April 8, 2019
BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK, ALABAMA
Touting #DriveAnything, Parker Thompson got behind the wheel of the #3 JDX Racing – Hertz – Byers Porsche GT3 Cup Car this weekend for his first experience in fender-to-fender racing action at the 2019 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA season opener.
“… I know Barber Motorsports Park very well with my background in open wheel cars, but this was a huge learning weekend for me…”
As an experienced open-wheel race car driver, Thompson’s debut in the series generated significant intrigue about his potential in sports car racing. The final results did not disappoint. At the conclusion of each race, Thompson found himself celebrating on the podium. Third-place finishes in both race one and race two, position him 3rd overall in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA Championship standings.
Both races saw hard battles and close quarter racing that is characteristic of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, but race two was particularly close. Thompson’s #3 car took damage on lap four, destroying the front splitter and significantly challenging his pace from that point forward.
As a result, Thompson found himself on the defence against sophomore drivers Maxwell Root, and JDX Racing teammate, Jeff Kingsley. Root showed tremendous pressure, often going side-by-side with Thompson on the winding road course, but he never managed to execute a full pass. Root would eventually collide with lapped traffic, leaving Thompson to defend Kingsley alone. The battle between the two young Canadians lasted right to the checkered flag, with Thompson managing to hold his spot and earn the final podium position.
With this outstanding result, Thompson is excited about future opportunities to race in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, but remains focused on the Indy Pro 2000 Championship. After winning the opening two races at the season opener in St. Petersburg last month, Thompson holds a significant lead in the Championship points standings.
“… I know Barber Motorsports Park very well with my background in open wheel cars, but this was a huge learning weekend for me. I think I learned more about racing in the last four days than I have in the past year! I was driving a car that I’d never driven before; I had a new team and new crew behind me and the JDX Racing guys were just awesome. We all gelled really quickly and the atmosphere and communication under the tent was outstanding. The #3/JDX Racing/Hertz/Byers Porsche got better with every change and my understanding of what it takes to drive this car fast also grew. I’m ecstatic with our performance this weekend, but I’m equally as hungry for more results…” – Parker Thompson
Click below to learn more about Parker Thompson Racing.
The Raptors (Ridgefield Raptors that is) are coming to Edmonton next summer
At first word that the Raptors will be spending a few days in Edmonton next summer, sports fans might be excused for jumping up and down at the thought of a high-profile NBA event.
But the Raptors under discussion play another game — baseball — and they’re based not in Toronto but in Ridgefield, Wash., a small centre near the Washington-Oregon border which claims fewer than 10,000 residents in its Wikipedia profile. Edmonton — officially labeled the Riverhawks — is now a partner in the West Coast League, which develops college players and has seen several top prospects selected in recent Major League Baseball drafts.
Also joining this week are teams based in Kamloops and Nanaimo, bringing the British Columbia contingent to four teams. Victoria and Kelowna were already members of what now is a 15-team organization.
Teams currently occupy Yakima, Wenatchee, Walla Walla and Port Angeles in Washington, as well as Bend, Corvallis and other communities in Oregon.
The city of Edmonton confirmed months ago that the Edmonton Prospects of the Western Canadian Baseball League would not be returning to Re/Max Field. Several years of association with Pat Cassidy and the Prospects had led to difficult feelings on both sides.
The Prospects are developing a new facility in Stony Plain. It will be ready for competition in 2022. Cassidy has said his team will find another place to play in 2021. All comments on next year and beyond are based, of course, on the progress of local, provincial and national fights against COVID.
Randy Gregg, the former Edmonton Oilers defenceman who led the new group’s campaign to function in Re/Max Field, unveiled his new organization at a well-attended news conference and said several options concerning the WCBL were considered but “there were continuing roadblocks.”
During months of negotiation, Gregg and his supporters did not communicate with the public. Neither did city council. “When you sign a non-disclosure agreement, you have to abide by it. Your signature has to mean something,” he said.
Gregg insisted the Riverhawks organization has no ill feelings about the WCBL. “It might have worked well,” he said. A few casual remarks were made about the potential value to this entire region if both the WCBL and the WCL are profitable.
The Edmonton approach includes sharing in travel costs for existing West Coast League teams. Similar situations made it difficult for a pair of so-called “independent” teams to operate in the years after the Edmonton Trappers were sold and Edmonton had no significant baseball.
Gregg is convinced the new load of travel costs will not be insurmountable. The Riverhawks are a collection of 28 contributors. He also pointed out that at least a couple of Edmonton’s new partners are owned or controlled by owners with major-league connections.’
“We’ve got a big job ahead of us,” he said. “We know that a lot of baseball fans have never seen a game at Re/Max Field.”
As things were unfolding between the Prospects and city officials, there were regular suggestions that no lease would have been granted for the WCBL in 2021. “Can you imagine what it would feel like to have no baseball for maybe three or four years in this great sports city?”
ACAC suspends competition for Fall 2020
From Red Deer College Communications
Red Deer College supports decision and will alter upcoming Athletics season
The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) has decided to suspend competition during the 2020 Fall term due to COVID-19 precautions.
As a result, an adjusted conference schedule will begin in January 2021, which includes a delay to cross country running and soccer seasons until the spring.
“As a member of the ACAC, Red Deer College supports the decision and recognizes that it was made very carefully with the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, officials, athletics staff and fans in mind,” says RDC President Dr. Peter Nunoda. “While the announcement is emotional for many, the College is dedicated to working with our student-athletes, coaches and staff during this time as we prepare to compete in the Winter term.”
Today’s announcement from the ACAC aligns with the decisions made from other conferences and governing bodies across the country due to COVID-19. The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), of which the ACAC is one of five conference members, cancelled four 2020 Fall National Championships, affecting the typical September start for RDC Soccer and Cross Country Running.
U Sports, the national governing body of university sport in Canada, cancelled six fall national university championships and many of its conference members also postponed league games.
Canada West cancelled team competitions for the 2020 Fall term. Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS) postponed their sanctioned sport programming and championships until January. Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) has not made a formal announcement.
“I understand that the suspension of fall competition is disappointing for many, but the College and RDC Athletics will support our student-athletes on many levels, one of which includes our commitment to awarding RDC athletics scholarships to student-athletes who meet revised eligibility criteria,” says RDC Athletic Director Diane St-Denis.
“RDC Athletics is collaborating with the College’s Ancillary & Sport Services to identify a return to training plan for our teams, according to the health and safety protocols set by the Government of Alberta. Our coaches will stay highly engaged with our student-athletes over the following months, overseeing the training programs in preparation for a January start.”
While sports activity within the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will look much different for the fall, there is plenty of excitement for competition in the new year. In addition to the regular season commencing in January, the Red Deer College Queens will host the ACAC Women’s Volleyball Championship from Feb. 25-27, 2021 at the Centre. Then shortly after, the RDC Queens Basketball team will enter the postseason as hosts of the ACAC Championship from March 4-6, 2021.
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