Aloha, Oregon, June 11, 2018 - Having endured one of the longest off-season’s of her impressive career, Cindi Lux was ready to get back on track.
Lux Performance Group has opted to focus on a six-race Trans Am Series schedule in 2018 for Cindi. The Fred and Cindi Lux-owned operation returns with the Dodge-built Viper, which the Aloha, Oregon-based team has developed and become synonymous with since 2005.
The black and red ACRX engineered by Fred took on the 2.439-mile, 13-turn road course at Indy beginning with a test session on Friday, June 15. Running clockwise - counter the oval made famous by the Indianapolis 500 - the permanent road course utilizes large portions of the oval including nearly the whole front straightaway as well as a purpose-built infield sections. Cindi made her first laps on the track last season and has some unfinished business after mechanical gremlins forced an early retirement.
“2018 is all about fueling our story,” Cindi says. “Lux Performance has always been about going out there, tightening the belts and putting the right foot to the floor. We’ve done some off season testing but nothing beats going head-to-head with the best in the Trans Am paddock... I have missed it. We have been testing some new parts this spring and we have yet to dial things in. But the team has thrown the kitchen sink at the car with some changes and my fingers are crossed. I am chomping at the bit to start turning laps that mean something.”
Cindi has history with America’s most storied track, and a score to settle.
“Last year, I had a terrible weekend and I had to retire with a mechanical issue so I have some unfinished business. I think I got a total of 10 laps the entire three days we ran there and that is not the way we usually are. It’s time to knock off the rust and go play on ‘the bricks’. I am pretty fired up. It has been a long winter and I am ready to go racing!”
The 42-lap, multi-class race covered a distance of 102.06-miles with a 70-minute time limit, and Cindi wasted little time reminding the Trans Am Series Presented by Pirelli that she was back in the cockpit.
The Aloha, Oregon-resident overcame the intense heat and the competition to earn third-place in the TA3 class during the 42-lap race on the 2.439-mile, 13-turn road course in Speedway, Indiana. The June 17 race is the first of six Trans Am races scheduled for the season by the husband-wife duo of Fred and Cindi Lux.
The popular driver from the Northwest could not have chosen a more challenging race to make her return to the cockpit. With the ambient temperature exceeding 90-degrees Fahrenheit and the track surface burning at 144 F the race would be as much a fight with the conditions as with the other 32 cars on track. The V10 rumbling in front of her is a great tool on the straights of the Indy road course - including the iconic front straightaway run backwards of the famous layout of the Indianapolis 500 - but horsepower and torque numbers quickly gave way to the number on the thermometer. Having qualified an impressive fourth-in-class, as the 70-minute race charged toward the checkered flag, Cindi found herself deep in a battle for third-place. The heat began to take its toll on competitors with caution periods caused by overheating machines and drivers slowing the pace. With the slow laps behind the safety car, the temperature inside the American supercar would scream upward as the massive engine heat-soaked the cockpit. Remarkably, data recorded inside the Viper coupe documented a sustained high exceeding 155 F.
Despite the soaring temperatures, Cindi dug deep within herself to stay up on the wheel capturing third-place when the track went green. Despite the unrelenting heat causing a slick track, which abused the Pirelli racing tires, which in-turn required more concentration and physical manipulation of the car, Cindi held on to score her 12th career Trans Am Series podium. She has two previous victories.
“It took me a while to knock off the rust and get up on the wheel after being out of the car so long. So I was a little disappointed in myself on the test day. It all came back smoother on Saturday. I don’t think I was ever so happy to see a checkered flag than I was on Sunday. I was melting inside the car. I didn’t really want to know the cockpit temperature of the car during the race. It was brutal but when we were green I was able to focus and work my way up to the podium. That is a solid start to the year and the Viper really showed itself well.”
Lux Performance Group provides full-service race services and custom components to both club level and professional series drivers. Their truly unique and eclectic background provides a limitless realm of possibility in the any area of car construction - including custom fabrication, specialty safety structures, platform development, hybrid technologies and electric motor specialization - as well as business plan development and implementation. A true “one stop shop” for all things automotive.
Continuing its history of long-term partner relationships, Lux Performance returns with Black Rock Coffee Bar in 2018. The ever-growing chain of coffee specialists has locations in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Idaho. Lux Performance Group and Cindi continue as ambassadors of the brand around North America helping to fulfill Black Rock’s core philosophy to “Fuel Your Story””; a campaign focused on connecting and benefiting everyone in the community with interaction and communication. Black Rock has helped “fuel” Lux’s story, and Lux theirs, since 2011.
Joining Black Rock on the No. 45 Viper will again be CoolShirt, Forgeline Wheels and MCS shocks.
The race is the second of 2018 to be live-streamed through the Trans Am web site (www.GoTransAm.com). A tape-delayed broadcast of the event can be seen on the CBS Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. in the Portland area on Sunday, July 1.
For more on Cindi Lux, please visit www.CindiLux.com. Follow Cindi on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/CindiLux, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OfficialCindiLux and http://instagram.com/cindilux on Instagram. text
SCCA Pro Racing has named Sydney Davis Yagel as Senior Manager of Race Operations.
Davis Yagel, who will focus on assisting the vice president in various operational roles including interfacing with sanctioning bodies, manufacturers, track promoters and sponsors, has spent the last 10 years managing MSR Houston events and schools.
During her tenure at MSR Houston, Davis Yagel also held positions as the Circuit of the Americas Motorsports Operations Marshal Coordinator and as the Houston and Louisiana Grand Prix Race Chair.
“I am very pleased that Sydney has accepted the position of Senior Manager of Race Operations for SCCA Pro Racing here in Indianapolis,” said SCCA Pro Racing Vice President Steve Oseth. “Sydney’s varied background and passion will be a big asset for our Indy office.”
Davis Yagel, a 26-year member of the Sports Car Club of America, embraced her role in the SCCA by extending her expertise to serve as the Houston Race Chair for 10 years.
She then moved on to serve as the Houston Region’s SCCA Regional Executive. Her exceptional volunteerism within the SCCA did not go unnoticed as she was awarded Worker of the Year for her efforts in race administration and the SCCA Member of Excellence in 2016.
“I am very excited to join the SCCA Pro Racing team. After a lifetime of being involved with the SCCA, this is the ideal next chapter of my career. I can’t wait to start this adventure, and I’m looking forward to hit the ground running,” said Davis Yagel.
DAYTON, Ohio - Forgeline Motorsports, the custom race wheel experts, has signed on as an official sponsor of the Pirelli World Challenge for 2018. Forgeline has decided to join the official sponsorship ranks because of their long-term involvement and commitment to the series, as well as the company's desire to grow with the event in the future.
"Racing is why we exist and it's also a part of our history at Forgeline Motorsports," said Dave Schardt, president. "Sponsoring the Pirelli World Challenge was always a goal for us, so now we're extremely proud to be a part of such an important series in the racing world."
An active participant in the series since its transition to its current name and setup, Forgeline has been a favored wheel brand for challenge participants for two decades. Dave Schardt recalled, "Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Forgeline was one of the only USA custom race wheel manufacturers, and we had half of the field on Forgeline wheels."
RealTime Racing founder and competitor Peter Cunningham has used Forgeline wheels on many of the team's Honda and Acura racecars over the years. Cunningham said, "We choose Forgeline for a number of reasons, including their build quality, strength and light weight. Forgeline wheels have the added bonus of looking great on the cars, and we're planning to use their wheels for many years to come."
In the new world of homologation, Forgeline is the only USA made wheel in the GTS field. Forgeline is the wheel of choice for the Mustang GT4, the Camaro GT4R and the Panoz Avezzano. Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples were the GTS and GTSA champions last year driving their GT4R Black Dog Racing Camaros.
"We are pleased to partner with Forgeline as an official sponsor of the Pirelli World Challenge. Forgeline has been a fixture in our paddock with their support of teams across all classes for many years. Their brand's legacy of quality and performance is a welcome addition to our Series," said Greg Gill, president and CEO of the Pirelli World Challenge Championships.
The 2018 Pirelli World Challenge road racing schedule will begin in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, March 9 to 11 followed by COTA March 23 to 25, the streets of Long Beach, California., April 13 to 15, Virginia International Raceway April 27 to 29, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18 to 20, Lime Rock Park May 25 to 28, Road America June 22 to 24, Portland International Raceway July 13 to 15, Utah Motorsports Campus August 10 to 12 and Watkins Glen International August 31 to September 2.
The 2017 season culminated for Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda champion Kyle Kirkwood on Friday evening as the up-and-coming star was honored on the same stage as Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton during the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony at the historic Palace of Versailles in France.
The year-end event celebrates the achievements of the FIA championship-winning drivers and teams from around the world.
Highlights of Kirkwood’s evening were walking the red-carpet through the golden palace gates, meeting his racing heroes, receiving a private tour of the Palace and being seated next to the other F4 champion’s from around the world during dinner.
“The whole night was surreal,” Kirkwood said. “I felt a part of the international racing community especially when I talked to Lewis Hamilton about the F4 and F1 race at COTA.”
Additional honorees were, F1 World Championship competitors Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas, five-time FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier, FIA World Endurance Championship winners Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley, as well as the last WTCC champion ever Thed Björk, along with other FIA champions around the world.
The Pirelli World Challenge professional sports car series will race in Portland as part of the traditional Rose Cup Races at Portland International Raceway from July 13 to 15, 2018.
"We are very pleased to bring our entire Pirelli World Challenge field to the famed Portland International Raceway and the racing fans in the Northwest," said Greg Gill, President and CEO of WC Vision, the promoter for World Challenge. "The tradition of the Rose Cup Races has been a staple in the Portland area for nearly 60 years and we believe the PWC weekend will be another exciting chapter to the legacy of road racing at PIR. With many of the iconic automobile marques in our series, fans will see some outstanding competition at a great race track. We can't wait to get back to Portland next July."
The news follows last month's announcement that IndyCar racing will return to Portland next year. A new race in the series will be called the Portland Grand Prix and will at PIR over the Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, 2018.
LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 12, 2017) – Ernie Francis Jr. posted a dominating – if unexpected – flag-to-flag victory in the First Energy 100 Trans Am Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Saturday and he depended on Katech Performance to get the job done.
Francis stormed to his fifth victory in seven starts this season in his Ford Mustang after suffering a cracked piston during a practice session Thursday. The engine was trucked to Katech’s shop in Detroit and returned to Mid-Ohio in time to be installed in the car Saturday morning. Francis led every lap Saturday. Qualifying was washed out by rain Friday, allowing Francis to start on the pole and he was never headed. It was the 28th victory for Francis in Trans Am competition.
“This will be a race we’ll remember for a long time.” Francis Jr. said after the win. “Without Katech, we would never be in this position. Katech was our savior. To be able to turn the engine around in a couple of hours … was just incredible.” Katech’s director of motorsports, Kevin Pranger, made a final adjustment just minutes before the race.
Francis didn’t just win the race in his Breathless Racing/Buoniconti Fund/Beta Tools Ford Mustang. He set a race lap record (1 minute, 22.236 seconds) during the event. The former record had stood for five years. During the race, Francis withstood pressure first from two-time defending series champion Amy Ruman and then Martin Ragginger. Even a late-race caution flag that brought the field back to Francis couldn’t wrest the victory away from the Katech power in Francis’ car.
Katech’s Pranger commented, “Ernie Jr. said he felt something during practice and he shut off the engine quickly. The team stayed up late Thursday pulling out the engine. They loaded it up and drove it to our shop, where Katech’s technicians were waiting for it, tools ready. That’s the level of service Katech offers our customers.”
Ernie Francis Sr., the driver’s father, concurred, saying, “We’ve known Kevin for a long time. Having his engine expertise is great!”
It was worth a win Saturday. It could be worth a championship later this year.
Aloha, Oregon, June 13, 2017 | In 1991 the original Dodge Viper RT/10 paced the field for the 75th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Five years later the Dodge Viper GTS was at the point of the 33 car starting grid at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Now, in the marque's 25th and final year of production, Cindi Lux will be the first woman to race North America's premier front-engined supercar at the famed "Brickyard". The 12-time road racing champion from Aloha, Oregon will make her season debut in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli championship on June 17 in the No. 45 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper ACRX Fueled by Black Rock Coffee.
The Indianapolis event, which runs in conjunction with the very popular SVRA-sanctioned Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, marks another milestone for Lux and her husband / engineer and Lux Performance Group partner Fred Lux. 2017 is the 30th year that the combination has raced together. During that time they have won over 80 races, had more than 160 podium finishes and have sat on the pole position for more than 50 races. That success has garnered twelve road racing championships including the 1999 American Le Mans Series Women's Global GT Series SCCA NorPac T1 Class Championships from 2003 - 2006. The operation also ran Dodge's SRT Viper Cup Pro/Celebrity program from 2010 - 2012. Cindi Lux has been closely linked to Viper since 2005 as a factory driver with Dodge Motorsports (2005-2007), Mopar (2008) and SRT (2012).
Lux has had many firsts in her career, but joining the elite names that have raced at the Speedway, Indiana-track since its 1909 debut is a long overdue dream realized. The premiere of Trans Am at Indy has given the veteran racer the opportunity. The Hall of Fame driver will have her first laps of the 2.43-mile, 14-turn IMS road course on Thursday, June 15. The 100-mile/75-minute TA/TA3/TA4 race will start at 3:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 17. The race will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network at Noon Eastern Time, June 24 with a rebroadcast on July 1 at Noon.
Lux Performance Group will have a second Dodge Viper ACRX entry at Indianapolis for Dirk Leuenberger (Bellevue, Washington). Leuenberger will make his Viper debut in the No. 35 AquaStar Lux Performance Group ACRX at Indy. With Leuenberger just beginning his motorsport career, Lux is working as a driver coach and program manager for the rookie. The yellow and blue Viper will run in SVRA races over the weekend.
Lux Performance again returns with longtime partners Black Rock Coffee Bar, CoolShirt, Forgeline Wheels and VR Motion for the limited 2017 season. The two-car effort will enter up to eight handpicked races split between the primary Trans Am Series on the east coast and limited single-car entry in the Trans Am's new West Coast Championship.
To kick-off "Indy Week", Cindi Lux was asked to take a prestigious role at the Viper Rendezvous (www.viperrendezvous.com) in Hastings, Nebraska. She made opening remarks on Thursday evening, June 9, and was the Keynote Speaker on Saturday, June 11. She instructed select Viper owners entered for track time in advance performance driving and racing.
SCCA Pro Racing and the Trans Am Race Company extend contract to 2042
LAS VEGAS (Jan. 19, 2017) – After marking their 50th Anniversary in 2016, the Trans Am® Series, presented by Pirelli Tire, and SCCA Pro Racing® are set to celebrate their Diamond Anniversary after signing an unprecedented 25-year agreement with the Trans Am Race Company (TARC).
The landmark deal is the continuation of TARC's licensing and services agreement with SCCA Pro, securing the management, marketing and operational platform that has seen Trans Am grow substantially since the creation of the original partnership in late 2011.
The partnership announcement was made during a press conference held at the annual Sports Car Club of America® National Convention in Las Vegas.
"This unprecedented agreement gives both TARC and SCCA Pro the opportunity to focus on the future of the Trans Am Series," said John Clagett, President of The Trans Am Race Company. "While these past few years have been a tremendous success, we are still working towards our final vision. This agreement allows both partners to concentrate on building and constantly improving the Series. We appreciate the trust and confidence that SCCA Pro has shown in us, and with the operation rights to the Trans Am name secure, we will be shifting our efforts towards building a market platform that emphasizes longevity."
While the renewed partnership between SCCA Pro and TARC will allow both entities to continue building a top professional series, it will also vertically align the Trans Am Series with SCCA® Inc., creating an easy crossover from amateur racing to professional sports car racing to more than 65,000 SCCA club members.
"SCCA Pro Racing is dedicated to running, managing and supporting programs that align with SCCA Club Racing," SCCA Pro Racing President and CEO Mike Collins said. "Trans Am just celebrated its 50th year of competition, crowning champions who all belonged to the SCCA. SCCA Pro is proud that we will continue our relationship with the Trans Am Race Company for the next 25 years. By committing to a long- term relationship with mutual goals, our organizations can focus on making the series great by leveraging both of our resources together to offer a clear path from amateur motorsport to professional racing."
SCCA Pro will continue providing crucial services to Trans Am, including staffing, industry standard participant accident insurance and sanctioning. TARC will remain the marketing and management arm of the Series taking on promotion, the writing and interpretation of rules and staff selection in key roles.
SCCA Pro and the Trans Am Series partnership commenced on March 25, 1966, with a field of 44 cars at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. Future Formula One World Champion Jochen Rindt took the overall victory and Bob Tullius won the Over 2-Liter class. Other first-year notables included A.J. Foyt, Richard Petty, Jerry Titus and Belgium's Jacky Ickx.
After five decades of racing, the series has grown, fielding nearly 80 cars during its 2016 debut race.
"We know there is plenty of work ahead of us," said Clagett, "but with our ownership, competitor base, partners and this long-term agreement in place, I'm confident in TARC's ability to continue, and complete, our work: the restoration of Trans Am to the forefront of North American road racing."
Trans Am will kick-off its 51st season with the Trans Am Championship March 4-5 at Sebring International Raceway. With the addition of Trans Am West Coast Championship, the TARC will host 17 individual events across the continental United States.
For scheduling and more information on transitioning from club racing to professional racing through Trans Am, visit GoTransAm.com.
About the Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli:
The Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli, began igniting the passion of motorsports fans across the world in 1966 and has been home to some of the greatest names in road racing. Today, Trans Am continues to honor its legacy, while challenging the status quo in racing, through meaningful racing platforms and a driver-oriented focus. The Trans Am Series is operated by The Trans Am Race Company, LLC (TARC), and oversees the management and marketing of the Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli. SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides operations services to the Series.
Defending Champions include: Amy Ruman (TA), Tony Buffomante (TA2), Randy Mueller (TA3) and Ernie Francis, Jr. (TA4).
For more on the Series visit www.gotransam.com, "like" Trans Am on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam, or follow Trans Am on Twitter at @gotransam.