Patrick thinks new car will work to her benefit Danica Patrick believes new Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup car will work to her benefit.
“At some point in time you have to learn how to go Cup racing,” said Patrick, who will run the full Cup schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing this year. “I think it’s that time and I’m ready.”
“Everybody is starting at the same base,” said Stewart, a three-time Cup champion Stewart. “Nobody’s had time in it more than anybody else—that is a positive to having a new car for somebody that has less experience than some of the veterans.
Ecclestone confirms 19 races for 2013UPDATE F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that a 20th grand prix "will not be added to the Formula One calendar this year," according to Gary Meenaghan of THE NATIONAL. Ecclestone, however, did say he is certain the schedule will return to its full capacity in '14 after he was left "very impressed" by progress in Sochi ahead of next year's inaugural Russian Grand Prix. Following last year's announcement that the Grand Prix of America (NJ can kiss their GP goodbye at this stage) would not be taking place in '13, rumors circulated that a European city "would join the calendar to fill the vacant weekend." Ecclestone, however, said it was now impossible to implement such an addition "at this late stage." Ecclestone: "The calendar has been formed already, it's too late." Ecclestone, who has spent much of the past four decades "expanding F1's global footprint," was quizzed on a host of potential future host cities, including Jerusalem, Israel; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai, UAE. The National
F1 sponsors did well for investors in 2012 Many F1 Sponsors and Supplier companies stocks out performed the S&P 500 Index up 13.92% for 2012, and the MSCI EAFE Index up 17.90% for 2012.
Some F1 Companies worth noting for 2012: Visa up 46.59%, Santander up 26.26%, UBS up 34.18%, Allianz up 45.93%, PPG Industries up 58.67%, Volkswagen up 53.22%, Adidas up 37.38%, SAP up 48.08%, Diageo up 32.31%, News Corp up 44.12%, and Virgin Media up 69.58%.
Our premise is that many F1 sponsor and supplier companies stocks out performed the markets. This certainly held true for many in 2012.
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, So it's been well documented all the issues IndyCar has with their existing TV contract with Versus/NBC Sports. It goes a little further than that. I was checking the NBC Sports website to see just how well they've started to cover F1 (since testing started today), and after being rather disappointed with their lack of coverage especially since Speed.com has up-to-date times from testing, I looked a little further down the page and noticed something odd.
Take a look at the "More on IndyCar" section at the bottom of their page (I've attached a screen capture)... ummm.... don't think that's an IndyCar...
Cooper Tires Winterfest launches 2013 USF2000 slate A field of more than 20 drivers and 10 teams kicked off the 2013 Mazda Road to Indy season as the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda opened the six-race Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship on Feb. 5.
The pre-season mini-series takes place at two Florida circuits, each hosting triple-header events over a span of four days at Sebring International Raceway on Feb. 5 and 6 - the site of the first race on the regular season calendar - and Palm Beach International Raceway on Feb. 9 and 10.
Ferreira returns to Juncos Racing Venezuelan driver Diego Ferreira will return to Juncos Racing for a second season in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires.
Ferreira, 18, will drive the No. 57 Juncos Racing/Team Viso Venezuela car. He finished sixth in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship point standings with seven top-five finishes. Ferreira was named the series' 2012 "Most Improved Driver of the Year."
"I'm very excited to renew my contract with Juncos Racing and the Team Viso Venezuela for this year," said Ferreira. "This will be my second season in the championship, and I feel so strong to fight for the championship this year. I have to say thanks to all my sponsors from Venezuela, and to the team believing in me to go for the championship. This is going to be a great season with a lot of new tracks and we will be working hard to get the results. We have a big calendar with many days of testing and simulations to help us claim the championship."
Quotes from Jerez - Day 1 Mark Webber "It was pretty good. As Adrian said at the launch, there haven’t been big changes to the regulations this year and the car is an evolution of the one we finished with last season, so there were no big surprises. I think most of the drivers will sit back tonight and think today’s times were pretty competitive.
“It was actually like a Friday practice session in some regards. We started understanding the tires and there were a lot of positives,” he added. “There’s a bit of housekeeping we have to get on top of but, other than that, it’s been encouraging. The car feels similar to last year’s, so the main difference is the tires. With these tires you’re always on your toes. It was good that we had consistent temperatures today, so we got a lot of information and feedback to analyze, which is all good. Generally though, the car feels pretty good, so I’m happy.”
Commenting on the first day’s work with RB9, Engineering Coordinator Andy Damerum said: “We had a very good day’s running today. Being the first day of testing there’s always a few nerves when the car goes out, but we had very few problems and Mark managed to get through just over 323km of running. We were able to get through about 90% of what was on the list for today. If I recall, this time last year we couldn’t run in the morning because of fog, so this first day with the RB9 has been good. Tomorrow, we’ll just crack on with the work load, which means more aero work and getting to know the tires more.”
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will enter a second full-season program in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series for James Jakes, 25. Acorn Stairlifts, the maker of the number-one selling Stairlift in the world, will sponsor Jakes’ entry.
The 2013 season will mark the third for the Leeds, England native in the IZOD IndyCar Series. He made 31 starts for Dale Coyne Racing from 2011-2012 with his best series start of eighth place coming on the Motegi road course in 2011 and his best series finish of eighth coming on the Toronto street course in 2012.
Lynx Returns to Racing It's has been nine years since a Lynx-branded race car took to the track, but 2013 will see the return of the famous colors and cat-in-racing-goggles logo.
Team principals Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, the first-ever female owners of a championship-winning, professional open-wheel racing team, announced today that they will return to racing in the Pacific Formula F1600 series with a two- car effort as part of the Lynx Driver Academy.
Manufacturers' logos added to windshield of cars During Autoweek's Racing Conference held Tuesday in Detroit, NASCAR announced a further enhancement to the new Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) cars that puts even more focus on manufacturer identity. In addition to displaying the names of the drivers on the Gen-6 car windshield, there will also be manufacturer identification present on either side of the driver's name. The roundtable, town hall-style conference featured a panel that included NASCAR President Mike Helton, NASCAR VP of Competition Robin Pemberton and NASCAR VP of Brand, Consumer and Series Marketing Kim Brink, as well as executives from Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. "I want to confirm that in addition to adding the name of the driver on the windshield, we're adding the badge of the manufacturer to each side of the driver's name," said Helton. "We believe this will help build the identity of the driver with the race car and their relationship with the manufacturer." The Motor City was the kickoff of "NASCAR's #Gen6 Road to Daytona Fueled by Sunoco," a multi-city tour introducing the Gen-6 race cars and generating excitement for the 2013 NASCAR season. Gen-6 will make its on-track debut during the non-points The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX and culminates with the 55th running of the season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. NASCAR
Jeff Gordon's sponsor DuPont sold, will remainUPDATE #2
Gordon's new paint scheme
CORRECTION: DuPont's car-paint unit "has been rebranded as Axalta Coating Systems" and will sponsor NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon for 14 Sprint Cup races this season, according to Jeff Gluck of USA TODAY. This will "undoubtedly mean some adjustment for fans used to the DuPont car." Axalta's "first race on the car" will be the April 13 Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The "only other race announced for the car so far" is the Nov. 17 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. DuPont's coating business was sold last year for $4.9B to the Carlyle Group, which "holds a portfolio of business that includes Hertz Rental Car and Dunkin' Donuts." USATODAY.com
02/04/13 DuPont's sale of its automotive paint division will not affect the brand's sponsorship of Jeff Gordon in 2013, spokesperson Jon Edwards confirmed Friday. Questions about Gordon's sponsorship arose last August when private equity firm the Carlyle Group announced it would acquire DuPont Performance Coatings for $4.9 billion. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.
Furniture Row Racing announces associate sponsors Three nationally-known mattress brands Sealy, Serta and Simmons Beautyrest will partner with Furniture Row Racing and Denver Mattress as associate sponsors during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Each of the three mattress brands will sponsor selected races, a total of 20 during the 36-event Sprint Cup schedule. The brands will carry top billing on the rear quarter panels of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet SS driven by Kurt Busch. Part of the scheduled races for each of the mattress companies will be in the area of its corporate headquarters Sealy (Trinity, N.C.) May 18 & 26 at Charlotte; Simmons Beautyrest (Atlanta) Sept. 1 at Atlanta; and Serta (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) Sept. 15 at Chicago. FRR
Larry Dixon land associate sponsor Velocity Business Innovators today announces an associate sponsorship with three-time National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon for the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Dixon, the second winningest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history with 62 national event victories, will team with three-time NHRA championship crew chief and team manager Lee Beard and the Rapisarda Autosport International racing team based in Brownsburg, IN.
Dixon, 46, captured NHRA Top Fuel titles in 2002, 2003 and 2010 and finished in the Top Ten in points for 17 consecutive years in NHRA Top Fuel competition. Beard is a three-time NHRA world champion crew chief and team manager with titles in 1989, 1992 and 2009.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a sponsor for Larry Dixon, one of the true greats in the history of drag racing,” said Nick Salamone, President of Velocity Business Innovators. “Larry brings a real passion for the sport and is poised for a successful year. We are pleased to be associated with Larry and Rapisarda Autosport International.”
“Velocity Business Innovators is a leader in providing business owners, including me, with outstanding information and research and I am excited to work this revolutionary company and its many programs,” said Dixon. “Velocity will be a great partner during the 2013 racing season. Not only am I a spokesman for their company, I am a client.”
Afternoon test times from Jerez Full lap times, as of 3pm local time, on the opening day of the four-day F1 group test at Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain.
1. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1min 19.746secs 2. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1min 20.343secs 3. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 20.401secs 4. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1min 20.601secs 5. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 20.846secs 6. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault* 1min 20.864secs 7. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.024secs 8. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 21.464secs 9. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1min 22.791secs 10. Max Chilton Britain Marussia -Cosworth 1min 25.176secs 11. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes no time
Rosberg fastest in early testing at Jerez, then engulfs in flamesUPDATE
Nico Rosberg was forced to stop his car during testing in Jerez. The new Mercedes W04 has stopped on track around 10:24 hour because of a big fire at the back of the car. There was a lot of smoke coming from the car as well. The testing program of Mercedes has come to an halt for the moment. It's not know when they will resume testing.
02/05/13 Lap times as of 11am local time, on the opening day of the four-day F1 group test at Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain. Track was dusty to start, so times are meaningless.
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 20.846secs 2. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault* 1min 21.215secs 3. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 21.316secs 4. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 21.553secs 5. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.598secs 6. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1min 22.959secs 7. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1min 24.994secs 8. Max Chilton Britain Marussia -Cosworth 1min 25.176secs 9. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes No time 10. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes No time 11. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault No time
Ferrari has not won a championship since Domenicali took over the team, yet he keeps his job
All Formula One teams work on a weekly basis under severe pressure to perform, but none more so than Ferrari.
The Ferrari team are Formula One's marque team, they are the only constant in an ever changing sport.
Drivers and teams come and go on a regular basis in F1, but Ferrari remain throughout and are normally found at the front of the grid challenging for pole positions, challenging for race victories and challenging for World Championships.
Hendrick not interested in the Batmobile Rick Hendrick bought several vehicles and spent well over seven figures at last month's Barrett-Jackson Collectible Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. Some cars are for his business or personal collection while over a million dollars of cars purchased benefited charities. At the auction the original Batmobile from 1966 sold for 4.2-million dollars; however the Chevy team owner had no interest in making a bid. "Hell no, no sir", said Hendrick. "What would I want with the Batmobile? And I'm a Batman fan but I wouldn't know what to do with that car." Hendrick joked, "I wouldn't have hauled that thing home if they gave it to me!" Hendrick said the Batmobile is not his style, but another reason might be that it was also originally a concept car built by Ford. PRN's Garage Pass
Tommy Baldwin Racing is hoping not to start-and-park at all in 2013 as it prepares to run two cars the entire season.
Dave Blaney’s car has nearly full sponsorship and J.J. Yeley has at least two-thirds of the races sponsored. Team owner Tommy Baldwin, who will be the crew chief for Blaney, has had to have his cars start-and-park at times during the last few years as he has tried to start up his own Cup organization.
A couple of weeks ago, track operator Bruton Smith, who is chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., criticized the practice of drivers qualifying for a race but parking early instead of running the full event. He said they were a “joke” and not good for the sport.
New race engineers for Vergne, Ricciardo Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo have both been given new race engineers this year, with Toro Rosso making further technical tweaks ahead of the 2013 season.
Vergne, who had previously worked with Andrea Landi, will now be paired with Phil Charles, a former race engineer at Renault F1. Meanwhile, Ricciardo is set to team up with Marco Matassa, who worked as the Australian's data engineer in 2012.
Toro Rosso also officially confirmed former Caterham man Steve Nielsen as its new Team Manager, with Gianfranco Fantuzzi leaving the position for a factory-based role.
R-SPORT noted Ecclestone said that Sochi's experience with F1 "was a model for other Olympic hosts." Ecclestone said that Brazil, which will host the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, would be "ashamed" to see Russia's F1 progress. Ecclestone: "In most countries people just build things without knowing what they're going to turn it into afterwards." R-SPORT
02/04/13 Russia President Vladimir Putin told F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone that the country "is ready to host the Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi after it holds the Winter Olympic Games in the southern Black Sea city" in '14, according to the AFP. Putin "has already agreed with Ecclestone" to hold F1 races at a circuit being built around the Sochi Olympic Park. It will be "the first time Russia will have hosted such an event." Putin said, "I am happy to say that our project is developing. I think that as we planned we can hold our first races in October 2014." The Kremlin quoted Ecclestone saying he was "very impressed" by the work undertaken so far. AFP
Air Force renews sponsorship of Almirola The U.S. Air Force will once again partner with Richard Petty Motorsports to connect with America's best and brightest young adults. The U.S. Air Force will serve as an associate sponsor on Aric Almirola's #43 Ford for the entire 2013 season and as a primary sponsor at the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway.
Chad Walter joins MWR Chad Walter has joined Michael Waltrip Racing as director of race engineering. Walter most recently led the #22 Penske Racing team and Sam Hornish in the Nationwide Series. He won races with both Hornish and Justin Allgaier and coached both drivers to fourth-place finishes in the NNS point standings. The 41-year-old Albion, N.Y. native was replaced by Greg Erwin at the end of last season. Walter, who attended Cornell University, replaces Steve Boyer at Michael Waltrip Racing. Boyer joined MWR two seasons ago but has returned to the private sector. Fox Sports
SR2 Motorsports Expands in NASCAR Nationwide Series Looking to improve on a successful first season, SR2 Motorsports announced today it has expanded its role in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in its second year. The Buford, Ga.-based organization with its shop in Mooresville N.C. will field three full-time teams in 2013, including the newly-purchased Nationwide Series operation of MacDonald Motorsports. The attained new team includes cars, equipment and owner points of the former No. 81 team.
The team will continue to further its relationship with Toyota Racing Development and enter the No. 00 Camry and the No. 24 Camry. The third car number has yet to be selected. The company is also working to finalize its driver lineup for the season and will be announced, along with sponsors, soon. SR2 will race with leased engines from Pro Motor Engines.
The honor of awarding the Super Bowl XLVII MVP Award was given to Rick Flick of New Orleans’ Banner Chevrolet, who knows a thing or two about comebacks. Banner Chevrolet, a part of Flick’s family for 40 years, was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina and was the first business to reopen in New Orleans East after the devastating 2005 storm. On behalf of Chevrolet, the official sponsor of the Super Bowl XLVII MVP Award, Flick presented quarterback Joe Flacco with a 2014 Corvette Stingray on Monday in recognition of his effort in leading the Baltimore Ravens’ to a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.
Ascanelli re-emerges at F1 brake supplier Brembo (GMM) Giorgio Ascanelli, the well-known engineer who last year left his post as Toro Rosso's technical director, has re-emerged at F1 brake supplier Brembo.
Following recent speculation, we reported last month that rumors the 53-year-old Italian is returning to the sport with Ferrari were wide of the mark.
"Ascanelli is about to return to F1; the team's name is not yet known," Autosprint correspondent Alberto Antonini said on January 15.
Audi complete 2013 DTM driver lineup Audi will start into the 2013 DTM season with a mix of experienced campaigners and ambitious youngsters. The eight drivers have four titles, 478 races, 39 pole positions and 34 victories to their credit between them - marking top tallies in the series. The only change compared to last year’s squad: Rahel Frey is switching to GT racing within AUDI AG. The vacant cockpit will be occupied by new signing Jamie Green.
"I’m convinced that in 2013 we’ll be on the grid with an extremely strong line-up - perhaps the strongest one ever since Audi started competing in the DTM," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. While Rahel Frey is leaving the DTM to continue her career with Audi in GT racing, Miguel Molina will be starting his fourth DTM year with Audi.
Talladega eliminates 35,000 seats to avoid embarrassing attendanceUPDATE Many NASCAR fans didn't like the two-car tandem draft that dominated restrictor-plate racing, especially at Talladega Superspeedway, in 2010 and 2011. They were joined by some of the top executives of the sport, including one who recently railed against the style of racing and blamed it for the sluggish ticket sales at Talladega Superspeedway. International Speedway Corp. President John Saunders, whose company owns 12 tracks, including Talladega and Daytona International Speedway, minced no words when talking about the racing during a conference call last week with financial analysts.
"The tandem racing, two or three events of that kind of stuff & was quite frankly pathetic," Saunders said. "It's not what Talladega has been known for." Bad weather, including tornado warnings, that occurred during Talladega's spring weekends in 2010 and 2011 and high unemployment also hurt attendance, Saunders said. But he also said drivers' negative comments about the racing at Talladega encouraged fans to stay home.
Ryan Newman knows he doesn't have a contract for 2014. He wishes that wasn't the case, but he knows how to handle it. After all, it was at this time last year when he also was a free agent. He eventually signed a one-year deal to stay at Stewart-Haas Racing. "I have no extra pressure on myself to perform than at any other time in my career," Newman said. "I just don't have the things done on paperwork to say what I'm doing in 2014, which doesn't the change the way I drive this year."
Like many veterans in other sports, Newman faces the prospect of getting squeezed out as teams look for younger, and possibly cheaper, options. Newman said he took a cut in salary, like many drivers have as sponsorship dollars have been tougher to find. SHR already has three drivers signed for 2014 with team owner Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and, reportedly, Kevin Harvick. Stewart hasn't ruled out going to a four-car operation in 2014, and that would leave the door open for Newman to return.
"Where I end up, that's where I end up," Newman said. "If I stay, I stay. If I don't, I don't. I have to do what's best for me." He will spend this season trying to win races and hope those sponsors stick behind him so he has a place to drive in 2014. Sporting News
Former NASCAR driver Tyler Walker arrested after chase, drugs involvedUPDATE A former NASCAR driver who led police on a high-speed chase through Nevada, Arizona and Utah is scheduled to appear in 5th District Court on Tuesday in St. George for his initial appearance. Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker, 33, failed to stop for police in Nevada for speeding early Wednesday morning. He then led police northbound on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge and reached speeds estimated at 150 miles per hour, according to a probable cause statement.
Two Utah Highway Patrol officers were able to deflate the tires of Walker's 2007 BMW 750 Li sedan after releasing spike strips. The vehicle came to a stop 1.5 miles later. According to the statement, a UHP trooper attempted to approach the vehicle, but Walker allegedly drove off at 80 mph with flat tires. Walker stopped again, and was finally apprehended after trying to flee on foot. Walker was charged with two third-degree felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony charge of failure to stop for police, and misdemeanor charges, including driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of paraphernalia, unlawful transportation of alcohol and having an open container in a vehicle. Bail was set at $18,020. Walker and McDonald posted bail Wednesday night. St. George Daily Spectrum
02/01/13 Two California residents were taken into custody Wednesday morning after leading Nevada, Arizona and Utah Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed pursuit. The driver, Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker, 33, and passenger, Raelie Hann McDonald, 30, both of Hermosa Beach, were arrested on a variety of drug and alcohol charges. UHP Cpl. Todd Johnson said his department was notified of a pursuit traveling northbound on I-15 in Arizona at approximately 7:30 a.m. The car had failed to stop for Nevada troopers, who were pursuing the vehicle for speeding and felony evading. Troopers searched the car, finding methamphetamines, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcohol in the vehicle. Walker is a former Nationwide and Truck Series driver suspended for violating NASCAR's drug policy in 2007. The Spectrum, KSL.com
Simon Sproule on Infiniti's technical partnership with red Bull At the launch of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB9, Simon Sproule, Corporate Vice President for Global Marketing & Communications for Infiniti talked about the new team partnership.
Simon, explain the thinking behind the strengthened relationship between Infiniti and Red Bull Racing? Simon Sproule: We entered the sport a couple of years ago in probably a very different way to a conventional automaker. We weren’t making the engine, we didn’t own the team, but like Red Bull Racing, we’re a young brand in terms of the car business and I think we went at it with a new approach. The evolution we’ve been through over the past couple of years in getting to know the team, getting to know the people involved meant that moving to full team partner status now just felt like the right thing to do. Effectively, we’ve been dating for the past couple of years and today I guess we’re getting married. Even the color scheme, the purple, integrates very well into the whole team.
Q and A with Christian Horner At the launch of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB9, Team Principal Christian Horner shared his thoughts on the new car and the season ahead.
Christian, your first thoughts on the RB9? It’s fantastic to see the car as such a huge amount of effort has gone into producing it. It also marks a new beginning for us: it’s our ninth car but we’re introducing Infiniti as our title partner, so the livery is strikingly different. Hopefully it’s going to look pretty striking on track as well.
In between unveiling the RB9 and disappearing to Jerez for the start of testing, Mark Webber answered a few questions about his 2013 car and the season ahead.
Mark, how was the winter – or the summer in your case? Are you rested and ready to go? Yeah, I’ve had a good break. Last year we had a very long season, it felt like we finished at Christmas! I’ve had a decent rest but also some minor surgery on my leg that went very well, and now I’m ready to go. It’s certainly exciting to see the car for the first time and I can’t wait to get in on Tuesday.
Sebastian Vettel, defending Formula One World Champion and secret DIY enthusiast...
Nice to see you Seb. You’ve kept a pretty low profile over the off-season. What did you get up to and are you ready for the new campaign? The winter was pretty quiet. Last season was a long one, with a lot of travelling, especially at the end when we had quite a few back-to-back races. We had a very strong finish last season, but it was a tough challenge, so it was important for me to enjoy some time at home doing other things – some DIY, stuff that there was never time to fix during the season. I enjoyed that. It was good to relax and chill out for a while but pretty soon I started training again, preparing for the new season and I’m very excited today because this is the first time I’ve seen the car in one piece. I’ve seen little bits, but it looks very nice seeing it all together. Now we’ll get to see if it works as expected. I’m excited to get going again, to get back in the car, start testing and then go racing. Then, we’ll finally find out where we are.
IMRRC announces first talks of 2013 A schedule of programs that includes author and automobile industry insider Karl Ludvigsen and television race commentator Dick Berggren is set for the first half of 2013 at the International Motor Racing Research Center.
The Racing Research Center is an archival library dedicated to the preservation of the history of motorsports, of all series and all venues, through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials.
Massey Returns To Don Schumacher Racing Don Schumacher Racing will field a third entry in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel ranks for returning driver Spencer Massey.
The team will be led by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler. Schumacher originally released Massey from his contract with the team in late November for unspecified reasons.
The dragster that finished the past season ranked third in points with four event titles will carry the banner of Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher, a product owned by DSR team owner Don Schumacher, until a primary sponsor is found for the team.
Mercedes F1 doesn't have much to show for huge dollar outlay Mercedes' latest corporate accounts reveal that the cost to the car manufacturer of competing in F1 skyrocketed to a record $380 million in 2011. That's despite the running costs of the Mercedes F1 team actually falling slightly, down 0.2 per cent to $197.4 million.
That slight fall is nothing compared to the 54.2 per cent increase in spending on the engine division, however, which rose to a total of $183 million.
That's because of early research and development of the new V6 engines that will be required in 2014 after a period of relative stability in the rules and regulations.
F1 test driver Brendon Hartley to race in Bathurst 12 Hours
Mercedes Formula One test driver Brendon Hartley will make his Bathurst debut next weekend (February 8-10 2013) in the annual 12-hour race at the legendary Mount Panorama circuit.
Fresh from driving duties in last weekends Rolex 24 at Daytona in America the 23-year old New Zealander will share the cockpit with US-based South African Mark Patterson and Hong Kong-based Alain Li for an all-out challenge in the classic GT endurance event.
Audi sports cars selected as Le Mans iconsUPDATE LEGEND OF LE MANS VOTE WINNERS 1920s Bentley Speed 6 1930s Alfa Romeo 8C 1940s Ferrari 166MM 1950s Jaguar D-type 1960s Ford GT40 1970s Porsche 917K 1980s Porsche 956 1990s Mazda 787B, Peugeot 905 2000s Audi R10 TDI 2010s Audi R18 e-tron quattro
The Audi R10 TDI and the Audi R18 e-tron quattro have gone down in Le Mans history. Now they have been selected to join the illustrious circle of the ten most iconic Le Mans sports cars of all time by a panel of expert judges and the fans.
On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 22/23, 2013, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) had run a poll to select the Le Mans icons. More than 20,000 fans cast their votes online. The final decision was made by a twelve-member panel of expert judges including FIA President Jean Todt and ACO President Pierre Fillon in Paris on Friday. They selected the ten race cars that most decisively shaped Le Mans history in their respective decades.
Change announced to rules regarding Top Fuel and Funny Car modifications NHRA has announced changes to sections 17 and 18 of the 2013 Rulebook regarding prohibitions on modifying Funny Car and Top Fuel components. Only safety-enhancing modifications will be considered for approval and implementation during 2013. Performance-enhancing modifications may be submitted for approval; however, even if approved for future use, it is NHRA’s plan that no performance-enhancing modifications will be implemented during 2013 in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories. The rule change is intended to maintain parity and reduce the escalating costs of racing.
Daytona to add new grandstandUPDATE Now comes the inevitable question of whether the track can spend a couple of years re-doing the entire frontstretch grandstands and façade without disrupting its traditional NASCAR race dates.
DIS President Joie Chitwood said at this point, even if we can get some things going, I don’t know if that’s really going to affect 2014. I don’t really see that as a concern. Maybe if we do get a property project approved, we have to look at the later years potentially.
“But right now, I don’t really see anything in ’14 that could cause a schedule change.”
In discussing future schedules last week, NASCAR Senior Vice President Steve O’Donnell said the Daytona construction schedule would have to be considered when developing a schedule.
Audi nominates driver line-ups for World Endurance Championship
Same lineup - 2012 champions
Audi has established powerful driver pairings for its commitment in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The respective entries were confirmed today by the Selection Committee of the ACO and the FIA. Three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars will be competing at the Spa 6 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013. At each of the six other WEC rounds, Audi will be fielding two hybrid sports cars.
Drivers Marcel Fassler (CH), Andre Lotterer (D) and Benoit Treluyer (F) are jointly tackling the title defense. The trio has been racing together for Audi since 2010 and celebrated the WEC drivers’ title and victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours last year, their biggest successes so far. Eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen (DK) and Allan McNish (GB), who has won at La Sarthe twice, are forming a team with Loic Duval in 2013 for the first time. The Frenchman made his debut with Audi in 2012 and won the Spa 6 Hours. The two driver teams will be competing at all eight WEC rounds.
For the last 14 years, teams from the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron have been a competitive force at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year will be no different as a collection of the ALMS’ best head for one of the most important races in all of motorsport.
The 90th anniversary of the French endurance classic is set for June 22-23. Corvette Racing, going for its eighth class victory at Le Mans, and SRT Motorsports, making its debut in the French classic, are part of the GTE Pro field.
Stewart-Haas adding test team Stewart-Haas Racing is developing a new test team. Veteran crew chief David Hyder will oversee the project. "I'm planning on taking the wheels off of my pit box for a while," Hyder said Friday. "With the new car coming this season, they'd been talking about putting a test team together. I'm not sure what all it will entail yet, but Zippy (Stewart-Haas Racing Director of Competition Greg Zipadelli) told me to plan on going to Daytona."
In the advent of the Generation 6 car, NASCAR's top organizations are doing whatever it takes to get up to speed quickly. Although SHR has a research and development group, the test team is the latest response to up the ante. Considering that SHR is expanding its two-car operation of Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman to add rookie Danica Patrick, the timing is perfect. Hyder started working at SHR on Tuesday. He most recently guided Cale Conley in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East but missed the competition at the Cup level. Hyder had previously worked as a crew chief for Wood Brothers Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Kevin Harvick Inc. Fox Sports
Giedo van der Garde Confirmed as Caterham F1 Team Race DriverUPDATE Added photo of Van der Garde below.
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham F1 Team has today confirmed that Giedo van der Garde, the team’s 2012 Reserve Driver, has been promoted to a full-time race seat, completing the team’s 2013 driver line-up with Charles Pic.
Giedo’s appointment to the F1 team is the natural step for the Dutch driver after he spent 2012 competing with Caterham Racing in the GP2 Series, combining his GP2 season, in which he scored six podiums and two race wins, with six FP1 outings for the F1 team.
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Caterham F1 Team: “Everyone in the team is delighted that we can finally confirm that Giedo will be racing for us in the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship. He has been part of our family since early 2012 when he joined our GP2 team and was appointed as Reserve Driver for the F1 team. He acquitted himself extremely well in both his GP2 season and his six FP1 sessions, progressively improving his outright pace, technical feedback and his relationship with his engineers and mechanics, giving us the clear justification for promoting him to F1.
January auto sales: Ford up 22%, GM and Chrysler up 16% Detroit's Big Three automakers Friday all posted double-digit U.S. sales gains for January, fueled by continued pent-up demand and a recovering economy.
Ford Motor Co. led the way, as its January sales shot up 21.8 percent as the Ford Fusion and Ford Escape both hit record January sales marks. Chrysler Group LLC's sales rose 16.4 percent, marking the Auburn Hills-based automaker's best January since 2008. And General Motors Co.'s sales of 194,699 vehicles jumped 15.9 percent in January, as all four of its brands posted strong sales gains over the same month in 2012.
Grand-Am penalizes Shank No. 60 carUPDATE Michael Shank Racing has declined to purse an appeal the penalties against the No. 60 Ford Riley issued by Grand-Am following the Rolex 24 at Daytona Int’l Speedway last weekend.
“As much as we are frustrated with the penalty, we believe that pursuing an appeal would not change the outcome, and that we should just move forward from here,” said team owner Mike Shank. “Fighting this will only take time and resources away from improving this process in the future.”
Shank is hoping that this process can become more open and clear in the future.
Speed.com reports that Andretti Autosport have hired a pair of top-tier engineers, along with making two key promotions to complete its 2013 engineering lineup.
After spending 2012 in a consultancy role with Dragon Racing on behalf of Newman/Haas Racing , NHR’s Craig Hampson will rekindle his working relationship with 2011 NHR rookie James Hinchcliffe as engineer for the Chevy-powered Go Daddy entry.
Hampson’s history and experience, which includes Sebastien Bourdais’ run to four consecutive Champ Car titles, should transform Hinchcliffe from a future star into a bona fide winner.
Video: McLaren 50 Courage celebrates company’s golden anniversary McLaren uploaded the first of three short films to its Youtube channel on Friday as part of the company’s 50th anniversary celebration. It’s called McLaren 50 Courage and is an inspirational look at the short life and legacy of founder Bruce McLaren.
It’s told by a narrator from young McLaren’s point of view as he walks the Goodwood Circuit in England, retracing his steps to where he crashed on the Lavant Straight just before Woodcote corner and died in his Can-Am car.
Cindric's son to drive for Andretti Autosports Andretti Autosport announced today that they have signed 14-year-old Austin Cindric, son of Penske Racing's President Tim Cindric, to pilot the No. 77 Nightrain Clothing machine for the 2013 USF2000 season. The upcoming USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest will mark Cindric's Mazda Road to Indy racing debut.
"I can't thank the Andretti Autosport team enough for the opportunity," said Cindric. "I am very grateful to be surrounded by such capable people. I realize that I have a lot to learn but I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead. It should be really fun to represent Nightrain Clothing (Austin's brother, Tanner, is a founding member) while I pursue my dream."
Mario Andretti goes Skydiving Was there anything still on racing legend Mario Andretti's bucket list? Skydiving was one of them. This week Mario free fell from 12,500 feet down to 6,000 with a ride-along instructor and the photo to the right is proof.
And he did it in a short-sleeve shirt with a big smile on his face. Not bad for the 73-year old legend.
COTA get FIA WEC race The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n’s visit to the state-of-the-art Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas was already one of the most anticipated events on the 2013 calendar.
That excitement was kicked up another notch with today’s news that the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has been added to the Sept. 20-22 event weekend.
Circuit of The Americas today confirmed that it has been selected through a competitive bidding process to host an installment of the prestigious FIA World Endurance Championships through a six-hour race scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 22. The 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas will be partnered with two days of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n set for the preceding Friday and Saturday (Sept. 20 and 21).
Strong field for 2013 24 Hours of LeMans A fantastic field of cars will race in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours! The 90th anniversary of the event will be celebrated in the style it deserves with the Audi-Toyota duel topping the bill hounded by the reboosted private teams. In LM P2, there will be a no-holds battle between even-matched squads, while in LM GTE the fight looks like being of an intensity rarely seen in the Sarthe with entries from five manufacturers! Exceptional cars and top-line drivers plus stars beginning with Patrick Dempsey and Sebastien Loeb plus prestigious events - once again the Le Mans 24 Hours will be the biggest and best race of the world motor sport season!
Dempsey/Del Piero Racing to Partner with Porsche in 24 Hours of Le Mans and 2013 ALMS
Actor turn race driver and team owner Patrick Dempsey
Dempsey/Del Piero Racing confirmed today that the international sports car racing team, newly formed and announced last week by Italian soccer star Alessandro Del Piero and Patrick Dempsey, has been notified that its entry submitted to the Selection Committee of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) has been accepted by the ACO, placing the Dempsey/Del Piero team on the entry list for the 2013 24 Hours Le Mans in a Michelin-shod GTE-Am class Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The Dempsey/Del Piero Racing entry will be fielded in partnership with the experienced and proven Proton Competition racing team.
Dempsey/Del Piero Racing has also confirmed that the team will join with famed endurance racing marque Porsche and field a two car GTC-class effort in the 2013 American Le Mans Series.
Joe Mattioli, III leaves Pocono Raceway to pursue new endeavors Long Pond, PA ― Joseph R. Mattioli, III, the son of Dr. Rose Mattioli and the late Dr. Joseph Mattioli, announced today that he is stepping down as a member of Pocono Raceway’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Mattioli’s tenure at Pocono started in 1974 following his graduation from Lehigh University and spanned over 40 years, with him serving as a member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and as its past President and COO. In 1995, with Pocono enjoying unprecedented success, Mattioli stepped down as President and COO, but continued to assist the family business as a member of the Board and Executive Committee.
“After college, Joe was heading to law school, but his father asked him to take a year off and help us at the track,” remembered Joe’s mother and Pocono’s current Chairman of the Board, Dr. Rose Mattioli. “We were still practicing medicine in Philadelphia and needed him there at the track. One year turned into over 20, and he was very instrumental in the Raceway’s success in the early years.”
Viper set for Return to 24 Heures du Mans With SRT Motorsports
It's official: Viper will return this year to the stage of some of its most impressive past road racing performances – the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.
SRT Motorsports today accepted an invitation from the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) to field two SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the LM GTE Pro class of the 2013 24 Heures du Mans, June 22-23, officially returning the Viper sports car to one of the most prestigious automobile endurance races in the world.
one journalist asks - Is there hope for IndyCar? While the first-ever Indy 500 took place more than 100 years ago (1911) and has produced a rich history since, IndyCar is now facing dire times and might not even make it out alive.
I agree that the Indy 500 is the sport's Super Bowl, with every single driver aspiring to take home the checkered flag. However, the rest of the season is pretty uneventful and boring. Do you seriously get excited about the Iowa Corn 250 or the MAVTV 500?
Let's be honest, here: IndyCar is experiencing an identity crisis. How can open-wheel racing enthusiasts in the U.S. develop a passion for a series that mostly involves little-known drivers and foreigners?
GM Pledges to Promote Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging General Motors, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, is joining 12 other companies as founding Partners of the DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge. The goal is to increase the number of employers with workplace charging tenfold within five years.
Successfully meeting the challenge will help strengthen the nation’s expanding electric-vehicle infrastructure and increase consumer exposure to plug-in electric vehicles.
“Since the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt, we have made a commitment to lead by example on workplace charging and to engage in encouraging other companies to help provide the infrastructure supporting the electric vehicle market,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president, Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “With 239 workplace charging spots for the use of GM employees to charge their personal plug-in vehicles, we are primed to meet this challenge.”
Quicken Loans to sponsor June NASCAR race at MIS Quicken Loans Inc, the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender and one of the nation’s three largest lenders overall, today announced it has again partnered with Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, Michigan, to sponsor the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, June 16.
Detroit-based Quicken Loans was a sponsor of the same race in 2012, which saw driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. break his 143-race winless streak.
Jenson Button did not say it out loud, but at McLaren's launch the inference could have easily been made that he is a lot happier now that his teammate's name is Sergio Perez and not Lewis Hamilton.
The Button and Hamilton pairing worked professionally for McLaren, who were frequently at pains to say the pair genuinely got along, despite being in an intense rivalry with each other. But outside the realms of the paddock, the 2009 champion admits they hardly saw each other as they were too busy with their own campaigns. They met socially even more rarely.
It’s Winter Test Time for the ALMS The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n will be in “preview mode” next week as a significant group of teams participate in the annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway. The Feb. 7-8 test comes a little more than a month out from the season-opening 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
There are plenty of noteworthy additions to take in. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will continue testing its 2013-spec Honda Performance Development ARX-03c in advance its goal of a successful defense of the ALMS’ P1 championship.
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