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DATE News (chronologically)
01/21/10
tv news
Speed Signs Multi-Year Deal To Air NASCAR HOF Inductions  Speed today formally announced that it has reached a multi-year deal to become the official TV home of the NASCAR HOF Induction Ceremony. Speed will televise the inaugural HOF opening live on May 11, and the network will offer a "walking tour" broadcast from the new facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, before it opens to the public. Starting in April, Speed also will produce and air one-hour documentaries on each incoming NASCAR HOF class member.
01/21/10
Formula BMW
Felipe Nasr joins Robertson Management  Formula BMW Europe Champion Felipe Nasr has signed a long term deal with Robertson Management. The 17-year-old Brazilian will take the next step on the ladder to an F1 career by driving for Raikkonen Robertson Racing in the 2010 British F3 Championship.

Nasr is only the third driver to be represented by the father and son team of David and Steve Robertson. He follows in the footsteps of Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen, both of whom became World Champions.

After achieving huge success in karts Nasr made his car racing debut at the end of 2008 in the Formula BMW Americas event supporting the Brazilian GP, finishing third in one of the races.

He moved to the European series last year, where he proved a convincing title winner, despite the fact that many of his main rivals were in their second full seasons. In the course of the year Felipe won five races, took six pole positions, and set six fastest laps. He was on the podium 14 times in 16 rounds.

He finished the 2009 season with a one-off outing in the Formula BMW Pacific event supporting the Singapore GP, where he achieved a clean sweep of pole, victory and fastest lap in both races. More ...
01/21/10
starmazda
Jessica Brannam Hopes to Compete in Star Mazda Pro Series  
Jessica Brannam has already accumulated 213 feature victories
Jessica Brannam has already accumulated 213 feature victories
In every sport, consistent, extraordinary performance is rewarded. When an exceptional player wills their team to a National Championship the chances of that athlete moving to the next level improve exponentially. Which is precisely why Jessica Brannam from McHenry, Illinois, should realistically never need to fret about any racing future of her choosing.
Jessica Brannam is 24 time National Kart Champion
Jessica Brannam is 24 time National Kart Champion


Brannam's resume reads like someone's at the end of a stellar racing career, yet Brannan only turned 19 last month. She has already been a 24 time National Champion, and is still the only female to be named "Badger Kart Club" Diver of the Year in that club's 50-year history. She has already accumulated a mind-boggling 213 feature victories, and is the only female to win every single race during a WKA (World Kart Association) National Series season. Brannam accomplished that feat four times. She notched her first racing victory in just her second race ever and won her first championship in her very first year of competition. More ...
01/21/10
track news
Milwaukee Mile gets caution flag over erosion  A race is on - 15 feet beneath the Milwaukee Mile track - to prevent the collapse of leaking metal pipes carrying the entire flow of Honey Creek under State Fair Park in West Allis.

Should the pipes fail, sinkholes could form on the infield of the historic oval and swallow a section of a road course used by sports car clubs, officials said.

Though a NASCAR race is not scheduled this year at the Milwaukee Mile, the track and road course will be open to car clubs and driving schools. More ...

01/21/10
nascar
NASCAR Sanctioned Online Racing Begins  
A vision that Bill France Jr. articulated more than fifteen years ago will become reality this season with the formation of the NASCAR iRacing.com Series, an official NASCAR racing series.

On February 9th, online racing competition commences with the first event of the inaugural 18-race, 39-week NASCAR iRacing Drivers World Championship. This series will feature the 50 top-rated drivers currently racing in iRacing's Pro Series and will include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who recently clinched entry into this elite series.

Selected races from the series will be carried over the internet on iRacing.com. Weekly iRacing news coverage and standings will be featured on NASCARmedia.com. More ...

01/21/10
nassprint
Jay Guy comments on latest NASCAR rule changes  Jay Guy, crew chief of the No. 12 Penske Dodge with driver Brad Keselowski, comments on the rule changes coming to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2010:

What effect do you think the bigger plate will have at the Daytona 500, the biggest race of the season?

“I don’t think we’ll see a big change in speed.  NASCAR has given us bigger end plates on the rear wing, which creates more drag, and I think the horsepower gain will compensate for that.  Yes, it will be more horsepower on the dyno, but the speed on the racetrack will stay the same.  I’m not expecting to see much separation among the cars.  It’s still Daytona and Talladega so the driver that can hold it wide open all day long will be up front.  Brad has shown that he can win restrictor plate races so we are going to Daytona to become Daytona 500 champions.” More ...

01/21/10
racing news
Schumacher Wins Mario Andretti Trophy  
Tony Schumacher and Mario Andretti
Dan Chubirka for SPEED
Seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher edged NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson and Superbike rookie Ben Spies to earn the Mario Andretti Trophy as the 2009 SPEED Performer of the Year.

“I’m honored to be chosen the 2009 Speed Performer of the Year,” said U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher. “Of course, receiving the Mario Andretti Trophy from the man himself was an incredible experience. As always, any trophy I get is because of the dedication and determination by my entire team. This truly is the team’s award, not my personal award.

“And, to be sure, we continually race and win for our Army Strong Soldiers. Without their hard work every day to keep us free and safe, we’re not doing what we love to do.” More ...

01/21/10
nassprint
nnws
NASCAR announces more changes to rules and cars  NASCAR has announced that it will relax some on-track rules, putting racing back in drivers' hands in 2010. The changes, which begin with next month's season-opening events at Daytona International Speedway, will allow drivers to be even more competitive. Race rule changes were one of several announcements during Thursday's annual media-tour presentation at NASCAR's Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said the loosening of on-track reins is another step in enhancing competition and back-to-basics racing. "Over the past 10 years we've dramatically increased safety and that mission continues. However, it's time for us to allow the drivers to drive. We don't want the rules and regulations to get in the way of great racing and fantastic finishes," said France. "NASCAR is a contact sport - our history is based on banging fenders."

Among the changes: Bump-drafting rules will be eliminated at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway. Teams also will use a bigger restrictor plate at Daytona. Eliminating bump-drafting rules puts responsibility for on-track moves squarely back in drivers' hands. Larger restrictor plates give drivers more horsepower. More ...

01/21/10
grandam
Papis set for Rolex 24  Italian Max Papis, 2004 Grand-Am series champion and two time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, will complete an international drivers lineup for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates at this year’s running of the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona, and will share the wheel of the No.01 TELMEX/TARGET car along with American Scott Pruett, Mexican Memo Rojas and Justin Wilson from England. Papis and his teammates will unite for the twice-round-the-clock classic where Max earned the “Mad Max” nickname with a blazing drive on a Ferrari in 1996, and battle for the team’s fourth win.

“I’m excited to be back with Chip Ganassi Racing and Felix Sabates. It still feels like just yesterday when we won the GRAND-AM championship together. I’ve won the Rolex 24 at Daytona twice before, but I feel this is the best chance I’ve had to get back to victory lane here. It’s great to join such a talented driver lineup and I can’t wait to get started and help the team go for a fourth victory.” More ...

01/21/10
irl
Firestone continues sponsorship of LBGP  The Firestone brand will continue a longstanding tradition on the streets of Southern California this April 16-18 by once again serving as the Official Tire of the 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

“2010 marks the 15th consecutive year that a Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) brand will serve as the official tire of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach,” said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing. “It feels great to return to this track each year and see the red Firestone name on the bridge between turns 9 and 10, and all alongside the track. The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach always goes above and beyond in making sure we receive maximum exposure and value for our sponsorship dollars at this great race, which takes place in a key market – the Los Angeles area.” More ...
01/21/10
irl
Honda introduces fueling safety cut-off  Honda Performance Development will incorporate a refueling lockout device on IZOD IndyCar Series cars in 2010 in an effort to further reduce the possibility of fuel spills and fire during pit stops.

A sensor next to the refueling coupling behind the driver's shoulder will recognize the proximity of the fuel probe and prevent the driver from shifting into gear (from neutral) until it has cleared the pre-set distance.

"It should prevent anybody driving off with the probe in the car," IZOD IndyCar Series technical director Kevin Blanch said. "All the electronics are existing parts on the car except the sensor. The rest is software." More ...

01/21/10
f1
McLaren signs 14 year old driver  McLaren has begun a contract with its next racing protégé, 14-year-old Dutchman Nyck de Vries, who joins the company's young driver development program and is managed by Anthony Hamilton, father and Manager of 2008 World Champion Lewis. With McLaren's young driver scheme having proven immensely successful when Lewis Hamilton, who joined in 1997, became F1 Champion two years ago, the progress of de Vries - who hails from the city of Sneek in the Netherlands' Friesland province - has been monitored closely by the Woking team.

"My visit to the McLaren Technology Centre has been a fantastic experience and I am very honored and grateful for the support of McLaren in helping to develop my career," commented di Vries, who triumphed in both the WSK KF3 International and German Junior karting championships in 2008.

"The resources they have are incredible and I believe they'll be able to provide me with the perfect framework for improving my skills, my fitness and my motorsport experience."
McLaren has a long-held commitment to assisting young talent," continued Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh. "We believe it's part of the responsibility of the motor racing community to encourage and nurture junior racers and we are committed to doing just that. Nyck appears to be a very exciting prospect and we are looking forward to assisting his junior career, providing him with the support and training he requires to succeed."

"Nyck is an extremely promising youngster," Anthony Hamilton added. "His father Hendrik has been fantastically supportive of Nyck's career and has been instrumental in raising him up to, not just be a great young racing driver, but also a fine young man." gpupdate.net
01/21/10
atlantic
Newman Wachs Racing Atlantic Team For Sale  The 2009 Atlantic Championship winning team, Newman Wachs Racing, regretfully has made the decision not to return to the series and defend their title in 2010. This conclusion was made after careful deliberation and consideration after competing in the historic series for the past four years.

With this being said, the complete Newman Wachs Racing Atlantic team is for sale. This is a turn-key operation and includes four Swift 016 chassis, together with the Championship winning car driven by John Edwards and the Championship runner-up machine driven by Jonathan Summerton. Also in this package are the tools and equipment (jacks, set-up equipment, etc.) needed to service and maintain the specific Swift chassis. One trailer and one C-Tech pit cart are included in addition to an extensive spares package. This package includes gear boxes, gear ratios, suspension, front and rear wings, springs, wheels, electronics and a Pi data system.  Newman Wachs Racing will also offer valuable engineering information and data to ensure your success on the track.

For a complete listing, please contact team manager Brian Halahan at bhalahan@newmanwachsracing.com or call (847) 996- 1080.

01/21/10
f1
Pit stops to take sub-3 seconds in 2010  (GMM) F1 looks set to stage lightning-fast pit stops in 2010.

Williams spokeswoman Claire Williams revealed that the Grove based team was on Thursday practicing pit stops for the forthcoming season.

Refueling has been banned for 2010, meaning that the only routine action to take place during pit stops this year will be the changing of tires.

"The guys have made it into the sub-three second range to change a set of tires!" she exclaimed.

01/21/10
f1
Cosworth 'picking up the F1 pieces'  Mark Gallagher, Cosworth's General Manager for Formula 1, has described the company as one 'picking up the pieces' this year after several key manufacturers pulled out of the sport.

With Honda having pulled the plug on its F1 project in December 2008 followed by announcements from BMW and Toyota in July and November respectively, Cosworth returns to the sport to supply engines for the first time since 2006; as well as a deal with Williams, the Northampton-based firm is also supplying F1's four new teams.



"With car manufacturers catching a cold with the recession, we have found ourselves in the unusual position of picking up the pieces," Gallagher said on Thursday ahead of a seminar in Aberdeen. "We can produce good F1 engines at competitive rates and in these times - when teams are struggling to secure sponsorship - the fact that our engines are inexpensive has played into our hands."

Providing powerplants in the form of 5 million-pound deals, Cosworth is one of four engine manufacturers in the sport this year with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Renault being the others.

01/21/10
f1
Räikkönen: F1 doors still open  Kimi Räikkönen has said that he will wait until later in the year before deciding whether to return to Formula 1 next season. The Finn is rallying in the World Championship with Red Bull's Citroën Junior Team this year, having clinched the F1 title in 2007.

After finishing fifth in the Drivers' Championship in what was a difficult season for Ferrari last year, Räikkönen admits that his F1 career may continue at a later date; some believe that the Finn's sabbatical from the sport may prove to be permanent, as it was for compatriot Mika Häkkinen following his own exit in 2001.

"I've always had an interest in the WRC and, at one point in my career, I was offered this great opportunity by Red Bull - so why not take it?" the 30-year-old from Espoo told Italy's Autosprint, with Red Bull being tipped as a possible future F1 team for Kimi due to his latest connections with the Austrian energy drinks company.

"The doors to F1 are still open. I've dedicated nine years of my life to it and have some excellent memories. I will take a decision halfway through the year, to decide whether to stay in rallying or to return to racing in Grands Prix."

01/21/10
nassprint
Still no deal for Knaus  Jimmie Johnson re-upped with Hendrick Motorsports last year. Crew chief Chad Knaus, an equally important part of the team that has won four straight Cup championships, hasn't extended his current contract beyond 2010. Knaus, however, is convinced his deal will get done in due time. "The contract deal will get done at some point," Knaus said. "I'm signed up through the end of 2010, and it's not on the forefront of my mind right now. What's important to me right now is just getting the cars built, getting to Daytona and getting the season back in place. Once the contract negotiations start, then we'll worry about that." Johnson and Knaus are viewed as an inseparable combination, but Knaus said he could envision working with another driver -- just not any time soon. Sporting News/Fox Sports
01/21/10
nassprint
Penske wants Kurt Busch back for 2011  Kurt Busch has a new deal. Sort of. The season begins in less than a month, but the main topic is where some of the sport's top drivers could be after it's over.

Car owner Roger Penske said his team has exercised its option on Busch for the 2011 season but has not negotiated financial details. Busch, who finished fourth in the points last season, said he has a clause in his contract that allows him to explore other opportunities even though the team has exercised its option for 2011.

"I'm never going to back myself into a corner," Busch said. "I've got to understand what's out there. All of it will be done in a fashion where Roger and I are on the same page and we do it very respectfully."

Busch also said about his current ride, "This is where I'd love to be."

01/21/10
tv news
NASCAR Duels, All-Star race to be shown online  The Gatorade Duel qualifying races next month at Daytona and the All-Star race in May will be shown online for the first time. Both races, broadcast by Speed Channel, can be seen on NASCAR.com. More Cup races could follow, according to Scott Doyne, senior director for business operations at NASCAR.com. Doyne said there are "active talks" with other networks to air their races online. Fans can expect something similar to NASCAR.com's Race Buddy, which shows the six TNT races online. That allows fans to see four camera angles of the race. Fans viewing the qualifying races and all-star race online, though, will not hear the Speed broadcasters. The only sound online will be in-car audio and that of the cars. There will be no fee to view the race online. It is meant to complement Speed's broadcasts of those events. Hampton Roads
01/21/10
tv news
NASCAR Team Owner Blasts TV Networks  Right in the middle of the Charlotte Media Tour, an article appeared on the official NASCAR.com website written by a longtime friend of the sport, Joe Menzer.

Veteran owner Jack Roush took this opportunity to pass along his ideas on who exactly is to blame for the sport's recent slump. His conclusion? Television, of course.

Click here to read the entire article on the NASCAR.com website.

Here are some excerpts from the Roush comments that we are going to discuss:

"We have not had the level of support from the TV studio box that the other sports have. I would hope that FOX and ESPN and everybody else (would) really think about what they are doing."

"The complaints have come from reporters and the media that has maybe a vested interest -- if you look at [announcers and former driving champions] Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace and all the ex-drivers and ex-crew chiefs that are out there. It's not unreasonable to say they've got some ax to grind over something that frustrated them in their careers when they were on the firing line. We need to reel that back in; that needs to be something that's not carried out front to the fans and to the public." More ...
01/21/10
nascar
Lesa France Kennedy is most powerful woman in sports  Auto racing, and NASCAR in particular, used to be a "man's domain." A sport for those brave and fearless men who loved speed and didn't flinch at danger. Women? Most circuits didn't even allow them in the pits until the 1970s. But these days, Teresa and Kelley Earnhardt are major figures in NASCAR, Danica Patrick is one of the most recognizable drivers in the U.S., and come Feb. 14, the Daytona 500 will be run with the most powerful woman in sports in her new role, that of CEO of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), promoter of The Great American Race and approximately 100 others.

Lesa France Kennedy, the 48-year-old granddaughter of NASCAR co-founder Bill France Sr. and the sister of NASCAR chairman Brian France, rose from president of ISC to CEO in June 2009. Four months later, the October issue of Forbes recognized her ascension, labeling her the most powerful woman in sports while citing her company's $750 million in annual revenues and the influence she wields. More ...

01/21/10
automotive
Opel Intends to Close Antwerp Facility  Brussels/Rüsselsheim.  As Opel moves quickly on its way towards a viable future, the company announced today the intent to wind down its manufacturing plant in Antwerp, Belgium in the course of 2010.

Opel will continue to engage in the official information and consultation process with employee representatives regarding the envisaged restructuring.

“We fully understand the effect this announcement has on the Antwerp employees and their families and we sympathize with them,” said Opel CEO Nick Reilly. “Many have been dedicated to the plant over generations and have done an excellent job producing great quality cars. The decision to announce this today, was not taken lightly; instead, it is the unfortunate result of the current business reality. We must make this announcement now so that we can secure a viable future for the entire Opel and Vauxhall operations.” More ...

01/21/10
gp2
Valerio joins Scuderia Coloni  Alberto Valerio will race with Scuderia Coloni in the GP2 Series 2010 season. The 24 year-old Brazilian driver signed the agreement with the team in the past week and will indeed drive one of the Dallara-Renault cars raced by the Italian outfit throughout the season. For Scuderia Coloni it’s a first rate pick, because Paolo Coloni’s expert eyes did notice Valerio’s growth during the 2009 championship: not only the Brazilian driver was consistent but he also clinched his first GP2 victory, in Silverstone race 1, with a dominating performance in which he managed to overtake the future Renault F.1 driver, Romain Grosjean. More ...
01/21/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Alonso has tested 2009 Ferrari with new livery
  • Santander confirms de la Rosa backing
  • Kubica may start Renault testing without teammate
  • Massa to test Rossi's F2008 on Friday
  • No neck trouble as Schu takes no.3 for 2010
  • Buemi drove Red Bull in icy Canada
  • No F1 return for Willis with Sauber

Fernando Alonso
Banco Santander
Alonso has tested 2009 Ferrari with new livery
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso has already driven a Ferrari F1 car in the team's new livery for 2010.

The famous outfit's new sponsor Santander released to the Spanish press photos of the recent test outing, which occurred at the Paul Ricard circuit in France for filming purposes.

The 2009 Ferrari, the F60, was in the livery for the 2010 season, featuring prominent white front and rear wings with Santander branding.

Fernando Alonso in his new Ferrari overalls
Banco Santander
Spanish bank Santander’s communications boss Juan Manuel Cendoya confirmed that Ferrari approved the release of the photos.

Earlier this week, 28-year-old Alonso said the new car, to be launched next Thursday and codenamed 281, is "almost ready".

Santander confirms de la Rosa backing
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa is being personally sponsored in 2010 by Santander.

In addition to sponsoring races and the F1 teams Ferrari and McLaren, the Spanish bank said on Wednesday it is supporting de la Rosa's return to the grid with Sauber.

It is believed the backing is in the form of the Santander subsidiary Universia, the network of Spanish and Portuguese speaking universities. More ...

01/21/10
irl
Ganassi says IRL must move away from antiquated cars  Multifaceted racing team owner Chip Ganassi and his Izod IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti were the stars of the 40th annual All-America Team Banquet staged by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA).

Hosted by John and Ashley Force at John Force Racing's spectacular new facility in Brownsburg, Ind., on Jan. 16, the AARWBA banquet brought together several hundred dignitaries from all forms of auto racing. Franchitti won the Jerry Titus Memorial Award, presented by AARWBA to the year's top driver, for the second time in his career. More ...

01/21/10
f1
Schumacher grabs No. 3  After agreeing to race for the Mercedes Grand Prix team this season, joining the team some time after they officially entered their team for the 2010 Formula One championship season, Michael Schumacher should have raced the year in car number four as teammate Nico Rosberg had already been registered with the FIA as driver of car number three.

However, it has now come to light that the seven time champion has an odd superstition, one that had never been mentioned in his countless interviews over his fifteen year Formula One career, and that is that he is wary of even numbered cars and ahs a preference for odd numbers.

Therefore, due to his dislike for even numbers, Michael asked if he could switch numbers with his younger teammate and the team and FIA approved the switch.... More ...

01/21/10
gp3
First GP3 cars delivered  
New GP3 car
With just over six weeks to go until the initial Series test, the first of three new GP3 cars were delivered to the teams this week, with engines ready for collection on Friday.

The new chassis has been designed and built by Dallara, with hydraulics and electronics supplied by Magneti Marelli. Hewland provided the 6 speed paddle shift sequential gearbox, and Brembo the steel brakes and pads. The engine, based on a road car 2L Turbo, has been developed by the Renault F1 Team in Viry-Châtillon. More ...

01/20/10
ga
GRAND-AM Announces Rolex 24 Special TV Show  How do drivers and teams prepare to compete in the Rolex 24 At Daytona? A television special highlighting that process and more will be aired leading up to the 48th edition of North America's premier endurance race.

GRAND-AM: 24 Hours at Daytona, an hour-long special featuring everything from preparation for the Rolex 24, interviews with the drivers and teams competing, to shop tours and seat fittings, will premier at midnight ET Friday, Jan. 22, on SPEED. It will also air on FX at midnight ET Saturday, Jan. 23.

The show will air on SPEED four additional times, including 10 p.m. ET Monday, Jan. 25, and also at 2 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26. It will also air at 2 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 30, leading up to the network's live coverage of the Rolex 24.

Rolex Series stars Alex Gurney, Scott Pruett, David Donohue, Andy Lally, Patrick Dempsey and Spencer Pumpelly are among the drivers interviewed for the special. Five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood, NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson, Bobby Labonte, AJ Allmendinger and Colin Braun, Indy 500 winners Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, and car owners Tracy Krohn, Kevin Buckler and Chip Ganassi are also featured in the special. More ...

01/20/10
arca
Piquet will race against Danica, Leillani, and Milka in Daytona ARCA race  
Can F1 star Piquet keep up with Danica, Leillani and Milka? We shall see...
Nelson Piquet Jr. is set to make his American stock car racing debut in the ARCA season-opener at Daytona next month.

Former Renault Formula 1 driver, who recently announced he is the next F1 driver to "move up" to stock cars, will drive the #6 Toyota Camry in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2010.

The Brazilian will join Danica Patrick , Milka Duno and Leillani Munter, as well as Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael making this years ARCA racing the highest profile status it has known to date.

Piquet plans to also run in the Camping Word Truck Series race at the Daytona 500 Speedweeks event, driving the #1 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing. His plans for the rest of the season are still in the works.

"It's the first year. It's a lot of learning for me. I'm going to be doing races here, races there - as many races as I can just to get used to these kinds of cars and the tracks," said Piquet.

"If it starts going well, then I'll maybe do even more races or maybe do higher levels, like maybe even Nationwide. It is all going to depend on how quick I learn everything and how well I get involved with the team."

01/20/10
arca
Leilani Munter ready for Daytona ARCA race too...  GREENandSAVE, a leader in green living and energy efficiency, is proud to announce their sponsorship of eco race car driver Leilani Münter and Mark Gibson Racing at Daytona International Speedway in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on February 6, 2010. Munter will make her debut in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards behind the wheel of the #59 Mark Gibson Racing Dodge. Munter was 7th quick at Daytona last month with a speed of 181.77 mph on the on the last of the three-day open test where more than 80 drivers participated.

"GREENandSAVE is pleased to support Leilani in the Daytona race and bring the 'green' American Energy Independence message to the main stream of over 75 million U.S. race fans," said Charlie Szoradi, President and CEO of GREENandSAVE, "Given the short notice and that we have co-branding room on the race car, as well as the ability to run banner ads across our website, we are welcoming like minded companies to join us in bringing the green movement to the number one spectator sport in America." More ...
01/20/10
alms
Goosens to drive JaguarRSR entry in 2010  The JaguarRSR race team confirmed today that Marc Goossens will return to the cockpit of its Jaguar XKR GT cockpit for the full 2010 American Le Mans Series in the intensely difficult GT class. He will share the seat with team owner Paul Gentilozzi in the nine-round championship.

“It is an honor for me to be selected by Jaguar Cars and RSR to drive the No. 33 JaguarRSR XKR GT and to be a part of this new Jaguar racing program,” Goossens commented. “I can’t wait to get through all the testing and development and get back to racing at Sebring after what we accomplished at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the progress the RSR team has made this winter.” More ...

01/20/10
nassprint
Kahne relieved at RPM merger completion  
Kasey Kahne
For the moment Kasey Kahne's happy to have some kind of normalcy after six months of tumult within his race team. Kahne now knows he will be driving a No. 9 Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports, which last month finally completed a merger with Yates Racing after questions late last season about whether he'd still drive a Dodge or for that matter, for another team.
He offered no hints Tuesday which way he's leaning on that, saying only that this season's performance will drive his decision. At first glance, the sport's most eligible free-agent-to-be after this season is encouraged by what he has seen now that things have settled down. More ...
01/20/10
nassprint
Petty-Yates merger not quite finished...  UPDATE Rumors of a Richard Petty Motorsports/Yates Racing merger began circulating a few months ago but it wasn't until today that the racing community could stop calling them rumors. "I'm here to announce the best kept secret in all of motorsports, which is that the merger between Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports is officially completed," said Foster Gillette, managing partner of Richard Petty Motorsports, in a press conference Tuesday morning. The merger, which happened in December, brought some big changes along with it. During the 2010 season Richard Petty Motorsports will be running Ford Fusions, ending its long relationship with Dodge. Also, RPM will leave behind its previous home in Statesville, N.C., moving to the Yates Racing facility in Concord, N.C. Filling the four driver positions at RPM will be #19-Elliott Sadler, #9-Kasey Kahne, #43-AJ Allmendinger and #98-Paul Menard. "The addition of a great team, great talent of drivers - we have Elliott, Paul, Kasey, and AJ adding to the fleet of Fords out there on every Sunday," said Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing. "That's something to be looking forward to." Richard Petty Motorsports will maintain the alliance that Yates Racing had with Roush Fenway Racing and Doug Yates will be in charge or the Roush Yates engine program (press release) More ...
01/20/10
nnws
Nationwide Series expands coverage  NASCAR.COM, the official online destination of NASCAR, and Nationwide Insurance announced today a new section of NASCAR.COM devoted to covering the NASCAR Nationwide Series as never before.  The customized website, which launches in February, brings together the best innovative interactive programming from Turner Sports, NASCAR and Nationwide Insurance.

A first-of-its-kind NASCAR eliminator-style fantasy game debuts on the site, with registration available by visiting: FantasyGames.NASCAR.com/Eliminator.  NASCAR.COM is operated in partnership between Turner Sports and NASCAR. More ...
01/20/10
irl
alms
Carl Haas to distribute Elan Motorsports cars  
Scott Atherton
Élan Motorsports Technologies (EMT) and Carl Haas Automobile Imports, Inc., announced today an agreement that will see the Haas group assume distribution responsibilities for products manufactured by Élan. The offerings – constructed by the Braselton, Ga.-based arm of Panoz Motor Sports Group – include a full line of race cars, parts, update kits and other components for motorsports teams across multiple competition platforms and sanctioning bodies.

Élan will continue to exclusively build and manufacturer a wide range of world-class race cars and accessories for competition in the American Le Mans Series, IMSA, Superleague Formula, F2000 and SCCA, among others. Carl Haas Automobile Imports will handle inventory, trackside service and distribute EMT’s world-class racing products worldwide. More ...

01/20/10
f1
Ferrari's ousted Iley joins McLaren  (GMM)  John Iley has joined McLaren. The Briton left his role as Ferrari's head of aerodynamics and wind tunnel in July last year, with reports pointing to the lack of competitiveness of the F60 car.

It is believed Iley, 42, has been on so-called 'gardening leave' for the past six months, with a McLaren spokesman confirming to Reuters that he began work at Woking this month.

Iley's Ferrari role until now was assumed by chief designer Nicholas Tombazis, but a full-time aerodynamics replacement is now in place.

Iley joined Ferrari from Renault in 2004, and previously worked with McLaren and Jordan.

01/20/10
f1
De la Rosa admits Sauber deal 'complications'  (GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa on Wednesday suggested his return to the F1 grid with Sauber in 2010 was almost spoiled.

Two weeks ago, reports said the long-time McLaren tester's Sauber deal was all but sealed, but it was then rumored that powertrain supplier Ferrari was pushing hard for Giancarlo Fisichella to secure the seat.

Spaniard de la Rosa, who will turn 39 next month, also brings some commercial backing to the Swiss team, and he confirmed to the Blick newspaper that his return nearly came unstuck.

"Yes, there were some complications, but the details don't belong in the public," he said on Wednesday.

Triple world champion Niki Lauda applauds Peter Sauber's choice. More ...

01/20/10
motogp
f1
Rossi begins Ferrari test in Spain  (GMM)  Despite a recent medical scare, Valentino Rossi on Wednesday began his test in a 2008-spec Ferrari single seater at Barcelona.

The reigning and multiple MotoGP champion visited hospital late last week with an inflamed appendix, but the Maranello based team said he today began his two-day run at the Circuit de Catalunya.

To adhere with the current F1 testing ban, 30-year-old Rossi's car is being operated by the separate F1 Clienti department, and is fitted with GP2-spec slicks, Ferrari confirmed.

The Italian team also said the session began in "adverse weather conditions".

01/20/10
IRL
Hulman George family dispute sends Tony George packing  UPDATE Since Belskus has taken over, more than 40 IMS and IRL employees have been terminated. Belskus also is investigating other business initiatives, including turning the Speedway into a multi-use facility, and outsourcing catering and operations at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort.

George's departure leaves myriad questions as Belskus works to put his stamp on the operation. Some racing sources say his departure shows just how deep the rift is between George and the rest of his family regarding the direction of the company.

There has even been speculation that the board could move to spin off the IRL [And it will in 2013 if it is not profitable by then], fold some of the events at the track, namely the Brickyard 400 or MotoGP motorcycle race, and possibly even consider selling the Speedway. Belskus has stressed several times that the IMS is not for sale and there is no consideration at this time to kill any of its events.

Among the things that rankled Tony George, motorsports sources said, was Belskus' and the board's decision to downsize May's Indy 500-related event schedule.  IBJ.com

01/19/10
Tony George....was Indy
The Board of Directors of Hulman & Company and affiliated companies, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has received the resignation of Anton H. "Tony" George from the board of directors effective immediately, according to Mari Hulman George, chairman.

"As members of his family, we are sorry to see Tony leave," said Mrs. George. "We are grateful for his service to our company as a board member and of course for formerly serving as CEO and president of our companies. I speak for our whole family in wishing him well.

"All of us had hoped that Tony would continue to serve on the board, and we made that clear to him. We are disappointed with his decision to step down despite our wishes." More ...

01/20/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • De la Rosa surprised to secure Sauber seat
  • Button trims beard as McLaren career revs up
  • Schu wants to swap race number with Rosberg
  • Alonso only has eyes for F1
  • Kubica out of Monte Carlo Rally

De la Rosa surprised to secure Sauber seat
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa has revealed that until very recently he wasn't sure he would secure the second race seat at Sauber in 2010.

The Swiss team announced on Tuesday that the Spanish 38-year-old, who for the past several years has been McLaren's main test driver, will race alongside Kamui Kobayashi this season.

It is rumored de la Rosa is bringing the sponsorship funds of the Universia brand to Sauber, but reports earlier this week said Ferrari reserve driver Giancarlo Fisichella was the more likely choice for the race seat.

"I am very happy and very excited, especially because yesterday it seemed the possibility had past and then everything changed in the last hours," de la Rosa is quoted as saying by the Spanish news agency EFE.

"It has been like a roller coaster: at some times it looked very close and at other times very far away, so in the end it was a pleasant surprise," he added.

De la Rosa does not rule out returning to McLaren at some point in the future.

"I have spent the best years of my life with them and am leaving many friends.  I do not rule out that if their door is open to me, I work with them again," he said. More ...

01/19/10
nastruck
Austin Dillon Discusses NCWTS Season, Sponsor  Austin Dillon, rookie driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, joined co-hosts Rick Allen and Randy Pemberton Monday night on NASCAR Race Hub to announce his newly-acquired sponsor and unveil the paint scheme for the famous black No. 3 truck. 

Dillon, grandson of legendary car owner Richard Childress and son of former driver Mike Dillon, embarks on his first full NCWTS season in 2010, and will chronicle his year in a weekly SPEEDtv.com driver diary beginning the week of Feb. 1.  Following is a transcript from the NASCAR Race Hub interview: More ...

01/19/10
tv news
SPEED to Air Thursday's NASCAR Press Conference Live  SPEED will interrupt regularly scheduled programming to bring viewers live coverage of the NASCAR press conference scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. ET from the sanctioning body’s Concord, N.C., facility.  The press conference is part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Wendy Venturini will host SPEED’s coverage from the site.
01/19/10
nassprint
Will Darby's reassignment take NASCAR out of the dark ages?  Since his Car of Tomorrow effectively ruined NASCAR racing,  John Darby is leaving his position as Sprint Cup Series director for a new managerial role at NASCAR but will not leave until his replacement is fully trained, a source familiar with the situation confirmed Tuesday.

“I think the world of John,” said Richard Petty Motorsports director of competition Robbie Loomis. “He’s just done a tremendous job of putting a strong arm around it, even with the templates before the car of tomorrow got introduced to us.

“That’s a tough job, that position. He’s been very fair. The garage has a way of policing itself when you’ve got the smart crew chiefs running around. I was surprised to hear about it, but I’m sure it was pretty taxing. … I’m sure they’ll get somebody in there that has good character and strong beliefs.”

We hope they can hire someone more forward thinking that can get NASCAR out of the dark ages. There is so much new technology out there in the automotive world and they still mess with carburetors and restrictor plates. The use of fuel injection and electronics that control it have been used in all the other racing series for a decade or more, with no "cheating," which has been NASCAR's excuse for not using it. We can go on ad nauseum on this topic.  You get the idea....

01/19/10
track news
Exclusive Track Link for North America’s premier motorsport complexes  North America’s premier motorsport complexes, Atlanta Motorsports Park, Calabogie Motorsports Park, Circuit ICAR, Miller Motorsports Park, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Palm Beach International Raceway and Virginia International Raceway, are pleased to announce an exclusive agreement that will see their respective track memberships enjoy reciprocal track day services throughout the year. The “Track Link” membership offer is exclusive to the members of these participating race country clubs with the idea of providing more services to each track’s clientele.

All these circuits are motorsport country clubs bringing the golf country club concept to a road course instead of an 18-hole golf course. The business model is similar, with a one-time initiation fee and annual or monthly dues. Despite each track having its own membership offering, the Track Link is the perfect tool to grow their respective memberships and provide them additional track days at minimal cost. More ...

01/19/10
irl
Hunter-Reay's IZOD IndyCar livery  .
01/19/10
arca
Duno set for Daytona ARCA race  
Will Milka Duno give Danica a real run for her money in stock cars?
IndyCar racer and Danica Patrick nemesis, Milka Duno will undoubtedly be looking to give Danica Patrick a bump or two in the ARCA race at the Daytona 500 weekend.

Venezuelan Duno will be behind the wheel of the #90 Toyota Camry for Braun Racing, following a very successful December test.

"For the first time in a while I fell I have a competitive car," said Duno "In IndyCars that had not been the case recently. I hope I can make the most of it at Daytona and back up my performance from the December test."

Duno plans to also test at Talladega next week.

Duno is also exploring the possibility of entering NASCAR Nationwide Series races.

01/19/10
alms
Risi announces Melo and Bruni  
Gia Bruni and Jaime Melo
Endurance racing champion Risi Competizione will boast a championship-winning GT driver lineup for its assault on the forthcoming 2010 American Le Mans Series season, it announced today. 

In reuniting 2007 Series champion Jaime Melo with 2008 FIA GT champion Gianmaria Bruni, the Houston-based Ferrari team will front one of the strongest pairings in GT racing today. 

The Brazilian/Italian partnership, which drove together to victory for Risi in the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans, have formed the backbone of the development program for the Ferrari F430 GT. Their return to the American Le Mans Series with that huge, combined amount of experience will be vital for success in an increasingly competitive and high-profile GT class. More ...

01/19/10
nassprint
Magellan sponsors Penske team  Continuing to steer in a positive direction, Penske Racing welcomes Magellan portable car navigation systems as a NASCAR Cup Series sponsor for 2010 and beyond.

Beginning a multi-year partnership this season, Magellan will make its debut as an associate sponsor on all three Penske Racing Cup Series entries. The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Kurt Busch, the No. 12 Penske Dodge with Brad Keselowski behind the wheel and the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. will all be sponsored by Magellan.

“We hosted Magellan last year at our annual Penske Racing Sponsor Summit in Indianapolis,” said Roger Penske. “We have continued to work with them and we are excited to announce this partnership because our organizations share common core values and we believe there are some great opportunities to build for the future together.”

“Magellan is looking forward to becoming a part of the Penske Racing team,” said Kevin Chuang, Magellan Chief Executive Officer. “Roger has built a top-echelon organization on and off the track and being a sponsor of Penske Racing will help Magellan as we continue to grow our brand.”
01/19/10
nassprint
Ford congratulates Wood Bros on 60 years in racing  If it was a marriage anniversary, it would be celebrated with a diamond gift.

In this case, both sides of this relationship would relish a trip to
NASCAR victory lane.

Ford Customer Service Division is offering the Wood Brothers Racing team its congratulations as it celebrates a racing milestone in 2010 – 60 years in NASCAR racing and 60 years exclusively racing Ford Motor Company products. More ...

01/19/10
nassprint
Ford unveils Daytona 500 Mustang Pace Car  We just got a photo of the new Ford Mustang pace car for the Daytona 500, and thought we would give our readers a look!

01/19/10
nassprint
Robby Gordon to align with BAM Racing  Robby Gordon Motorsports announced they have formed an alliance with BAM Racing, who will be fielding the #49 Warner Music Nashville Toyota during the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Robby Gordon Motorsports will provide the team with technical support, race cars and personnel. BAM Racing will make their [2010] debut at Daytona International Speedway with David Gilliland behind the wheel. Gilliland raced for Robby Gordon Motorsports in the Richmond Race last September, piloting the #7 to a 24th-place finish. "I'm very excited for our new alliance with BAM Racing, especially heading into the Daytona 500 next month," said Gordon. "Our team has worked with David [Gilliland] a few times in the past, and we seem to mesh very well. This alliance puts RGM in a great position to basically have a 'teammate' on the track that we can work with throughout the weekend to improve our car, as well as to help BAM Racing improve their car. Hopefully both teams will be able to capitalize on that and bring home strong finishes at Daytona."(RGM)
01/19/10
nassprint
Gilliland to race for BAM  BAM Racing announced today that David Gilliland will drive the #49 Warner Music Nashville/Larry the Cable Guy Toyota Camry at the 2010 Daytona 500. This season marks Gilliland's fifth year in the Sprint Cup Series. "We're thrilled to have David driving for BAM," commented Beth Ann Morgenthau, owner of BAM Racing. "He's shown himself to be a competitive racer during his Sprint Cup career, and I am excited to have him drive the #49 Warner Music Nashville Camry at the Daytona 500. The combination of David's driving ability and the technical alliance with Robby Gordon Motorsports should produce great results at this year's Daytona 500!" According to Gilliland, "I'm really looking forward to competing for Beth Ann and the BAM Racing organization in the 2010 Daytona 500. I was excited after our meeting in Homestead when I learned that I was on their short list of potential drivers. Now that they announced their new affiliation with Robby Gordon Motorsports, I am confident that we will have a competitive team for the 500 and produce a great finish. Daytona has always been one of my favorite tracks, and I can't wait to take the green flag!" Gilliland is also excited about BAM Racing's sponsorship from Warner Music Nashville and having the opportunity to meet some of his favorite recording artists at Daytona International Speedway. "I know the goal is to provide unprecedented access to these talented artists for the fans, but I am pretty excited that I get to meet them as well," commented Gilliland. Warner Music Nashville stars Larry the Cable Guy, Blake Shelton, Gloriana, Whitney Duncan, Jessica Harp, James Otto, Jason Jones, and others will be featured on the #49 BAM Racing Toyota Camry and in the BAM Racing/Warner Music Nashville VIP Fan Experience throughout the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season.(BAM Racing PR)
01/19/10
nassprint
NASCAR seeks new Sprint Cup Series Director  NASCAR is interviewing candidates for a new Sprint Cup Series director, and current garage boss John Darby will train his replacement before moving into a managerial role. Several people familiar with NASCAR's restructuring plan said that Darby will move into an oversight role at the research and development center. The people all spoke on condition of anonymity because NASCAR will not announce its planned changes for 2010 until Thursday. There is no timetable for hiring a new director of NASCAR's premiere series, and Darby will fill the role as long as it takes to hire and prepare a replacement. Then he will transition into a new position that oversees the officials in all three of NASCAR's national series, as well as focus on the technical aspects of the sport.(AP)
01/19/10
nassprint
Front Row Motorsports add third car  Front Row Motorsports announced during the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour that they will enter a third full-time Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  The team will enter the No. 38 Ford for drivers David Gilliland and Robert Richardson Jr.  Gilliland will drive the Ford Fusion for the majority of the season with Taco Bell colors.  A crew chief for the car will be named soon.

Richardson Jr. will race the No. 38 Mahindra USA Tractors Ford in the Daytona 500, the Aaron's 499 in April at Talladega Superspeedway and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July.

"I'm looking forward to racing with Front Row Motorsports," said Richardson Jr.  "The team is giving me the opportunity to race in the Daytona 500 with Mahindra USA Tractors on board our No. 38 Ford.  It's a great opportunity for us and we're hoping to make the most of it during Speedweeks and the other two races with Front Row and Mahindra Tractors. I'm thankful to everyone involved." More ...
01/19/10
f1
Piquet says he turned down F1 offer  (GMM)  Nelson Piquet has revealed he turned down an offer to stay in formula one this year.

After last year losing his Renault seat and becoming embroiled in the crashgate scandal, the 24-year-old will switch to NASCAR's truck series in 2010.

After another test in Florida late last week, Piquet confirmed that he decided to move away from F1.

"I could've been there (F1) if I wanted to," said the Brazilian, who was earlier linked with the new Spanish team Campos.  "A team offered me to be there," he added.

"I just thought I was sick and tired of all of the stuff over there."

Piquet insists that switching to NASCAR is not a downwards step.

"For people that really understand - maybe it's a downgrade in technology of the car - but in terms of career, of how big the sport is in a lot of ways it's even a tougher step than F1," he said.

01/19/10
f1
FOTA confirms Whitmarsh is new chairman  (GMM)  The F1 teams alliance FOTA on Tuesday confirmed reports that Martin Whitmarsh has succeeded Luca di Montezemolo as chairman.

A media statement said Whitmarsh, the McLaren team boss, was elected for 2010, with Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali his deputy.

Red Bull's Christian Horner is to head the sporting group, with Ross Brawn remaining in charge of technical matters.

Flavio Briatore had been the commercial chief last year, but FOTA said that role will now be managed "by the Executive Committee". More ...

01/19/10
alms
Wolf Henzler joins Falken Racing Porsche  
Wolf Henzler
Porsche Factory racing driver Wolf Henzler will team with Bryan Sellers in the American Le Mans Series’ 2010 GT class, Porsche announced today.

The German, who shared the 2008 GT2 title with Jörg Bergmeister, will drive Team Falken Tire’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with his new American teammate for all nine rounds of the championship.

The news was part of Porsche’s unveiling of its driver assignments for the 2010 season. Eight factory drivers will support Porsche customer teams around the world and on endurance racing’s biggest stages.
01/19/10
track news
Charlotte to reduce seating capacity  Charlotte Motor Speedway has joined the ranks of NASCAR race tracks decreasing its seating capacity.

Speedway president Marcus Smith revealed on Monday during the opening day of the annual media tour that many of the current seats on the 1.5-mile quad-oval’s frontstretch will be removed and replaced with wider seats prior to the Sprint All-Star race in May.

The new seats will be 25 percent wider in width over its predecessors. Approximately 15,000 new premium seats will be installed in the Chrysler and General Motors grandstand.

01/19/10
f1
Buemi's Canadian ice drive cancelled  Sébastien Buemi had been scheduled to drive a Red Bull Racing Formula 1 car over the Olympique Bassin in Montreal at the weekend although the Swiss driver was eventually deprived of doing so due to the conditions in Canada, with warmer temperatures than expected. With the Toro Rosso driver due to have crossed the frozen Olympic rowing canal behind the paddock of the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve in the east-central province of Quebec, the still freezing but warmer than anticipated temperatures prevented the display run from taking place. More ...
01/19/10
tv news
NASCAR TV Scarce For Charlotte Media Tour  UPDATE Monday night just before 8PM, SPEED's Randy Pemberton announced that SPEED will be carrying the NASCAR press conference from the Charlotte Media Tour live. Unofficial information sets the telecast for Thursday at 1PM ET. We will confirm this.

01/19/10 NASCAR staggers into 2010 still bearing the scars from a rough ending to the previous year. During the off-season, the sport made wholesale changes in an effort to return the Sprint Cup Series to national prominence.

There are four TV networks that televise the practice, qualifying and race action during the year. Two of those networks, ESPN and SPEED, offer daily news programs about the sport. NASCAR Now is seen six days a week on ESPN2 and Race Hub is aired Monday through Thursday on SPEED.

NASCAR Now airs at 5PM ET, before ESPN2's primetime line-up gets clogged with live sports coverage. The network also tries to re-air the program after midnight for the West Coast audience. "Tries" is the operative word in that sentence. More ...
01/19/10
f1
Pedro de la Rosa completes BMW Sauber lineup  
Pedro de la Rosa
Pedro de la Rosa is the BMW Sauber F1 Team's second driver for the 2010 season. The 38-year-old Spaniard has 71 Grands Prix under his belt and worked with McLaren as a test and reserve driver for seven years. In December the Swiss team had already announced it had signed on Kamui Kobayashi (23, Japan).

"Pedro has spent many years working for a top team at the highest technical level," pointed out Team Principal Peter Sauber, adding: "We as a team stand to gain from his experience, and the same goes for young Kamui. The combination of a seasoned racer and an up-and-coming young driver has repeatedly proved a very fruitful one. I don't expect either of them to disappoint in 2010. Of course it is also crucial that we provide them with a decent car; I feel positive about our in-house progress on that front too. We were able to continue work on our 2010 car as scheduled throughout the recent period of uncertainty." More ...

01/19/10
racing news
Porsche names its 2010 'factory' drivers  Eight works drivers will compete for Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, this motorsport season, 2010. The professional racers, all of whom held a Porsche contract last year, will support Porsche customer teams around the world.

Bergmeister Bernhard Dumas
Henzler Pilet Long

Like in 2009, Marc Lieb (29, Germany) and Richard Lietz (26, Austria) contest the Le Mans Series (LMS) for the Felbermayr-Proton team in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Patrick Pilet (28, France) again races for IMSA Performance Matmut in the LMS. Moreover, the Porsche works drivers will compete for other teams in selected championships and at long distance races.

Joerg Bergmeister (33, Germany) and Patrick Long (28, USA) aim to defend their title win in the 2009 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and are back driving for Flying Lizard Motorsports with a 911 GT3 RSR. Wolf Henzler (34, Germany) will pilot a 911 GT3 RSR in the ALMS for the Porsche customer team Falken Tire. Aside from their ALMS commitments, the factory drivers will also support customer teams at other races. More ...

01/19/10
lmes
ACO asks LeMans to move scrutineering to Sunday  
LeMans Scrutineering - a highly-colorful spectacle!
N.Cousseau - ACO/Nikon
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest confirms that at the end of 2009 it asked the Le Mans town hall if scrutineering* for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours could begin on Sunday afternoon 6th June. This would enable many people to take advantage of this free event on what is a rest day, and would also attract a large crowd from the neighboring departments and the Parisian region. 
 
“The local impact and media fallout are obvious and they would help promote the image of the 24 Hours, as well as the entrants and drivers a week before the start of the race on 12th – 13th June,” said Jean-Claude Plassart, the ACO President. 

“Our services work in close collaboration with the town of Le Mans to settle technical and organizational problems,” stated Ghislain Robert, the events and infrastructure manager.

The ACO will confirm the final dates of scrutineering in 2010 as soon as possible. Because of major works on the Place des Jacobins scrutineering will move for 3 years to a nearby location, the “Place du Jet d’Eau”.

01/19/10
nassprint
Penske picks up Kurt Busch's option  Penske Racing has picked up the option on Kurt Busch's contract for 2011, team owner Roger Penske said on Monday night. The contract allows Busch to talk to other teams next season, but Penske said he has the right to match any offer. Penske added that it is his intention to keep the 2004 Sprint Cup champion with the organization long term. Busch said he likes having the option to explore, but it is his goal to work out a long-term deal with Penske. "Absolutely," Busch said during the final stop on the first day of the 2010 Media Tour. "I like where I am. I like where things are going." ESPN
01/19/10
nassprint
Conway not yet approved for Daytona 500  Front Row Motorsports rookie Kevin Conway might have to begin his quest for Sprint Cup rookie honors sometime after the Daytona 500. NASCAR has not yet given Conway approval to race a Cup car at Daytona International Speedway, a NASCAR spokesman confirmed Monday. Conway has no restrictor-plate starts in any of the three NASCAR national touring series and none in the Automobile Racing Club of America. Typically, NASCAR would require a driver to have a start in a restrictor-plate race in another series or have raced in another elite, high-speed form of racing before making a Cup debut at Daytona. A Front Row Motorsports spokesman said the team is in talks with NASCAR about his certification for Daytona. Conway has 25 starts in the Nationwide Series, with one start at a 2-mile track. He finished 18th at Auto Club Speedway in California last October.  SceneDaily
01/19/10
wrc
Raikkonen gifts rally car to brother Rami  (GMM)  Two Raikkonens will contest the Arctic Lapland Rally later in January.

According to the Finnish broadcaster MTV3, now that 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen has signed with Citroen for the 2010 season, he gifted his older brother Rami his Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000.

Raikkonen, 30, raced the S2000 several times in 2009, including when he made his WRC debut in Finland.

Kimi Raikkonen's participation in the Arctic Lapland Rally in late January will be his first competitive outing in his Red Bull-branded Citroen C4.

Organizers of the Lapland rally confirmed both Kimi and Rami's participation.

01/19/10
f1
No role at Mercedes GP for Ralf Schumacher  (GMM)  Dieter Zetsche has played down rumors Ralf Schumacher may play a role at Mercedes' works formula one team in 2010.

With his older brother Michael returning from retirement to be Nico Rosberg's teammate, it has been reported that 34-year-old Ralf is also keen to return to the premier category.

For the past two years, 6-time GP winner Schumacher has driven for Mercedes in the German touring car series DTM, after losing his Toyota seat at the end of 2007. More ...

01/19/10
f1
USF1 car to be called 'Type 1'  (GMM)  USF1's 2010 car will be called the 'Type 1'.

The news emerged after motor sport technology journal Racecar Engineering visited the Charlotte headquarters of the new American team.

Aspects of the car's design "definitely buck the norm" and will "raise some eyebrows" when it is revealed to the public, a website report of the factory tour said.

The Cosworth-powered Type 1 is scheduled to debut at Alabama's Barber Motorsport Park at the beginning of February.

01/19/10
usf2000
USF2000's Hard Chargers Will be Recognized by Tilton  Although the winner stands on the top step of the podium, Tilton Engineering knows that sometimes it's the driver who improves his position the most that steals the show.

That's why the Buellton, Calif.-based company has agreed to present the Tilton Hard Charger award to the driver who moves up the most positions during each of the 12 races on the 2010 schedule of the USF2000 National Championship presented by Cooper Racing Tires and powered by Mazda.

The awards, which will be $250 certificates towards the purchase of Tilton components, are part of Tilton's support for the newest series in the Indy Racing League's Road to Indy system and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports driver development program. As part of the agreement, Tilton will be the official provider of clutch components and starter units for the USF2000 series' top division, the Championship class. More ...

01/19/10
nassprint
Quotes from NASCAR's Mike Helton on 2010 rules changes  
Mike Helton
NASCAR President Mike Helton joined co-hosts Randy Pemberton and Rick Allen on NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED Monday night to discuss expected rule changes for the 2010 NASCAR season, among other topics.  Following is a transcript from the interview:

Pemberton: Could you explain some of those potential rule changes in 2010 and what we might expect?

Helton: The fact of the matter is we’re circling around and talking to all the race teams and we’ve done that since the beginning of the season.  We’ve still got a few of them to go.  Thursday during the media week (NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway), our day, we’ll get into the particulars and the details of the rules.  We’re discussing a lot of things back and forth getting ready for Daytona.  The guys at the R&D center have been in the wind tunnel since the end of the season looking at options for the Daytona event and from that, in the dialogue and the decisions we’ve already made and now are passing along to the competitors before we go public with it, should offer up a whole lot of excitement in Daytona, and the feedback we’re getting from the meetings we have had has been very good. More ...

01/19/10
f1
Malaysian GP ticket sales boosted by Lotus  Malaysian team Lotus and Petronas' major sponsorship deal with Mercedes Grand Prix have been a big boost for Grand Prix ticket sales in Malaysia, according to Sepang's circuit boss Razlan Razali.

"The last six months have seen a tremendous development for Malaysian motorsport," Razali is quoted as saying by Autosport.

"We have seen Lotus F1, which is backed by Tony Fernandes, as the new Malaysian team. Then Petronas was searching for a new partner; there was a lot of speculation and suddenly, out of the blue, it came out with Mercedes. It's a really good development - a World Champion team with the return of Schumacher.

"So for us, as Malaysians, it cannot get any better than this. It is good for us and the country, especially."

01/18/10
nnw
Penske signs up Ruby Tuesday  Penske Racing has established a new partnership with Ruby Tuesday restaurants for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Ruby Tuesday will serve as primary sponsor for six races on the No. 22 Dodge driven by series standout Brad Keselowski.

“Ruby Tuesday provides the finest in casual dining and we are excited to welcome them as a Penske Racing partner in 2010,” said Roger Penske. “Our organization shares Ruby Tuesday’s core values of quality, passion and pride and with Brad behind the wheel, we believe this is will be a winning combination in 2010.” More ...

01/18/10
racing news
Franchitti Wins Titus Award From American Motorsports Media  Dario Franchitti received more recognition for his 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series championship Jan. 16 by being named the recipient of the Jerry Titus Award during the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's All-America Team dinner in Brownsburg, Ind.

The Titus award, given in remembrance of the late racer/journalist, signifies the top vote-getter among All-America Team members as the driver of the year. Franchitti also won the award following his 2007 series championship and Indianapolis 500 victory.

"It's a privilege to win this award," said Franchitti, who won the season finale to secure the title by 12 points over Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon. "It's the kind of thing that you share with your team. Winning the Titus Award makes you think of all of the guys on the team and the effort that they put in, as well. I really feel that they should be up there with me, accepting this award. It's a great honor." More ...

01/18/10
f1
Domenicali calls for more testing  
Stefano Domenicali
Ferrari F1 boss Stefano Domenicali says that he believes that the Formula 1 teams must reconsider the amount of testing that is currently allowed. Testing was reduced to just 15 days this winter in order to reduce costs but Ferrari clearly believes that more time is necessary.

"We need to consider the money we are saving compared to the additional money that we are spending at races as a result," said Domenicali. "If you take money away from one place, you spend it in another. We need to think about safety, young drivers and allowing drivers to test if there is the need for a replacement in the middle of the season, as happened last year."

There is some support for this argument but the sporting authorities know that the less testing there is, the less reliable the cars will be and thus there is more potential for breakdowns, which have become very rare in F1 in recent years due to the attention to detail that teams have managed to achieve. Teams have invested heavily in recent years in simulation equipment such as wind tunnels, test rigs, simulators and computational fluid dynamics to get around the reduction in testing allowed and it is probably true to say that they have spent more as a result. The reality of the situation is that they would have spent money on the simulation equipment even without the test ban, so it is fair to say that money has been saved. More ...

01/18/10
grandam
Level 5 Motorsports boasts impressive driver lineup for Rolex 24  Level 5 Motorsports has announced a star-studded driver and sponsor lineup for both of its cars it will field in the 48th Rolex 24 At Daytona January 30-31. The race kicks off the 2010 season for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

Series regulars Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut, coming off a tremendously successful 2009 campaign, will co-pilot both the No. 55 and No. 95 BMW Riley Daytona Prototypes during the prestigious annual twice-around-the-clock endurance event at the "World Center of Racing."

In 2009, Tucker scored a single-season record 10 victories in the Ferrari Challenge Series and won the Ferrari Challenge Dealership Championship for Boardwalk Ferrari. In 2009, Tucker also won the Sports Car Club of America National Championship in a Ferrari 430. Bouchut, one of the winningest endurance drivers in the world, is a past winner of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Spa. He has also won three Porsche Carrera Cup France championships, three FIA GT titles and a FFSA GT championship. He is the only triple FIA GT champion in history. More ...
01/18/10
f1
Q & A with Robert Kubica  
Robert Kubica
With winter testing fast approaching, Renault F1 Team driver, Robert Kubica, made a beeline for Enstone last week to begin his preparation for the 2010 season. The Pole talked about his impressions of the factory and the relationship between him and his new team.

Robert, you visited Enstone last week. What were your first impressions?
"I had been to the factory before when I tested for the team a few years ago, but it was great to return and see how much has changed. The site is bigger now and there are more facilities such as the CFD centre, which is very impressive and will play a big role in the development of our car this year. When you walk around the factory there is a great atmosphere and everybody seems motivated and up for the fight – just like me!"

How did the seat fit go?
"We’ve only done the first stage in a mock-up chassis as the first R30 isn’t ready yet. So we checked the dimensions and took measurements to make sure I was comfortable in the car. There are some small changes to be made, but no major issues. Later this month I’ll go back to Enstone to try out the proper chassis and to have my seat made so that we are ready for the first test in Valencia."

How is your relationship with the team developing?
"So far things are going really well and the factory has given me a warm welcome. It’s still very early days and I need to get to know everybody in the team, but at the moment things are going well. I already have a good relationship with my engineers and we talk on the phone every week as I want to know as much about the new car as possible. The only difficulty I have is being patient enough to wait for the first test as it has been a long winter out of the car. Valencia cannot come soon enough!" (Renault press release)

01/18/10
nassprint
NASCAR spoiler specs announced  Specifications for the new spoiler and quarter panels on Sprint Cup cars were sent in a memo Monday to teams by series director John Darby. According to the memo the spoiler that will replace the current wing will sit 4 inches atop the deck lid when measured from the centerline. The spoiler will be level across the top with a ground clearance of 43.52 inches from the top of the spoiler to the ground with the chassis on 6- and 8-inch blocks. The spoiler will be 64½-inches wide and one piece from right to left. It will be fabricated from 3/16-inch thick aluminum and fixed at 70 degrees. The fuel filler hole must be relocated forward of the left lower tip of the spoiler. Also, right and left quarter panel extensions will be added to all cars. The extensions will be 4 inches long toward the ground at the rear wheel opening. The modifications, according to the memo, are not to be used in competition until all wind tunnel and on-track tests are completed. An open test [at Charlotte] is scheduled for all teams in March. The changes are being made in hopes of improving down force and improving the quality of racing. They are not expected to be used for the Daytona 500 that kicks off the season on Feb. 14. The Bristol race in March is a more likely target. ESPN
01/18/10
motogp
f1
Nicky Hayden beats Massa and Alonso on 4 wheels!  

Nicky Hayden
the only American to beat F1 winners and a World Champion...
on 4 wheels!
WILL USF1 offer him a test PLEASE??

Nicky Hayden beat Ferrari F1 stars Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso - plus his Ducati MotoGP team-mate Casey Stoner - to win a go-kart ice race during the conclusion of the 20th edition of the Wrooom Press Ski Meeting.

The race was held on a frozen lake at Madonna di Campiglio in Italy, where the combined Ferrari/Ducati press event – including the unveiling of the Ducati Desmosedici GP10 - took place last week.

The go-kart race was dominated from start to finish by 2006 MotoGP world champion Hayden, who shared the podium champagne with Massa and Stoner. New Ferrari signing Alonso failed to finish after crashing into the protective barriers. More ...
01/18/10
atlantics
Atlantic official test postponed  Officials from the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda announced today that series-sanctioned preseason testing has been rescheduled from January 22-24 at Sebring International Raceway to early March at a venue to be determined.

The reason for the change was to move the test closer to the beginning of the 2010 Atlantic Championship season and minimize the amount of travel required for Atlantic teams, especially those based on the West Coast. The 2010 Atlantic season gets underway on Friday, March 19 at Sebring International Raceway in Central Florida. More ...
01/18/10
starmazda
Brian Stewart Racing Launches Star Mazda Team  Four-time Indy Lights Champions, Brian Stewart Racing announced today that they will enter a team in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in 2010. “In our 45-year history, we have consistently graduated drivers through the various levels of open-wheel racing. Since 2005 we have sponsored the Brian Stewart Racing Karting Championship (BSRKC) and we recently added a USF2000 team to our Driver Development Program,” said team founder, Brian Stewart. “With the addition of our Star Mazda team, we now have a seamless series of stepping stones for a driver moving from karting right through to our Firestone Indy Lights team.” More ...
01/18/10
f1
Sauber says second 2010 race seat 'open'  (GMM)  Peter Sauber has declined to say whether Pedro de la Rosa or Giancarlo Fisichella are the favorites to become Kamui Kobayashi's teammate in 2010.

But the 66-year-old did tell the Swiss newspaper Blick: "Everything is open."

Recent reports said Spaniard de la Rosa, 38, had secured the role, but the latest rumor is that Ferrari reserve driver Fisichella is now on the verge of a deal.

Blick said on Monday that technical boss Willy Rampf is pushing for Fisichella over de la Rosa, recalling the Roman's 22 points versus Felipe Massa's 12 at the Hinwil based team in 2004.

It is also rumored that powertrain supplier Ferrari is applying pressure on the team to sign Fisichella, but boss Sauber said: "In the end, only I will decide."

01/18/10
f1
No Toro Rosso seat for Heidfeld  (GMM)  Nick Heidfeld is not a candidate to fill the vacant race cockpit at Toro Rosso alongside Sebastien Buemi in 2010.

"In our considerations, Nick Heidfeld plays no role," said team owner Red Bull's motor racing consultant Helmut Marko.

"That has nothing to do with his quality as a driver," the Austrian told Germany's Sport Bild.  "Toro Rosso is purely a Red Bull junior team, and the budgets and many other things are closely aligned to that."

Before Michael Schumacher's decision to return from retirement, Heidfeld, 32, had hoped to switch to Mercedes GP after his recent four-year tenure at BMW-Sauber.

He is now linked with Sauber, Renault, and Mercedes' reserve role.

01/18/10
f1
Renault to test at Valencia next month  (GMM)  Renault will return to the track at the forthcoming Valencia test, amid rumors the R30 has failed its initial FIA frontal crash test.

After a seat-fitting visit to Enstone last week, the team's new driver Robert Kubica revealed he will return to the factory later in January "to try out the proper (2010) chassis and to have my seat made so that we are ready for the first test in Valencia".

The Pole insisted he already has a good feeling about his new tenure in formula one, despite the recent 'crashgate' scandal and the team's subsequent takeover by Genii Capital.

"The only difficulty I have is being patient enough to wait for the first test as it has been a long winter out of the car.  Valencia cannot come soon enough!" said the Kubica.

The R30 will be launched at Valencia on the day before the winter test ban lifts on February 1.

01/18/10
f2
Soucek pleased with F2 car upgrade progress  
Soucek chats with a Formula Two engineer
2009 FIA Formula Two Champion Andy Soucek says the Williams-designed F2 car has already made significant improvements as the Spaniard continues to play a major role in developing the car prior to the 2010 season.

The 24-year-old confirmed initial upgrades had resulted in a gain of around one second per lap compared to the 2009 car during recent testing in Portugal. With further advances due to be introduced later this month, Soucek is confident the car will be up to three seconds per lap faster than its predecessor.

“The car is developing nicely and we have already made progress with the set-up, extra power, electronics and the throttle map,” said Soucek. “The car was already more than a second quicker than the others in Portimão and we still have a lot to come, so it is all very positive. More ...

01/18/10
nassprint
Goodyear Tire Testing at Texas with new spoiler  NASCAR drivers headed to Texas Motor Speedway Jan 19-20th for a Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday will test with the new spoiler on the back of their cars, according to NASCAR officials. It will be the first on-track test with a group of drivers. Since its debut in 2007 when it was used in a handful of events, the new car has featured a wing instead of a spoiler on the rear deck lid. Drivers scheduled to participate in the two-day tire test include owner/driver #14-Tony Stewart (Chevy), #2-Kurt Busch (Dodge), #16-Greg Biffle (Ford) and #83-Brian Vickers (Toyota). NASCAR informed teams of the move away from the wing Jan. 15 (see more on my NASCAR News page about the change). A test session for all teams has already been scheduled for March 23-24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. SceneDaily
01/18/10
nassprint
Both Front Row Motorsports teams locked in top-35  Kevin Conway has only 25 career Nationwide Series starts and a career-best finish of 15th, but he's going to find himself on the starting grid of the Daytona 500. The 31-year-old North Carolina native will drive for Front Row Motorsports in 2010, and he said Saturday that his team is locked into the first five races of the season thanks to the points earned by John Andretti last year. Conway's teammate, Travis Kvapil, is also expected to be locked in to the first five races after obtaining owner points from another top-35 team. Conway will bring sponsor Extenze to the team and also will have other sponsors to announce Tuesday. Peter Sospenzo will be his crew chief. Conway hopes manufacturers support from Ford and having Kvapil as a teammate will help him drive well enough to crack the top 35 in owners points and not have to qualify for races on speed. Conway, how has been racing since he was 6 years old, comes from a racing background as his uncle was an engineer at Robert Yates Racing and Penske Racing. SceneDaily
01/18/10
nassprint
Blaney back with Prism, McDowell too  Dave Blaney will remain driver of the #66 Toyota with the Prism Motorsports team owned by Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey even though he was a start and park driver in 29 of his 30 races for the team in 2009. The team is adding a second car to be driven by Michael McDowell, Parsons said Friday as he and Humphrey try to find an economic model that will allow Blaney to race this year. "Dave is our guy," Parsons said. "We didn't want to be a start and park last year. But we're trying to build something for the future and that's what we had to do to survive without sponsorship. We want to race this year. We're talking to people about sponsorship but don't have anything yet. We hope to have the money from the outside that will let Dave race. But if we don't, we want to be able to do it ourselves. And having the second car is part of that." Blaney said he talked to some other teams. "I talked to a couple of other small teams like Phil but this turned to be the best," Blaney said. "Phil's trying to get something established and they are heading in the right direction." He said that he inquired about the BAM Racing ride and had not taken a look into an opportunity with Vermont businessman Bill Jenkins, who has purchased Roush Fenway Racing's #26 team. "I talked to the BAM people at Homestead in November but I never heard anything from them, so I don't know what they are doing," Blaney said. "I don't know anything about that new team but I would imagine that will go to one of the drivers associated with Roush." Parsons said that no matter the circumstances, Blaney will race the full distance in the Daytona 500 if he qualifies. "Daytona pays enough purse that you can afford to race," Parsons said. "We've got to concentrate on going down there and racing our way in." High Point Enterprise
01/18/10
track news
Watkins Glen track adding new twists to old turns  Some major changes are coming to Watkins Glen International, including alterations to a part of the racetrack that was the site of three crashes during last year's NASCAR weekend.

The changes were announced Sunday in Concord, N.C., at the National Motorsports Press Association convention. Alterations will be made to the Inner Loop, Turn 5 (known as Turn 9 on the 2.45-mile short course used by NASCAR), Turn 10 and Turn 11.

Changes include removal of gravel traps and grass, modification of catch fences, installation of SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers, and relocation of guard rails.

This will be the most significant renovation project at the track since catch fences were installed before the first IndyCar Series race there in 2005. More ...

01/18/10
irl
IndyCar Series is still trying figure out engine and chassis packages  More significant questions involving the development of a new IndyCar engine and chassis for the 2012 season remain unresolved, and it appears battle lines are being drawn.

Honda recently indicated it is planning to build a turbocharged V-6 engine for Indy car racing. That goes against the wishes of a group known as Delta Wing LLC, which is developing an envelope-pushing new chassis designed to accept a four-cylinder power plant.

The Delta Wing project is led by Ganassi Racing designer Ben Bowlby, and several IndyCar Series team owners have endorsed building a prototype for testing and analysis. More ...

01/18/10
f1
Sauber team signs supplier contract  The BMW Sauber F1 Team welcomes Thomann Nutzfahrzeuge AG as an Official Supplier. The innovative Swiss family company will supply Peter Sauber's Formula One team with semitrailer tractors and trucks from the Renault Trucks brand. 

Thomann Nutzfahrzeuge AG's slogan "Flexibility - our strength, your gain!" also strikes a chord with the BMW Sauber F1 Team, as Peter Sauber confirms: "Fast reaction times and creative solutions are a basic prerequisite in Formula One. Reliable, high-quality trucks are also vital. We look forward to a fruitful partnership."  More ...

01/18/10
usf2000
starmazda
Fufari brothers to be teammates on Road to Indy  
Anthony Fufari's US F2000 car
Michael Fufari's Star Mazda car
Continuing its tradition as a team focused on driver development, AIM Autosport’s Keith Willis announced today that in addition to running a full program in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, the team will also be entering the new Cooper Tire presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda. Both series are now part of the new “Road to Indy” development program sanctioned by the Indy Racing League. This marks AIM’s return to the USF2000 series having run a successful program from 1996 through 2002.

In conjunction with this announcement, Willis is also introducing the first drivers signed by the team that will compete in the two series.

Joining the team in the Star Mazda Championship will be 16 year-old Michael Furfari who made his debut in the series last season. Michael, who turns 17 next month, spent the year honing his skills on oval, road and street circuits. More ...

01/18/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Buemi's icy Montreal drive cancelled
  • Brawn to decide Mercedes driver hierarchy - Zetsche
  • Ralf Schumacher meets with Stefan GP boss
  • Rosberg to debut 2010 Mercedes car - boss
  • Brawn doubts Schu can win first race back
  • Rosberg agreed team switch before Merc, Schu deals
  • Alonso not concerned by Schu's GP2 test
  • Briatore to sue for damage to driver management business
  • Button won't be 'blown away' by Hamilton - Trulli
  • No Arctic Rally outing for Kovalainen
  • Ferrari works on fuel efficiency weakness

Buemi's icy Montreal drive cancelled
(GMM)  Sebastien Buemi's icy drive in a formula one car on Sunday was called off.

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

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

But Red Bull said on Sunday that the event was cancelled "due to unstable ice conditions created by warm weather patterns".

"A new date has not been set, but we are looking into the possibility of rescheduling," the energy drinks company said in a media statement.

Brawn to decide Mercedes driver hierarchy - Zetsche
(GMM)  Dieter Zetsche has not ruled out Michael Schumacher being the 'number 1' driver at Mercedes GP.

On the other hand, Nico Rosberg, the famous 41-year-old's 2010 teammate, insists there will be equality.

"It is natural that the interest is different for someone who is a seven time world champion.  But everyone is making an effort to put us on a footing of equality," he told the French newspaper La Tribune.

"Obviously the closeness of Ross Brawn to Michael made me dubious but I have spoken with Ross and now I'm sure there will be no difference between us.  That is the philosophy of Mercedes and something that is very important," Rosberg added. More ...

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