September 2017 News
Records Broken at Monza Qualifying

Sep 2 - After a 3 hour rain delay, the Formula 1
drivers sparred on a wet track, hoping to get through
quals without more rain.  

Q3 for the pole went to the last second with
getting his 69th pole - the most ever in F1

18 y/o
Lance Stroll, driving for Williams, set another
F1 record, the youngest driver ever to qualify for the
front row of the grid!
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USF2000 Championship

Sep 3-  Oliver Askew won the Cooper Tires USF2000  
championship at Watkins Glen International.

The 20-year-old from Jupiter, Florida, played it
conservatively today, opposite from his approach to
seven wins this season. His runner-up finish to
in the 17-lap race on the challenging permanent
road course earned Askew the title in the first rung of
the Mazda Road to Indy, sanctioned by INDYCAR.
Pro Mazda Championship

Sep 3 -  Come wet or dry, Victor Franzoni and Juncos
Racing have been the class of the field in this year’s Pro
Mazda Championship. They have been pushed hard by
Anthony Martin and Cape Motorsports, but a
commanding performance this morning in tricky wet
conditions in the Pro Mazda Watkins Glen Grand Prix
Presented by Cooper Tires saw Franzoni, 21, from Sao
Paulo, Brazil, lead from flag to flag in the series finale.
The pole sitter for the race, Askew lost the lead on the
opening lap in Turn 1 to championship rival VeeKay but
maintained a level head.

“My mindset going into the race was to stay clean,” said
Askew, driver of the No. 3 Mazda Motorsports/MC
Racing Mazda Tatuus USF-17 for Cape Motorsports.

“If I had any contact whatsoever, it risks me losing the
championship. So I was taking it super clean. I had a
run on Rinus going into the Bus Stop, but it was just a
tricky situation so I just let him go. After that, it was
just running consistent laps and just not making a
mistake, and that’s what we did.”

The last year has been a whirlwind for Askew, who has
turned one scholarship into three – Team USA, MRTI
Shootout (which earned him the opportunity to race in
USF2000) and now, a Mazda scholarship worth nearly
$400,000 for a seat in the second rung of the MRTI
ladder in 2018 – the Pro Mazda Championship.

“Within a year, I’ve won three scholarships now. That’s
pretty crazy,” said Askew.

“That’s something that I’ve dreamed of. I did not think
that was going to be possible, but here we are. I look
forward to having great success in the future with
Mazda Racing and just keep going through the ladder
and learning as much as I can and winning races.”
Oliver Askew
Franzoni’s seventh win of the season assured him of
both the championship crown and a Mazda Scholarship
worth almost $800,000 to assist in his progression to
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the top rung on
the Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel development
ladder, in 2018.

Victor Franzoni (#23 Juncos Racing): “I am so happy,
but there are so many things in my mind right now. It’s
unbelievable. So many people helped me to get into Pro
Mazda this season. I grew up five or 10 years in my
career this season. The difference for me was Juncos
Racing this year, they gave me such a great car. The fight
with Anthony was incredible. He’s really, really good. I
had to push so hard to stay with him. We were so close
in every single race and pushed to the limit all the time.
This was the hardest season of my life, because I knew
I could not make a mistake. We both did a great job and
I think we both deserve to move forward.

“There were so many things on my mind on that last lap
that I couldn’t focus. The team told me to be careful
when the white flag came out, and suddenly, I couldn’t
drive! When I saw the checkered, it was so great. To
know where I will be next year now is the best thing in
the world. I want to thank everyone at Mazda, Cooper
Tires and Andersen Promotions. I didn’t get just prize
money today, I got hope.”
Victor Franzoni
Kyle Kaiser (#18 Juncos Racing): “I never could have
imagined this at age 7, getting into a kart for the first
time.  It has been an absolute dream. But it’s been a
strange feeling today, because it wasn’t the best race.
The championship never entered my mind during the
race – I was just trying to manage the conditions. I think
these were the trickiest conditions we’ve had all year.
I tried pushing and that’s why I spun.  But I just really
wanted to bring the car home.  We just won the Indy
Lights championship and it’s time to celebrate. When
I got to the podium and
Dan Andersen, John Doonan
Chris Pantani were there to give me the
champion’s trophy, I started to realize that it was real.
Indy Lights Championship

Sep 3 - Aaron Telitz, from Birchwood, Wis., put on a
clinic today in treacherous conditions to win the Mazda
Indy Lights Watkins Glen Grand Prix, while Juncos
Kyle Kaiser wrapped up the Indy Lights
championship title with a steady seventh-place finish.

Telitz’s Belardi Auto Racing teammate,
Santi Urrutia,
from Uruguay, finished in second place, well clear of
Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing’s polesitter
Colton Herta,
from Valencia, Calif.

Third-year Indy Lights racer Kaiser needed only to begin
one of the practice sessions this weekend to achieve his
goal of clinching the championship and a Mazda
Scholarship valued at $1 million to guarantee him entry
into three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018,
including the 102nd Indianapolis 500.

Kyle said, “I am so appreciative of my time on the Mazda
Road to Indy. The new Indy Lights car has been a perfect
transition. The experience I’ve gained these past three
years, not rushing it or wanting to move up too soon has
been so valuable. All the race experience will translate
into IndyCar.”
Drivers representing no fewer than 14 nations highlight the international appeal of the Mazda
Road to Indy as all three steps on the open-wheel development ladder – Indy Lights, Pro Mazda
and the USF2000 – concluded today at the famed Watkins Glen International road course in
upstate New York.  Mazda Scholarships and year-end awards valued at $2,682,000 will be
presented at the traditional awards banquet to be held in Watkins Glen tomorrow.
Kyle Kaiser
See the drivers interviewed in this video from today (Sept 4)  Awards Banquet Reception
Indy Women in Tech Championship

Sep 11 - The LPGA tournament held at the Speedway's
golf course this past weekend is a new event.  It is called
the Indy Women in Tech (IWIT) championship
presented by Guggenheim and attracted 144 of the best
female golfers in the world.  The LPGA last held a
contest here in June 1968.  This was the first major
touring professional golf series hosted at the Brickyard
Crossing since 2000.  

The course was created in 1929.  Paul (Pete) Dye did a
complete remodel of the course in 1960, which brought
the first professional golf tournament to the newly
crowned "Brickyard Crossing".  Then in the early 1970s,
the IMS Museum moved from the corner of 16th Street
and Georgetown Road to inside the oval. That forced the
removal of some of the original nine holes in the infield,
and nine redesigned holes were built in a smaller,
“executive” footprint.  Now there are four holes inside
the IMS oval and 14 outside the backstretch of the oval.  

With a lights-out 19-under 197 at Brickyard Crossing
Golf Course,
Lexi Thompson captured the inaugural
IWIT Championship by four strokes over
Lydia Ko

Thompson spent most of Saturday’s final round in cruise
control, draining six birdies to two bogeys in her 4-under
68. She carried a four-stroke lead over Ko to No. 16,
where her wayward drive found the water and
temporarily put a stop to Thompson’s momentum.

But even that bogey was not enough to stop the 22-year-
old from South Florida.  Thompson birdied the reachable
par-4 18th to capture her ninth career LPGA victory.  
Like the winning race car drivers, Thompson got a
ceremonial wreath, drank the traditional milk and kissed
the bricks of the track's start/finish line.  She also drove a
lap around the track in the 2017 Corvette pace car,
reaching 122 mph.

She is projected to move to World No. 2 with the
Former World No. 1 Lydia Ko showed flashes of her
well-known brilliance at Brickyard Golf Course, finishing
second for her best finish since April’s LOTTE
Championship presented by Hershey. But while the New
Zealand native can certainly take many positives from
her play this week, it just wasn’t enough to match
Thompson’s dominant performance.

Ko pointed to putting as the key difference, as she
needed 85 putts to make her way around the golf course
to Thompson’s 77.

“Lexi played great, especially down the stretch,” said Ko,
who has now gone 28 tournaments without a victory, the
longest such stretch of her LPGA career. “She had some
3-, 4-footers for par and bogey and she was able to
knock them all in, so it just shows the confidence that
she was playing with. But yeah, I had a great time being
in this position.”

While she may not have won,
Ko added her name yet
again to the LPGA Record Books. In her 93rd start as a
professional and with the $186,096 runner-up check, Ko
became the fastest player in LPGA history to cross $8
million in career earnings.

Minjee Lee finished third for the final podium spot,
punctuating her final round with an eagle-3 at No. 14
and finishing at 13-under 202.

LPGA rookie
Olafia Kristinsdottir, the first Tour’s
player from Iceland, chipped in for eagle at No. 18 to cap
Saturday’s 4-under 68 and take solo fourth at 14-under
203. It is the first top-10 finish of her young LPGA
career, besting her T13 showing at the 2017 Aberdeen
Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

Candie Kung, who started Saturday’s final round just
one stroke off the lead, shot a 2-over 74 on Saturday and
finished tied for fifth at 12-under 204, along with
, Lizette Salas, Brooke Henderson and Ashleigh
. Moriya Jutanugarn rounded out the top 10 at
11-under 205.
Lexi Thompson
Grand Prix of Sonoma

Sep 17 - Sonoma didn’t produce the exciting race many
hoped for with seven different drivers in contention for
the championship, with long stretches of near-
processional racing on a track with few opportunities to
pass.   Points leader
Josef Newgarden entered the race
just 3 points ahead of
Scott Dixon after crashing exiting
the pits at Watkins Glenn two weeks ago, allowing Dixon
to cut into his points lead.  Reigning 2016 champion
Simon Pagenaud started the race 3rd in points.

Despite winning the the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma
on Sunday, Pagenaud fell shy of reclaiming the Verizon
IndyCar Series championship.  And Dixon's Honda-
powered car was not fast enough to compete with the
Penskes Sunday.

The 33-year-old Pagenaud pulled a four-stop strategy,
while the other championship contenders elected to stick
with the common and conservative three-stop plan,
which left the Frenchman to focus on one thing: Go as
fast as he could.

The driver of the No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske
Chevrolet started his sequence on Lap 11, pitting from
fourth for a set of Firestone alternate (red-sidewall) tires,
and began to ascend on what he called the most intense
drive of his Indy car career. Finding the lead on Lap 21,
the fight for the top spot was a tussle of strategy
between Pagenaud and Team Penske teammate and
Newgarden the remainder of the 85-lap race at Sonoma

The combination of strategies came to a head on Lap 65
as Pagenaud came out of the pits with a set of Firestone
primary (black-sidewall) tires just in front of his title rival.

The NBC Sports' commentators were dismayed that
Newgarden had not been using his push-to-pass button
so that he would have been ahead when Pagenaud left
the pits.  Apparently Newgarden was playing it safe by
trying to save fuel.  He had most of his push-to-pass
boost left at the end of the race, something that is rare.

As the two navigated a high-speed chess match around
the 12-turn, 2.385-mile road course, it hit its climax at
Turn 7 as Newgarden attempted a dive move. Pagenaud
was quick to close the door and ride off to victory for
the second consecutive year in Napa Valley.

In the end, it was still not enough, as Pagenaud fell 13
points short of Newgarden en route to finishing second
in the championship.

Pagenaud was the only driver to complete all 2,331 laps
this season.
Tony Kanaan is the only other driver to do
it in a season, when he won the championship in 2004.

The new IndyCar champion is 26 y/o.  He won the most
races this year.   This was his first year with Team Penske
and he scored career highs in wins, podiums and laps led.

Newgarden is only the second American in 11 years to win
the IndyCar title, joining 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-

The final standings went Newgarden, Pagenaud, Dixon,
Helio Castroneves and Will Power. Chevrolet drivers
have won every championship but one since the engine-
supplier returned to IndyCar in 2012, and the
brand has beaten Honda every year for the
manufacturer championship.
Ed Jones won Rookie of the Year
Roger Penske and Josef Newgarden
Newgarden's Verizon Penske Chevy
Simon Pagenaud drinking the local beverage
Wet Night Race in Singapore

Sep 17 - Things were optimistic at Ferrari
entering the weekend for it was thought their
greater downforce would give them an
advantage over Mercedes who was just
ahead of them in points.

Sebastien Vettel was only 3 ponts behind
Lewis Hamilton going into the race and he
had the pole position while Hamilton would
start back in 5th.

Starting beside Vettel was Red Bull's
.  Behind Verstappen was the
Ferrari of
Kimi Raikkonen.

At the run down to the first turn of the race, Raikkonen
had a great start pulling up next to Verstappen on his left
as he went to pass him.  Vettel was up ahead on his right.

Verstappen then moved slightly to his left and clipped the
rear tire of Raikkonen which caused him to spine across
the front of Verstappen and hit Vettel!  Verstappen could
not avoid hitting them too and all three were done.

Fernando Alonso made an even more amazing start
from 8th place, but alas he too got caught up in the
melee and hit hard broadside.

Lucky Hamilton inherited the lead and went on to win
the race, followed by the Red Bull of
Daniel Ricciardo
and then the Mercedes of
Vallteri Bottas.
Mercedes Teammates - Bottas and Hamilton
Carnage at Start of Grand Prix
Results for SCCA Runoffs
Sept 25 - Oct 1, 2017