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DATE News (chronologically)
01/12/10
irl
Helio sees his face on the Indy trophy again  If the old saying "To the victor go the spoils" is true, then Helio Castroneves was spoiled rotten for his victory in the 2009 Indianapolis 500.

Castroneves received the spoils of his third "500" victory - the Herff Jones Champion of Champions Ring and the unveiling of his likeness on the famed Borg-Warner Trophy - in a ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

"Where is it?" Castroneves said as he tried to locate his newest likeness on the trophy. "Ohh, here we go. Wow! We can see that the years are passing by. My hair is kind of going backward. I can see that. Isn't that amazing? Oh my goodness! This is just incredible." More ...
01/12/10
irl
Barber , Kentucky to host Indy Racing League Open Tests in 2010  IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights teams will have two Open testing periods during the 2010 season beginning with a preseason Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park next month.

The Barber Motorsports Park Open Test, slated for Feb. 24-26, will be the only Open Test conducted prior to the start of the 2010 season. It marks the second-straight season that both IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights teams will conduct an Open Test at the scenic Alabama road course.

"The way the 2010 schedule falls allowed for the opportunity for our teams to focus their preseason plans on the road and street course events to open the season," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for the Indy Racing League. "By shifting the oval testing portion to in-season Open Test dates, teams have the option of keeping their equipment in road-course trim until they are ready to focus on the oval portion of the schedule, including the month of May at Indianapolis." More ...

01/12/10
dakar
Dakar Rally Stage 10 Video Summary - VW 1-2-3  Pending validation by the race stewards, the leader of the general standings, Spaniard Carlos Sainz (VW), has finally won his 1st stage victory on the 32nd Dakar, the 16th of his career in the event, by beating Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel (BMW) by 28" and his American team-mate Mark Miller (VW) by 1’02.

As a result, in the general standings, “El Matador” Sainz has given himself a bit more breathing space out front with a lead that now stands at 10’06 over his Qatari team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah (VW) and 28’19 over his American team-mate Mark Miller (VW). This still means 3 Volkswagens occupy the first 3 places, whereas the 4th placed driver, Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel (BMW), trails the leader by 2.14:20. More ...
01/12/10
miscellaneous
Chili Bowl to feature top NASCAR names  As is the tradition, a number of notable NASCAR drivers are scheduled to run in the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at Tulsa Expo Raceway in Oklahoma. Thus far: Kasey Kahne, Jason Leffler, Bryan Clauson, Bobby East, P.J. Jones, Brad Sweet, Tyler Walker, Tim McCreadie, Tracy Hines and Josh Wise will all challenge 5-time winner Sammy Swindell. There are 265 entries from 28 different states as well as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. More info on the event at chilibowl.com. SPEED will air parts of the race on a tape-delayed basis and be broadcast live (audio) on www.racinboys.com.(1-12-2010)
01/12/10
nassprint
SPEED announces behind-the-scenes NASCAR show  Beginning Jan. 24, NASCAR fans will be given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to one of the sport's most successful teams as it prepares for the season-opening Daytona 500. SPEED and IMG Sports Media are working together on a series of four one-hour specials featuring Joe Gibbs Racing and giving fans a unique perspective of what it takes to be ready to perform in The Daytona 500. JGR's Countdown to the Daytona 500 will take viewers to previously restricted areas, including wind tunnel testing, the engine department and team plane.(SPEEDtv)
01/12/10
irl
IndyCar changes announced at Winter meetings  More than 250 IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights drivers and team representatives descended on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Jan. 12 for the Indy Racing League's annual winter meeting and preseason physicals.

Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for the sanctioning Indy Racing League, announced several changes to IZOD IndyCar Series cars for the 2010 season during the meeting while other various sanctioning body departments, manufacturers and partners presented updates.

Changes announced for 2010 include removal of the four-position fuel mixture switch from the cars. The Honda overtake assist system will remain and receive almost a doubling of horsepower boost.

The Honda overtake assist was added for the race at Kentucky Speedway in August 2009 and carried through the remainder of the season on ovals and road courses. It provides drivers a boost in horsepower and RPMs for a predetermined number of uses and durations by activating a button on the steering wheel. More ...

01/12/10
irl
alms
Toyota GP of Long Beach picks up another sponsor  SA Recycling, a world leader in the metal recycling and processing industry, will be a first-time Official Sponsor of the 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16-18.

A full service ferrous and non-ferrous metal recycler and processor, SA Recycling helps individuals and corporations realize true economic value from the scrap metal recycling process. SA Recycling has over 40 recycling locations throughout the southwestern United States, including the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

"SA Recycling is a welcome addition and a natural fit for us," said Jim Michaelian, President and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "Their efforts will complement our Lifestyle Expo's ground-breaking 'Green Power Prix-View,' which highlights a wide variety of eco-friendly activities for home, office and on the road." More ...

01/12/10
automotive
Tesla drives their roadster cross-country to Detroit Auto Show  Tesla Motors - the California start-up and maker of an electric roadster - has reached a major milestone.

As part of the company's 1,000th sale, several company employees took on the challenge of a 2,700-mile trek from Los Angeles to Detroit in a Tesla Roadster. The goal: Prove that electric vehicles are viable without any special infrastructure.

"We charged it up at people's homes, restaurants, RV parks, wherever we could," said Elon Musk, Tesla's chairman and CEO. The employees were joined by several Roadster owners at a kick-off event on Dec. 17. The Roadster arrived in Detroit on Jan. 8 and was parked - unwashed - at the Tesla display on the auto show floor.

The company is auctioning off the 1,000th vehicle with the proceeds going to three Detroit-area charities and two national environmental charities, Musk said.

Musk said the company is still pushing ahead with development of the Model S sedan. He noted it is still about 2.5 years away from dealer showrooms, but is on track with the company's original development schedule.

The Model S is a four-door sedan designed to seat five adults and two children while doing 0 to 60 in less than six seconds - all with a range of 300 miles.

The car will cost less than $50,000 when a federal tax credit for electric vehicles is figured into the price. Musk said in order to make the vehicle more accessible, it will be available for lease and the lease price will be comparable to that of a $35,000 vehicle.

Musk said the company still plans to make an "affordable" $30,000 vehicle within five years. He expects the company to sell more than 200,000 of those vehicles. Detroit News

01/12/10
miscellaneous
Skip Barber announces national Skip Barber Cup  In a nod to the 35th anniversary of the company’s founding, the Skip Barber Racing School today announced a separate championship to be run in conjunction with the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda. Named in honor of company founder and former owner Skip Barber, the Skip Barber Cup Championship is open to drivers aged 26 and older who would like to race against the younger drivers at the marquee events offered in the 2010 National schedule, but are not eligible for the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development system. Skip Barber Cup drivers will compete for a separate championship and prize fund to be announced later.

“There has been a longstanding interest by some of our more experienced sportsman drivers to compete against future racing stars on a National level”, said Todd Snyder, Vice President of Competition at Skip Barber Racing School.

“The Skip Barber Cup gives those drivers an opportunity to race at a 12 Hours of Sebring or a Petit Le Mans against drivers of similar age and ability for their own championship.”

Barber, the long-time owner of Lime Rock Park and the newly created Lime Rock Drivers Club, added, “From the very beginning the Race Series catered to two distinct audiences; the young up-and-coming racer with career aspirations and the driver for whom racing is more of an avocation. The Skip Barber Cup continues that tradition; giving that second group the opportunity to compete on a national level in an arrive-and-drive series with professional coaching.”

The 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda season begins the weekend of March 5-7 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida with the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.w.skipbarber.com/raceseries.

2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber Cup Championship schedule
Seven double-race weekends
Spring Training, January 28-29, Sebring International Raceway
Rounds 1 & 2, March 5-7, Homestead-Miami Speedway with Grand-Am
Rounds 3 & 4, March 16-19, Sebring International Raceway with American Le Mans Series
Rounds 5 & 6, April 22 - 25, Virginia International Raceway with Grand-Am
Rounds 7 & 8, May 28-June 1, Lime Rock Park with Grand-Am
Rounds 9 & 10, July 15-17, New Jersey Motorsports Park with Grand-Am
Rounds 11 & 12, August 20-22, Road America with American Le Mans Series
Rounds 13 & 14, September 28-October 1, Road Atlanta with American Le Mans Series
01/12/10
gp2
f1
GP2 test not big advantage for Schu - Haug  UPDATE The 41-year-old German, returning with Mercedes after retiring as a Ferrari driver in 2006, completed 52 laps before heavy rain and gusty conditions halted the session in the afternoon.

"Today was good especially because after a long time I could drive again in a car that came almost close to a current Formula One," he said in a statement.

"Despite the weather not being what we all would have liked all my senses were nevertheless on full alert - this alone was worth it.

"I felt comfortable out on the track from the very beginning."

1/12/10 (GMM)  After describing Michael Schumacher's test in a GP2 car this week as a F1 "warm-up", Norbert Haug has played down the seriousness of the German's development duties at Jerez.

After news broke that 41-year-old Schumacher was circumnavigating the F1 testing ban with the three-day GP2 session, the feeder series reacted officially by saying the seven time world champion is conducting development work for the 2011 car.

But Haug, who is Mercedes' competition chief, told the German news agency SID: "The GP2 organization was smart enough to use the situation in their favor.

"Because of the test, a great number of pictures of GP2 cars will be on the television, in newspapers, magazines and websites," he said. More ...

01/12/10
f1
Bad weather affects Schu's GP2 test  (GMM)  Bad weather on Tuesday affected the opening day of Michael Schumacher's test in a GP2 car at Jerez.

A statement issued by the feeder series said "heavy rain and wind" hit the former grand prix circuit shortly after the 41-year-old began his running in the morning.

The conditions then worsened and the session was stopped early.

"Despite the weather not being what we all would have liked all my senses were nevertheless on full alert -- this alone was worth it," said Schumacher, who managed 52 laps.

He will conduct two more days of testing, on Wednesday and Thursday.

01/12/10
nastruck
Piquet confirms NASCAR switch for 2010  (GMM)  Nelson Piquet will not return to the formula one grid in 2010, the Brazilian driver announced on Tuesday.

After losing his seat at Renault this year, the 24-year-old become embroiled in the crashgate scandal and later tested NASCAR trucks in America.

Piquet had been linked with 2010 race seats at Campos or Force India, but wrote on his website on Tuesday: "After my first 18 months in F1 did not go as planned I have decided to focus on something different and have chosen to take a route in America."

He confirmed that his American route is with the NASCAR family.

"NASCAR is hugely challenging and nobody has ever come in as an outsider and gone on to win it -- it will be the ultimate challenge.  I will let you know more details on the exact program soon," said Piquet.

He said he may return to Europe in the future to contest Le Mans.

01/12/10
atlantic
Atlantic Series seeks drivers at Autosport Show  Ben Johnston, owner of the Cooper Tires presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, is headed to England to take part in the Autosport Show held at NEC in Birmingham, England on January 14th – 16th. Ben Johnston and top series officials are set to meet with many talented European drivers that have shown great interest in running in the 2010 Atlantic Championship Series. There has been great buzz surrounding the success of many ACS drivers that are having opportunities to drive and test with teams in top tier racing sanctions.

The ACS team has a busy schedule in front of them when they arrive at the Autosport Show. There is great excitement surrounding the show for both racers and the ACS team. “I have two days of meetings lined up with drivers and managers,” said Atlantic Championship President Ben Johnston. “As a result of demand we have organized a two day test in February in Florida, exclusively for European drivers, who will get a great deal of seat time in the car and will also have the chance to meet all the team owners. We expect a strong driver showing from Europe on the grid in 2010, which will make this a tight and competitive season for racing.” More ...

01/12/10
automotive
Tesla goes over 300 miles on single charge  Last week in Australia the record was broken for the longest distance traveled on a single charge in a production electric vehicle.  The electric vehicle was a Tesla Roadster – the only one owned in Australia – which reached a maximum distance of 501 kilometers (311 miles) on a single charge.

This happened during the Global Green Challenge, a relaxed race where environmentally friendly vehicles have been competing over the 3000 kilometer (1864 mile) course from Darwin to Adelaide. More ...

01/12/10
racing news
Fans favor Formula One star Michael Schumacher  In the end, you picked the winner. You broke the tie at the top. And your selection for Driver of the Decade is Formula One great Michael Schumacher.

We applaud your choice. And thanks for getting all of us here at ESPN off the hook.

Here's the official top five:

1) Michael Schumacher: Seven-time Formula One champion.

2) Jimmie Johnson: The only man to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.

3) Valentino Rossi: Motorcycle racer with six MotoGP championships and nine overall Grand Prix world championships.

4) Sebastien Loeb: Winner of six consecutive World Rally championships.

5) Tony Schumacher: Seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion. More ...

01/12/10
superleague
12 races on the 2010 Superleague Formula schedule  Superleague Formula will visit a host of new countries and venues in 2010 as part of an expanded calendar. Despite a number of changes to the provisional schedule revealed back in October, the football-themed championship’s calendar does still feature a dozen dates.

Indeed, next season’s fixtures represent a 100% increase compared to 2009 in line with the series’ four year plan set out before the very first Superleague Formula race in 2008. For the first time, three countries welcome multiple races with Britain, Spain and Germany hosting two each. In addition, the series welcomes at least six new circuits to the schedule. More ...

01/12/10
lmes
Beechdean and Mansell Sign Partnership  UPDATE The livery of the Beechdean Mansell Motorsport Ginetta Zytek GZ09S that Nigel Mansell will race this year in the 2010 Le Mans Series with sons Leo and Greg will be on show at the Autosport International Show this weekend at the NEC in Birmingham (14-17 January 2010).  The 2010 color scheme features the Union Flag draped over the rear of the car and is a direct link with the famous Mansell helmet color scheme.  Also seen for the first time is the new Beechdean Mansell Motorsport logo that will adorn the team’s trucks, clothing and merchandise and again features the red, white and blue logo.

Beechdean Mansell Motorsport Team Principle, Andrew Howard said: “We are very excited about the new livery and the new logo, which gives the team a very distinct presence.  We are a British team with a British racing legend at the wheel so it made perfect sense to use the Union flag on the car, which is also the colors carried by Mansell family since the 1980s.  The car will certainly stand out at all of the LMS races, especially at the Le Mans 24-Hours, assuming we get an entry.” More ...
01/12/10
irl
Video: Lap of Brazil IndyCar circuit  Below is a video of the proposed track in Brazil.  Racer Felipe Giaffone takes us on a tour. The video is all in Portuguese. 

01/12/10
f1
Red Bull to skip Valencia, more testing for USF1  (GMM)  Unlike the bulk of the established F1 teams, Red Bull will reportedly not appear with its new car at the first pre-season test at Valencia early next month.

Autosport said the RB6 will instead make its track debut at the subsequent Jerez session in order to give the team more time to work on the Renault-powered car.

Team boss Christian Horner is quoted as saying that "with the refuelling change, we've opted to give our designers as much time as possible".

He added that it is "unlikely" the team will make an appearance at Valencia even with the 2009 car. More ...

01/12/10
alms
Video: ALMS The Leading Edge  Today marks the launch of The Leading Edge, a new video segment exclusive to americanlemans.com that features newsmakers in the American Le Mans Series both on and off the track. To kick things off, we visited with Series President and CEO Scott Atherton and IMSA Vice President of Operations Scot Elkins for a little insight into the 2010 season. Check back in the coming days for more … More ...
01/12/10
automotive
GM Receives Grant for Engine Development to Boost Efficiency  The U.S. Department of Energy is awarding General Motors Co. a $7.7 million grant to accelerate development of four technologies to improve the fuel economy of light-duty vehicles by at least 25 percent while meeting strict future emissions standards.

The GM project integrates technologies including lean combustion, stop-start, and active thermal management and an innovative passive selective catalytic reduction (SCR) after-treatment system that collectively push the efficiency of conventional propulsion to its upper limits. More ...

01/12/10
f1
Barrichello to test on 1 February in Spain  (GMM)  Rubens Barrichello is the next formula one driver to announce his plans to test on the opening day of the 2010 pre-season.

Brazil's Globo on Monday published a photo of the Brazilian veteran, who finished last season in third place before leaving Brawn GP, wearing the overalls of his new team and posing alongside the 2009-spec Williams single seater.

"I will go on the track on the morning of the 1st of February and will leave only at night," the enthusiastic 37-year-old is quoted as saying.

Globo said Barrichello will be powered at Valencia by a Cosworth engine, presumably fitted to Williams' 2010 car.

01/12/10
gp2
f1
Mercedes confirms Schumacher GP2 test  UPDATE (GMM)  Norbert Haug has admitted that this week's three day test with a GP2 test is a "warm-up" for Michael Schumacher's return to formula one.

After reports in the German press said the Jerez session is simply a circumnavigation of the current F1 testing ban, both the GP2 series and Mercedes GP issued a media statement.

They said the Spanish event is in fact a "development test" to gain data for the 2011/13 GP2 car, with "numerous suspension configurations" and the testing of "updated components including a new clutch" on the agenda.

But Mercedes' competition chief Norbert Haug described the test as a "warm-up" for the 41-year-old German, comparing it with Schumacher's test in a two-year-old Ferrari prior to his aborted mid-season comeback last season.

The GP2/Mercedes statement did acknowledge that Jerez, to have its doors closed to the public for the test, will allow Schumacher "some motor sport mileage" in "preparation for his much-awaited return to formula one" this year. More ...

01/12/10
f1
Mercedes not paying Schumacher's retainer - Haug  (GMM)  Norbert Haug has hit back at internal criticism about the decision to ramp up Mercedes-Benz's formula one foray.

While fellow carmakers including Honda, BMW and Toyota have pulled out completely, and Renault scales back its involvement, Daimler-owned Mercedes opted instead to buy the Brawn team and then bring Michael Schumacher out of retirement.

After the Brawn buyout, a member of Daimler's supervisory board and Corporate Works Council Erich Klemm said Mercedes had missed a "chance to completely leave the costly and controversial circus (F1)".

Then, after Schumacher was signed for 2010 for EUR7 million, another supervisory board member Uwe Werner said the decision was "hard to justify" amid the automobile world's current crisis. More ...

01/12/10
f1
BBC escapes after Button swear-word complaint  (GMM)  The BBC has escaped without penalty after Jenson Button swore during the live British broadcast of the season ending 2009 Abu Dhabi grand prix.

The independent communications authority Ofcom revealed in its latest official bulletin that one viewer complained after Button was heard to tell his fellow podium sitters Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber: "F*ck, I should have waited".

The BBC told Ofcom that it has "limited control" of the output of the F1 coverage because it is supplied by a third party, Formula One Management. More ...

01/12/10
f1
Alonso wears Ferrari gear at media event  
Fernando Alonso in Ferrari red
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso on Monday made his debut in official team wear as Ferrari's traditional winter pre-season event kicked off at the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort in northern Italy.

Arriving for the event known as 'Wrooom' in a helicopter, the Spaniard was dressed in a team jacket bearing the prominent signage of the Spanish bank Santander.

Joining the action as per usual is the jointly Marlboro-sponsored Italian MotoGP team Ducati, and about 100 members of the international media.

On Tuesday, the drivers and riders - including Felipe Massa and F1 reserve Giancarlo Fisichella - will take to the ski slopes, while the Spanish media in particular looks forward to speaking to 28-year-old Alonso for the first time as a fully-fledged Ferrari driver.

01/12/10
automotive
Hyundai Blue-Will plug-in hybrid  Following Hyundai's successful ascent to the top of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) report in November, the Blue-Will Plug-in Hybrid concept makes its U.S. debut at the 2010 North American International Auto. The Blue-Will features panoramic glass roof with solar cells for recharging batteries. It promises an electric-only driving distance of up to 40 miles on a single charge and a fuel economy rating of more than 100 miles per gallon.

01/11/10
dakar
Video: Dakar Stage 9 Summary  Pending validation by the race stewards, Nasser Al-Attiyah (VW) picked up his 3rd stage victory on the 32nd Dakar and the 6th of his career in the event, by beating his Spanish team-mate Carlos Sainz (VW), who again suffered a puncture today, by 5’59 and his South African teammate Giniel de Villiers (VW) by 7’38.

More importantly, this new triumph enabled the Qatari to climb up the general standings to only 8’36 from the leader, his team-mate “El Matador” Sainz. It demonstrates that there are no racing orders for the moment within the Volkswagen team, who nonetheless still boast 3 Race Touaregs in the first 3 places, with American Mark Miller (VW) comfortably placed 3rd, 27’17 behind the leader, whereas the 4th placed driver, Stéphane Peterhansel (BMW), trails by 2.13:52. More ...
01/11/10
irl
Race Engineer Jeff Britton joins A.J. Foyt Racing  Jeff Britton, of Indianapolis, has joined A.J. Foyt Racing as chief engineer of the No. 14 ABC Supply Indy car driven by Vitor Meira. Britton will be renewing an alliance with Meira as the two men worked together in 2005 when Meira finished second in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time.

“I’m very excited to be joining the A.J. Foyt Racing family,” Britton said. “I’m looking forward to being able to rely on the wealth of experience that A.J. has and also working with Vitor again. He makes things very easy for engineers because he can boil down the problems of the car to the biggest problem. He enables you to work on one thing at a time to really make progress in setting up the race car. More ...

01/11/10
alms
Wong joins Intersport Racing  Following an outstanding 2009 season in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama, Brian Wong has been designated to join Mitch Pagerey driving Inersport Racing's American Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) car for 2010. Intersport Racing is the American Le Mans Series' longest running privateer team with starts in 100 Series events. Following the Series' announcement at Road America designating changes to the class structure, Intersport Racing was the first team to purchase the new American Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) chassis.

Wong has assembled an impressive winning resume in very short order. With experience in everything from Legends Cars, Late Models and the NASCAR Camping World East/West Series - both on oval and road courses, the 20 year-old Wong finished second in the IMSA Patron GT3 Challenge championship even after missing two events due to school commitments. In 12 starts, Wong led the Series in wins taking the checkered flag 9 times. In addition, he dominated qualifying posting 9 pole-starting positions. With the exception of one mechanical failure that resulted in a DNF, Wong finished 2nd in the races he did not win.

The Newport Beach, California native splits time between California and attending Northeastern University in Boston as a 3rd year Communication  major.  Wong is looking forward to the challenges of driving a prototype with completely different characteristics than the Porsche GT3 Cup car.

"This is an amazing opportunity," said Wong. "I see the Challenge class as a perfect format for me to grow my racing career and move up in the American Le Mans Series. It's great to see the Series taking steps that will allow a driver like me to grow his skills. I'll be racing in a World Class series with arguably the best drivers in the World and on the greatest tracks in North America. It's the perfect scenario for a guy like me. I know I can do well here."

"I can't say enough about the Intersport team," Brian continued. "It feels like it will be the perfect fit for me. They have the experience, the history and I know they can get Mitch and me to the front. Plus I really like the sense of family. It's nice to know that the race program is managed under one roof and the lines of communication are short, open and to the point. These guys know how to get it done."

"We really feel Brian makes the perfect co-driver with Mitch Pagery," added Clint Field. "We met Brian at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at the end of the season and had a chance to see him behind the wheel. He's extremely quick. More importantly, we were impressed with his maturity and his understanding of what goes into running a team and his ability to identify is role. He's very focused."

"We also liked that he and Mitch both come with a background in the Patron Challenge class," Clint continued. "We think this will be helpful in setting up the car to suit both drivers. It should simplify and streamline communication between drivers and the crew."

Intersport continues to build during the off-season and expects announcements regarding their flagship LMP1 program in the near future.

"Our commitment to IMSA and the American Le Mans Series is unwavering and stronger than ever," said Clint. We are working hard to expand our effort and grow the Intersport team. IMSA and the ALMS continue to work in order to grow sports car racing in North America. That provides us the incentive and the confidence to continue to invest our racing dollars with the American Le Mans Series."

Earlier this year, in a progressive step designed to keep ahead of the rest of the industry, the ALMS announced the overhaul of its four-class structure beginning with the 2010 season. The four classes will be Le Mans Prototype (LMP), Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC), Grand Touring (GT) and Grand Touring Challenge (GTC).

American Le Mans Series President and CEO Scott Atherton proclaimed: “Our sport has always been about evolution, and our plans for 2010 and beyond reflect it. I think the American Le Mans Series is ideally positioned to benefit from the current and future focus of all auto manufacturers. Recent announcements by major auto manufacturers and our government leaders confirm that racing series which provides opportunities to showcase and develop relevant new technologies - with an emphasis on the environment - are the future. We have never been more confident in our positioning and look forward to expanding our green racing initiatives to better serve the teams and manufacturers competing with us."

The new class structure is designed to retain the core attributes of what has made the ALMS the most successful professional sports car racing series in the world - world class Le Mans prototypes and GT cars - while also adding new high-value opportunities that expand the accessibility of this platform to new participants.

"The new Challenge classes shows us the Series is listening," continued Field. "We see the LMPC car has the perfect addition to our LMP1 program and an extension of our IMSA Lites program. Our program can now provide a true path of growth for drivers who want to succeed in sports car and endurance racing. With the addition of the LMPC car we now provide fully supported programs in three steps… IMSA Lites, LMP Challenge, and our flagship prototype, LMP1."

LMP Challenge, an exciting new class, was introduced earlier this year in Europe through the collaborative efforts between the ACO and ORECA/DPPI. The ORECA-Courage FLM09 that comprises the class has a minimum weight of 900 kilograms similar to its LMP brethren, but its 450 hp is considerably less than the LMP cars, which range from 500-700 hp. The LMP Challenge car is a true Le Mans prototype, but represents an affordable “value engineered” entry to Le Mans prototype racing. The FLM 09 is a very sophisticated race car with a full carbon fiber chassis, carbon brakes, and an Xtrac sequential gearbox with paddle shifting. All LMPC cars will race on single-supply Michelin tires.

The ALMS class change is supported by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the organization that operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans and establishes the rules and regulations for Le Mans style racing worldwide.

LMP1 and LMP2 cars will compete as a single LMP class in 2010 with exception of the endurance classics - the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans Powered by MAZDA6 - that will continue to adhere to the ACO technical rules for LMP1 and LMP2. Among the LMP race cars eligible worldwide will be the Acura ARX-02a, Acura ARX-01b, Ginetta-Zytek 09HS (hybrid), Lola B09/86 Mazda, Lola B06/10, Radical SR9, Porsche RS Spyder, Audi R15 TDI, Peugeot 908, Aston Martin Lola and Pescarolo.

One of the founding teams of the American Le Mans Series, Intersport Racing has established itself as a premier independent team in sports car racing. The Dublin, Ohio-based team has taken on mightiest of factory prototype teams in recent seasons and posted noteworthy class victories in that span including an LMP1 triumph at Detroit in 2008 and 2006 at Sebring.

Team owner Clint Field won 2005 P2 class championship, three years after father Jon accomplished the same feat. Clint also reigns as the youngest prototype champion in Series and IMSA history.

In 2008, became first prototype team in Series history to campaign on cellulosic E85, a pioneering effort in the Series’ Green Racing initiative and the first privateer team to start in 100 American Le Mans races.

The team campaigned the full-season in 2009 with a Lola B06/10-AER with the father-son combination serving as the primary drivers.

The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America’s greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED.

The annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test is scheduled for February 22-23, also at Sebring International Raceway. (press release)
01/11/10
automotive
Ford takes car and truck of the year awards  Ford swept the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards on Monday to kick off the Detroit auto show.

The Fusion hybrid earned 241 votes to beat out the Volkswagen Golf (146) and the Buick LaCrosse (103) in the car category.

The Transit Connect tabulated 213 votes to defeat the Chevrolet Equinox (183) and the Subaru Outback (94) in the truck section.

It's just the third time that one automaker has won both categories in the 17-year history of the awards. The finalists were announced in December.

“This is a reaffirmation that we're focusing on product, we're focusing on customers,” said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas.

In 2009, the Hyundai Genesis won North American car of the year--a historic first victory for a Korean automaker--and the Ford F-150 took top honors in the truck category.

Vehicles must be new or substantially changed to be considered. More than 50 vehicles were considered this year, and 16 cars and 10 trucks were culled from that field for the ballot. The awards are voted on by 49 automotive journalists in the United States and Canada. autoweek.com
01/11/10
f1
Q&A with McLaren Managing Director Jonathan Neale  The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Team has undertaken a reshuffle of its race engineering crews. The Woking-based outfit announced the changes today and declared that the reason for the reshuffle is the coming of Jenson Button and new resources restrictions coming into force in 2010. Jonathan Neale, managing director, explains the changes.

How are you preparing for Jenson Button’s arrival at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes?
“When Jenson visited MTC, one of the questions he asked was, ‘Is this Lewis’s team?’ and the answer was ‘Yes, of course it’s Lewis’s team… as it was Heikki Kovalainen’s team, Fernando Alonso’s team, Juan Pablo Montoya’s, and Kimi Raikkonen’s. And it will be your team as well.

“Is this Lewis’s team to the exclusion of any other high-performance driver? Absolutely not. At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, we love winning drivers – and we want to go about telling the world that story.” More ...
01/11/10
automotive
BMW shows 10.1% sales increase  BMW Group retail continued to follow an upward trend in December with a substantial increase in sales of 10.1%. A total of 123,751 (prev. yr. 112,423) BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand automobiles were sold worldwide in the month under review.

In light of the continued global economic crisis the company was, as expected, unable to match the previous year’s high sales in its figures for the full year 2009. However, the decrease of 10.4% was smaller than expected and ultimately relatively moderate. The BMW Group sold a total of 1,286,310 (prev. yr. 1,435,876) vehicles worldwide in 2009. As a result, the company was able to expand its market share in the premium segment once again last year and maintain its position as the world’s leading supplier of premium vehicles. More ...
01/11/10
f1
USF1 grated extra straight-line test days  According to a report on Autosport, Team US F1 has been granted extra straight-line testing days for the 2010 season to help the preparations for its debut campaign.

The 2010 Sporting Regulations originally limited teams to just six straight-line test days, and discussions recently further cut this back to just four. These days can be exchanged for one day of wind-on full-scale tunnel time - which equates to four-hours of running.

Despite the latest agreement, which has yet to be put into the regulations, teams have agreed that US F1 can stick to the original six-day limit.

US F1 sporting director Peter Windsor told Autosport: "We have been given special dispensation to have six straight line/full-scale tunnel days, rather than the four to which all the other teams are limited.

"It is an example of how the FIA and the teams have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome."

01/11/10
f2
misellaneous
Palmer Audi Series announces F2 prize  The 2010 Formula Palmer Audi Championship is now launched and offers young drivers an opportunity to win the biggest prize in British motorsport, as this year’s champion will receive a remarkable £100,000 scholarship prize towards a drive in the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship.

As well as offering a huge financial reward for the 2010 champion, series organizer MotorSport Vision has further enhanced its prize offerings this season to include an official Formula Two test for the top six finishers in this year’s FPA championship. More ...
01/11/10
irl
Ana Beatriz moves up to IZOD IndyCar Series  After two seasons in Firestone Indy Lights Ana Beatriz (Healthy Choice / Nova Schin / Bardahl / PowerZol) gets ready to debut in the IndyCar Series in 2010, between many activities in Brazil.

In late November, she ran in the International Challenge of the Stars, a kart tournament organized by Felipe Massa in Florianopolis,  contested by drivers from many series, including Michael Schumacher, and almost all Brazilian IndyCar drivers: Tony Kanaan, Vitor Meira Mario Moraes and Raphael Mattos.

In December, between interviews with the Brazilian press and participating in television and radio, Ana Beatriz debuted her column in  WebMotors´s website wich is the most important site in the Brazilian automotive sector.

And by Christmas, she took part of the F1 2009 game launch, by Warner Bros, in Brazil, alongside journalists Fábio Seixas and Flávio Gomes, specialized in racing, at Saraiva Bookstore, in a chating session about racing.

From now on she will take care of the preparations for her first race in the IndyCar Series, which will be held on a street circuit in Sao Paulo, her own city, on 14 March 2010.

01/11/10
irl
HVM invites fans to design next IndyCar  What does the perfect open-wheel racing car of the future look like in the minds of the fans?  HVM Racing would like to find out.  The team is opening an online forum to tap into the creativity and passion of race fans, inviting suggestions and ideas for a new chassis design.  Fans are encouraged to submit their concepts to www.hvmracing.com/hvmblog. All sketches, designs, opinions and criticisms are welcome.

Images of designs can be uploaded directly to www.hvmracing.com/hvmblog, and all submissions will be displayed on the site.

Keith Wiggins jpg"It's a fun exercise to engage the fans," said Keith Wiggins, team principal and owner.  "If you read any online forum or blog about open-wheel racing, you can see that most fans have very specific ideas about the sport, its participants and the car itself.  The car is a current topic and important to our future.  This will give them a chance to show off their ideas, regardless of whether they're realistic or just fantasy."

One submission, selected by a random drawing from all submissions, will win the opportunity for two people to be VIP guests of HVM Racing at the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
01/11/10
irl
Fans Invited to Castroneves ceremony  Fans are welcome to attend the ceremonies Jan. 12 as 2009 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will reveal his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy at 11 a.m. (ET) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

IMS Corporation President and CEO Jeff Belskus also will present Castroneves with his "Herff Jones Champion of Champions" winner's ring.

Hey, even offer your congratulations to the new dad. Museum admission is $5.

01/11/10
irl
Boy Scouts of America teams up with Dale Coyne Racing  
Dale Coyne Boy Scouts No. 19 livery
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) today announced that the two legendary organizations are teaming up to promote family fun and education through a new BSA IndyCar. Scouts can experience the BSA’s No. 19 IndyCar throughout the 17 race IZOD IndyCar® Series 2010 schedule of events including the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indianapolis 500. 

The No. 19 car will help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the BSA – the nation’s largest youth service organization. The BSA and DCR plan to utilize the high-tech nature of Indy cars as a platform to promote science, technology and math to those involved in Scouting.

“Racing is a modern day way to connect with youth and to further Scouting’s dedication to expanding tomorrow’s leaders through education, math, science and engineering,” stated Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca.  “We are grateful to Dale and Gail Coyne and their entire racing team for making this incredible opportunity possible.” More ...

01/11/10
irl
Cotman leaves IRL to start own company  Tony Cotman is going to continue officiating on race weekends and helping with new track preparation but he’s no longer a full-time employee of the IndyCar series.

Cotman, hired as the IRL vice president of competition in 2008 following four years of running the racing side of Champ Car, has left IndyCar to start his own company – NZR Consulting.

“I want to design and build race tracks and with the league going to more and more street and road courses this seemed like a good time to branch out,” said Cotman, who will continue to serve at chief steward for Indy Lights.

“I’ve got an agreement to be a consultant with IndyCar and I’m contracted for 17 race weekends so it’s all good.” More at SPEEDTV.com

01/11/10
f1
McLaren promotes Hamilton's race engineer  (GMM)  Lewis Hamilton's race engineer has been promoted.

Phil Prew has worked alongside Hamilton since the British driver made his F1 debut three seasons ago, but he will now be the principal engineer for the entire team, McLaren announced on Monday.

But managing director Jonathan Neale denied that the McLaren structure is set up to the exclusion of other drivers, notably the 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who joins McLaren this year as Hamilton's new teammate.

Asked if McLaren is now exclusively "Lewis' team", he answered: "Absolutely not.  We love winning drivers -- and we want to go about telling the world that story." More ...

01/11/10
f1
FIA confirms appeal against crashgate ruling  (GMM)  F1's governing body on Monday said it has decided to file an appeal against the overturning of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds' motor racing bans.

Paris' Tribunal de Grande Instance last week said the processes of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council decision to sanction the Renault pair over the so-called crashgate scandal had been irregular.

In a statement, the FIA said the bans would remain in place for now, but indicated that Briatore-managed drivers like Mark Webber will not be prevented from racing in 2010.

The Paris-based body added that new FIA president Jean Todt is pressing ahead with "new measures" for disciplining F1 figures, and that once in place, "this will address the issues in the Court's judgment".

"Nonetheless, an appeal is merited," the FIA said.

01/11/10
automotive
Aged Tires.  A driving Hazard?  ABC News went undercover and found some retailers selling tires that are well past their 'shelf life.'  Watch this video report and be aware when you buy new tires. The video could save your life or the life of someone you love.
01/11/10
f1
Bookies top 3: Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher  The bookmakers of the United Kingdom have named World Champions Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and the returning Michael Schumacher as favorites to pick up the Formula 1 crown this season, as current title holder Jenson Button languishes in fifth spot behind Sebastian Vettel.  Despite Kimi Räikkönen's F1 defection in favor of the World Rally Championship, the sport boasts four World Champions in the field this season.

With Hamilton topping the UK betting tables, Alonso comes in next with comeback kid Schumacher third. Vettel is next up with Button only fifth, despite being reigning Champion.

The second Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull cars round out the top eight in the form of Massa, Rosberg and Webber.
01/11/10
f1
US F1 appoints John Anderson as Team Manager  The brand-new US F1 team has announced that John Anderson is to become its Team Manager. Most recently, Anderson was Team Manager for Gil de Ferran's American Le Mans Series organization.

"I've known John and been close with him for nearly 20 years - to be able to hire someone as experienced, as organized and as successful as he is will only enhance our team as we move forward," said US F1 Team Principal Ken Anderson who, despite the matching surname, is no relation. "He is simply the best at what he does and knows what it takes to be successful in motorsport."

John Anderson, originally from Sydney, Australia, first visited the United States in 1980 after some success running a prep and fab shop. "I came to the US for what I thought was a few years and I've never left - and I've had some good runs," he commented.

"Now to be able to have the opportunity to work with America's Formula 1 team, especially with my friend Ken Anderson, is an unbelievable opportunity. Ken's mindset of US F1 - to have an open mind, be flexible and explore best practices - is why I'm here and I want to be a part of this."

The Team Manager role has been one practiced by Anderson since the early 1980s; not only will he be coordinating the team in the US and in Europe, acting as a connection between the engineers and shop staff and spearheading testing, but will be an informal team psychologist. "It's about getting the right group of guys who can work, live and play together, and also understanding where everyone's strengths and weaknesses are," he explained. "Ken and Peter Windsor (Sporting Director) have put together a strong group and I can only help to strengthen the bonds and be a part of America's resurgence in the top motorsport in the world."

01/11/10
nascar
Carpentier not ready to give up on NASCAR  Veteran Canadian racer Patrick Carpentier broke into the Sprint Cup ranks a few years ago and he isn't ready to give up on NASCAR. Carpentier, who competed in six Cup races last year and 33 in his career, said he is discussions with some teams about rides for 2010. After being released by Gillett Evernham Motorsports at the end of 2008, four of those six events last year were for #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing, while he competed on the road courses for #55 Michael Waltrip Racing. Carpentier said he is still committed to pursuing a NASCAR ride and not committing to any other forms of racing. Last year, the calls began coming in March. "Honestly, what I'm looking for right now is a team that wants to build, wants to grow and wants to do the full races," Carpentier said. "The hardest is the first year. If you go back with a decent car and chief mechanic, it is fun. I am pretty hungry. & It's my life. We're starting to look at different businesses, but my primary stuff has always been racing. I've been racing for all my life pretty much. That's what I do."  SceneDaily
01/11/10
nassprint
Stremme still looking for 2010 ride  David Stremme said he is still looking for a 2010 ride and is considering beginning to work with a new Nationwide Series team that would run full time in 2011 when that series' new car is scheduled to be used in every race. Stremme was released from Penske Racing late last season. "We'll see what happens here real quick," Stremme said Saturday. "I might be able to announce something, a full-time deal. Until then, I don't really say much because if you're not signing anything, it's not worth talking about. I've got some cool things working with a guy that's going to be starting up with a full-time deal in '11 in the Nationwide Series with the new car, I think you'll see a lot of new owners coming in. I want to go around with a team that I can have fun with and be competitive. A lot of guys have to do start-and-parks to survive. I'm not in that position where I have to. I want to race. I've always grown up racing and try to win. That's some of the stuff I look at. I've had a lot of interest from different people, just nothing that's really excited me. I was stuck into a position where I was in a multi-year agreement with a team, and then they decided they wanted to do something different. So it kind of left me out. I've been looking."  SceneDaily
01/11/10
nassprint
Junior, Stewart weigh in on yellow line rule change  Speculation that NASCAR is considering making changes to a number of rules in 2010 — including doing away with the yellow line and “no bump-draft zones” at Daytona and Talladega — had media and competitors alike buzzing at Saturday’s Sprint Sound and Speed event in Nashville, Tenn.

A closed-door meeting between NASCAR principles, drivers and team owners last Thursday, when officials asked the competitors for input, further fueled the belief that change is coming. And some of that change appears to center on plate racing.

NASCAR’s yellow line rule has stipulated that no driver pass below the “out of bounds” line. The penalty for doing so was a pass through the pits. However, controversial finishes over the last two seasons have the sanctioning body re-examining its stance. More ...

01/11/10
dakar
Dakar Monday Preview  354 km, but with a timed section of only 170, are on the menu for the 9th stage. Indeed, alerted by the presence over the last few days of significant amounts of fog during the morning at Copiapo, the organizers have announced that they will be postponing the start times for the 9th special stage (11.00, instead of 7.15) and will shorten the route in order to avoid stragglers arriving too late at the bivouac in La Serena. However, this is nothing for the competitors to rejoice about, because as a result the 9th special will be a 100% sandy route, since it will wind its way through the ranges of dunes above Copiapo. Another original aspect of this 9th special stage, the last to be contested in the Atacama Desert, is a side-by-side start for the bikers, in groups of 20. More ...
01/11/10
dakar
Video: Dakar Stage 8 highlights  
01/11/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Schu agreed F1 return without manager Weber
  • Europe's extreme winter could affect F1 testing
  • Ecclestone hints at F1 future for Saab
  • USF1 not asking to sit out early 2010 races
  • Spokesman confirms Hamilton/Scherzinger split
  • Barrichello, Burti, complete Disney half-marathon

Schu agreed F1 return without manager Weber
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher reportedly saved about EUR700,000 by negotiating his return to formula one in 2010 without the involvement of long-time manager Willi Weber.

Germany's Bild newspaper said that although the 41-year-old's career with Weber, 66, dates back to the 80s, the seven time world champion did not seek any help throughout his talks with his new team boss Ross Brawn.

"I am now old enough to take care of a few things for myself," Schumacher is quoted as saying.

The result is that the winner of a record 91 grands prix did not have to pay his usual 10 per cent commission to Weber, therefore saving about EUR700,000 this year alone.

In late December, Weber denied that he is no longer Schumacher's manager.

Schumacher confirms: "Willi Weber is and remains my manager and my friend.  We cooperate as well as ever."

Bild said Weber will work on attracting more sponsors for Schumacher, whose existing commercial deals are reported to have already nearly quadrupled his EUR7 million Mercedes retainer for 2010. More ...

01/10/10
f1
Schumacher spends time in Northamptonshire  (GMM) Michael Schumacher last week spent two days at the Brackley headquarters of his new formula one employer Mercedes GP.

"This a world champion team but it does not seem to be spoilt by success at all; it seems to be hungry for more instead!" the 41-year-old said on his official website.

German seven time world champion Schumacher's last visit to the factory in England - previously the headquarters of the Brawn, Honda and BAR - was when he signed his 2010 contract prior to Christmas.

He said he also took the time to visit the headquarters of team engine makers Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines in Brixworth, which is located about a 25 mile drive north in the same county of Northamptonshire.

"What I also liked was that you hear a lot of people speaking German there. That is nice for once, I am not so much used to that at my work, and I find it quite convenient," said Schumacher.
01/10/10
f1
Sutil says F1 tracks too safe, boring  
Adrian Sutil
Adrian Sutil has given a frank assessment of the newest track on the F1 calendar, telling the Times of India the circuit was safe but “boring”:

Abu Dhabi was one of the most perfect circuits I have driven on, and the most boring as well. It was just straight and really, really boring. But I probably cannot say anything bad about it for it’s safe, like what all modern circuits should be.

He added that most drivers wanted more dangerous and challenging circuits:

"The majority of the drivers feel this way. Of course there are a few who like the way it is, safe. There will always be different opinions about it but most of them would say there can be some changes in the circuits. More ...

01/10/10
f1
Mercedes hungry for more success - Schumacher  Michael Schumacher has been impressed by Mercedes' motivation ahead of the new season.  Schumacher will make his Formula One comeback with the team this year and visited the factory last week to check on its preparations. Under the ownership of Ross Brawn the outfit won last year's drivers' and constructors' championships and Schumacher is confident its success will continue under the Mercedes name.

"I have been in the factory in Brackley now for two days and spent the time to get to know the engineers and the structures a bit better, and I am extremely positively surprised about how motivated everybody was," he wrote on his website. "This is a world champion team but it does not seem to be spoilt by success at all; instead it seems to be hungry for more. More ...
01/10/10
tv news
ESPN3 Will Come With A "3D"  It will be June when ESPN will launch yet another television network. Unlike the many others that have extended the ESPN brand, the risk of this project is daunting.

At a time when many Americans are struggling financially, competition is once again pushing the providers of original television programming to use the latest technology regardless of cost. The result is that the new ESPN3 will come with a "D."

Click here to review the recent article recapping ESPN's plans in USA Today. Here is an excerpt:

The venerable sports network will launch ESPN 3D on June 11 with a World Cup soccer match, creating what it says will be the first all three-dimensional television network to the home. ESPN 3D expects to showcase at least 85 live sporting events during the first year. They'll be no reruns initially, so the network will be dark when there's no 3D event. ESPN is committing to the 3D network through June 2011. More ...
01/10/10
f1
Gascoyne says driver picks make a statement  
Mike Gascoyne
Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne told Autosport that the decision to sign Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen for the team's debut season rather hiring well-funded rookies proves that team boss Tony Fernandes is serious about succeeding in Formula 1.

"I have to give massive credit to Tony Fernandes for having the balls to do it. I think it is a clear statement of intent," Gascoyne said.

"I said all along that I wanted two experienced drivers, and actually we discussed it at a very early stage and Jarno was always our number one choice. I probably expected in the other seat we would have someone with a couple of years' experience, that was my hope.

"From very early on, Tony said: why not Jarno and Heikki? I sort of went... 'yeah, yeah, yeah. Forget it!' More ...

01/09/10
f1
Buemi to drive F1 car on Montreal ice  (GMM)  Sebastien Buemi will next Sunday demonstrate the performance of a formula one car on ice.

At the wheel of a Red Bull car, the Toro Rosso driver is scheduled to negotiate a special 4 kilometer layout on the frozen waters of the Olympic Basin, located at Parc Jean-Drapeau behind the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The event is to celebrate the return of formula one to the Canadian city of Montreal.

01/09/10
ga
Michael Shank Racing Rolex 24 Driver Quotes  
Ozz Negri, No. 60 Crown Royal Extra Rare Ford-Riley driver

Like Mike (Shank) said, it’s great to have guys with so much Daytona Prototype experience in our line-up. Everyone gets along, we are similarly sized, so we don’t need inserts, and I think we have a very strong line up. This is a magical race, one that everyone wants to win-not for the watch, but to win. Hopefully we can work enough to get it this time.

(about driving with John Pew in 2010)

“It’s strange because I’ve worked with Mark Patterson so long and we have a great relationship. So it was odd in the test in December to see Mark getting out of the other car! But  I'm looking forward to working with John- we’ve known each other for such a long time, karting together and working together.  So I am really looking forward to this year, especially to have Crown Royal Extra Rare in the car, it’s very  motivating to have them with us.” More ...

01/09/10
nnw
Wallace team announces driver and crew chief  Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing (RWR) announced today that Brendan Gaughan—a top-ten finisher in the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series standings—will again pilot the organization’s No. 62 Toyota Camry in a full-season bid for the 2010 Nationwide Series championship.

  Gaughan returns to RWR following a strong 2009 rookie season in the Nationwide Series.  That effort included a pole win at Bristol and near victories at Charlotte, Kentucky and Memphis, en route to a ninth-place finish in the final driver standings. More ...
01/09/10
racing news
Timmy Megenbier's Germany adventure  
01/09/10
ga
Michael Shank Racing Announces Rolex 24 Drivers  Hard on the heels of Michael Shank Racing’s announcement that Crown Royal Extra Rare has signed on to sponsor the No. 60 Ford-Riley, the team presented the full driver line-up for the organization’s two-car 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona campaign during the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

Full-season Michael Shank Racing drivers Ozz Negri and John Pew will be joined in the No. 60 Crown Royal Extra Rare Ford-Riley by Burt Frisselle and Mark Wilkins in the season-opening race, as the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley will see Mark Patterson team with Michael Valiante, AJ Allmendinger, and Brian Frisselle. More ...

01/09/10
British F3
Gabby Chaves looking forward to 2010  
Gaby Chavez in 2007 when we first spotted him racing in a support race to Champ Car
December is considered the Holiday season and in the world of racing, of rest. It is probably one of the few moments during the year when very few competitions take place and the racing world stops. 

However, this is not for everyone. At least not for the driver Gabby Chaves (16), who after conquering the F-BMW Americas title has continued his progress looking forward to the following step in the competitive world of auto racing. 

After receiving his Championship Award in Germany, Chaves tested with West-Tec, Campos Racing and Hitech Teams. He quickly adapted to the cars and to the new speeds and power that they offer. All of these teams compete in Europe in the Formula 3 Championships. Without making any mistakes, his times were very competitive and they could be compared to drivers who are more experienced with these cars and circuits. More ...

01/09/10
ga
GRFS Teams With BMW in GRAND-AM Rolex Series in 2010  Three-time GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Cars Series champions Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today that it has partnered with Dinan-BMW as the new manufacturer of its 2010 Daytona Prototype and  its longtime partner TELMEX will once again return as the primary sponsor of  the No.01 with co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.

In addition, the three-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winners (2006, 2007, 2008) will again run a two-car effort for the 49th running of the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers representing some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas will unite with IZOD IndyCar driver Justin Wilson and American Le Mans Series driver Marino Franchitti to form the lineup in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Dinan-BMW Riley, while Team Target IndyCar pilots Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti will join Team Target NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates teammate Jamie McMurray in the No. 02 Target/TELMEX Dinan-BMW Riley. More ...

01/09/10
irl
FAZZT IndyCar Team Completes  Shakedown Test  UPDATE Two more photos added from Tagliani's cold Florida test.  Click More.... below.

01/07/10
Alex Tagliani snoozes while team works on car
Today the FAZZT Race Team completed the second and final day of their first on-track shakedown of their #77 FAZZT Race Team Honda/Dallara/Firestone IndyCar on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Driver Alex Tagliani and the team fought chilly temperatures but were still able to complete their planned sessions over the two-day test.

"These two days have been unbelievable," said Alex at the close of the test.  "It has been the best days at the track for me in a long, long time.  The team showed up and by all appearances you would think we had been working together for 10 years.  The crew worked unbelievably hard to keep the car running and running smoothly over the course of the test and I think we were all pleasantly surprised that our first test for this brand new team was so trouble free." More ...

01/09/10
f1
automotive
Once Again, Bridgestone OE on Ferrari Italia  Any niggling doubts you might hold as to whether there is space in your driveway for the Ferrari 458 Italia may be put to rest by Bridgestone’s announced supply of its new Potenza S-001 UHP tire as OE on the recently released Italian supercar.

“Bridgestone is privileged to have been selected by Ferrari as an official tire supplier partner for the exciting new 458 Italia,” said Didier Schneider, vice president of OE for Bridgestone Europe. “Both Ferrari and Bridgestone compete to the highest of standards in Formula One, the pinnacle of single-seater racing where performance and safety are the ultimate goals. We are proud of this relationship, working both on the race track and on road car projects together.” More ...
01/09/10
f1
Kovalainen felt Lotus was his best choice  Former Renault and McLaren Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen has explained the reason why he joined the Lotus Formula 1 team from 2010. The Finn said Lotus F1 was the most stable option available for him.

"I just felt that this was the most stable option available to me," Kovalainen told autosport about his decision to join the Lotus Formula 1 team. "The other teams were still wondering who was going to own the team, who was going to sponsor the team and who was going to pay the bills.

"Funnily enough, for a new team I was convinced after I met Tony (Fernandes) and Mike (Gascoyne). First of all, they have the budget in place. They have the people coming to the team eventually and they will be current people and not people who have been out of the paddock for one or two years. So for me, it felt that this was the most stable place.

"I saw the most potential at this team compared to other places, and in the long-term I feel that this was the best option for me. So very quickly I made myself mentally very clear about where I was going, and let's see where we get."

01/09/10
f1
Mansell: Schumacher can still spank F1's young guns  Nigel Mansell does not think Michael Schumacher's age will cause him any problems at all when he returns to Formula 1 this season following a three-year absence.

Having just turned 41, Schumacher is the oldest driver on the 2010 grid by four years over record-breaking veteran Rubens Barrichello.

But having won his world championship just after his 39th birthday and raced in F1 until he was nearly 42, Mansell reckons age is no barrier to winning in F1.

"I don't think age will be a problem," Mansell told Autosport magazine. Don’t forget I was knocking on 40 when I won the world championship in 1992 and I would have been good for a few more years, it was just that the politics beat me up too much." More ...

01/09/10
f1
Alonso set for first official Ferrari appearance  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso will on Monday make his debut in the red of Ferrari's official team gear.

The end of 2009 also saw the expiry of the Spaniard's former Renault contract, meaning he can attend Ferrari's traditional media event next week at the Madonna di Campilglio ski resort as a fully-fledged Scuderia driver.

Alonso, 28, also attended Ferrari's end of season Finali Mondiali event at Valencia in mid-November, but due to his Renault contract had to wear casual clothing.

Ferrari confirmed on Saturday that the double world champion will touch down in the Italian Dolomites for the 'Wroom' event on Monday afternoon.

The Maranello based team also confirmed that its 2010 car, codenamed 281, will debut at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit on 1 February.

Elsewhere, it has emerged that Alonso, like Felipe Massa and other Ferrari F1 drivers, will use a Schuberth helmet this season.

01/09/10
racing news
Auto Industry Legend Bob Tasca Sr. Passes Away  Bob Tasca Sr., an automotive enthusiast, Ford dealer and drag racing innovator, passed away on Friday, January 8, 2010, his family announced today.  Tasca Sr. was 83 years old.

An automotive businessman for more than 60 years, Tasca achieved fame as a record-setting automotive dealer and as an internationally-known designer of high-performance race cars.  Tasca Sr. is credited with helping create the Ford Thunderbolt drag racing car, and bringing the Cobra Jet 428 engine to NHRA in the 1960s. 

“Bob Tasca Sr. had three important aspects to his life – his family, his friends, and Ford Motor Company,” said his grandson, Bob Tasca III.  “Those were the touch points in his life and for that we’re thankful.  We are grateful and privileged to have had so many years with him, and it’s hard to say goodbye.

“My grandfather has touched so many and he will live forever in the hearts of people around the world.  It was his time to move on. I think he held on and fought the fight for as long as he could fight it, but clearly his passing doesn’t mark the end of the impact and influence that he’ll have on this world, that’s for sure.” More ...
01/09/10
f1
karting
Schumacher sells kart track to brother Ralf  (GMM) Michael Schumacher has reportedly sold his kart track at his birthplace Kerpen to his younger brother Ralf.

Germany's Sport Bild reports that the name of the venue will however remain 'Michael Schumacher Kart and Event Center'.

An insider told the magazine: "Michael is completely focused on formula one. For this reason he would no longer have had enough time to devote to the kart center.

"With Ralf, however, at least it (the track) stays in the family," the insider added.

Ralf Schumacher, who races with Mercedes-Benz in the DTM series, already owns a well-known German kart track in Bispingen.
01/09/10
dakar
Robby Gordon drops to 10th in Dakar  Friday marked the longest special of the grueling 14 stage Dakar Rally for Team Hummer. Measuring in at 641 km, the special was made even more difficult by the varied terrain that competitors had to race across. As competitors travelled from Antofagasta to Iquique they encountered everything from areas of fast off-track, to slow track, to windy track and even a salar. Stage 7, which was expected to take competitors around seven hours to complete, was filled with magnificent views of the Chilean landscape. Drivers were challenged early in the day as they crossed over sand dunes. However, the most demanding part of the stage came when competitors had to cross the salar. The salar, which spans 3 km, is an area filled with huge blocks of dry salt that requires competitors to slow their speed to under 10 km/h. Once competitors made it past this portion of the stage, it was mostly fast, open track to the finish line.

What seemed to be a great start for Robby Gordon and his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Hummer ended in heartbreak. Gordon led the stage through the halfway point before an alternator failure crippled his Hummer on the course, crushing his hope for another stage win. Once the #302 was back on course, he finished the stage in 24th place and dropped to 10th in the overall standings. "We started off with a really good run. By the start of the second liaison, I motored by two cars and was about the fifth car on the road. I saw low voltage on the dash and switched back and forth between batteries for about 120k before the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Hummer finally stopped running. We had to wait a long time for a replacement, which cost us a lot of time. It's just a huge bummer. I am ready for tomorrow's rest day so that we can reevaluate and strategize for the rest of the race. Our plan is to come on strong for the final stages and make up as much ground as possible."
01/09/10
dakar
Video: Dakar Stage 7 highlights  
01/09/10
nassprint
Michael Waltrip to race in Dubai 24 Hour sportscar race  Michael Waltrip plans to competes in the fifth-annual Dubai 24 Hour sportscar race at the ultra-modern Dubai Autodrome on January 14-16, 2010. "I love racing cars," said Waltrip. "The Daytona 500 is the ultimate race for a NASCAR driver to win. But how cool is it to go to Dubai on the other side of the globe and race a Ferrari? I never thought I'd have a chance to be part of such a unique experience." The Ferrari Waltrip refers to is a Ferrari F430 GT2 of the AF Corse team co-owned by Rob Kauffman who will be sharing driving duties with Waltrip, Marcos Ambrose, Rui Aguas and Niki Cadei. Kauffman is also a co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing which fields NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries for Waltrip, Martin Truex Jr. and David Reutimann. The Waltrip team has a technical alliance with Ambrose's team JTG Daugherty Racing. Waltrip and Kauffmann tested the Ferrari at the ACI Vallelunga circuit in Italy. Success at the test led the pair to review options for sports car races around the world before deciding to race in Dubai. The 3.5-mile track at the Dubai Autodrome is one of the most modern in the world; it is also one of the most challenging, as it has a combination of high-speed straights and technical corners. The race expects to start about 80 GT and touring cars. Track action starts on Thursday, Jan. 14, with practice, qualifying and night practice. The 24-hour race will start on Friday Jan. 15 at 2 pm. MWR
01/09/10
irl
Brit Wilson finds success in Colorado  When Justin Wilson raced his first go-cart as an 8-year-old in Sheffield, England, there was never an inkling on how far that first ride would actually take him. More than two decades and 4,540 miles later, Wilson finds himself in Dacono, living the American dream. The 31-year-old IndyCar driver has raced all over the country, chatted with pop culture icon Paul Newman and started a family.

"It's been pretty amazing," Wilson said. "I never could have imagined it."

Wilson's father originally got him into racing, and the day he turned 16, he moved up to cars. He quickly parlayed that love affair into a Formula One career in England. But when his team, starved for money, opted to go in a different direction by hiring a driver with more sponsorships, Wilson was shown the door.

He knew then that it would be a turning point in his life.

"I had always kind of thought of giving the States a try," Wilson said. "So this just kind of forced me into it." More from AP article.

01/09/10
f1
F1 team launch dates  
Team - Launch Date – Track
McLaren – TBA – TBA
Mercedes GP – January 25th – Ricardo Tomo Circuit, Valencia
Red Bull Racing – TBA – TBA
Ferrari – TBA – TBA
Williams – TBA – TBA
Renault – TBA – TBA
Force India – TBA – TBA
Toro Rosso – TBA – TBA
Lotus – February 5th – Circuito de Jerez, Jerez
Campos – TBA – TBA
USF1 - Early Feb – Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama
Virgin - TBA – TBA
Sauber – January 31st – Ricardo Tomo Circuit, Valencia

Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren are also expected to attend Valencia testing with their new cars on February 1st when winter testing kicks off. It should also be noted that none of the new teams (USF1, Lotus, Campos and Virgin) will be attending this first round of testing, as expected.

01/09/10
nassprint
The Physics Of NASCAR Wrecks  This video shows some of the amazing wrecks from the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in 2009, and then analyzes the physics behind those accidents.
01/09/10
nnw
New NASCAR rules will limit numbers for Nationwide teams  Beginning with the 2010 series opener at Daytona, the Nationwide Series will have limits on the number of team members at each race. A similar change was made in the Truck series last season.

Teams will be limited to 15 people at each event, including the driver, crew chief, spotter and seven over-the-wall team members. Teams will not be required to provide a scorer.

In addition, this year a team will run no more than two consecutive races without using an engine previously sealed by NASCAR officials. This excludes events at Daytona and Talladega.

Last year, teams were to run no more than three consecutive races without using a sealed engine.

01/08/10
automotive
China surpasses USA as world's largest auto market  On a day when General Motors announces it is closing perhaps its best quality European car line (Saab), market statistics were released that indicates China has overtaken the United States as the largest auto market in 2009, with a continuing growth trend.

Though heavily criticized by American taxpayers and conservatives, the Chinese government has instituted sweeping economic stimulus from Beijing, resulting in passenger car sales soaring to 10.3 million and total vehicle sales approaching 13.6 million, the China Passenger Car Association said. That represents single-year growth of nearly 45 percent.

"This is even better than anyone expected," the group's general secretary, Rao Da, said at a news conference in Shanghai. More ...

01/08/10
grandam
SPEEDCOM Communications Launches “Every Lap Counts” Worldwide Charity  Every Lap Counts – a global fund raising effort supporting charitable causes for children through major international endurance auto races – was announced today by SPEEDCOM Communications Chief Executive Officer Toto Lassally in a press conference at Daytona International Speedway on the opening day of this weekend’s Roar Before The Rolex 24 test event.

Lassally was joined by Sarah Gurtis, Camp Boggy Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development, renowned commentator Alfredo Nin and John Tecce of BGB Motorsports in making the announcement.  Boggy Creek and the El Salvador-based Padre Arrupe Foundation will be the inaugural recipient organizations of the first Every Lap Counts initiative while BGB is one of the teams that will race to support the cause during the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona race weekend, Jan. 28 – 31. More ...
01/08/10
tv news
ESPN and Speed up, while Versus takes a dive  According to SportsBusiness Daily, ESPN begins 2010 in 99 million U.S. TV households, up from 98.1 million at the start of last year, and up from 90.1 million at the start of '06. ESPN2 ranks second among sports nets with a presence in 98.7 million homes, and Golf Channel is third at 82 million homes. Speed comes in fourth with just below 75 million homes, an increase from 73.3 million the previous year. While each cable sports net has a higher carriage number than at the start of '09, Versus (IRL broadcast channel) has lost a huge 10 million homes between '09 and '10 down to 63.8 million.
01/08/10
nassprint
Aflac Teams with Kellogg Company for NASCAR Races in 2010  Aflac, primary sponsor of Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, has announced a partnership with Kellogg Company. The agreement gives Kellogg primary sponsorship for two Sprint Cup races in the 2010 season and the opportunity to leverage one of NASCAR’s top drivers in continuing to build its brand. In addition to the two races as primary sponsor, Kellogg Company will become an associate sponsor of the No. 99 car for all other 2010 Sprint Cup Series races. (press release)

“I'm really excited to be partnered up with the Kellogg Company,” said Carl Edwards. “It's a great addition to the Aflac Racing team and we’re proud to carry their brands on the No. 99 in 2010. I look forward to being in victory lane with them.”

Danny Fleishman, Aflac vice president of corporate sponsorships and emerging markets, said, “We couldn’t have picked a more fitting partner than Kellogg Company, an industry-leading organization that clearly shares our enthusiasm for NASCAR and our passion for community involvement and corporate philanthropy. We look forward to many successes in sharing one of the most respected and leading NASCAR drivers in the sport.”

The 2010 season will mark the sixth consecutive season that Edwards will compete full time in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.
01/08/10
f1
FIA set to push for new crashgate bans  UPDATE On Tuesday, the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris quashed Briatore's lifetime ban, which the FIA had slapped him with for his part in Renault's race-fixing scandal.

Almost immediately the FIA revealed that they may appeal the court's decision, saying that the court only questioned the FIA's authority to impose such a sanction and not whether the Italian was actually guilty of the offence.

However, Briatore's lawyer, Philippe Ouakrat, believes motorsport's governing body has no chance of having the ruling overturned.

"First of all we aim at having the verdict enforced. In any case, the FIA has zero chances if it decides to appeal," Ouakrat told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

"It's a real cataclysm for them. They prefer to shut up like a clam. We would have liked to find a different solution, but Briatore now has a real boulevard ahead of him.

"The FIA could take a step backwards. Up to now Briatore has accepted to save the team, but he will never accept his name to be linked to a cheat.

"We could ask for compensation for the damages suffered by my client's driver management company. The figures would be a lot more important."

Ouakrat also confirmed that Briatore is considering taking action against Nelson Piquet Snr and Jnr, the two men who implicated Briatore in the scandal.

"We are evaluating the position in relation to the driver. But we believe that Mosley, despite being blinded by the dispute with Briatore, had acted only as president of the FIA, where it's certainly not up to us to decide whether there's still room for him."

01/07/10 (GMM)  F1's governing body is reportedly considering a fresh attempt to sanction Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds, after the crashgate conspirators this week won their French legal action.

The Guardian newspaper said the FIA, now controlled by Jean Todt rather than Briatore nemesis Max Mosley, is determined the former Renault pair be not allowed to return to the paddock for staging a crash with Nelson Piquet at the 2008 Singapore grand prix.

The FIA said: "The FIA intends to consider appropriate actions to ensure that no persons who would engage, or who have engaged, in such dangerous activities or acts of intentional cheating will be allowed to participate in formula one in the future."

Former president Mosley told the Times that the FIA could "very quickly" give itself the power, by amending the sporting regulations, to prevent those who have broken the sport's rules or acted dangerously from working in F1. More ...

01/08/10
grandam
TRG adds drivers  In a series of late developments, TRG heads in to this weekend's Roar Before the 24 with more cars entered in the race than any other team in the paddock. With a solid five-car lineup, the reigning Rolex 24 at Daytona GT winners look set to take their fourth victory at the historic race.
Following some recent sponsorship signings, TRG has managed to add to its already strong roster of talent, as well as make a few last minute adjustments to car numbers and driver lineups, as the team tackles this weekend's test to prepare for the race.

Starting with TRG's No. 66 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, the re-signing of AXA and Brent Koch as the primary sponsor has meant the return of many familiar names to the car. As previously announced, Andy Lally will be placed in the No. 66 to join forces with his old Continental Challenge Series co-driver Ted Ballou, who together garnered a win in 2007. The duo will be joined by Porsche veteran Pat Flanagan, series veteran Kelly Collins, and Rolex 24 winner Wolf Henzler. More ...

01/08/10
f1
wrc
Kubica to contest famous Monte Carlo rally  (GMM)  Robert Kubica will contest the famous Monte Carlo Rally later this month, Polish news sources are reporting.

The 25-year-old Pole, who will race in F1 this season with Renault, is to pilot a Renault Clio R3 alongside co-driver Jakubem Gerberem in the January 19-23 event.

The Polish sources, including Wirtualna Polska and the public radio broadcaster Polskie Radio, said Monte Carlo will be Kubica's fourth rally.

In mid-November he contested the Sicilian rally Taormina-Messina, and a week later finished 35th in the Ronde Citta dei Mille.

Later that month, he contested France's Rallye du Var and finished 29th overall, and before Christmas he was scheduled to race the Rally Internazionale Il Ciocchetto, but it was cancelled due to heavy snow.

01/08/10
grandam
New GrandAm DP team  The 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 will welcome a new Daytona Prototype entry this season in the form
of Starworks Motorsport.

Peter Baron, no stranger to the Rolex Sports Car Series as a race-winning Team Principal, is leading the operation with one of his key hires being to sign up Bill Riley from Riley Technologies as the
team’s Race Engineer.  In addition Simon Morley joins as Team Manager, bringing with him the experience of winning championships in both Formula One and IndyCar.

“I’m excited to launch Starworks Motorsport,” enthused Baron.  “This is a fresh organization and a new opportunity to build upon everyone’s experience competing in the Rolex Sports Car Series.  We
have a proven on-track package, undoubtedly one of the best engineers in the business - courtesy of Bill’s involvement, an exceptional team manager and an exciting driver line-up.  I’m really
looking forward to Daytona and enjoying a solid debut season for the team in Grand-Am.”

“This is a great opportunity to help get Peter to the next level and give Riley Technologies a good platform for development of the car and parts,” stated Bill Riley.  “I’ve known Peter through Daytona
Prototype racing for a few years now and I’m looking forward to working with him.  With the upgrades to the car and the driver line-up in place, we should be competitive.”

Set to campaign the #7 BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype in the opening round of the season, the ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’, 30th – 31st January, Starworks Motorsport will then expand to a two-car
operation for the remaining 11 rounds with the introduction of the #8 BMW-Riley.

Driving duties for the prestigious ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’ will be shared by Bill Lester (U.S.), Dion Von Moltke (U.S.), Casper Anderson (NL) and Mike Forest (CAN).  From the second round, at the
Homestead-Miami Speedway in March, Lester will campaign the #7 BMW-Riley – his co-pilot to be confirmed post-Daytona, while the #8 BMW-Riley will be steered by Grand-Am Daytona
Prototype winner, Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel, alongside Mike Forest. (press release)

01/08/10
f1
Campos to be ready for first Valencia test  (GMM)  The new Spanish team Campos is expected to be ready to join the bulk of F1's existing teams when winter testing kicks off in Valencia early next month.

While USF1 is sticking to American soil for the February debut of its new car, it has emerged that another new team, Lotus, will not be running its car until the third Spanish test of the pre-season mid next month.

The plans of F1's fourth new team, Virgin, are less clear, although technical boss Nick Wirth has said the car will hit the circuits at some point in February.

Campos, however - officially Campos Meta 1 - is expected to turn out for the first test on February 1 with its 2010 car and Brazilian driver Bruno Senna, and subsequently the other three group tests prior to Bahrain.

The Spanish based team's car has been designed to the February 1 schedule by the well-known Italian constructor Dallara.

01/08/10
nhra
Prudhomme announces retirement from drag racing  Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, one of the most accomplished drivers and revered team owners in the history of motorsports, announced his retirement today, ending a career spanning five decades in drag racing.

Prudhomme’s 47-year career featured him behind the wheel for 32 seasons before he retired from driving at the end of his 1994 Final Strike campaign. He then transitioned to the role of team owner. Overall, Prudhomme has an impressive combination of six NHRA world championships and 112 national event victories. More ...

01/08/10
nassprint
BAM Racing forms alliance with Robby Gordon  BAM Racing announced today that they have formed an alliance with Robby Gordon Motorsports, who will provide technical support, race cars, and personnel. A formal driver announcement is expected soon. The alliance with Robby Gordon Motorsports positions BAM Racing for a successful and competitive return to Sprint Cup racing and enhances the team's partnership with Warner Music Nashville. Warner's stars including: Larry the Cable Guy, Blake Shelton, Gloriana, Whitney Duncan, Jessica Harp, James Otto, Jason Jones, and others to be named soon will be featured on the BAM car and in the BAM Racing/Warner Music Nashville VIP Fan Experience. "After the Warner Music Nashville partnership was finalized, we felt that the best way to reenter Sprint Cup Series competition was to align ourselves with an established team inside the Top-35. Positioning ourselves with Robby Gordon Motorsports gives us a solid foundation entering next month's race in Daytona and provides an excellent marketing platform to feature Warner Music Nashville artists," said Tony Morgenthau, Co-owner of BAM Racing. More ...
01/08/10
nassprint
Oreo / Ritz join Stewart-Haas Racing  Longtime NASCAR sponsor Kraft Foods has added another chapter to its illustrious motorsports career by joining Stewart-Haas Racing, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by two-time champion Tony Stewart. Kraft Foods' iconic Oreo cookie and Ritz cracker brands will herald the new relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing as the team's official cookie and cracker. Stewart will carry Ritz branding on the upper chest of his uniform and on the B-post of his #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy. Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Ryan Newman will carry Oreo branding on the upper chest of his uniform and on the B-post of his #39 U.S. Army/Tornados/Haas Automation Chevy. Stewart will kick off the pairing in February at Daytona International Speedway by competing in the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race behind the wheel of the #4 Oreo/Ritz Chevy. Kraft Foods will augment the partnership by continuing to be an official NASCAR sponsor with Oreo maintaining its role as the official cookie of NASCAR and Ritz remaining as the official cracker of NASCAR. SHR PR
01/08/10
nassprint
Latest on Mayfield vs. NASCAR lawsuit  U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen says the battle between Jeremy Mayfield and NASCAR over access to the suspended driver's medical records will have to wait until he can resolve jurisdictional issues, but in the meantime, Mayfield says life remains "as good as it can be." During a 15-minute court hearing Thursday, Mullen said he expects NASCAR Chairman Brian France will have to testify before him over whether his residence for jurisdictional purposes is North Carolina or Florida. If Mullen determines that France is a resident of North Carolina, he could rule that North Carolina Superior Court has jurisdiction and not federal court. "Until that's resolved, anything the court does is subject to review later if the court doesn't have jurisdiction," Mullen said during the hearing. Mayfield attorney Daniel Marino declined to comment on the issues afterward, and Mayfield wouldn't talk about the specifics of the case. Mayfield contends that a May 1 drug test that NASCAR says showed positive readings for methamphetamines resulted from his taking a prescription drug to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and an over-the-counter allergy medicine. He also questions the procedures NASCAR used in determining the results. "I've just been trying to survive, just like anybody else," said Mayfield, who has had an auction on his property in November to help raise money. "We haven't sold our house so far [at auction]. It remains as good as it can be."

Drug Policy changes? "Everyone wants to resolve litigation as soon as possible," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "We will continue to work with the other side, make our case and hope we can expedite this as quickly as possible." Poston also said it is possible that there could be some changes to NASCAR's substance-abuse policy this season. "Any of those changes, if we have any, we'll announce those as the new season begins," Poston said. "This is the part of the season where we're finalizing our [policies]. & We will always update policies and procedures any time there is an opportunity to improve them. I don't think you're going to see anything radical." SceneDaily
01/08/10
f1
USF1's Peter Windsor Q&A  The forthcoming season will see four new teams battle it out against the established order. Up to now one of quietest debutants has been the North Carolina-based US team, but sporting director Peter Windsor insists their low profile doesn’t mean they are not working flat out. Indeed, whilst there are a few loose ends to tie up, like their driver line-up, Windsor is optimistic about progress and is confident we won’t have long to wait until everything is revealed…

Q: Peter, the US team has been keeping a relatively low profile over the last few weeks…
Peter Windsor:
Well, actually I would say that we have kept a relatively low profile over the last couple of months! Six months at least. There are two reasons for that. One is that we weren’t officially a Formula One team until we signed the Concorde Agreement in August. So there was not very much to say before that. At that point, for the first time, we were able to get on with our work by moving into the building and equipping it to become a fantastic F1 facility, which it now is, with millions of dollars worth of state of the art equipment. After that we started building the car and hiring people and starting the company. So there was no reason to be constantly telling everybody what we were doing. If you start building a house you don’t invite all your friends to come around every time you put a brick in the wall. You wait at least for the living room to be finished, and then when the house is finished, throw a housewarming party. I am really quite confused why people constantly expected updates when we were just trying to put everything together. In the near future we will make announcements about drivers and sponsors. At the moment everybody is working flat out, putting in 72 hours a week. We have approximately 80 full-time people, and we are expecting the race team to join us shortly. There’ll be a fantastic team of engineers and we are perfectly on time. It is wonderful to see how everything is coming together. More ...
01/08/10
nassprint
If not for Penske, Dodge would be gone from NASCAR  Dodge's prerace briefings could be exceedingly ... brief this season. Roger Penske and team president Tim Cindric will be punctual with the simple swivel of a stuffed leather chair. Kurt Busch, Sam Hornish Jr. and Brad Keselowski should have no trouble finding the right hauler.

During 2010, with the exception of perhaps a few others, Dodge will equal Penske in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.

"As far as I know," Cindric said, "we're it." More ...

01/08/10
f1
USF1 car to make test debut on American soil  (GMM)  The first USF1 car will make its debut on an American circuit, it was announced on Friday.

The Charlotte based team's sporting director Peter Windsor told the official F1 website that the FIA has granted special dispensation to allow winter testing for USF1 away from the normal European group sessions.

"Because we are a new team and start everything from zero the first time we will run the car will be in the United States at the Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama, the circuit that was nominated by the FIA for us," he said.

Windsor added that the maiden test will take place "at the beginning of February", but was not more specific. More ...

01/08/10
ga
Ricky Taylor Joins SunTrust Team for 2010 Season  As the competitors in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series begin their final preparations for the 2010 season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway this weekend, the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara team of Wayne Taylor Racing has named Ricky Taylor as fulltime co-driver alongside Italian veteran driving ace and former series champion Max Angelelli.

Taylor, the 20-year-old son of team owner and three-time sports car racing champion Wayne Taylor, returns to the team after co-driving the No. 10 SunTrust entry to a fifth-place finish in the 2008 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. From there, the graduate of the SunTrust Youth Racing Program, Skip Barber Southern Series champion and National Series runner-up went on to drive 19 more races the last two seasons in Rolex Series prototypes for Cincinnati-based Doran Racing and Texas-based Beyer Racing with three top-five and 12 top-10 finishes to his credit, along with 33 laps led this past season. More ...

01/08/10
f1
New management structure for Sauber team  Following the purchase of the BMW Sauber F1 Team at the end of November and the return of the BMW employees to Munich, Peter Sauber can now present the company's new management structure. 

Sauber himself is the new President of the Board of Directors and will lead the Hinwil- based team as Team Principal at trackside. However, he will not take on any operational tasks in Hinwil. 

The new Managing Director at the team's headquarters is Monisha Kaltenborn (38), who had previously held the post of Head of Legal Affairs since 1998 and has been a member of the Board of Management since 2001. In her former capacity she also looked after relations with the world governing body the FIA, the rights holder FOM and the teams' association FOTA. An Austrian national, Kaltenborn completed a law degree at the University of Vienna before graduating as a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics.  More ...

01/08/10
f1
Rosberg comments show fighting mood for Schu duel  (GMM)  If a string of recent comments are any indication, Nico Rosberg is gearing up to beat Michael Schumacher in every sense in 2010.

The 24-year-old was the first driver to be signed by Mercedes GP, but shortly before Christmas the German marque revealed that the most successful driver in F1's history was coming out of retirement to be his teammate.

Shortly afterwards, Rosberg made clear he was not willing to play an Eddie Irvine or Rubens Barrichello-style role as Schumacher's number 2.

"At Mercedes there is no hierarchy.  It has always been known that the two drivers are equal," he told Bild newspaper on December 15.

Some weeks earlier, at the 2009 finale in Abu Dhabi, the young German had been quoted as claiming Schumacher turned overtaking into a "dangerous issue" when he moved over on Mika Hakkinen at Spa nine years ago. More ...

01/08/10
f1
Button says criticism eases pressure  (GMM)  Jenson Button returned on Thursday from a holiday in Hawaii to McLaren's snow-bound Woking headquarters and faced a national press baying for controversy.

The reporters had picked up on comments made to ESPNF1 by Eddie Irvine, in which the outspoken former Ferrari and Jaguar driver predicted that 2009 world champion Button will be "murdered" on track by his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton this season.

"I don't think it's worth looking into too much what people say because nobody knows what the situation is going to be this season," Button is quoted as having responded to the British national newspapers.

Ulsterman Irvine had claimed that Button, 29, had often been beaten by his teammates, and therefore could not be put in the same class as drivers like Rubens Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella. More ...

01/08/10
f1
Gascoyne reveals Lotus debut date, double diffuser ban  (GMM)  The new F1 team Lotus' 2010 car will not be ready to run at the opening two group tests of the pre-season at Valencia and Jerez next month, Mike Gascoyne has admitted.

Autosport.com reports that the Malaysian team's single seater will instead be driven for the first time at the third test, at Jerez, in the middle of next month.

Lotus technical boss Gascoyne said the team will also travel to the final test at Barcelona prior to the Bahrain season opener.

"That (Jerez) will be the first time the world will see the car in action -- and we are hoping that chassis two will run for the last two days of the Barcelona test," he said. More ...

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