This coming Sunday, March 16, Toyo Tires will be a part of history as 2014 Team Toyo Dakar rally driver and professional skier Guerlain Chicherit attempts a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Longest car ramp jump. Chicherit plans to soar 360 feet (110 meters) in his specially constructed Monster Energy / Toyo Tires MINI equipped with Toyo Open Country M/T tires. The GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt will take place in the scenic resort of Tignes, France. The current record is 332 feet (101.19 meters) and was set on May 30, 2011, by former Team Toyo driver and two-time Formula Drift Champion Tanner Foust.
“Our tires have won championships in the desert and on the track,” said Amy Coleman, senior director of marketing, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “We are thrilled to now take them to the snow and support Guerlain in his GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt to complete the world’s Longest car ramp jump. He is a proven champion and truly lives the all or nothing attitude embodied by our athletes and our tire owners.”
Toyo Open Country tires are known for their traction, durability, and uniformity. These qualities provide Chicherit with an added level of comfort as he prepares for the attempt this weekend.
“I have been a professional driver for 10 years now and I must say this is the first time I am so confident with my tires. When you drive fast in the Dakar race or when you make your car do incredible performances, you have to trust your tires 100-percent,” said Guerlain Chicherit. “In addition to top products, Toyo Tires and I share the same values and state of mind.”
An accomplished athlete and native of Tignes, Chicherit won the 2009 FIA Rallye Raid Championship and is a four-time Freeride Skiing World Champion. In February 2013, he performed a sensational back flip with his MINI in Tignes; the video of the feat has captured over four million views.
Source: Toyo Tires
Photo: Toyo Tires
Bryan Herta Autosport announced March 5 that Jack Hawksworth will drive its Honda-powered No. 98 car for the 2014 IndyCar season.
The 23-year-old British driver tested with BHA at Sebring in February. The strength of his pace and feedback, combined with proven success in every junior category in which he has competed, made him a surprise contender for one of the last remaining seats in the IndyCar Championship.
“Quite frankly, Jack really impressed us with a very strong test in Sebring last month,” team co-owner Bryan Herta said. “He has had success at every level he has competed in to date and we believe he has the skills to maintain that going into the IndyCar series. Jack is well aware of the level of competition he is stepping into and we look forward to the season ahead.”
Hawksworth started racing karts at the age of 13 and won the national Gold Cup competition in only his sixth karting race. He continued racing successfully in karts until 2010, when he moved into open wheel racing in the highly-competitive Formula Renault U.K. Winter Series. There, he earned the pole position in every round of the championship, finished third in the championship and was the highest-placed rookie.
In 2011, Hawksworth moved to the United States to begin working his way up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder. He dominated in the 2012 Pro Mazda Championship, breaking the record for most wins, poles and fastest laps in a season. Last year, Hawksworth competed in Indy Lights, winning three races and finishing fourth in the championship.
“I am absolutely delighted to be racing for Bryan Herta Autosport in the 2014 IndyCar Series,” Hawksworth said. “It has been a dream of mine for many years and I can’t wait to get started. We had a great first test in Sebring that has given us a solid foundation on which to build our campaign. There’s a lot of talent and potential in the No. 98 team. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it and look forward to an exciting year ahead. I have to say a big thank you to Bryan, Steve (Newey), the team and everyone involved for putting their trust in me. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Photo: Chris Owens, IndyCar Media
Spaniard Oriol Servia will compete at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, with the goal of adding more races to the schedule.
“We have had the pleasure of working with Oriol before and are looking forward to his return,” team co-owner Bobby Rahal said. “I have always respected his ability to develop the race car and be a productive member of the team so when it came time to consider the possibility of a second entry he was right at the top of the list. We are happy to have him back and look forward to having him help the team progress toward the front.”
Servia, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 191 starts in Indy car racing since 2000. His Indy car highlights include one win (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia, 2005) as well as a total of 19 top-three, 51 top-five and 100 top-10 finishes. He competed for the team in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 and ran in the top 10 before a mechanical failure forced him to retire.
“Continuity is a very important part of success in any racing team,” said Servia, who competed in 12 of the 19 races in 2013 with Panther-DRR and Panther Racing. “By my moving to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, this happens at many different levels. On the team side, in 2009 we did the 500 together as a one-off race. We were running very strong until we had a fuel pump fail on us but that one race left us with a sensation that we could do great things together. That same year I did a short stint at Newman Haas, where my teammate was Graham (Rahal), and that also started a great chemistry between us that translated to results on track where we finished third and fourth in the last race we ran.
“There are a lot of people in the team that I have worked in the past. Actually John Dick, one of the latest arrivals to the team, was my race engineer in my rookie year at PPI, and on and on. There are enough synergies within the team that make me feel positive that even if we may be starting a little late, we will hit the road running.”
Servia will participate in the IndyCar Series Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park March 17-18 in an RLL entry.
Photo: IndyCar Media
DeltaWing Racing Cars announced today that emerging young racing star Gabby Chaves will join veterans Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Chaves gained his first sports car racing experience in the DeltaWing coupe at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, recovering from a first lap incident to complete a successful two hour stint in the late evening hours. The 20-year-old Colombian-American – who has an extensive karting and Formula car resume, including a runner-up finish in last year’s Indy Lights title chase – looks forward to taking the lessons learned at Daytona and putting them to work at Sebring.
“Aside from the out lap, I had a good stint at Daytona,” said Chaves, “and I’d like to repeat that at Sebring. Learning how to deal with cars running at such different speeds around you was definitely one of the biggest things to get used to. You have to take into consideration that it’s a very long race, so you don’t want to make any low percentage moves – but you want to make up time when you can and not leave anything on the table. It’s a very fine balance, but it’s one of the important things I can take to Sebring from Daytona.”
Chaves is no stranger to the fabled airport circuit, having raced and tested there numerous times in his young career.
“I did four or five race weekends in Skip Barber plus three or four days testing on the full course, so I’d say I have close to 1000 miles on the big track.”
Team Manager David Price hopes that Chaves enjoys a similar success to other young racers who have driven for DeltaWing Managing Partner Don Panoz over the years.
“Don has always been good at spotting young talent, guys like Klaus Graf and Gunnar Jeannette, who drove for him in their early years,” said Price. “Hopefully Gabby will follow in their footsteps. I was impressed with his enthusiasm for this form of racing and he deserves another opportunity to show what he can do with the car.”
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring takes place on Saturday, March 15.
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