A new series of 52minute films " GREAT GRAND PRIX RACING HEROES", produced by Brunswick Films is now available on DVD.
This new series traces the careers of 12 of Formula one's heroes, including 8 world champions. These include Sir Jackie Stewart, Jody Scheckter, Niki Lauda, James Hunt, Ronnie Peterson, Clay Regazzoni, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Peter Revson, Alan Jones, Frank Williams, Mika Hakkinen, and the legendary Enzo Ferrari.
Brendan Gaughan to Compete in Limited NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule Veteran NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan will compete in four races on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, driving Richard Childress Racing's No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Impala in addition to his previously announced 18-race NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule with the Welcome, N.C. - based race team.
Gaughan, 36, competed full time in the Sprint Cup Series during the 2004 season, finishing 28th in the driver championship point standings with one top-five and four top-10 finishes in 36 starts. The 2002 Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year competed full time in the Nationwide Series in 2009 and 2010, earning one pole and 17 top-10 finishes in 71 career starts. He finished ninth in the 2009 driver championship point standings and 11th in 2010.
Justin Wilson victorious in 2009 at Watkins Glen driving for Dale Coyne
Dale Coyne Racing is proud to announce that they are “Putting the Band Back Together” with its 2009 winning combination of driver Justin Wilson and renowned engineer Bill Pappas, all powered by Honda.
After a two year absence, Wilson returns to Dale Coyne Racing after bringing the seasoned team its first win at Watkins Glen, NY back July of 2009.
“I am really excited as to how all of this has come together,” Wilson said. “Dale is committed to win, and it shows by him bringing back my 2009 engineer Bill Papas, the level playing field of a new car and the much appreciated continuation with Honda engines should make 2012 a very exciting year for all of us.”
Bruton Smith Discusses Reason For Moving Atlanta NASCAR Race SMI Chair & CEO Bruton Smith today said that he never would have moved Atlanta Motor Speedway's second NASCAR Sprint Cup race to Kentucky Speedway "had Georgia state officials made some changes he requested." Smith said that Atlanta Motor Speedway's chances of hosting a second Sprint Cup race depend "on how badly the state wants it." Smith said that since the race has moved, "state officials have been more willing to work with him." Smith: "Maybe they had their eye on the stick and ball (sports) too much and they didn't realize what that speedway really meant to them. But now they came alive when we moved that date" AL.com
Kentucky Speedway spends $10M to fix traffic, parking problems Kentucky Speedway officials today "promised dramatic improvement" in regards to parking capacity and traffic flow at the track ahead of the June 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400. Officials said that the track has acquired or improved a total of 326 acres of parking "at or near the track and that they will be able to park from 12,000 to 18,000 more cars at this year's race"
2013 Cup cars to be tested at Homestead All four 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car models are scheduled to be tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway February 1st in a test that will apparently be closed. That may be the first time crewmen get to see all four models. Why is NASCAR, and its big marketing operation, taking such seemingly a low-keyed approach?
Apparently because the sanctioning body has not yet 'aero-matched' the four models in the wind tunnel. Ford is billing its new model as a Fusion (not Mustang, as once planned), and when the car maker officially unveiled its 2013 street version, it was then free to take the wraps off the NASCAR version - which is decidedly different from the current Sprint Cup model, the still controversial and not greatly liked by many car-of-tomorrow. Chevrolet, for example, still hasn't officially named its model for its 2013 NASCAR Cup racer. mikemulhern.net
Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne says there are no aftereffects from Lyme disease, which sidelined him for two months last season. Bayne is less concerned about his health than with having the sponsorship that would allow him to compete for the Nationwide Series title. Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark said he should know in a few weeks if that will happen. Doctors never officially called Bayne's illness Lyme disease, referring to it instead as an inflammatory condition. But the 20-year-old driver said during the Sprint media tour Tuesday that he since has been told it was Lyme. "They wouldn't (confirm) because it's such a hard thing to define," Bayne said. "All you can look at with Lyme is a rash. I had already had medication for it, so it can hide. Lyme is ... something that hides in your bloodstream. It is hard to diagnose. To me, if they treat it and it goes away, to me that seems like a pretty good answer."
Honda to Power Dale Coyne Racing in 2012 American Honda and its Honda Performance Development (HPD) subsidiary will power a two-car effort from Dale Coyne Racing in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, HPD and the team announced today.
Under terms of the agreement, HPD will provide its new, turbocharged 2.2-liter Honda Indy V-6 engines to all Coyne entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series and at the Indianapolis 500.
"Dale Coyne Racing has been one of IndyCar's most durable teams, with a history that extends for nearly 30 years." said Erik Berkman, president of Honda Performance Development and vice president, corporate planning and logistics, for American Honda. "It's great to have them racing with us in 2012. Dale's team has made great strides in recent seasons, and he has made moves this off-season to further improve. We're looking forward to continuing our association with him in 2012."
Nissan to build $2 billion plant in Mexico Nissan Motor Co. will build a $2 billion auto assembly plant in Mexico -- its third in that country -- as it works to outgun rival Honda Motor Co.
The plant, in Aguascalientes, Mexico, will have initial capacity to build 175,000 light vehicles annually for the United States, Mexico and Latin America, with plans to expand. Production is scheduled to begin by the end of next year.
Nissan did not specify what model will be produced at the plant initially, but one company executive described it as "an existing B-segment nameplate that is currently in short supply." That description suggests the subcompact Versa, which already is built at an existing Nissan plant in Aguascalientes and sold in the United States and other markets.
Alex Tagliani Completes Successful Lotus Test in Homestead
Tagliani in his new Dallara-Lotus
Intense engine testing continues as the IZOD IndyCar Series prepares for an incredible new season. Team Barracuda - BHA driver Alex Tagliani took to the road course of Homestead Miami-Speedway on Monday and Tuesday for the second in a series of engine tests for the brand new, Lotus-powered Dallara DW12.
The Lotus test team, comprised of crew members from Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and HVM Racing, completed two successful days of testing further engine developments as well as setup work. As the second day concluded, Tagliani expressed positive thoughts about his first experience with the new engine and chassis.
“Overall, it was a good test,” said the Canadian driver. “It was nice to be back in the car and I really enjoyed working with everyone from Lotus and all three of the teams. It’s a very motivated group with high expectations.
IndyCar driver Justin Wilson is looking forward to his return to racing this weekend when he joins Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian in the much anticipated 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona. The classic endurance event at Daytona International Speedway kicks off the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship and marks the traditional start of the new motorsport season. Justin will share driving duties in the No. 60 LiveOn.com Daytona Prototype with former Champ Car RuSPORT team-mate, now NASCAR Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger and MSR’s full time pilots Ozz Negri and two-time Pro-Am Champion John Pew.
ModSpace to Sponsor Front Row Motorsports Fords Modular construction provider ModSpace will partner with Front Row Motorsports in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a multi-race primary sponsorship and season-long associate sponsorship of the #38 Ford, driven by David Gilliland. The #34 Ford, driven by David Ragan, will also carry an associate sponsorship from ModSpace for the full season.
The new motorsports partnership expands an existing business relationship between the Berwyn, Penn.-based company and Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins. ModSpace is currently working with Jenkins' quick-service restaurant company to build new Taco Bell/Long John Silver's locations. The new motorsports partnership will help with another type of "building" - the continued growth of Jenkins' Sprint Cup team, which is coming off the best season in its young history.
The first appearance of the #38 ModSpace Ford is scheduled for the April 14 race at Texas Motor Speedway. ModSpace is a leading provider of modular buildings, portable storage and services for temporary or permanent space needs. Building on more than 40 years of experience, ModSpace serves a diverse set of customers and markets - including commercial, construction, education, government, healthcare, industrial/energy and special events - through an extensive nationwide branch network throughout the United States and Canada.
ModSpace has constructed buildings for renowned clients ranging from the Professional Golf Association (PGA) to General Motors, IBM and the U.S. Army. For more information on the company and its projects, visit ModSpace.com.
Jeff Gordon is the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award for 2011 for his work with children's health issues. Gordon was among four quarterly winners for the award and chosen by NMPA members as the overall winner for the year.
The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Gordon has always taken an interest in children's health issues through his Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation Pediatric Cancer Treatment Research, but those efforts expanded in 2011.
Gordon brought a hands-on approach to his work with children this summer. Working with the Clinton Global Initiative, Gordon traveled to a refugee camp in the Congo in July in an effort aid with health issues. He witnessed first-hand what children in the area face and offered his personal assistance to the program. NASCAR
Sadler Hoping For Daytona 500 Start Elliott Sadler confirmed that talks are underway to put him in a Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for the 2012 Daytona 500. "I've said before if I got chance to be in competitive Cup car again, I would jump at the chance," said Sadler in an exclusive interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody.
"Richard Childress and I have had some conversations, but what we really need is sponsorship, We're getting close to getting that done, but there's nothing done yet. I can't confirm anything right now, but I am damn sure pulling for it to happen."
RCR will field full-time Sprint Cup Series entries in 2012 for drivers #31-Jeff Burton, #29-Kevin Harvick and #27-Paul Menard, but has an additional guaranteed starting spot in the first five races of this season; earned a year ago by Clint Bowyer's #33 Chevy. Sadler is expected to wheel the #33, if a financial backer can be found. sirius-speedway.com
The Ugly DucklingUPDATE #3 Rumor has it that Dallara counted on the other manufacturers building body kits for the new IndyCar, and they never really meant to go racing with this kit. But if that were true, why would anyone in their right mind come up with come up with the look they did? You just wouldn't make a car with your name (Dallara) on it look like they did unless they were either on drugs or had some secret death wish to defame their own name.
The American made Panoz DP01, above, vs. the foreign Dallara 'Ugly Duckling', below
01/02/12 Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Why couldn't IndyCar have gone back to Panoz and get them to update the DP01 for ovals? That is obviously a proven, successful design since it is still being raced in Europe, and it worked great on the road and street courses. It would definitely be better looking than the new Dallara. Hell they could have kept the old chassis and just run the DP01 with the new engine since the new schedule is mostly non-oval anyway. That would be cheaper and better than the ugly Dallara, plus it would be an American company. David Hewitt, Portsmouth, VA
Dear David, We do not have all the specs on the new Dallara IndyCar, but we are being told by IndyCar that the cost to run a full season with the new IndyCar will be less. However, IndyCar has yet to publish the parts list, so the teams may yet end up getting ripped off, but lets hope not. Here is what we do know and we do not see a significant savings from the 2007 Panoz, but we do know that the teams will be writing checks to a foreign company rather than an American company:
Federal appeals court hears Mayfield drug case Attorneys for former racecar driver Jeremy Mayfield are asking a federal appeals panel to reinstate his lawsuit against NASCAR over his suspension for failing a random drug test at Richmond International Raceway in 2009.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond heard arguments on Tuesday over whether a lower court judge erred in dismissing Mayfield's suit in 2010 because Mayfield had twice -- as a driver and an owner -- signed documents in order to race that waived his right to sue. At issue also was the district court's refusal to let Mayfield amend his complaint to bolster his case.
Following Mayfield's 2009 suspension, he sued NASCAR, its owner, Brian Zachary France, and the drug testing company for defamation, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract and negligence.
Pirellis 2012 F1 tires. The tire marking colors for 2012 are as follows:
Super Soft Red Soft Yellow Medium White Hard Silver Intermediate Green Wet Blue
Pirelli has gathered a large number of media in Abu Dhabi to talk about F1 tires. This is a hard sell to a news world besotted with Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. Tires are black, round, rubber things which even boffins have trouble understanding. Ferrari had so much trouble understanding them last year that they have hired a Japanese man (from a company that one should not mention in a world of Pirelli people) In order to help them understand these mystical racing devices.
Tires are an integral part of the sport, but in order to get column inches there usually needs to be a competition between two tire companies. With F1 having just one tire supplier this is impossible and so Pirelli has tried to make tires a talking point by making them aggressive compounds and giving teams a choice of two compounds for each race – and they have to use both. In essence that is the story. They can change the compounds from year to year, and circuit to circuit.
EGR Sponsorship Sold Out At a time when many NASCAR teams are scrambling to find sponsorship, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has no primary sponsorship available for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. Team-owner Chip Ganassi congratulated his sales staff as the team's key members met the media to open day two of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday morning. The sold-out sign came after the announcement the team has added Belkin, LiftMaster and Banana Boat to its list of sponsors with each taking the primary sponsorship role on Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy for one race, while serving as associate sponsors throughout the season. National Speed Sport News
New 2013 Ford Fusion Brings the "Stock Car" Back to NASCAR The 2013 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup car, unveiled today as part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour, was worked on by Ford designers in an effort to bring brand identity back to the sport. The result is undeniable with the 2013 Sprint Cup car mirroring the recently unveiled 2013 Ford Fusion production car. Featuring a completely redesigned sleek new silhouette and fresh face, the 2013 Fusion Sprint Cup car was designed to be the face of a new era of stock car racing. (Also see our feature article with photos on this story)
"We wanted Fusion to be the car that helped return 'stock car' to NASCAR." stated Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "I think fans, when they see the car, are just going to smile and cheer. It is going to reengage them with the sport and make the sport better because there is just something natural about seeing race cars that look like cars in their driveways."
Chip Ganassi has enjoyed success in American auto racing. His teams have won races in NASCAR, Rolex Sports Car and the IZOD IndyCar series, along with championships in several American series. Now with Formula One coming to the States, and with no American teams entered, it might make sense that Ganassi might consider forming a team to try his hand at F1.
Ganassi was asked that very question Tuesday during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour. After he was asked if he might consider F1 he smiled.
“There was a time when I would think about that,” Ganassi said. “But now when I get that feeling I go lay down until it goes away.”
Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, Viso Out Of Rolex 24 2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan had been looking forward to making his Rolex 24 Daytona Prototype debut in the Starworks Motorsports-run Riley-Ford this weekend, but as the Brazilian revealed on Tuesday afternoon--just 36 hours before the start of practice--the team's sponsor had disappeared.
"Guys, unfortunately I will not race at the Daytona 24H this Saturday," Kanaan wrote via Twitter. "The funding that the Starworks Motorsports team had went away..."
Kanaan was set to share the car with fellow IndyCar drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and EJ Viso, and Starworks owner Peter Baron told SPEED.com he held out hope to run the trio of open-wheelers until the last minute.
"The funding was supposed to come through for that, we we're waiting for as long as possible and holding out hope, but it all fell through at the last moment and we can't funds things out of our own pocket," he said.
Toyota releases first photos of new WEC challenger
Toyota Hybrid drivers
UPDATE TOYOTA Racing today announced more details of its forthcoming FIA World Endurance Championship participation.
The new team, which is based at TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne, Germany, will make its race debut on 5 May in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. TOYOTA Racing intends to enter two cars at the Le Mans 24 Hours (16-17 June). Participation in further rounds will be confirmed soon.
A driver line-up of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima has already been confirmed for one car while discussions are still ongoing to finalize the driver line-up for the other. Additionally, Andrea Caldarelli, from Pescara, Italy, has joined TOYOTA Racing as a junior driver.
Jade Gurss Named Director of Corporate Communications for Andretti Autosport Andretti Autosport announced today that Jade Gurss has been named the Director of Corporate Communications for the open-wheel racing team.
Gurss was the owner of fingerprint, inc., a sports publicity company, since 1999. Among his clients, he represented Anheuser-Busch for nine innovative seasons as NASCAR publicist for the Budweiser brand and Dale Earnhardt Jr. He has also represented clients such as Kevin Harvick Inc., Petty Enterprises and athletes such as Ricky Carmichael.
3rd annual Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K Run, Walk, N Wheelathon Announced The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) and Trim Nutrition, a leader in wellness supplements and sustained energy products, announced today that the third annual Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K Run, Walk, N Wheelathon is March 23, part of festivities for the IZOD IndyCar Series season-opener around the street circuit in Florida. Working in tandem, SSPF and Trim Nutrition, official nutrition partner for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, will be responsible for the logistics and operations of the event.
“The Honda Grand Prix 5K Run, Walk, N Wheelathon benefiting Sam’s Foundation and All Children’s Hospital is a wonderful part of what will be an overall exciting weekend at the ‘World’s Fastest Spring Break Party’ in St. Petersburg,” said Tim Ramsberger, Vice President and General Manager of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “We’re excited to help the community and we expect a large turnout for this unique event.”
Banana Boat Inks NASCAR/IndyCar Sponsorship Deal With Ganassi Ready ... set ... go! Banana Boat sun care will take on the sun and the speedway for a new partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. Banana Boat sun care announced today that it will sponsor the race cars of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Jamie McMurray and Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup and IZOD IndyCar Series racing seasons, respectively.
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and Banana Boat sun care have teamed up to help racing fans stay cool and protected from the extreme sun and heat commonly found at auto races with the new and innovative Banana Boat Sport Performance CoolZone continuous spray sunscreen. The new line instantly cools and refreshes skin while providing protection against the sun's UVA and UVB rays.
IndyCar news tidbits Attendees of the Canadian Motorsports Expo on Feb. 10-12 at the International Centre in suburban Toronto will have an opportunity to see the new IZOD IndyCar Series car at the Honda Indy Toronto booth. ... Andretti Autosport Star Mazda Championship driver Zach Veach of Stockdale, Ohio, used four race wins and four pole positions to capture the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear Winter Series championship for the second consecutive year. … Chip Ganassi Racing is featured in the January issue of Professional Pilot magazine. The team owner utilizes a Citation X and Learjet 35 from the base at Allegheny County Airport near Pittsburgh. ... Danica Patrick announced she'll compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600 instead of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27.......Lincoln Electric recently filmed a segment with INDYCAR director of engineering Jeff Horton, who shared safety and performance advancements introduced to the 2012 Dallara chassis. Lincoln Electric, which has been involved with NDYCAR since its inception in 1996, provides trackside welding support and technical assistance.......Ryan Hunter-Reay participated in the Florida Fish for Life/Buccaneer Cup over the weekend in the Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach, Fla. The annual event raises awareness of colon cancer through sport fishing, and Racing For Cancer was among the fund-raising beneficiaries this year........Ryan Briscoe calls Belle Isle “a perfect street course.” Briscoe joined Team Penske teammate Will Power and National Guard Panther Racing’s JR Hildebrand on Jan, 20 in touring the 2.1-mile circuit (in a Cadillac Escalade) to be utilized for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on June 1-3. The IZOD IndyCar Series drivers also participated in public meet and greet and Q&A sessions, along with media opportunities, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Tony Stewart (center) and his team, including Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick won't run the Indianapolis 500 this year, but, driving for Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, she thinks her chances are as good as anybody's to win the Daytona 500 in her first try.
"I think at Daytona (our) cars are very fast, so I feel good about that race, if luck falls our way, to perhaps win," Patrick said Monday during NASCAR's Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway (See AR1.com article on the Tour). "I think that's a real chance. I mean a (rookie) like Trevor Bayne last year showed that."
Excited as she is about her chances at Daytona, Patrick is more cautious about her goals for her first full season in NASCAR. She's scheduled to drive a full season (33 races) in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports and a limited Cup schedule for Stewart, who said he could still add to her 10-race card.
Kyle Busch has learned from the mistakes he made last season and ready to make a fresh go of it in 2012. Busch said during Monday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour he knows he can't continue to display the kinds of emotional actions that led to so much controversy - and trouble - last year.
"I've got fans all the time that tell me they don't want to see me change," Busch said. "I've tried to keep that, but ultimately, it's not going to work. If you keep getting in trouble, you're not going to be here very long. I'm trying to change something."
Logano hoping head shrink can turn him into a winner.
Since last season, JGR driver #20-Joey Logano has been seeing sports psychologist (head shrink) Bob Rotella, who also began working with Hamlin last year. "I was against it at first, thinking, 'I don't need a shrink,'" Logano said.
"But it's not about that, it's confidence. It's not that you're screwed up in the head. It's not like you're a weirdo. I think it's good for anybody. I have a whole new outlook. I'd recommend it to anybody."
NASCAR - Electronic Fuel Injection 10 Day 1 of the annual NASCAR media tour started with a handout from Roush Yates Engines explaining some of the key aspects of this year's switch to electronic fuel injection.
My first thought was this is perfect reading material to help me fall asleep tonight in my hotel room since this subject bores me to tears.
But the handout was actually done well and interesting, or as interesting as this topic can get. So I'm going to get this out of the way right from the start, with the help of the Roush Yates cheat sheet on EFI, hoping never to have to address it again.
Roush Yates listed 10 aspects of the switch that fans need to know, with short explanations about each.
Premiere coincides with anniversary: The Audi R8 GRAND-AM will make its debut on the 50th running of the Daytona 24 Hours from January 26 to 29. Teams APR Motorsport and Oryx Racing are each fielding one of the newly developed customer sport race cars in the GT class of the endurance classic.
The "Rolex 24 at Daytona" ranks among the finest classics in international motorsport. The event has been thrilling the sports car fan community since 1962. Some of the greatest racers in history have entered their names on the winners’ list - from Jacky Ickx and Hans Herrmann through to Hurley Haywood, A. J. Foyt or Derek Bell. Reinhold Joest, the founder of Audi Sport Team Joest has personally won this classic race in Florida too.
Some Chevy dealers spurn Volt allocation Some Chevrolet dealers are turning down Volts that General Motors wants to ship to them, a potential stumbling block as GM looks to accelerate sales of the plug-in hybrid.
For example, consider the New York City market. Last month, GM allocated 104 Volts to 14 dealerships in the area, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Dealers took just 31 of them, the lowest take rate for any Chevy model in that market last month. That group of dealers ordered more than 90 percent of the other vehicles they were eligible to take, the source said.
Henrik Fisker will sell a lot of electric cars because they are beautiful
All Henrik Fisker wants is to build his plug-in hybrid cars and deliver them to customers -- some of whom have been waiting three years since plunking down $5,000 deposits.
Instead, he has been fending off criticisms aimed at his green-car company as shipments of his $103,000 Karma plug-in hybrid sedan have been delayed by cash flow troubles, regulatory snarls and a recall.
But when a startup such as Fisker Automotive accepts a Department of Energy loan in a down economy, having the company tossed around like a political football comes with the territory. Fisker describes launching his first car in this environment as "running over fire while people are whipping you."
Speed expands NASCAR coverage NASCAR on SPEED opens its season tonight, as NASCAR Race Hub returns at 6 p.m. ET with hosts Steve Byrnes and Danielle Trotta, along with analyst Larry McReynolds and race team veteran Matt Clark. The Hub, which enjoyed a 27-percent, year-to-year ratings increase last year, updates race fans on the happenings from Day One of the annual CMS NASCAR Media Tour, and welcomes Danica Patrick into the updated Charlotte studio as the year’s first guest.
Several other NASCAR on SPEED programs take fresh approaches in 2012, with the network’s longest-running NASCAR program, Trackside, frequently splitting into two 30-minute editions, one on Friday evenings and the second on Saturday. Krista Voda hosts with Kyle Petty, Rutledge Wood and Marianela Pereyra all returning to the show.
Aside from multiple championships, what do John Force, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart have in common?
For assorted reasons, they’ve all made Dave Despain’s list of favorite interviews over the last decade of Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED, which celebrates its 10th year in 2012.
Despain, who anchors his 535th episode of the popular program Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. ET, credits Force for being the most colorful interview; Gordon as his favorite, and Stewart … well, Stewart for being the most difficult.
Danica says no to Indy 500 for NASCAR Danica Patrick, the highest-finishing woman in the Indianapolis 500, will skip the race this season and instead enter NASCAR's longest event of the year.
Patrick said Monday she's added the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to her schedule. She'll drive for Stewart-Haas Racing, and team owner Tony Stewart said the decision to sit out the Indianapolis 500 was Patrick's decision.
"We didn't tell her she couldn't run the 500. It was left up to her," Stewart said. "It shows how dedicated she is to making this transition."
Video: Raikkonen takes to track in ValenciaUPDATE #2
01/23/12 Follow Kimi's progress today on his Facebook page.
01/23/12 Kimi Raikkonen has taken to the track in Valencia in his first appearance in a Formula One car for over two years.
After Raikkonen was announced as a Lotus driver for the 2012 season the team confirmed it would give him an opportunity to reacclimatize to an F1 car before the first test. Today he's driving a 2010 Renault R30 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with the car painted in the 2011 Lotus Renault livery.
While a testing ban means Raikkonen cannot run the current car, the rules allow teams to run two-year old machinery on Pirelli's demonstration tires. Raikkonen has previously admitted that the biggest challenge of his comeback would be trying to understand the new tires having last races on Bridgestone's, but Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery confirmed to ESPNF1 that the tires used in this test will not give him that opportunity.
"It's not going to help him much at all, not really," Hembery said. "They're a different profile, different strength; it's a running profile tire so it's not going to help him too much." ESPN
NASCAR Sprint Media Tour this week More than 230 motorsports journalists from around the globe will descend upon the heart of NASCAR country on Monday for the 30th annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. What started as a 1983 "experiment" with a handful of media that struggled to fill one charter bus, the four-day Tour has evolved into the nation's premier preseason media event in professional sports.
"The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is four days of non-stop news and a great way for fans to hear the latest about their favorite teams just a few weeks before the start of the season," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It's the Tour's 30th year and it's stronger than ever, with a record number of media coming to this year's event that features more than 20 stops throughout the four days. We're excited to host to such a fantastic and meaningful event." More than 20 stops will keep the participating media busy over the four-day tour including visits to Hendrick Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Stewart-Haas Racing, plus Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush-Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be making announcements. CMS
Solberg gets suspended ban Petter Solberg has been given a suspended ban from Rally Sweden after being caught speeding on a road section during the Monte Carlo Rally last night.
The Ford driver, who finished third in the event, was caught doing 106kph (66mph) in a 50kph (31mph) limit on Saturday, following the final stage of leg four.
A statement from the organizers said: "On being questioned, the driver explained that indeed, he was accelerating at the said speed in trying to pass a slower car and in doing so, he passed the continuous center line on the road, but was then braking immediately. He apologized for his lapse."
NASCAR starting Speedweeks with restrictor plate that ended test NASCAR will return to Daytona International Speedway in February with the same restrictor plate that it left with when testing ended earlier this month. Teams were informed Friday of the rules configuration for Daytona, which includes a restrictor plate with holes 29/32nds of an inch in diameter. In hopes of limiting the use of the two-car draft used by the Sprint Cup cars during the Daytona 500, NASCAR officials have made changes that they hope would result in overheating if the two-car draft is used for an extended period of time during the race. The biggest change is the rear bumper has been moved two inches closer to the ground. Teams will have a front grille opening of 50 square inches - it was 40 square inches by the time testing ended last week at the 2.5-mile trioval. The radiator pressure release valve will be set at 25 psi, the same as it was when teams left Daytona on the final afternoon of testing. Scene Daily
Ganassi Racing gets ready for Rolex 24 The No. 02 BMW Riley is Chip Ganassi Racing's Rolex 24 At Daytona "gumbo team," because the drivers and mechanics come from different disciplines of racing.
While Ganassi and co-owner Felix Sabates send the No. 01 BMW Riley to the start of the Grand-Am Rolex Series looking for a championship at season's end, the No. 02 is a composite of Ganassi's racing empire.
The majority of the crew comes from the IndyCar Series team while the drivers are open-wheel or stock-car pilots -- not fulltime sportscar racers.
China aligns with PVH's brand messaging It’s Chinese New Year Day, with 2012 the year of the Dragon (that’s not a prognostication of Lotus Dragon Racing’s fortunes during the IZOD IndyCar Series season that includes the inaugural race on the streets of Qingdao, China).
According to the Chinese Five Element Astrology Calendar (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth), the Water Dragon is the final year of the Wood Cycle and the transition year to the Fire Cycle. Dragons symbolize character traits such as dominance and ambition. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion.
Stewart named NMPA Driver of the Year Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart was named the National Motorsports Press Association's 2011 Richard Petty Driver of the Year Sunday. Stewart, who had a mediocre regular season, nevertheless made the Chase for the Sprint Cup field - and then performed with near-brilliance, winning five of the final 10 races of the season and edging Carl Edwards for the series championship. The title was the third for Stewart but his first racing for his own team, Stewart-Haas Racing. SPEED
How was your Christmas break and your reception back at home in Australia? "It was pretty uneventful, just a nice quiet time with family and friends, and a chance to get away from hustle and bustle. We had to get back to Switzerland early to get ready for the baby, so it was nice to have some time to relax and recover and get ready for this year."
How is your wife Adriana doing? You two will be parents soon, are you nervous? "Adriana is doing great, there are no issues and she’s in perfect health. We are crossing our fingers that everything will continue this way. We’re not nervous at all, we both have been waiting long enough now, and actually it seems to be going extremely slowly! We just want these last few weeks to go as smooth as possible. I hope I can be home for the birth as it’s due right in the middle of both tests, so I’m crossing my fingers I can be home for it."
Brazilian race-car driver charged with DUI manslaughter According to the CBS affiliate in Miami, Brazilian race-car driver João Paulo Escudero Mauro, 20, has been charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and possession of cocaine after the car he was driving in the early hours of Jan. 19 struck and killed a 45-year old man in Miami Beach.
Miami.cbslocal.com reports that a police spokesman said that at 1:30 a.m., Mauro was driving a Mercedes-Benz SUV when he swerved into a parking lane at more than 60 mph; the posted speed-limit on the road is 30 mph.
“It did strike several parts of the curb before it jumped onto the sidewalk, striking a pedestrian,” the spokesman said. According to reports, Russell Knudson was placing a bicycle onto the back of a car when Mauro's vehicle struck and killed him.
Danica Patrick, after sticking her toe in the water last season, will plunge in full-time next year. She will run a full schedule in NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series starting next month at Daytona, and she will also enter some Sprint Cup races.
Patrick has a reputation as a racy racer. She first gained notoriety for posing for photos in a men’s magazine wearing high heels and a smile and not much more. Then there was that controversial lower-back tattoo air-brushed out of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit photo. And, throughout the season, those steamy, suggestive Go Daddy ads she does for her racing sponsor.
NASCAR: Danica Patrick unveils new Nationwide car for Bristol
The future queen of NASCAR was on center stage Saturday afternoon in uptown Charlotte. Former open wheel sensation Danica Patrick appeared at the rowdy Whisky River club owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., to unveil the green car she will drive in the March 17 St. Patrick’s Day NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Seated next to Bristol Motor Speedway general manager Jerry Caldwell, Patrick said she embraces the chance to return to the unique half-mile.
“I really had fun at Bristol last year,” Patrick said. “I was a little afraid at going there, and definitely when I pulled up to the track I was a little astonished at the banking and just how small and cathedral-like it was.”
2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Sells for $600,000
The first 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition – the fastest and most capable convertible in Corvette’s history – sold for $600,000 in the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector car auction Saturday.
The Corvette 427 Convertible, which arrives at U.S. Chevrolet dealers this summer, blends elements of the Z06 and ZR1 models. The Vehicle Identification Number ending in 001 was sold in the auction.
Its heart is the 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06. Rated at 505 horsepower (377 kW) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm), it is the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible – and, like the Z06, the 427 Convertible is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.
Davy Jones announces Daytona24 plans Davy Jones announced Saturday that he will compete in the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Muhlner Motorsports America team on the season opener of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season. He will be behind the wheel of the #18 Texas Heart Institute Porsche GT3 Cup car which he will share with co-drivers John McCutchen, Bill Lester and Mark Thomas during the 24 hour event.
Jones will look to score his second career Rolex 24 victory around the high banked 3.56-mile, 12-turn speedway road course and preparations have started on the right foot as the Belgian team showed impressive speed at the Roar Before the 24, clocking the second fastest lap of the three day test. Jones is no stranger Porsches and endurance races as in 1996 he became the last American to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans while driving a Porsche LMP1 car. This year he will look to repeat that feat at Daytona by taking the win in the GT category.
Loomis out at Petty Richard Petty Motorsports has elected not to renew Robbie Loomis' contract for 2012. Loomis, who was most recently listed at Chief Operating Officer for RPM, first joined Petty Enterprises as a crew chief in 1991 at the end of the King's driving career.
"I'm taking some time off," Loomis said. "My contract was up in December and I'm looking to explore what's next. Richard is still family -- so is everyone else at Richard Petty Motorsports. The future is exciting because it's unknown but there's still a lot of uncertainty in what the future brings." Loomis wouldn't acknowledge whether or not he would continue on as a consultant for the team but added that he'd "Do anything to help Richard Petty Motorsports be in a better place."
But with Best Buy pulling out of RPM and Smithfield signing up for a limited schedule on the #43 Ford, it's become increasingly clear that the company could no longer afford Loomis' reported seven figure salary. While no successor for Loomis has been named, certainly with 20 years of racing experience, Sammy Johns, RPM's director of operation, is more than capable of overseeing the competition department. Fox Sports
RAB Racing to attempt Sprint Cup debut in Daytona 500 Kenny Wallace
RAB Racing with Brack Maggard announced that they will attempt to make their Sprint Cup Series debut in the 54th-annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, with driver Kenny Wallace behind the wheel of their #09 American Ethanol Toyota Camry.
"Corn farmers are excited to continue our relationship with RAB Racing and Kenny Wallace in 2012," said Garry Niemeyer, National Corn Growers Association president.
Dietrich Mateschitz, owner of Red Bull, believes that McLaren is the greatest threat between a third straight double world title win for his team. In the two seasons of Sebastian Vettel success, it is the Woking-built cars which have finished second in the Constructors’ Championship.
“Sebastian himself has improved and is now stronger than he ever has been,” Mateschitz told Italy’s Gazetta della Sport. “This winter he has prepared himself like never before and what he now needs is a competitive car.”
When asked which rivals he is keeping a close eye on, Mateschitz replied: “McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes – and in that order.”
Winter testing begins in Jerez, Spain on Tuesday 7 February.
Travis Pastrana has had no desire to get back on a motorcycle in the last couple of months as he tries to rehab his shattered right ankle. The action sports star competed in the Race of Champions in December, tested a car for the Rolex 24 At Daytona a couple of weeks ago and is scheduled to test a Nationwide Series car next week.
Pastrana had been scheduled to make his much-anticipated Nationwide debut last July but was sidelined for several months after suffering an injury to his right ankle and foot during an X Games competition two days before the Nationwide race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Loeb wins Monte Carlo rally Reigning world champion Sebastien Loeb of France in a Citroen won the Monte Carlo rally for the sixth time on Sunday to take up where he left off last season atop the World Rally Championship standings (WRC).
In what was the opening leg of the 2012 WRC season, Loeb triumphed ahead of Dani Sordi of Spain (Mini) and Petter Solberg of Norway (Ford Fiesta).
The race, the 80th running of the Monte Carlo Rally, marked its return to the WRC stage after three seasons in the rival IRC setup.
Loeb has won the last eight rally world titles and is a hot favorite to make it nine in a row this year.
JR Hildebrand was among the IndyCar drivers at the North American International Auto Show Friday to promote the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, which will be held June 1-3, a week after the Indianapolis 500.
One of Hildebrand's Panther Racing owners will be busy this weekend when Jim Harbaugh will be guiding the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game against the New York Giants.
Harbaugh has been part owner of Panther Racing since his playing days with the Indianapolis Colts in the mid-'90s. He attended multiple Indianapolis 500s to watch his drivers, but missed last year's race when Hildebrand — then a rookie — crashed on the final turn while leading the race.
Star Mazda news tidbits The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear 2012 season finale will be held at Road Atlanta during the 15th Annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, October 17 - 20.
A preliminary 2012 Star Mazda Championship information kit is now available online as a downloadable PDF file. Additional announcements still to come include one TBA race, TV package and new series sponsor.
Juncos Racing and international multi-media company Auto a Fondo Media have formed a comprehensive partnership going into the 2012 racing season.
Vettel to be stronger than ever Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz says Sebastian Vettel will go into the 2012 F1 season 'better' and 'stronger' than ever before.
Will Vettel destroy the opposition again in 2012?
“Sebastian has got a lot better and is stronger than ever,” Mateschitz told Italian newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday. “He has trained over the winter break like he never did before now and he certainly won't disappoint.
“What he needs to get his third title this year is a competitive car and we will be able to evaluate in the first test at Jerez from February 7-10 where the team is heading.”
Meanwhile, Mateschitz also had some kind words for Vettel's team-mate, Mark Webber, who struggled in 2011 and was completely overshadowed by the German.
Chevy Volt batteries deemed safe by NTHSA Concerns over the safety of GM's Chevy Volt electric car are fading, as the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency has officially closed its investigation into concerns that the batteries in the car could catch fire after a crash. GM has already made some modifications to the vehicle, including adding a coolant temperature sensor, brackets, and shielding. The NHTSA ultimately found that the Volt didn't have any systematic defects, writing that "A defect trend has not been identified at this time, and further investigation does not appear to be warranted." The administration also agreed with GM that the modifications it is making on new models "reduce potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts."
With the investigation is now closed, GM is naturally quite happy with the results. It may still buy back your Volt if you're interested in selling as sales have apparently been quite brisk despite the safety concerns.
American Ethanol Announces Partnerships with RCR and RAB Racing In a nod to its commitment to the sport, American Ethanol today announced at the NASCAR Preview fan event in Charlotte, N.C., that it will continue relationships with Richard Childress Racing and RAB Racing for the 2012 season.
Austin Dillon, 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, will drive the iconic No. 3 Chevrolet during the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season with American Ethanol serving as the primary sponsor for six races as well as one race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012. Dillon's No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet paint scheme was unveiled at the event.
Formula 1 reactive ride height systems will be banned Formula 1 teams have been told that the reactive suspension system pioneered by Lotus has been banned for the 2012 season.
Sources have confirmed that a note was sent from the FIA to all teams on Friday evening indicating that the governing body was no longer satisfied the concept - which regulates ride height under braking - was still legal.
BMW Performance 200 at Daytona to Open 2012 GRAND-AM Season With the waving of the green flag to start the BMW Performance 200 on Jan. 27, the opening round of this year's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, the 2012 North American sports car racing season gets underway. The weekend also includes the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, with more than 50 BMW drivers expected to participate.
The BMW Performance 200 will see the 16 BMWs entered in the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes led to the green flag by a very special new BMW. The 2013 BMW M5 will serve as the race pace car and be displayed at the track throughout the weekend. Additionally, the all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series will make its second public appearance at the Rolex 24 only weeks after making its worldwide debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The opening round of the CTSCC season has been won by a BMW M3 for the last three seasons and the car has gone on to sweep the GS class titles in the last two years.
The REBELLION Racing 2012 program will centre around running two Lola-Toyota LMP1 cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the prestigious 24 Heures du Mans.
REBELLION Racing will be looking to re-confirm its status as the best privateer sportscar team at the highest level of endurance racing. In 2011, the Swiss team won the Le Mans Series LMP1 Team Championship and the Le Mans Series Manufacturers Championship for Lola and Toyota. In the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, REBELLION Racing ended the season in third place in the Teams classification as the best private team behind Peugeot’s and Audi’s factory teams. REBELLION Racing’s other main achievement of the 2011 season was the 6th place overall finish at Le Mans 24 Hours; recording the highest placed finish for a petrol LMP.
Brumos Racing names 2012 Daytona24 drivers As the GRAND-AM Rolex Series kicked off 2011 with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, one of the most closely watched teams was Brumos Racing. Following the team’s decision to return to their GT roots, all eyes were on the familiar #59 Brumos Porsche 911 GT3, curious to see how the revamped team of 2011 would compare to their legendary predecessors. The Jacksonville, Florida -based team did not disappoint, closing out their debut season as GT Champions.
As the 2012 season gets underway, Brumos drivers Andrew Davis and Leh Keen are looking ahead and hoping to score the ultimate victory with a Rolex 24 win. As Daytona International Speedway celebrates the 50th anniversary of their classic 24 hour race, Brumos legend Hurley Haywood marks a milestone of his own, making his 40th Rolex 24 start. Rounding out the Brumos lineup is Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb, returning for his 2nd Rolex 24 competition as a Brumos driver.
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