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DATE News (chronologically)
01/16/14
irl
Happy 79th Birthday Video for AJ Foyt  One of the most important people in American auto racing history is celebrating a birthday today, as four-time Indianapolis 500 champion and current IndyCar Series team owner A.J. Foyt is turning 79 years old. Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, Bobby Unser, Tony Stewart and others talk about the legacy that is A.J. Foyt.

01/16/14
f1
Pirelli Makes Three-Year Formula One Contract Extension Official  Tire maker Pirelli has renewed its F1 contract and "will remain the sport's sole tire supplier for the next three years," according to REUTERS. The news "was expected," with the FIA saying last October the contract would continue through an undefined "transition period" before any eventual tender. Pirelli had talked then of a five-year deal. Pirelli "also announced changes to the sporting regulations that will allow them more testing time." The new rules "will mean one of the 12 days of official pre-season testing will have to be dedicated exclusively to wet tire testing." Reuters

The PA reported each team "will dedicate one of their eight days of in-season testing exclusively to tire testing." This means during each of the eight days of in-season testing, at least one team -- and up to a maximum of two -- "will concentrate on tire testing along with Pirelli's engineers." Previously, Pirelli was forced to use a car at least three years old -- therefore "entirely different in terms of specification to current models -- to develop its tires." PA
01/16/14
f1
Ecclestone Steps Down from F1 Board (2nd Update)  UPDATE #2 In London, Eason & Charter reported Ecclestone "has been stripped of ultimate power" over F1. This "is the crucial moment in the history of F1: Ecclestone’s rule over the sport has been total until now." The criminal trial "brings to a head the legal woes that threaten to end Ecclestone’s near-40 year tenure as ruler of F1." However, he then "faces two more actions" -- one in Germany and another in the U.S. -- that amount to claims for more than $1B. The papers from the Constantin action in London’s High Court "have been passed to prosecutors in Germany and will be studied by lawyers working on the two new civil claims." London Times.

The BBC's Andrew Benson opined, "The decision means that, to some degree, nothing changes for now. In reality, though, Ecclestone's impending trial on bribery charges has the potential to be a game-changer on a massive scale." Benson added, "If he is found guilty of paying a bribe -- and the German courts have already convicted former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky of taking it -- Ecclestone cannot possibly continue in his job." BBC

REUTERS' Keith Weir wrote Ecclestone's eye for a deal "has made him a fortune" and turned F1 "into a global money-spinner." Despite his age, the former car salesman "remains central to the commercial operations of a sport followed by millions of fans around the world and that considered a flotation on the stock market" in Singapore in '12. Ecclestone "has long dismissed talk of retirement but has acknowledged that a conviction in Germany would force him out, saying with typical bluntness that he couldn't run the business from jail." Reuters. More ...
01/16/14
automotive
irl
f1
nassprint
Deloitte Report - Young drivers want affordable technology-enabled hybrids  
There isn't an ounce of hybrid electric power in an IndyCar engine, whose aging fan base is a telltale sign the sport is out of touch with the younger generation
This is a heads up to any racing series.  Are you relevant to future car buyers? 

Gen Y consumers are showing a clear interest in vehicle ownership and have specific ideas of what they want in a car, according to Craig Giffi, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and automotive practice leader.

Citing data from a Deloitte report on global mobility, Giffi said that while young consumers view car ownership as less important for mobility than previous generations, they are, nonetheless, excited about affordable, technology-enabled vehicles – especially hybrid electric cars.

Deloitte's soon-to-be-released report is based on survey responses from more than 23,000 consumers across 19 countries, including more than 2,000 United States consumers – 677 of whom were from the Gen Y demographic (born between 1977 and 1994). More ...

01/16/14
irl
IndyCar team scam warning  Several years ago a con artist who represented himself to be an agent for a legitimate company was contacting Indy Car teams offering a large sponsorship.

Some actually flew to Italy to meet with him. It was a money laundering scheme. We hear he is at it again saying he represents what is a legitimate firm in Qatar.

As a warning to Indy Car teams be on the alert for this scam. We don't want to identify the name of the firm in Qatar as they are a legitimate company.

There is reason to believe this is a scam and if you are asked to go the Milan, Italy to meet with this person don't.  You've been warned.....

01/16/14
irl
IndyCar TV Rating Trend (Update)  UPDATE There's More:
More ...
01/16/14
gp2
GP2 announces eleven race schedule for 2014  The 2014 GP2 Series season will once again contain eleven events as it did in 2013, however the series will run in Austria and Russia instead of Malaysia and Singapore.

The tenth season of GP2 kicks of as support to the Formula 1 circuit at the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 4, with the European season beginning in May in Barcelona.  The season concludes in Abu Dhabi for the second consecutive season on November 23.

“2014 will consist of eleven rounds, all of them on F1 tracks in front of the F1 paddock and on F1 tires,” said GP2 Series boss Bruno Michel. More ...

01/16/14
nassprint
Danica Patrick -- I've Never Changed My Own Tire  File this under: "Perks of Having Your Own Pit Crew" ... but Danica Patrick tells TMZ Sports she's never had to change her own tire.

The NASCAR driver was out in NYC today when our photog asked if she's the kinda gal who fixes her own flats ... or if she phones in to AAA for help.

Danica admitted she's never pulled out the wrench on her own ride -- but says if it ever came down to it, "I could probably figure it out."

01/16/14
irl
After collecting Baby Borg, KV owners seek another 'Baby Borg'  
Jimmy Vasser, Tony Kanaan and Kevin Kalkhoven collect their Baby Borg Warner Trophies for winning the 2013 Indy 500
Kevin Kalkhoven said he was delighted to be in the right place at the right time.

The KV Racing Technology co-owner accepted the BorgWarner Championship Team Owner's Trophy - a keepsake for the winning team owner(s) of the previous year's Indianapolis 500 Mile Race - during a dinner in conjunction with the Automotive News World Congress on Jan 15.

"The funny thing is when we won everybody rushed off to Victory Circle. There's a photograph of me standing on the (timing) stand five minutes afterward looking up at the No. 11 and saying, 'We won,' '' Kalkhoven said. "I was in complete shock. Being able to relive it tonight knowing that we actually have won is an incredible occasion."

Kalkhoven joined team co-owner Jimmy Vasser on the stage to receive their trophies from BorgWarner CEO James Verrier, who also presented the BorgWarner Championship Driver's Trophy to Tony Kanaan and a replica "Baby Borg" to his son Leonardo. More ...

01/16/14
dakar
Dakar Day 11: Nani Roma extends leads as Mini calls off lead battle  Nani Roma extended his lead in the 2014 Dakar after stage 11, despite seeing fellow Mini driver Orlando Terranova take the stage victory.

Despite a fall at the beginning of the stage, Marc Coma again demonstrated his status as 'bike' boss of the Dakar 2014, by picking up his 3rd victory of the year on one of the longest specials of this 36th edition, further reinforcing his position at the top of the general standings. In the car race, the day was marked by the revelation of team instructions by Mini, freezing the leading positions. As a result, Peterhansel eased off the gas, just like Nani Roma and Nasser Al-Attiyah, allowing Orlando Terranova to pick up his first victory on the Dakar 2014.

605km against the clock were on the menu for the competitors on the eleventh stage of the Dakar 2014, which witnessed a new festival from Marc Coma. Fifth to start this morning, the leader of the general standings, though it brought him a fall during the first hour of the stage, attacked throughout the first part before finally tackling the dunes in the wake of Cyril Despres, who moved to opening the way from the very first minutes of the special stage. The two men finished the rest of the stage together and therefore it was only logical that the Catalan recorded the best time of the day, 2’51 ahead of Cyril Despres. Behind this duo, the third best time of the day went to an excellent Olivier Pain, involved in a feisty battle for the final step on the podium with Jordi Viladoms, who in the end only lost around thirty seconds to the French Yamaha rider. More ...

01/16/14
f1
Doctors fear that Schumacher may remain in a coma for the rest of his life (Update)  UPDATE Former Formula 1 doctor Gary Hartstein has moved to calm fears exacerbated by the rumors, some of which cite 'specialists' who claim the German might never wake from his coma or recover from his injuries.

While that's always a possibility with such an injury, only time will and Hartstein warns that patience is the key when dealing with head trauma such as Schumacher's.

"The guys quoted in the online article I saw have taken care of patients like Michael," he wrote on his blog. "They have not, however, examined Michael, reviewed his scans, etc.

"Because their titles imply that these men are consummate professionals, I've no doubt that they made clear that they were speculating as to possible outcomes. Because that is what they are doing. More ...

01/16/14
track news
Eight Indiana race tracks join alliance led by former NASCAR promoter  H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler is at the wheel of an initiative to breathe new life—and money—into myriad auto racing tracks across the country.

Eight tracks in Indiana are set to be beneficiary of Wheeler’s new endeavor.

Wheeler made a name for himself as the president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, one of the premier auto racing venues owned by Bruton Smith’s Speedway Motorsports Inc. Charlotte has been the site of many memorable NASCAR races. More ...

01/16/14
f1
Horner: Half the field could retire in Australia  Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has suggested that Formula 1's technical regulation overhaul could produce a retirement rate of 50 percent at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

This year, teams face the challenge of mastering turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 powertrains, with technical chiefs anticipating teething issues when the new technology is given its first mileage during pre-season testing.

Concerns have also been raised over the new 100kg fuel limit per race, which is set to be pushed to the limit around the streets of Melbourne, a circuit traditionally severe in terms of consumption levels. More ...

01/16/14
F1
Red Bull Announces 2014 Unveiling  According to this ESPNF1.com article, Red Bull has announced that its 2014 car will be unveiled for the first time at the Jerez test.

The reigning constructors' champions will unveil the RB10 on January 28 - the morning of the first test - in a move that matches that of Mercedes and Caterham. The car will be launched in the pit lane twenty minutes before the start of running.

Both drivers will be present at the circuit that day, with Sebastian Vettel likely to be the first to drive the new car. More ...

01/16/14
F1
Pirelli Extends F1 Deal  Earlier today, Pirelli announced they have extended their deal as the sole tire supplier of Formula 1 through 2016.

As part of the deal, each team must consent to one in-season tire test.

01/16/14
WOO
Schatz Named Driver of the Year  The North American 410 Sprint Car Poll has named Donny Schatz its 2013 Driver of the Year.

The Fargo, North Dakota native scored 23 World of Outlaw wins last year, including the prestigious Knoxville Nationals. He earned 13 of a possible 23 first-place votes, in winning his 6th Driver of the Year Award.

01/16/14
nassprint
NASCAR, manufacturers talk tech at Detroit auto show  NASCAR, manufacturers and teams have collaborated to make a handful of changes to their cars for the coming season, and though many of the tweaks may be small -- they could wind up paying big dividends. Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development, said cars will be closer to the ground at all but the fastest of tracks the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits. He was among the panelists for Wednesday's Tech Talk forum at Cobo Center, home of the 2014 North American International Auto Show. Other changes include a steeper rear spoiler, squaring of the front splitter and slightly higher trim of the rear fascia, but Stefanyshyn said those alterations probably will be harder to spot. More ...
01/16/14
nassprint
Kyle Busch's cars to be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson  Two of Kyle Busch's personal collector cars are set to be auctioned off this weekend as part of Barrett-Jackson's 43rd Annual Scottsdale Auction. Busch's vehicles, a Velocity Yellow 2006 Z06 Corvette and an Orange 1969 Camaro SS, are scheduled to roll across the auction block this Sunday, Jan. 19, during Fox Sports 1's live coverage from 5:00-7:00/pm/et.

Busch's two vehicles: More ...

01/16/14
irl
Dixon says Montoya will be a threat from the start in IndyCar  IndyCar champion Scott Dixon believes that Juan Pablo Montoya will be an immediate threat upon his return to single-seaters with Team Penske this year.

Montoya's move back to IndyCar after a seven-year NASCAR career was confirmed late last season.

Dixon said that he expects Montoya to need some time to readjust, but that the increase in pre-season testing will help the Colombian to be up to speed in time for the first race in St Petersburg. More ...

01/16/14
irl
Video: Tony Kanaan and Juan Montoya Indy 500 Winners  The RACER Channel's Robin Miller sits down with Indy 500 winners Tony Kanaan and Juan Montoya from the IMS Museum.

01/16/14
f1
F1 in talks with two potential new teams - Ecclestone  (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone claims F1 authorities are in talks with two potential new teams for the 2015 season.

The governing FIA recently invited new entrants to bid for the vacant spot on the grid, but until now there has been no sign of any serious interest.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone, however, told the Wirtschaftswoche publication: "We are in talks with two new names. Neither is an automaker," he added.

The 83-year-old Briton gave no further details. More ...
01/16/14
irl
Reaction to AR1 Editorial  A reader writes, Dear AR1:  Your recent editorial struck me as especially timely, after I read news that Panther Racing was testing Carlos Huertas on Friday. Nothing against young Mr. Huertas, nor Panther Racing, who are doing what they have to do to field a team. However, Huertas will not help sell one ticket at Iowa, Milwaukee, Barber, Pocono and Detroit combined.

Meanwhile, IndyCar expends precious time and resources debating whether to have Pole Day on Saturday or Sunday. Do they not realize that no matter when they have Pole Day or Bump Day, America will not tune in to watch Huertas, Aleshin, Grenier, Cipriani, Razia, Valsecchi, Bird, et al? 

Oh wait, I forgot: NASCAR coming to NBC Sports is going to solve their viewership woes.

Steve Wilson, Alexandria, VA

01/16/14
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

If he goes to trial and loses, will Ecclestone run F1 from his jail cell like the best crime bosses did?
01/16/14
  • Lopez admits to $200m Lotus debt
  • Ecclestone bids for Nurburgring while possible trial looms 
  • F1 Boss Ecclestone Faces Trial In Germany
  • Williams Appoints New IT Director New
  • Sahara Force India signs multi-year partnership with Roshfrans New
  • Robin Frijns signs management contract with ganscomm New More ...
01/16/14
irl
IndyCar Competition Department opens new dialogue with drivers  The IndyCar Series has plenty of work to do as it looks to rebuild its fan base and improve its product, and under a new plan hatched by president of competition Derrick Walker, its drivers have been asked to help with the process.

Walker held a closed-door conference on Tuesday that included 28 drivers – the majority of the current grid and a few drivers held in high esteem – to work through a collaborative process aimed at enhancing the series from the inside out.

“We had a drivers' meeting that started at 8 a.m. in the morning, worked through lunch and went until 4 o'clock in the afternoon,” Walker told RACER. “Everyone stayed engaged in the issues, and maybe I'm naive, but I think that's the way IndyCar starts clawing its way back. Working with our drivers – our most visible and marketable asset – to improve what we do, to solicit their input on how we do things…it only makes sense if you ask me.” More ...

01/16/14
dakar
Dakar Day 10: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins stage 10 as Carlos Sainz crashes out  Day 10 of the Dakar Rally saw Spaniard Joan Barreda take his fourth stage win in 2014 ahead of Helder Rodrigues and Cyril Despres in the Bike category. After starting first this morning, the overall leader spent all day long keeping the gaps within acceptable limits, conceding 11'26″ to his closest pursuer but retaining a 44'10″ buffer. In the car category, Nasser Al-Attiyah took his second win this year, but Peterhansel was the big winner of the day, as he took back almost 10 minutes from Nani Roma, closing in to within just 2'15″ of the overall leader.

Yesterday's 15-minute penalty for speeding has not shaken Joan Barreda's belief in his chances of winning, as he showed in the 688 km stage 10 from Iquique to Antofagasta. The Honda rider, who had started the first of today's two specials in tenth place, used his ideal position on the course to follow the tracks of the preceding riders and really hit the gas throughout the stage. By the end of the day he had overtaken six motorcycles on the course and taken his ninth Dakar win, 8'00″ ahead of Portuguese teammate Hélder Rodrigues and 9'40″ ahead of Cyril Despres. The defending champion was second off the start line and quickly caught up with yesterday's winner Marc Coma. It was the perfect wheel for the overall leader to follow, who limited himself to following his former "best enemy" to ride at a high pace but without taking risks and post the fifth best time in today's stage, 11'26″ behind Barreda. More ...

01/15/14
irl
Video: Simon Pagenaud stars in The 2015 Acura TLX Prototype  
01/15/14
racing news
Video: Finding a Career in Motorsports  http://SAFEisFAST.com is a free online driver development program for aspiring drivers providing video tutorials as well as direct advice from today's top racers and industry experts.
01/15/14
irl
Colombian Carlos Huertas joins Panther Racing for Sebring test  
Panther Racing announced today that World Series of Renault driver Carlos Huertas will be at the reins of the #4 IndyCar in Friday's Chevrolet manufacturer test at Florida's Sebring International Raceway. Huertas, a native of Bogota, Colombia, has spent the days prior to the test preparing with the team in Indianapolis.

"Carlos is a driver with a lot of potential," Barnes said. "He's been impressive racing WSR over the past couple of years. We're looking forward to getting Carlos behind the wheel and seeing what he can do with the #4 car."

Huertas has spent the last two seasons in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, part of the World Series by Renault (WSR). More ...

01/15/14
uscc
HPD considering new ARX-04b P2 coupe for 2015  Honda Performance Development and its partners at Wirth Research could have a new P2 chassis to offer customers in November. A final decision on whether to move forward with the project is expected to be made within the next week.

Like the P1 engine and chassis program HPD revealed to RACER at last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, the new P2 coupe, which would be dubbed the ARX-04b, would most likely require a few customer commitments before going into production. More ...

01/15/14
nnw
Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Chevy to be driven by Jeffrey Earnhardt  
Daytona FL -  NASCAR Nationwide series driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, grandson of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, will be bringing an important message to the racetrack.  He will be carrying the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Seal on his #4 Chevy Camaro for the 2014 NASCAR season.

"The President of the United States signed a proclamation to honor Vietnam Veterans for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and we'll be delivering that message for their commemorative partner Warrior 50", said Jeffrey Earnhardt.  "This is a huge honor and I'm humbled to pay tribute to that generation of great Americans. We'll be racing to honor those who served during a challenging time in our history and I look forward to showing the NASCAR fans appreciation to our Vietnam Vets and their families." More ...

01/15/14
automotive
Jay Leno's garage  Now this is a collection of dream cars! Enjoy More ...
01/15/14
irl
Pegasus Marketing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing join forces for IndyCar season  Building on a 30-year history of bringing first tier motorsport teams together with top-tier sponsors, Pegasus Marketing Group (www.PegasusMarketing.com ) and the ultra competitive Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) (www.sfhracing.com ) have joined forces for commercial representation of the team in the prestigious IndyCar Series and its most storied event, the Indianapolis 500.

"We are thrilled to be able to work with Sarah Fisher, team partner Wink Hartman and the entire SFHR team to provide commercial partners that not only bring the resources to the mix that any competitive team needs, but that also make sense and are in harmony with the team's philosophy," said Ralph Hansen, president and CEO of the Lake Forest, Illinois-based marketing firm.

SFHR Team Principal Wink Hartman warmly welcomed the arrangement. More ...

01/15/14
nassprint
RPM to make 'significant sponsor extension' announcement (2nd Update)  UPDATE #2 Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM), along with NASCAR officials, announced today a three-year extension and increased investment in Smithfield Foods' NASCAR program with Richard Petty Motorsports. The company and its family of brands, including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney, Nathan's and Smithfield, will return as primary sponsors of the legendary No. 43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for 29 races in 2014 and beyond under a contract that extends through the end of the 2016 season.

The announcement was made today during a luncheon in New York City hosted by Smithfield Foods, RPM and officials from NASCAR. The agreement increases support from 15 events in 2012 and 25 in 2013 to 29 events in 2014-2016. The partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been a very effective marketing platform for the world's largest pork processor, with in-store promotional activities and tie-ins yielding successively incremental sales results. More ...

01/15/14
f1
Ferrari to reveal 2014 car next week  (GMM)  Ferrari confirmed on Wednesday that it will launch its 2014 car on 25 January.

We reported last week that the famous Italian team would have its new car ready for a Jerez debut, with an official launch date set for Maranello a few days earlier.

Indeed, on Wednesday, Ferrari said it will reveal its car on the internet with a series of exclusive photos on 25 January, a day after the official name is announced. More ...

01/15/14
f1
Lopez plays down Lotus collapse fears  (GMM)  Lotus owner Gerard Lopez has moved to allay fears the Enstone based team is on the verge of collapse.

When the FIA issued the official 2014 entry list recently, Lotus' place was marked with a conspicuous asterisk, fuelling rumors of financial doom.

"We just had the wrong team name on the list, namely the one of two years ago," Lopez told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport on Wednesday.

"I can assure you -- everything is still the same." More ...

01/15/14
automotive
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge unveiled  
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
Mark Scheuern/AR1.com
First official pictures of F1-inspired Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Details are limited, but Infiniti has said that the Q50 Eau Rouge ‘draws inspiration for aerodynamic design from the technical collaboration between Infiniti and four-time Formula One World Champions Infiniti Red Bull Racing.’

To that end, although the Eau Rouge looks similar to the regular Q50 saloon, all of the major bodywork components have been redesigned with aerodynamics in mind. In fact, Infiniti has announced that only the roof and door profiles remain unchanged from the production Q50.

What’s more, the new bodywork is manufactured from carbon fiber, further reinforcing the link between the concept and F1 technology. More ...

01/15/14
f1
Formula 1 teams called to FIA summit to discuss ride-buying cancer rotting the sport  Formula 1 team chiefs will meet with the FIA in Switzerland next week to discuss a variety of key issues concerning the future of the sport, the governing body has confirmed to GPUpdate.net.

The summit, scheduled to take place in Geneva on January 22, is expected to be focused on the regulations put forward at the end of the last year and the general direction in which the sport is heading.

Last month, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo said that he wanted teams to meet "not to discuss a single point that maybe can give an advantage to one team or another, but to talk about the overall approach to F1." More ...

01/15/14
f1
Marussia hopes Ferrari will make big difference in F1 2014  
Marussia hopes Ferrari power helps them leapfrog back of the grid opponent Caterham
Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon is looking forward to teaming up with Ferrari in 2014, believing that the Italian giant can help drive the minnow forward.

With Cosworth not choosing to produce an engine to the new F1 regulations that mandate a switch to turbocharged V6 units, Marussia was left looking for a new partner for 2014, eventually slotting in with Ferrari, which saw long-time partner Toro Rosso aligning with Renault for the coming season.

Although reluctant to suggest that the change in the regulations will level the playing field sufficiently to allow Marussia to challenge the midfield regulars, let alone the sport's biggest players, Lowdon is encouraged by the team's new partnership.

"I think it will make a big difference,” he told Sky Sports Online, “Scuderia Ferrari are a very, very professional outfit and it is an absolute pleasure to work with them. More ...

01/15/14
f1
Silverstone prepares for 50th Grand Prix  Silverstone will this year organize its 50th Grand Prix, with organizers planning to celebrate the occasion.

Fans attending the race will be able to enjoy a variety of events, including a Heritage Village, which will feature famous moments in the circuit's history, and a host of Formula 1 cars from Silverstone's 50 British Grands Prix.

"The British Grand Prix is the jewel in the crown of British motor sport and one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar; the drivers often comment that Silverstone is up there with circuits like Monaco, Monza and Spa as a race they really want to win," said Silverstone Managing Director Richard Phillips. More ...

01/15/14
f1
A small change at McLaren  McLaren has had some changes in the first couple of weeks of the year with Mansour Ojjeh standing down as a director of the McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive, handing over the role to his younger brother Aziz Ojjeh. The 61-year-old Mansour underwent a double lung transplant in November and so has decided to step down temporarily and leave the work to his 59-year-old brother.

"Mansour Ojjeh is enjoying a period of rest and recuperation following his recent operation," a team spokesman said. "For the time being, therefore, Mansour's brother, Aziz Ojjeh, has agreed, with Mansour’s full support, to join the McLaren board on a temporary basis until such time as Mansour is fully recovered. Mansour, the Ojjeh family and TAG Holdings have a passionate love for McLaren, for motor racing and for cars in general, and Mansour intends to return to the McLaren board as soon as possible." More ...

01/15/14
f1
irl
Talented drivers overlooked in open wheel cancer crisis  Too many Formula One and IndyCar drivers are being gifted dash-for-cash breakthroughs at the cost of the more talented but less financially blessed, who are being dumped off the race grid.

The fiscal cancer-crisis that threatens the two top echelons of open wheel racing, F1 with increasing development costs and travel expenditure amounting to many millions of dollars, and IndyCar, destroyed by Tony George's power play, and with a car so ugly the fans can't stand to watch......so they don't, looms with dire promise.

And that is why some teams at the wrong end of the income scale are only too keen to recruit a pay-as-you-go driver, bolstered by many millions in sponsorship monies, rather than opt for a more highly talented individual, who does not have the backing and who needs a wage. Sports fans are not stupid. They buy tickets to see a sport of the most talented athletes.  No one wants to pay to see a field full of wankers compete.  More ...

01/15/14
automotive
Tesla revenue expected to exceed guidance by 20% in 4th Qtr  
The Tesla Model S is selling like hotcakes despite its high cost
Tesla sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 were the highest in company history by a significant margin. With almost 6,900 vehicles sold and delivered, Tesla exceeded prior guidance by approximately 20%. A higher than expected number of cars was manufactured as a result of an excellent effort by the Tesla production team and key suppliers, particularly Panasonic.

The two key drivers of demand were the superlative safety record of the Model S and great performance under extremely cold conditions.

Safety Record

Tesla remains the only manufacturer with a perfect safety record of zero deaths or serious, permanent injuries ever. Including the Roadster, Tesla vehicles have now been on the road for almost six years in 31 countries with almost 200 million miles driven to date. Despite dozens of high speed collisions, the driver and passengers have always been protected. This is Tesla’s proudest achievement. More ...

01/15/14
irl
Swiss IndyCar Standout Simona De Silvestro to Serve as Online Instructor  There have been plenty of talented female racers over the years, and one who is steadily gaining in prominence, Switzerland’s Simona De Silvestro, will be available to offer advice and answer questions as she becomes the latest Online Driving Instructor for the Road Racing Drivers Club’s highly acclaimed www.SAFEisFAST.com website.

Questions for De Silvestro can be posted to the website throughout this week. Her answers will be available from next Monday, January 20.

SAFEisFAST.com is a free online resource featuring video tutorials on a wide variety of topics including safety, fitness, mental skills, race craft, career development, sponsorship, marketing and more to assist the careers of drivers in all forms of racing. De Silvestro will become the latest top-line professional to be featured on the popular “Ask A Pro” section which previously has featured Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button, two-time Le Mans winner Alexander Wurz and Indianapolis 500 champions Dario Franchitti and Gil de Ferran, as well as fitness guru Jim Leo and mental preparation expert Dr. Jacques Dallaire. Since its launch, there have been over a half-million views of the online tutorials from visitors representing more than 130 countries. The videos are available to a global audience with the inclusion of closed-captions in 71 different languages. More ...

01/15/14
irl
Indy 500 winners Q and A  Earlier today, the four current IndyCar Series drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 - Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan - met the media at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum to preview the upcoming 2014 IndyCar Series season, the Indy 500 and the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Below are selected quotes from their interviews.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (Team Penske): "Every year you came here and you're not in an Indy car, it's cool, but you want to come to the Museum to see the Indy cars. It's not the same. The Brickyard is a big deal, but it's not the Indy 500. I never thought I'd be back here to try to get another win. I'm excited and to race here for Team Penske is a hell of a chance (to win)." More ...

01/15/14
f1
Q&A with Felipe Massa  
Felipe Massa at the Williams factory
HOW WAS YOUR CHRISTMAS? Christmas was great, it was nice to be with the family and I spent it at home in Brazil. I then went to Miami for New Year which was a lot of fun. I was then back in Brazil for the start of the New Year, and most recently had my annual International Challenge of the Stars charity karting event there. It is always a lot of fun and attracts a lot of other F1 drivers, so it’s certainly got me in the competitive mood.

WHAT TRAINING HAVE YOU DONE OVER THE WINTER AND WHEN DID THE 2014 FOCUS START? Even in the holidays I was training, it never really stops. I was in Miami for 11 days and did something every day. I like sport so I am always active, whether it’s tennis or going for a run. Now the work turns to testing which means more time in the gym. I prefer playing sports to work in the gym, but the time in the gym needs to be done. I have a dedicated trainer who goes to each race with me and he will be coming over to Williams this year. We have been working together since 2007 so we have a very good working relationship. I also have another trainer for when I am back in Brazil. More ...

01/15/14
f1
Vettel's number 5 not Schumacher tribute  
Sebastian Vettel
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has explained the reasoning behind picking the number 5 for the rest of his formula one career.

As world champion, the Red Bull driver will - for the fourth consecutive time - carry the coveted number 1 in 2014.

But if he fails to win a fifth title this season, Vettel has chosen to revert to the number 5 for 2015 and beyond.

"I chose it because I was so successful in karts in 2001 with the number 5," the German told Sport Bild, "and I had it in 2010 when I became world champion for the first time.

"Also, several other drivers have taken number 5 to the title," Vettel, a keen student of F1 history, added, "like Michael Schumacher and Nigel Mansell." More ...

01/14/14
dakar
Dakar Day 9: Coma hammers home Bike win, Peterhansel wins in Cars  
Stephane Peterhansel
On a 9th stage dominated by the sand, Marc Coma made his mark and reinforced his lead in the general standings whilst picking up his 23rd special stage victory for Bikes in the Dakar Rally, his second in 2014, 1’21 ahead of his now sole rival, Joan Barreda, and 5’28 in front of Frenchman Cyril Despres. In the car category, all-out attack brought an excellent result for Stephane Peterhansel picked up his 3rd victory in 2014, but more importantly closed to within 12'10'' of general standings leader, Nani Roma.

Announced as one of the key stages on this 36th edition, the 422-km long 9th special stage between Calama and Iquique especially allowed Marc Coma to gain even more psychological superiority over the rest of the field. The third to start this morning, behind Barreda and Despres, the Catalan three times winner soon caught up with his adversaries to ride the stage in their company, demonstrating his control of the race. In the end, Coma won his second stage in 2014 and his 23rd on the Dakar, 1’21’’ ahead of his countryman and second placed rider in the general standings, Joan Barreda, and 5’28’’ in front of Cyril Despres, the title holder, who was slowed at the end of the special stage by the fear of running out of petrol in the dunes, forced to keep an eye on his consumption. More ...

01/14/14
uscc
RSR doubles down with strong lineup for 2014  
Paul Gentilozzi
The RSR Racing team led by championship winning team owner and driver Paul Gentilozzi and sons Tony and John Gentilozzi has doubled-down with two Prototype Challenge entries in the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship.  Teaming up with returning drivers Bruno Junqueira and Duncan Ende are 2013 Drivers Championship Runner up (by one point) Chris Cumming and 2011 Indy 500 Pole Sitter Alex Tagliani. The foursome brings proven talent to a team with a rich history of winning races and championships to be a force to be reckoned with in 2014.

Heading in to the new era of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, Team Principal Gentilozzi looks positively on the upcoming season and the growth of the RSR Racing organization. The East Lansing, Michigan based team is looking to use the powerhouse driver line-up to build on the history of their nineteen victories under the IMSA banner including three in the Prototype Challenge class and two at the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.  In previous efforts Paul and his team have had an overall and two GT class Victories at this historic event. More ...
01/14/14
irl
Early for Indy 500 count, but count on Buddy Lazier  
Question: As most full-season rides are already occupied by now, silly season turns to Indy-only rides. Here's hoping AJ Allmendinger gets another chance at the Speedway because he was quite good there last year. Would he be interested? Also, how many additional cars do you expect? A fifth at Andretti, a second Foyt, a third Schmidt, the Dragon, one D&R in partnership with somebody else other than Panther, a second Fisher, a third KV, a second Herta, the Lazier car? Regarding international races for early 2015, I've read rumors online suggesting middle Eastern rounds and a South African one. Surfers Paradise should also have packed stands with Dixon, Power and Briscoe all in top machinery. Also a French round could be successful, since they don't have an F1 race anymore and because of Bourdais. Dijon would be awesome for IndyCar. (Yannick, Cologne, Germany) More ...
01/14/14
uscc
Tagliani Joins RSR, Team Reveals Rolex 24 Lineup  RSR Racing announced Tuesday the fourth and final full-season driver for its two-car Prototype Challenge effort in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, while also confirming its complete lineup for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Veteran open-wheel pilot Alex Tagliani will rejoin the Paul Gentilozzi-led squad, teaming with 2013 PC class runner-up Chris Cumming in the No. 09 entry, with Bruno Junqueira and Duncan Ende completing the season-long lineup in the No. 08 car. More ...

01/14/14
irl
fe
Jay Penske Selling Bel Air Home  Dragon Racing team owner and media entrepreneur Jay Penske has put his Bell Air, CA home on the market at a list price of $7.2 million. The 3,500 square foot, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathroom colonial style was purchased in 2004 and sits on 1.14 acres. Additionally, the home has a built-in gym, infinity pool, and 2000-square foot deck.

For more, see the home listing here.

01/14/14
nascar
NASCAR Announces Fan Appreciation Day  All fans can visit the NASCAR Hall Of Fame for free on Feb, 1. For the first time since its 2010 opening, fans will have unlimited access to the attraction, free of charge.

On Saturday, Feb. 1, fans will be admitted into the Hall for free as part of NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day – a full day of special activities that includes autograph and Q&A sessions with current drivers as well as NASCAR hall of famers.

“Our sport is unique in many ways, starting with our fans – the most loyal fans in all of sports,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “Any successes we have start with our fans, which is why we always look for opportunities to ‘give back.’ More ...

01/14/14
nassprint
What the Earnhardt-Ganassi Split Means for NASCAR  
Teresa Earnhardt
For the first time in 30 years, one of the most revered team names in NASCAR annals will no longer exist.

Last week's news came and went fairly quietly, but the magnitude will definitely be felt throughout the sport in 2014 as the last vestige of team ownership connected to the late Dale Earnhardt will no longer exist.

In the same season that team owner Richard Childress brought back the No. 3 Chevrolet for the first time since Earnhardt's tragic death on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, there will no longer be a team connection to the late Intimidator. More ...

01/14/14
nassprint
Tony Stewart making progress  
Tony Stewart meets the press last Thursday
Getty Images for NASCAR
Dressed in blue jeans and black sweatshirt, Tony Stewart was still limping slightly as he stepped on stage in the media center at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday.

He was there for Sprint Cup testing known as Preseason Thunder and it was the first time since November that many of the members of the motorsports media had seen him. Sidelined since breaking his right leg in two places last August during a Sprint car race in Iowa, three surgeries and numerous physical therapy sessions have steadily helped him to become stronger. He admits more needs to be done.

While at Daytona, Mark Martin, Stewart's fill-in driver for the final third of 2013, handled the driving duties at Daytona while Stewart watched from the garage area. Doing so further assured there would be no setbacks with the healing process. More ...

01/14/14
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

Valsecchi thinks he should get paid to drive? The cancer killing open wheel racing is pervasive
01/14/14
  • Button's father John dies at 70
  • Williams preparing 2014 car for Jerez debut
  • Ferrari not abandoning 'pullrod' layout for 2014
  • Schumacher wrote $1bn will in 2010 - report
  • Departing Valsecchi not paid by Lotus in 2013 (Paid? Open wheel drivers get paid?)
  • Whitmarsh: John the most devoted father in F1 New
  • Chilton reveals permanent car number New More ...
01/14/14
irl
Andretti Hoping Changes Make Team IndyCar Force  
Michael Andretti with wife Jodi
Michael Andretti made a major offseason overhaul to get back on top of the IndyCar standings.

He's changed engine manufacturers, hired Colombian Carlos Munoz, one of the series' top young drivers, as a full-timer and given veteran drivers James Hinchcliffe and his own son, Marco, new colors and new paint schemes.

Now, he's waiting to see if all this will work.

"We took a hard look at ourselves to see where we could improve. I think we improved from 2011 to 2012 and I think we improved from 2012 to 2013 but we ran into some bad luck last year," Andretti said Monday at the official unveiling of his new lineup in Indianapolis. More ...

01/14/14
irl
Video: Michael Andretti 2014 Team Unveil  The RACER Channel's Robin Miller speaks with Michael Andretti after the team unveiled its new 2014 liveries at the team's Indianapolis headquarters.

01/14/14
uscc
Risi announce roster of exceptional talent for Rolex 24  Risi Competizione will be representing the iconic Ferrari brand in the manufacturer-led GT LM category of the new Tudor United Sportscar Championship.  The Houston-based, North American GT stalwart will be entering the Italian marque’s only full-season entry in the class of 12, and the team’s red F458 Italia will carry its long-time race number 62.  Risi will also be working closely alongside its friend and ally Krohn Racing in the North American Endurance Championship rounds.

With the opening round of the championship, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, between January 23 and 26 Risi Competizione is pleased to announce an all-star roster of driving talent.  Scuderia Ferrari F1 test driver Giancarlo Fisichella and ALMS 2013 race-winner Matteo Malucelli will anchor the line-up for the year, and will be joined for the twice-round-the-clock endurance classic by FIA World GT Champion Gianmaria Bruni and 2013 Risi driver Olivier Beretta, a former winner of the Daytona 24. More ...

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