Connect with us

Sports

Parker Thompson takes his first win in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA

Published

4 minute read

Thompson Earns His First Sports Car Win in a Wet and Wild Weekend at Mid-Ohio
MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE, LEXINGTON, OHIO

In a weekend mired in rain and cool temperatures, Parker Thompson navigated treacherous conditions to win his first sports car race in Race 3 of the 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA at Mid-Ohio. For Race 4, the second of two races at the Acura Sport Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, Thompson finished 2nd. That result put him on the podium four times in four races to kick off his career in sports cars.

Weather was a big factor for official practice sessions on Friday, where many cars did not even venture out on track. Thompson however, showed promising pace in the #3 JDX Racing / Hertz / Byers Porsche, eclipsing the fastest lap time of his competitors by nearly 3 seconds.

With wet conditions continuing into Saturdays qualifying session, there were high expectations for Thompson. Multiple incidents on track however, ended the session with no timed laps completed. As a result, the starting order for Race 3 was determined by driver championship points standings. Thompson would start in third position, on the inside of the second row.

In steady rain, Thompson cleanly piloted the #3 car past championship contenders Riley Dickinson and Roman DeAngelis, before pacing away from the pack. In an incident filled race, with eleven out of 22 laps driven under a yellow flag, all except for five cars would fall a lap down to Thompson. In only his third race in the car, Thompson showed a dominant victory and solidified the fact that he is a contender for the overall championship.

With clearer conditions on Sunday, Race 4 began with Thompson on pole position, and championship leader Roman DeAngelis immediately behind him on the second row. The two Canadian drivers battled hard for ten laps before DeAngelis squeezed by to take the lead position. Thompson held second for the remainder of the race. Four races into the 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA season, and Thompson’s sports car career, he has found the podium in each of four races.

“The results this weekend are truly exciting. With the help of Hertz and Byers Porsche, the JDX Racing crew has put together a great race car. While I was happy with my pace right from the start of the season, there is still room for improvement. This weekend was a great indicator of progress, and a sure sign that we can contend for the overall championship. I’m honoured to work with a great team of people, and so excited for what the future holds.” – Parker Thompson

Now sitting second in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA championship standings, Thompson finds himself vying for two unique racing championships. He is the current championship leader in Indy Pro 2000,where he will be competing May 10th –12th at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.  ThePorsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA season resumes June7th at the Montreal F1 Grand Prix.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

Follow Author

Sports

NHL to stop testing asymptomatic players post-All-Star break

Published on

The NHL will stop testing asymptomatic players, coaches and staff who are fully vaccinated following the All-Star break in early February, saying coronavirus cases continue to decline across the league.

The league and Players’ Association announced the protocol changes Tuesday. The current policy will remain in place until the All-Star break begins Feb. 3.

There will still be testing of asymptomatic individuals when it is needed for crossing the U.S.-Canada border. Testing will not be required at All-Star Weekend, with one negative result needed to return to team facilities after the break.

The NHL and NHLPA agreed to keep the five-day isolation period that went into effect Dec. 29, a reduction from 10 after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control updated its COVID-19 guidance. The league and union will review protocols, including enhanced rules that are currently in place, on Jan. 31 as long as cases keep declining.

A total of 160 players went into COVID protocol from Dec. 29-Jan. 11 after 208 in the two weeks prior to the chance. All players on active rosters are vaccinated except for Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi.

So far this season, 104 games have been postponed, including several because of attendance restrictions in Canada. The league is expected to announce a wave of rescheduled games Wednesday, including many getting moved into the two weeks that had previously been set aside for the Olympics.

___

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press

Continue Reading

COVID-19

Djokovic leaves Australia after losing deportation appeal

Published on

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening after losing his final bid to avoid deportation and play in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19. A court earlier unanimously dismissed the No. 1-ranked tennis player’s challenge to cancel his visa.

Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling but respected it.

A masked Djokovic was photographed in an Melbourne airport lounge with two government officials in black uniforms. He left on an Emirates flight to Dubai, the same United Arab Emirates city he flew to Australia from.

He has won a record nine Australian Open titles, including three in a row, but this time won’t even get the chance to try.

“I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said in a statement.

Djokovic said he was “uncomfortable” that the focus had been on him since his visa was first canceled on arrival at Mebourne’s airport on Jan. 6.

“I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love,” he said.

The national federation that runs the tournament, Tennis Australia, said it respects the decision of the Federal Court. “We look forward to a competitive and exciting Australian Open 2022 and wish all players the best of luck,” it said in a statement.

A deportation order also usually includes a three-year ban on returning to Australia.

In Serbia, President Aleksandar Vucic said the hearing was “a farce with a lot of lies.”

“They think that they humiliated Djokovic with this 10-day harassment, and they actually humiliated themselves. If you said that the one who was not vaccinated has no right to enter, Novak would not come or would be vaccinated,” Vucic told reporters.

He said he told Djokovic after talking to him “that we can’t wait to see him in Serbia, to return to his country, to come where he is always welcome.”

He did not say whether Djokovic said he would first go to Serbia after his deportation.

Chief Justice James Allsop said the ruling came down to whether the minister’s decision was “irrational or legally unreasonable.”

Hawke welcomed the decision. His office did not immediately provide detail of how or when Djokovic would leave.

“Australia’s strong border protection policies have kept us safe during the pandemic, resulting in one of the lowest death rates, strongest economic recoveries, and highest vaccination rates in the world,” Hawke said.

“Strong border protection policies are also fundamental to safe-guarding Australia’s social cohesion which continues to strengthen despite the pandemic,” he added.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed what he described as the “decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe.”

But opposition spokesperson on the home affairs portfolio, Kristina Keneally, said Djokovic was being deported for what he said and did publicly overseas before the government gave him a visa in November.

“This mess isn’t a failure of our laws. It’s a failure of Morrison’s competence & leadership,” Keneally tweeted.

The pandemic response has become politically charged with Morrison’s conservative coalition seeking a fourth three-year term at elections due by May.

Infection rates have soared across much of Australian since December when Morrison’s government relaxed what had been some of the democratic world’s toughest restrictions on international travel.

“I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this,” he said.

The court process that Djokovic had hoped would keep his aspirations alive for a 21st Grand Slam title was extraordinarily fast by Australian standards.

Within three hours of Hawke’s announcement on Friday afternoon that Djokovic’s visa was canceled, his lawyers went before a Federal Circuit and Family Court judge to initiate their challenge to the decision. The case was elevated to the Federal Court on Saturday and submissions were filed by both sides that same day.

The three judges heard the case over five hours on Sunday and announced their verdict two hours later.

There was evidence that Djokovic was to be deported based on Hawke’s assessment that he was considered a “talisman of a community of anti-vaccination sentiment.”

Hawke’s lawyer Stephen Lloyd took aim at Djokovic’s anti-vaccination stance and his “history of ignoring COVID safety measures.”

Lloyd raised the example of Djokovic giving a French newspaper journalist an interview last month while he was infected with COVID-19 and taking off his mask during a photo shoot. Djokovic has acknowledged the interview was an error of judgment.

The minister canceled the visa on the grounds that Djokovic’s presence in Australia may be a risk to the health and “good order” of the Australian public and “may be counterproductive to efforts at vaccination by others in Australia.”

Djokovic’s visa was initially canceled on Jan. 6 by a border official who decided he didn’t qualify for a medical exemption from Australia’s rules for unvaccinated visitors. He was exempted from the tournament’s vaccine rules because he had been infected with the virus within the previous six months.

Vasek Pospisil, a Canadian who won the 2014 Wimbledon men’s doubles title and has worked with Djokovic to form an association to represent players, tweeted: “There was a political agenda at play here with the (Australian) elections coming up which couldn’t be more obvious. This is not his fault. He did not force his way into the country and did not ‘make his own rules’; he was ready to stay home.”

Pospisil wrote that Djokovic wouldn’t have tried to go to Australia at all and “been home with his family” had he not received the medical exemption.

Djokovic has won nine Australian Open titles, including three in a row, and a total of 20 Grand Slam singles trophies, tied with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most in the history of men’s tennis.

Djokovic’s dominance of late has been particularly impressive, winning four of the last seven major tournaments and finishing as the runner-up at two others.

The only time he did not get at least to the final in that span was at the 2020 U.S. Open, where he was disqualified in the fourth round for hitting a ball that inadvertently hit a line judge in the throat after a game.

Because Djokovic has withdrawn from the tournament after Monday’s schedule was released, he has been replaced in the field by what’s known as a “lucky loser” — a player who loses in the qualifying tournament but gets into the main draw because of another player’s exit before competition has started.

That player is Italian Salvatore Caruso, who is ranked 150th in the world.

___

Associated Press writers John Pye in Melbourne, Australia, Howard Fendrich in Washington D.C., and Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia, contributed to this report.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Rod Mcguirk, The Associated Press

Continue Reading

Trending

X