From Parker Thompson Racing
In a season that has seen Parker Thompson take part in races belonging to four different championship series, a tight Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires championship battle has been a source of renewed energy and motivation. Between Indy Pro 2000, GT3 Cup Challenge, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship, the young Alberta native has competed in twenty-seven races this year. Driving the #8 car of Abel Motorsports, Thompson currently holds second place in the overall Indy Pro 2000 Championship standings. He is coming off a double-duty weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto, where he combined for three podiums and four top-five finishes in Indy Pro 2000 and GT3 Cup events.
“In terms of action on the track, this season has certainly been busier than I could have ever imagined. Maybe at some point I’ll grow tired of racing almost every weekend, but that is pretty hard to imagine when we are caught up in championship battles like this one in Indy Pro 2000. The Road to Indy is where I started my racing career, and a championship here would mean so much to me. It’s a hard fight though. There are three of us [Kirkwood, Frost and Thompson] all within five points of each other for 2nd place in the standings. And I’m sure that each of us are looking up at Lindh in that first-place position more than we are looking at each other.”
The series travels to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend for Championship Rounds 10 & 11. The 2.25-mile track is one familiar to Thompson. He earned a win there earlier this year in GT3 Cup. Given the tight nature of the Indy Pro 2000 championship race, a win again seems like the only sure way for Thompson to improve his position in the standings. With experience at multiple levels on the Road to Indy though, Thompson takes a slightly different stance.
“Of course winning is always the objective, but this is a long season that often rewards consistency. After winning the first two races in St. Petersburg, I’ve been reminded often how important that consistency is. With Abel Motorsports, we’ve made a lot of headway this year. One single performance isn’t going to earn us the title. If our group can continue in the direction that we’ve been headed over the last couple of weekends though, then I’m very excited about our chances.”
About Parker Thompson
Red Deer, Alberta native Parker Thompson is regarded as one of Canada’s premiere racing drivers. He started racing karts at age 8 and his natural talent and competitive drive quickly elevated him to international level competitions. By age 13 he was ranked 3rd in the world in Rotax Max karts. Now 21 years old, Parker continues his successful career racing on the Road to Indy, and in multiple sports car series.
German court rejects climate lawsuit against automaker BMW
BERLIN (AP) — A German court on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit by environmental campaigners seeking to force automaker BMW to stop selling vehicles with combustion engine by 2030.
The group Environmental Action Germany, also known by its German acronym DUH, argued that manufacturers such as BMW pose a threat to people’s right to property, health and life if they continue making vehicles that produce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Munich regional court ruled Tuesday that while the plaintiffs’ arguments couldn’t be dismissed from the outset, “at present there is no threat of illegal encroachment” of their rights.
Judges noted that German and European lawmakers, spurred partly by a 2021 ruling by Germany’s top court, have taken numerous measures to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord. As such there was no absence of laws that would warrant civil action against BMW “at last not at this time,” they said.
The Munich-based automaker welcomed the ruling, saying efforts to cut emissions should be determined by democratically elected parliaments, not in the courts.
DUH said it was satisfied the court had recognized the permissibility of their lawsuit in principle. It plans to appeal the ruling.
The group said vehicles sold by BMW in 2021 were responsible for more emissions of planet-heating carbon dioxide than countries such as Finland or Portugal produce in a year.
A similar lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz was rejected by a German court last year and the appeal is pending.
A third lawsuit, against energy company Wintershall Dea, is scheduled to be heard in August.
Elon Musk’s next drama: a trial over his tweets about Tesla
By Michael Liedtke in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — While still grappling with the fallout from a company he did take private, beleaguered billionaire Elon Musk is now facing a trial over a company he didn’t.
Long before Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion in October, he had set his sights on Tesla, the electric automaker where he continues to serve as CEO and from which he derives most of his wealth and fame.
But the buyout never materialized and now Musk will have to explain his actions under oath in a federal court in San Francisco. The trial, which begins on Tuesday with jury selection, was triggered by a class-action lawsuit on behalf of investors who owned Tesla stock for a 10-day period in August 2018.
Musk’s tweets back then fueled a rally in Tesla’s stock price that abruptly ended a week later, after it became apparent that he didn’t have the funding for a buyout after all. That resulted in him scrapping his plan to take the automaker private, culminating in a $40 million settlement with U.S. securities regulators that also required him to step down as the company’s chairman.
Musk has since contended he entered that settlement under duress and maintained he believed he had locked up financial backing for a Tesla buyout during meetings with representatives from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The trial’s outcome may hinge on the jury’s interpretation of Musk’s motive for tweets that U.S. District Judge Edward Chen has already decided were a falsehood.
Chen dealt Musk another setback on Friday, when he rejected Musk’s bid to transfer the trial to a federal court in Texas, where Tesla moves its headquarters in 2021. Musk had argued that negative coverage of his Twitter purchase had poisoned the jury pool in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Musk’s leadership of Twitter — where he has gutted the staff and alienated users and advertisers — has proven unpopular among Tesla’s current stockholders, who are worried he has been devoting less time steering the automaker at a time of intensifying competition. Those concerns contributed to a 65% percent decline in Tesla’s stock last year that wiped out more than $700 billion in shareholder wealth — far more than the $14 billion swing in fortune that occurred between the company’s high and low stock prices during the Aug. 7-17, 2018 period covered in the class-action lawsuit.
The lawsuit is based on the premise that Tesla’s shares wouldn’t have traded at such a wide range if Musk hadn’t dangled the prospect of buying the company for $420 per share. Tesla’s stock has split twice since then, making that $420 price worth $28 on adjusted basis now. The shares closed last week at $122.40, down from its November 2021 split-adjusted peak of $414.50.
After Musk dropped the idea of a Tesla buyout, the company overcame a production problem, resulting in a rapid upturn in car sales that caused its stock to soar and minted Musk as the world’s richest person until he bought Twitter. Musk dropped from the top spot on the wealth list after the stock market’s backlash to his handling of Twitter.
The trial is likely to provide insights into Musk’s management style, given the witness list includes some of Tesla’s current and former top executives and board members, including luminaries such as Larry Ellison, Oracle co-founder, as well as James Murdoch, the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The drama also may shed light on Musk’s relationship with his brother, Kimbal, who is also on the list of potential witnesses who may be called during a trial scheduled to continue through Feb. 1.
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