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Rolex 24: Updates  
Fittipaldi: 'We're Running Our Own Race'
(Updated Saturday at 9 p.m.)

Christian Fittipaldi is looking to give Action Express Racing the second consecutive victory for its No. 9 Porsche/Riley. He turned the car over to JC France in second position.

"We have to basically run our own race and hope for the best," said Fittipaldi, winner of the 2004 Rolex 24. "Depending on the time of the stints, the Ganassi cars are a little bit quicker. Towards the end as the tires go off, we are running the same speeds. I guess it's a 24-hour race. We have to wait a little bit. We'll probably decide what to do 20 hours into it. I'm enjoying myself. The team is doing a great job, and I hope to keep up." More ...

Rolex 24: 7 Hour Standings  
Top 15
Pos No. Cl.P Current Driver Laps Behind Gap Car
1 5 1 Burt Frisselle 216 0.000 0.000 Action Express Racing Porsche / Riley
2 01 2 Joey Hand 216 23.935 23.935 Chip Ganassi Racing/ F Sabates BMW / Riley
3 55 3 Christophe Bouchut 216 32.351 8.416 Level 5 Motorsports BMW / Riley
4 9 4 Max Papis 216 32.971 0.620 Action Express Racing Porsche / Riley
5 23 5 Zak Brown 216 43.381 10.410 United Autosports/ Michael Shank Ford / Riley
6 6 6 AJ Allmendinger 215 1 L 1 L Michael Shank / Curb/ Agajanian Ford / Dallara
7 60 7 Marc Goossens 215 1 L 1:29.906 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley
8 02 8 Jamie McMurray 215 1 L 0.558 Chip Ganassi Racing/ F Sabates BMW / Riley
9 76 9 Nick Minassian 215 1 L 2:04.502 Krohn Racing Ford / Lola
10 8 10 Tomas Enge 214 2 L 1 L Starworks Motorsport Ford / Riley
11 10 11 Max Angelelli 212 4 L 2 L SunTrust Racing Chevrolet / Dallara
12 95 12 Raphael Matos 211 5 L 1 L Level 5 Motorsports BMW / Riley
13 59 1 Hurley Haywood 207 9 L 4 L Brumos Racing Porsche GT3
14 48 2 Bryce Miller 207 9 L 17.825 Paul Miller Racing Porsche GT3
15 67 3 Wolf Henzler 207 9 L 29.348 TRG Porsche GT3
Rolex 24: 6 Hour Standings  
Pos Num Class Team Car Laps Behind
1. 23 DP United Autosports w/MSR Ford Riley 182 0.000
2. 6 DP Michael Shank Racing w/Curb, Agajanian Ford Dallara 182 0.592
3. 9 DP Action Express Racing Porsche Riley 182 2.486
4. 5 DP Action Express Racing Porsche Riley 182 4.644
5. 01 DP Chip Ganassi Racing w/F.Sabates BMW Riley 182 37.751
6. 55 DP Level 5 Motorsports BMW Riley 182 52.209
7. 60 DP Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley 181 1 Lap
8. 76 DP Krohn Racing Ford Lola 181 1 Lap
9. 02 DP Chip Ganassi Racing w/F.Sabates BMW Riley 181 1 Lap
10. 8 DP Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley 180 2 Laps
More ...
Rolex 24: Angelelli leads at one hour mark  The SunTrust Racing Chevrolet Dallara of Max Angelelli led the 49th Rolex 24 after one hour of racing. The Italian held a slight lead under caution over Antonio Garcia's Sprit of Daytona Racing Chevrolet Coyote. Alex Gurney was third in the Gainsco Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley, followed by the Michael Shank entries of AJ Allmendinger and Oswaldo Negri, respectively.

The pole sitting Flying Lizard Porsche Riley sat in sixth, just ahead of the two Action Express Racing Porsche Rileys. Ricardo Zonta rounded out the top-10 behind the wheel of the Krohn Racing Ford Lola.

Both Ganassi BMW Rileys encountered problems in the first hour. The engine in the No. 01 car driven by Scott Pruett was bumping up against the rev limiter, which forced the team to change the gear cluster at the back of the car during a pit stop at the end of the first hour. While Scott Dixon, driving the other Ganassi entry, suffered a flat right rear tire in the chicane at the end of the back straight around the one-hour mark. Dixon managed to nurse the car back to the pit lane for a new set of tires, but the car suffered minor body work damage as a result of the flat and the car is also coming bumping up against the rev limiter on the straights. Both cars lost a lap to the overall leaders.
4:30 PM ET Mark: Pruett leads Rolex 24  
Top 10
Pos No Current Driver Laps Behind Gap Car
1 01 Scott Pruett 30 0.000 0.000 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW / Riley
2 8 Ryan Dalziel 30 2.916 2.916 Starworks Motorsport Ford / Riley
3 5 Darren Law 30 19.869 16.953 Action Express Racing Porsche / Riley
4 23 Martin Brundle 30 28.132 8.263 United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley
5 77 Brian Frisselle 30 28.774 0.642 Doran Racing Ford / Dallara
6 76 Ricardo Zonta 30 29.078 0.304 Krohn Racing Ford / Lola
7 9 Joao Barbosa 30 29.829 0.751 Action Express Racing Porsche / Riley
8 95 Ryan Hunter-Reay 30 31.113 1.284 Level 5 Motorsports BMW / Riley
9 10 Max Angelelli 30 54.061 22.948 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet / Dallara
10 45 Patrick Long 30 1:04.715 10.654 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche / Riley

Lap Leaders:

Jorg Bergmeister (1-27); Max Angelelli (28-29); Scott Pruett (30-31)

Rolex 24 Updates thru Friday  
Potoliccio Calls on IndyCar Friend Viso to Join Starworks Lineup (Updated Friday at 3:15 p.m.)

The lineup is complete for the No. 2 Duncan Ford/Riley - with lead driver Enzo Potoliccio calling on a friend to join the team.

With the team needing a fourth driver, Potoliccio called on fellow Venezuelan E.J. Viso - a driver in IndyCar, and his friend came through.

"E.J. flew in from Indy and did five or six laps," Potoliccio said. "He loved the car and felt comfortable driving it, even though this is his first time at Daytona and in a Daytona Prototype."

Potoliccio recently purchased the car and plans to run the entire season. The car will be sponsored by Duncan, a battery company from Venezuela. Fellow Venezuelan Alex Popow will co-drive for the season, with Frenchman Romain Ianetta and Viso driving in the Rolex 24. Potoliccio also plans to defend his Ferrari Challenge championship. More ...

Vettel-to-Ferrari rumors 'nothing' - Montezemolo  (GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo has insisted there is "absolutely nothing" to rumors about Sebastian Vettel becoming Ferrari's next driver.

Insiders had interpreted recent comments by the pair as reciprocal flirtations about a joint future.

But as Ferrari's new F150 car was launched at Maranello and successfully debuted by Fernando Alonso at Fiorano, president Montezemolo on Friday played down suggestions reigning world champion Vettel could soon switch from Red Bull to the famous Italian team. More ...

TRG to run full season; no deal with Waltrip for Daytona 500  Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Michael Waltrip will be forced to qualify for the 2011 Daytona 500 on speed, after a potential transfer of owner points from TRG Motorsports did not materialize earlier this week. The #71 TRG Motorsports Chevys finished 35th in Sprint Cup owner points a year ago, securing a guaranteed starting spot in the first five races of this season. TRG owner Kevin Buckler told Sirius Speedway that his team is geared up to run the entire 2011 championship schedule, and will announce a driver and sponsor lineup next week. Sirius Speedway
Despite great year, Ford stock falls  Ford Motor Co. had its best year in more than a decade in 2010, but disappointing results in the final three months of the year are a reminder that Ford and the U.S. auto industry still face challenges on their road to recovery.

Ford posted a $6.6 billion profit last year, up $3.6 billion over 2009, to end a second consecutive year in the black after three years of losses. The strong results trigger profit-sharing bonuses for 40,600 factory workers that will average $5,000, the largest payout since 2000. More ...

Schumacher confident of 8th title  
Will Schumacher make the jealous British F1 media who wrote him off as a has-been eat crow, or will the 7-time world champion fail in his comeback?
Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher doesn’t want to keep his title for another year. After a disappointing return to the pinnacle of motor racing in 2010, the German driver is keen to add an eighth title to his portfolio. And he’s convinced that he will.

Schumacher did show progress towards the end of the 2010 season and with the confidence that Mercedes has in its technical package as well as the new tires, the German is not alone in thinking he stands a decent chance.

His hopes are high. When he was asked if he actually expected to become the world champion again he said, “Absolutely. Look, we have a three-year project. Very clearly right now, we are not where we want to be. We’ve but a lot of effort into coming back and are optimistic we have a chance,” he added. More ...

F1 test and Team Launch schedules  The Formula One season may be a while off yet but with all the reveals and testing taking place over the coming days, you’ll definitely want to stay in the loop as to what’s happening when.

As happens each year there’s speculation from both outsiders and insiders as to who’s going to be the man and the team to beat. Michael Schumacher says it’s him, McLaren has high hopes and Red Bull is feeling the pressure of being the favorite, but ultimately only time will tell.

Here’s the schedule of all the testing and car launches that will happen before the season kicks off. More ...

GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing fastest in final Rolex 24 practice  
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty and Jimmie Johnson, topped final practice Friday for this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, and were second fastest in the morning session as well, to cap a full day of final preparations for the 49th annual running of America’s premier endurance race. The Rolex 24 starts at 3:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, January 29, with live coverage on SPEED beginning 30 minutes earlier at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. A total of 14 hours of live race coverage will air on SPEED. More ...
Gourmet popcorn maker launching IndyCar products  Indianapolis-based Just Pop In, a seller of gourmet popcorn, recently signed a multiyear deal to sponsor the IndyCar Series and its feeder series, the Indy Lights Series.

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Besides having a presence at all the races nationally and supplying gourmet popcorn in VIP and paddock areas, Just Pop In also has created co-branded IndyCar products to be sold in-store and online. More ...

Wendell Scott: A Race Story To Air On ESPN In February  NASCAR, ESPN and Max Siegel Inc. announced today that Wendell Scott: A Race Story will air on ESPN in conjunction with Black History Month. The much anticipated film will tell the story of Wendell Scott, the only African-American to win a race in NASCAR’s top series.

Wendell Scott: A Race Story will air on ESPN on Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. ET, just hours after the scheduled running of the 53rd annual Daytona 500.

The docudrama, which was produced by Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group in conjunction with ESPN Films and Max Siegel Inc., will air 50 years after Scott’s first race in NASCAR’s premier series. Scott, one of the sport’s most iconic pioneers who is often referred to as the Jackie Robinson of motorsports, paved the way for minorities and women. Scott’s lasting legacy is credited with helping create the Drive For Diversity program. More ...

There's a big chip on Ganassi's shoulder  
Chip Ganassi
Even with so many wins and championships to reflect on, car owner Chip Ganassi still is preoccupied by a single misstep — last year's Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Ganassi formed a super team for the biggest race on the Grand-Am Sports Car Series, but it wasn't enough to beat a Porsche-powered Riley from a new team created with equipment and drivers from Brumos Racing.

One of Ganassi's cars still finished second, less than a half-lap behind. It marked the fifth consecutive year the formidable owner finished either first or second in the sports car marathon.

"It's certainly one of the tough ones," Ganassi said as he prepared for another 24-hour race today at the Daytona International Speedway. "To finish second in that race last year didn't hurt that much until we had the year we had after that race. It hurt a little more then. That's why we want to win that race. That's why we're going back. That's one that got away, absolutely." More ...

Castroneves AAA IndyCar revealed  Snapped while filming for PR purposes, these photos show the #3 Team Penske AAA paint scheme Helio Castroneves will run in races at Long Beach and Texas. The car was painted and sent to California where it will be used in a series of commercials, here at Fontana.

"It's a company that has been involved in NASCAR for several years and is now engaging with the IZOD IndyCar Series, so it shows that they believe in the category and the team, " said Castroneves. "I'm very happy with this new door that has been opened to new IndyCar sponsors and AAA is one of them. "

Castroneves will also be sponsored by Shell V-Power and Ultra Pennzoil in the Indianapolis 500.

BMW Four-Cylinder Engines Return to US in 2011  BMW announced the return of a four-cylinder engine to the US BMW line-up for the first time in since 1999.  Like the company’s latest 3.0-liter turbo inline six, the new 2.0-liter engine will combine twin-scroll turbocharging with high-pressure direct-injection and BMW’s VALVETRONIC intake control.  With 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, it offers more power and torque than BMW’s normally aspirated 3.0-liter inline six. It will arrive later in 2011.

Maximum output of 240 horsepower is achieved at 5,000 rpm, 1,500 rpm lower than in the normally-aspirated 3.0-liter inline six. The peak torque of 260 lb-ft, comes on stream at just 1,250 rpm. Not only is that 30% more torque than the aforementioned inline six, it also peaks 1,500 rpm earlier. The vigorous power comes on early and climbs steadily all the way to redline. More ...

Edwards wants to move forward with contract renewal  UPDATE Team co-owner Jack Roush did not mince words when it came his driver lineup beyond 2011. Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and David Ragan are all up for renewal. Roush "expects" all three drivers to return. "Preliminary discussions are underway with David, with Carl and with Greg and last year we made a decision going forward with Matt," Roush said. "But Jack Roush is not front-line when negotiating with the drivers. I try to keep my focus and my attention on the drivers not based on competitive, commercial interest but on the things that we can do cooperatively to improve our competition prospects on the racetrack. "The fact is I don't know what the windows are for negotiations for our drivers, I don't need to know because Steve Newman and the other people in his area are looking into that. When I need to sign something or make an approval for an agreement that's on the table, they'll bring it to me. Until then I'm blissfully ignorant of what's going (on)." With mediocre results, Ragan's future will be predicated on performance. Fox Sports

01/28/11 Name your price. That's what Carl Edwards is in position to do as the highest-profile free agent in Sprint Cup racing. That notion, however, runs contrary to Edwards' desire to wrap up contract talks quickly and decisively, the way he did in 2008 when he announced an agreement with owner Jack Roush on May 2, put contract questions to rest and concentrated on driving the #99 Ford. "I'd like to be able to get it done, so that we can just keep focused on winning, and that's the most important thing," Edwards told Sporting News on Wednesday during a Sprint Cup media tour stop at the Roush Fenway hangar at Concord airport. Doubtless Edwards will test the market, and he'll choose his next ride - or decide to stay at Roush Fenway - based on the situation he believes will provide the best opportunity for success. Sporting News
track news
Despite drop ISC still making huge profits as fans suffer  International Speedway Corp. reported that revenues for 2010 dropped 6.9 percent, including a 17 percent drop in admissions revenue, the track operating company reported a net income of $54.5 million for 2010, huge numbers while many of its customers are unemployed.

That compares with a net income of $6.8 million in 2009, but the 2009 figure included a recorded loss of $77.6 attributed to the decrease in value of its investment in Motorsports Authentics.

When just taking into account core operations, net income dropped 19 percent from $90.6 million in 2009 to $73.2 million in 2010. More ...

Ferrari using Toyota's wind-tunnel  Ferrari has revealed that it has been using Toyota's wind-tunnel to help with the development of its new Formula 1 car.

Speaking about the decision to use Toyota's wind-tunnel, Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa said: "There are some FOTA regulation restrictions in terms of expense - which is the cost for the framework, the number of people working in the team, the number of hours spent in the wind tunnel, and also the power of the server for the CFD.

"These are the four restrictions and the last two are connected - so it is up to the team how to spend money, how to employ people and where to work. More ...

Video: Ferrari F150  Ferrari became the first Formula 1 team to unveil its 2011 challenger, in an event held at its Maranello factory on Friday.
Sauber F1 Team welcomes Tequila Jose Cuervo  Just before the presentation of the Sauber C30-Ferrari the Sauber F1 Team is in a position to announce another new Premium Partner from Mexico: The logos of the old-established Tequila brand of Jose Cuervo will be visible on the sidepods and the top of the car’s nose.

Team Principal Peter Sauber said: “We are very pleased to welcome Jose Cuervo as a new partner. To sign Sergio Perez as the team mate of Kamui Kobayashi has had an impressive and passionate impact on the Mexican market.” More ...
New Ferrari Entries Racing Into GRAND-AM  GRAND-AM Road Racing is receiving a significant boost of international flavor and flair, with new Ferrari 458 Italia GTs joining the Rolex Series' production-based GT class later this season.
While Ferrari has had a steady presence in GRAND-AM since the sanctioning body's 2000 inception, this model will be the first built specifically for the Rolex Series by the manufacturer. The 458 Italia GT has been approved for Rolex Series competition; dates and sites for test sessions are still being determined, as are race entries.

"GRAND-AM has the best sports car racing in North American and increasingly, the world is taking notice," said GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe. "The Ferrari brand has a rich history in GRAND-AM. This development will take that history to another level."

Ferrari announced its new GRAND-AM involvement on Friday morning, in conjunction with its unveiling of the new Ferrari F150, with which Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro will compete in the Formula 1 World Championship. More ...

G&G Motorsports Tapped by IndyCar  G&G Motorsports, a division of G&G Outfitters, Inc., announced it has added IndyCar to their portfolio of sports licenses. This license grants G&G Motorsports the ability to produce branded premiums, promotional products and retail merchandise for the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Over the past decade, G&G has quickly become the leading promotional licensee in all of motorsports and is NASCAR's longest tenured promotional licensee. By tapping G&G as its new promotional licensee, IndyCar is drawing on G&G's leadership and experience within the motorsports community to provide its sanctioning bodies, drivers, race teams and individual league sponsors with targeted activation and promotional programs that will further enhance the growing popularity of open wheeled racing in North America. More ...

Johnson says no to Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double  Although the proposal has drifted out of the public domain for several months, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has not stopped working on million-dollar bonuses to entice drivers to compete in both of the Memorial Day weekend races: the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600.

The concept would include a $20 million bonus to the driver who wins both events in the same day, and perhaps smaller bonuses for any driver winning one race and finishing in the top five of the other.

One of Bernard's dream drivers won't participate, this year or probably any year. More ...

Muscle Milk AMR adds Luhr to lineup  Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing has added four-time American Le Mans Series champion Lucas Luhr to its 2011 ALMS driver lineup.

The German will be joining regular drivers Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf for the three major endurance races this season starting with the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.

Luhr will then return to the team for the final two races of the season, the six-hour event at Laguna Seca and the 10-hour/1000-mile Petit Le Mans. More ...

racing news
Audi on the trail of “Crocodile Dindo”  
Two Audi R8 LMS cars for Bathurst race
The 2011 motorsport season for Audi starts earlier than it has for many years: on February 6, Audi race experience Team Joest competes with two Audi R8 LMS in the 12-hour race at Bathurst (Australia). For Audi it is the first race "down under" since the start of the new millennium.

Reinhold Joest’s team also supported the last race in Australia on December 31, 2000. At that time Dindo Capello and Allan McNish won the "Race of a Thousand Years" in Adelaide at the wheel of an Audi R8 in crocodile look. The spectacular prototype still holds cult status among fans today and brought Dindo Capello the nickname "Crocodile Dindo."

Audi race experience Team Joest now aims to conquer Australia with the Audi R8 LMS - with the GT3 sports car specifically developed by Audi for customer sport use and which bears the sporting genes of the victorious Le Mans Prototypes. More ...
Late season Cup race times moved to avoid conflict with NFL  NASCAR will stray from last year's standardized start times this season in an effort to boost sagging television ratings. Specifically NASCAR races in the last third of the season will slide back to a later green flag to avoid going head-to-head with NFL kickoffs. While the majority of the races televised in the first half of the year as part of the FOX television package will remain in the 1 p.m. ET start range, green flags will slide back later in the year. A 2 p.m. ET beginning is the plan for most of the races in September through November with west coast venues including Texas and Phoenix near the tail end of the schedule, going to a 3 p.m. ET start. The Homestead-Miami season-ending Ford 400 will also begin at 3 p.m. ET. CBS Sports
Roush adjusting to life with one eye  Jack Roush took a good ribbing at the end of last season about being "one-eyed Jack." Well, now he in a way is back to two eyes. Roush lost the vision in his left eye in a July 27 plane crash. He had a prosthetic eye put in around Thanksgiving. "My prosthetic eye is doing very well," Roush said Thursday during the Sprint Media Tour. "I haven't had any infection from it, I haven't had any problem of any kind with it. Nine days ago, I had some cosmetic surgery so I've still got a little swelling for that," Roush said. "I've had no complication at all from any of the surgeries I had. I sleep well. My corrected vision with my reading glasses is 20/15 and I've adjusted to having one eye as well as I could." Scene Daily
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Schumacher vows to fight for 2012 title
  • Relaxed Vettel will be better in 2011 - Sutil
  • Ecclestone wants to be Vettel's father-in-law
  • New teams to start 2011 without KERS
  • Five years after Newey, McLaren names new technical director
  • No KERS weight loss for Massa
  • Massa: Confident of a strong start
  • Ferrari launches F150 at Maranello More ...
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