2017 NYC ePrix Formula E Racing in Brooklyn
IMSA Northeast Grand Prix Lime Rock CT
NPC Northeast Summer Classic The Gallery League Basketball
4 2017 Qualcomm FIA Formula E NYC ePrix International Formula Racing Returns to New York City 6 Bird Soars to Win Inaugural NYC ePrix. by John Chuhran 16 NPC Northeast Summer Classic Championships America’s premier bodybuilding and physique competition returns to White Plains, NY 24 IMSA Northeast Grand Prix International auto racing at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park 28 The Gallery: A League Grows In Yonkers Summer basketball at its best! 34 Product Review The Everlast-PIQ Blue Robot 36 Athlete of the Month September: Ashley Brehl October: Sam Bird
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MetroSports Magazine (MSM) is published six times a year by the New York Sports Photo Group. MSM is available online and can be downloaded in electronic format for viewing on tablet and hand-held devices, laptop and desktop computers and purchased as full-color glossy print editions. Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director: Warren Rosenberg Publisher: New York Sports Photo Group: nyspg.com Features Editor: Warren Rosenberg Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson Photo Contributors: Clark Thompson, Warren Rosenberg Proofreader: Melissa Tougas Contributors: John Chuhran, Robert Richardson, Maureen Shea Advertising: For rate card contact firstname.lastname@example.org Please direct all inquiries to: email@example.com Visit us on the web at: www.MetroSportsMag.com
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41 years have passed since General George Washington, fighting from the shores of Red Hook Brooklyn, prevented the British from claiming victory on Brooklyn soil. It has been 102 years since the British race car driver Dario Resta first claimed victory for England, in Brooklyn, by winning the 1915 Harkness Trophy Race at Sheepshead Bay Speedway. That dry spell ended on July 15 and 16, 2017, when British race car driver Sam Bird claimed back-to-back victories at the inaugural New York City FIA Formula E Grand Prix run on the former site of George Washington’s Fort Defiance in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Bird’s victory on Sunday completed his two day sweep of the inaugural NYC ePrix, part of the international Formula E Grand Prix circuit with stops in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Marrakesh, Monaco, Montreal and Paris as well as New York. Bird needed no help from Team MS Virgin Racing’s reserve driver, Sir Richard Branson, who was on hand throughout the weekend but wasn’t needed behind the wheel. Powered by a Virgin DSV-02 electric motor, the MS Virgin Racing Team’s Spark-Citroen won today’s race from the pole although not without a fight from Mahindras’ Felix Rosenqvist with whom Bird swapped the lead during the 43 lap contest. Read our full race and ePrix series coverage on the following pages. 4 | September-October 2017
F.I.A. NYC ePrix International Auto Racing Returns to the Streets of NYC
Photos: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
Bird Soars to Win Inaugural NYC ePrix by John Chuhran Sam Bird -- a jockey-sized, 30-year-old English race car driver -- added his name to New York City’s long list of sports champions on the weekend of July 15-16 as he sped to victory in both ends of the inaugural Qualcomm New York City ePrix, the first auto races within the New York City limits in more than four decades. Bird was clearly the strongest competitor in both races on the 1.21-mile, 10-turn temporary road course built on the grounds of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. The races were rounds 9 and 10 of the 12-race Formula E series, an international competition which conducted its third season of racing over the 2016-17 season. Bird was only the second driver in Formula E history to sweep both ends of a doubleheader weekend.
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“I can’t quite believe this weekend,” said Bird after winning the second race by 11.381 seconds. “Wow. I thought it was going to be really hard on energy, but we managed it so well. I’m a bit in shock. I managed the energy well, managed the battery well and managed the temperature, so I’m really delighted.” Formula E, as the name suggests and as Bird’s comments indicate, is a series for electric, singleseat racers on temporary tracks constructed in urban environments to help promote zero emissions vehicles as the technology of the future. This year, 10 two-car teams -- including factorysupported entries from BMW, Renault, Audi, Citröen, and Jaguar -- competed in the series.
MS Virgin team owner Sir Richard Branson lights up New York Cityâ€™s Empire State Building in the teamâ€™s colors o kicjk off the race weekend. Photos courtesy Virgin Racing.
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Mercedes-Benz and Porsche have announced their intent to enter teams in Formula E in the 2019-20 season. The series features a standard chassis designed by Dallara of Italy and constructed by the British company, Spark Racing Technology. Standard Lithium ion battery packs -- a massive collection of cells weighing more than 500 pounds -- are provided by Williams Advanced Engineering, an affiliate of Williams Grand Prix Engineering, winners of 9 Constructorsâ€™ Championships and 7 Driversâ€™ Championships in the most famous racing series in the world, the Formula 1 world championship. Manufacturers are permitted to build unique electric motors, inverters, transmissions and cooling systems. While the new technology of the Formula E cars has appeal to the mechanically curious, competition ultimately focuses on people. The drivers are the true stars of any racing series, and Formula E has a unique collection of personalities that paint a vivid picture. Some drivers have family ties to racing -- Nico Prost is the son of four-time F1 champ Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet Jr. is the son three-time F1 titlest Nelson Piquet, and Daniel Abt is part of a family which has long a long relationship with Audi. All of them have experience and achieved success in other forms of the sport. And the series emphasizes its international flavor; the 20 drivers on the entry list for the NYC ePrix represented nine different countries. Entering the final four events of the year, nine drivers were still in mathematical contention for the championship in which the top 10 finishers earned points on a 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 basis with three bonus points awarded to the pole position winner and another point given to the driver with the fastest lap in the race. Realistically, there were only three legitimate contenders for the crown. Leading the standings with 157 points was Sebastian Buemi of Switzerland, an F1 veteran and the defending Formula E champion who this year won 5 of first 6 races and the most recent event in Berlin for the Renault e.Dams team. 8 | September-October 2017
Second with 125 points was Lucas di Grassi of Brazil, another F1 refugee who won the inaugural Formula E race in 2014, finished second in the championship last year, and was brilliant in round four this year when he climbed from 17th to win in Mexico City. Felix Rosenqvist of Sweden was ranked third with 86 points coming into the New York race. His large point deficit might have seemed insurmountable, but in the most recent weekend he won the first race of the Berlin doubleheader and finished second the next day. He was the driver who seemed to be most familiar to American racing fans; Rosenqvist scored three wins in 13 starts in the 2016 Indy Lights championship.
Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com Above: A Birdâ€™s Eye View of the Formula E Cockpit
Sadly, there were no Americans behind the wheel, but Michael Andretti campaigns a pair of BMWsupported cars under the Andretti Autosport banner while Jay Penske, son of 16-time Indy 500 winning owner Roger, is co-owner of Faraday Future-Dragon Racing. And the independent Venturi Formula E team has an ongoing working relationship with engineering students at The Ohio State University. Since most spectators who attend Formula E races have no previous experience with auto racing (other than what they have seen on TV), the series schedules each race as a self-contained event; practice, qualifying and the race are held in a single day.
Brooklyn rolled out the red carpet to welcome the FIAâ€™s inaugural Formula E street race. Above: The Red Hook Cruise Ship Tournament on race weekend. Below: The NBAâ€™s Brooklyn Nets team dancers, The Brooklynettes, performed in the Emotion Suite. Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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On September 21, 2016, officials from New York City government and the Formula E series announced that the NYC ePrix would be held on July 15-16 and a map of the venue was released to the media. It was also announced that the series had signed a 10-year contract to conduct the race. The site was surveyed and construction -- some repaving, moving of some existing structures and construction of grandstands, retaining walls, debris fences, and other structures like big screen monitors -- began on July 2. Work was efficiently completed 11 days later. There was some controversy involving the participants in the race. Several Formula E drivers also competed in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for sports cars and the NYC ePrix was scheduled for the same weekend as the Six Hours of Nürburgring in Germany. Bird, Prost and Piquet Jr. negotiated releases from their WEC commitments to race in Brooklyn and Adam Carroll left his WEC team to prioritize his Formula E program, but the Toyota WEC team refused to permit Buemi and Jose-Maria Lopez to miss the German race. As a result, di Grassi, Rosenqvist and the others would have a chance to tighten the championship battle and two young drivers -- Alex Lynn and Pierre Gasly -- would make their Formula E debuts in Brooklyn. Both would have impressive weekends. After an unofficial 30-minute practice on a wet track on Friday, July 14, the Formula E competitors took to drying asphalt on Saturday morning for two practice sessions. Lynn, a 23-year-old Englishman who won the 2014 GP3 championship and was a co-driver of the winning car in the 2017 12 Hours of Sebring, logged the fastest time in the first, 45-minute session, just ahead of his DS Virgin Racing teammate Bird, Mahindra Racing’s Felix
Rosenqvist, and Prost. In the second, 30-minute practice, Rosenqvist was quickest ahead of Mahindra teammate Nick Heidfeld, Prost and Bird. Bird edged Jerome d’Ambrosio for the top spot in the extremely close first round of qualifying as the top 10 were separated by less than 0.7 of a second. Title hopeful di Grassi was 10th while still recovering from a broken ankle sustained in crash in late May at Round 6 in Paris, while Rosenqvist made a mistake and slid wide at the first hairpin to be ranked 17th quickest. The fastest five graduated to the second round where each got one flying lap to establish the front of the grid. Lynn earned the pole in his debut followed by Abt, Jean-Eric Vergne, Bird (who lost time when his car bounced over some speed bumps on the inside of a turn), and D’ambrosio, who locked his brakes and slid deep at the first hairpin. Saturday’s 43-lap race began in bright sunshine with temperature in the mid-80s and Abt, whose grid position was on the inside lane approaching the Turn 1, held off Lynn as the field charged away. Though Formula E cars feature exposed wheels, the first lap resembled a NASCAR race as multiple collisions occurred and the track was littered with debris. Mitch Evans in one of the Jaguars was the big loser, breaking his steering after a bump with another driver sent his car into the retaining wall. As the other 19 cars completed the first lap, Abt led from Lynn, Bird, Vergne, Nick Heidfeld and d’Ambrosio. Di Grassi was 10th the first time round ahead of Rosenqvist, who had made a brilliant start, bumping and pushing his way from from 17th to 11th. D’Ambrosio was told by his crew to conserve energy, so he gradually yielded positions to more aggressive rivals, but on Lap 7 he collided with 914-765-0688
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Above: Actor and racing fan Leonardo DiCaprio was among the celebrities enjoying the race. Photo Credit: FIA
Piquet Jr. D’Ambrosio’s Farraday-Dragon entry came away with a smashed front wing, a loose rear wing, a broken and dangling right rear crash attenuator (bodywork behind the rear wheels to minimize wheel-to-wheel contact). The 31-year-old Belgian was black flagged to have the flapping piece removed before it littered the track, and his chances of victory evaporated. Up front, the top five slowly broke free from their pursuers. On lap 9, Heidfeld cut inside entering Turn 1 and took fourth from Vergne, while later in the lap at the other hairpin at Turn 6, Bird easily passed teammate Lynn for second. Bird immediately closed to the rear of Abt and on Lap 11 the Englishman bumped the rear of the race leader as the duo entered the Turn 6 hairpin. Both held position, but Bird continued to pressure Abt, who was told to try to conserve some energy. Rosenqvist continued to make progress, taking ninth from Piquet Jr. on Lap 13.
Three laps later, Bird saw a gap to the inside as he and Abt approached the Turn 6 hairpin. With the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island and the Battery of Manhattan in the background, Bird snatched the lead in a clean pass. Rosenqvist was now eighth. On Lap 17, Heidfeld, a 40-year-old German who holds the dubious distinction of having the most second place finishes (eight) in F1 races without scoring a Grand Prix victory, used his experience to take third from Lynn with an inside pass entering Turn 2. For the next four laps, Bird merely had to drive smoothly and watch his mirrors to maintain his lead as the trailing quartet battled each other. Vergne pased Lynn for fourth, then the Frenchman took third from Heidfeld. Lynn slowly lost touch with the lead quartet and he yielded fifth to di Gassi on Lap 20. As mid race approached, the drivers and crews prepared for pit stops. Unlike other types of racing,
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in Formula E pit stops for more refueling requires drivers to swap cars because it would take too long to charge the batteries. So, spectators and viewers were treated to the bizarre sight of drivers pulling into the pits, parking their cars, unbuckling their belts and running into an identical car where two mechanics helped to fasten the new belts. Rules required that the stops last a minimum of 47 seconds to make sure that no one return to racing in an unsafe manner. The car swaps can be devastating; in the seasonopening race in Hong Kong, Bird led at the swap but when he got into the second car he could not engage a gear, handing the win to Buemi. This time, there was no such problem and Bird completed his swap on Lap 22 -- one lap later than his challengers. With extra energy at his disposal, Bird had an ace to play if he was challenged for the lead. The Englishman was ahead of Vergne, Abt, Stepane Sarrazin, Lynn, Rosenqvist, di Grassi and Heidfeld. Over the final 20 laps, Bird controlled the pace, winning the drag race to the Turn 1 on a late restart with just two laps to go and cruising to score the victory by 1.354 seconds over Vergne with Sarrazin, a 41-year-old French journeyman who logged his first career Formula E podium finish in Brooklyn, third ahead of di Grassi. Lynn dropped out with a broken driveshaft, Heidfeld stopped with broke a wheel nut that left his car drooping at the right rear, and Abt stopped with a dead battery on the final lap. Rosenqvist’s strong drive ended on Lap 33 when, under pressure from Di Grassi, he locked his brakes, did a half spin and backed into the barrier at Turn 2. The impact broke his rear wing and the ensuing stop to replace it left him 14th at the checkered flag. It was the fourth career win for Bird, who joined Buemi and di Grassi as the only drivers to have won Formula E races in each of the first three years of the series. “The season hasn’t gone our way,” said Bird after taking the win, “but that’s a win every year. It’s the first win that (Team owner) Sir Richard (Branson) 12 | September-October 2017
has actually been here for, so this wins for you and the whole Virgin Team, which has been working so hard. My engineer was unbelievable -- kept me calm, told me what to do. With the restart, If you know anything about Jev (Jean Eric Vergne), he’s going to attack, he’s going to be fast. Once I knew that the (available) energy was over the amount of a ‘full push lap’, I just worked on the brakes to make sure they were in the right (operating temperature) window. It was a decent restart and I just kept my head down for two laps. It was a bit nerve wracking, because with this fast boy (Vergne) behind it’s tough, but we got there in the end.” It was the third runner-up finish of the year and fifth of his Formula E career for Vergne, who was still seeking his first win in the series. “The race for me was really good,” Vergne said. “I think I was quick. I drove a good race from an energy point of view. But there is something I just cannot understand -- why was the pole position on the dirty line of the track? So, I lost my (third starting spot) to Sam (Bird) today (at the first corner). So being second and not a win brings a bit of frustration. But nevertheless, a podium is really good and I’m happy with that.” In finishing fourth, di Grassi had reduced the absent Buemi’s lead to just 13 points and left him optimistic about his championship chances. “We had problems in qualifying today,” di Grassi said, “so starting from 10th and finishing fourth was a very, very good result. It was really a war out there -- cars flying around, parts flying off. I managed to do some good overtaking with some good strategy, no mistakes. So, mission accomplished with 12 points today. “Tomorrow is totally different. We have 6 more laps, which means we have to save much more energy in the race and qualifying is much earlier, so it will be a different track temperature as well. We have to take this into consideration and start tomorrow with everything we learned today. We’ll try to qualify better and, hopefully, fight for the win.”
As di Grassi explained, fans were treated to another race that required an entirely different strategy and style of driving on Sunday. The second Brooklyn race would be for 49 laps -beyond the limits of the battery capacity. The cars have the capability to generate some energy under braking, so drivers would have to utilize a driving technique called â€œlift and coastâ€? where they would get off the throttle earlier than in a sprint, coast on the approach to the turn and try to carry more speed through the turn so that less energy was needed to get up to speed on the exit to the corner. Running out of energy was a very real risk if drivers were too reckless in applying the power. Bird and Rosenqvist set the early pace in Sunday qualifying, but it was the other series debutante, Gasly substituting for Buemi, who was fastest in the first round, edging Rosenqvist by just 0.084 of a second. Fast Five qualifying saw Bird grab the pole by just 0.037 of a second from Rosenquist ahead of Vergne, Gasly and Heidfeld.
Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
At the start, Rosenqvist was quick enough in applying the throttle to prevent Bird from cutting in front, so the Swede took the lead through Turn 1. Vergne was involved in some heavy contact which left one of his rear body panels broken and in danger of falling off, so he was black flagged and fell to the back of the field. Mauro Engel improved to fifth only to have a similar bit of contact send him to the pits with a similar result. By Lap 6, the lead group of RosenquistBird-Heidfeld-Gasly had pulled out a lead more than three seconds and it was clear that, barring a full-course yellow flag that would bunch the field, the winner would come from this quartet. Di Grass, who was ninth in qualifying, was trying to balance being aggressive to move up while saving energy so he could complete the race distance. Mitch Evans was bumped by another car and his Jaguar nosed into the barrier at Turn 2 on Lap 10, and because Evans could not get moving again a full-course caution was declared. When the green flag waved to restart the race on Lap 12, Bird used his patented inside pass at the Turn 6 hairpin to grab the lead from Rosenqvist.
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Though Rosenqvist had some energy concerns after the stop-and-swap and he followed team orders to let Heidfeld through into second, the Mahindra team eventually sorted out its data and they switched back to their original positions and eased up on the final lap expecting to take second and third behind the dominant Bird. But the Mahindra team had failed to account for the onrushing Gasly, who swept around the outside of Heidfeld entering the final turn and looked to do the same to Rosenqvist on the run to flagman. But Heidfeld tried to defend and made slight right-frontto-left-rear contact with Gasly, sending the French rookie into the right-side barrier before he caromed into the left-side wall as his heavily damaged car slid over the finish line. Heidfeld had kept his accelerator down and regained third as he swept beneath the checkers. Di Grassi came by seconds later to finish fifth. “Basically, on the last lap we had more energy than the Mahindras in front of us,” Gasly said. “I knew it (the pass) was for (a spot on) the podium, so I just tried everything. I went around the outside of Nick (Heidfeld) and he just released completely the brake. Mid corner, I left some space on the inside, but he just hit me on the entry and sent me into the (outside) wall and I crashed across the finish line. I think until that point it was really good -- we had a good shot at the podium. I just tried to push until the end to see what will happen.” Photo: Virgin Racing
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The next weekend, Formula E moved to Montreal for the final two races. Buemi returned to the series and still held a 10-point lead over di Grassi, but it was a nightmare event for the defending titlest. Buemi crashed his car in practice and damaged his battery pack. Though he qualified second fastest to di Grassi, Buemi was penalized for changing the battery and was forced to start from 13th. While di Grassi led every lap to win the first race, Buemi crossed the line fourth, but post-race inspection found his second car to be underweight and he was disqualified. So, instead of trailing by just 6 points, Buemi was 18 behind going into Sunday’s finale. Buemi qualified mid pack and was rammed by another car in the first, causing rear-wheel bodywork to dangle and requiring him to stop to have it removed. The piece broke off before he stopped, but he was still required to pit as a penalty for leaving the broken piece on the track. Vergne came through to win the race from Rosenqvist, di Grassi stayed out of trouble to finish seventh and clinch the Formula E championship, and Buemi soldiered on to finish a frustrated 11th. So, the third Formula E season came to a close. The inaugural NYC ePrix had a promising start. We will see if the 2018 edition will be even better.
Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com Above: In the garage with the MS Amlin Andretti Racing team finishing ip pre-race preparations Below: Renault e.dams Driver SĂŠbastien Buemi who finished second overall in driver standings
Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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NPC Northeast Summer Classic Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym Sponsors the NPC’s Annual Summer Classic in White Plains, NY
n Saturday, July 8th, the NPC made its annual appearance at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y., for the Northeast Summer Classic, a national qualifier event for the annual NPC National Bodybuilding Championships to be held in Miami, FL, on November 17-18, 2017. The event was sponsored by Long Island’s Powerhouse Gym owned and operated by multi-sport legend Bev Francis. Bev Francis has had a long and storied career beginning as a high school physical education teacher in her native Australia. Competing in the sport of shot put, Bev set a national record in 1977 and went on to win the Australian National Shot Put Championship in 1982. Not satisfied as a one sport champion, Bev also took on the sport of powerlifting where she set a world record in 1981 for the women’s bench press and, again in 1982, setting a world record in the squat. In total, Bev broke over 40 world powerlifting records and was inducted into the International Powerlifting Hall of Fame in 1987. Moving on to the sport of bodybuilding, Bev won the World Pro Championships in 1987 and placed second in the 1990 and 1991 Ms. Olympia contests. Bev now operates the Powerhouse Gym in Syosset, N.Y., where she helps train the current and future generations of competitors. As with all NPC-sanctioned competitions, the NY Grand Prix was conducted in two stages, with a pre-judging session taking place in the morning and the finals held later in the day. In each category, competitors are scored against each other so that the best physique is judged as number one, and in a group of six for example, the least well-developed is judged as six. For each competitor, the lowest and highest judge’s scores are thrown out and the remainder are averaged together. The competitor with the overall lowest score wins. Photos: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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Above: Giovanni Delbiondo, first place winner of the teen division.
NPC 2017 Northeast Summer Classic
Steven Mitropoulos Overall Bodybuilding Novice Champion
Giovanni Delbiondo Overall Bodybuilding Open Champion
Chris Papasavvas Overall Classic Physique Open Champion
Kadeem Evans Overall Physique Novice Champion
George Machallekides Overall Classic Physique Novice Champion
Chris Papasavvas Overall Physique Open Champion
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NPC 2017 Northeast Summer Classic
Lindsayjo Gray Overall Figure Novice Champion
Jillian Polstein Overall Bikini Open Champion
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Ashley Brehl Overall Figure Open Champion
Inmaria Garcia Overall Bikini Novice Champion
NPC 2017 Northeast Summer Classic Category Winners Men’s Bodybuilding Teen.............................................. Giovanni Delbiondo Men’s Bodybuilding Junior............................................ Islam Ibrahim Men’s Bodybuilding 35+................................................ Vito Capello Men’s Bodybuilding 40+................................................ Barthomew Nnatu Men’s Bodybuilding 50+................................................ Buster Caggiano Men’s Bodybuilding Novice Lightweight........................Chris Frasier Men’s Bodybuilding Novice Heavyweight..................... Steven Metropoulos Men’s Bodybuilding Open Lightweight.......................... Michael Doody Men’s Bodybuilding Open Middleweight....................... Chris Frasier Men’s Bodybuilding Open Light Heavyweight...............Brian Woodford Men’s Bodybuilding Open Heavyweight........................Giovanni Delbiondo Men’s Bodybuilding Open Super Heavyweight............. Slawomir Plokarz Men’s Classic Physique 35+..........................................Robert Lopez Men’s Classic Physique Novice A.................................George Machallekides Men’s Classic Physique Novice B.................................Brandon Dejesus Men’s Classic Physique Open A...................................Gregory Wetterau Men’s Classic Physique Open B...................................Chris Papasavvas Men’s Physique Teen....................................................Matthew Canapetti Men’s Physique Junior..................................................Jesse Demasi Men’s Physique 35+......................................................Vincent Caputo Men’s Physiue 40+........................................................Troy Gerber Men’s Physique Novice A..............................................Malcolm Jackson Men’s Physique Novice B..............................................Kadeem Evans Men’s Physique Novice C..............................................Dane Bonin Men’s Physique Open A................................................Phil Ductan Men’s Physique Open B................................................Matthew Fearn Men’s Physique Open C................................................Chris Papasavvas Men’s Physique Open D................................................Dane Bonin Women’s Physique 35+.................................................Latoyka Robbins Women’s Physique Open..............................................Rachel Genesky Women’s Figure Junior..................................................Ashley Brehl Women’s Figure 35+..................................................... Kelly McCullers Women’s Figure 40+.....................................................Wendy Cohen Women’s Figure 50+.....................................................Dawn Reiser Women’s Figure Novice A............................................. Lindsayjo Gray Women’s Figure Novice B.............................................Charan Morris Women’s Figure Open A............................................... Lindsayjo Gray Women’s Figure Open B...............................................Kelly McCullers Women’s Figure Open C...............................................Ashley Brehl Women’s Bikini Junior................................................... Caroline Hossain Women’s Bikini 35+.......................................................Saskia Gioia Women’s Bikini 40+.......................................................Justyna Hlinka Women’s Bikini Novice A...............................................Rachael Nestor Women’s Bikini Novice B...............................................Inmarie Garcia Women’s Bikini Novice C...............................................Emily Ranucci Women’s Bikini Open A.................................................Jillian Polstein Women’s Bikini Open B.................................................Rachael Nestor Women’s Bikini Open C.................................................Inmarie Garcia Women’s Bikini Open D.................................................Francesca Forlivio
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Ashley Brehl 2017 NPC Northeast Summer Classic Womenâ€™s Overall Figure Open Champion Womens Open C Figure Champion Photo: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
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MSM Interviews NPC Competitor Ashley Brehl MSM: Let’s start with the obvious. What got you interested in pursuing bodybuilding and physique competitions? Ashley: I was home on Thanksgiving break my sophomore year of college, 2013. My brother invited me to workout with him. Normally, I’d be one to mainly do cardio and some abs but, he suggested I do a weight training day with him. I instantly fell in love; we trained together the rest of break. Upon returning to Slippery Rock University, I followed a 3 month program from bodybuilding.com. People noticed that I made a ton of progress physique-wise and asked if I was competing in our bodybuilding and fitness club’s bodybuilding competition. I said no but everyone insisted I do it the following year. So I did! I participated in my first competition ever at Slippery Rock University. I took second overall my junior year, 2015 and the rest is history, I competed the spring of my senior year, 2016, at Slippery Rock and at the NPC Natural Ohio. I placed first overall at Slippery Rock and took second in both my figure classes in the Ohio. This past July of 2017, I competed in my second NPC (National Physique Committee) competition in White Plains, NY. It was the Northeast Summer Classic. I placed first overall and became nationally qualified. So now, I can compete at the national level and work towards my pro card! MSM: Had you been involved in athletics earlier in your life? Ashley: Yes. As a child, I participated in soccer and softball. I found out I was not very good at sports involving a ball. So, I never continued on with them. I danced for 12 years. I also participated in cheerleading, track, cross country, and swimming in high school. I was never extremely good at any sport. I was average, not a star player. So, it was nice to find bodybuilding in college because it is something I can really was doing really well in. You always improve in bodybuilding and see the payoff. It is a very individually rewarding sport.
MSM: What advice would you give to young women who are thinking about entering this sport? Ashley: This is an extremely demanding sport in all aspects: physically, mentally, and emotionally. The physical work is hard but, I find the mental and emotional portions of bodybuilding to be the toughest. As a woman, you have to be prepared post competition to put back on healthy weight and fat. This can mess with your head a bit after seeing yourself in prime condition for a competition. I struggled with this after my first year of competing. You have to be super comfortable with your body image at all stages of prep. Whether it’s off season bulking and you have to put on some extra muscle and fat, or the demands of cutting fat and perhaps dealing with muscle and strength loss you worked so hard to build. Just know that it is all worth it. You worked for it! Also, surround yourself with people who love and support you no matter what. Those who stick with you during the tough times of competing really do mean the most. MSM: What’s next for you in competition? How far do you want to go in your competition career? Ashley: As I mentioned earlier, I just became nationally qualified in July. So I have up through the end of 2018 to compete in national level NPC competitions. I am actually competing in my first national competition on August 31, 2017 at the NPC/IFBB North Americans in Pittsburgh, PA. In these competitions, I will have the opportunity to get my pro card. This means I become and IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) professional. I would love to receive my pro card. Once I achieve that step, I can compete in larger, more intense competitions, potentially win some money, and gain sponsorship opportunities. Maybe I will even get to compete in the Miss Olympia figure competition one day! A girl can dream!
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MSM: Care to comment on the organization and quality of the NPC’s Northeast Summer Classic at the Westchester County Center? Ashley: The event was amazing. It ran much smoother in comparison to other competitions I have competed in and attended as an audience member. Everyone was extremely kind, the staff, announcers, and other competitors. I even made a few friends. It was a great event but, it was a little smaller than other NPC competitions. Personally, I liked that it was smaller because it went a little faster and, I was able to enjoy some of my day with family and friends. Below: Dexter “The Blade” Jackson in a composite of his posing routine. The 47 year oldJackson made his pro debut in 1999 and was crowned Mr. Olympia in 2008.
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MSM: Is there anyone you’d like to give a special shout out to? Ashley: I would like to give a special shout out to all my friends and family that have supported me throughout this journey and continue to support me. I’d especially like to thank everyone that made it out all the way to White Plains, New York from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland for this past competition. I wouldn’t have been able to place the way I did without their endless love and cheering. Lastly, I would like to give a HUGE shout out to my coach, Derek Natcher, with LOUD Performance training. He and I started working together the spring of 2016 and none of my achievements since then would have been possible without his support and guidance. So thank you everyone! Photos: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
Behind the Scenes
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IMSA Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park Photos by Clark Thompson. www.ClarkShots.com
Winning Porsche 911 driven by Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner
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On Friday and Saturday July 21 and 22, the road course at Lime Rock Park hosted three events, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge GT LeMans & GT Daytona, the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Care Challenge Grand Sport and Street Turner, and the first running of the IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda. Lime Rock Park in Lakeville CT bills itself as the Road Racing Center of the East. Owned and operated by Skip Barber, the facility opened in 1957 and consists of a 1.5 mile asphalt surfaced track with 7 turns. Skip Barber is a Harvard educated former race car driver earning three SCCA national championships in the mid 1960s. The race weekend was part of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Series and one of 12 stops on the North American Circuit. Other tracks in the series include Daytona, Long Beach, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Watkins Glen, and Wisconsinâ€™s Road America among others in ten U.S. states and one stop in Canada. The series kicked off on the weekend of January 6th in Daytona Beach, visited Lime Rock, Connecticut and wraps up the weekend of October 4th at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship series consists of four classes of racing vehicles, the Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans, and GT Daytona. Also included in the in July 21st weekend events at Lime Rock Park were the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. This series fields cars in two racing classes, the Grand Sport and the Street Turner. These are the same types of cars you can find in dealer showrooms with minor modifications allowed. Cars running in the Street Turner class are restricted to only 4 or 6 cylinder engines or, for Mazda vehicles, rotary engines.
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Making this a truly international event was the presence of drivers from across the world including Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and 18 U.S. states including locals from NY, NJ and CT. Manufacturers and automobiles competing included, Acura NSX, Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8, BMW M6, Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette C7, Ferrari 488, Ford Mustang and GT, Lamborghini Huracan, Lexus RCF, Mazda MX5, McLaren GT4, Mercedes AMG, Mini JCW, Porsche 911 and Cayman.
Above: #26 Mazda MX5, winner of the Street Turner class driven by Liam Dwyer and Andrew Carbonell Below: #57 Audi RS, winner of the GT Daytona class driven by Lawson Aschenbach and Andrew Davis
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Of special note to MetroSports readers were several racers from the N.Y. Metro region. Aurora Straus, an 18 year old from Cold Spring N.Y. drove the #18 Porche 911 in the Street Turner class with teammate Connor Bloum while her driving coach and professional race car driver, Steve McAleer, also from Cold Spring, NY drove the #25 Mazda MX5 in the Street Turner class. Till Bechtolsheimer, New York City resident and C.E.O. and Portfolio Manager of Arosa Capital Management raced in the Grand Sport class piloting the #33. Regular readers of MetroSports Magazine will recognize Aurora Straus as one of the featured athletes in our May-June racing issue.
Above: The Prototype class winner, #14 Norma M30 , driven by Colin Thompson.
Above and Right: The #18 Porche 911 driven by Cold Spring NYâ€™s Aurora Strauss in the Street Turner class.
340 Central Avenue White Plains, NY 10601 (914) 948-2000 MetroSports Magazine | 27
Above: Fans settling in to enjoy some spirited competition at the 2017 Gallery League Summer Basketball Tournament
The Gallery Summer Basketball League While the fall, winter and early spring are considered the traditional seasons for basketball where fans get to watch their favorite NBA and NCAA teams, summertime in the New York Metro region is at no loss for an exciting and competitive brand of street basketball played on our neighborhood urban courts. While the world famous Entertainers Basketball Classic founded by the late Greg Marius 28 | September-October 2017
and held at Harlemâ€™s historic Rucker Park (and featured in MetroSports Magazineâ€™s Sept-Oct 2016 issue) is perhaps best known, there are other tournaments throughout the area which include the Dyckman Tournament, Hoops In The Sun, and The Gallery. MetroSports Magazine had the pleasure of covering the All Star Championships and Slam dunk Tournament on August 19 as The Gallery
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brought its summer 2017 season to a close. What we saw was a packed house - a standing room only crowd – entertained by exciting basketball, good food, an acrobatic slam dunk contest, the best basketball DJ and announcing crew in the region. In only its second year, The Gallery hosts 39 teams in 5 Divisions and has 468 players ranging in age from eight through adult. New to the league and tournament this year were four Yonkers public high school teams representing Saunders, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Palisades Prep. League Commissioner Robert Richardson told us that these teams really did an awesome job of representing the city of Yonkers.
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Also new this year was the Slam Dunk Tournament pitting seven talented players against eachother in a display of athletic aerobatics. Instrumental in helping get The Gallery League started were former NBA star Chauncey Billups and rap recording artist Jadakiss. “The town needs this, you’re doing your thing!” Jadakiss “Basketball is a way to bring the kids in. Once we get them and they are able to trust us, the rest is easy.” Chauncey Billups
Above: Fans posting their scores for The Gallery League Slam-Dunk Tournament contestants. Below: Music and enteratinment for all ages. The Gallery Staff Robert Richardson Kevin Cooper Jahil Owens Stephvon Boo Patnelli Christopher Cleckley Eugene Ellison Johnnie Alexander -Videographer Kayvonne Oliver- Security Michael Wade- Security Larry “ Mic Larry “ Agee- Emcee Stephanie Gaines Leviticus Jones- Lead Referee Eddie Jackson Jordyn Ruiz Darnell Glover Keyshawn Miller
“The Gallery is accomplishing what it was created to do. I humbly thank each and every person involved for doing their part in creating real change.” Robert Richardson The Gallery League Commisioner
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2017 Gallery League Teams and Final Standings Pee Wee Division Jadakiss Elite- Champions Dave Jones/Tony Lopez -Coaches Kris Banwareesing- MVP (#1 Player in the class of 2025) 1. Jadakiss elite 2. Power 3. Young ones 4. Warburton 5. Pacoy 6. Hudson Assault Rising Stars Division Albany City Rocks- Champions DeSona Onion Welch- Coach Dior Johnson- MVP (#1 player in class of 2022) 1. City Rocks 2. Pacoy 3. Running Rebels 4. CBA 5. Warburton 6. Gbk 7. Young ones 8. C ballers
Showcase Division New Era (Marble Hill) - Champions Issac Green & Gregory Adams-Coaches Stevie Thompson-MVP 1. New Era 2. NY Dragons 3. Pacoy 4. Brooklyn Collegiate 5. Hudson Assault 6. Saunders 7. Running Rebels 8. Riverside Hawks Unlimited Division New Rochelle- Champions Toryn Purp Landrine -Coach Hanif Neef Malloy- MVP 1. New Rochelle 2. BBG 3. Faith All Star 4. GS Warriors 5. We R-1 6. Scoop st 7. Blunts or Papers 8. Godâ€™s Favorite
Varsity Division Team Power- Champions Eugene Ellison- Coach Eric Paige- MVP 1. Power 2. Westside 3. Culver 4. Lincoln 5. Roosevelt 6. Palisades Prep 7. Mighty Hawks 8. BX Heavy Hitters MetroSports Magazine | 33
Product Review Everlast PIQ Maureen Shea The French technology company PIQ, developed a sports training device incorporating a built in gyroscope, accelerometer and altimeter that can collect almost 200,000 data points per minute and can be used to accurately measure human movement. Coupled with proprietary software accessible through a smartphone app, the PIQ can measure an athlete’s speed, reaction time, and G-force. Further, using an artificial intelligence engine designed by PIQ engineers, the PIQ device can analyze an athlete’s sports-specific performance, calculate a PIQSCORE, and make recommendations for performance improvement. Partnering with well-known sports equipment manufacturers, the marketplace now has devices for skiiers (partnered with Rossignol), tennis (partnered with Babolat), golf (partnered with Mobitee) and now boxing (partnered with Everlast). Professional boxer and motivational speaker Maureen Shea took the Everlast PIQ Blue Robot through its paces during a recent training session. As the champ tells us, “the instructions were clear and, after opening up the box it was pretty easy to get set-up and started. I found that the app was very simple to download and pretty self-explanatory to use. I like the option for “open drill”. “The PIQ Robot Blue device itself is a bit heavy and it would be nice if it can be made a bit more lightweight. I had a bit of an issue with comfort and with the Velcro staying on. I had to tape it. If it was more lightweight I could see it holding better.
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Maureen Shea -WBC Featherweight World Champion -NABF Featherweight Champion -IFBA Jr Featherweight World Champion -NABA Featherweight World Champion -Record: 25-2 with 12 wins by K.O. -U.S.A. Boxing, Coach -Actress Hilary Swank’s sparring partner in preparing for her role in Million Dollar Baby Nicknames: The Real Million Dollar Bronx Bombshell
The Champ went on to tell us that, “there are many benefits to using the Everlast PIQ for training. Monitoring work/punch output and consistency is extremely beneficial when measuring training progress.” “With respect to the items that the Everlast-PIQ tracks during a workout, I find that the speed and number of punches for me is key. It’s good to monitor how many punches I throw and with what speed I throw them. I’m not too concerned with G-force or calories, but that might be helpful for others, especially if they train for fitness and not competition.” “I think this tool would be good for an established boxer to check how they are performing on a given day of use or to see if their overall progression is consistent from day to day. I think for fitness this could be a good tool. To be put to best use a boxer needs to learn the correct way to punch before using a tool like this otherwise they might be tempted to just try to hit hard or fast enough to beat a number and risk possible injury. But that goes with any training device.”
On our judges’ scorecards the Everlast PIQ Robot Blue boxing training system wins a majority decision. For ease of use, technological sophistication, data feedback and AI-driven training recommendations, the Everlast PIQ wins on all judges’ scorecards. For size and comfort during use, the PIQ scores a draw. As the technology develops and PIQ’s engineers work on further miniaturization, the PIQ Robot Blue is likely to score a knockout.
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MetroSports Athlete of the Month Ashley Brehl With only two years behind her in competitive bodybuilding, Pennsylvania’s Ashley Brehl muscled her way to multiple category first place finishes in her second NPC Bodybuilding and Physique competition. Capturing the event’s overall Women’s Figure trophy in the Open Division of the national qualifier competition, Ashley earned a spot to compete on the national satge and work towards earning her professional card. For the hard work and dedication required to reach this level, and for capturing multiple first place awards at the 2017 NPC Northeast Regional Summer Classic, MetroSports Magazine has selected Ashley Brehl as our Athlete of the Month for September 2017.
Sam Bird In recognition of his back-to-back wins at the FIA’s inaugural New York City ePrix, MetroSports Magazine is proud to name British race car driver Sam Bird as our Athlete of the Month for October 2017. Unknown to many, New York City and the New York Metropolitan region have a rich history of automobile racing and we’re glad to see it make a return to the streets of NYC. Pictured at left is winning drive and MetroSports Athlete of the Month, Sam Bird, along with his MS Virgin Racing team owner, Sir Richard Branson, celebrating his win.
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MetroSports Magazine September-October 2017