It is a year to the day since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Lockdowns, masks, closures, and cancellations have been the rule rather than the exception over the past twelve months. But here we are with a glimmer of hope of normalcy. After a successful PTO Championships at Challenge Daytona, both organizations look to build on that momentum with the 2021 edition of Challenge Miami.
Our own Eric Wynn is on site for coverage this week, and was able to capture these moments in the build-up for the unique middle-distance event, taking place entirely within Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ben Kanute was moving very fast around the corners in practice. Unlike Daytona, the bike course at Miami features the infield road course.
Ben Hoffman's aiming to have a more successful race here after a 38th place finish in Daytona.
Lesley Smith looks very relaxed during her practice laps on the infield course.
Reigning PTO Champion Paula Findlay on board her new Shiv.
Tyler Butterfield arrived late for practice, so he could feel the midday heat to better simulate race conditions.
Jan Frodeno and Nick Kastelein take a lap together with dueling Canyon Speedmaxes.
Eric Lagerstrom says he is on good form and looking forward to Friday's race.
Heather Jackson is itching for her first race of 2021.
At the pre-race press conference, Lucy Charles-Barclay noted the challenges of the many turns on the infield bike course.
Talbot Cox talks to Matt Hanson, who looks to improve upon his blistering run performance-powered 2nd place at Daytona.
Tim O'Donnell noted that in a normal year, he wouldn't race this early in the season. But he felt it important to support another Challenge event.