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DATE News (chronologically)
01/09/11
f1
alms
Powertrain Innovator of the Year  Zytek has been working with Mercedes High Performance Engines since 2007 to develop the motor and power electronics for a hybrid drive system for Formula 1, addressing substantial challenges that include designing subsystems that will withstand the harsh thermal and mechanical environment of one of the world’s most demanding race series, that are exceptionally light, and which can be integrated within a system that does not affect the aerodynamics or handling of the car. Validation of this intensive development came when Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix on in July 2009, driving a McLaren fitted with the Mercedes HPE system. More ...
01/09/11
dakar
Al-Attiyah cuts Sainz's Dakar lead  Nasser Al-Attiyah kept Dakar Rally rival Carlos Sainz in his sights as he chopped the defending champion's lead in half in the seventh stage to Antofagasta in Chile on Sunday.

The Qatari driver won the 273 kilometer special leg from Arica by one minute and 20 seconds for the 10th stage victory of his Dakar career as the grueling endurance race resumed after a rest day.

Al-Attiyah, who finished runner-up to his Volkswagen teammate last year following an ill-tempered final few stages, is now just 1:22 behind the 48-year-old three-time world rally champion.

"From now on, I really have to attack," he told the race's official website after negotiating vast tracts of sand dunes. "In order to avoid flat tires, we have to avoid sliding sideways too much. More ...

01/09/11
irl
OK, AR1, tell us how electric engines would work for IndyCar  UPDATE #2 Another reader writes,
Electric Vehicle: I personal don’t see it working. Maybe on flat land but here in the HILLS of PA and other mountain states it’s a no go. Second where will all the cost for recharging come from? A tax break? Don’t think so. So what benefit will it bring to those that drive at least 30, 40, 50 plus miles one way to work? Just another wasted project IMO.

Ethanol Time Bomb: Cost to produce way to high and once again the benefits from it are so low. I snowmobile and with 10 to 15% ethanol it’s not a good thing for the engine. Now take into account all the lawn & garden equipment, other 2 cycle engines. I have a 2 vehicles and I personal have seen my gas mileage drop.

It’s been reported many years ago that someone refined an engine that could get gas mileage that far exceeded 50 to 70 MPG but was cut down by the auto industry.

Just another way for greed to take over the people at a time when employment is at a all time high as is home foreclosures. Joe Steber, PA

Dear Joe, Currently electric cars are not for everyone. The Chevy Volt goes 40 miles before the battery is depleted and then the gasoline engine kicks off and turns a generator that charges the battery, so you can make it to work and back. Someday you should be able to charge at work as well. Over 85% of Americans drive less than 40 miles per day, so for most they will never burn an ounce of gasoline with the Volt going to and from work, only on long trips.

The Volt can drive for 40 miles on a single full electric charge of it’s battery pack. It is a known fact that the battery pack will be allowed to drain down from 80% to 30% before the gas-generator kicks in. Since the battery pack holds 16 KWH of energy, that means 8 KWH will get you 40 miles.

The cost of a KWH from the electric grid varies considerably depending on location and time of use. Usually, off-peak hours, from 9PM to 10AM will have the lowest rates from one’s electric utility provider. This will require a special meter that not all homes have.

The average retail price of electricity in the U.S. by state ranges from around 8 cents/KWH to 19 cents/KWH. If we use the average, the cost to recharge the Volt will be around $1 to go 40 miles. Clearly for 40 miles of driving at present gas and electric prices, there will be a very significant cost savings.

As for Ethanol, we could not agree more and have reported this many times. IndyCar and NASCAR are barking up the wrong tree on this one. Mark C.

01/08/11 If Randy Bernard’s vision truly has an eye on the future, might he rock the establishment with the creation of the worlds first Electric Vehicle Indy 500 during his tenure?  What might the ultra- future for the EV Indy 500 look like? Might KERS become the iPhone of the race car world with multiple apps for - power, sound, efficiency, etc? Who might the audience be and what if they had some control of the “sound” that they would hear on race day.  What if they could vote for the sound that they might want to hear – Ferrari V12, Turbo Cosworth or maybe Chevy V8 – there could be an app for that.

The challenge of the EV Indy 500 would be charging the batteries quickly enough. The battery exists today but storing enough power is the current issue as is replenishing the power quickly. During pit stops, instead of filling the tank full of Ethanol, you would slide out the depleted battery pack and slide in a fresh fully charged power unit. Rookie drivers would be in the back seat where the engine and gearbox once sat and their job would be to monitor in real time the power available, control the heat of the batteries, decide the power needs to win the race, and interact directly with the world wide smart phone audience. More ...

01/09/11
f1
Trulli: Too many changes in F1  Team Lotus driver Jarno Trulli says too many changes have been brought into Formula One for 2011 and that having two teams carrying the Lotus name is "embarrassing and surreal".

"There are too many new things, from aerodynamics to tires to KERS. We talk about saving money but each year the rules change, people don't understand, it becomes less of a show," the 36-year-old Italian told Sunday's Gazzetta Sportiva newspaper.

Team Lotus will race against the rebranded Lotus Renault this season following a row over the use of the name. The former have backed down from a plan to use the same black-and-gold colors on their cars and will instead go for green livery. More ...

01/09/11
f1
New Red Bull car on schedule  Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner told AUTOSPORT: "We're on schedule for first test. It will be extremely tight to be there and ready on time, but that is our aim. We will be confirming our plans, and details about the launch, soon."

This time around, Red Bull Racing wanted to get the car running at Valencia because it wanted to gather as much data as possible about how the new-for-2011 Pirelli tires will interact with the current cars.

Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko suggested that the car was likely to go straight into track testing without a substantial launch event first.

"We start into the winter testing without [a] formal launch, but we intend to use the RB7 right from the beginning in Valencia," he said. "It will be very tight, but we are still on schedule with the new car." Excerpts from Racer Magazine

01/09/11
irl
Mario Andretti revs up charity fashion event  
Mario Andretti (Center) has always been one of racing's best dressed representatives
One of motorsports' most dapper dressers has signed on this year as an honorary chair for Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary's charity fashion show.

Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and Formula One World Championship winner Mario Andretti -- known for his stylish dress and perfectly coiffed hair -- will be the annual event's honorary driver chairman this year.

The fashion show, which will take place May 26 at the Westin Indianapolis, is a yearly tradition that draws about 700. It also brings in about $50,000 annually for CARA Charities, which promotes motorsports by donating funds to benefit children. More ...

01/09/11
ga
Johnson hungry for Rolex 24 win  Jimmie Johnson owns five consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and the Harley J. Earl trophy as the 2006 Daytona 500 champion.

One title though is still missing from his resume -- Rolex 24 At Daytona champion.

Johnson, who took part in the second day of testing during the Roar Before the Rolex 24, is hoping to join Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt as the only drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

For the fourth straight year, he will co-drive the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings entry with Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in the Rolex 24 on Jan. 29-30, the season-opening event to the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. More ...

01/09/11
ga
Wilson tops Grand-Am night practice  The No. 6 Ford Riley led Rolex Series night practice at the Speedway.  Justin Wilson was clocked at 127.146 mph over the 3.56-mile road course. Wilson will co-drive the Daytona Prototype with AJ Allmendinger and Michael McDowell.  Earlier in the day Allmendinger was fastest in Saturday's second day of "Roar Before the Rolex 24" testing at Daytona International Speedway, running the day's fastest lap of 127.318 mph in the No. 6 Curb Records DP he shares with Michael McDowell and Justin Wilson. He also beat Scott Pruett's fastest speed (126.848 mph) from Friday.
01/09/11
f1
Report shows F1 teams pay suppliers late  (GMM)  Force India pays bills later than most of its formula one team rivals, according to a report.

The Daily Mail said the Silverstone based team, which is owned by the Indian liquor baron, politician and billionaire Vijay Mallya, pays bills on average 30 days past due.

"If Vijay sold his yacht, it would keep the team going for a couple of years," said an unnamed supplier.

On the other end of the scale, business information firm Dun and Bradstreet found that 2010 drivers' and constructors' champions Red Bull is the only team in F1 that pays its bills when they are due.

The report, comparing data from December 2009 to November last year, said Red Bull's punctuality is due to a recently boosted budget.

On average, however, F1 teams reportedly pay their bills 28 days late, which is four days later than the previous Dun and Bradstreet report.

The worst offender is F1 newcomer Team Lotus, paying its bills 180 days late, but the report showed that even Ferrari and Mercedes usually fail to pay suppliers on time.

01/08/11
nassprint
Ky Speedway to Place Sprint Cup Tickets on Sale Jan. 12  Individual tickets for Kentucky Speedway’s inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400-mile event and five additional 2011 races will be placed on sale Wednesday, Jan. 12 at www.kentuckyspeedway.com, 888-652-7223 as well as through speedway offices in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., at 400 Buttermilk Pike and Sparta, Ky., off of Interstate 71, Exit 57.

The Saturday night Sprint Cup Series spectacular featuring five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and all of NASCAR’s top-tier competitors highlights a two-weekend season made up of the most NASCAR and IndyCar Series action in Kentucky Speedway’s 12-year history. More ...

01/08/11
SCORE
Robby Gordon to compete for SCORE Championship  Given his early departure from the Dakar Rally, Robby Gordon now intends to participate in the 2011 SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge next weekend, as well as compete for the 2011 SCORE Championship title.  Speed Energy
01/08/11
ga
DIS, Dempsey Racing Team Up On Special Rolex 24 Ticket Package  DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona International Speedway and Dempsey Racing have partnered on a unique ticket package that will let fans experience the Rolex 24 At Daytona, while benefiting two important causes.

Available for $59 per ticket, the Dempsey Racing package for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29-30 includes:

  • Two-day infield/grandstand admission (Saturday, Jan. 29 and Sunday, Jan. 30)
  • Group meet and greet with Dempsey Racing drivers on Saturday morning prior to the start of the Rolex 24
  • Dempsey Racing hero card
  • Rolex 24 event hat

A portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold will benefit both the Team Seattle Guild and the Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing. More ...

01/08/11
dakar
Today is a rest day for grueling Dakar Rally  
Stage six results:
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap

1. Carlos Sainz, Volkswagen, 4h53m53s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah, Volkswagen + 9s
3. Giniel de Villiers, Volkswagen + 9m49s
4. Mark Miller, Volkswagen + 9m50s
5. Stephane Peterhansel, BMW + 12m25s
6. Krzysztof Holowczyc, BMW + 25m26s
7. Guerlain Chicherit, Mini + 28m34s
8. Orlando Terranova, BMW + 38m55s
9. Guilherme Spinelli, Mitsubishi + 44m22s
10. Ricardo Leal dos Santos, BMW + 48m49s

Overall standings:
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Carlos Sainz, Volkswagen 20h39m41s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah, Volkswagen + 2m42s
3. Stephane Peterhansel, BMW + 14m51s
4. Giniel de Villiers, Volkswagen + 31m09s
5. Krzysztof Holowczyc, BMW + 1h13m19s
6. Mark Miller Volkswagen, + 1h35m53s
7. Orlando Terranova, BMW + 1h37m54s
8. Guilherme Spinelli, Mitsubishi + 2h17m56s
9. Guerlain Chicherit, Mini + 2h45m25s
10. Christian Lavieille, Nissan + 3h07m54s

01/08/11
nassprint
Past rookies added to Bud Shootout  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I once used the bathroom and bought a hot dog at Daytona in the same day so I must be eligible for the Bud Shootout. Past rookies of the year now  get in,  what's next calling out seat numbers. How long before a 5 ft chick with huge sunglasses and marginal (at best ) talent is awarded a spot. I can already here Larry Mac butchering the English language while telling us this is the deepest field ever. I'm already sick of Nascar and it hasn't even started! Ron Thompson

01/07/11 With a strong lineup that features former Sprint Cup Series champions, last year's Chase field, a host of former outstanding rookies, along with a collection of previous winners at the sport's most storied race track, NASCAR announced the list of eligible competitors for the 2011 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. The 33rd annual season-opening event launches Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway with the green flag set for 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12. FOX and MRN will broadcast live nationally. It marks the first Cup event held on the track's newly repaved surface. The field is set by the following qualifications, with eligibility based on a driver having competed in Cup within the past two seasons: More ...
01/08/11
nassprint
Fred Lorenzen diagnosed with the onset of dementia moved to nursing home  Fred Lorenzen was once a man who stood at the very pinnacle of what it means to be a NASCAR superstar, but now, some days are better than others.

It's been a little more than a year since the legendary driver was moved into a Chicago-area nursing home, having been diagnosed with the onset of dementia. He may or may not always remember what day of the week it is or even the name of his granddaughter, Ella. For Lorenzen's daughter and Ella's mom, Amanda Gardstrom, the decline is hard to fathom on so many levels.

Fred Lorenzen (ISC Archive)

He remembers every single thing from racing like it was yesterday. It's incredible. ... When I talk to him about what's going on right now, it's not that crystal clear. It's interesting how the mind works.

-- AMANDA GARDSTROM

There are glorious moments when Fearless Freddy returns, and the triggers are almost always the same. The very best days he enjoys now take place when Lorenzen talks about racing, when in his mind's eye he's back behind the wheel of the famed No. 28 Holman Moody Ford. He's winning the biggest races the sport has to offer all over again. He's back on top of the world.

Not long ago, Gardstrom made her dad a collage of old photos, from Charlotte and Darlington to his days racing at O'Hare Stadium and Soldier Field. Lorenzen promptly told her exactly what was going on in each photograph.

"He remembers every single thing from racing like it was yesterday," Gardstrom said of her father, who turned 76 on Dec. 30. "It's incredible. ... When I talk to him about what's going on right now, it's not that crystal clear. It's interesting how the mind works." More ...

01/08/11
f1
'Formula One would survive with a new name'  Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes that F1 could survive a name change if it was necessary to stop '[giving] up everything that made our sport.'

When former FIA chief Max Mosley announced two years ago that extreme budget cuts would be implemented, di Montezemolo proposed that it had become necessary for the F1 teams to break away from Formula One rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone and form their own series, and with the announcement that the sport will switch to four cylinder engines in 2013, the Italian is once again mulling over the possibility of a breakaway series.

"We need to think about what to do," he told Auto Motor und Sport. More ...

01/08/11
f1
Ecclestone denies paying $50m bribe to F1 banker  (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has denied paying a bribe to a German banker arrested last week for corruption.

Gerhard Gribkowsky, once representing former F1 owner Bayerische Landesbank, is charged with accepting $50 million amid the sale of the sport's commercial rights to its current owners CVC five years ago. More ...
01/08/11
f1
Not 'right time' for Karthikeyan at Force India  
Without saying it outright, essentially Mallya (above) does not feel Karthikeyan has shown the speed he wants to out of his drivers.  On top of that Karthikeyan is coming off a season of driving trucks.  He has to prove he can be competitive on road course where fast reflexes are essential.  A year in IndyCar first would have helped him hone those skills.  With HRT he will be right at the back of the grid and his career forever destroyed.
(GMM)  Vijay Mallya insists he is "delighted" there will be an Indian driver in F1 this year even thought it "wasn't the right time" for Force India to sign Narain Karthikeyan.

With the inaugural Indian grand prix scheduled for October, Karthikeyan's return in 2011 means there will be an Indian on the grid, but not at the wheel of Mallya's Force India-branded team.

"I'm delighted that Narain is able to make his F1 comeback with HRT and I wish him every success in the coming year," billionaire Mallya said.

"India should be proud that it will be fully represented in its inaugural grand prix by an Indian team and now an Indian driver."

Karthikeyan and F1's other Indian driver, Karun Chandhok, have at times been linked with Silverstone based Force India, but until now the team has fielded only European drivers.

"We have spoken to Narain over a period of time about returning," revealed Mallya, "and it just wasn't the right time for us in this stage of our development." More ...

01/08/11
ga
Turner Motorsport Unveils Rolex Sports Car Series BMW M3  Countless hours of planning, design, and hard work at the Turner Motorsport BMW Tuning shop started to pay off on Friday as a beautiful new race car hit the track at Daytona International Speedway when the team officially revealed the No. 94 NorthWest BMW M3 on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

The teams GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal GT Class entry will have a driver roster of talent to match the huge performance potential of the new machine.  The GT Class campaign, which falls on the 35th anniversary of BMW’s first overall victory in the with the BMW CSL, will see some fast and familiar faces in the pits as Auberlen, Said, and Paul Dalla Lana are joined by Turner Motorsport newcomer Matt Plumb. More ...

01/08/11
irl
New video series celebrates 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500  The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has launched a new video series on YouTube, celebrating the heroes and races of 100 years of the Indianapolis 500 as anticipation builds toward "The Most Important Race in History."

The series, entitled "Indianapolis 500 Centennial Era Moments," will feature video clips from classic Indianapolis 500-Mile Races and interviews with IMS legends at the IMS YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/IndyMotorSpeedway33.

A new video will appear every Friday through May. Fans are welcomed and encouraged to comment and post and share the videos through social media, including Facebook and Twitter. More ...

01/07/11
nassprint
nastruck
Leavine Fenton Racing to debut in Cup & Trucks  Tyler, Texas natives Bob Leavine and Lance Fenton have partnered up to form Leavine Fenton Racing. The team will compete in the Sprint Cup Series as well as the Camping World Truck Series throughout the 2011 season. Leavine Fenton Racing will run Fords from their Concord, N.C. based shop with the help of a driver David Starr and crew chief Wally Rogers. The team number will be #95 in both series. Leavine is the owner of WRL General Contractors, Ltd. and has been involved in racing for many years. WRL General Contractors, Ltd. has been in operation for over 30 years. The company's services include construction of commercial, institutional, and industrial projects by using construction management, competitive bid, or design build delivery methods. Fenton is the owner of Fenton Motor Group in Tyler, Texas and Phoenix Design and Manufacturing, LLC in Oklahoma City, Okla. He has raced and owned race teams since the mid 80's. Last year, he made his debut in the Camping World Truck Series. The cars will be Roush/Yates engines. As of right now they plan to run the following Cup races -- two Charlotte Motor Speedway races, two Texas Motor Speedway races, Kentucky and Chicagoland Speedway  Leavine Fenton Racing PR
01/07/11
irl
Panther Racing Owner Jim Harbaugh Named San Francisco 49ers Head Coach  It was announced today that Panther Racing co-owner and founding partner Jim Harbaugh has signed a five-year agreement to become the head football coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Harbaugh, who was one of six original ownership members of Panther when it was formed in 1997, just led the Stanford Cardinal to the most wins in school history with a 12-1 record and a dominant Orange Bowl victory over VirginiaTech.

Panther's primary IZOD IndyCar Series entry has always been No. 4 because it was Harbaugh's jersey number during a majority of his football career. Now Harbaugh's new driver of the National Guard entry, IndyCar Series rookie -- and lifelong 49ers fan - JR Hildebrand, was born and raised just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito. More ...

01/07/11
f1
McLaren to launch new car after Valencia test  (GMM)  McLaren will buck the trend of its closest F1 rivals by not revealing its 2011 car until after the forthcoming Valencia test.

While fellow 2010 title contenders Red Bull and Ferrari plan to kick off the four-test pre-season period with new cars, Woking based McLaren announced late on Friday that the MP4-26 will not be unveiled until February 4.

That is the day after the Valencia group test ends, making it likely that McLaren will commence its winter program with an interim version of the 2010 chassis before the new car debuts at Jerez.

McLaren said the 2011 launch will take place in Berlin but gave no further details.

01/07/11
f1
Chandhok eyes Team Lotus reserve role  
Karun Chandhok
(GMM)  The reserve seat at Team Lotus looks like Karun Chandhok's best option to rebuild his formula one career after an abortive debut with HRT in 2010.

After HRT announced on Friday that his Indian countryman Narain Karthikeyan has secured one race cockpit, Chandhok confirmed that he is not chasing the other.

The third driver role at Lotus is free following the recent departure of Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy.

26-year-old Chandhok told Reuters: "If a third driver role leads to something better for 2012, then that's what I'd like to see." More ...

01/07/11
dakar
Dakar Stage 6: Sainz breaks away  Since his first appearance on the Dakar, Ruben Faria has won a special each time he has taken part. After losing out on victory on the first stage due to a penalty, Cyril Despres's water carrier won today's special, ahead of his countryman Helder Rodrigues. On four wheels, Stephane Peterhansel's momentum was halted by a series of punctures and he now trails Carlos Sainz by almost 15 minutes in the general standings. A minor revolution shook the truck race with a victory for Ales Loprais, bringing to a close a series of 24 consecutive stage victories by the Kamaz team. More ...
01/07/11
racing news
Motorsports Hall of Fame announces class of 2011 inductees  The Motorsports Hall of Fame in Detroit on Thursday announced its newest class of inductees.

The class of 2011 includes Donnie Allison, Sid Collins, Roger McCluskey, Ed McCulloch, Augie Pabst, Bruce Penhall and Ed Winfield.

“This class is an extraordinary group of pacesetters,” said Ron Watson, president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame, “not only on the track, but in the engineering department and the broadcast booth, as well.” More ...

01/07/11
ga
Pruett, Auberlen Lead Opening Rolex Practice  Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates picked up where it left off in 2010 - running 1-2 in Friday's opening practice - while Bill Auberlen led GT in the rebodied Turner Motorsport BMW M3.

"It's a great way to be kicking off the season," said Pruett, who led DP with a lap of 1:41.043 in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley. "Last year certainly was an incredible season. This is our Super Bowl. A lot of energy goes into it - not only from the teams, but the officials and everyone involved. It's monumental."

The second Ganassi car - the No. 02 Target/TELMEX entry - was second in the opening session, with Juan-Pablo Montoya setting the lap of record while Scott Dixon also drove. More ...

01/07/11
automotive
Ford Exec Chairman: Electric Vehicles Are A 'Game Changer'  Ford Motor Co. views electric-vehicle technology as a core part of its business, the company's executive chairman said Friday. "The Model T put the whole world on wheels, but it also offered leading-edge technology," Bill Ford said at an event in Manhattan.

In the future, the use of batteries to partly or completely power cars is a core part of the company's business, Ford said. He called it a "game changer" that is ready to make a difference in improving vehicle efficiencies and reducing greenhouse gases.

The Detroit auto maker will launch its first pure electric car, the Focus Electric, in 19 North American cities by the end of the year and then in Europe in 2012. More ...

01/07/11
irl
ga
Wilson leads contingent of IZOD IndyCar stars to Rolex 24  Justin Wilson has set aside the wheel of his iracing.com console temporarily to get behind the wheel of a Daytona Prototype for the Rolex 24 Hours.

Wilson, who returns to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season, is co-driving the No. 6 entry alongside A.J. Allmendinger and Michael McDowell for Michael Shank Racing. He's among seven full-time IZOD IndyCar Series drivers from the 2010 season who are testing this weekend at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the event Jan. 29-30 on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn circuit. More ...

01/07/11
irl
ga
Wilson signs with Shank team for Rolex 24  
Justin Wilson
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver Justin Wilson will join Michael Shank Racing's third Daytona Prototype entry for the 49th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona January 29-30.

On Friday, team owner Mike Shank announced the driver line up for the third entry, with the No. 6 Continental Tire Flip 4 Four Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ford-Dallara being driven by three top talents as NASCAR Sprint Cup pilots AJ Allmendinger and Michael McDowell are joined by Wilson to share the driving duties in the No. 6 Continental Tire Flip 4 Four Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ford-Dallara in the 49th running of North America's greatest sports car challenge. More ...

01/07/11
irl
Foyt signs Meira for 3rd year  
Vitor Meira
Driver Vitor Meira, chief engineer Jeff Britton and longtime sponsor ABC Supply are returning to A.J. Foyt Racing for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

"I am really glad to have both ABC Supply and Vitor back with us," four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and team owner A.J. Foyt said. "ABC has been with us since 2005 and their loyalty and support means a lot to me.  Over my career, I have always had just one or two main sponsors at a time. It works for me and I think it works for them because they usually work into long-term deals. ABC has stood by my team through some tough times recently and I'm planning to give them some great times this season.

"Working with Vitor has been good. It's taken us a little time to adjust and having a full season under our belt with Vitor and Jeff will help us going into 2011. I look for us to have a good year." More ...

01/07/11
irl
More evidence Versus taking IndyCar into oblivion  When the Versus deal was announced by IndyCar AutoRacing1.com was a harsh critic, predicting it would make the series largely invisible with its miniscule TV ratings.  We remain the deals harshest critic and the latest evidence published by Sports Business Journal.

While ESPN's ratings have gone up from 2009 to 2010, both total and primetime only, Versus has plunged.  Ditto for SPEED.  Given these numbers, ALMS was smart to move from SPEED to ESPN and its family of networks.  Meanwhile the Versus albatross remains firmly affixed around IndyCar's neck.

TOTAL-DAY VIEWERSHIP

NETWORK '10 (000) '09 (000) '08 (000) '07 (000)
ESPN 1,083 1,004 937 869
ESPN2 337 334 325 330
Speed 138 160 150 129
NFL Network 114 97 80 82
Versus 98 120 107 89
Golf Channel 71 88 77 76
ESPNews 64 64 66 70
NBA TV^ 51 n/a n/a n/a
MLB Network* 41 n/a n/a n/a
Fox Soccer Channel** 28 25 67 n/a


PRIMETIME VIEWERSHIP
NETWORK '10 (000) '09 (000) '08 (000) '07 (000)
ESPN 2,400 2,303 2,122 1,952
ESPN2 634 693 641 657
Versus 279 307 278 225
NFL Network 258 223 175 196
Speed 228 280 273 240
NBA TV^ 131 n/a n/a n/a
Golf Channel 119 147 131 137
MLB Network* 95 n/a n/a n/a
ESPNews 87 84 86 89
Fox Soccer Channel** 39 37 70 n/a

01/07/11
irl
Helio buys a condo in Ft. Lauderdale  Dancing with the Stars champ Helio Castroneves has carved out a little elbow room near the Elbo Room in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The 35-year-old Team Penske IndyCar Series driver owns a spread in Fort Lauderdale at the Las Olas Beach Club oceanfront condos. He relocated from Miami last year and lives with his girlfriend, Adriana Henao, and their 1-year-old daughter.

The condo isn’t listed in property records under Castroneves’ name or Henao’s name. Merrill Cain, spokesman for Penske Racing, said he didn’t know how much Castroneves paid. Units in the complex listed for sale range from about $800,000 to $4 million. More ...

01/07/11
f1
Chandhok says he turned down HRT offer  (GMM) Karun Chandhok claims he has turned down the chance to return to the F1 grid in 2011 with the HRT team.

With his Indian countryman Narain Karthikeyan in one seat, there is still a vacancy with the Spanish team but 2010 rookie Chandhok told the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) that he "turned it down".

"I had the offer from them but I turned it down because it would not have served my purpose in the long run," he said on Friday.

"Racing for the team in the first year made sense, but now I am looking at a team that could fetch me points," added Chandhok. More ...

01/07/11
automotive
New mid-size VW takes aim on USA market  When Volkswagen AG set out in 2007 to become the world's leading automaker, it targeted Toyota Motor Corp. VW executives benchmarked the Japanese giant and even characterized a car they were developing for the American market as their "Camry-fighter," after Toyota's bestselling sedan.

Volkswagen is preparing now to roll out the all-new, as-yet-unnamed, midsize car Monday at the Detroit auto show, taking on Toyota and ratcheting up the pressure in the biggest segment of the U.S. auto market.

"It's already a very crowded market with the Japanese and domestics going at it, and now you're going to have Europeans, too," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at TrueCar.com in Santa Monica, Calif. More ...

01/07/11
automotive
Ford app will control Focus charge by phone  Ford said today it will offer an application that will allow owners of its new battery-powered Focus Electric to control the recharging process with their smartphones.

The application, called MyFord Mobile, will be announced by Ford at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The application is part of Ford's philosophy that consumers who are interested in electric cars are people who like technology and want to do everything possible to reduce their own energy usage.

The multi-screen application can display the charging status of the car, allows the owner to start or stop the charging process, can locate the nearest charging station and can display the overall health of the Focus Electric's battery. It will be free for the first five years. More ...

01/07/11
irl
Indy's Tom Carnegie hospitalized  Long time Indy 500 track announcer Tom Carnegie is in an Indianapolis hospital and is said to not be doing well.  We hope for the best as it would be too bad if he did not make it to the 100th Indy 500 anniversary.
01/07/11
dtm
Doornbos targets DTM debut in 2011  The Netherlands’s Robert Doornbos has told GPUpdate.net that he aims for a seat in leading German touring car championship the DTM this year, having spent 2010 in the Superleague Formula.

Doornbos made his Formula 1 debut in 2005, driving with Minardi from the German Grand Prix onwards before returning to the sport for the last trio of 2006 races with Red Bull. However, he has now revealed that negotiations are ongoing with Mercedes with regards to a DTM debut.

“We have two seasons behind us in IndyCars and Superleague Formula,” the 29-year-old from Rotterdam told GPUpdate TV.

“In 2011 we want to start with a clean slate and focus on a championship in which you can remain active for a number of years.

“I have a few good years left in me and I’m happy in IndyCar, but it’s very difficult in terms of sponsorship. We are currently conducting talks with Mercedes and it’s going very well; we’ve been to Stuttgart a few times and I think the DTM would be a very nice route for the future.”

01/07/11
f1
Karthikeyan turned down HRT seat in 2010  (GMM)  Narain Karthikeyan claims he could have made his return to F1 a year ago but the debuting HRT team was "unproven".

The 33-year-old, who became F1's first Indian driver under Colin Kolles' rule at Jordan in 2005, has again been signed by Kolles to race for HRT this season.

But Karthikeyan revealed to the Indian press agency PTI: "I've been in discussion with HRT for a long time. More ...

01/07/11
f1
No HRT seat for Senna in 2011 - Kolles  (GMM)  Bruno Senna looks to have bowed out of formula one after a single season.

HRT team boss Colin Kolles admitted on Friday that the Brazilian, whose uncle was the late and great Ayrton Senna, will not be Narain Karthikeyan's teammate at the Spanish team in 2011.

"I can definitely say that Mr. Bruno Senna is not going to race for HRT.  100 per cent not," Kolles told Reuters news agency.

He said HRT's other 2010 drivers Christian Klien and Sakon Yamamoto are still in the frame, but did not mention Karthikeyan's Indian countryman Karun Chandhok.

And admit speculation Vitantonio Liuzzi looks set to be ousted by Force India, Kolles told Autosport that HRT might field a "surprise" for the second cockpit because "maybe some drivers who have contracts might not have seats".

01/07/11
automotive
Kia Motors Posts 26.5% Global Sales Growth in 2010  Kia Motors Corporation announced its global sales figures for passenger cars (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants), recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles for 2010 reached an all-time high of 2,089,355 units sold, cementing Kia's position as one of the world's fasting growing automakers. This figure represents an annual year-on-year increase of 26.5% and marks the first time in the company's history that it has eclipsed the 2 million unit sales mark. By region, Kia posted year-on-year sales increases in general markets (447,994 units sold, a 47.1% year-on-year increase), China (354,944 units sold, a 38.3% year-on-year increase), North America (410,150 units, a 18.5% year-on-year increase), Europe (391,755 units, a 18.1% year-on-year increase) and Korea (484,512 units, a 17.4% year-on-year increase).
01/07/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday (UPDATED)  UPDATE See updates shown in red below.

01/07/11
  • Ferrari targets aero gains to catch Red Bull
  • Montezemolo wants start time change for F1 races
  • Brawn not sure Pirelli to suit Schumacher in 2011
  • Manager denies Raikkonen set to quit racing
  • Dennis names best and worst moments in career
  • Mosley takes media privacy crusade to human rights court
  • Court says HRT owner Carabante owes business partner EUR 47.5m New
  • HRT confirms Karthikeyan for 2011 New
  • Italian suits for Kobayashi and Perez New More ...
01/07/11
f1
Karthikeyan springs surprise with HRT deal  UPDATE (GMM)  HRT is expected to confirm officially on Friday that Narain Karthikeyan has secured one of the Spanish team's race seats for 2011.

"I am sure that his experience and speed will be very useful for the team during the season," team boss Colin Kolles said.

The news comes after the Indian driver, who made his F1 debut in 2005 with Jordan, announced on Twitter that he has been signed thanks to the support of his sponsors.

It emerged late last year that Karthikeyan, turning 34 next week, had up to $8 million to spend on a seat, including the backing of Mumbai-based carmaker Tata who are thought keen to associate with the inaugural Indian grand prix in October.

"Huge thanks to my long time supporters (the) Tata Group.  Their support has been instrumental," he tweeted on Thursday. More ...

01/06/11
dakar
Peterhansel wins stage 5, closes on Sainz  After tackling the first dunes on the Personal Dakar Argentina Chile, Francisco Lopez thought he had won his fourth stage on the Dakar. But the time taken by Paulo Gonçalves, 4th to finish the special, was modified to take account of the assistance he gave to Olivier Pain, who crashed at the 231 km point. The Portuguese rider picks up his first victory on the Dakar as a result. In the car race, a BMW also won the day, with a 56th special stage victory for Stephane Peterhansel, who is starting to threaten the position of Carlos Sainz, still overall leader. The truck race witnessed a slight change: Chagin lost his first place in the general standings to his lieutenant in the Kamaz team, Firdaus Kabirov.

Francisco Lopez has made a habit of winning at least one stage at home since the Dakar has been hosted by his country. Last year, “Chaleco” missed out on this prestigious stage due to a navigational mistake. This time, after a faultless performance all along the 423 km of the Day’s special, the Chilean fans’ favorite offered himself a royal descent down to the now famous finish at Iquique, with its 3 in 10 gradient and many spectators. Success seemed to be on the side of Lopez, because when it came to totting up, he appeared to have won the stage by one second from Frans Verhoeven. The Dutchman could thus harbor legitimate regrets about the crash he suffered only 2 kilometers from the finishing line, condemning him to second place. However, in the end he picked up third place, because Paulo Gonçalves benefited from a correction of his time to win his first special. It is also the first victory for BMW on the Dakar since the era of Richard Sainct, who triumphed on a German-made bike in 1999 and 2000. More ...

01/06/11
ga
Grand-Am welcomes start of 2011 season  The first major event on the international motorsports calendar will take place this weekend when GRAND-AM Road Racing rings in the new year with the "Roar Before the Rolex 24," a three-day test featuring a star-studded lineup at Daytona International Speedway.

Many of the stars entered in the season-opening 49th running of Rolex 24 At Daytona - set for Jan. 29-30 - are expected to test this Friday through Sunday (Jan. 7-9).

The reigning Daytona Prototype champions of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, along with series regulars including Alex Gurney, Max Angelelli, Jan Magnussen and David Donohue - are expected to be joined by NASCAR standouts including Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray, plus international stars including Dario Franchitti, Martin Brundle, Mark Blundell, Jorg Bergmeister and Scott Dixon. More ...

01/06/11
nassprint
Waltrip finds his niche  Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip is looking to add another title to his list of accomplishments – that of stand-up comedian.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner/driver is scheduled to debut his Michael Waltrip’s Comedy Garage Jan. 21 at the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Mo., with additional stops slated for the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor in Ontario, Canada (Jan. 22) and the Mirage in Las Vegas (March 4-5).

Comedians Henry Cho and John Reep headline the shows, which will include a routine by Waltrip. More ...

01/06/11
nhra
NHRA moves technical dept. to Indy  In a move to better serve the needs of the racing community at all levels of competition, NHRA will move its Technical Department headquarters to Indianapolis. The Tech Department will be housed at the offices at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis and continue to be headed by Vice President-Technical Operations Glen Gray.

“We have been aggressively expanding our technical-services capabilities and believe this move will enhance our ability to not only serve our constituents but retain and recruit some of the finest technical talent in the country,” said NHRA President Tom Compton. More ...

01/06/11
starmazda
Star Mazda President to meet with young drivers  In response to the international excitement generated by the announcement of the new Mazda Road to Indy program that will provide scholarship funding for the champions of each series (USF2000, Star Mazda and Indy Lights) to move up and compete at the next level, Gary Rodrigues, founder and President of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, will travel next week to Indianapolis and England to meet with top young drivers from around the world. More ...
01/06/11
irl
Franchitti earns top honor from EMPA  Dario Franchitti, the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series champion and a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, has been honored by Eastern Motorsport Press Association's  as its 2010 Al Holbert Memorial National Driver of the Year.

Franchitti earned his third IZOD IndyCar Series title in four years and his second-straight for team owner Chip Ganassi by just five points over series runner-up Will Power.

The EMPA also honored Ganassi, who was been named the T. Wayne Robertson Newsmaker of the Year. In addition to earning the team's third-straight series championship and the Indianapolis 500, Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Franchitti and Scott Dixon combined to win six IZOD IndyCar Series events in 2010. In Grand Am Rolex Series competition, co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas dominated the 2010 campaign, triumphing nine times in 12 events en route to taking the series title. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team won the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 and the Bank of America 500 with Jamie McMurray, while Juan Pablo Montoya topped the August event at Watkins Glen.

01/06/11
irl
Wurtz Named Team Manager at KV Racing Technology  
Tom Wurtz
KV Racing Technology has named highly-regarded motorsports executive Tom Wurtz as team manager for its Indianapolis-based IZOD IndyCar Series racing organization. Wurtz began his new role on Jan. 5.

Wurtz, a Chicago native, comes to KV Racing Technology after more than three decades in open-wheel racing as a team manager, operations manager and chief mechanic with teams such as Penske Racing, Newman Haas Racing and other racing companies.

"Tom Wurtz is a great addition to KV Racing Technology," said Kevin Kalkhoven, team co-owner and founder. "Tom is a respected team leader and holds an outstanding racing record through his career. We look forward to having Tom as part of our leadership in 2011." More ...

01/06/11
ga
Grand-Am team to skip Rolex 24  Godstone Ranch Motorsports (GSR) announced today the team will pass on the upcoming Rolex 24 and will now turn its focus to other races in 2011 benefitting the Texas Heart Institute.

GSR, in partnership with Dyson Racing, had entered a Lola‐Ford Daytona Prototype in the 2010 season finale race at the Utah 250 with Le Mans overall Champion, Davy Jones and Pro‐Am driver, John McCutchen, at the controls. GSR had hoped to enter the Rolex 24 but could not raise the necessary funding in time to contest the Florida enduro. More ...

01/06/11
track news
Daytona Workers just doing 'finishing touches'  There was that final push to finish paving Daytona International Speedway in the days leading up to Goodyear's tire test last month.  Now, it's more or less mop-up duty for a handful of contractors prepping the 2.5-mile tri-oval for a blitz of January testing.

"You work at a frantic pace for months, hit the finish line and that's it," project manager Bill Braniff said by telephone Wednesday. "You demobilize and get out of there.

"All of a sudden you catch yourself thinking, 'Whoa, wait, what happened?' There's a flurry of activity right up to the end." More ...

01/06/11
ga
Rolex 24 cars coming to DIS for weekend testing  The Grand-Am Road Racing Rolex Series and Continental Tire Series will test at Daytona International Speedway over the 3.56-mile road course. The event is billed as the Roar Before The Rolex 24. This will be the first full-field test over Daytona's new pavement.

What is happening?

Grand-Am will hold testing Friday through Sunday in preparation for the Jan. 29-30 Rolex 24 At Daytona. The Continental Tire Series will run in a separate support race and in different test sessions. Testing begins at 9 a.m. each day. More ...

01/06/11
gp2
Team AirAsia Joins Forces With FXPM.com  New GP2 entrant Team AirAsia is proud to announce FXPM.com has joined as a team partner and will race with the team throughout the Asian and Main GP2 series in 2011.

Team AirAsia enjoyed a successful first shakedown test at Paul Ricard in November 2010 and is looking forward to competing with the new Dallara GP2 chassis and Pirelli tire combination, starting with the official pre-season tests and season opening race in Abu Dhabi in February. More ...

01/06/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday UPDATED  UPDATE See updates in Red below.

01/06/11
  • New mechanic and trainer for Buemi in 2011
  • Mateschitz denies Red Bull to lose more F1 staff
  • Alonso to debut new Ferrari at Valencia test
  • August 25th earmarked for 2013 Rome GP
  • Bahrain happy with F1 calendar top spot
  • McLaren history on display at Bahrain GP
  • Mosley: Tabloid sting scuppered budget cap
  • Windsor recommends Sutil and Chandhok for Force India
  • India GP on schedule despite monsoons New
  • Force India and Virgin to test old cars at Valencia New
  • Renault confirms January 31 launch for R31 New  More ...
01/06/11
nascar
Bank halts foreclosure of 'White Elephant' NASCAR Plaza  Wells Fargo & Co. has stopped foreclosing on the NASCAR Plaza office tower in uptown Charlotte. The lender started foreclosure proceedings in November after being sued by its co-lender, Regions Bank, which claimed Wells "failed and refused to take timely action to collect" on the loan after the tower's developers stopped paying on the loan in December 2009. A foreclosure hearing had been scheduled for Nov. 30 and then rescheduled for Jan. 5 so the parties could continue negotiations, according to court filings. The case was voluntary dismissed without prejudice by the lender Dec. 31. Wells declined to comment. Charlotte Observer
01/06/11
dakar
NASCAR driver Robby Gordon disqualified at Dakar Rally  Robby Gordon had right front wheel bearing issues before the start of the timed special, costing him about 5 hours. He completed the stage, but because he was late to the special, he is disqualified from the rally. The SPEED Energy HUMMER of Eliseo Salazar is still competing in 81st overall position, as is SPEED DEMON motorcycle rider Quinn Cody who is currently in 13th position. Speed Energy
01/06/11
nassprint
Danica has no current plans for Cup  In Mobile, Alabama for the GoDaddy.com Bowl, Danica Patrick was asked if there was a time line for her to be in Sprint Cup racing: "Unless I plan on doing NASCAR there is less of a point of doing Cup. I have a long way to go to establish whether or not if this (NASCAR) is what I want to do. I suppose at some point in time I'll have to choose but I don't have to yet." Patrick will perform the coin toss duties at the beginning of the GoDaddy.com Bowl Thursday. Inside Alabama Racing
01/06/11
irl
Tagliani feels FAZZT will be stronger in 2011  
Alex Tagliani
The 2011 IndyCar season opener – the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – is less than 90 days out and team co-owner Alex Tagliani can’t wait. The FAZZT team put in two test days at Sebring International in November with GP2 driver Ho-Pin Tung providing feedback from the cockpit. Expanding to a full-season, two-car outfit is being explored.

“You have to appreciate how difficult it is to compete in IndyCar, but with one year under our belts all these things that happened just shows the quality of the people on board,” Tagliani says. “As a driver, you believe in your capabilities and they give you the equipment. You drive and get involved to help as much as possible and see where that leads. This past year was different because we really wanted to make a statement during the season. We got what we wanted, were competitive out of the gate and then during the year we learned what we needed to learn. More ...

01/05/11
track news
TMS announces tailgating parking licenses  Texas Motor Speedway today announced plans for Pit Stop Park, a new private tailgating area near the track's main entrance. Pit Stop Park is scheduled to be completed in early March ahead of the April 7-9 NASCAR race weekend. To buy a parking spot, fans must purchase a Personal Parking License for $1,000, after which they will be charged a yearly $750 maintenance fee. The area will measure 146 yards in length by 53 yards wide. Texas Motor Speedway PR
01/05/11
fil
ExpoSystems signs on with Jensen MotorSport  Jensen MotorSport is pleased to announce that ExpoSystems – an industry leader in Modular displays and exhibit solutions – has joined as a feature team partner for our 2011 Firestone Indy Lights Championship season.

ExpoSystems will create a customized work area solution for the Jensen MotorSport team, and will be an active marketing partner throughout the 2011 season.

Based in Toronto Canada and in Atlanta Georgia; ExpoSystems services the display and exhibit needs of more than 400 clients across North America each year as well as supplying an ever increasing Distributor network across the North American market. ExpoSystems is a full service provider beginning with design and construction of client displays and exhibits, the production of large format graphics. More ...

01/05/11
dakar
Gordon falls further behind, Sainz leads car category  
Robby Gordon driving an American made Hummer (i.e. bucket of bolts) has no hope of catching race leader Carlos Sainz in the Volkswagen above
Robby Gordon finished 15th in the third stage of the 2011 Dakar Rally as he improved four spots to 17th overall but dropped to 92 minutes behind the leaders Tuesday.

Gordon, piloting a Robby Gordon Motorsports Hummer, lost another 25 minutes to leader Carlos Sainz in the 310-mile trek split into two timed sections from San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de JuJuy in Argentina. Gordon clocked in at 4 hours, 7 minutes.

The 2011 route consists of 13 timed stages over 14 days. The route Wednesday crosses the Argentina-Chile border to Calama with the timed portion covering 128 miles. More ...

01/05/11
ga
Papis, Fittipaldi, Burt Frisselle Join Action Express Lineup  Action Express Racing announced today its two-car driver lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The defending race champions return to the scene of their historic first win with a stellar cast of drivers that includes seven former Rolex 24 overall race winners and two longtime GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 DP regulars.

Joao Barbosa and two-time overall Rolex 24 winner Terry Borcheller (2004, 2010) return in the No. 9 Porsche/Riley to defend their 2010 victory, joined by 2002 race winner and 2004 DP class champion Max Papis, 2004 race winner Christian Fittipaldi and JC France. More ...
01/05/11
dakar
USA TV Dakar daily updates  UPDATE Correction, time is 3:30 to 4:00 PM daily through January 16th.

01/05/11 Versus is carrying daily updates on the Dakar Rally 3-3:30 pm EST, plus replays at night.
01/05/11
f1
Massa must have better season  Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is confident that Felipe Massa will return to his best this year, but admits the Brazilian will need to clear his head first.

Massa had a terrible 2010 campaign and he finished sixth in the Drivers' Championship. While team-mate Fernando Alonso picked up four race victories, Massa's best results were a couple of second-place finish behind the Spaniard.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo criticised Massa's performance at the end of the season and gave him a "seven minus". More ...
01/05/11
alms
Muscle Milk team partners with Aston Martin for 2011  Pickett Racing - popularly known as Muscle Milk Team CytoSport - is set to become an Aston Martin Racing Official LMP1 Team Partner for the 2011 American Le Mans Series season in which the team will compete as Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing. 

As part of the association and thanks to the grandfathering rules set by IMSA that are allowing the 2010 LMP1 cars to run in 2011, the team will be armed with an Aston Martin powered LMP1 car for their assault on the ALMS. The Lola Aston Martin LMP1 car won the LMS Championship in 2009 with Aston Martin Racing. In 2010, it competed in two races in the American Le Mans Series. At the season opening 12 Hours of Sebring it placed third overall and went on to start from pole on the streets of Long Beach and  finish a very close second, only three tenths away from victory. More ...

01/05/11
automotive
AutoWeek names CTS-V Coupe as best new car for 2011  
2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
AutoWeek has selected the CTS-V Coupe as its 2011 Best of the Best Car, placing the Cadillac at the top of the class of new or significantly redesigned cars for the 2011 model year.

AutoWeek editors graded new vehicles on drivetrain, ride quality, handling, exterior and interior design and fun factor. The CTS-V Coupe received the most points overall in the car category.

The award was announced today on the AutoWeek website and will appear in the January 10 issue of the magazine.

AutoWeek editors noted the CTS-V Coupe’s dramatic design and also praised the Cadillac for providing both power and refinement. One editor called it the “best Cadillac ever.” More ...

01/05/11
track news
Kentucky Speedway ticket wait almost over  For fans who have wanted to buy tickets for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway but didn't want to commit to a season ticket package, the wait is almost over.

The track will put individual race tickets on sale at 9 a.m. Jan. 12.

The hottest ticket of the six races at the speedway this year is certain to be the inaugural Cup race on July 9. Ticket prices for the 400-mile Saturday night race will range from $70-$110 depending on seat location.

"I can guarantee you that there are people that have just been waiting, because I hear from them," general manager Mark Simendinger said. "I would certainly suspect (the response) is going to be pretty significant." More ...

01/05/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Also Renault planning pre-Valencia launch
  • Dyer axed as McLaren men step forward at Ferrari
  • Also Ecclestone worried about sound of 2013 engines
  • Petrov wants to race Ferrari and McLaren in 2011
  • Plans for F1 race at Mallorca still progressing
  • Sauber announces 2011 launch date More ...
01/05/11
nhra
NHRA celebrates its 60th anniversary  


From "the Swamp Rat" to "the Bud King," from "the Snake" to "the
From "the Swamp Rat" to "the Bud King," from "the Snake" to "the Mongoose," from the first fans lining airport runways to those who today pack historic venues like Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, NHRA’s rich and storied past will take center stage in 2011 as the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body celebrates its 60th anniversary.

What began with a simple signature by Wally Parks in March of 1951 has evolved over the last six decades into the fastest, most powerful and fan-friendly motorsport in the world.  And NHRA will be marking the 60th anniversary of Parks’ formation of NHRA with a year-long celebration that will pay homage to the evolution of the hot rod, the impact of the sport’s legendary racers, and the lifeblood provided by the many millions of loyal and passionate NHRA fans. More ...

01/05/11
f1
Ferrari replace Dyer with Fry, hire Martin  
Australian Chris Dyer gets the blame at Ferrari
Ferrari have announced a few changes to their engineering team over the Christmas break which will see the appointment of two Englishmen to senior positions within the outfit.

Ex-McLaren chief engineer Pat Fry, who joined the outfit last year, will takeover Chris Dyer's role as head of race track engineering.

Dyer had been responsible for strategic decisions, leading to speculation that he has been relieved of such duty after an error in Abu Dhabi which possibly led to Fernando Alonso missing out on his third title. More ...

01/05/11
automotive
Peugeot-Citroen announce all-electric car  
Mitsubishi i-MiEV
PSA Peugeot-Citroen has partnered with Mitsubishi to produce two French incarnations of the all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV.  Like other battery electric models to be released this year, these will be proper 4-seater cars, as opposed to quadricycles (like the G-Wiz). The iOn and C-Zero use a 64 bhp electric motor that enables the vehicle to accelerate to 62mph in 16 seconds and reach a top speed of 80mph. Using a three pin domestic plug, a full recharge will take 7 hours, or a rapid charger can be used to recharge by 80% capacity in just 30 minutes; the full battery range is 93 miles. Both models are initially for lease only, but aimed at both the private market and business fleets. Prices include batteries, servicing and warranty. Prices: £415 per month over 4 years/40,000 miles; Availability: January 2011; Website:  www.peugeot.co.uk or  www.citroen.co.uk
01/05/11
irl
nassprint
IndyCar and NASCAR - get your head out of the sand  UPDATE Another reader writes, Dear AR1: Ditto re: thanks for alerting your readers to Jim Billmaier’s great book, JOLT! and for advocating that motorsports lead rather than follow with this technology.  Thankfully there is some significant movement already underway.  The only exception I take to the comments below is that Scott Atherton and ALMS are in fact leading the way in the US for cleaner racing technology are far ahead of IndyCar and, of course, NASCAR.  Other seriously active proponents are the Motorsports Industry Association with their European Clean Racing Technology Conference next week (see www.the-mia.com) and of course the only world class all electric racing series to-date, the TTXGP (www.egrandprix.com)  So there may be (battery powered) light at the end of the tunnel. Ron Landthorn

01/04/11 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I was glad to see you highlight the Jolt book (The impending dominance of the electric car) on your Home page.  I had read this book and it was a real eye opener.  This message goes out to Randy Bernard, Bernie Ecclestone, Brian France and Scott Atherton - you all had better read this book (download it to your iPad or Kindle) and understand why the electric car is mankind’s future, and the transformation might happen sooner than you think.

Racing has always been the test bed for motorsports.  Well guess, what, the automotive industry is rolling out electric cars as we speak and all four of you are asleep at the wheel.  By the time you pull your head out of the sand and realize that electric motors and batteries should be added to all your race cars (in a hybrid design) so your race series can be a test bed for the auto industry, the opportunity will pass you by and your race series will become increasingly irrelevant.  Dan Bush
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