More stickers likely for Sauber livery - boss (GMM) Sauber's newly launched 2010 should bear some more sponsor stickers within the forthcoming months.
When the wraps were pulled off the mainly white and black C29 at Valencia on Sunday, many observers interpreted the blank look as a preliminary testing livery.
But closer inspection showed that one of Kamui Kobayashi's Japanese sponsors is already showing on the rear wing endplate, while the Swiss watch maker Certina's name is on the rearview mirrors.
"I hope there will be more -- I'm quite sure there will be more (sponsors) on the car in Bahrain, or no later than the beginning of the European season," team owner Peter Sauber told reporters at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Renault say Tung third driver, d'Ambrosio reserve (GMM) China's Ho-Pin Tung was on Sunday presented by Renault as the official third driver for 2010.
It means the 27-year-old will step into the R30 at grands prix this season if either Robert Kubica or Vitaly Petrov are unable.
The Dutch born driver will also race in GP2 this year.
"It's a very nice thing," Tung told Reuters in Spain. "China has had a race since 2004 but never had a Chinese involvement within a team."
Jerome d'Ambrosio, who like Tung is a Gravity Sport-managed driver, is a reserve driver, as is Jan Charouz, even though the latter Czech did not attend the Valencia circuit for the team launch on Sunday afternoon.
Renault confirm Petrov (GMM) Renault on Sunday presented Vitaly Petrov, Russia's first formula one driver, as the occupant of its second race seat for the 2010 season.
The 25-year-old, who finished the GP2 championship in second place last year and who reportedly has a big sponsorship purse, helped his new teammate Robert Kubica pull the wraps off the R30 car in the Valencia pitlane (See story on home page).
Dalziel weaves through traffic for the surprise front-runner Action Express Porsche V8
The Action Express Porsche is back in the lead after a pit stop. Dalziel lost the lead to Pruett, but then held pace behind him, staying within a second into the next pit stop. They stopped before the BMW, which seems to be going a little bit longer now between stops, and longer than they race-dominating #2 car that blew up around midnight. Dalziel is in front and seems to be bettering Wilsons lap times.
Look for these two teams to trade places a few more times before seeing them drop their fastest drivers in the seat for the last stint. Dalziel was the quick driver in the first half of the race for the team, but Rockenfeller holds the fastest laps at this point.
The race has really sorted out now with the nearest challenger Michael Valiante 3 laps back, and Westbrook another 30 seconds back from there.
Top 5 for the DP class this time:
Dalziel - Porsche V8 Wilson - BMW Valiante - Ford Westbrook - BMW Vasser - Chevy
The GT class saw the Mazdas take the lead according to their plan. As night approached SPEED interviewed Sylvain Tremblay and he said that he was quite confident that come morning they would be at the front. He is followed by Dumas, who is 2 laps behind right now and Patrick Long another 2 laps behind.
Of all 24-hour motorsport races, night is longest for the Rolex 24 At Daytona which, unlike the other endurance races that are scheduled during summer, is run in winter when daylight is shortest. As dawn arrived close to the 17-hour mark of the race, a little more than 13 hours of driving had taken place under the lights and the atmosphere on the track was buoyed by the sunlight filtering through the cloud cover.
As the cars appeared in the emerging daylight, it was satisfying to see how many were still running strong. It was hour 16 when Joao Barbosa led the race in the #9 Action Express Racing Porsche/Riley, followed by Max Papis in the #01 Telmex BMW/Riley, and Brian Frisselle driving the #6 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley in third place. By that point there had been 45 lead changes within the 1,765 miles driven. Spencer Pumpelly in the #71 TRG Porsche GT3 led the GT category, with Jorg Bergmeister in the #67 Shore Tel/Openwave Porsche GT3 in second and Sylvan Tremblay in the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 in third place.
Virgin Racing fires up Cosworth engine Last night, the Bicester race shop witnessing the birth of Virgin Racing’s first Formula One car reverberated to the sound of eight cylinders as the team became the first of the sport’s four new entrants to fire-up the all-new Cosworth CA2010 engine. The Wirth Research designed VR-01, Formula One’s first all-digital race car, is ready for roll-out next Wednesday.
The first engine fire-up was sweet, sweet music for Virgin Racing as the team counts down to the launch of its new challenger. It indicates that the VR-01’s drivetrain and associated systems are functioning well and the car is now ready for the on-track consummation of the marriage between chassis, engine and gearbox at Silverstone next week.
F1 teams receive bill for FIA technology system (GMM) The 13 F1 teams have each received a nearly EUR60,000 bill to fund the FIA's latest technological improvement.
Following criticism of poor decision making by the stewards, the governing body intends to fit ultra-sophisticated GPS systems in all the cars this year.
The data will flow to the race director, with positioning accurate to the tune of less than one meter.
It means the stewards will be armed with better information in order to judge infractions including cutting chicanes, ignoring flags, illegal overtaking, impeding rivals and touching pit exit white lines.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the total cost of the new technology was EUR750,000.
Toyota recall won't affect NASCAR The head of Toyota's racing effort says the company's massive recall announced this month and subsequent losses won't affect the manufacturer's NASCAR teams. "Our program is pretty well set," Lee White, president of Toyota Racing Development, said Friday. "Our program involves technical support more so than writing checks. TRD is very good at managing our budgets. ... I honestly don't think there will be any impact on the motorsports program. But we, like everybody, have to be smart and keep our programs where they're success-oriented that reward winning, that reward good results and not just be out there for fun." On Jan. 21, Toyota recalled 2.3 million U.S. cars and trucks and halted production of eight models this week following reports of an accelerator pedal defect. Shares of Toyota stock have fallen 17 percent since the recall, according to a report on Bloomberg.com. And one industry insider familiar with inner workings of the manufacturer said Toyota was losing $500 million for every week assembly lines remain idle. Fox Sports
Toyota sending pedal fixes to dealerships Toyota Motor Corp. plans to start sending parts to dealers in the coming days to fix a sticky gas pedal problem that has tarnished its image and led to the recall of 4.2 million cars and trucks on three continents, according to people briefed on the matter.
Toyota plans to reveal details of the fix on Monday morning, according to two dealers who asked not to be identified because the plan had not been announced. One dealer was told by a Toyota executive that the parts could arrive Thursday or Friday.
The automaker told the dealers about the plan Saturday after hearing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it did not object to the fix, the dealers said. A Department of Transportation official, who also requested anonymity because the announcement had not been made, confirmed that the government had no objections.
Change to Ferrari testing timetable The cancellation, due to bad weather, of the promotional filming day at Fiorano featuring the F10, has had a small knock-on effect to the testing program in Valencia. Felipe Massa will actually drive for two days, on Monday and Tuesday, with Fernando Alonso driving on Wednesday, the final day of the test. This was an option that had already been put forward on the timetable set out by the engineers over the past few weeks: it means that Felipe will be able to provide immediate and detailed feedback in terms of a comparison between the F10 and the F60.
7-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher admitted on Sunday he had turned to dye to cover up his grey hair but the 41-year-old said he was now in perfect shape for Formula One.
The German star, who stunned the Formula One world in December by signing a three-year contract to drive for Mercedes GP, told mass circulation Bild: 'I started to dye parts of my hair in, I think, 2005.'
Schumacher also revealed he had had his eyes tested recently but insisted: 'I do not need glasses.' And the former Ferrari legend said he had already burned off five kilograms of weight that he had put on since calling time on his career in 2006.
Rolex 24: 14 Hour Report The most dominant team in the race, as well as several others contending for the lead, either fell out or suffered fate during the early morning hours Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Moreover, several former winners took advantage of those problems to put themselves in contention to take the checkered flag - which flies at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the 3.56-mile, 12-turn Daytona International Speedway.
The leader at 5:30 a.m. ET Sunday was Memo Rojas in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW Riley, fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Rojas took over from Wilson during the 13th hour as pit stops cycled through and held a 1m6.807-second advantage over AJ Allmendinger in the Mike Shank Ford.
As darkness came to Daytona International Speedway the atmosphere became almost cathedral-like. The sound of the race cars echoed across the infield and the intonation of the exhaust notes they gave created harmonics that were thrilling.
This will be our last update until 5am...so here goes...
One Ganassi car drops out and the other one slides in to take the lead shortly thereafter. It's almost like someone just flipped switch. They have been setting and resetting fast lap in the early AM hours. This is the time of the race when you aren't sure if it's tomorrow or yesterday.
Action Express looks like they are holding on well enough as the field really starts to spread out now, with a 41 second gap between first and second and only three cars on the lead lap right now. This is where the Ganassi team always seem to make their move. It also would not be the first time they sent a "rabbit" out front to push the rest of the field while their main team works their strategy.
UPDATE The Montoya driven number 2 Ganassi entry, which was the lead runner is now out of the race with an undisclosed engine problem. It seems we may have been right about the Action Express car having the stronger and sturdier powerplant. Borcheller does not quite seem to have the pace for Valiante, but if he can stay close, we will see the shift take place when Patterson gets back behind the wheel of the 6 car. This should be some interesting racing through the night...
01/31/10 We are at the 8 hour mark now, and as the field cycles around, we see that there are now a few clear front runners.
The number 2 Ganassi car with Montoya seems to have the top pace, but is being closely shadowed by Joao Barbosa who is putting in a stellar drive and could have a look inside Montoya at any time. It looks like he is just holding position behind Montoya and biding his time. We called it early in the race, and taking a look at the field, we would put our money on this team right now.
Rolex 24: 7 hour report At the 7 hour mark, Montoya in the Ganassi BMW Riley has a commanding lead by sprint race measures, but it's nothing for an endurance race where cars that had over a lap on the field at sunup, ultimately lost the race.
He is laying down the fastest laps now and though AJ Allmendinger is really showing some speed in the #6 Michael Shank Ford, Montoya seems to be putting just a little more distance between them with each lap.
Rolex 24: 5 Hour Report At the 5 hour mark, we have a line of cars, with nobody really pulling away convincingly as yet.
Thus far in the race, fast lap belongs to Dario Franchitti, with a blistering 1:43.356, which is really fast for a 24 hour pace.
Raphael Matos is running the fastest laps of the field right now, turning very consistent laps in the mid 1:43 range, for the defending race winner Brumos Porsche team. Montoya has moved into second place followed by Lucas Luhr in the Crown Royal/NPN racing BMW, and is only about a second behind Matos. Matos seems to be able to put some space between them on an open track, but Montoya looks to be a bit more cagey in traffic.
Briatore in court battle over fashion label It seems all is not well at Billionaire Italian Couture, the fashion label that Flavio Briatore, 61, founded in 1998 to give fellow tycoons the opportunity to dress like him.
Indeed, so cool, apparently, are relations between the chairman of Queens Park Rangers FC and Angelo Galasso, the designer he put in charge of the label's creative direction, that a writ has now been issued at the High Court in London by Galasso against Briatore.
Sadly, Patrizia Spinelli, Briatore's long-serving PR woman, says she has parted company with the tycoon. All will be clear in the courtroom, insists a pal of Galasso.
The Ganassi Racing BMW Riley of reigning IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti led the way after four hours of the 48th Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Brian Frisselle lays second driving one of two Michael Shank Racing Ford Rileys, followed by Mike Rockenfeller's Porsche.
Nic Jonsson, behind the wheel of the Krohn Racing Lola Ford, the only Lola Ford in the race.
12 cars were still on the lead lap. The SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara was 13th, two laps down to the leaders after losing time in the pits as the team tried to fix a broken antenna.
Rolex 24: Hour 2 & Hour 3 Standings The track has dried and nightfall is upon the Rolex 24 Grand-Am race at Daytona International Speedway and up front it's a battle between the BMW of Chip Ganassi Racing, the Ford of Michael Shank Racing and the Porsche of Spirit of Daytona.
New IRL boss identifies more with NASCARUPDATE We find the choice of CEO for the IRL to be interesting. He had no experience at all with IndyCar racing, and in fact, a PBR sponsorship with RCR in NASCAR was recently announced, and no doubt was negotiated during his tenure. We have our doubts, but will generally reserve judgment and see how things progress. Alan Mulally came from the aerospace industry and was hired to run Ford Motor Company, and has done a stellar job.
So perhaps the board at the speedway saw that he built something from basically nothing, and thinks he can do that with the IndyCar brand.
We certainly would have preferred to see a seasoned racing professional in there. Too many times have very successful businessmen come into racing from other businesses, and fell flat on their face. You don’t really see that happen the other way around. This is a tough sport.
Once again, only time will tell.
01/30/10 Randy Bernard, the former CEO of Professional Bull Riders, had this to say last year in a Sports Business Journal interview before taking over as the new CEO of the IRL. Seems Mr. Bernard thinks PBR fans are a lot like NASCAR and NFL fans. He never mentioned IndyCar. At the time maybe he did not know what it was.
Q: During the course of its season (December 29-November 9), the PBR will compete against the Super Bowl, the Final Four, The Masters, the Kentucky Derby, the NBA Finals, MLB, etc. With so many sports options available for fans, how does the PBR break through?
Bernard: As a young sport it's very important for us to understand what fans interact with us as well as other sports. We try to focus the time slot that we bought on network television around key events that could help bring new fans into our sport. What's really important is learning the crossover of what our fans want to watch. In our research we see NFL and NASCAR are two big areas that our fans watch. We used to follow behind NASCAR and on Fox I think we had three events this year when we followed the NFL. We're using the big events in certain sports to help us grow.
Q: Are your demographics similar to NASCAR's and the NFL's?
Bernard: They're almost identical to NASCAR and similar to the NFL.
Rolex 24: Hour 1 Two hours of rain - heavy at times - dampened pre-race activities for a large turnout at Daytona International Speedway, but the green flag waved as planned at 3:30 p.m. for the 48th Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The opening six laps were run behind the pace car under yellow flag conditions as the rain led off, with the green flag waved at 35:51 p.m. at the beginning of lap seven as the track quickly began to dry out.
Pole sitter Max Angelelli led the opening circuits behind the pace car, but Scott Pruett, Ozz Negri and Michael Valiante all got by on the opening lap. Pruett led one lap before giving way to Negri.
"Be patient," Angelelli radioed to his crew.
While Wayne Taylor's car lost the overall lead, his 17-year-old son Jordan Taylor took the GT lead from pole sitter Jeff Segal shortly after the beginning of green flag conditions.
Peugeot Citroen Recalls Autos Made With Toyota type pedals PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest automaker, will recall more than 90,000 cars from among two models because they may share a gas-pedal flaw that prompted Toyota Motor Corp. to recall millions of vehicles.
The action affects about 10 percent of Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 models, or fewer than 100,000 vehicles, Jean-Marc Sarret, a spokesman for the Paris-based carmaker, said today in a telephone interview. The accelerator-pedal defect can cause crashes.
The vehicles were made at a plant in the Czech Republic where Toyota and Peugeot Citroen jointly manufacture small cars. The factory is managed by Toyota and produces about 330,000 cars a year, split between the 107, C1 and Toyota Aygo models, according to the joint venture’s Web site.
PBR to steal IRL thunder with NASCAR Hot on the heals of the IRL signing the boss of PBR as their next CEO comes word that the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) are teaming up to offer fans a one-of-a-kind experience in celebration of the 2010 PBR Winston-Salem Invitational and the 2010 NASCAR season.
On Thursday, February 4TH from 6pm-8pm, RCR and PBR will host the "Race or Ride BBQ" at the RCR Museum in Welcome, N.C.
"Teaming up with the PBR made perfect sense for us," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "We share the same audience and fan base and both happen to be kicking off great events for 2010 in the upcoming weeks."
This exclusive event is free and open to the public. Highlights will include autograph signings by PBR World Finals Champion J.B. Mauney, NASCAR legend Junior Johnson and his son, up-and-coming race car driver Robert Johnson, among others.
The RCR Museum will provide local Lexington barbecue and a wine tasting hosted by Childress Vineyards in addition to country music and giveaways presented by 104.1 WTQR.
"The Race or Ride BBQ will truly bring the ‘toughest and fastest' sports together," said Randy Bernard, CEO of the PBR. "This night is really all about our fans - we wanted to give them the opportunity to experience something very unique and special."
Sabates slams Michigan, calls for NASCAR pulloutUPDATE "In an attempt at humor I made some comments about the city of Detroit and the people of Michigan that were in poor taste and that I sincerely apologize for,” Felix Sabates said. “I have worked directly or indirectly with the auto industry for over 40 years as both an auto dealer and a NASCAR owner and it was never my intention to put down the auto industry, its workers, the city of Detroit or the state of Michigan. I have such respect for all of them.
“I am so frustrated over the challenges that this tough economy has brought to everyone in this country that I inadvertently joked about one of the areas hit the hardest. Those of us that have the luxury of getting to work in such a great sport like NASCAR owe a great deal to the city of Detroit and their support of the auto industry because without either, the sport of NASCAR would not be what it is today.
“In fact, Michigan International Speedway, even in this tough environment drew an impressive 100,000 fans to the track at their last race.
“My sincerest apologies to anyone that I might have offended, it was certainly not my intent to offend the racetrack, its employees and all the NASCAR fans that have supported us since 1968. The people of this state have earned their fun and Michigan International Speedway is committed to making sure they get it.
“We’re proud to be a part of this great state. And the phone calls and comments of support we have received from race fans, Detroit residents, and business and political leaders from around the state, have reflected the pride and resiliency people have in Michigan.”
A wet start for Rolex 24 A steady rain should be falling this afternoon as 44 cars will take the green flag for the 48th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. “Rain is part of sports car racing, and especially 24 hour racing at Daytona, so our teams are prepared,” said Paul Ritchie, president of Porsche Motorsport North America. “If the track is already damp when the cars head for the grid, they will be fitted with Pirelli rain tires, which are grooved to allow water to pass through versus the slick tires which have very little grip in the wet. The cooler temperatures actually help the teams in several areas, including a more reasonable cockpit atmosphere for the driver and better engine performance,” said Ritchie.
Campos reports surprise Adam Carroll's manager (GMM) Adam Carroll's manager has expressed surprise at reports the reigning A1GP champion is high on the list be Bruno Senna's teammate at Campos in 2010.
Reports this week said the 27-year-old Irish driver is part of A1 boss Tony Teixeira's plan to buy into the financially struggling new Spanish F1 team.
The Belfast Telegraph added that Carroll may have now flown to Spain to discuss the deal, which could be completed imminently.
Carroll's manager Neil Lynas said: "I'm shocked and surprised by this. It's news to us. We've had no direct contact with the team."
Upcoming F1 testing February is Formula 1's only month for pre-season testing and this year will see all running take place in Spain. Valencia kicks off proceedings on Monday for the first three days as a selection of this year's cars take to the track for the first time. The Valencia line-up for this week is as follows:
Monday: Gary PAFFETT Tuesday: Lewis HAMILTON Wednesday: Jenson BUTTON
Monday: Nico ROSBERG (morning) & Michael SCHUMACHER (afternoon) Tuesday: Nico ROSBERG Wednesday: Michael SCHUMACHER
Monday: Felipe MASSA Tuesday: Fernando ALONSO Wednesday: Fernando ALONSO
Monday: Pedro DE LA ROSA Tuesday: Kamui KOBAYASHI Wednesday: Pedro DE LA ROSA
Dover race named the "Autism Speaks 400 Presented by Hershey's® Milk & Milkshakes" For the fourth straight year, Dover International Speedway's Spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be named for Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Dover announced today that the May 16, 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event will be called the “Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes.” The unique partnership between Dover, Autism Speaks and Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes will convey Autism Speaks' message of public awareness and education about autism to the audience at the track in Dover, and to the millions watching the race on FOX.
Scalp-D is new partner to the BMW Sauber F1 Team The BMW Sauber F1 Team is pleased to announce another new partner. The logo of the Japanese hair shampoo brand Scalp-D will be visible on the rear wing endplate of the new Formula One race car as well as on the team's trucks and garage equipment.
Plumb, Bacardi Give Rum Bum Racing Win In GRAND-AM Matt Plumb pitted during a caution late in Friday's Fresh From Florida 200, and watched out his windows as the rest of the field flashed by down the main straightaway. That decision, however, proved to be the right one, as Plumb took series debutants Gianluis Bacardi and Rum Bum Racing to Gatorade Victory Lane.
Plumb took command of the race from Charles Espenlaub on Lap 64 of 66 and sprinted to a 0.107-second advantage over Espenlaub in the two-and-a-half hour event. It proved to be fresh tires on Plumb's No. 13 RumBum.com BMW M3 E92 that made the difference, as he shaved off several seconds after falling to sixth after pitting.
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