Known within the Sports Car Club of America as the FM class, Formula Mazda is one of the more affordable open wheel racing classes available today, slotted between Formula F and Formula Continental in terms of both cost and performance. The series originally grew out of a group of chassis built by Hayashi in Japan for the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, which made their debut at the 1984 Long Beach Grand Prix.
Mike Skeen is a guest contributing editor to Winding Road. Mike is a professional racer, currently running Pirelli World Challenge in the GT class with an Audi R8. He has recorded numerous regional and national championship victories across various motorsport disciplines from shifter karts and formula cars to GT and touring cars of all types. You can follow along on his exploits through Mike's website, MikeSkeen.com, as well as his YouTube channel.
After good finishes at Road America and Toronto that put us back into championship contention, we had three weekends to battle for the big prize. We went to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in early August, Raceway Sonoma at the end of the month, and Miller Motorsports Park in early September for the finale.
Watch as Nick Tandy in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3 R battles with Mike Skeen in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Audi R8 Ultra and Kuno Wittmer in the No. 92 Dodge/SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R for the top spot in the July 20th Pirelli World Challenge race at the Honda Indy Toronto, Round 10 of the 2014 season.
Although Tandy came close to clenching first place, his race would end in sheer disappointment after a spin on Lap 23 at Turn 1 following contact with Wittmer. Nick Mancuso, of Chicago, in the No. 16 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, hit Tandy exiting the corner as Tandy was trying to right his car. That knocked both drivers out of the race, and Tandy was left stranded at Turn 2 for the remainder of the day. Wittmer held on from there over Lazzaro by 1.260 seconds, with Skeen able to bag a fortunate podium in third place.
Today we’ve wrangled one of Ford’s most capable pickups for a thorough look from top to bottom, and then head out on the road for a pair of POV test drives. For 2015, the Super Duty line of pickups gets a new optional 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8 which outputs 440 horsepower and a stump-decimating 860 pound-feet of torque. Naturally the F350’s towing capacity has risen as well, with the maximum fifth-wheel/gooseneck trailer figure now pegged at an astronomical 26,500 pounds.
Whether we head to the track once a year or twice a month, we all need a gear bag that's capable of transporting the essentials without being a cumbersome hassle. This Super Speedway Gear Bag will tote everything you need (and likely a whole lot more) for an event whether you're racing for 1, 2, 3 or even 4 days. There's a dedicated helmet storage section and enough room for multiple suits, gloves, shoes, underwear and head and neck restraint devices.
And you get all this in a perfectly-laid-out bag that's easy to move around thanks to the heavy-duty wheels and multiple grab handles.
Classic: Porsche 917
By Ronan Glon / September 26, 2014
In the late 1960s, the FIA created a new category of racers in a bid to draw more competitors to the World Sportscar Championship (WSC). To be eligible to compete in the new category, cars had to weigh at least 1,763 pounds and have an engine with a displacement of under 5.0 liters. Additionally, manufacturers needed to build just 25 examples of each car, significantly less than the 50 examples that were required in the above-5.0 liter class. The looser requirements made competing in the WSC cheaper and accessible to smaller teams.
A Harness for Every Occasion
Starting from $1,590.00
These Sabelt harnesses are homologated to FIA 8853/98 with aluminum adjusters and many configurable options. The Gold Series harnesses are Sabelt's top of the line racing harnesses. They are black in color and feature a lightweight carbon insert on the camlocks.
Gear Spotlight: Safecraft Restraint Systems Center Head Net
By Winding Road Staff / September 24, 2014
If there’s one aspect of your racing equipment where you should never consider cutting corners, it’s your safety gear. Center nets are designed to prevent ejection from the vehicle in the event of a crash or rollover, and some sanctioning organizations require a window net system for competition. Today we’ll be checking out the Safecraft Restraint Systems Center Head Net system, which is offered in Kevlar and polyester material options, and includes some unique design elements that warrant a closer look.
One of Many Forms of Restraint Used On-Track
Many sanctioning organizations require arm restraints for competition. These Simpson Arm Restraints come in three colors and feature padded arm bands for maximum comfort.
Speed Secrets Quick Tip: The Most Important Corner
By Ross Bentley / September 16, 2014
Which is the most important corner on a race track? Most performance and race drivers of all levels simply follow the “corner leading onto the longest straight” guideline – and they often get beaten by drivers who focus on different corners. Which ones? I share my thoughts in this Speed Secrets Quick Tip. - Ross
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