EMS Race Team’s 2018 Ferrari Challenge season began in Florida at the Daytona International Speedway. It is now set to conclude at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy on November 1-4 during the Ferrari Challenge World Finals. Along the way, driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari have made stops at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Australia, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in New Zealand, Circuit De-Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Brno Circuit in Czech Republic and the Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore. While racing to raise awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and Cornerstone of Hope in their eighth different country this season during the upcoming trip to Italy, EMS Race Team will look to add to the total of six podium finishes they’ve earned throughout the year.
“We’re definitely looking to finish strong during the Ferrari Challenge World Finals in Italy,” Weiland said. “It’s been a great season for us and to compete for a podium finish at Monza to cap things off would be great. But regardless of the outcome, our goal is to work together and put forth our best effort as a team. If we accomplish that much, we’ll be able to live with the results.”
The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is one of the world’s most iconic circuits not only because it is one of the oldest tracks in the world, but also because it is one of the most unique. Located north of Milan near the city of Monza, the historic track was first opened for competitive racing in 1922. Since then, it has gone on to host the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix every year since the event’s inception. This year, it will be hosting the Ferrari Challenge World Finals event known as the Finali Mondiali for the first time since 2006. The major features of the track include the Curva Grande, the Curva di Lesmo, the Variante Ascari and the Curva Parabolica. The high-speed curve, Curva Grande, is located after the Variante del Rettifilo which is positioned at the end of the front straight—the part of the course that sees the highest speed.
“We’re excited to be racing to raise awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle and Cornerstone of Hope in our eighth different country this season,” Weiland said of the upcoming trip to Italy. “While we’re at Monza, we plan to do our best to spread the word for those three tremendous causes. Hopefully we can get them up on the podium during what’s sure to be a terrific weekend of racing.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than three million members and supporters. Products proudly displaying the bunny logo are cruelty-free, meaning that they were produced without testing on animals. Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child. Cornerstone of Hope, meanwhile, provides support, education, and hope for the grieving.
For behind the scenes coverage of the Ferrari Challenge World Finals in Italy throughout the weekend, be sure to follow EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
During a trip to Circuit Mont-Tremblant last month, EMS Race Team driver Jim Weiland split the driving duties with his coach, Conrad Grunewald. The duo managed to bring home first in the Enduro, one of the many accomplishments for the Cornerstone of Hope / EMS+ / Ferrari of San Francisco Ferrari 458 Challenge “Erin” since coach Grunewald got on board. This past weekend, Grunewald also helped Weiland navigate Erin through some wet and competitive races back at Mont-Tremblant, as the 2015 Ferrari Challenge season continued.
Conrad got his start in road racing back in 2000 at a racing school in California, taking a 3-day racing course. After the course he got a job as a mechanic at the racing school where he spent quite a bit of time driving the 2-liter open wheel formula cars. In 2002, he raced in the school’s open wheel championship and was hired as an instructor for the school.
By 2003, Conrad was driving the data car for the racing school’s race series. In 2004, he received his first opportunity in the drifting world where he was one of 12 drivers representing the USA in the USA vs Japan D1 drift event in Fontana, CA. Conrad has competed the last 10 years in Formula Drift and is currently driving a 900HP Chevy Camaro in the Formula Drift Championship.
Although Conrad spent the majority of his time focusing on drift, he also spent plenty of time racing in IMSA and coaching in Ferrari Challenge. He currently works with the EMS Race team by helping Jim Weiland setup their 458 EVO Challenge car as well as hone his driving skills.
“Conrad has been great at helping us take our driving to the next level,” Weiland said. “He helps push forward by not only offering instruction, but also getting in the car to demonstrate how different turns or parts of the track should be handled. His experience as a driver really pays off in that capacity and has helped us improve a great deal.”
Not only is Grunewald part of the EMS team on the track, but he also uses EMS+ to accept payments off the track as well. It’s a mobile payment method that Grunewald said has served him well throughout his time as an instructor and coach.
“EMS+ makes it very easy to process a transaction right at the track or wherever I am with my clients,” Grunewald said. “The low 2.25% processing rate is very attractive along with the 24/7 customer service. It’s a big part of my business as a racing coach and really helped streamline my business ever since I signed up.”
To keep up with Conrad on and off the track, check out his Instagram page and follow on Twitter.
EMS Race Team is powered by ems+ and competes to raise awareness for Cleveland’s Cornerstone of Hope Foundation. This past weekend, EMS Race Team competed in the Ferrari Challenge races at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.
Race 1–which ended in a podium finish–was dedicated to Cornerstone’s upcoming series of summer camps designed to help support those who lost someone they loved.
After qualifying second in class and seventh overall on Saturday, Jim Weiland and the Ferrari of San Francisco team added another trophy to the collection with a second place finish in Race 1.
“The Ferrari of San Francisco team did a great job getting us ready to race on Saturday,” Weiland said. “While we’re always looking for a first-place finish, it was great to get onto the podium in Sonoma. The best part was being able to help raise awareness for the great work that our friends and neighbors at Cornerstone of Hope do for our community. Hopefully we were able to help others learn a little bit about the Cornerstone team along the way.”
During race weekend, we caught up with Coach Conrad Grunewald and several members of the Ferrari of San Francisco team for a behind-the-scenes look at Sonoma. Those videos and photos are below.
Coach Conrad Grunewald talks about reviewing video and data in between practice sessions.
Andrew talks about preparations for Qualifying from the paddock at Sonoma.
Behind-the-scenes with Dave in the Ferrari of San Francisco Garage at Sonoma.
Rudy talks about adjustments and prep work on Saturday at Sonoma.
Starting in the 15th position for Race 2, the EMS+ car quickly passed six cars in front of them. But alas, the second race was unfortunately cut short after contact to the right rear of the car on Turn 3. That contact spun out the No. 18 car driven by Weiland and forced an early exit from the race. Overall, though, the weekend was a big success and helped prepare Weiland and his team for F1 weekend at Montreal–the next stop on the Ferrari Challenge schedule.
To learn more about Cornerstone of Hope and how you can help, visit CornerstoneOfHope.org.
The Ferrari of San Francisco team had Erin, the ems+ Ferrari Challenge 458 EVO, ready to race as the 2015 season began at Daytona International Speedway. The competition was stiff, as expected, but the season started off well for the team from Cleveland, Ohio who left Florida with a Race 1 victory.
The No. 18 car driven by James Weiland qualified 2nd in class and 7th overall before winning a hard-fought battle with competitor Robert Herjavec. The 007 car driven by Herjavec finished in second place during Race 1 before winning on Sunday. The No. 518 car driven by Arthur Romanelli finished in third.
During Race 1, Weiland took the lead in the first corner. He was able to maintain that lead the entire race despite intense pressure, and it was the ems+ car that brought the PETA Cruelty Free Bunnies across the finish line first.
“Nothing is more fulfilling for me and my team than to see the PETA Cruelty Free Bunnies cross the finish line in first place,” Weiland said. “Those are the days we always get the most questions about PETA and about what the Cruelty Free campaign means. It’s always fun to reply by saying that the bunnies helped us win, too, because they did.”
Prior to the start of Race 1, the Ferrari Challenge competitors gathered on the Daytona track for a group picture. The lovely Erin was also asked to be included in the official shot.
During Race 2 on Sunday, an unscheduled pit stop on the warm-up lap caused the ems+ car to begin in 29th position. Weiland was able to pass a significant amount of cars early on, however, and managed a respectable 5th place finish (9th overall).
(EMS Race Team via Vimeo)
“We did have an electrical problem on the pace lap which required a pit stop during Race 2,” Weiland said. “But I was proud of my team, how quickly they resolved the issue, and we were able to rejoin the race and pick off some cars and run well from there. All in all, there were a lot of positives during our first weekend and we’re looking forward to building on that in Homstead.”
(EMS Race Team via Vimeo)
The next Ferrari Challenge race on the schedule will be in Homestead on March 6-8. For more racing action check out ems+ racing team’s page on Vimeo.
Scott Speed is a renaissance man of racing. During the 2006 season, he became the first American to compete in Formula One since Michael Andretti in 1993. He’s also raced in the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series, Global Rallycross Series, won gold at the X-Games, and accomplished so many other awesome things that my fingers would cramp up into a locked position while trying to type them all out.
He is just the man, in summary. And we were thrilled to have our EMS+ logo featured on Speed’s Lamborghini this past weekend at Watkins Glen.
Check out the EMS+ decals on each of his rearview mirros!
Along with the EMS+ logo on the side of his car!
Speed was competing in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo race at Watkins Glen. He was also promoting an upcoming event with the hashtag #SpeedToNYC while he was there.
Details on that were provided by Tony DiZinno of NBC Sports (via MotorSportsTalk).
“Speed and Luna-C Clothing will be promoting #SpeedToNYC during the weekend, highlighting the Volkswagen Rallycross NY event in New York at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on July 20th. As part of the promotion, a Grand Prize Winner – selected from someone following @LunaCClothing and using the hashtag #SpeedToNYC between June 27 at 12:00am and July 3 at 11:59pm – will receive a trip for two to Volkswagen Rallycross NY.”
Plenty of time to get involved with #SpeedToNYC; winners will not be selected until Thursday. Meanwhile, make sure you’re following Speed on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook if you’re not already!