McLaren tester Oliver Turvey became the first person to drive the team's 2012 F1 car in Spain on Saturday, completing system checks behind the wheel of the MP4-27 before pre-season testing kicks off at the Circuito de Jerez next week.
"Was an absolute honor to be the first person to drive the McLaren MP4-27 today, thoroughly enjoyed every moment," Turvey explained via his personal Twitter account, having been present at the car launch on Wednesday. "It ran well today but hard to know how good the performance will be until we get on track next week in Jerez!"
Jenson Button will begin the team's testing program at Jerez next Tuesday, driving for the first two days before teammate Lewis Hamilton takes over.
Marco Andretti cleared of Garage Gate allegationsUPDATE #3
Marco Andretti - In the wrong place at the wrong time
As noted earlier today when made aware of our error by posting this news item claiming Marco Andretti was charged with breaking the traffic gate of the parking garage, when in fact he was never charged, Marco Andretti has been completely cleared of any wrongdoing.
We here at AutoRacing1.com sincerely apologize to Marco Andretti for this error on our part, it was a mistake and wrong. We are sure the original story below by LehighValley.com that came out alleging Marco Andretti may have been involved, has caused him and the Andretti family much anguish when in fact it was another driver that broke the gate. If the gate had not malfunctioned in the first place, none of this would have happened.
In addition, we repeated what the LehighValleyLive.com article reported - that Andretti had been involved in other traffic violations. We have since been told they were only minor traffic violations - for instance, Marco driving on the sidewalk was simply a citation for him parking his vehicle with two wheels up on a curb. It was wrong for LehighValleyLive.com to publish this inaccurate information and for AR1.com to repeat it without checking its accuracy. Again, apologies to Marco Andretti.
Express-Times Photo MATT SMITH
02/04/12 Late Friday night, Bethlehem police confirmed that surveillance footage cleared Andretti of ever touching the gate.
Bethlehem Parking Authority Executive Director Tom Hartley said an authority maintenance worker witnessed the gate being broken and recorded a car’s license plate.
“Apparently somebody sat there probably two and half, maybe three minutes and couldn’t get the credit card to work,” Hartley said. “There’s a call-for-help button — maybe they didn’t see it — but it’s monitored 24-7.”
Andretti completely cleared of any wrongdoing Bethlehem police have cleared Marco Andretti in the case of the broken parking garage gate, saying video evidence shows the renowned racer had no role in the incident.
A witness told police investigating damage to the North Street garage gate Thursday night that three men had broken the gate and driven away. The license number provided by the witness belonged to Andretti's car.
The incident was reported in area media after Andretti's name was listed on a police report.
On Friday, police reviewed video that showed two cars in line at the gate, which apparently malfunctioned and failed to rise after payment efforts were made.
A man left Andretti's car and tried unsuccessfully to lift the gate. A second man from the car behind Andretti's then tried to lift the gate and broke it, police said in a statement.
That man contacted the Bethlehem Parking Authority on Friday and said he would pay for the damage, police said.
IndyCar rides now part of Super Bowl festivities The NFL tried something new with this year's Super Bowl: It used another sport to help promote the big game. And the partnership with IndyCar has drawn plenty of notice. And now, visitors can even take a ride in an IndyCar this weekend.
The Super Cars, IndyCars painted in the colors and logos of all the NFL teams, are a bigger hit than expected, according to a man who helped prepare them.
Scott Jasek, co-owner of the Indy Racing Experience, is adding to the innovation, starting Friday.
Darlington race to start earlier Darlington Raceway has the only change in start time in the 2012 Sprint Cup Series schedule as its race will start at 7 p.m. Eastern instead of 7:30 p.m. as it did in 2011. The 7 p.m. start time is a departure from NASCAR’s attempt at consistent start times but one Darlington asked for so its race – the second-longest on the schedule at 501.322 miles – will end earlier. The race took 3 hours, 53 minutes to complete last year and 3 hours, 57 minutes in 2010.
“We were able to move it 30 minutes, which is good,” Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning said. “We’re pleased about that. I think it will help our fans to get out of here a little bit quicker. That’s really good for us. We were shooting for sometime around 11 o’clock finish. That is something the fans had asked for in our post-event surveys the last couple of years.”
Buying her way into Daytona 500 makes Danica a gimmick
A free ride into the Super Bowl of Stock Car racing makes Danica Patrick into a gimmick
You prove yourself through hard work, courage, success. There is glory in making the climb to the top, not through cutting in line. Danica Patrick, with the help of her team owner, Tony Stewart, bought her way into the Daytona 500. Simple as that.
She is going to the Super Bowl of racing not because she drives a car well but because she looks great on top of one in a bikini. This turns Patrick into a gimmick. She now is a GoDaddy babe who happens to be driving, instead of the other way around. I always thought of her as a driver first.
It’s hard to find the right balance when you’re combining sex and sport. Credibility is questioned, probably unfairly. But Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon and was No. 1 before she hit magazines in a bikini. That’s the right direction, anyway.
Danica to appear in two Super Bowl ads On Sunday, NASCAR will benefit from Danica Patrick's popularity when she appears in two GoDaddy.com Super Bowl commercials, giving her the unofficial distinction of being in more Super Bowl ads (10) than any other celebrity. You won't see Patrick in a stock car, but the sport will benefit because she's associated with driving in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series as much as she is with those edgy, sexy commercials.
"Any time our sport is presented to new audiences on a broad scale, it is great for NASCAR," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR's chief marketing officer. The Super Bowl commercials give Patrick and the sport a bigger audience than it will have all season. The Nielsen Co. said 111 million people watched last year's game at any given time. That Patrick likely will be the only NASCAR driver featured during the three-hour-plus telecast speaks volumes. ESPN
Ford Racing reveals new 2.0L race engines for 2012
2.0 Liter Ford Crate Engine
Part of the expanded crate engine lineup that Ford Racing Performance Parts has announced for 2012 includes a naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder "Crate Engine Concept." This engine is the precursor for a range of production-based I-4 offerings.
With the introduction of several all-new B- and even C-Segment Ford cars and small utilities now powered by Ford's latest global 2.0-liter I-4 engine architecture, Ford Racing will be making a variety of these new four-cylinder powertrains available to enthusiasts as part of its FRPP Crate Engine program.
ACO to push Asian presence Jean-Claude Plassart, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, and the ACO Steering Committee have entrusted Rémy Brouard, the ACO General Manager since 2008, with a new strategic mission. In order to devote himself fully to this task, Brouard has asked to be relieved of his general management duties.
Since 3rd January 2012 he is responsible for the development of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest on an international basis, especially in the Asian zone.
Rémy Brouard has in-depth knowledge of the Asian markets and was the promoter of the events organized by the ACO in Okayama (Japan) in 2009, followed by those in Zhuhai (China) in 2010 and 2011.
Grand-Am management changes The Grand-Am Road Racing Association promoted Dave Spitzer to the post of managing director of Manufacturer and Series Development, and Race.
Spitzer was appointed GARRA’s vice president of Competition in March 2008 and is credited with the aesthetic revamping of the Daytona Prototype class as well as attracting new manufacturers – Audi and Ferrari - into the GT category. Before joining GARRA, Spitzer was part of the General Motors Motorsport group where he worked on various programs including the Oldsmobile Aurora Indy engine, the Cadillac Le Mans Prototype and Cadillac CTS-V World Challenge car.
Mark Raffauf, who has been race director at GARRA since its founding in 2000, will assume some of Spitzer’s former duties. With more than 30 years experience in motorsport administration Raffauf’s CV includes working in the roles of race director, technical director, vice president and president of IMSA. He has also served as an ACCUS/FIA board member and as a member of the FIA Sports Prototype Commission. Motorsport Guide
Chevrolet ends BTCC program Chevrolet has confirmed that its factory backed team, run by the Wellingborough, UK based RML organization, will not take part in the 2012 British Touring Car Championship. The partnership will, however, continue to race in the World Touring Car Championship.
Between 2009 and 2011 RML entered Chevrolet Lacettis and Cruzes won 24 BTCC races and secured the drivers championship in 2010. In the WTCC the RML Chevrolet team won both the drivers and manufacturers championships in 2010 and 2011.
RML managing director George Lendrum said, “We understand Chevrolet's decision to concentrate its motorsport program on the WTCC in 2012. Despite the fact that we won't be involved in 2012, RML remain long term supporters of the BTCC and hope to be back in the future." Motorsport Guide
Grad Dad Robert Sciglimpaglia Scores A Touchdown With Chevy Super bowl Chevy has hit the playing field hard with their hilarious 2012 Super bowl commercial, titled “The Happy Grad”. The showcasing of two parents, which the starring father figure being actor Robert Sciglimpaglia, revealing a graduation present to their son who is played by comedian Brett Sidell. In the commercial Sidell fails to realize that his parents gift is simply a small dorm sized refrigerator and instead only sees the yellow Chevy in front of him once his blindfold is removed. In an overly ecstatic rant and rave he begins screaming and racing around yelling the catchy lines “Best Gift Ever” and “Best Day Ever”.
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Caterham signs Giedo van der Garde as reserve driver
Giedo van der Garde gets Caterham seat fitting
Caterham F1 Team has today confirmed that Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde will be the team's official Reserve Driver in 2012.
Giedo will participate in the pre-season tests and will take part in a number of FP1 sessions throughout the season as a core part of the team's driver line-up.
Tony Fernandes, Caterham F1 Team Principal, said: "We are delighted to welcome Giedo into the family as Reserve Driver. He is a very exciting prospect that we have been monitoring since the early days of our team, and we are all looking forward to seeing how he can help us develop throughout the season as we take our next steps towards the established midfield teams ahead.
Honda today announced that the Honda Civic will race in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). For this project, Honda has formed a joint partnership with Mugen and J.A.S. Motorsport.
Mugen will manufacture a bespoke racing engine developed by Honda R&D and will maintain the engine in every race along with the team. J.A.S. Motorsport will develop the race car, using the new Honda Civic 5door produced in Honda's manufacturing plant located in Swindon (UK).
Check out this website of the new Hollywood Casino that opened at Kansas Speedway Friday. The visionaries who breathed life into Kansas Speedway more than a decade ago dreamed that the racetrack would give rise to a surrounding megaplex of retail chains and restaurants as well as sports and entertainment options.
Only, no one expected the transformation to happen so quickly.
“We had a vision for the area to build a racetrack, which we thought would attract other businesses as we moved along,” said Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corp., which owns Kansas Speedway, and a member of NASCAR’s board of directors. “Over time, I could see it reaching this point, but in such a short period of time, that was very surprising to me.”
Ferrari wants to do faster pitstops Ferrari is keen to increase the speed of its pit-stops this year as the Italian outfit strives to find time in all areas of its operation. The new F2012 was revealed online on Friday.
“With pit-stops I think we were third quickest on average last year,” says Ferrari Technical Director Pat Fry. “We know some areas to improve and I think we could maybe get our average down by about four tenths and maybe five tenths, if we’re lucky.
“Starts were good - on average I think we were leading the whole grid in terms of start performance - but you can’t be complacent. You’ve just got to make everything better, so we are working on all of the areas and everything we can work on.”
Testing begins in Jerez next Tuesday, where Felipe Massa will be first to drive.
Nissan joins Grand-Am Nissan has joined Grand-Am Road Racing as an Official Promotional Partner, becoming the 10th participating original equipment manufacturer.
Nissan will support teams in both the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The auto manufacturer will also participate at four Grand-Am events with its Nissan consumer display.
There are more changes in the works at Kansas Speedway.
Officials received the final layout from their design team this week for a proposed road course through the infield, and construction is scheduled to begin after the April race.
Track president Pat Warren also said Friday that he hopes one of the two Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway will be run at night in 2013. The track installed lights last year and drew about 25,000 fans last fall for an ARCA race run under the lights.
"Speedway Girl" greeted guests at the media party Tuesday night.
(IBJ Photo/Perry Reichanadter)
With its season-opening Daytona 500, NASCAR usually dominates auto racing headlines in February.
But this year—because the Super Bowl is being played in open-wheel country—the IndyCar Series has taken center stage.
With 33 of its cars dressed up in NFL team colors and placed just south of Monument Circle and the famed Super Bowl Roman numerals, IndyCar is capturing the attention of scores of visitors downtown.
Local Super Bowl host organizers estimated that more than 250,000 people viewed the IndyCars from Jan. 27 to Jan. 29. Each car was painted in one of the 32 team color schemes complete with logos, and one had an NFL Super Bowl theme, making 11 rows of three along Meridian Street.
In evaluating the numerous prospects campaigning for a seat in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda-powered Indy car for the 2012 season, the Indianapolis-based team was searching for the right balance of speed, success and experience to lead it into the new era of IZOD IndyCar Series competition.
With his glittering Formula 1 resume and strong recent results demonstrating his continuing climb up the IndyCar Series grid, Takuma Sato proved to have all of the tools for the job, as the team named the Japanese veteran to pilot the team’s #15 Dallara/Honda/Firestone - one of its two Indy cars in 2012.
Honda loses small-claims case over Civic hybrid mileage Honda was ordered to pay $9,867 in a Los Angeles Small Claims Court lawsuit to a woman who says her Civic hybrid didn't get the fuel mileage that was advertised, according to Bloomberg News.
“I am absolutely thrilled at the reports that I won, even though I won't see the actual judgment until it comes in the mail,” Heather Peters said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday to the wire service. “It's a victory for Civic hybrid owners everywhere.”
Peters opted out of a class action and filed her own case in small-claims court, where plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves. The class action offered $100 in cash and a $500 coupon toward the purchase of a new car.
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. and TSOVET TIMING GAUGES, announced today they are launching the new TSOVET “Limited Edition” Chronograph watch that commemorates the team’s 14 championships and 145 wins. TSOVET has been a team partner since 2011 with logo placement on 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon’s No. 9 Target Honda and firesuit in the IZOD IndyCar Series and 2010 Daytona 500 Winner Jamie McMurray’s firesuit in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Kumho Tires will be the sole tire supplier for the next season of the Auto GP Championship, after an agreement between the Series organizer and the Korean manufacturer has been signed. And that isn't all, because Kumho's arrival in the Championship will bring along another interesting bit of news: the introduction, for the first time in Auto GP history, of two different specs of compound. In the same way as it happens in Formula One, the Auto GP teams will have two different tire compounds at their disposal, a "prime" and an "option" that will be different both in performance and durability.
Marussia Manor Racing GP3 Confirms Dmitry Suranovich
Marussia Manor Racing GP3 is pleased to announce that Russia’s Dmitry Suranovich will drive for the team in this year’s GP3 Series. Dmitry tested with Marussia Manor Racing in Valencia and Jerez at the end of last year, showing great promise. This will be his first season in the Championship.
Minsk-born Dmitry started his racing career in karting. He started in KF-3 class in 2008, becoming a European and World Cup finalist. In 2009 he became the Russian KF-3 Champion and a year later won the KF-2 Championship. In 2011 he raced in four events of the Formula Abarth European Series and this winter the 16-year-old also took part in New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series, showing great potential in single-seater racing and obtaining his first podium finish.
Honda engines popping like firecrackers While Lotus took their time on the drawing board and only recently getting valuable track time for their new IndyCar engine, rivals Honda and Chevy had their engines ready months before and are now blowing them up on a regular basis. Did they take enough time designing their engines, or were they rushed out and onto the race track?
However, we don't know if Lotus is pushing their engine hard yet.
Rumor has it that the Lotus engine (designed by some ex-Ferrari F1 engine designers and John Judd) is both lighter and stiffer than its two rivals, owing to perhaps a better design. Given the new IndyCar is too heavy in the rear owing to Dallara's inferior design, the lighter Lotus engines may prove to make for better handling race cars.
Speedtv.com reports that after years of enjoying a near-perfect reliability record during Honda’s run as IndyCar’s sole engine supplier, teams got a taste of reality during three days of testing earlier this week when Honda experienced multiple engine failures in a somewhat public fashion.
Valentines Ticket special at Auto Club Speedway It’s a Valentine’s Day gift that both of you will love, spending time together at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 25.
Whether you and your loved one are sitting side by side watching 43 of the world’s best drivers battle for a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane; taking a stroll down pit road where race teams are getting ready for the big race; positioned front and center of the pre-race stage for driver introductions or listening to your favorite drivers talk with their crew chiefs on the scanner… It will be a memorable experience that you‘ll have together.
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 sports Ferrari Red for Alonso and Massa
SRT presents a pair of custom Grand Cherokee SRT8s to Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa to kick off 2012 Formula One season.
Ferrari Red, meet SRT. The keys to the most powerful and best-handling Jeep ever-made have been handed over to two of the fastest and most talented drivers in the world. Scuderia Ferrari Formula One superstars Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa received the reins to the custom-built 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the Fiorano circuit in Maranello, Italy, marking the splendid introduction of the head-turning vehicle to Europe.
Marino Franchitti joins DeltaWing project Scottish sportscar ace Marino Franchitti has been selected as the first driver for the unique DeltaWing program that will debut at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Franchitti’s name was revealed today at the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) press conference that announced the entries for this year’s twice round-the-clock endurance classic.
Launched at last year’s Le Mans event, the DeltaWing program was awarded the 56th entry for this year’s 80th running of the race. “Garage 56” is reserved for an entry demonstrating new and innovative technology previously unseen in the sport.
“It is so different from everything I have ever seen and everything that I have known a racing car to be – my initial reaction was “what is this?” – it really takes your breath away,” Franchitti said.
Dyson Racing Files Two Entries for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Dyson Racing has accepted its two automatic entry invitations for this year's 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16th and 17th. The team will be entering two new Lola B12/60 coupes in the storied French classic, powered by upgraded versions of the same AER-built Mazda engines that took the team to the American Le Mans Series championships in 2011. ALMS champions Chris Dyson and Guy Smith are confirmed as drivers, and the team will be assisted in its foray to the 24 Hours of Le Mans by European-based team Status Grand Prix.
Toyota confirms WEC entry with TS030 Hybrid TOYOTA Racing can confirm it has expanded its plans for the 2012 season and has entered the FIA World Endurance Championship.
It was originally planned to enter only selected races, which would have fallen short of the number required to be considered a full-time entrant but due to the unexpected changes faced by the FIA World Endurance Championship, that plan has been revised.
The TOYOTA TS030 HYBRID car will make its debut in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the championship.
Seven Lola LMP cars confirmed for 2012 Le Mans Following the publication this afternoon of selected entries for the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, Lola Group are pleased to announce that there will be at least seven Lola LMP cars at this year’s Le Mans 24 hours, the 80th edition of the great race.
In 2012 the Le Mans 24 hours is also a round of the new and prestigious FIA World Endurance Championship. Lola designed and built LMP models will be racing on four continents this season with some of the best professional privateer teams in the world.
Audi with hybrid drive at Le Mans for the first time Audi competes in the 80th running of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16-17, 2012 with a total of four LMP1 sports cars. Two of the four cars in action will be equipped with hybrid drive for the first time. Audi Sport Team Joest also follows a two-pronged approach in the newly created FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) during the 2012 season.
CORE autosport reveals 2012 livery 2011 multiple championship-winning American Le Mans Series (ALMS) team CORE autosport has unveiled its new 2012 livery that will hit the track for the first time next week at the annual ALMS Winter Test on February 8 and 9.
The new livery is just one of several new additions to the team for 2012 including new drivers and a new team headquarters.
The #05 Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 will feature Colin Braun and team owner Jon Bennett, along with newcomer David Martinez. Martinez is a seasoned racer in the sports car and open-wheel ranks, with solid performances in the Atlantic and Champ Car series. Additionally, Martinez and Morgan Brady, CORE autosport Team Manager, have successfully worked together in the past.
Sports car fans in America will have plenty to cheer for at this year’s 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Once again, the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n is well represented on the entry list for the world’s greatest motor race. A two-car invitation to Dyson Racing and five American GTE invites highlight the U.S. contingent released today by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest – the sanctioning body for Le Mans.
The revolutionary DeltaWing from Highcroft Racing is entered as the race’s 56th entry – a spot reserved for cars displaying innovative technology. DeltaWing will showcase a unique concept demonstrating ultra-efficient performance with half the weight and horsepower of a traditional racing car.
Alex Premat has made a shock switch to V8 Supercars with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
The 29-year-old Frenchman will drive the Holden Commodore raced by Lee Holdsworth last year, after signing a full-time deal to compete in the Australian-based series.
Premat has a wealth of experience in high-powered tin-tops, having been a podium finisher during his four-year stint in the DTM with Audi, and has also raced sportscars regularly over the past few seasons - winning the 2008 Le Mans Series for the manufacturer.
Lewis Hamilton has vowed to put an end to speculation over his future sooner rather than later this season.
Hamilton is now in the final season of a five-year contract with McLaren worth £10million per year, with much of the focus likely to centre on whether he remains at a team he has been with since the age of 13.
Asked by Press Association Sport as to his future, the 27-year-old appreciates it is "going to be a big topic", but will not allow it to linger and overshadow the campaign.
GM managed to convince the France family to make their Daytona Prototypes look like fake Corvettes but they ended up getting egg on their face because Ford destroyed them in the race track finishing 1-2-3. So how many Corvettes did they sell on the Monday after? Maybe fans went and bought Fords instead.
It wasn't supposed to play out this way at the Daytona 24 Hour (sponsored by Rolex), of course. After all, GM Racing cut a sweetheart of a deal with Grand-Am honcho Jim France to raise Chevrolet's visibility in the series by "assisting" the denizens of Daytona Beach in rewriting the rule book to accommodate trick "Corvette" bodywork in the premier Daytona Prototype class. So it was a fait accompli that the DP "Corvettes" would run away with the event, right? Wrong.
Instead, Michael Shank - in his ninth try at winning the Daytona 24 Hour - won the race with road race ace and now Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger leading the charge in the team's No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford/Riley Daytona Prototype, along with co-drivers Ozz Negri, John Pew and a very on-form Justin Wilson.
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has once again backed Mark Webber to shine in 2012.
Australian Webber came close to winning the championship in 2010, but ultimately it is his young teammate Sebastian Vettel who is the reigning back-to-back title winner, having utterly dominated last season.
And it is likely Adrian Newey has penned another field-beater yet again for 2012.
"I don't want Red Bull to dominate in the same way but I fear that's what will happen. That's why I put my hopes on Mark Webber's shoulders," F1 chief executive Ecclestone said recently.
Points manipulation for Danica Danica Danica a blow to NASCAR credibility
The last piece of the puzzle remaining in the NASCAR marketing hype of Danica 'I am NASCAR' Patrick is for the timing and scoring computers to put her on pole for the 500. Imagine the positive PR that will generate for NASCAR and for their new media darling.
You most likely already know Danica Patrick is making her full-time move to NASCAR in 2012. But without yet even turning one competitive lap in a Sprint Cup car, Patrick has already locked herself into a starting spot for the season-opening Daytona 500.
How is this possible you ask?
Just chalk it up to NASCAR math.
The annual ritual of swapping points, creating alliances and trumping up partnerships to manipulate the rule allowing teams finishing in the Top 35 of the point standings last season a guaranteed start in the first five races of the new campaign has once again reared its ugly head.
Only this time it’s not just a simple transaction between owners swapping points accrued by one to allow another to field a car in the biggest race of the season. The latest maneuvering is a shell game of epic proportions that somehow puts Patrick in car technically owned by Tommy Baldwin Racing while still employed by Stewart-Haas Racing.
Earnhardt Ganassi crewmen get 18 months probation for marijuana charge Telling a North Carolina judge that they have learned their lesson, two former Earnhardt Ganassi Racing crewmen avoided jail and were sentenced to 18 months probation Wednesday for possession of marijuana.
Trevor Lysne and Jerome Frey appeared in North Carolina Superior Court on charges stemming from their arrest Aug. 9, 2011, after authorities seized 10.62 pounds of marijuana from an apartment that belonged to Lysne.
Lysne, a former EGR tire changer for Juan Pablo Montoya, and Frey, a mechanic, were charged with trafficking marijuana and possession with intent to sell and distribute marijuana. Lysne also faced an additional charge of maintaining a dwelling to sell a controlled substance.
On only his second lap of the day, Casey Stoner recorded a blistering fast lap of 1'59.607 which remained unbeaten for the rest of the day Thursday. The Australian rider spent this final day of testing to work on various aspects on his Honda RC213V machine including shock settings and the new Bridgestone tires.
MotoGP teams will now return home with feedback from their riders and the teams will return to Sepang for the second test on February 28th.
In addition to Matt, survivors include her husband, Roy; a daughter, Kelley; her mother, Audrey Loga Nassett; three brothers and a sister.
Services are set for 11 a.m. Friday at Willerup Methodist Church, 414 N. Water St., Cambridge, Wisconsin. Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Thursday at the Nitardy Funeral Home, 208 N. Park St., Cambridge. Here is a link to the obituary from the funeral home.
Sauber F1 Team raises efficiency with the help of NetApp Sauber F1 Team welcomes NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), the leading provider of innovative storage and data management solutions, as a new Technical Partner. With NetApp solutions being the data storage standard at Sauber, the team aims to continuously raise its efficiency and productivity.
NetApp’s logo will be displayed at various locations such as the team’s trucks and pit equipment.
Villeneuve to drive some Nationwide races The rumored association between Jacques Villeneuve and Go Canada Racing, as reported by Le Journal de Montreal in August, is close to happening. Villeneuve could run a dozen races (and maybe more) this year in the Nationwide Series driving a car owned by Toronto businessman Steve Meehan. Meehan declined to elaborate on the issue, while acknowledging that he had discussed it with Villeneuve in recent weeks. Andrew Ranger will not drive for the team at Daytona, contrary to earlier reports. His debut will take place two weeks later at Las Vegas and possibly at Phoenix, the second week of the season. David Ragan, who has six years experience in Sprint Cup, will take over the wheel of the Go Canada Ford at Daytona. In addition, the team has acquired a new Dodge Challenger that will be used at Phoenix. Montreal Journal
Sauber F1 Team and Oerlikon expand partnership Oerlikon is now a Premium Partner of the Sauber F1 Team. The high-tech group is intensifying its involvement with the traditional Swiss racing team, and the Oerlikon logo will be prominently displayed on both sides of the upper engine cover of the new Sauber C31-Ferrari as well as on team gear and equipment. In addition, the previously announced plan to build a solar park at the company headquarters in Hinwil, featuring thin-film silicon panels based on Oerlikon technology, is to be driven forward.
Falcon Private Bank has been official sponsor for the team since May 2011 and has renewed the sponsorship agreement for the 2012 season. As part of the sponsorship, Falcon Private Bank’s sponsor logo will once again appear on the car fronts, front wing right and left endplates and race suits of the new drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, as well as on the Scuderia Toro Rosso racing team uniform.
We are thrilled to continue our partnership with such a dynamic and motivated Formula One team like Scuderia Toro Rosso. The team spirit and vision for success of Scuderia Toro Rosso draws strong parallels with our commitment to providing clients with innovative, fine-tuned private banking services and perfecting performance.
Valentino Rossi says new Ducati much better A busy second day of testing at Sepang for the Ducati Team focused on preparing the GP12’s base setup. Rossi achieved his goal of lapping under the 2’02 mark.
"It was another positive day, both because we achieved our goal of lapping at 2’01 and because we managed to make further progress with the bike setup. On the other hand, as is normal with a brand-new bike like the GP12, as we progress with our tests we also find other details that can’t be addressed with setup alone and that will therefore have to be perfected in the coming weeks. We identified those areas yesterday—acceleration and electronics—and we confirmed the progress made with the front end. Honda and Yamaha have been working on their bikes for a year, while we’ve just had two days, which makes our job particularly challenging, but we already knew that as well."
"Tomorrow will be important because we’ll be able to make an overall assessment of the three days, and we’ll have a clearer idea of where we stand compared to the others. If we manage to stay under one second from the top, I’ll be happy."
Shoulder pain sidelines Hayden Nicky Hayden could only manage 16 laps of running on the second day of MotoGP winter testing at Sepang today before pain from his injured shoulder forced the Ducati rider to pull out.
The American broke his left scapula and fractured two ribs when he fell while training in December. Although he managed 33 laps on the opening day of testing yesterday, today proved harder still.
"I was okay when I first went out this morning, and on my second lap I managed to make a pretty decent step from yesterday. After that I lost strength in the shoulder and wasn’t really able to ride fast or consistently enough to test much. I’m okay under braking because I can lock my shoulder out, but when the bike shakes I don’t have enough strength to hold on. I didn’t want to crash and cause bigger problems, so I just decided to chill out. It’s a bit of a bummer, but that’s how it goes sometimes. They’ve done a great job with the new bike, and you can see just from looking at it that it’s really slick. I just wish I could ride it closer to the edge and really see what it does and how it reacts to changes. Maybe I’ll do a few more laps tomorrow, but that’s about it."
ALMS Winter test prepares teams for Sebring The 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n season will begin in earnest with the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 17, but teams will have an opportunity to get their equipment sorted at the Series' official Winter Test, held Feb. 8-9, at Sebring International Raceway.
Posted today, the entry list reveals 23 cars including two each from defending GT champion BMW Motorsport, defending LMP Challenge Champion CORE autosport and defending LMP2 champion Level 5 Motorsports. While there are still several drivers to be determined for those teams, CORE autosport will welcome new driver Colin Braun to test the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 alongside team owner/driver Jon Bennett. Corvette Racing also welcomes a new face in young Jordan Taylor.
Oriol Servia Completes Successful Lotus Test in Sebring
Lotus DRR driver Oriol Servia completed two successful days of testing at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. The Spaniard got behind the wheel of the Lotus-powered Dallara DW12 for the first time Tuesday and again today as he participated in engine testing for the Lotus test team.
This week marked the third in a series of tests conducted for the Lotus test team, which is comprised of crew members from Lotus DRR, HVM, and Bryan Herta Autosport. The goal for the test was to check a few more boxes off of the "to do list" and continue further engine developments as well as setup work, and that's exactly what the Lotus test crew did. Servia completed 110 laps (183 miles) yesterday and logged in a total of 135 laps (225 miles) around the 1.66 mile short road course. Unfortunately, today was a cut a little bit short and the Lotus test crew wasn't able to get everything in as planned. Fortunately, Servia was still able to get track time in this morning as he recorded a total of 25 laps (42 miles) for today.
Daytona 500 To Pay More Than $19 Million The 54th annual Daytona 500 Feb. 26 will carry a record purse of more than $19 million as well as a new contingency award that will payout $200,000 to the driver leading at the completion of Lap 100. The posted awards for “The Great American Race” are $19,142,601 with the winner collecting a minimum of $1,431,325.
The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,050,075, $759,600, $609,900 and $486,550.
Medlen Returns To John Force Racing John Medlen, who won an NHRA Funny Car championship as crew chief to Tony Pedregon, helped design and develop the BOSS 500 Ford nitro motor and served as the “safety conscience” for drag racing after the tragic death of his son, Eric, confirmed Tuesday that he will return to JFR in the new capacity of Director of Technology and Safety.
“I found out John Medlen became available over the weekend and I offered him a job to come back to work with us on safety. He is a leader in safety. I always wanted John Medlen back because he is like family. I am excited to have him back in our brain-trust. He will start immediately and he will get to work with the other crew chiefs building on a lot of the safety ideas we have worked on over the winter. We had a strong test session but we need to keep working on ideas and projects throughout the season. That is what Medlen will do for us,” said John Force, JFR CEO.
Team GDT Signs Colombian Andres Mendez Texas-based Team GDT has signed rising Colombian open-wheel driver Andrés Mendez to compete in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Mendez is a 19 year-old Colombian racer who has been competing in both karts and open-wheel cars for the past four years in Colombia, Europe and the United States. His karting credentials include major championship events in Colombia, Italy and Mexico, as well as the Florida Winter Tour, Rotax Max Challenge, the Pan-American Rotax, and the Super Kart SKUSA championships in the USA.
The wheels on the Ferrari Formula 1 car that is being launched in two days time at the Fiorano Track are made by OZ, an Italian company that is a world leader in the world of competition and the motor industry in general and in the field of alloy wheels.
The wheels will wear the famous logo of the company from Padua, featuring the color yellow, which harks back to the one used in the early Eighties. The agreement is for a three year period.
“We are proud to welcome OZ to the group of Suppliers to the Scuderia,” said Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali. “The brand from Padua is synonymous with quality and reliability and along with these characteristics comes the ability to meet the demands of its customers who, in an environment as competitive as Formula 1, are always looking for maximum performance. This collaboration in Formula 1 will further strengthen the ties that have linked for many years the Prancing Horse and OZ in the world of road-going cars.
Obama admin kills Volt sales Chevrolet Volt sales dropped steeply in January -- a sign that negative publicity from an Obama Administration government safety investigation doused demand for the plug-in hybrid.
General Motors sold 603 Volts in January. While that was 87 percent higher than in January 2011 -- the second month after the car’s launch -- it was the worst month since GM sold 302 Volts in August.
GM averaged 1,259 Volt sales a month during the fourth quarter of last year.
At the Washington Auto Show last week, GM North America President Mark Reuss said it will take time for Volt sales to recover from the fallout of the two-month investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
On Jan. 20, NHTSA closed its investigation into potential fire risk in the Volt’s battery pack, concluding that it doesn’t appear to outweigh the risk of fire in gasoline-powered cars.
Barrichello, Kanaan, Viso test for KVRT in Sebring E.J. Viso joined his KV Racing Technology teammate from last year Tony Kanaan and Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello for testing at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.
Viso, got into the seat of the #5 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone IndyCar. In the morning session he ran 40 laps, approximately 64 miles and in the afternoon 27 laps. He spent the entire day working on car setup, but in the process still produced competitive times.
Wilson still reveling Rolex win Justin Wilson was more than happy to tell people the time.
The Dale Coyne Racing driver arrived at Sebring International Raceway about 24 hours after co-driving the winning Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian entry in the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. He teamed with AJ Allmendinger, Oswaldo Negri Jr. and John Pew.
Of course, Wilson was sporting the winner's watch from the title sponsor (though he'll have to withdraw a few links in the band for it to fit properly). Wilson took in the completed Honda-powered No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car, which he'll be shaking down Jan. 31 on the Sebring short course, for the first time.
Rahal, Andretti join Super Bowl promotions Graham Rahal isn't concerned if he's upstaged by a celebrity Bulldog.
Rahal and Butler Blue II, the Butler University mascot, both spent an hour in front of the lights last week in filming "Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials," which will be broadcast at 8 p.m. (ET) Feb. 1 on CBS.
It was an opportunity to showcase the IZOD IndyCar Series and the City of Indianapolis, which is playing host to the NFL championship game Feb. 5.
Rahal's segment was filmed with celebrity fitness expert Jillian Michaels. Blue II shared the camera with Michaels and model Adriana Lima.
Kentucky Speedway to offer Single Race Tickets, Change Cooler Policy Kentucky Speedway will place single race tickets for its five NASCAR races including the June 30 Sprint Cup Series “Quaker State 400” on sale Feb. 8 at 9:00 a.m., and allow customers to carry coolers in to all events for the first time in speedway history.
Single race ticket prices for five NASCAR events scheduled June 28-30 and Sept. 21-22 will not increase. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Quaker State 400” tickets range from $75 to $110 and NASCAR Nationwide Series race tickets range from $45 to $75 based on seat location. All NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race tickets are $30 or $40 for reserved seats.
Customers can purchase tickets at www.kentuckyspeedway.com, 888-652-7223 and through speedway offices at 1 Speedway Drive in Sparta, Ky., 41086, just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. State Highway 35. Five-race season ticket plans, three-race June weekend ticket packages, season and single-weekend campsites along with daily infield Fan Zone passes remain on sale by phone and online. Calls regarding season tickets, camping and Fan Zone passes should be directed to 859-578-2300.
Lotus future up in the air Following the decision by Khazanah Nasional Berhad to divest its entire stake in PROTON to DRB-Hicom, we are aware of the many concerns of the different parties related to PROTON – especially our business partners, with regards to the current plans and future direction of the Group and all its subsidiaries, including its UK-based Lotus Group International Limited (LGIL).
Our new incoming owner is in discussions with the current management of PROTON to get a clear understanding and assessment of the Group’s current business plans, before any strategic future plans can be mapped out, including the plans for our Lotus subsidiary.
Our focus remains the same for all our current business plans and this includes Lotus’ commitment in realizing its current five-year business transformation plan, of which we are happy to report, is right on track. As such, business is as usual for us and all our subsidiaries and we thank them for their professionalism and patience during this time. Proton PR
The MotoGP teams enjoyed a productive second day of testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia with Casey Stoner topping the time sheets.
After missing the first day of testing yesterday due to a back strain, Casey, the 2011 World Champion enjoyed good track conditions on his first outing on the bike in 2012. Casey spent the day doing a chassis comparison between his two RC213V chassis' and finished the day as the fastest rider with a time of 2'00.895.
The MotoGP teams will return tomorrow for the final day of this first Sepang test.
(GMM) The assembled world of F1 was surprised on Wednesday when Jenson Button declared the 2012 McLaren "beautiful".
With the new Caterham featuring a radically-stepped front nose, and Ferrari also preparing to unveil a less-than-attractive single seater, most insiders expected the entire field of 2012 to be 'ugly'. (See full report on new car on our Home page)
"This is a beautiful car," said 2009 world champion Button when the MP4-27 was unveiled to the media at Woking.
"Many of the others you will see won't be," smiled the Briton.
REBELLION Racing is pleased to announce that Nick Heidfeld will drive one of the team’s Lola-Toyota LMP1 coupés during the FIA World Endurance Championship opening rounds and the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours.
The former Formula One German driver, will race for the Swiss team at Sebring 12 Hours, Spa 6 Hours and the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours. Nick will share the seat of the #12 Lola-Toyota with Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost.
Nick Heidfeld, 34, started 183 Formula 1 Grand Prix reaching the podium on 13 occasions. He began in Formula One at Prost GP in 2000 before moving onto Sauber (2001-2003), Jordan, (2004) Williams (2005), then BMW Sauber (2006-2009). In 2010 Nick was Mercedes GP third driver and Pirelli test driver and had a part season (five races) with Sauber. In 2011 Nick was a Lotus-Renault driver.
Can new IndyCar beat 11-year old Champ Car? The fastest lap time we have heard so far coming out of the Sebring IndyCar tests this year is a low-52s by Ryan Hunter-Reay in the Andretti Autosport Chevy. Now granted the new car is still being refined, but can the new car beat these Champ Car test times from 2001? We believe the record lap for a Champ Car is 49.9s around the Sebring short course. So here we are 11 years later and IndyCar still cannot beat an old antiquated 2001 Champ Car.
Back in those days we saw record crowds, high TV ratings, more sponsor money in the Champ Car paddock than NASCAR, Indy 500 TV ratings above NASCAR's Daytona 500, and cars that were faster than today's so-called state-of-the-art IndyCars. It's important to recognize just how far back Tony George set the sport when he created the IRL.
Other times posted at Sebring were Dario Franchitti and Rubens Barrichello at 53.0s flat, Kanaan low 53s, and Oriol Servia at 54.0 after limited running in the Lotus.
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