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DATE News (chronologically)
01/12/20
lmesa

G-Drive Racing by Algarve wins the 4 Hours of The Bend
#26 G-Drive Racing by Algarve
#26 G-Drive Racing by Algarve
The battle for overall victory was intense, with the #26 G-Drive Racing by Algarve Aurus 01, the #1 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217, #36 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217 and #45 Thunderhead Carlin Dallara JS P217 all leading the class at various points during the race.

In the closing stages of the race, an intense battle for the lead was emerging between Roman Rusinov in the #26 and Nick Cassidy in the #1. A full course yellow, followed by a mechanical failure for Cassidy, saw the Russian team achieve back to back wins after victory in the opening round of the 2019/2020 Asian Le Mans Series race in Shanghai.

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01/12/20
Dakar

Goncalves dies in Dakar Rally
Paulo Goncalves
Paulo Goncalves
Portuguese motorbike rider Paulo Goncalves has died after a crash during the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

The 40-year-old suffered the fatal accident after 276 kilometers (171 miles) of the seventh stage.

A statement from organizers said he was pronounced dead in hospital having earlier been found unconscious after suffering a cardiac arrest.

"The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family," it said.

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01/11/20
dakar

Monster Energy Honda Team set to build on the fine work done as the Dakar heads into its second week
Ricky Brabec would have won last year had his Honda engine not popped
Ricky Brabec would have won last year had his Honda engine not popped

With American Ricky Brabec heading the overall leader board, many might believe that the Monster Energy Honda Team hold good chances of triumphing in the rally. But take nothing for granted: on the second week of the Dakar Rally we will face to toughest part of the race.

It was a highly-positive opening week at the Dakar for the Monster Energy Honda Team. Ricky Brabec occupies top position in the general rankings of the rally which – for the first time in its history – is being held in Saudi Arabia. The American rider, who has won two stages so far in the rally, sits on a twenty-minute advantage over his immediate pursuers. Brabec will now be seeking to contain his adversaries over the forthcoming stages in a bid to be in final contention when the rally concludes in Qiddiyah.

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01/11/20
motogp

Food contamination blamed for Andrea Iannone's failed drug test
Andrea Iannone's lame excuse
Andrea Iannone's lame excuse

We have heard it all now. Andrea Iannone's team are claiming that food contamination is to blame for the MotoGP rider failing a drugs test, which has led to him being provisionally banned from the sport.

Iannone was provisionally banned in mid-December after traces of the banned anabolic exogenous androgenic steroid Drostanolone was found in a urine sample provided after the Malaysian Grand Prix.

A second specimen, 'sample B', confirmed this according to a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport, however the traces were very small and his team believe this backs up claims that the banned substance could have been ingested through contaminated foods.

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01/11/20
score

ESPN2 re-airing SCORE Baja 1000 Monday, Jan. 13
Coverage of the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship concludes on ESPN2 this Monday with a replay airing of the BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The one-hour special will be broadcast on the World of X Games show on ESPN2 on Monday (Jan. 13) at 10 p.m. PT.

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01/11/20
f1

Williams loses major sponsor Rexona (Update)
Brown happy to take sponsor from Williams
Brown happy to take sponsor from Williams

UPDATE Williams has lost a major sponsor in the form of global conglomerate Unilever, which will switch to McLaren for the 2020 Formula 1 season.

Unilever, which primarily promoted its deodorant brand Rexona (Sure in the UK), joined Williams in 2015 and contributed a major part of the teams budget, believed to be second only to title sponsor ROKiT.

It was confirmed on Friday that Unilever would join McLaren as part of a multi-year technical partnership.

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01/11/20
irl

Dreyer & Reinbold confirms Wix filters and predicts 'Big Things'


Comment
01/11/20
track news

Watkins Glen International 2020 season tickets on sale now
It's pretty white in Watkins Glen this time of year
It's pretty white in Watkins Glen this time of year
Tickets and camping for the 2020 season at Watkins Glen International went on sale to the general public Friday, January 10 at 9 a.m.

The calendar features exciting marque events, highlighted by six racing events, including a new August date for the NASCAR Cup Series tripleheader weekend.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the best fans in motorsports to our facility for the 2020 season,” said Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup. “We have such a diverse schedule on and off the track – if you want to experience authentic entertainment, it’s going to happen at The Glen.”

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01/11/20
track news

Laguna Seca 2020 tickets on sale
IndyCar weekend in the track's biggest
IndyCar weekend in the track's biggest
The long-awaited 2020 schedule is finally here with MotoAmerica back for the 6th year in a row.

The Season Pass will be offered again this year and will include General Admission, featuring paddock access, open grandstand seating and general parking for the seven premier season events. A value of over $600, the 2020 Season Pass is available for only $399. Monterey County residents save even further with a preferred price of $299. In addition, we are also offering a Family Friendly pass that includes four General Admission passes plus one preferred parking pass (location subject to change per event) all for just $800 for Monterey County Residents and $1,000 for non-residents.

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01/11/20
track news

John Narigi takes over at Laguna Seca
John Narigi - new boss at Laguna Seca
John Narigi - new boss at Laguna Seca
The County of Monterey has entrusted the firm A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC to assume the operations and management contract of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, home of WeatherTech Raceway. The new management company will be focused on one primary goal: to exceed the expectations of every guest who enters our gates.

A hospitality veteran with 40 years in the industry and 25 years at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa, John Narigi understands anticipating guests’ needs. Combined with his experience working with the raceway over the years, he looks forward to improving the facilities and expanding the services and activities for every type of guest and fan. The entertainment and guest experience will be the focus.

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01/11/20
f1

2020 F1 race times confirmed - including Vietnam and Dutch Grands Prix
Hanoi circuit under construction
Hanoi circuit under construction
Practice, qualifying and race times have been announced for the 2020 F1 season – including those for April’s inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix and the returning Dutch Grand Prix in May.

The Vietnam race, to be staged on the all-new Hanoi Circuit, will start at 14:10 local time (07:10 GMT), while the lights will go out at Zandvoort for the Netherlands round at 15:10 local time (13:10 GMT).

Among other minor schedule changes, the British and United States Grands Prix will both start an hour later than in 2019. Full details below…

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01/11/20
arca

Rain hampers first of two-day ARCA test at Daytona
Connor Hall
Connor Hall

On a day that started off delayed due to a wet track surface, the ARCA Menards Series open test at Daytona was also cut short Friday afternoon by inclement weather. Connor Hall (No. 22C Chad Bryant Racing Ford) had just moved to the top of the leaderboard as a group of drivers had started to work the draft, raising speeds above 180 miles per hour.

Hall's fast lap of 49.711 seconds/181.046 miles per hour just narrowly nipped Ronnie Osmer's fastest lap. Osmer (No. 02O Our Motorsports Chevrolet) timed in with a lap at 49.754 seconds/180.890 miles per hour, just 0.043 seconds off Hall's fastest lap.

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01/11/20
lmesa

Thunderhead Carlin Racing in Pole Position for 4 Hours of The Bend
Ben Barnicoat on pole
Ben Barnicoat on pole
Ben Barnicoat has claimed pole position for the Thunderhead Carlin Racing in the second round of the 2019/2020 Asian Le Mans Series. 

Behind the wheel of the #45 Dallara P217, Barnicoat set a time of 2:35.698. A narrow 0.172 of a second behind him in second place was Eurasia Motorsport’s Nick Cassidy. Roman Rusinov qualified third for the second time this season in his G-Drive Racing By Algarve Aurus 01 with a 2:36.711.

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01/10/20
nascup

Penske On Swapping Crew Chiefs: 'People Like A Change'
Roger Penske discusses the shuffling of crew chiefs on all three of his Cup Series teams on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


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01/10/20
nascup

Video: 1967 Daytona Twin 100's - Qualifying Race 2
1967 Andretti Holman & Moody Ford
1967 Andretti #11 Holman & Moody Ford

We know IndyCar driver Mario Andretti won the 1967 Daytona 500, but how did he do in the Thursday 100-mile qualifying race.

Watch and find out.

It was a great race.

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01/10/20
usac

SFH Racing Development to Compete in Chili Bowl with Strong New Driver Lineup
SFH cars for Chili Bowl
SFH cars for Chili Bowl
INDIANAPOLIS - Sarah Fisher Hartman (SFH) Racing Development is ready to make their annual voyage to the mecca of midget racing competition for the 2020 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire with a solid lineup Jan. 13-18 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

SFH Racing Development will see the return of two Chili Bowl veteran team members in Ryan Smith and Kyle O’Gara and the addition of Chase Jones for his first Chili Bowl with the team. All three drivers have driven for SFH Racing Development and expect the familiarity to provide good results with primary sponsors Speedway Indoor Karting, Speedway Customs and Speedtown Comfort Heating and Air.

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01/10/20
TV News

Weekend TV Times
All times Eastern
Friday, January 10, 2020LocationTV TimesNetwork
NHRA Drag Racing:Lucas Oil Sportsman SeriesBrainerd10:30am- 11:30am (R)FS2
NHRA Drag Racing:Lucas Oil SeriesIndianapolis11:30am - 12:30pm (R)FS2
NHRA Drag Racing:Lucas Oil SeriesReading12:30pm - 1:30pm (R)FS2
NHRA Drag Racing:Lucas Oil Sportsman SeriesCharlotte 21:30pm - 2:30pm (R)FS2
NHRA Drag Racing:Lucas Oil SeriesDallas2:30pm - 4:30pm (R)FS2
NHRA Drag Racing:Lucas Oil SeriesLas Vegas 23:30pm - 4:30pm (R)FS2
NHRA Drag Racing:Lucas Oil SeriesPomona 24:30pm - 5:30pm (R)FS2
Dakar Rally:Ha'il to RiyadhSaudi Arabia9:30pm - 10:00pm (New)NBCSN
Saturday, January 11, 2020LocationTV TimesNetwork
2019 World of Outlaws Can-Am World FinalsCharlotte8:30am-9:00am (R) - Night 2CBSSN
Monster Energy SupercrossSt. Louis8:00pm - 11:00pm (Live)NBCSN
Dakar Rally:RiyadhSaudi Arabia11:00pm - 11:30pm (New)NBCSN
Sunday, January 12, 2020LocationTV TimesNetwork
NHRA in 30Studio12:00pm - 1:00pmFS2
Formula E: Street Racers 1:00pm - 2:00pm (R)FS2
Inside MotoAmericaStudio2:00pm - 3:00pmFS2
Motoamerica RewindRoad America3:00pm - 4:00pm (R)FS2
Inside MotoAmericaUtah4:00pm - 5:00pm (R)FS2
Inside MotoAmericaUtah5:00pm - 10:00pm (R)FS2
Dakar Rally:RiyadhSaudi Arabia6:30pm - 7:00pm (New)NBCSN


Comment
01/10/20
IGTC

2020 Bentley Motorsport Program To Be Biggest Yet
Bentley Continental GT3
Bentley Continental GT3

Bentley Motorsport’s 2020 program is set to be its largest yet, with elite customer teams competing in the world’s leading GT3 championships and its works-supported Bentley Team M-Sport outfit entering the highest level of GT3 competition in the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC). 

Since 2013, Bentley Team M-Sport has worked with #bentleymotorsport in Crewe to be responsible for the development and build of the Bentley Continental GT3, while also running a race-winning team. With an increased and improved customer #racing program in place for 2020, the Cumbria-based outfit will focus on providing Bentley’s teams with the highest level of service, alongside a campaign in the five-round IGTC.

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01/10/20
f1

Williams lands another Latifi sponsor
Nicholas Latifi's billionaire father keeps sending new sponsors their way. He likely does a lot of business with Royal Bank of Canada
Nicholas Latifi's billionaire father keeps sending new sponsors their way. He likely does a lot of business with Royal Bank of Canada
ROKiT Williams Racing has added Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to its family of team partners for the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The global financial institution’s logo will be seen on the nose of the FW43, driven by George Russell and Nicholas Latifi during the Formula One season in 2020. RBC branding will also be featured throughout the ROKiT Williams Racing garage and hospitality areas, on teamwear and the drivers’ race suits.

As a proud supporter of youth and young athletes, RBC is dedicated to helping Canadian athletes pursue success at every stage of their careers. RBC welcomed 24-year old Canadian racer Nicholas Latifi as a Team RBC ambassador in 2014 and is now proud to support the team that he will make his competitive Formula One debut with at the Australian Grand Prix on 15 March.

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01/10/20
nascup

Ross Chastain Secures Daytona 500 Ride
Chastain gets AdventHealth backing
Chastain gets AdventHealth backing
Ross Chastain will make his second consecutive appearance in the Daytona 500 but will drive this time for Spire Motorsports in No. 77 that upset the Cup Series community in July by winning the rain-shortened Firecracker 400.

This time, the No. 77 will be prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing with sponsorship from Florida-based AdventHealth. This is a natural partnership due to Chastain’s Sunshine State roots and his contractual connection to Ganassi.

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01/10/20
motogp

Michelin introduces new-construction rear tire for MotoGP
Michelin’s new-construction rear Power Slick for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship. Photo courtesy of Michelin.
Michelin’s new-construction rear Power Slick for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship. Photo courtesy of Michelin.

Michelin has announced a new construction rear tire will be available for the forthcoming MotoGP season after the French tire specialists completed its comprehensive evaluation following months of intensive testing.

The latest evolution of the MICHELIN Power Slick rear tire features a construction aimed at increasing performance and stability for all riders and machines – totally in keeping with Michelin’s long lasting performance strategy – which will produce improved lap and race times.

Initially tested in-house in laboratory conditions, the first time the latest MICHELIN Power Slick rear tire was experienced by the MotoGP field was the Catalunya test at Barcelona in June, this was followed by further evaluations at Brno in Czechia and Misano in Italy, before the unique opportunity for Michelin to assess the new construction during a race weekend – the first time a test such as this had been conducted during a MotoGP weekend.

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01/10/20
sgt

Mardenborough returns for fifth Super GT season in Japan
Jann Mardenborough
Jann Mardenborough
British racer Jann Mardenborough will contest his fifth consecutive full-time season in Japan in 2020 after being announced as part of Nissan’s driver roster for the Super GT sportscar championship.

After winning the GT Academy competition in 2011, the former British gamer has excelled in international sports car competition and become a leading star on Nissan’s race roster.

Mardenborough debuted in Japan in 2016 in the GT300 class and quickly graduated to the faster GT500 category the following year.

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01/10/20
f1

Verstappen's long Red Bull deal 'surprising' - Doornbos
Robert Doornbos and Verstappen
Robert Doornbos and Verstappen
(GMM) Former F1 driver Robert Doornbos says Max Verstappen's new long-term contract with Red Bull is "surprising".

Some, including Mika Salo who said an extension was "quite expected", were surprised when it was announced so far ahead of time that Verstappen's stay had been extended from the end of 2020 until 2023 inclusive.

But Doornbos told the Dutch broadcaster NPO 1: "I raced for Red Bull myself, so I still have sources there.

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01/10/20
irl

Alonso wants 'best possible team' for Indy 500
Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso
(GMM) Fernando Alonso says he wants to be with "the best possible team" (Note: the best possible team is Team Penske. They dominate at Indy and elsewhere) later this year for his third attempt at winning the Indianapolis 500.

With Monaco and Le Mans wins already in his pocket, the famous American oval race is all the Spaniard needs to become the second person after Graham Hill to ever complete the so-called 'triple crown'.

Currently, 38-year-old Alonso is tackling the off-road Dakar rally, but he acknowledges that he is not experienced enough to be in the battle to win.

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01/10/20
f1

VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix Reveals Hanoi Circuit Logo & Grandstand Names
Vietnam GP Logo
Vietnam GP Logo
Hanoi, Vietnam -
The Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation (VGPC), Promoter of the Formula 1 VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix 2020, today revealed the Official Logo of F1’s newest track - the Hanoi Circuit - that will host the pinnacle of motorsport for the very first time next April 3rd -5th. In addition, VGPC also unveiled the titles for the circuit’s Grandstands, named after 9 iconic Vietnamese cities and locations.  

In naming the Hanoi Circuit Grandstands, the promoter’s aim has been to pay tribute to some of Vietnam’s most famous and important landmarks, major cities and provinces whilst also blending each location’s characteristics with the circuit’s own at each Grandstand’s position along the 23-Turn, 5.607km long track.

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01/10/20
automotive
irl

Rahal shares his views on his new Porsche Taycan Turbo S
Graham Rahal's Porsche Taycan Turbo S
Graham Rahal's Porsche Taycan Turbo S

IndyCar driver Graham Rahal has a new Porsche Taycan Turbo S and he shares his views on Instagram.

I’ve gone green! Kinda.
Real talk, from a gas guzzling car nerd... I think Porsche has done it best so far in the sedan market. The car looks great and is faster than he**! If i was intrigued, this car is what did it. And I am, to be clear. But, I’ve already noticed some major negatives. As we live in the world of “we must electrify”, here’s some major issues from my point of view.

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01/10/20
SC
irl

Supercross TV ratings fall on NBCSN
A good crowd was on had for the Anaheim Supercross season opener
A good crowd was on had for the Anaheim Supercross season opener
Are you surprised? 239,000 viewers watched the season opening Supercross race from Anaheim Saturday night on NBCSN, down 6% from 254,000 last year.

The event earned 346,000 viewers the last time it aired on FS1 in 2018, 44.8% higher than what NBCSN delivered.

This comes as no surprise as NBCSN struggles to deliver viewers - just ask IndyCar. And you wonder why finding sponsors in IndyCar is so hard?

Comment
01/09/20
imsa

Vautier Completes JDC-Miller MotorSports Entry for Rolex 24
Tristan Vautier (France) to return to JDC-Miller MotorSports for second consecutive year
Tristan Vautier (France) to return to JDC-Miller MotorSports for second consecutive year
Tristan Vautier will complete JDC-Miller MotorSports lineup in the No. 85 Cadillac DPi-V.R for this month's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Vautier will join previously announced Juan Piedrahita, Matheus Leist and Chris Miller in the car for the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

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01/09/20
team USA
USF2000

Team USA driver Josh Green lands USF2000 ride
Josh Green
Josh Green
With the opening round of this year’s Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires in St. Petersburg now just two months away, Cape Motorsports is excited to announce their first confirmed driver for this year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Mount Kisco, New York’s Josh Green will join the nine-time series champions for 2020, having developed his skills over the last four years competing in national level karting and the F1600 Championship Series. The 17-year-old will pilot the #2 Cape Motorsports Tatuus USF-17.

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01/09/20
GT4

Flying Lizard Motorsports Switches to Aston Martin for GT4 America Return
Flying Lizard Aston Martin
Flying Lizard Aston Martin

Sports car racing champions Flying Lizard Motorsports will return to compete in the SRO-sanctioned GT4 America championship for 2020, making a splash with the new Aston Martin Vantage GT4. The team will again compete in both the Sprint and SprintX championships with returning American drivers Michael Dinan (Sprint, SprintX), and Robby Foley (SprintX).

Though Flying Lizard’s first ten years in the sport campaigned only Porsche efforts, but in the last five years, the team’s operations have expanded on a massive scale to also include several racing and testing efforts with various manufacturers including Audi, McLaren, Lamborghini and Bentley. The expansion over the last five years has allowed the team to showcase their level of technical expertise and capabilities of creating race winning efforts and high quality testing programs on various platforms. Unveiled in the summer of 2018, the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 will be the newest manufacturer to add to the team’s race program roster.

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01/09/20
f1

Father says Verstappen 'at home' with Red Bull
Jos Verstappen
Jos Verstappen
(GMM) Max Verstappen has "every confidence" in Red Bull-Honda after signing on for the next four seasons, according to his father and co-manager Jos.

The Verstappen camp, earlier linked with a move to Mercedes, surprised the F1 world when it was announced a long time in advance this week that the 22-year-old Dutchman will in fact be staying until the end of 2023.

"Red Bull gave Max the opportunity to go to Formula 1 in 2015, so how great would it be to be successful with that team?" Jos Verstappen, himself a former F1 driver, told De Telegraaf newspaper.

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01/09/20
f1

Australian GP boss plays down bushfire threat
Australian GP boss not worried
Australian GP boss not worried
(GMM) Australian GP boss Andrew Westacott has played down reports that bushfires could threaten the running of the 2020 season opener in March.

International media reports on Wednesday claimed Formula 1 authorities are "monitoring" the situation in Australia, where unprecedented bushfires are ravaging several states.

It is reported that in the Australian capital Canberra, which is 600 kilometers from Melbourne, the air quality is currently the worst in the entire world.

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01/09/20
f1

Latifi dollars start to flow at Williams
Nicholas Latifi - has checks, will drive
Nicholas Latifi - has checks, will drive
(GMM) The sponsorship dollars brought by Nicholas Latifi's new race seat are now starting to flow at Williams.

This week, we reported that Williams' major backer since 2015, Rexona and its parent Unilever, have left as the Oxfordshire based team faces a third consecutive season at the very back of the grid.

And that came after the departure of Robert Kubica and his sponsor PKN Orlen, who are now taking their EUR 15 million in backing to Alfa Romeo.

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01/09/20
wec

British stars strengthen Aston Martin LeMans lineup
Westbrook and Tincknell
Westbrook and Tincknell
Aston Martin Racing will attack the GTE classes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020 with three ultra-competitive line-ups, after announcing British endurance aces Harry Tincknell and Richard Westbrook will complete its GTE Pro roster for this year’s French classic.

The experienced Westbrook, from Bath, joins FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Pro leaders Nicki Thiim (DEN) and Marco Sorensen (DEN) in the #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE for Le Mans. Having raced for three separate manufacturers prior to signing with Aston Martin, Westbrook is a multiple race winner in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, as well as a class winner of the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours and has twice stood on the podium at Le Mans.

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01/09/20
nasx
nastruck

NASCAR introduces new pit stop procedure at select races
Truck Series pitstop
Truck Series pitstop
NASCAR announced new competition rules for pit stops in select NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series races designed to enhance competition and create intrigue.

The change affects the two Xfinity Series races at Iowa Speedway plus the Road America and Mid-Ohio road courses as well as Truck Series events at Iowa Speedway, World Wide Technology Raceway and the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park road course.

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01/09/20
f1

New $16m Verstappen deal agreed 'quickly' - manager (Update)
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
UPDATE
 The deal for Max Verstappen is reportedly worth $16 million-a-year and the Dutchman could earn up to $64m from his new contract with Red Bull.

This is well below what Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are paid - both over $30m per year.

The Red Bull team has never paid good salaries compared to the top two teams and is why Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel both left the British outfit.

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01/08/20
irl

Dreyer & Reinbold set for part-time IndyCar return in 2020
Sage Karam
Sage Karam

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is set to expand its IndyCar program and compete in at least four races for the 2020 NTT IndyCar season including the Indianapolis 500.

The Indiana-based team has entered at least one car in every Indy 500 since 2000 and has competed in varying numbers of other IndyCar races throughout the years. 

Dreyer & Reinbold have confirmed they have partnered with WIX Filters to run a slightly expanded IndyCar program this season. 

Dennis Reinbold said, as quoted by RACER: "We’re going to run St. Pete and Toronto to go with both races at Indianapolis. It’s baby steps, a little at a time, and our goal is still to get to full-time status, but with WIX help we’re able to go in the right direction.”

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01/08/20
automotive

Mercedes-Benz and Geely Holding have formally established its global joint venture "smart Automobile Co., Ltd." for the smart brand
The Smart brand was discontinued by Mercedes in the USA for lack of sales
The Smart brand was discontinued by Mercedes in the USA for lack of sales
Mercedes-Benz AG (Mercedes-Benz) and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding), the German and Chinese automotive groups, today announced that they have formally established the global joint venture “smart Automobile Co., Ltd.” for the smart brand after receiving the regulatory approvals.

The total registered capital of the Joint Venture will be 5.4 billion RMB to transform smart into a leading player in premium-and intelligent electrified vehicles. Both parties will equally contribute 2.7 billion RMB, the share of Mercedes-Benz AG will be mainly covered by the contribution of the smart brand. The global headquarters of the new joint venture has been set in Hangzhou Bay, Ningbo with operational sales functions based in China and Germany.

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01/08/20
taaus

Trans Am 2 Launching in Australia and New Zealand
TransAm adds Down Under series
TransAm adds Down Under series

After developing a formula that has gained incredible traction in North America, the Trans Am 2 Series (TA2®) category ruleset will expand to a new market starting in 2020.

The roar from American Muscle cars will now be heard from the United States to the Land Down Under through 2026 as the Trans Am Race Company (TARC) and the Australian Racing Group Pty Ltd. (ARG) signed a multi-year licensing agreement for the Trans Am 2 Series (TA2®) branding to be used in Australia and New Zealand.

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01/08/20
track news

Rick Abbott Promoted to Chief Operating Officer at COTA
Rick Abbott, COO
Rick Abbott, new COTA COO
Circuit of The Americas (COTA) announced today that Rick Abbott has been named Chief Operating Officer of COTA.  As Chief Operating Officer, Rick Abbott will continue to work closely with CEO and Chairman, Bobby Epstein and race leadership from Formula 1, IndyCar, and MotoGP on growth and planning initiatives. Abbott will oversee day-to-day operations, create and implement strategy and policies, and foster employee alignment with COTA’s goals. 

“Rick has brought a new level of planning and preparation to all facets of COTA’s operations. After leading the company through its most successful Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, implementing a system of responsibility and accountability, as well as bringing a new level of planning and preparation to all facets of COTA’s operations, Rick has been a key part of COTA’s growth and overall success” said COTA CEO and Chairman, Bobby Epstein. “With Rick as Chief Operating Officer, I am confident that he will enhance our current efforts and help COTA grow as an international travel destination.

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01/08/20
f1

Hanoi F1 circuit construction photos
Construction update photos from Hanoi.

It is expected that the project will be completely handed over to the organizers of F1 Vietnam in March - a month before the race on April 5, 2020.

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01/08/20
nascup

Roush Fenway Racing Announces Multi-Year Extension with Wyndham Rewards
Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman
Roush Fenway Racing has announced a multi-year extension with Wyndham Rewards® that will continue to see the award-winning rewards program serve as a primary sponsor on Ryan Newman’s No. 6 NASCAR Cup Series Ford Mustang. Wyndham Rewards will make its 2020 debut as a primary partner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 400-mile Cup Series race on February 23rd.

“It’s great to have Wyndham Rewards back on board,” said Newman, who powered the No. 6 Ford back into the NASCAR Cup playoffs in 2019. “They will be on the car at Las Vegas and hopefully we can reward them with a strong run and a trip to victory lane.”

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01/08/20
irl

Roger Penske rules out automatic qualifiers for Indianapolis 500
Roger Penske
Roger Penske

New NTT IndyCar Series owner Roger Penske has ruled out introducing automatic qualifiers for the Indianapolis 500 – but is open to considering a tweak in the rules.

The last two Indy 500s have both seen a return of ‘Bump Day’ after the number of entries exceeded the 33 places on the starting grid for IndyCar’s headline event.

In 2018, James Hinchcliffe missed the cut for the race just two years after taking pole position, while last year saw the shock failure of Fernando Alonso and McLaren to qualify after being bumped out by Kyle Kaiser.

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01/08/20
f1

ROKiT Williams Racing announces new partnership with Lavazza coffee
Latifi enjoys some Lavazza
Latifi enjoys some Lavazza - a sponsor his father brought to the team
ROKiT Williams Racing is pleased to announce Lavazza as an Official Team Partner for the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship season.

The Lavazza logo will make its debut on the FW43 challenger at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. As well as on-car branding, Lavazza will be featured throughout the ROKiT Williams Racing garage and hospitality areas, on teamwear and race suits of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.

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01/08/20
track news

Sonoma Raceway Launches High-Performance Driving Center
School cars
School cars
Sonoma Raceway is launching a new experiential automotive program that will allow drivers of all skill levels to enjoy the high-speed thrills of the premier wine country motorsports venue.

The Sears Point Racing Experience will offer high-performance driving courses, racing programs, safe driver training, corporate outings, manufacturer showcases, go-karting and more.  Programs can utilize the raceway’s vehicle fleet or customers can test their own cars on the famed 2.52-mile road course.

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01/08/20
f1

Marko was 'worried' about losing Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko admits he was "very worried" that Max Verstappen could quit Red Bull and switch to Mercedes for 2021.

It was announced on Tuesday that the Dutch driver is staying at Red Bull until at least the end of 2023.

"I spent the holidays fixing the contract," Marko told Auto Bild. "I was very worried about losing Max to Mercedes in 2021."

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01/08/20
f1

Marko to discuss new Honda deal 'soon'
Dr. Helmut Marko
Dr. Helmut Marko
(GMM) With Max Verstappen now signed up through 2023, Dr Helmut Marko's next step will be to keep Honda at Red Bull for the future.

Currently, the Japanese manufacturer is committed to Formula 1 only for 2021, but the new Verstappen deal could be the key to an extension.

"Honda is positive about this news," Marko told Auto Motor und Sport, referring to Verstappen's new contract.

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01/08/20
f1

Ferrari not rushing to decide Vettel's future
If Mercedes does quit F1, Lewis Hamilton will be hired by Ferrari and Vettel will be out of a ride
If Mercedes does quit F1, Lewis Hamilton will be hired by Ferrari and Vettel will be out of a ride
(GMM) Ferrari is in no rush to complete its driver lineup for 2021.

Just before Christmas, the Italian team announced that it has secured Charles Leclerc's services until the end of 2024.

Sebastian Vettel still has a deal for 2020, but he has lost his number 1 status. 

"When we go to Australia, there will be no number 1," team boss Mattia Binotto confirmed.

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01/08/20
f1

F1 'monitoring' Australian bushfires
Australia is burning
Australia is burning
(GMM) Formula 1 is "monitoring the situation" in Australia as bushfires ravage the country that is slated to kick off the new season in March.

The reportedly unprecedented fires, which have gained international attention, are already causing consternation as Melbourne prepares to host the first tennis Grand Slam of 2020.

"We have access to real-time monitoring of air quality at all of our venues to ensure we have the best possible information available to make any decisions about whether play should be halted," said Australian Open director Craig Tiley.

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01/08/20
f1

Magnussen says managing Instagram account 'boring'
Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen
(GMM) Kevin Magnussen has revealed he has stepped back from personally managing his Instagram account.

The Haas driver's fans enjoyed a spate of recent social media posts that Magnussen now admits were written entirely by him.

For instance, after a crash at Suzuka, he uploaded a 'poo' emoji and Magnussen told Ekstra Bladet that it was "the best way to describe what happened".

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01/08/20
f1

No talks about 2021 contract yet - Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo - still smiling all the way to the bank
Daniel Ricciardo - still smiling all the way to the bank
(GMM) Daniel Ricciardo has played down the chances that he will be the next top driver to quickly sign up beyond 2020.

Ahead of F1's new era for 2021, the grid for next season is already starting to shape up, with Charles Leclerc and now Max Verstappen signing long-term deals with Ferrari and Red Bull respectively.

But Ricciardo, who quit Red Bull in order to drive for Renault in 2019 and 2020, says he is yet to begin negotiations about 2021.

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01/08/20
f1

Red Bull could be top team in 2020 - Montezemolo
Luca di Montezemolo
Luca di Montezemolo
(GMM) Red Bull-Honda could be poised to break through and push for the 2020 world championship.

That is the view of Luca di Montezemolo, the former long-time Ferrari president who presided over many of the great Italian team's championship wins.

But he thinks Ferrari, and also Mercedes, could struggle to be on top this year.

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01/08/20
f1

Verstappen news doesn't change driver market - Salo
Mika Salo
Mika Salo
(GMM) Former F1 driver Mika Salo has backed Max Verstappen's decision to commit to Red Bull for the next four seasons.

Some were surprised that the 22-year-old Dutchman committed so early, as he was strongly linked with a potential move to world champions Mercedes.

But Salo told C More: "Red Bull has been able to guarantee Verstappen good money and a good car. They need Max.

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