Corvette Racing announces 2012 driver pairings A new alignment of drivers will pilot Corvette Racing's new Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars when they make their competition debut at the season-opening 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. With additional testing following the announcement of the 2012 driver roster, the team has now finalized the lineups for the twin Corvettes.
Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia will be full-season drivers in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R, joined by Jordan Taylor as third driver in endurance events (Sebring, Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans). Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will co-drive the No. 4 Corvette C6.R, with Richard Westbrook joining them as third driver in the three long-distance races.
Servia gets a seat fitting while team owner Robbie Buhl looks on
“This is like a bathtub,” jokes Oriol Servia as he settles in the Dallara DW12 cockpit to prepare for the initial step of forming his driver seat. “You could put a TV here, a bar here. It’s comfortable.”
It’s a metaphor for what the 37-year-old Spaniard is seeking with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series and beyond.
After driving for seven different teams in Champ Car from 2000-08, the 1999 Indy Lights champion migrated to the IZOD IndyCar Series in '08 with KV Racing Technology.
For 2011, Servia rejoined Newman/Haas Racing (the team he drove for in 2005 and ’09) and made a strong statement with a fourth-place finish in the championship standings. He recorded 11 top-10 finishes, with a best of second at New Hampshire and Baltimore, and led the series in laps completed. The breakthrough followed a year of disappointment in which he was out of a ride and a partial 2009 season in which he competed for two teams.
The 2nd annual PRO Winter Warm-Ups got off to a hot start for Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team. The 2009 NHRA Funny Car champion recorded two of the quickest runs of the evening sessions including a blazing run, 4.056 seconds, to close out the night versus Jack Beckman in the Funny Car finale.
In the first session Hight was paired with two-time Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon and the duo recorded matching 4.06 second runs with Hight edging Pedregon 4.062 to 4.068 seconds. Hight’s mile per hour was an astounding 315.56, the second fastest speed for the Funny Cars at the Winter Warm-Up. Matt Hagan recorded the fastest time in the second session, 315.71 mph.
Kimi Raikkonen will be the first driver to test this year’s Lotus Renault GP car. The 2007 World Champion is returning to Formula 1 for the first time since 2009.
The 2012 Lotus line-up is an all-new one, with Raikkonen making a comeback after two seasons spent across the WRC and NASCAR. Also returning to F1 for the first time in three campaigns is Romain Grosjean; following his tough seven-race stint with the team, the Franco-Swiss has become GP2 Champion of 2011.
GRAND-Am Announces New Partnership With Allstate Roadside Services GRAND-AM Road Racing announced today that Allstate Roadside Services has been named as an official partner of the sanctioning body.
As the official roadside service of GRAND-AM Road Racing, Allstate Roadside Services will have a presence at selected Rolex Sports Car Series events, including a show tow truck. Allstate Road Services was a GRAND-AM contingency sponsor in 2011.
"Allstate Roadside Services is a great addition to the GRAND-AM family of brands," said Ed Bennett, GRAND-AM Chief Executive Officer. "Safety and peace of mind for our drivers has always been at the forefront of our sport. Allstate Roadside Services have the same goals for their clients, providing peace of mind for their drivers."
USF2000 Champion Suvanto joins Team Pelfrey Team Pelfrey announced the addition of 2011 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda champion Petri Suvanto to compete in the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear.
The team made a stunning series debut last March when Connor De Phillippi won the opening race at St. Petersburg, Fla., just a few miles away from its home base. De Phillippi maintained the momentum by adding three race wins, and together with teammate Nick Andries claimed a total of three poles and 13 podium finishes en route to second and third positions in the drivers' championship. The team also finished first and second in the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to clinch the Team Championship.
IndyCar news tidbits Michael Shank Racing, which will enter the IZOD IndyCar Series for the 2012 season, is featured in the documentary, "Through the Tale of Teams," which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. For more info, go to www.3WideLife.com. …...... Team Penske's Helio Castroneves is featured in an NBC Sports segment taped last week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Check it out at 5 p.m. Jan. 22 on NBC. ......... Erwin Dazelle is the Official Artist for the 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. His artwork will be featured on the Grand Prix poster, program, tickets and fan guides. ....... Paul Tracy will compete in the Rolex 24 At Daytona for Doran Racing in the Daytona Prototype class. "I drove my first Rolex 24 in a Doran JE4 design back in 2005, and it was a great experience," Tracy said. Ten other INDYCAR drivers are scheduled to participate. …...... Brandon Reed of Elkhart, Ind., will join Team Stange on a partial schedule in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear season. The team hopes additional sponsorship will allow Reed to compete the full season.
Israeli driver to compete in Firestone Indy Lights Auto Racing created motor racing history by signing Alon Day, the first Israeli driver to compete in the United States, to its Firestone Indy Lights roster for the 2012 season.
"I am very excited to welcome Alon to the Belardi Auto Racing family for the 2012 Indy Lights season," team owner Brian Belardi said. "Alon really blew us away when he came down to test with us at Palm Beach in December. His very first time in an Indy Lights car could not have gone better, and we are very lucky to have him join our program. I think with Alon's natural talent and determination, he will have a really great season as a rookie in the Firestone Indy Lights series."
Katherine Legge re-adjusts the diamond ring on her left hand and smiles when talking about her fiancé. Among former DTM driver Peter Terting's qualities are patience and support, which she appreciates more than can be expressed with an interviewer.
"We haven't done anything about the wedding really because I've been so focused on racing," says Legge, who earlier in the week was confirmed as the teammate to Sebastien Bourdais with Lotus Dragon Racing. "It's really difficult to take your focus away from something, and I'm not one of those people who won't do everything properly. When I do something, I have to commit to it 110 percent, and I've just been committed to racing."
Turn One Racing to field Cup team Turn One Racing announced that they will field a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car in 2012, starting with the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 4th. The team is building on the experience earned over the last three years of competition in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where the team earned a ninth place finish in the 2011 standings with driver Cole Whitt.
"This is a great opportunity for Turn One Racing," said Team Owner, Stacy Compton. "It has always been our objective to grow the team and this is just the next step in that plan. We have a great group of partners behind us and feel like we are taking all the right steps to build a very competitive Sprint Cup team."
NASCAR CEO Brian France fights to keep divorce private As NASCAR's teams prepare for Daytona, one of the biggest ongoing storylines is the rivalry between last season's photo-finishers, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards. But behind the scenes, another long-running contest rolls on, this one between NASCAR CEO Brian France and The Charlotte Observer newspaper, which has spent three years fighting to get records from France's divorce case released publicly -- a battle that has public policy implications.
Although a North Carolina judge has ruled that the files should be released, France is using seemingly every legal option to keep the documents private.
The case revolves around an agreement that France struck with his ex-wife, Megan, when they sought a divorce in April 2008. The agreement, which has not been released but portions of which have been quoted in other court documents, provided her with $9 million and roughly $40,000 a month in alimony and child support for their now 5-year-old twins.
Haywood Set for 40th and Last Rolex 24 At Daytona Next weekend's 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona is a landmark race in North American sports car racing. It's also a career milestone for Hurley Haywood, who will be competing in his 40th Rolex 24.
It will also be his last.
"I can absolutely guarantee that this is going to be the last one," Haywood admitted. "You've heard that before, but … This being the 50th, the guys kind of twisted my arm – 'Come on, we need you for one more time,' so I said OK.
Top British talent Luciano Bacheta has his sights set on championship glory after confirming his return to the FIA Formula Two Championship in 2012.
The 21-year-old enjoyed an impressive part-season last year, scoring top 10 points finishes in each of the four races he contested, including a best of fifth in Monza. He will now embark on a maiden full F2 campaign commencing at Silverstone in April, and will compete for the overall championship prize of a test with the Williams F1 team and eligibility for an FIA Super License – needed to compete in Grands Prix.
Indian driver to drive Lotus in British GT Lotus Sport UK has signed Sailesh Bolisetti to race in the 2012 Avon Tyres British GT Championship. The 23-year-old from Visakhapatnum, on the east coast of India, will race the Lotus Evora GT4 which took three wins last year, the team’s maiden season.
Bolisetti began racing in 2007 and went on to win India’s inaugural Volkswagen Polo Cup in 2010. As part of his prize, he was promoted to the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup, a support series forEurope’s DTM championship. Now he’s preparing to make the step up to sportscar racing, alongside some of the toughest tin-top competitors in the business.
Roush expects full season for Stenhouse Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said last week that he hoped to run a full Nationwide Series schedule in 2012, but indicated such plans hadn't been confirmed. That confirmation all but came on Wednesday night courtesy of team co-owner Jack Roush. Roush, speaking on XM Satellite Radio host Claire B Lang's "Dialed In" show, hinted strongly that reigning series champion Stenhouse will be back for a full Nationwide season in the #6 car of Roush Fenway Racing.
"I think that's been announced," Roush said. "If it hasn't been, I'll have somebody yelling at me, but Ricky is the reigning Nationwide champion and for him to have a chance to repeat, that would be good for his career and it would be good for Roush Fenway and good for Ford Motor Company." Roush mentioned no sponsorship for the No. 6 Nationwide car but suggested that Stenhouse's future at RFR is on solid footing. SPEED
Kyle, Kurt Busch to run the full season with Monster Energy Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Monster Energy Company as primary sponsor of the team's #54 Monster Energy Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Team owner Kyle Busch, the all-time race winning driver in the history of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will share driving duties with his brother Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. Kyle will drive the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and the subsequent four races through California before splitting the balance of the season with Kurt. The team's goal will be to capture an Owner's Championship in its inaugural race season, similar to the Owner's Championship accomplished by KBM in its first full season in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010.
Anders Krohn, the popular driver from Stavanger, Norway who is fondly known as "The Viking," has been named to drive Yellow Dragon Motorsports' Mazda RX-8 in the premier event of the Rolex Series, the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Jan. 28-29.
Krohn, who resides in Houston, Texas, is an outstanding representative of the drivers in IndyCar's Mazda Road to Indy program. Krohn came to the United States in 2008 and won the Formula 2000 national championship that season. He finished second in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in 2010, and he placed seventh in Firestone Indy Lights last year as a rookie.
Post-Sebring test Q&A with Hildebrand National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand spent Jan. 16-17 at Sebring International Raceway in his first road course test in the DW12 chassis. Previously, Hildebrand tested the car at Homestead-Miami Speedway as part of a manufacturer test with Chevrolet.
Below are the second-year driver’s responses after returning to the race shop following the test:
It had to be nice to finally get back out to a racetrack with the team and run again. This was your first run on a road course in the DW12 – what were your initial impressions?
I felt like as a team, and me kind of getting used to it as a driver, we made good progress over the couple of days. And that’s really what it was all about; trying to figure out what’s going to be different. Rather than try to start changing things right away, we went out and tried to get used to how it ran now, and just be open to maybe a different outlook on what we need to be able to do to make the car go fast.Read more & Comment...
Michael Andretti knew Danica was leaving a year ago
Andretti Autosport was far more prepared for the exodus of driver Danica Patrick than most anyone expected.
At a preseason IndyCar test at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday, team owner Michael Andretti said Patrick, as required by the terms of her final contract with his team, informed him early last year that she would not return.
"January of '11 she had to let us know what she was doing for '12," Andretti said. "We purposely put it in the contract so in case she decided to leave, we had time. I'm glad we did that."
Sebring announces inaugural Historics event Sebring International Raceway announced the addition of the Sebring Historics event to the 2012 calendar. In conjunction with the 60th anniversary celebration of the Sebring 12 hour classic, the track is creating an annual event to honor the historic cars that have competed on the legendary circuit. Participation is open to all vintage and historic cars meeting the usual eligibility criteria for these types of events.
Sebring International Raceway President and General Manager Tres Stephenson commented. “Fans have always enjoyed our events featuring vintage racing. We see the need to raise the level of competition and quality of these events to properly reflect the importance of these legendary racecars and to create an event that fully integrates competitors, spectators and the Sebring community. Our goal is to provide a higher quality racing experience for our customers”.
Chevrolet Achieves Best-Ever Global Sales in 2011 Chevrolet sold 4.76 million vehicles around the world in 2011, setting a global sales record and driving General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) global sales to more than 9 million vehicles, a 7.6 percent gain compared with 2010.
GM gained four-tenths of a point of market share to 11.9 percent of the global vehicle industry. Sales were up in all four reporting regions – North America, South America, Europe and International Operations – as GM sold a total of 9,025,942 vehicles compared with 8,385,484 in 2010.
The United States led the way for Chevrolet with total vehicle sales of 1,775,812, up more than 13 percent from 2010. China posted record sales of 595,068, up 9.5 percent from the previous year. Other markets that posted significant year-over-year increases include Vietnam (79 percent), Russia (49 percent), Turkey (30 percent) and Germany (21 percent).
Colin Braun joins Core for ALMS season Young motorsports star and NASCAR standout Colin Braun will return to his sports car roots in 2012 with CORE autosport, the championship-winning American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n (ALMS) LMPC-class team.
Braun, 23, will co-drive the No. 05 Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 with Jon Bennett, CORE autosport team founder and owner, and second-place finisher in the 2011 ALMS LMPC driver standings.
HVM Lotus running traditional Black and Gold livery
Enthusiasts interested in the storied brand founded by Colin Chapman in 1952 have faced challenges following the brand’s thread over the past couple of decades, particularly when it comes to motorsports.
Consider this past year in IndyCar. Lotus was a sponsor of KV Racing Technology’s IndyCars driven by Takuma Sato, E.J. Viso, and former champion Tony Kanaan—with the three cars painted up in the traditional green and yellow Lotus livery. But the cars, of course, were powered by Honda engines, the only powerplant available to teams. The engines in Lotus street cars are, as you probably know, Toyota units. What did Lotus contribute? It seems mostly money.
NASCAR Extends Partnership With Federal-Mogul NASCAR announced that it has renewed its partnership agreement with Federal-Mogul Corporation, extending Federal-Mogul's market-leading MOOG brand of automotive steering and suspension components as an exclusive NASCAR Performance partner.
This multi-year agreement will continue to provide Federal-Mogul's MOOG product and marketing team with a platform to enhance and differentiate its products and drive sales. The NASCAR Performance brand marks and intellectual property will appear on MOOG packaging as well as within the brand's product literature, advertising and promotional programs, and at industry events.
The agreement continues the MOOG brand's high-profile involvement as a NASCAR Contingency Program sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Federal-Mogul and the MOOG brand also sponsor the prestigious weekly and annual MOOG "Problem Solver" awards for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs. NASCAR
IndyCar VP of technology predicts speed records for 2013 Track records might be coming to IndyCar after all, although it might not be until aerodynamic kit options are available in 2013, according to Will Phillips, the Izod IndyCar Series' vice president of technology.
The Dallara DW12 that began full testing this week at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway delivered encouraging results during a recent wind-tunnel test at the Windshear facility in North Carolina. The results showed that the car can and should meet 2011 speeds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
IndyCar, however, might have to harness speeds in 2013.
IndyCar tests Dallara in Wind Tunnel, but are their calculations correct?
A two-day wind tunnel test last week proved that the Dallara DW12 chassis is up to the task on ovals, according to INDYCAR vice president of technology Will Phillips.
Questions arose during testing in November at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the chassis achieved only an average lap speed of 215.6 mph on the 2.5-mile oval. INDYCAR and Dallara Automobili arranged the full-scale, rolling test at Windshear in North Carolina to discern what could be done to increase aerodynamic performance.
The worlds of NASCAR, IndyCar, USAC and the Rolex Series will come together next week as part of the No. 36 Yellow Dragon Motorsports Mazda RX-8 driver line-up for the 50th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The father and son team of John and Jarett Andretti highlight the entry and will race together for the first time. Joining them will be Mazda sports car racing veteran Taylor Hacquard, and promising Mazda open-wheel driver Anders Krohn, forming Yellow Dragon’s most impressive Rolex 24 driver squad to date.
"The outstanding driver team assembled for the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona came together quickly in a coordinated effort,” said Yellow Dragon owner Jack Smith. “We are very excited to return to the Rolex 24 At Daytona on its 50th anniversary with a driver group that has the level of accomplishment of John Andretti, Jarett Andretti, Taylor Hacquard, and Anders Krohn. We believe our team is truly an extraordinary program for the 2012 Rolex 24.”
NASCAR gets foothold in Europe NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) and Team FJ has announced a licensing agreement that recognizes EURO-RACECAR as a NASCAR touring series.
EURO-RACECAR opened the Autosports International show in Birmingham, England with the announcement. EURO-RACECAR is registered as a FIA International Series that contests races in England, France and Spain. It is under the management of Team FJ, which founded the series in 2009. EURO-RACECAR will become the third international series to fall under the NASCAR touring banner – joining the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and NASCAR Mexico Series – and the first outside of North America.
For 2012, just as it was a year ago, Bayne's Cup outlook consists of fewer than 20 scheduled starts with a team that continues to refuse to extend itself without the proper funding, choosing quality rather than quantity when it comes to opportunities at the race track. The 2011 Daytona 500 victory opened doors - Bayne and the team eventually made a total of 17 starts last year - but success didn't follow. While he qualified well on the big tracks, Bayne scored no more top-10s and finished only one other race, at Talladega, in the top 15.
A member of the Roush Fenway Racing stable, where he competed for the Nationwide Series title in 2011, Bayne closed the year uncertain of his future as sponsorship concerns muddied the racing waters for the Roush Fenway program and left his status for 2012 questionable. Scene Daily
Walgreens & Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Event Sarah Fisher: Hi Fans! I am sure a lot of you are wondering what we are talking about from my recent "tweet," well.... as I am sure you know, we are always actively looking to finalize sponsors. One of our recent pitches have presented us with an opportunity show off my fans and their support! This Thursday at 9:30 AM, I will be at the Walgreens store at 1530 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN. taking part in a ribbon cutting on a Grand Re-Opening for the Walgreens store brand and supporting their new initiatives.
Walgreens is very interested in being on the team. Just to be clear, they are not a sponsor.... yet. =) By sharing this event with our fans and showing Walgreens just how supportive you are, we can show what INDYCAR is all about! We are privileged for Walgreens to have invited us to be part of this and providing us with this opportunity.
TBR Taps Ryan Blaney to Compete in NASCAR Nationwide Series Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) signed Ryan Blaney to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). The 18-year-old will get behind the wheel of the No. 36 SealWrap Repair Tape Chevrolet and compete in six events throughout the season with his debut set for April 27 at Richmond International Raceway. Blaney will also run six NASCAR K&N Pro Series (NKNPS) races in his family-owned DB Racing No. 10 SealWrap Repair Tape/Heavy Duty Industrial Services machine, beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway March 17, and Trent Owen will return as crew chief for the NKNPS car.
Blaney, son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and TBR driver Dave Blaney, made a combined three starts last season in the NKNPS East and West, winning in his third start and capturing his first NASCAR victory at Phoenix International Raceway. Blaney also won the 2011 PASS South Championship and found success in the ARCA Racing Series where he finished in the top-10 in his two starts.
APR Motorsport names Mark Scott lead engineer APR Motorsport is proud to announce the addition of Mark Scott to the technical staff of its Rolex Series program. Effective immediately, Scott will oversee the development of the team's Audi R8 Grand-Am, serving as the team's lead engineer.
Scott - originally from England, now residing in Indianapolis - was almost literally born with gas in his veins when he was born above the gas station owned by his father. Beginning as a mechanic and amateur driver, Scott's motorsports career spans nearly forty years and covers everything from Formula Ford to Formula 1. While a mechanic at McLaren International, Scott was a part of the 1976 World Championship team with driver James Hunt. In 1984, Scott came to the United States for the first time as a Lead mechanic of Mayer Motor Racing's Indianapolis 500 team, before moving to a Chief Mechanic and trackside engineering role for the Buick Indy program.
Road America Announces New Multi-Year Partnership with CAT Road America, Inc. has developed a partnership with Milwaukee-based Caterpillar Global Mining that will provide a landmark location for Caterpillar branding at the motorsports facility. Road
America hosts a season full of premium racing series including the American Le Mans Series, AMA Pro Racing, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Thousands of onsite spectators and a global broadcast audience will see the Caterpillar name spanning the track on a pedestrian bridge that provides access to the infield. The Caterpillar Bridge was initially part of an onsite rebranding effort after Caterpillar's 2011 acquisition of Bucyrus International, an existing corporate partner at Road America. Located after turn 14 across a hillside climb to the front straight; the 67' long bridge features extensive exterior sign faces that are visible from the main spectator and competitor gates.
ALMS statement on Peugeot withdrawal from racing “While the announcement of Peugeot ending its factory participation in endurance racing comes as a real disappointment, it will take little – if any – luster off the spectacle of the 60th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Taking into account the start of our 14th season and the debut of the FIA World Endurance Championship, it still promises to be one of North America’s most epic events by all measures. There will still be a plethora of new cars, teams and manufacturers represented on the grid with plenty of entertainment available at the circuit. When we say Sebring is an event not to be missed, we mean it in the truest of ways.”
Lotus Shakedown & Testing a Success Lotus HVM Racing, the Lotus test team and Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro completed a successful shakedown of the new 2012 Lotus-powered Dallara DW12 on Thursday, before beginning more in-depth testing of the 2.2 liter, twin-turbo V6 engine on Friday at Palm Beach International Raceway in West Palm Beach, FL.
After two full days of testing over the weekend and turning 300+ incident free miles in West Palm Beach, the Lotus team packed up and moved to Sebring for additional testing on Monday and Tuesday. 870 miles were run over the combined sessions.
Citroen affirms WRC commitment Citroen World Rally team principal Yves Matton has confirmed the French firm's continued participation in the World Rally Championship, despite the withdrawal of its PSA stable-mate Peugeot from endurance racing.
Peugeot's sudden departure from racing kick-started speculation about Citroen in the WRC - but Matton gathered his team, currently competing on the Monte Carlo Rally, in Valence today to reassure them about their future.
Matton said: "I see everybody from the team this afternoon to tell them I have confirmation from Mr. [Frederic] Banzet the manager of the Citroen brand that our program continues and we have guarantees to be here in the future." Autosport
Canadian fans can check out new IndyCar Race fans attending the Canadian Motorsports Expo presented by Inside Track will have an exclusive opportunity to have an up-close look at the new 2012 Dallara DW12 IndyCar. This is the first time Canadian race fans and journalists in Canada will have the chance to view the long awaited car.
The CME takes place February 10, 11 and 12 at the International Centre near Pearson International Airport. The new vehicle has been designated the DW12 in honor of the late Dan Wheldon, who was a series champion and two-time winner of the Indy 500.
IndyCar, are you watching?UPDATE A reader adds, Dear AR1.com, Interesting read on the canopy on Don Schumacher's car but Don Garlits had a canopy on his rail as late as 2002 although I don't think it was polycarbonate like the new one. Steve Karnes
Dear Steve, Thanks for the reminder. Interesting that the 'old' IndyCar fraternity that struggles with letting go of the past, thinks that adding a canopy doesn't make it an open wheel IndyCar anymore. From where we sit, Schumacher's dragster (below) still has 'open' wheels, with or without the canopy. Ditto for IndyCar if they can get past the 'old' and put driver safety first. Let's hope it doesn't take a flying wheel (or other object - fence post, suspension piece, deer (recall da Matta)) hitting a driver in the head and killing them before effective change is made. Recall AutoRacing1.com pounded NASCAR with many articles calling for them to make the HANS Device mandatory. They refused. Then their biggest star was killed (Dale Earnhardt) from the very injury the HANS Device was designed for, and then they finally made it mandatory. A sad commentary. My mother (God rest her soul) often reminded me when I was a stubborn kid, you can lead a donkey to the water, but you can't make him drink. Mark C.
01/18/12 The look might be considerably different but to Tony Schumacher, the first of the Don Schumacher Racing capsule-quipped dragster product line is absolutely the “coolest” dragster he’s ever driven.
“I can tell you this [prototype] doesn’t belong on any other car to start with but the Army car for the first appearance,” explained Schumacher. “For all the awesome technology and data they [U.S. Army] have, this is a fitting car for the debut of this canopy.”
Schumacher has been a passenger in an F-16 fighter before but experienced the ride from the back seat. This time he is front and center in the experience.
Five Star's new Camaro body; conventional hood scoops are still planned
The NHRA Tech Department has approved a body design for the '12 Camaro SS for use in NHRA competition. The new Camaro bodies were developed and will be constructed by Five Star Race Car Bodies, and they are tentatively scheduled to make their debut at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals March 8-11.
The approval of the Camaro was the final step in the process of making the new body legal for NHRA competition. According to NHRA Tech Director Bob Blackwell, ”NHRA has an established set of standards regarding the minimum width, height, and other critical dimensions for all Pro Stock bodies, and the final version still has to retain the essential body lines and design features of the Camaro. All of these steps have been completed, and the various Pro Stock chassis builders are now taking orders from a number of the General Motors teams.”
UPDATE Response by the ACO to the news of the cancellation of Peugeot's endurance racing program.
The Automobile Club de l'Ouest notes the end of Peugeot Automobiles program in endurance racing. As the creator and organizer of the Le Mans 24 Hours and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the ACO regret this decision.
After five years at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Hdi-FAP 908 and 908 program, marked by a victory in 2009 and two titles in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (2010 and 2011), Peugeot has officially announced the termination of their sports program.
The Automobile Club de l'Ouest deeply regrets the departure of the French manufacturer, nevertheless with the creation of the new FIA World Endurance Championship, the future of the discipline promises more prestigious than ever.
Marco Andretti outdueled Tony Kanaan in last year's thrilling finish in Iowa
Even though IndyCar has thumbed their nose at Iowa corn farmers (their ethanol fuel comes 100% from Brazil) officials from the Iowa Speedway announced today that the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board will continue their title sponsorship of the annual Iowa Corn Indy 250 event at the 7/8-mile tri-oval on Saturday, June 23.
The 2012 Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be one of the most anticipated races on this year’s INDYCAR schedule. Last year’s event at the Rusty Wallace designed track was a highlight with one of the best open-wheeled race finishes as Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan kept spectators standing until the spectacular finish.
Bruton Smith Honored at 2012 North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards
Bruton Smith, founder and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., was honored Monday evening with the 2012 Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award from the North Carolina Motorsports Association. The honor was given to Smith before a large crowd of motorsports industry professionals at the 6th Annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards presented by Senn Dunn Insurance at the Embassy Suites and Convention Center in Concord. Smith joins previous Tribute Award recipients Bill France Jr., Benny Parsons, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Junior Johnson.
David Poole, longtime Charlotte Observer motorsports writer, was honored (posthumously) with the Media Recognition Award. The award was accepted by Poole's widow Katy [Poole] and Mike Persinger, Executive Sports Editor for the Charlotte Observer.
Several big name drivers still not locked into Daytona 500
Danica Patrick locked out of Daytona 500? Yes, unless teams play shell game with ludicrous NASCAR points system guaranteeing past champions and loyal teams a starting spot
The big question that continued throughout testing was whether or not Danica Patrick would be locked into the Daytona 500. Or Mark Martin. Or Trevor Bayne. It likely will be a few weeks before teams know the answer. With Red Bull Racing having closed, there could still be a deal done for the points earned by the #4 car (14th) and the #83 (25th) last year. If those points aren't used, next in line is the closed TRG Motorsports #71 car.
If it does not enter and a deal is not done to use those points, next in line are the Wood Brothers #21 car (Trevor Bayne) and Robby Gordon Motorsports #7 car, which Gordon will drive in the Daytona 500. Among those looking for points are Stewart-Haas Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing.
There has been speculation that Stewart Haas would put together a deal with Tommy Baldwin Racing, possibly for points from the #36 car (33rd in 2011 owner points) to be transferred to Patrick. But it also could include a partnership where TBR would field a #10 car for David Reutimann in the 26 races in which Patrick doesn't compete, thus allowing that car to continue to earn owner points all season.
NASCAR CEO Brian France recently sat down for an interview with Broadcasting & Cable that covered a variety of subjects, Here are a few:
You say you're pretty aggressive about what your TV partners need to do for NASCAR. What do you want from them? We are always the sport that is under-covered given the ratings and size of the events. In particular, ESPN. They just have so many platforms. So we are pushing real hard with them to have a more integrated approach. We have hired people to service them better, so we can help them accomplish that. They have the most assets to be deployed; it doesn't mean everyone else doesn't have some big ones and good ones. We are going to work to make them a better partner.
DW12 chassis shows its mettle in wind tunnel A two-day wind tunnel test last week proved that the Dallara DW12 chassis is up to the task on ovals, according to INDYCAR vice president of technology Will Phillips.
Questions arose during testing in November at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the chassis achieved only an average lap speed of 215.6 mph on the 2.5-mile oval. INDYCAR and Dallara Automobili arranged the full-scale, rolling test at Windshear in North Carolina to discern what could be done to increase aerodynamic performance.
A 2011 Target Chip Ganassi Racing IR11 chassis in qualification trim that recorded a 227.34 mph lap speed at the Speedway in May was utilized as a baseline reference.
Chevy drivers to appear at Detroit Auto Show The weather may be cold and the calendar may say January, but it will feel like race time in Detroit this Friday as seven drivers that will be competing in the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will visit the city to promote the June 1-3, 2012 event.
Some of the top road racers in the world will cruise into the Motor City on Jan. 20 and they will meet with media and fans at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Cobo Center. IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Will Power and Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske and JR Hildebrand of Panther Racing will visit the show along with GRAND-AM Rolex Series drivers (and brothers) Ricky Taylor of SunTrust Racing and Jordan Taylor of Autohaus Motorsports. Two of the top drivers from the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series – Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim of Cadillac Racing – will also be in attendance on Friday.
USF2000 Completes 2012 Schedule with the Addition of VIR The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda added the finishing touches to its strong 2012 race schedule which was announced last week by today confirming a pair of season-ending events at Virginia International Raceway on September 14 and 15 in support of the American Le Mans Series. Both series will be making their first appearances on the 4.1-mile, 21-turn ‘Grand Course' road course configuration at the Alton, Va., circuit.
“I am thrilled to be able to confirm our events at VIR,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “This was the final piece to an exciting schedule in support of INDYCAR and the ALMS that will showcase the incredible talent we have in place this year. VIR is a first-class facility, and it is one of the best road courses in America. It is scenic, challenging, fan-friendly and will make a great site for our season finale.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is excited to announce that Spanish driver Oriol Servia will join the team full-time for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, will be joining the Indianapolis-based squad for the first time. The Spaniard is coming off of an impressive 2011 season in which he qualified third for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, recorded eleven top-10 finishes, was one of three drivers to be running at the finish in all 17 races, led all drivers in laps completed (2,103 of 2,011) and was the only driver to finish in the top-10 in the first five races of the season. As a result, Servia finished 4th in the overall IZOD IndyCar Series championship.
High School freshman takes aim on IndyCar racing career Quinten Nelson once drove a race kart one-handed around a challenging track at Camden, Ohio -- after his side pod came off -- never lost his position and still finished in first place for the day.
It's no coincidence that track is one of the venues where Danica Patrick started her IndyCar career, as a kart racer.
Nelson, a 15-year-old freshman at Newark Catholic in Ohio, has serious designs on a similar career after dominating in karting. He's moving up to open-wheel racing, looking for a chance and the financial support to work his way up the leader.
The 2012 schedule of American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron venues continues to grow with the addition of historic Virginia International Raceway for the 2012 season. North America’s leading sports car championship will contest its first race at VIR on Saturday, Sept. 15 in a four-hour enduro. (See composite schedules page for the full 2012 ALMS schedule)
The first ALMS race at VIR – located in Danville, Va. – also will mark the first competition on the track’s impressive 4.1-mile, 31-turn Grand Course. It’s a safe bet that track speed records will fall at the hands of the world’s most exotic prototype sports cars and premier production-based GT cars. The race will be broadcast on ESPN2.
“For years we have received numerous inquiries from fans and competitors on when we would race at VIR, I’m proud to say that time is now,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. “Virginia International Raceway is an excellent addition to what no doubt will be a fantastic 2012 season for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. Given VIR’s history and acclaim as a world-class road racing facility, this is a natural fit. We look forward to working closely with the VIR team to introduce their fans and lots of new ones to the fastest, toughest and most entertaining competition VIR has witnessed.”
F1 Event In New York-New Jersey Names Tom Cotter President The F1 Grand Prix in New York-New Jersey today named longtime motorsports exec Tom Cotter President. He will manage every aspect of the event from logistics and security to public relations and sales. He will report to Leo Hindery, the race's promoter and director, and initially will oversee a staff of five people. The staff is expected to swell to 20 and there will be a host of contractors hired by the time of the race in June '13. The race group named former New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority CEO & President Dennis Robinson its COO. By Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal
Toyota's Le Mans car begins testing Toyota's all-new 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours contender hit the track for the first time last week.
The Japanese manufacturer's gasoline-electric hybrid LMP1 coupe was shaken down over three days at Paul Ricard, starting on Wednesday. No comment has been forthcoming from Toyota Motorsport GmbH about the test, but it is understood that the car completed several hundred miles of largely trouble-free running.
All three of the drivers who will race Toyota's solo entry at Le Mans – and in selected rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship this year – were on hand at the test. It is believed that Alex Wurz, whose teammates are Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, was at the wheel for the first laps and undertook the majority of the driving.
Further testing is scheduled at Ricard at the end of the month, when more official details of Toyota's progress should emerge. The car, a name for which has yet to be announced, is expected to make its race debut in the Spa WEC round in May. Racer.com
Toyota secures sponsorship of Englishtown NHRA event Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has expanded its participation in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing by becoming the title-rights sponsor of the event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown. The 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals will be held May 31-June 3.
“Toyota is proud to expand its NHRA involvement with this title-sponsorship initiative,” says Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager.
In addition to becoming the sponsor of the Englishtown event, Toyota will have an advertising presence in the ESPN2 broadcasts of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing with commercial inventory, an in-show sponsored feature, and race ticker. Toyota will also increase its national footprint in the sport and expand its on-site display visibility at various races.
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