C8.

Chevy debuted the Corvette C8.R with the #3 and #4 cars. The race car gets lights in the lower fascia corners – where the production car has oil coolers. The #3 C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24.

At the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, the #4 Corvette C8.R driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler set fast time of the ‘Vettes – the time was just a tenth of a second off the fastest Ferrari.

The Corvette race car is lighter with more down-force (see the big wing) than the 3,647-pound production C8. The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24.

The Roar Before the 24 was the Corvette C8.R’s first outing in the IMSA Weathertech Series. The C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler.

The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg negotiates the infield turns at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24. The C8.R hits speeds of 170 mph ion the oval.

Ro leads USA Skeleton in North American Cup finale with two gold medals

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Jan. 7, 2020)– USA Skeleton athletes captured two spots in the top-three North American Cup standings, and collected five medals in the Lake Placid finale this week. Mystique Ro (Nokesville, Va.) led the way for the women’s team with two gold medals and wrapped up her season ranked third overall. Chris Strup (Defiance, Ohio) concluded a successful North American Cup tour ranked second overall in the men’s field, and secured two silver medals in Lake Placid. Daniel Barefoot (Johnstown, Pa.) earned the fifth medal this week for USA Skeleton by claiming silver in today’s finale.

Two single-heat races were held yesterday, and a two-heat race concluded the skeleton North American Cup season today.

Ro struggled in yesterday’s opening heat, finishing sixth with a run of 55.96 seconds. She said one-heat races are tough because you have “one shot, so you have to make it count.”

“Once that was in the books, I had to scrap it and move on,” Ro said.

Kellie Delka of Puerto Rico won with a run of 55.50 seconds. Yuxi Li from China claimed silver with a time of 55.52, and Korean Eunji Kim was third with a downtime of 55.60. Ro was the highest U.S. finisher in sixth.

Ro rebounded in yesterday’s second one-heat race, posting the fastest run of 55.69 seconds to capture her first victory of the week by 0.01 seconds over Kim. Canadian Jaclyn Laberge earned bronze in 55.82.

In today’s two-heat competition, Ro was in third position after a first heat time of 56.03 seconds. She made up nearly half a second to overtake the lead with a second run of 55.83, earning another gold medal with a combined time of 1:51.86.

“The second win is a great feeling,” Ro said. “I tried to play it safe during my first run, but I made some mistakes. I talked to Matt (Antoine) between heats and made the adjustment before I went down for my final run. I think this was crucial for me to learn that I can be confident in my training and in the knowledge I have gained to be able to put two runs together in competition. The support of my teammates and coaches has been great. I’m excited to continue training and see how we all progress.”

Laberge finished second to Ro with an aggregate time of 1:52.06, followed by Kim in third with a total time of 1:52.18.

Ro’s Lake Placid performances helped her secure third place overall in North American Cup points, despite missing three of the eight races this season while racing the European Cup. Kim claimed the title with 373 points. Nicole Rocha Silveira from Brazil finished second overall with 301 points, while Ro was close behind in third with 290 points.

Lauren McDonald (Fairfield, N.J.) had strong performances in her first-career competitive season. The up-and-coming competitor finished 12th and eighth yesterday, and 12th again today. McDonald and Ro are two of the fastest starters on the tour. McDonald pushed a start time of 5.32 seconds yesterday, and Ro pushed a 5.33. McDonald finished the season ranked fourth with 287 points.

Michelle Toukan (Central City, Neb.) placed 19th and 10th yesterday, and wrapped up her season with an impressive sixth place finish today. She is ranked fifth overall with 271 points. Emily Schelberg (Annapolis, Md.) was 18th and 14th yesterday, and she did not finish today’s competition after a crash in the first heat.

In the men’s field, Strup cracked into the top-six in the final stop season, earning two silver medals and a fourth-place finish. Strup claimed double silver medals in yesterday’s single-heat races. His first silver medal was earned with a run of 53.89 seconds. Wenhao Chen from China was victorious in 53.52, while Ander Mirambell from Spain was third in 54.15 seconds.

Strup claimed silver again in yesterday’s second competition with a downtime of 54.33 seconds. Wenhao was golden in 53.73, and Zilong Zhu from China earned bronze in 54.37.

Strup narrowly missed the medals today, finishing a mere one-hundredth of a second from bronze with a combined time of 1:49.04 for fourth place. Strup finished the season ranked second overall with 346 points.

Barefoot was today’s men’s medalist for the U.S. The Intercontinental Cup competitor posted the fastest run of 53.98 seconds in the first heat, and fell back by just 0.06 seconds in the second heat to finish with the silver medal. Wenhao swept the men’s races. He won today with a combined time of 1:48.24, followed by Barefoot with a 1:48.30, and Zilong in third with a cumulative time of 1:49.03.

“I knew that I’ve had enough runs here to win, but I would have to be at my best,” Barefoot said. “I think that self-inflicted pressure caused some unnecessary tension, but I’m glad to have experienced that and learned how to handle it. Just a couple big mistakes spoiled my runs for races six and seven, so I was pretty happy to clean them up a bit and dip into the 53’s on an overall slower day in race eight. I’m most excited about how much our team is improving overall. Everyone is making significant progress and walking with a little confidence their steps! It’s pretty cool to be around.”

Mirambell claimed the overall title with 370 points. Strup was second, and Nathan Crumpton from American Somoa finished third with 345 points.

Barefoot was fourth and fifth yesterday, and he finished the North American Cup season ranked seventh overall. He spent most of his time racing the Intercontinental Cup, thus missed points from three North American Cup races.

Kyler Sultemeier (Fredericksburg, Texas) concluded his first competitive season ranked 14th. He finished 12th in both of yesterday’s races, and 10th today. Hunter Williams (Carnegie, Pa.) also finished his first racing season. Williams finished 17th, 14th, and 17th, and is ranked 21st.

The North American Cup will officially conclude tomorrow with three four-man bobsled competitions in Lake Placid. Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results


Women’s skeleton race #1
1. Kellie Delka (PUR) 55.50;
2. Yuxi Li (CHN) 55.52;
3. Eunji Kim (KOR) 55.60;
6. Mystique Ro (USA) 55.96;
12. Lauren McDonald (USA) 56.93;
18. Emily Schelberg (USA) 57.65;
19. Michelle Toukan (USA) 59.13;

Women’s skeleton race #2
1. Mystique Ro (USA) 55.69;
2. Eunji Kim (KOR) 55.70;
3. Jaclyn Laberge (CAN) 55.82;
8. Lauren McDonald (USA) 56.59;
10. Michelle Toukan (USA) 56.78;
14. Emily Schelberg (USA) 57.42;

Women’s skeleton race #3
1. Mystique Ro (USA) 1:51.86 (56.03, 55.83);
2. Jaclyn Laberge (CAN) 1:52.06 (55.78, 56.28);
3. Eunji Kim (KOR) 1:52.18 (55.90, 56.28);
6. Michelle Toukan (USA) 1:53.43 (56.56, 56.87);
12. Lauren McDonald (USA) 1:54.49 (56.80, 57.69);
Emily Shelberg (USA) (DNF)

Men’s skeleton race #1
1.Wenhao Chen (CHN) 53.52;
2. Chris Strup (USA) 53.89;
3. Ander Mirambell (ESP) 54.15;
4. Daniel Barefoot (USA) 54.21;
12. Kyler Sultemeier (USA) 55.32;
17. Hunter Williams (USA) 55.95;

Men’s skeleton race #2
1.Wenhao Chen (CHN) 53.73;
2. Chris Strup (USA) 54.33;
3. Zilong Zhu (CHN) 54.37;
5. Daniel Barefoot (USA) 54.62;
12. Kyler Sultemeier (USA) 55.95;
14. Hunter Williams (USA) 56.30;

Men’s skeleton race #3
1.Wenhao Chen (CHN) 1:48.24 (54.17, 54.07);
2. Daniel Barefoot (USA) 1:48.30 (53.98, 54.32);
3. Zilong Zhu (CHN) 1:49.03 (54.67, 54.36);
4. Chris Strup (USA) 1:49.04 (54.40, 54.64);
10. Kyler Sultemeier (USA) 1:51.21 (55.60, 55.61);
15. Hunter Williams (USA) 1:52.46 (56.25, 56.21);

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

The C8 Corvette and Other NACTOY Finalists Discussed on Autoline TV

The 2020 Corvette Stingray was named as one of the three finalists for the prestigious North American Car of the Year Award and the winner will be named Monday morning (Jan 13th) in Detroit. The all-new mid-engine Corvette does have some stiff competition as it’s facing off against the redesigned Toyota Supra and the Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan.

If you’re looking for a scouting report on the three finalists, you’ve come to the right place!

In this recent episode of Autoline This Week, host John McElroy is joined by panelists Gary Vasilash, Jeff Gilbert and Lindsay Brooke to discuss the contenders up for what is by far the most important vehicle award of the year. All four members of the panel are “NACTOY Jurors” who tested each of the cars and they all weigh in on the strengths and weaknesses of each vehicle.

After watching this episode, I am feeling pretty good about the Corvette Stingray’s chances, but that Sonata does have a ton of style and technology for a $30K vehicle so it won’t be a given. Check out the full conversation below:

From Autoline Network via YouTube:

The North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) jury comprises roughly 50 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada. Every year they vote on the best new cars, trucks and utility vehicles that came out in North America. Three of the NACTOY jurors join us on Autoline This Week to discuss the three cars that made it to the finalists’ list, as well as some of the cars that did not make the list. They also predict which vehicles will win the awards for best car, truck and utility.

Panel: Garry Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production Jeff Gilbert, WWJ NewsRadio 950 Lindsay Brooke, SAE International John McElroy, Autoline.tv

Detroit Bureau Steve Burns will be live at the NACTOY award ceremony and will bring us any breaking news from the event. The North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards will be announced on January 13, 2020, at 8 a.m. in Detroit.

Keith Cornett; Corvette Blogger

Corvette Poised for Sebring WEC Return

#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg

Corvette Racing set for COTA-Sebring double FIA WEC run with C8.R

Corvette Racing looks set to contest the 1000 Miles of Sebring, in what would be the second consecutive FIA World Endurance Championship outing for the new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.

Sportscar365 has learned that provisional plans are in place to run the Sebring WEC race alongside its two-car factory GT Le Mans class program in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring the following day.

It would come as one of the prerequisites from the ACO, which has stipulated that the Pratt & Miller-run team must run in at least two regular-season WEC races in order to be guaranteed a pair of GTE-Pro entries for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The team ran the Shanghai WEC race in 2018 in addition to Sebring last year with its previous-gen Corvette C7.R.

While declining to comment or confirm on any WEC plans beyond its COTA entry, Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan said that it’s been their intention to run two regular-season races in the 2019-20 WEC season.

“Right now, that’s the plan but we’re running down a road,” Fehan told Sportscar365.

“We haven’t refined what exactly that plan is going to be. I couldn’t give you every detail and widget.

“We’ve been busy for a couple of years trying to race and design, build and develop the new car. This adds to the challenge of all of that.

“I think most people would understand that we don’t have it completely defined yet.

“It’s a case of dealing it in an orderly fashion.

“We can’t become overwhelmed too much with what’s going on down the road when we have to focus on what we need to accomplish [in Daytona] in a couple of weeks.”

While set to give the new mid-engined GTE contender its competition debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month, the car’s second race will come just four weeks later at Circuit of The Americas, with a single entry having been submitted for the WEC replacement round.

Fehan said details on that program, including drivers, have yet to be determined.

He explained the reason for doing the additional WEC races is to “try as best we can” to support the globe-trotting championship.

“We understand the value that has to the sanctioning body and the value to the global fan base,” he said.

“We know it’s important but they also know the business side of it that prevents us from doing both things. They get that.

“I think they also appreciate how hard we’re trying to make all of the accommodations we can to keep the ball moving down the field. 

“It’s not easy for us and they know it’s not easy for us and they appreciate that.”

No Issues in 2019 ‘Super Sebring’ Endeavor

Fehan said the team faced no issues in its double-duty endeavor at Sebring last year, in what was only the second-ever time the team raced three cars between two different series on the same weekend. 

In addition to its over-the-wall crew and several other staff, drivers Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller took part in both Friday’s eight-hour WEC race and the around-the-clock IMSA enduro the day later.

“That worked out great,” Fehan said. “We were lucky because we had enough equipment.

“It’s not like you can piggyback what you have set up. You’ve got to have a completely additional set of stuff.

“Between stuff that we had in stock and stuff that we had for the Cadillac program, we had enough in place.

“That system is getting better and we learned from that on all the things we did right and all the things that we know we could improve upon.”

Source John Dagys; SportsCar365

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